Spicy Carrot Cake

September 24, 2018 at 14:51 (Bake, Uncategorized)

I love carrot cake. For this cake, the carrots aren’t grated but roughly chopped in a blender. It gives the cake a somewhat crunchy texture with a spiced cake flavour. I don’t usually ice this cake but you could if you wanted.

100g butter

3 eggs separated

4 medium carrots roughly chopped in a blender

1 teaspoons mixed spice

1 cup sugar

1.5 cups self raising flour

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Cream the butter and suger till smooth then add the eggs yolks and vanilla essence. Add the flour, spice and carrot. Beat egg whites into soft peaks and fold into mixture. Pour into a baking tin and bake for 30 – 45 minutes at 180C.

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Aibou

September 18, 2018 at 22:17 (Uncategorized)

Years ago a friend recommended a Japanese crime show called Aibou. At the time, most of the then 13 seasons weren’t subbed but season 11 and some of season 12 was. That was when I realised popular actor’s shows got subbed more often than others. Season 11 was a new partner with a cute face so subbing started from there. Though I have seen the previous partner in other shows and do his acting but he’s not as popular – anyway, I watched what was subbed and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Today I noticed that season 13 is almost completely subbed! So excited. However, I can’t remember where I had to stop in season 12. I’ve spent most of the evening trying to find my place without ruining episodes I haven’t see and have basically worked my way back to season 11, which I know I’ve watched, remembering nothing.

So now I find myself with three seasons of a show I know I’ll enjoy 🙂 And quite likely remember as I watch.

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Vanilla Custard

September 6, 2018 at 14:25 (Bake, Uncategorized)

I only enjoy custard if it’s in something else, such as a trifle – generally though, I don’t eat it all that much.

570ml milk

60ml cream

1 vanilla pod

4 egg yolks

30g sugar

2 teaspoons cornflour/potato flour

Slice the vanilla pod lengthwise and place in a heavy based saucepan with the milk and cream – bring to a simmer.  Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour/potato flour in a bowl.  Add half the hot milk mixture slowly to the egg mixture while whisking.  Return the milk egg mixture to the saucepan and simmer until the custard thickens, whisk gently and continually to ensure no lumps form.

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Lemon Meringue Cake

August 20, 2018 at 14:23 (Bake, Uncategorized)

I like lemon meringue pie but many recipes and just about all store bought pies have condensed milk in them.  I really do not like condensed milk so I made up this cake – it is very tasty.

Cake:

125g flour

125g sugar

125g butter/full fat marg

1 large egg plus the two yokes from the meringue mix

1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter/full fat marg and sugar together, beat in eggs.  Shift flour and baking powder, fold into mixture – the batter will be quite firm.  Spoon into lined cake tin and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 C.  Turn out and allow to cool.

Lemon Curd:

3 large eggs

80ml lemon juice (not from bottle)

1 tablespoon lemon zest

¾ cup white sugar

4 tablespoon butter/full fat marg

Whisk eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water – do not let the water boil or the curd will crystallize.  Whisk continually for about 10 minutes until curd thickens, remove from heat and add butter/full fat marg and lemon zest – keep whisking.   Spread curd onto the cake (there will be left over curd).  Cover with cling wrap and store in the fridge.  Curd will thicken slightly as it stands.

Meringue:

2 large egg whites

½ cup white sugar

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water until egg whites are silky looking and form soft peaks.  Spoon meringue onto cake and grill until golden brown.

This recipe can also be used to make individual cupcakes as the batter divides into twelve nicely.

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Custard Cake

August 10, 2018 at 14:51 (Bake, Uncategorized)

My sister actually came up with this idea.

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

125g instant custard powder dissolved in 1 cup milk

100g butter

2 large eggs

Cream together the butter and sugar,  beat in eggs and custard milk.  Shift flour and baking powder, fold into mixture.  Pour into lined cake tin and bake at 180 C for 35-45 minutes.  Usually eaten plain with no icing but you could ice it.

Chocolate Custard Cake variation:

Add 3 tablespoons cocoa to custard milk.

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Unexpected

August 9, 2018 at 11:52 (Move, Uncategorized)

When I stopped working full time in the later half of July, my diet changed without me realising it. Getting up later meant I drank less coffee in the morning and leaving work earlier meant less coke and snacks in the afternoon, and because I was mooching at home I didn’t feel the need for energy to get through the afternoon. This meant my caffeine, sugar and processed food intake dropped by more than half in the space of a weekend.

At first I couldn’t figure out why I felt like shit – headaches, muscle pain and lethargy, and a general feeling of argh. One early morning when the muscle pain had woken me yet again, I did a Google search of my symptoms and I had Death. Completely unhelpful so I thought about my life and tried again with life style changes instead of physical changes. After reading about crash diets and withdrawal symptoms, I took some steps to up the crap in my diet so I could slowly cut it out and not feel awful everyday.

While I now feel physical better and my usual self, I find my mental state a little adrift. The position I held had many aspects – daily and weekly tasks, ongoing tasks, maintaining tasks and general monitoring and ensuring smooth running of the campus as well as dealing with students. I have none of that now. And while it was difficult to let it go while I was trying my replacement and I don’t miss it now, I do on occasion find myself  looking for task to do at home. Or thinking I should check the progress of something. But on the other hand, I also find myself staying up later watching another episode because I don’t have to get up for work. It’s a strange place to be, and until I find a happy balance that’s how I’ll be 🙂

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Peach Cobbler

July 31, 2018 at 14:58 (Bake, Uncategorized)

I love peaches and on American TV they’re always making peach cobbler, and it looks delicious. I did have to modify the recipe slightly as there was too much sugar for me with the syrup of the peaches.

4 tablespoons butter/full fat marg

2/3 cup milk

2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

tin of peaches

Drain peaches but save the syrup.  Layer peaches in an oven proof dish. Mix all the other ingredients together until smooth and spoon over peaches. Pour peach syrup over batter and bake at 180C until golden on top.

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Changing tack

July 23, 2018 at 10:46 (Move, Uncategorized)

One thing I’m finding a little difficult about leaving and training my replacement, is to not getting involved or stepping in to quickly sort something out. Obviously, I have my system and she will develop her own system but I have to make conscious efforts to allow her to do so. After managing the front desk for so long, it feels a little strange to step away. But in another way, it also feels really nice to step away.

Now I just need my house to sell so I can spend my days mooching around.

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Basic Muffin Mix

July 12, 2018 at 14:21 (Bake, Uncategorized)

I’ve been using this muffin mix for so many years, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve made them.

2 cups flour

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

100g butter/full fat marg (melted)

1 cup milk

1 large egg

Mix the melted butter/full fat marg, milk and egg.  Fold in sugar with shifted flour and baking powder until flour is cover but mixture is not smooth.  Spoon muffin mix into muffin tin and bake for 12-15 minutes at 180C.

Variations:

Chocolate – add 3 tablespoons cocoa to flour mix.

Fruit – dried and fresh fruit can be added to butter milk mixture but fresh fruit muffins don’t keep as long.

Jam middle – spoon some batter into muffin tin followed by half a teaspoon of jam; spoon more batter on top and bake.

Lemon –  add three tablespoons lemon juice [and perhaps a tablespoon of poppyseeds].

Nuts – add roughly chopped nuts when adding the flour.

Cheese and herb – grated strong cheese such as cheddar with fresh or dried herbs.  Feta also works but does not keep as long.

Experiment – you never know what you might discover.

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Plans…

June 28, 2018 at 17:33 (Move, Uncategorized)

…have changed.

As much as I am taken with my original plan, I’ve been readjusting it with more reality in mind. I’m physically limited since my car collision and I’m seriously accustomed to certain conveniences. It’s less than a five minute walk to the Spar where I can buy anything to eat when I don’t want to make efforts to cook (put things together and warm them up), and while there are no traffic issues in JBay, I don’t want to drive eight or so kms to the nearest shop.

I also want to make another attempt at a home industry. I’ll have to scout around and see what avenues I can pursue but I’m thinking about sewy crafty things or cakey pastry things, preserves from the garden maybe.

I have many plans and ideas but no decisions will be made till I’ve got there and mooched around for a bit. I may even think of something I haven’t thought of now 🙂

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