Monday, May 25, 2009

Cinnamon Scrolls and Port Melbourne

With just under two weeks left till I have to submit my folio, I’ve been working in my studio everyday for the past week. I have also created an extremely unrealistic schedule that will hopefully help me to get everything done in time. All this work and stress has unfortunately given me a horrid cold. I’ve been drinking massive amounts of water and taking vitamin c three times a day. My fellow studio mates and I have been having long talks about ways to stay healthy, and about how much we’re stressing out. Copious bottles of wine and cups of tea have also been drunk. After spending my whole weekend in the studio, today I woke up at 10.30 and couldn’t face the trip into the city, so I’m being lazy and staying home. I’m hoping to get some work done, but I know it’s unlikely.

I made this recipe a few weeks ago after a trip to Port Melbourne. My whole class was forced to visit this desolate place so that we could make some work from the experience. Now that everyone is stuck into the work, no one is enjoying it. Much like our trip which was blessed with freezing, overcast weather, punctuated with bouts of rain. I got practically no work done, spent most of my time in the dodgy cafĂ© and froze my hands and ears off. I did enjoy travelling along the light rail tram route (in the case the 109, but the 96 also takes it), which makes the tram feel like a train (such simple pleasures). My friend and I ended up sneaking off 3 hours early. Once I got home I was in need of some warm, cinnamony goodness. I’d tried to make cinnamon scrolls before but they turned out very hard, almost biscuity in texture. These, however, are soft and delicate. Now that we’re heading into winter, these are perfect to warm you up after a long day outdoors.

I’ve had this recipe printed out in my “to cook” folder for a while, but when I searched for it online, I couldn’t find the original. I searched the text and found the exact same post on website, but with a different picture. I’m not quite sure what happened. Anyway, here’s a link to the recipe on the blog.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Craving Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

My internet was shaped this week due to too many episodes of Australia’s Next Top Model watched on youtube. The Office season 5 just finished as well (amazing!) so that probably contributed to it too. However, my internet is back now and I’ve got a glut of posts to publish.

Ok, I ate pretty much all of these over two days and now that they’re gone, I’m still craving them. I had a craving for these on Saturday and had to go through the pain of their two-day preparation period before being able to consume them. They are incredibly delicious. I ate some of them for breakfast with apricot jam and Philly, but most of them were devoured toasted with lots of butter.

I found this recipe on the gorgeous Smitten Kitchen blog. Uni is heating up at the moment and I just don’t have the time to make these again, so tomorrow I think I’ll be off to Glick's around morning tea time to get my fix. I’ll give you guys a link to the recipe because it is super, ridiculously long. However, don’t be put off! It doesn’t really involve much work, just lots of little tasks and long resting periods. I started these on a Saturday afternoon and they were easily finished for Sunday breakfast. One warning, tip the excess semolina flour off the trays before baking – it burns easily! And remember, raisins = sultanas.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chorizo and Vegetable Soup - featuring our namesake beans and barley

Last week's market shopping trip must have been one of the most successful ever. I didn't spend that much, came home with a heap, and have found a way to use every tid bit that I purchased. This soup certainly helped in the tid-bit using. It's based around a single chorizo sausage, which imparts a very large pot of soup with delicious smokey-rich flavour. Vegetarians: I'd suggest using a tablespoon of smokey paprika instead - but I'd have to say even then you a probably missing out here!

Chorizo and Vegetable Soup

(Hey Mum! Yes, this soup was inspired by your chorizo soups. )

1 chorizo sausage
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 zucchini, diced
1 large potato, diced
1 can chopped tomato
1 eggplant, diced
handful of green beans, trimmed and sliced into 2cm pieces
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 cup barley

Dice onion and chop chorizo sausage into 1cm pieces. Crush garlic together with the cumin and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle, or crush garlic in garlic crusher and mix with pre-ground cumin and pepper.

In a large pot, fry onion and garlic mix in a tablespoon of oil. When onion is transparent, add chorizo and fry until well browned.

Add chopped vegetables, parsley and a tin of chopped tomato to pot (fresh tomato is fine, but tins of tomato are actually cheaper!). Fry a little, and then add the stock, coriander powder and barley. Add smokey paprika if not using chorizo.

Simmer well, topping up with boiling water if it becomes too stew-like and not soupy enough.

Continue to boil until the vegetables and barley are soft.

Serve with some fresh bread (see previous posts!).

Almost as good as central heating. Almost.

Olive and Herb Bread / Thankyou Kevin!

Bread ahoy! I know that all posts so far have been bread related, but you must understand the frugality behind it. Bread is cheap and delicious, and this is a 'recession'. Blah blah. Recession is boring, who cares! It seems now people talk about the recession and pander to it because it is fashionable, rather than it being an actual reality in their lives. What's this about cutting your budget? You either have a job, and therefore have money, or you don't. Does the recession just magically make your money disappear?

If it does, then perhaps you should bake some bread. Otherwise, bake bread because it's fun. PM Kevin gave a lot of us $900 and rather than going crazy I invested in a good pyrex bowl (see earlier posts for my gripes at not having one) and a (cheap) digital camera. The rest is for 'just in case'. Evidence:

Oh, the excitement. So I decided to bake a loaf of olive and herb bread. (Note: It was Friday night. This is what gets me excited these days. I don't actually remember the last time I had a weekend drink in a bar. Hah.)

Olive and Herb Bread

(adapted from the Women's Weekly Cookbook 'Muffins, Scones and Breads')

4 teaspoons (14g) dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 cups (310ml) warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 cups flour (I used wholemeal)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cups plain flour, extra (I used wholemeal, again)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped olives (I used marinated green ones)
handful chopped herbs of your choosing (I used fresh basil and parsley)

Mix yeast, sugar, milk and water in a large bowl (yay for large bowls!), whisk until yeast is all dissolved.

Whisk in sifted flour then cover bowl with a tea towel. Put in a warm place for about 30 mins or until it has grown to double its size.

Stir in oil, then extra flour and the salt. Knead dough for about 10 minutes. Clean the bowl you have been using and then grease it with a bit of oil. Put dough back in and cover again with tea towel. Stand in warm place for an hour or until doubled in size.

Knead in herbs and olives. I would suggest kneading in a couple of tablespoons of pesto here, if you have it laying around. I think it would really add to the flavour. I will be doing this next time!

Prehead oven to 200 degrees C. Roll dough out into an oval shape and then fold in half (it should look roughly like a loaf of bread now). Ease it onto a greased baking tray.

Cover again and leave for about half an hour (I left it on top of the stove to make use of the heat from the preheating oven). After it has re-risen, dust the loaf with a tablespoon or so of flour, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.