Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Grape Fritters

I love a good breakfast. I get really cranky if I skip it, which I haven't done in a very long time. 

I have my morning routine down to a simple dance around the kitchen. I don't function well in the morning's, so most of the time I end up having the same breakfast to prevent myself from have to think too much. And cooking, heck no! Unless it is oats or quinoa porridge. 

I prefer to make lovely things when I have woken up properly. Or I leave the big weekend, or special treat breakfasts to my husband. 
These fritters were so wonderful I had to share them. Hubby and I usually have pancakes, or french toast as our weekend breakfast, we both kinda have a preference towards a sweet brekkie. Since being pregnant though I have been having savoury breakfast cravings, avocado, roasted tomatoes, bacon, and eggs, with seeded sour dough bread is an absolute favourite of mine right now :)

The grapes are what make these fritters, they just burst with sweet juiciness, and freshness.

Serves 4-6
Fritter Batter
1 cup plain flour
1/3 - 1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 bunch crimson seedless grapes, slice half the bunch of grapes in half, leave the others whole.

Ricotta Cream
4-6 tablespoons of full cream fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons of cream
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 teaspoon cinnamon
sugar to taste.
vegetable oil for frying

Ricotta cream : Mix all the ingredients together with a fork. (I like to keep the ricotta a bit chunky and not smooth.) Set aside in the fridge to chill.

The Batter : Place the flour into a bowl and crack the egg into the centre. Start adding the water and mixing until it becomes a thick batter, add a pinch of salt and about a teaspoon of sugar. Then add the grapes and stir through.

Heat the oil, add enough to shallow fry, medium heat. Drop tablespoons of the grape mix in and cook until golden. Drain them really well on absorbent paper.

Serve with a dollop of the ricotta and drizzle with honey. 

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Nursery and Budgets

    Being pregnant, and having budgets shouldn't be in the same sentence. It seems having babies is a very expensive prospect.

    While getting my extensive list together yesterday for everything that I will need very soon, I came across some beautiful nurseries and baby products I had to share. I just love a nursery. I am a big fan of a simple white, or antique looking furniture. I don't like clutter, or too many colours and crazy animals.

    On the animal note, what's with people dressing their children like one?? Panda outfits, little bears a giraffe! I have seen many little onesies with animal ears on the hoodies. I find it a little kooky that you'd want to dress your child like an animal. Maybe it's just me, but I don't get it.... I understand the fact that you want your child to look cute, but a furry little animal??? Aren't they cute enough?

    I would like to pick a theme for our room, and go with that, but my fear is that I don't have the creative flair to make it a success. Also, not knowing the sex of the baby makes it difficult to decorate! Well we kind of do know the sex, but we are needing confirmation because the baby is never really in the proper position! Cheeky little one I have!

    I love this nursery. I would add a splash of colour, like a lavender or a soft blue.

    Readers what theme and colours do you think would be suitable? Needs to be a gender neutral theme.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Chocolate Sticky Date Cakes with Salted Caramel Choc Sauce

    While sitting on the interweb reading blogs, having my cup of green tea and listening to Chucky snore, I started craving chocolate. But not just a chocolate cake or brownie. I wanted something a little different. Being 22 weeks pregnant and having cravings like I've never had before. I decided to give in and make something sweet for hubby and I.

    This photo was taken a couple weeks ago. My crazy little Chucky the Chihuahua, loves to sleep like this!!! Behind me all mushed up. Since Ive been pregnant I find this really uncomfortable. You can also see the little belly I'm growing :)

    I am always worried now my taste buds are on the fritz. See I am still having morning sickness, coupled with major hunger and tiredness and all the other lovely things that come with being pregnant. So I never know that what I'm cooking is going to taste as good to them as it does to me...

    All I know is that I love anything salty and sweet. Sometimes together ! I will happily snack on a dill pickle, olives, or cheeses. Or have a really sour, sour dough toast with jam, one with Vegemite the other with jam yummo. This bizarre craving is extending to my dinners as well. I really am enjoying Thai food, with it's sensational salty and sweet combo's, it sends the baby into a moving frenzy! The little worm wriggles for ages after a good satay prawn with rice noodle!

    Anyway back to the mini cakes. I decided to make a sticky date mini cake. I really wanted to have chocolate as well, so I added a few squares to the mix, and crossed my fingers it wasn't going to be inedible, or only pregnant person safe :)

    Personally I think these turned out really well. Especially with the sour cream, and the salted caramel chocolate sauce. Perfect for what I wanted. Oh and hubby did enjoy them also, shame cause I would've eaten them all on my own ;)

    Makes 4 mini cakes.

    Cake Batter
    1/2 cup dates roughly chopped
    1/2 cup boiling water
    1 teaspoon bi-carb
    60 grams butter, softened
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons cocoa or 40 grams melted chocolate
    1 egg beaten lightly
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    3/4 cup self raising flour

    Salted Caramel Chocolate Sauce
    50 grams butter
    2 squares dark chocolate
    3 tablespoons brown sugar
    2 tablespoons cream
    pinch of Murray river pink salt.

    Preheat oven to 170C fan forced.

    Place the chopped dates in a small heat proof bowl. Pour over the boiling water and let them soak for about 15 minutes. Add the bi-carb and stir to dissolve, set this aside.
    Melt the chocolate, butter and brown sugar together in a saucepan. Once the chocolate and sugar have melted take it off the heat, and let it cool slightly. Add the beaten egg and mix well.
    Meanwhile sift the flour and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Make a well in the middle, pour the chocolate mixture, and dates including the water into the flour. Mix until just combined.
    Spoon into ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes, in a water bath. Keep them warm.

    For the sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients, except the salt, in a sauce pan. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat then add the salt.

    I served this cake with a dollop or sour cream, you can use cream or creme fraiche. Pour the sauce over the cakes and serve.

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    Sour Cherry and Vanilla Bean Jam

    I decided to try making a jam cause I had a box of cherries given to me, and my husband and I just couldn't eat them quickly enough.

    I don't really make jams that often, so I went trawling for a recipe to use.

    This is the best and simplest, cherry jam recipe.

    I also didn't use as much sugar as you are meant to, I wanted to see how this would turn out. It is still very sweet to me, well I did use 2 cups of sugar! If I were to make it again, I would cut back even more on the sugar.

    750 grams cherries
    2 cups caster sugar
    2 lemons juiced
    2 vanilla pods

    2 sterilised jars.

    This made about 2 cups of jam.

    Wash and pit cherries, place them into a pot. Warm slowly, for about 2 minutes, and squish with a potato masher to juice. Mash up the cherries as much as you want. I like it a little chunky, so I didn't go crazy with the masher.

    Add the lemon juice and the whole lemons to the pot. Scrape the vanilla pods of the seeds, add to the pot with the pods. Then add the sugar. Stir just until the sugar is dissolved on medium heat.

    Then leave the jam to Boil for about 20 minutes.

    Keep checking the jam's setting by freezing a small plate, place a dollop of the jam on the plate, place it back in the freezer for a minute. Bring out the jam and test to see if it has set into a jam like consistency.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Love is all there is.

    Photo by vichie81 from free digital photo's

    Last night I stumbled, literally while using stumbleupon, a website called high existence. I loved this website so much I had to share it. One of my favourite pages is, 50 Life Secrets and Tips.

    Most of the 50 secrets and tips are really easy to use everyday.

    My favourite is 50. Love is all there is....