Monday, December 22, 2008

Nut and Chocolate Chip Brownies

My apologies for being so dormant for > 2 weeks. It's the school hols & have been busy with activities with kids & cousins alike. Honestly didn't realise how "busy" I would be during this Year End Holidays ;) for that reason, I've not been able to try any new recipes /dishes much.

Finally got the baking mood due to X'mas round the corner. Tried this recipe from "THE COOKIE AND BISCUIT BIBLE" by Catherine Atkinson with recipes by Joanna Farrow and Valerie Barret.

I used slight different ingredients from the original recipe on page 358. Here's what I used :


150g Cooking Chocolate - Nona Brand

120ml or 1/2 cup Butter (instead of sunflower oil ~ only had groundnut.. so didn't want a differing smell, I used Butter)

215g or scant 1 cup Fine Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

5ml or 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence

65g or scant 2/3 Self Raising Flour

60ml or 4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder

75g or 3/4 cup Walnuts chopped

60ml or 4 Tbsp Chocolate Chips

Method :

1. Preheat Oven to 180'C/350'F. Grease square cake tin approx 7.5in or 8.5in. Melt cooking chocolate with butter in heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water (Alternatively, microwave it for 2 mins & stir after that to smoothen it)

2. Beat the brown sugar, eggs & vanilla essense together.

3. Stir in the melted cooking chocolate & butter, then beat well until well evenly mixed.

4. Sift the self raising flour & cocoa powder into the bowl and fold in thoroughly. Stir in the chopped nuts and milk chocolate chips, then tip the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly to the edges.

5. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the top is firm and crusty. Cool in the tin before cutting into the squares.

Looks close to picture in the recipe book if I do say so myself ;)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Baked Pasta & Baby Portebello Mushrooms

It's been a long time since greenhoihoi has been over to my place (due to lack of transport). So I was thrilled to have her & her 2 boys over for our usualy Friday chit-chat & playgroup meet. I decided to whip up a Baked Pasta.
1 Bottle Leggo's Baked Pasta Sauce

300g Minced pork/beef/chicken
2 Saugages
4 Crab sticks
1/2 Carrot - chopped finely (to get my son to eat his veggies mainly)
1 Red Onion
1 Tbsp Garlic = chopped
3 Cups of uncooked pasta - to be cooked as instructed
Grated cheese

1. Preheat oven at 180'C

2. Cook pasta as directed on the package and let it drain.

3. Use Olive oil to stir fry chopped garlic, onions, carrots, mince meat, & crab sticks. Then add the Pasta Bake Sauce & stirring occasionally until meat is cooked.

4. Layer your pasta in an oven proof bowl (Pyrex) with the sauce mix. When you reach the top, pour in all the sauce mix and decorate the top with the sausages. Sprinkle as much cheese as you like.

5. Put in your pasta & allow it to bake at 180'C for 20 minutes or till the cheese turns a bit brown.

Half eaten already :)

The other dish I decided to whip up was Baked Baby Portebello Mushrooms! I just couldn't resist buying them from Cold Storage when I was doing my grocery shopping.

1 punnet of Portebello Mushrooms - remove the stems & give it a quick rinse. Lay them on your oven proof dish. Sprinkle Olive Oil, crab stick shreds, diced sausages & loads of grated cheese (whatever toppings you like).

I baked them together with the Pasta at 180'C but only for 5-10mins... the mushrooms would be cooked by then.