July 2002

A Few Winter Recipes

Mugachino Puds
You need: 6 coffee mugs
(or divide mix by three and make 2 mugs only)
1 saucepan

Melt 2 large tbsps butter/marg in the pan.
half cup milk
three quarters cup brown sugar
2 tbsps cocoa
1 cup self raising flour
Mix. Divide into mugs.
Pour over 2 HOT mugs of coffee sweetened with 6 teaspoons sugar.
Place mugs in a baking tray. Add water to about a quarter of the way up. Bake in moderate oven ie 200 C for about 30 minutes.
Run a knife around the inside of the mug to loosen the pud and tip out. There will be a thick coffee sauce at the bottom. Serve with cream and icecream.

Foaming Stain Remover
I am extremely proud of this stuff- it works- zapped it together a few weeks ago when i was trying to geta stain out of my jumper that i'm sure wasn't there when i put it away.

2 tbsps glycerin
2 tbsps salt
2 tbsps citric acid
2 tbsps methylated spirits
2 tbsps detergent
Then when it's all mixed add 2 tbsps bicarbonate of soda and watch it foam.
Spoon it onto your stains, rub in well, leave till foam is discoloured and wash out.  Repeat till the stain has gone.  Wash and dry normally. NB  Do test a bit of this in an inconspicuous place in case it fades the fabric and remember that the sooner you attack a stain the easier it is to remove.  And only use on washable fabrics!

Embarrassing Mayonnaise Muffins
(ie they are embarrassingly easy - no creaming of butter and sugar or mixing of eggs etc)

Mix in a bowl:
1 cup self raising flour
half a cup brown sugar
half a cup mayonnaise
2 really heaped tbsps cocoa
half a cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Put into patty cases, about two thirds full. Bake at 220 C for 10 -15 minutes (ovens vary). They're done when the tops spring back when you press them.  They're burnt when they turn black.

PS This is also a good recipe for those who don't want to use butter for its cholesterol or margarine because it's yuck. You can use a low cholesterol mayonnaise instead.

June 2002

Bung it in a Pot Soup
(ie concentrated essense of deliciousness, not to mention good for you)

3 carrots
1 bunch parsley
2 parsnips
1-2 leeks
3 sticks celery
6 cloves garlic
2 large red onions
300gm or so blade steak or similar
6 largish mushrooms

Fry till onion is soft in olive oil. bung in pot. Or just bung everything in a pot. Add:
2 large cartons chicken stock
2 small cartons beef stock
half a cup pearl barley
Simmer 3-4 hours.
Add a can of tomatoes or chopped tomatoes after about 2 hours- not sooner or the onion and leek will toughen and 1 large  can red or white beans
Keep in sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
Great for lunch or dinner or serve it in a mug for afternoon tea. Also good thermos soup for football match survival.More stock can be added to thin it a bit, or add a chopped spud or two if a horde of guests arrive

How to eat pumpkin seeds
1. wash off the gungy bits
2. boil in salted water for 20 minutes
3. bake on an oiled tray in the oven at 200 C till almost golden and crisp- about 20 minutes
4. eat with salt or  chilli

Pumpkin Cake
This is one of my favourite cakes: not too heavy with eggs and butter but still moist, and you can pretend it's very good for you as it's mostly spice and pumpkin.
ps for any kid that hates pumpkin- I hated it too when I was a kid. I thought it looked like dog vomit and probably tasted like it too(no, I never tasted dog vomit)
But I bet I would have loved this cake.

half cup butter or marg
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed pumpkin
2 cups SR flour
half teaspooon each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and  ginger (leave out the ones you don't have- still good if it's less spiced)
half cup buttermilk or light sour cream
half a cup chopped macadamias, or chopped pecans or chopped hazenuts or sliced almonds

Cream butter, sugar, spices; add eggs one by one; fold in flour and liquid gently. Pour into a greased pan or one lined with baking paper. Scatter on chopped nuts. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C till the room smells wonderfully of spiced pumpkin and the cake springs back when you press it gently in the centre- about 35 minutes.
Great without icing, but as Bryan thinks icing is the best part of a cake I ice ours with lemon icing, ginger icing, or chocolate icing.

 Rhubarb and Caramel Baked Custard (one of Bryan's favourites)

2 cups cream
4 eggs
8 tb brown sugar
2 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 cup orange juice
ground nutmeg or powdered ginger

Simmer rhubarb in orange juice and 4 tb sugar till soft. Add water only if sticking.
Place in an oven proof dish.
Beat the cream, eggs and remaining sugar with a fork or eggbeater for three minutes. Pour over the rhubarb. Dust on a  little ground nutmeg or powdered ginger. Bake at 200C for half an hour or till firm. Serve hot, or eat the cold leftovers for a luxury breakfast.

Frozen Fruit Salad Iceblocks

1 pineapple, chopped
1  rockmelon, chopped
10 bananaschopped
1 cup sugar
1 tsp mint, chopped, optional
pulp of 10 passionfruit
You can also add chopped peaches, apricots, apple

You will also need: iceblock moulds or plastic or disposable cups
iceblock sticks or teaspoons
Mix well. pour into iceblock moulds, or plastic cups or even disposable cups. Poke an iceblock stick or teaspoon into each one; freeze, and eat.

Bubble Bath
Make this in advance...
1 cup shampoo
1 teaspoon lavender oil
1 teaspoon rose oil
half a teaspoon lemon grass oil
half a teaspoon tabasco
1 cup hot water
2 cups Epsom salts

Melt the Epsom salts in the hot water. Add the other ingredients. Store in a bottle till needed. Use about a quarter of it per bath.

 The Builder's Biscuit
(A stunning  biscuit; very crisp, extremely more-ish, also energy giving and lures builders to come and finish your extensions)

125 gms butter or margerine
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsps REAL vanilla
1 egg
 a bit less than 1 and a half cups self raising flour
1 and a half cups dark chocolate pieces
1 and a half cups roasted peanuts, with salt (ie don't buy unsalted or raw ones)

Cream butter and sugar, beat in egg and fold in other ingredients. Place small spoonfuls on a greased tray and bake at 225C for10 -12 minutes until JUST starting to turn golden. let cool on the tray for 3 minutes before removing. Don't worry- they'll get crisp as they cool
Yield: about 25 biscuits and hopefully a new bedroom
ps I always make double this amount, as the biscuits keep for a month  or more in a sealed container.. If you do this put them in several small containers if you can, so they are opened as little as possible for best keeping.
pps don't feed this to wombats, even if they are helping the builders. Give them a carrot instead.

May 2002

Chocolate Chilli Jumbles

This is good, even if it sounds weird. A touch of chilli is great with chocolate.  Or more than touch if you love hot stuff. Or just make them and leave the chilli out...

1 250 gm block cooking chocolate (not compound chocolate: it's cheaper but not so nice)
1 and a half cups mixed chopped raisins, currants, dried pineapple, dried apricots, roast peanuts: you don't need all those; just use what you have or like
0 - 10 fresh chillies, seeded and chopped (in other words if you hate hot food leave out the chillies! But a tiny bit is stunningly yummy even if you hate chilli.)

Melt chocolate in a microwave or in a saucepan held over another pan of boiling water - but don't let any water get in the chocolate.
Mix in the other stuff.
Spread baking paper or alfoil on the bench. Spoon out lumps of mixture. Leave till set. Lick your fingers and the pan. Store jumbles in a sealed jar.  Lasts for yonks but probably won't.

PS Wash hands with soap six times after chopping chilli and don't touch hands eyes or delicate bit. It burns!!!!!!

Extremely Delicious Kumquat or Mandarin Cordial

This is very easy to make, and so delicious I'm astounded that I invented it. I've been trying to come up with a really good citrus cordial for years. But this is lovely stuff: just slightly bitter and not too sweet but as no pulp is cooked there's no marmalade taste.

Slice 2 cups kumquats or mandarins in a bowl. Add two cups sugar and leave till it's liquid - about 4 hours with the occasional bash with a spoon.  Drain out liquid and add two scant teaspoons of tartaric acid to it and boil three minutes. Bottle. Keeps for weeks but throw out if it looks cloudy or bubbles or looks or smells odd.

April 2002

Flying Saucers

Melt cooking chocolate; spread over two small- or large - bowls with a knife fork or even fingers. (lick well). When cool the chocolate will shrink away slightly from the bowls. Tip them out carefully; use more melted chocolate to glue them together, and to glue smarties around the middle for the windows.
A few jelly babies can be  left inside- sorry, jelly aliens. Or chocolate or other goodies as a gift from another galaxy.

Coloured eggs
Draw patterns on eggs with coloured crayon- birds flowers bunnies swirls etc. then add a few drops of food colouring to a bowl of water; dip the eggs in; leave for five minutes, let dry on newspaper; roll them over once or twice as they dry to stop drips drying on the eggs.

Pistacio Truffle eggs
Combine 373 gms melted white chocolate in quarter of a cup evaporated milk; stir till smooth; add 1 tb malibu liqueur or rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla and quarter of a  cup chopped pistacio nuts. Cool. Roll into egg shapes, then roll in melted chocolate. Cool in the fridge till firm.

Peanut Toffee Eggs
Mix half a cup crunchy peanut butter with 2 tb icing sugar and 1 heaped tb cocoa. Roll into egg shapes; roll in melted chocolate; refrigerate till firm.

Quince Cheese
8 quinces, washed and peeled
1 cup water
juice of 2 lemons
the same weight of sugar as the quinces
1 saucepan

Cut quince into chunks, with cores. Boil with the water and juice for 30 minutes with the lid on or till soft.
Only add water if it's going to burn!
Add the sugar.
keep over a low heat; stir every few minutes, till the paste is thick and deep red. This may take 3-4 hours so make sure there is a good programme on tv! Watch out for spitting mixture too!
When it's so thick your wrist is breaking, pour it out onto baking paper in a tray. let it dry for a couple of days, or in the over on low with the door open for a day.
Wrap slices in greaseproof paper and then in alfoil. Store in an airtight tin. keeps for months..or years? Or a few days as you guzzle it down.

Quince Jelly
7 quinces
juice of three lemons

Wash then chop quinces. JUST cover with water. Boil till soft and squishy- about half an hour.
Strain out the juice. Throw away the pulp. For every 600ml juice add 500g sugar. Boil  till a little sets jelly like on a saucer. Watch out for hot splashes! Pour into sterilised jars; cover and store in a cool dark place.
Great on toast; even better on crackers with cheese

Baked Quinces in Port
You need:
3 quinces
3 tb honey
6 tb port
juice of 1 lemon
half a cup of water

Rub any fuzz off the quinces. Cut them in half, scoop out the core. Place cut side up in a baking dish. Fill the hollows with honey; drizzle on lemon juice so the flesh doesn't turn brown; pour in water and port. Cover with alfoil. Bake One and a half hours; turn quinces over; bake another hour and a half.
Take out of the oven- the scent should fill the room- (At table outside)  and eat hot or cold with cream.

Lillypilly Cordial
            Lillypillies are not what you'd call a tasty fruit - a bit like flavoured cardboard. That's because they don't have much sugar in them naturally- but just add sugar to make them into cordial, and wow!
             Make sure your lillypillies aren't over ripe - pick them as soon as they are large and have a good colour. If you wait too long after that they can have a bit of a  bitter taste.
            Now   put three cups of lillypillies into a stainless steel saucepan- don't worry about a few stalks but make sure there's no beetles; add four cups of water, and boil the heck out of them till the lillypillies are tender. This takes about ten to twenty minutes.
            Press the lillypillies through a sieve; take their juice and add two cups of sugar, the juice of two lemons, and one teaspoon tartaric acid. Bring to the boil; simmer five minutes. Pour into a clean bottle...and there you are. Don't drink it if it starts bubbling, grows wierd mould or smells peculiar- but it shouldn't. And it is very good stuff- and looks a stunner.