Preserving Summer: The Benefits of Canning and Preserving Produce

FREE chapter of Canal House Cooking, Vol. 4 below!

The bursting flavors of summer fruits and vegetables can be made to last all year by canning and preserving them. Canning can brighten your pantry throughout the year, extending the life of perishable produce and utilizing those fruit and vege ‘gluts’ that can sometimes occur when growing food at home.

Quince Jelly Recipe, Apricot BBQ Sauce Recipe, Mandarin Marmalade Recipe

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Homemade Buttermilk Crepes Recipe

As per my last post, I made some yoghurt-based cream cheese today after a batch of my yoghurt didn’t set fully. This involved straining the yoghurt through some paper towel. At the end of this process I had a paper towel full of creamy yoghurt ‘curds’, and just a little over 1 cup of yoghurt ‘juice’, sometimes called ‘whey’ or ‘buttermilk’.

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Adventures In Making Yogurt at Home

I have always known that yoghurt is good for us, and regardless of the health facts have always been able to consume giant quantities of it with no problems, but it never really occurred to me that there would be much of a difference between commercially manufactured yoghurt and the stuff you make at home.

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Baking Challenge #3: Danish Almond Cookies in 20 minutes

I found this recipe today on recipezaar for Danish “Mandel Kager” Almond Cookies.

In my baking endeavors so far, I’ve learned two important things. I’m sure I knew these before, but kind of ignored them.

  1. Not all ovens run to the temperature that they say they do. Some run hotter, some run cooler. It’s important to get a feel for what your oven runs at. For instance, my oven runs like an incinerator. If you put it on 150C, it’s about the equivalent of 180C.
  2. Buying a timer is very important. It means you’ll always bake things for the right amount of time, and be alerted loudly to when it’s ready. It also makes things less stressful, because you can do other things in the meantime without feeling you have to check things time and again.

I mixed all the ingredients in my Kenwood Chef, sprayed the tray with some light olive oil, rolled the mix into balls, and dotted about 7 on to the tray. I put the rest of the mixture into a bowl, covered it and put it in the fridge for another time.

Why? Well, I figure it will last a couple of days. I figure that if I make them all in one hit, I’m likely to eat too many. I also figure that if I keep the mix and make another batch later, I’ll extend the mix and be able to have fresh cookies again in a few days. Also, like most sweet recipes, it contains a tonne of butter, and I’m conscious that if I do end up eating a lot of them, I’ll be consuming that tonne of butter. So yeah, it’s to essentially to spread out my butter consumption so I feel mentally better about eating them!

The mixing & prep time took under 10 minutes. I then baked them for about 12 minutes. They should be cooled for a while until the harden up, but overall these are very quick cookies to make.

Ingredients-wise I stuck to the recipe quite well. Instead of the cinnamon and cardamom though, I used some mixed spice. I also didn’t put in the shortening – I didn’t have any so omitted that completely and just put in a bit extra butter. I put it a touch of almond essence too – just a drop or two – to extend the almond flavor.

Overall, they’re pretty good cookies! My first impression is that they are very light and fluffy cookies, but this may just because they need more time to rest. The almond flavor is delicious though, and the spice is a nice touch. Very simple and inexpensive little recipe to try out next time you have a cookie craving 😀

Baking Challenge #2: Vanilla Muffin Birthday Cake

One of the ladies at work is having her birthday tomorrow and we’ll both be working on the weekend, so I decided it would be nice to whip up some vanilla birthday-themed muffins tonight to serve at morning tea. This was a first, as I’ve never made a cake for a colleague before, and also never made icing that was any good before (let alone figure out how to use a piping bag without destroying it!!).

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Baking Challenge #1: The Croissant, Part 2

Well, they look a bit like croissants!!

Croissants are funny things. It actually doesn’t take much energy to make them, just time. The perfect time to make them would be when you’re home for the day, doing something like.. cleaning the house, and/or cooking a roast. Because after the initial process of mixing the ingredients together, it’s really just a repetitive, simple process of rolling, folding and refrigerating.

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Baking Challenge #1: The Croissant

Welcome to the first installment of my personal weekly baking challenge!

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Creamy Potato and Leek Soup Recipe

We bought some organic potatoes and 2 leeks from the supermarket the other day, and it was a chilly enough for something warm, so I decided on a dinner of potato and leek soup. It tasted pretty luxurious once topped with a slice of bread and cheese, and toasted under the grill. Filling and satisfying, potato and leek soup is a frugal classic that never fails to impress!

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Homemade Almond Biscotti Recipe

I’ve always wanted to make some biscotti but never really got around to it. Today I decided it was the day! I found a recipe on the Kenwood Chef website that seemed simple and do-able, so I gave it a try using my trusty old 70s machine. It turned out pretty well!

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Wildschwein’s Easter Eggnog Recipe

Our chooks are laying like mad at the moment, meaning we have a HUGE surplus of eggs to get through! Lastnight it was on the chilly side, and I felt like something warm and sweet, so I pulled out the Kenwood Chef and whipped up this creamy and slightly addictive batch of eggnog. I was so proud that it worked out!!!

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