Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oat and chocolate slice

Hello everyone, I'd love to say that my failure to post any recipes for the last couple of weeks was because I was out watching endless sessions of Julie and Julia, but it was actually because my computer was away being fixed. Again. Hopefully for the last time. At the same time my washing machine died. Happily I now have a new washing machine, but I think it's very sneaky that while there is a lot of talk about how good front loaders are for the environment, NO-ONE mentions that they take smaller loads and each cycle takes nearly two hours!! That's a well kept secret. I guess one advantage on a warm day is that as I take out each load the last lot is dry and ready to come in again!

This week's recipe is a very easy slice that I found in my Panasonic cookbook that came with my microwave when I bought it about 15 years ago. I have adapted it from the original muesli recipe as I always have buckets of oats in the pantry, and I finish it in the oven as I don't really believe you can substitute the microwave for the baking step. You can add different things that you have to hand to the slice as well, such as nuts and as I have done, chocolate chips.

Have a happy week. Love from Jane xx

Oat and chocolate slice

What you need:
  • 125g butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar (you could halve this quantity if it frightens you)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups oatmeal (or natural muesli if you have it)
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

What you do:
  1. Combine the butter, sugar and honey in a microwave proof dish and cook on high for a minute, stir, then cook for another minute on high.
  2. Add the oats/muesli, coconut, sultanas and chocolate chips and mix well.
  3. Press firmly into a baking tray.
  4. Bake at 200C for about 10 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Allow to cool then slice into squares.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Crusty onion and cheese muffins

Hello everyone, I am so happy to tell you that I am writing this post with a beautiful warm and cuddly cat curled up on my lap! I adopted Bellatrix on Friday night. She is about one year old, white underneath with black and ginger on top. She has been to two households where it didn't work out (one with a child who turned out to be allergic to cats, one with two boisterous little boys who terrifed her) and I am the lucky one she has chosen. Bella is absolutely gorgeous - very affectionate and cuddly and on a cool day like today, lovely and warm! I think we are going to be very happy together.

This week's recipe is another of those absolutely standard ones that I use all the time, particularly when I'm entertaining a crowd. Being a cold and rainy long weekend, it's the perfect time for whipping up a batch of savoury muffins with a delicious butter. They are beautiful eaten when they are warm from the oven. They can also be stored in the freezer and then popped in the oven or microwave to thaw and warm up . The recipe comes from the Womens Weekly Muffins, Scones and Breads book, an oldy but a goody.

Have a lovely week.

Love from Jane xxx

Crusty onion and cheese muffins

What you need:
· ¼ cup plain flour
· 20g butter
· 1 teaspoon water, approximately
· 1 tablespoon vegetable or light olive oil
· 1 medium onion, halved and sliced (I use red onions)
· 1 ¾ cups self raising flour
· ¾ cup plain flour, extra
· ¾ cup grated tasty cheddar cheese
· 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
· 1 egg lightly beaten
· 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
· ½ cup vegetable or light olive oil, extra

Chive butter
· 50g cream cheese, softened
· 50g butter, softened
· 2 teaspoons lemon juice
· 1 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

What you do:
1. Place plain flour into a small bowl, rub in butter, and mix in just enough water to bind the ingredients.
2. Press dough into a ball, cover, freeze about 30 minutes or until firm.
3. Prepare either a six or twelve hole muffin tin.
4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion.
5. Cook, stirring, until soft and lightly browned; set aside to cool.
6. Sift self raising and extra plain flour into a large bowl.
7. Stir in half the onion, half the cheese and all of the chives.
8. Add the egg, buttermilk and extra oil.
9. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin.
10. Coarsely grate the frozen dough into a small bowl and quickly mix in the remaining onion and cheese. Sprinkle the mix over the muffins.
11. Bake in a moderately hot oven for about 25 minutes (if you are doing six large muffins they may take a little longer).
12. Serve with the chive butter.

Chive butter
1. Beat the cheese and butter together in a small bowl until smooth.
2. Stir in juice and chives.