Lemon and Rosemary Vodka

My love of lemons knows no ends. I add it to everything, including a lemon pasta (post coming soon) that I had not only for dinner but re-made for lunch the next day. I made a cake out of them last year, and they also feature in cookie pops and rice! Continue reading

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Kumquat and Chocolate Cookie

When I was in primary school we had to bring in a strange fruit and do a class presentation on it, I chose a kumquat. Kumquats are about the size of an olive and completely edible; with the inside being quite sour in flavour and the peel being sweet. They are in season beginning of spring, which is now! These were gifted from a neighbour and aren’t as oval as a normal kumquat.I cannot for the life of me figure out how I researched for my presentation, did Wikipedia exist in 1999? Maybe I looked in the dictionary? How on earth did people function without the internet? How did people complete degrees without the internet?
This is hurting my head, I want to cry. I love you internet.

Sorry, that got a bit heavy. This cookie is pretty heavy, it’s pretty major. It’s delicious. Usually you would pair orange with dark chocolate, to balance out the sweetness. However kumquats already bring the bitterness so this time we are going to pair it with milk chocolate.

Kumquat and Chocolate Cookies –

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1 cup  brown sugar
5 Kumquats, zest and juice (keep half of the juice)
2 tablespoons Nutella
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
100g Milk Chocolate chopped into pieces

Method
In a small bowl, mix flour, soda and salt using a whisk and set aside.

In another bowl, cream butter and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the zest and nutella, then slowly add the remaining juice. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix until combined.

Roll dough onto baking paper into a log shape and freeze. Leave to freeze for at least 2 hours. Once dough is frozen slice and bake the dough at 180C for 10 minutes.
Bake until still soft, and slightly browned. Remove and scatter chocolate pieces onto the
still warm cookies.

Blood Orange and Almond Upside Down Cake

My favourite thing to do in the warmer months is eat breakfast outside, and I know right now you are thinking “Why are you telling me this?” or “How did I get here?”, but it makes a difference!
It makes eating an event, and less of a rush to getting out of the door. Hanging with the birds and rays of sun on the back of my neck is what blue skies are all about. Plus you get all of the scents of summer; hazy breezes, floral scents and my fruit is always somewhat amplified by the warmth.Eating with your nose is important, it aids with the getting-full-feeling, makes you more aware of what you are eating and it makes you happy. Some of my best memories are those of eating fruits in summer (If I could marry fruit I really would, for real). Holidays in Cyprus eating the best fresh cherries, seeing how far we could spit the pits, fresh strawberries from my grandparents back-garden (my love of strawberries is well documented on my recipes page) and my gorgeous friend Abby’s blood orange tree at her parents house (with the cutest dog ever; love you Snowy!). That last memory holds so true in my head whenever I eat Blood oranges (pretty much constantly for the three or four weeks they in season). This cake is warmth, remnants of winter and spring all in one.

Blood Orange and Almond Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes one 9 inch cake
For the Topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 blood oranges thinly sliced
For the Cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
130gr Plain Flour
30gr Almond Meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground ginger
2/3 cup plain yoghurt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Place butter in the cake pan and place in the oven.  When butter is melted, remove pan from the oven.  Tilt the pan around and around, coating the sides of the pan with butter.  Once sides are coated, sprinkle the sugar over the melted butter and lay the oranges flat in the still warm pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed.  Cream until slightly pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Stop mixer, scrape down the bowl with a spatula, and add egg, vanilla extract and ginger.  Beat for 1 minute.

Turn the mixer off, scrape the bowl, and add the dry ingredients.  Beat on low speed while adding the yoghurt.  Beat until the batter just comes together.  Batter will be pretty thick.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating ingredients with a spatula.

Spoon batter over the oranges and spread evenly with a spatula.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Let cake rest for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cake and inverting the cake onto a cake plate.

September – Steam Exchange Pale Ale

Hey guys, did you know it’s September? (I mean obviously you do, I don’t think you live under a rock. Unless you do and you are rocking WiFi; in which case sorry) September for me holds the promise of the uni semester break and the continual growing warmth of spring. However for Nick it holds much more than that. This is the first in a series of ‘Beer of the Month’ on which Nick and I will showcase a South Australian beer. I’ll be snapping the photos and having a taste, and Nick will be pouring his love out (pun intended) through the keyboard, to let you know exactly why supporting local brewers is so important. And most importantly why that beer is beer of the month!

Like no other food or drink, beer is a medium for binding me with the memories of events, people and seasons. Every month has an ideal variety; one that every time it touches your lips will draw your mind to a particular place or a time. It’s a joy that South Australia is getting rather good at making these…

So what is September? The weather is gradually changing; as spring begins to creep in, the doldrums of winter are replaced by optimistic sunlight. The temperature gauge begins to creep up during the day and the sunlight hours begin to stretch out, but the nights are still brisk and (particularly with Adelaide’s weather this year) have enough chill in the air to remind you that there’s still a long way to go until the balmy evening and backyard BBQs.

And what else characterises September in Adelaide? Football – the egg-shaped variety. Whether you’re an avid fan or remain completely disinterested, chances are that it’s going to play either a direct or secondary role over the next thirty days, culminating with one particular game on the last Saturday of the month.

Considering all of this, there’s one South Australian beer personally capturing September perfectly within a 330ml amber vessel. Steam Exchange’s Pale Ale is the embodiment of optimism with a pivotal reminder of what we’ve come from, all the while harking back to strong ties to the Goolwa and Encounter Bay community.

This is by no means a showstopper, but it has enough character to be charming and memorable for drinkers of varying levels. For those enamoured with the hoppy fad captivating Australia’s craft beer community, this Pale Ale is divergent with the malts (inc. Marris Otter – UK) here providing a gentle rounding, to my palate almost reminiscent of a traditional lager nee popular examples like Samuel Adams or Brooklyn Brewery. And for those that prefer a more gentle flavour, it exerts enough bite and hoppy sentiment (East Kent Goldings – UK, and Styrian Goldings – EU) to challenge the senses, and at 5.6% it’s strong enough to make a dull game interesting but sessionable enough to be able to knock back and remain coherent deep into a tight last quarter.

Steam Exchange Pale Ale is available at several outlets across South Australia as well as online, all at reasonable prices for a local, handcrafted brew. If you can deal with some poor formatting and confusing links, you will find all the details on the Steam Exchange website.

http://www.steamexchange.com.au/

Lavender and Lemon Cookie Pop

Spring holds so much hope and anticipation; growing up in the UK it always felt like the start of the year, and that feeling has transferred here, despite the fact that it is September. It holds anticipation for ice-cream eating, long walks with my puppy and road trips to Middleton, my favourite beach spot in SA.

South Australia has really brought it for the first few days a spring, if it was a football team people would be saying “This is our year”. Except Spring can’t really fail at being Spring so, yeah.

This cookie is anticipation in a cookie, the Lemon and Lavender are the perfect spring flavour combination. Refreshing like lemonade, and the lavender is in no way overwhelming, but the key is to only use a small amount otherwise things get soapy. And from experience I can tell you that soap is both a taste that is overwhelming, and exceedingly hard to remove from your mouth.The lemon cheese drizzle makes the cookie taste like delicious cheesecake. Its optional but do it, it’s amazing.

Lemon and Lavender Cookie

Ingredients
230gr plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda
85g caster sugar
45gr dark brown sugar
125gr melted butter
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla paste
1 egg
Rind of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lavender

Method
Sift flour, soda and sugars into a large bowl; dark brown sugar generally has big pieces in it, sift well then add the larger pieces in too. Stir in the butter, vanilla and egg, the lemon and lavender.On a sheet of baking paper, roll the dough into a log shape. Tie the ends and if necessary wrap in glad wrap. Freeze the dough for at least 2 hours. At this point the mixture will last months.

Slice the frozen mixture and insert lollipop sticks. Bake at 200C for ten minutes.

Lemon Cheese Drizzle – adapted from Rah Cha Chow

Ingredients
70gr cream cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
184 gr powdered sugar

Method
Combine ingredients in bowl. Spoon a small tablespoon of mixture on to the cooled cookies and spread evenly over the top. Allow to dry.