Last year, the Anster offered to rebuild my pantry as my birthday present. It was a great idea as my current pantry was a mix-match of shelves at different heights. It worked much better than the previous version which involved banana boxes stacked one upon the other. I was forever stacking and re-stacking boxes when the ingredients I required were in the bottom box. Continue reading
My mum made the best bran muffins I have ever tasted – moist muffins with plump raisins, utterly …… well I was going to describe them as unctuous as unctuous goes so well with utterly but I thought I should make sure the word meant what I thought it meant. Turns out not…. the muffins are not smooth, slippery or glib, nor do they have false earnestness. I’ll have to retire unctuous as a description for food but the muffins were utterly nectarous doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Continue reading
As mentioned before, anytime we travel to another town or city in New Zealand I have a strong urge to visit the supermarkets, markets and specialist food shops to search out new and interesting products. As we hadn’t been away for a while, I decided to mooch around our local food establishments and suss out new products. In the baking aisle of one of the local supermarkets, I spotted caramel bits nestled among the dark, milk and white chocolate bits (drops) so I had to have a packet or three. I notice some American recipes use butterscotch baking chips, peanut butter chips, or mint baking chips – all of which sound quite yummy. While we can’t get these here in NZ, I could attempt to make some myself as there are plenty of recipes on-line. But for now, it’s chocolate or caramel baking bits. Continue reading
Hot Cross Muffins
These muffins have all the flavour of hot cross buns without the effort of rising & kneading the dough (and without the waiting for the buns to be ready). Cinnamon, mixed spice & ground cloves add plenty of spice. I have used currants but you can use raisins or sultanas or even chocolate chips if you must.
Muffins are super easy to whip up in about 10 minutes. Bang them in the oven and you have a tasty treat for morning or afternoon tea. Muffins are great lunch box fillers for school and are robust enough to withstand a few knocks (unlike cupcakes which get frosting/icing smooshed against everything else in the lunchbox – I am on the hunt for individual cupcake carriers). They also freeze really well so while you have the baking bowl out, double the batch then freeze half of them in individually wrapped portions. Perfect for grabbing out of the freezer – they’re defrosted in time for lunch or afternoon tea. Continue reading
One of the very first cookbooks I bought for myself was the big & bright red ‘Best of Alison Holst’. The book has faded to a dull pink and looks like a visit to the book doctor is in order for some binding support. Everything is a bit loose and saggy from regular use. There are recipes in that book that we return to time after time as they are tasty, easy and use every day ingredients: Potato & Egg Casserole, Pineapple Macaroni & Cheese. The Pasta with Instant Sauce is our go-to recipe when making tea seems too hard, but going out for takeaways is harder still. Check out the Holst online website for more recipes – the lazy lasagne is also a regular in our house. Continue reading
….maketh a muffin top
I have lost count of just how many batches of muffins have been processed through the kitchen in the last few weeks. I know I sampled enough to create a little muffin top of my own. Bran muffins are quite healthy but even healthy muffins need to be eaten in moderation. So both my clothes and my family are happy I have cracked the muffin recipe.