Monday, February 27, 2012

Showing the kitchen some love

Okay... How often is it that your husband gets more excited about purchasing items for the kitchen than you? In the last few days, we have added to our collection of culinary tools by purchasing a "Ginger Dean Man" cookie cutter from Fred...

A giant cupcake mould from Chalet that makes a cupcake that stands approximately 20cm tall (!)

And two of these super-cute canister sets from Aldi...

I'm even considering a third set, because they're just so darn sweet and handy!

I also can't wait to add this beautiful and useful piece to our collection when it finally goes on sale tomorrow!

So, these purchases have inspired quite a bit of baking over the weekend, and even last night. Troy made a giant devil cake muffin (which he was very quick to hollow out and fill with ice cream), we had home-made pizza for dinner last night (I just love Jamie Oliver's recipe!), and I used my own recipe for Apple Bread last night (which I will post below) which I topped off by quickly whipping up some homemade lemonade syrup this morning.

Tonight I'm baking some Ginger Dead Men, and doing a quick run through of some mini cupcakes before I trot them out for a work morning tea in a few weeks time.

I have been trying without much success (or rather, I do have success for short periods of time) to ween Troy off sugar and calorie laden soft drinks. I've been trying for as long as we have been together! I just don't see the fascination nor the addiction to them, and I refuse to give in to his "but water is so boring on it's own!" argument. However, I've decided that I can cut down both our grocery bill and our arguing if I make our own lemonade. That way at least, we know exactly what we are consuming too! I haven't tried any yet, but my hot lemonade recipe has always been a big hit (a winter alternative), so I'll give you the review on this other recipe once I've tried it tonight :)

So, my apple bread recipe...

Laura's Apple Bread

This is a simple and delicious treat to whip up. It comes out beautifully moist, and if made with stewed apples - plenty of chunks of apple for a great flavour hit. It keeps the sugar cravings in check, ensures a healthy consumption of apples, and smells so amazing when you're baking it that it's a treat for the nose too!

  • 2 eggs (I use large, cage-free eggs)
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup of milk or yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 cup oil (I use avocado or carotino oil, but use what you have at home)
  • 2 cups stewed apples (If you don't feel like stewing apples, you can fast-track by using three granny smith apples cut into chunks without the skin, and 1/2 a cup of raw sugar in your mix)
  • You'll also want a loaf tin or small baking tray, and baking liners if you have them. It makes your baking so much easier, cleaner, and you don't struggle to remove your baked goods from their tin! It also eliminates the need to grease your baking tin.

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees, fan-forced
  • Beat the eggs and slowly stir in your milk/yoghurt, honey and oil.
  • Slowly sift and stir in your flour until mix has an even consistency.
  • Add your stewed apples/apples and sugar and combine until mixture has an even consistency. If you are using stewed apples, you don't want to break up the apples too much, as you want a few large pieces to bite into in the bread.
  • Pour your apple bread mix into the baking dish, and bake in pre-heated oven fro approximately 50 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy!

I love toasting mine lightly and serving with a bit of melted butter, yum! It's also great to take to work as a healthy snack (without the butter of course), which is exactly what I'm munching on right now :)

You can also play around with other variations too, such as adding walnuts, raisins, oats... Or try other flavours such as pear, blueberry, apricot (I'm trying apricot next!) or mixing fruits. You're only limited by your imagination and your taste pallete!

Enjoy :)

Love love,

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