Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Carrot and Pineapple Cupcakes

I always wonder with the blog whether it is more interesting to make crazy unusual recipes or just try out things and post the really good ones so people have a tried and tested source of recipes. In the end basically I just make what I feel like I guess - often dictated by the contents of my fridge and pantry.

This one was because I had a tub of cream cheese in the fridge and needed to use it up. So I googled "Cream Cheese Frosting" and found this little delight. These cupcakes are wonderful - The ingredients list looks a little weird but they are light as air and melt in your mouth. The recipe only makes 10 cupcakes officially -9 if you are me! Which is actually wonderful. So often I have zillions left over and feel like I eat too many myself. This way everyone in my office got one and husband and I got one each and that was it - just enough.

I think at a stretch you can even claim they are good for you - fruit, vegetables, dairy, nuts - all very good for you :)

The original recipe comes from

2/3 Cup Plain Flour
1/2 Cup + I T Caster Sugar
3/4 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 Cup Oil
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup crushed pineapple

Mix wet into dry, add 1/3 cup chopped pecans.

Bake in a 180C oven for about 15mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat together
60g Cream Cheese
30g Butter
140g Icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Top with a little toasted coconut.

Delicious! Really worth a try, even if you're not usually a fan of carrot cake the pineapple and pecans really add something special.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Feel Better Soup

Seeing as though Sydney is putting us through this dreadful extended wintry weather I suppose soup is not completely inappropriate in November.

I can't believe it was 30 degree all weekend and then today I had a scarf and coat on until midday - what is with that!

All this up and down weather means that flu season has arrived late and everyone seems to have a sniffle- this soup is my sniffle cure. It's actually gotten to the point where I crave it when the first symptoms appear and will drag myself half dead to the shops to pick up some ingredients if I don't have things I need for it.

Although the best part about this soup is that you just chuck in whatever you have in the fridge and hope for the best. The only must haves are chicken stock and garlic, rumoured to have restorative properties for colds, they kickstart a placebo effect that makes me feel instantly better!

This time I used:

Onion, garlic and bacon fried together

1 litre Chicken Stock

(Everyone Gasp! this time I used stock cubes! purists give up the perfectionism now - when you're sick it will work whether it's fresh or not and if you don't have homemade or a tetra pack on hand it's fine! get over it!

2 carrots chopped into little squares

1 stick celery chopped up (plus some of the tops chopped up)

1 potato grated in for a little bulk

Salt and pepper

I always serve with garlic bread to up the healthy garlic factor - plus it's just yummy!

Other things you can (and I have) pop(ped) in-

Shredded leftover bbq chicken - I've even poached a chicken breast in the cooking soup and then shredded it.

Chopped Chorizo

A tin of tomatoes

Pearl barley (I didn't love this but you might!)

Coriander and chilli and lime for a Tom yum style hit!

The depths of your fridge are the limit! Bubble the ingredients together until cooked and soft and lovely.

You'll feel better, it's simple and quick and it's actually good for you so everyone wins. In fact I could do with a steaming bowl right now, plus BBC's pride and prejudice on TV and a blanky...