Date Loaf 2

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This Date Loaf was nice, but I shovelled too much mixture into the log tin, so had an overflow (the strange shaped end is the overflow). Then I got over-enthusiastic when I took the Date Loaf out of the oven, removing it from the tin too soon ad breaking it. Oh well, it tasted good buttered.

1 C self raising flour
1/2 C caster sugar
2 tspns cinnamon
1/2 tspn bi carb soda
1/2 C walnuts, chopped
60gm butter
1/2 C dates, chopped
2/3 C boiling water

Place the chopped dates in a bowl with the bi carb soda and boiling water and leave to soak while you prepare the other ingredients.

Place the flour, cinnamon and walnuts into a bowl.

Heat the butter and sugar in a saucepan, then mix into the dry ingredients with the date mix. Stir well, then spoon into a greased log tin.

Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes.

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Kermonds Hamburgers in Warrnambool

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Dad used to take us kids to Kermonds Hamburgers at 151 Lava Street in Warrnambool, Victoria for a hamburger and a milkshake after going to the Warrnambool Saleyards over forty years ago. Not much has changed in that time, including the furniture. The burgers are still fantastic, you can still get a milkshake and I’m pretty sure the furniture and some of the staff are the same (although the lady behind the counter who Dad always had a little flirt with has probably long since retired).

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At lunch time, it is standing room only while you order. Everyone in town, locals and visitors alike, know how good these burgers are. The burgers also feature regularly in lists of Victoria’s best hamburgers. He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers has a mate who buys burgers to take back to Melbourne (a three hour drive) for another mate.

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The menu is straightforward. You can have a burger with onion bacon, eggs, cheese, tomato, lettuce and pineapple, or any variation on those ingredients that you like. The onion is cooked, which in my opinion, is perfect.

Milkshakes are the same, a variety of flavours, with or without malt.

I can’t think of anyplace I would rather be at lunchtime with Dad.

Peanut Butter Fudge

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He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers ate some of the marshmallows I was going to use in this recipe, then complained when he ate a piece of the finished fudge that his piece didn’t have any marshmallow in it. I had to explain to him (after I stopped laughing), that the marshmallow had melted into the recipe.

2 Cups small marshmallows

2 Cups sugar

2//3 Cup evaporated milk

125gm butter

3/4 Cup peanut butter (I used a blend of maple syrup and peanut butter – Yum).

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the sugar, evaporated milk and butter in a large saucepan and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, then boil at a lower heat for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Take the mixture off the heat and stir in what is left of your marshmallows, the peanut butter and vanilla. The little coloured blobs in the picture below are the marshmallows that He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers didn’t eat.

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Press the mixture into a tin lined with baking paper and refrigerate. Cut into small squares.

Chryslers by the Bay, Geelong

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Chryslers by the Bay was held a few weeks ago at Geelong Grammar School on Corio Bay, in Victoria. There was a good turn out, the day was lovey and the playing fields and grounds of the school have to be seen to be believed.

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It was a perfect day for a picnic.

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Love the Bat-Mobile!

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There was a selection of the new and the old and everything in between.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Biscuits

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Miss S ate half of one of these biscuits, then asked me suspiciously, “Aunty, do these have oatmeal in them?”

I hemmed and hawed, expecting her to say that she didn’t like them anymore if I admitted to oatmeal, but I couldn’t lie, so said, “Yes, but in Australia we call them rolled oats or porridge.”

She thought about it for a little while, then said, “Okay.”

Sur enough, she ate them.

1/2 C plus one tablespoon self raising flour
125gm butter
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
1/4 tspn bi-carb soda
1 egg
1 tspn vanilla extract
One and a half C rolled oats
1/4 C nuts (I was going to use pecans, but when I checked the packet was out of date. I would have used them anyway, except that they also tasted stale. I ended up using almonds, because that was what I had in the pantry, but just use whatever you have).
1/2 C chocolate chips

Cream the butter and sugars, then beat in the egg and vanilla.

Mix in the flour, bi-carb soda, oats, nuts and chocolate chips.

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Roll into balls and bake at 160 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes. This recipe makes about 30 biscuits.

Shoe Fence at Portland

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We spotted the Shoe Fence driving to Portland, Victoria.

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There are a lot of shoes are attached to the fence. Some of the shoes are decorated, others look to be worn out and others are in better condition than some in my wardrobe!

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Chocolate, Pumpkin and Orange Cake

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Chocolate, Pumpkin and Orange Cake is quite a nice, moist cake. The orange flavour is lovely with chocolate. The pumpkin can’t be detected in the taste, but gives the cake it’s moistness.

125gm butter

zest from one orange

1/2 Cup caster sugar

1 egg

1 Tblspn golden syrup

3/4 Cup mashed butternut pumpkin

1/2 tspn bi-carb soda

2 Tblspn cocoa

1 Tblspn custard powder

Juice from one orange (approximately 1/4 Cup)

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Cook and mash the butternut pumpkin, then leave to cool.

Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest.

Beat in the egg and golden syrup.

Mix in the combined flour, bi-carb soda, cocoa and custard powder alternately with the orange juice.

Pour the mixture into a lined cake tin and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for an hour. Stand for a few minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.

Chocolate Icing

1 Cup icing sugar

1 Tblspn cocoa

1 tspn butter, melted

1 Tblspn milk

Mix together until smooth, then spread over the cake.

 

French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano

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Blogging about baking has been playing havoc with my weight.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. To be completely honest (and to be fair to blogging), I’ve been eating too much of my baking and so I have put on weight. Blogging is just a good excuse to bake a lot.

I read French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano when it first came out, years and years ago. (I was comparatively thin then). I’ve also read the 5-2 diet books, the South Beach diet books, the Cabbage Soup diet books and many other diet books. The problem is, reading diet books doesn’t lead to weight loss. I exercise a lot and am quite fit, but exercise doesn’t lead to weight loss either, although exercise does make you feel good.

Sadly, the only thing that leads to weight loss is eating less, and I just don’t want to eat less. I want to eat more. Especially baked things with sweetened condensed milk in them.

However, I enjoyed reading French Women Don’t Get Fat the first time around and re-read it for a bit of inspiration. I’ve even made a recipe from it, leek soup, which you are supposed to eat for two days straight. One day was bad enough, and don’t even ask how my stomach felt on the second day.

What I did enjoy about this book was the glamour. Mireille Guiliano really seems to have her act together.

To prove my point, she is:

  • French.
  • thin.
  • a good cook who regularly eats out, including dessert.
  • President and CEO of Cliquot Inc and drinks as much champagne as she likes. (I don’t drink, so could care less about champagne, but is does sound like a very glamorous gig).

The recipes are set amongst the author’s stories of growing up in France, then gaining weight after an extended trip to the USA, and losing the unwanted weight and maintaining a healthy weight (using Leek Soup).

The author explains how on her return to France, on the advice of her doctor,  she recorded everything she ate for three months before making changes to her diet. The changes were simple. A ‘re-casting’ which involves a short term fast, followed by a more sensible eating plan with occasional treats, (in other words, so you have something to live for).

The author is a promoter of eating well and enjoying what you eat. For example, if you are going to eat chocolate (and you know you will), then buy good quality chocolate and enjoy it. Don’t splurge on cheap, nasty chocolate. Likewise, meals. Eat good, wholesome food in season. There is nothing ground-breaking in the author’s advice, but she gives it charmingly.

The book contains some very good tips to ensure that you eat sensibly and stay hydrated, which are important for maintaining healthy weight. The tip I would benefit most from though is to eat a little bit of dessert, then stop and have someone take my plate away. Not going to happen.

Bean Noodles

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This is Honey-Bunny’s recipe for Bean Noodles. She shared the recipe with her Personal Trainer, Shelby who published it in the recipe book pictured below. noodle I’ve made quite a few of the recipes from the book and they have all been good. Recipes from other people are always the best, because you know that they will work. My only complaint about this book is that there isn’t a section for biscuits, cakes or desserts (I’m only joking, Honey-Bunny and Shelby, I’ve got plenty of other recipe books which include food made using sugar).

I make Bean Noodles regularly and He Who Eats All Of Our Leftovers has no idea that there is spinach in them. If you are speaking with him, there is no need to tell him about the spinach.

I’ve adapted the recipe to suit my tastes, but Honey-Bunny puts in red onion, capsicum, a tin of corn and Cajun seasoning. Really, you could use any vegetables you have available and season to taste. This recipe makes about 6 serves.

500gm mince

2 brown onions

1 kg frozen vegetables (or use whatever fresh vegies you have. I use peas, corn, bok choy, carrots, onion, spinach and broccoli. I would use celery too except that He Who Eats All Of Our Leftovers hates celery and he can spot it in the mixture).

Spinach (either a frozen small box or fresh when available)

1/3 Cup Soy sauce

2 Tblspns honey

1/3 Cup BBQ sauce

4 rolls of Vermicilli bean noodles

Prepare the noodles according to the directions on the packet. Cook the mince and onions in a large frypan, add the vegetables and cook until soft enough to eat. Mix in the soy sauce, honey and BBQ sauce (and spices if using), then stir in the drained noodles.