In My Kitchen – October 2014

The past month has been wonderfully warm and sunny and flown by in the flash. Seems we are in for a hot summer and the end of the year is nearing – can’t believe this is the third last instalment for the year.

Thanks as always to the lovely Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting this fun monthly event.  We get to peek into so many beautiful and different kitchens each month.  If you haven’t already, why don’t you share a little of what is in your kitchen.

In my kitchen…

Is an indulgent purchase of beautiful silver napkin rings.  I walked passed them in a store I hardly visit; picked them up a zillion times and argued with myself that I really don’t need them – It’s not like we entertain every other day BUT then I went back to the store and well, 12 of them made their way into my basket!  I am thrilled to say I used them for a dinner with friends and they looked fabulous on the table.

Napkin rings 1

napkin rings

In my kitchen…

Is another indulgent purchase – oops!  In my defence these lovely mini serving dishes were dirt cheap and I only bought 2.  I am sure I will regret not getting more as they are perfect for serving a starter on.

Small serving dishes

In my kitchen…

Is a much loved tray friends gave me for my birthday while we were living in Mauritius.  They both worked on the glass mosaic and made it personal with cupcakes and tea – my favourites!

birthday tray

In my kitchen…

Are yellow wood trivets which I inherited from my parent’s-in-law.  It’s been a while since I used them on the dinner table – we seem to serve everything from the hot tray lately.

serving trivets

In my kitchen…

Is a mesh food dome.  I have so many of these stashed away in the cupboard – we used them all the time when we lived on the island, not so much here any more, hence the stash in the cupboard.

Food cover

In my kitchen…

Is a fresh batch of thinly sliced rusks, just the way Pete likes them for his morning cup of coffee.

Pete rusks

What’s in your kitchen this month?  Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun and drop her a quick note to let her know when your post will be up.

In My Kitchen – May 2014

May, my birthday month has arrived and so far it has not been too cold, yippee, although I am already starting to count the sleeps until Spring…

In my kitchen…

Is a set of broad shallow pasta or soup bowls.  There were dirt cheap so I quickly bought a dozen, not that I could seat 12 people for dinner but I couldn’t resist.  Never no, I might have a soup followed by a pasta course – just so long as there are only 6 of us at the dinner table.

soup pasta bowls

In my kitchen…

Is a batch of rusks ready to go into the oven.  The kitchen has the most wonderful smell while these are baking and drying.

unbaked rusks

In my kitchen…

Is the most magnificent chicken stock powder.  I used it when we lived in Mauritius and then my mom found it at a Chinese store in Johannesburg and has been keeping me in regular supply.  I use it to make liquid stock, add it into gravies for extra flavour, sprinkle it over a chicken before roasting and quite honestly could eat it straight from the tin.

Chicken stock powder

In my kitchen…

Is an organic quinoa.  Not sure it is any different to the previous quinoa I bought as quinoa on it’s own tastes pretty much like nothing but when made into a salad using the recipe I got from my sister-in-law it is an absolute winner.

Organic quinoa

In my kitchen…

Is an unidentified bone.   I may have asked this question before, so my apologies if I have.  Do you know what it is?  We found it on the beach so assume it has to belong to a sea creature of sorts.

unidentified bone

What’s in your kitchen this month?  Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun.

Must Make Rusks

It has been forever since I shared a recipe.  Sorry about that.

Must make rusks

I know I have said this about this recipe before BUT seriously if there is one rusk recipe you have to try, this is it.  It has to be the most versatile recipe as you can mix and match or change the dry ingredients each time you bake them and every time the result will be a perfect rusk, promise. 🙂

Below is what I did this time around and they are fabulous!

MUST MAKE RUSKS

Ingredients

2 cups oats
2 cups wholewheat pronutro
1 cup nuttywheat flour
1 cup cornflakes
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup bakers mix – dried saltanas, raisins and currents
2 tbsp baking powder
5ml salt
¼ cup oil
1½ cups plain yoghurt
250g butter melted
2 extra large eggs lightly beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease two large loaf tins with butter.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients and add the sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the oil, yoghurt and eggs to the melted butter and mix well.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Place the mixture into the tins and bake for approximately 45 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Once the loaves are cool, cut them into fingers and arrange on a baking sheet and dry in the oven for 3 to 4 hours at 100°C.

Buttermilk Rusks

It just so happens that the next Hilton Little recipe I wanted to try was Buttermilk Rusks – I will do something savoury next, I promise.  The reason I wanted to try these buttermilk rusks is because you heat the butter, sugar, salt and buttermilk together and keep the mixture warm, which sounded interesting.  Turns out it was lovely to work with but not sure there was much difference with the end result.  They are still yummy though.

Buttermilk Rusks

Taken From Bon Appetit, Mr President

Ingredients

250g butter
120g (just over ½ cup) white sugar
10ml (2 tsp) salt
500ml (2 cups) buttermilk
1 kg self-raising flour
5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (275°F).
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, and then add the sugar, salt and buttermilk, mixing well.  Keep the mixture lukewarm.
  3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
  4. Add the eggs to the lukewarm buttermilk mixture, and then stir the mixture into the flour until blended.
  5. Knead lightly.  Roll the dough into balls and pack them close together in two greased loaf tins.
  6. Bake immediately for about 30 minutes.
  7. Cool slightly, break into pieces and dry out in a cool oven at 100°C (200°F) for about 12 hours.
  8. The rusks should be very dry and hard.

Buttermilk Rusks

Rusks always make for such lovely gifts especially over the festive season when you can have fun with adding pretty ribbons and baubles to the wrapping.  Pair these Buttermilk Rusks up with the Worlds Yummiest Rusks for a double Christmas treat.

Buttermilk Rusks

 

Ingredients

2kg self raising flour
15ml salt
350g yellow sugar
500g cold butter
1 litre buttermilk
3 large eggs
15ml vanilla essence

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix together the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Grate the butter into the flour mixture and rub it in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Whisk together 500ml of the buttermilk with the eggs and the vanilla essence and add to the flour mixture.
  5. Add enough of the remaining buttermilk to make a soft dough that is firm enough to shape into balls.
  6. Form balls and pack loosely onto a greased baking tray and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown and cooked through.
  7. Break the rusks apart and lay them on a baking tray and dry them in the oven at 100°C for 3 to 4 hours.

 

Submitted by:  Mandy Frielinghaus, Mauritius

Worlds Yummiest Rusks

If there is one rusk recipe you have to try, this is it!  Seriously!  It has to be the most versatile recipe out there, which mean you can personalise it to suit your taste or mix it up for something different each time you bake them, so have fun mixing up the dry ingredients to what you have on hand or to what you prefer and every time the result will be a perfect rusk.

 

Worlds Yummiest Rusks

 

Ingredients

2 cups oats
1½ cups pronutro
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup muesli
2½ cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
30ml baking powder
5ml salt
65ml oil
375ml buttermilk
250g butter melted
2 extra large eggs lightly beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease two large loaf tins with butter.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients and add the sugars, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the oil, buttermilk and eggs to the melted butter and mix well.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Place the mixture into the tins and bake for approximately 45 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Once the loaves are cool, cut them into fingers and arrange on a baking sheet and dry in the oven for 3 to 4 hours at 100°C.

 

Submitted by:  Mandy Frielinghaus, Mauritius

Microwave Oven Buttermilk Rusks

We all enjoy a comforting rusk or two with a nice cup of tea or coffee and all the better when they are homemade.  These tasty treats are quicker to make than the traditional method, so a batch can be whipped up and ready in no time.

Microwave Oven Buttermilk Rusks

Ingredients 

500g cake flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
5ml cream of tartar
5ml salt
5ml baking powder
200g brown sugar
130g butter
300ml buttermilk
5ml oil

Method

  1. Sift all the dry ingredients and then add the sugar.
  2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the buttermilk, oil and combine.
  4. Roll the mixture into small balls, place in a microwave safe container and cook on high for 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool and then separate the rusks.
  6. Cook on low for 50 minutes or in a cool oven (100°C) until dry – about 3 hours.

Submitted by:  Christine de Villiers, Port Elizabeth