Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Blog Personality

Just for fun, I used Typealyzer to analyse my blog's 'personality'.
It's fairly accurate, I think:

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Yep, I think that's me....

Quick Tuna Risotto

It seems whenever I have a big breakfast, I'm hungry again around lunchtime.
Today was no execption. Bacon, eggs, tomato and spaghetti for breakfast on a slice of gorgeous homemade bread at 9am (yes, we had a lie-in today), then hungry at 1 o'clock!

I've been in the kitchen most of the morning, baking more patty cakes and a carrot cake. I knew ol' Herman would be able to whip up a super quick risotto, so looked around for inspiration and spied a tin of tuna in spring water in the pantry. This recipe is enough for two people (or one greedy person!).

Tuna & Spinach Risotto

1 small onion, quartered
20g oil
1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup tuna juice
small tin of tuna in spring water
zest and juice of 1 lemon (make up to 1/2 cup with water)
handful of spinach leaves (mine were from the garden)
1/2 punnet or so of cherry tomatoes

Grate the lemon rind with the parsley leaves for a second or two and set aside. I don't do this myself, as I have a whizz bang zester and I just use scissors to chop the parsley into the bowl.

Turn Thermomix on to speed 5 and drop onion on to blades, (cover with hand quickly) for a couple of seconds. Scrape down and blitz at speed 4 for a second or two if necessary. Scrape down again.
Add oil and heat at Varoma for 2 minutes/speed 1. Add rice and cook at same temperature for a couple of minutes.
Add wine, water and tuna juice and cook for 10 minutes/100/speed 2, reverse. Add lemon juice and rind and cook for a further 5 - 10 minutes or until rice is almost cooked. Add spinach leaves, tuna, chopped parsley and tomato and cook for 2 minutes/ reverse/speed 1 - 2. Use Thermomix spatula to help incorporate spinach.

You could add parmesan cheese, but I was so hungry, I just poured it into my bowl and scoffed it. Lemon pepper woud also be a nice addition. It doesn't need extra salt as the tuna is salty enough.
Sorry, no photo - too hungry!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Serious Cakes

I've been watching some videos of a very clever lady, known as SeriousCakes in the US about decorating with Buttercream Icing. She does some amazing things, albeit a little over the top - garish colours and enough buttercream to drown a cat.
Her videos are very entertaining with little snippets to read and beautiful music to listen to while you watch.

I thought I'd try one of her cake recipes, she calls it yellow cake. I converted the recipe using an online conversion tool and thought it sounded a little out of whack:

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour (250g plain flour)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening (220g)
2 cups sugar (385g)
4 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups milk (385g)

The closest thing I could find to vegetable shortening (they use the brand name Crisco), was Copha, which is coconut shortening. I used one third butter and two thirds copha. I couldn't bring myself to use 2 cups sugar, so I reduced to 1.5 cups, or 190g. As I was adding the milk, I knew it was way too much as the mixture was curdling, so I reduced it to the 300g. The mixture was still curdled, so I added another cup of flour, around 150g.

So, that made it a whole new recipe!  The mixure still looked a little like it was curdled and the taste wasn't flash because I hadn't added any salt. 

The warm cake tasted delicious, light and fluffy, though slightly 'eggy'. However, once cold, the cakes were firm and quite fatty tasting. I played around and made SeriousCakes Buttercream with Copha and butter and decorated them with little stars. I'm taking them up to Footy for afternoon tea. They looked really amatuerish, but the little girls will love them!