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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cooking and Whatnot

My attempts at being a Domestic Goddess

So I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen most days. On the other days I find I just cannot be bothered to cook anything or be creative in the kitchen and would so much rather Mr PTF took over that department. There is certainly nothing Nigella Lawson about me I am afraid. But on the most days I lurrrve to play around in the kitchen and I find a great sense of achievement when I accomplish a delish dish 'from scratch'!

I have to say I have the most excellent crowd to practice on too. Mr PTF will gobble most things up with relish...I kid you not ("'Oh! cornflakes!....yum!" I'm serious...he will often say such things....or "Mmmm, peanut butter on toast...yummm!") Not the most discerning palate I grant you...however as he is always so complimentary to my cooking,  I feel I cannot complain too much on this score.Then there is my dear little O, who also gobbles up most things, smacking her lips and grinning at me...although Chicken Cacciatore the other night might have been a bit ambitious on my part....

Anyway, I thought I would include some of the recipes we can't live without. They are old favourites, some of them made up, lots of them adapted or should I say 'improved?' and lots of them are handed down from my mum and both my lovely grandmas. Here is recipe number one!

Easy-as, Healthy-as, go to Fruit Loaf

1 cup Self raising flour
 (I prefer a wholemeal flour or even spelt as it has a nice nutty flavour)
1 cup of bran 
(however I prefer to use half a cup of almond meal and half a cup of LSA (linseed, soy                           and almond mix instead)
1 cup mixed dried fruit
 (I do 1/3 a cup of dried apricots, 1/3 cup of dried dates, 1/3 cup of dried                                    cranberries....however you could go wild and add whatever fruit tickles your fancy)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup of raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Mix everything together and plonk into a loaf tin....or if you want to do something a little different, use a proper nut loaf tin!

I found one up in the Dandenongs at a vintage cookbook shop.... cute, I wanted to stay there and bake something right there on the spot and I so could have bought up all the vintage cookie cutters! Just as well Mr PTF was there to stop me.

Anyway...back to my fruit loaf...Bake this gorgeous fruit loaf in the oven on 180 degrees C for about 20mins or so or until the knife comes out clean (my fav testing technique)
You just have to be careful not to over cook it otherwise it can be dry, that's why I usually test it with a knife before its due to come out, just to be on the safe side. 

There that is a nutshell. Not hard...not at all. In fact I reckon it takes me about 10 mins to get this all in the loaf tin and in the oven .It makes a beautiful moist, pretty healthy fruit loaf and it is super easy to make! It is the best for when someone decides to pop in last minute or you are going out and realise you need to bring something but don't want to look up a complicated recipe or get something store-bought. You can just 'whip' it up in a most Nigella-like manner and give the impression of domesticity. You can even freeze it and zap it in the microwave for a couple of seconds to heat it up when you want some.

I love it love it love it!
Let me know what you think!

xo Rachel

P.s I am going to upload some pics of this fruit loaf...haven't taken any yet....but tomorrow I will! I have my lovely mother-in-law coming over in the afternoon, so I may even have to crack open my lovely old vintage nut loaf tin just for the occasion!

Thursday 10/11/2011

 Ok so I have upload all the pics now. I used the loaf tin very successfully. I just lined it with grease proof paper and a bit of canola oil spray and it came out just fine. You can just use a regular loaf tin though, or even a muffin tray. Whatever floats your boat.

My mother-in-law came over and we had a lovely time sipping tea from tea cups, laughing at Little O's antics and devouring this loaf...mmm delicious way to spend the afternoon.

See you soon with more updates on my Fit and Fine-as progress....

xo Rachel

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