cookbook challenge

Warm apple cake with brandy butterscotch sauce

Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 13, Dessert
Recipe: Warm apple cake with brandy butterscotch sauce
Cookbook: AWW Bake

How on earth did it become August already? June and July passed by in a blur, and I didn’t spend much (any) time cooking or baking anything blog worthy. Unfortunately, August will be the same – my parents are visiting for a month, and next week we’re ON A BOAT (minus the excessive swearing and auto-tune…).

It’s not good for the blog, but it’s good for me. Because we all know what happens when my mum and dad visit – I get a holiday due to them taking over all the housework and kitchen duties. :D And mum really does take over the kitchen – we picked them up on Sunday, and within three hours of them being in the country, she had already planned dinner for the coming three nights.

It’s not all roses though, before their arrival I kill myself cleaning – always a fun way to spend a Saturday! The boys and I scrubbed the house from top to bottom – even fitting in a trip to the tip – but it took me the whole day, to the point where I was still wiping down all the kitchen cupboards at 10pm at night…

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Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 12, Spice

Theme: Spice
Recipe: Spiced red lentils with cucumber yoghurt
From: Ottolenghi’s Plenty

Do you ever have those instances when you have a very firm idea of a dish in your head? You know the ingredients you want, you know what the texture should be like, and you know what it should taste like. It sends you off to find a recipe to try and create it, hoping that it will meet your expectations.

The theme for this fortnight’s Cookbook Challenge is “spice” and I knew immediately that I wanted to make dal. And I *knew* what this dal was going to be like. I could see it, I knew the texture, and I could almost taste it.
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Peanut butter cupcakes

Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 11
Theme: Cup
Recipe: Peanut butter cupcakes
From: Primrose Bakery Cupcakes

On to fortnight 11 of the Cookbook Challenge. With the theme being “cup” I pulled out one of my cupcake cookbooks to make peanut butter cupcakes. I had a lightbulb moment when I realised that not only do cupcakes fit the theme, but I could also top the peanut butter cupcakes with a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup. Genius! (Thank you, thank you.)

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Lemon and blueberry teacakes

Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 10
Theme: Blue
Recipe: Lemon and blueberry teacakes
Cookbook: Ottolenghi

I made a big order on Amazon over Easter, picking up cookbooks and food books that had been on my wish list for a while. The free shipping and insanely high Australian dollar was just too tempting to pass up! :D On Friday, the last of my order arrived, and one of the books I received was Ottolenghi, the cookbook.

I only had a quick flick through the cookbook, but the photos of teacakes caught my eye almost immediately. There were three recipes for teacakes, and with one of them being lemon and blueberry, I decided to bake them this weekend to tick off my Cookbook Challenge for the fortnight.
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Oat and cherry biscuits


Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 9,
Theme: Crunchy
Recipe: Oat and cherry biscuits aka Big Fat Thin Anzac Biscuits
Adapted from: Bourke Street Bakery

The Easter holiday this year has been fantastic! For any non-Australians, the Easter weekend coincided with Anzac Day, which meant a five day weekend for most people (or a 10 day weekend for me, because I took this week off!).

Maria and Daz invited us to a picnic for the Anzac Day public holiday, and I took the opportunity to make my Cookbook Challenge post for “crunchy”, taking along a variation of the Anzac biscuit. We ate food, drank wine and beer, had desserts, and then we played a cut-throat game of Kubb. There was a lot of screaming and insult hurling involved. So if you were in the vicinity of Queen’s Park on the Anzac Day holiday, no doubt you would have heard us. Major apologies!

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Hot Cross Buns

Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 7
Theme: Celebration
Recipe: Hot cross buns
From: Australian Women’s Weekly Bake

We’re backtracking a fortnight to the celebration theme for the Cookbook Challenge, which you may remember I skipped over because I dropped a cake into the sink. Well, I’m back on theme and since it’s Easter, I rather predictably made hot cross buns. (Side note: I just had a sudden brain dead moment and couldn’t remember the word “predictably”! Gak!)
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Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 8, Eggs

Theme: Eggs
Recipe: Tamago
Cookbook: AWW Kitchen

On to Fortnight 8 of the Cookbook Challenge, and the theme is “eggs”. I doubt anyone is keeping track, but I’ve skipped the 7th theme, which is “celebration”. I baked a cake for celebration, but I’m not going to post it because it turned out to be a big ugly thing. And to make matters worse, I dropped it into the (thankfully clean) sink when trying to remove it from the tin. Ugh! After all that, I couldn’t bear to photograph it – I didn’t feel like celebrating the failcake.

(Though I did save failcake from the sink with no ill effects. It turned out to be a really delicious cake. Ugly, but delicious.)

So I’ll come back to celebration another time – let’s just move on to eggs!
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Chocolate Brownies

Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 6
Theme: American
Recipe: Chocolate Brownies
Cookbook: The Kitchen Diaries

The next theme for the Cookbook Challenge is “American” and so I asked my brother, the American food expert in this house, for ideas. He gave me TONS of great ideas, which I then disregarded so I could make brownies. Sorry Bro!

But brownies? Who can say no to brownies?
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Mini lamb pies

Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 5
Theme: Outdoors
Recipe: Mini lamb pies
From: Arabesque

Oh no! I’m late for last fortnight’s Cookbook Challenge theme, which was “outdoors”. I cooked my dish, which we took to the Avalon Airshow, but ran out of time to write the post and edit photos. Still, here I am – better late than never.

Because I had planned to take my dish to the Airshow, I needed something that I could make ahead of time, that would be okay eaten cold. I decided to make mini lamb pies, from Arabesque, to add to a little picnic that I packed for the day.
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Cookbook Challenge: Fortnight 4, Love

Theme: Love
1st Recipe: Braised beef brisket with chilli and tamarind sauce
Cookbook: Blue Ginger

2nd Recipe: Pecan Chai Pie on Cashew Crust
Cookbook: Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen

The theme for this week’s Cookbook Challenge is “love”. Love, love, love. I’m very fortunate in love – I’m married to my best friend and the love of my life (gush) :) . And then there’s the other kinds of love: family, of course – Bro and my mum and dad are ace. Plus there’s friendship love: see BFF for an example!

So to show a bit of friendship love for this fortnight’s challenge, my BFF and I have teamed up and swapped recipes. She selected a few for me, and vice versa. (Check out her post to see what she made.) :)
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