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Showing posts from 2011

Xmas morning muffins {Recipe}

The pirate party is over and we're finally into the swing of the Xmas season here at Di-licious HQ.

On Monday, Olive had her Kinder Xmas concert.  Fifty-five children dressed up in festive colours belted out the special songs they'd been secretly rehearsing in their bedrooms for past five weeks.

This week I thought I'd offer up a suggestion to take along to a Xmas themed morning tea.  I'm on playgroup duty tomorrow with my darling friend Lisa and we've planned some gorgeous xmas crafts.  The duty roster also means we're in charge of morning tea so today I'm keeping it simple by baking up Nigella's Christmas Morning Muffins.

Orange and cranberries scented with fresh nutmeg are a fabulous flavour combination that just shout Xmas. Muffins are quick to whip up (important at this time of year) and if you measure out the dry ingredients on Xmas eve, you could easily whip these up on Xmas morning for a leisurely breakfast in front of the tree with a cup of c…

The pirate birthday party

Arrrrghhhhh! Captain Olive and her scurvy crew of pirates celebrated on the high seas this weekend with a Pirate Birthday Party to remember.

Mr Di-licious and I had a lot of fun putting it all together - from making the bunting and treasure bags to constructing the 'Pirate's Den' and last but not least the food.

Olive's birthday cake this year brought together four of her favourite things: Barbie, pirates, cake and chocolate. The vanilla buttercake was filled with blackberry jam and vanilla buttercream before being swathed in chocolate ganache and the chocolate fondant skirt.

I found the Barbie pirate costume on eBay and had it shipped over from the US.

So what do you feed a horde of hungry pirates?

----x---- Pirate Party Menu
Fish finger boats Octopus frankfurts
Pirate hat Oreo pops Buried treasure chocolate crackles Chocolate dipped [pretzel] swords
Pirate Barbie cake

Tropical punch ----x----

The mini pirates really enjoyed playing What's the time Captain Hook? and walki…

Serenakake -Norwegian Butter Biscuits {Recipe}

These biscuits hold a very special place in my heart.  It's the first Norwegian recipe my mother gave me.

Back in the day when I was a government PR girl, I would bake a big batch and gift wrap them in cellophane bags to give to my work colleagues.  After a couple of years they guys would get expectant looks on their faces in the last week of work - yes, they are that di-licious!

I like to think of these as Norway's version of the Danish butter cookie you often see in gift tins at Christmas time except its made with love and not in a factory.

The dough is really simple to make - cream the butter and sugar, add the egg and sift over the flour and mix til it forms a soft dough.  And when I say soft, I mean soft.  It has to be refrigerated otherwise its unmanageable. Ideally you would whip it up the night before and bake it the next day.

You might also be interested to know that you can make these cookies with a heart smart margarine like   Gold'n Canola Lite.  My mum has b…

Birthday cake rewind

December is not just about Xmas in our household - its also Olive's birthday.

So aside from all my Xmas baking, I'm also thinking about birthday cakes and party food.

With a birthday the week before Xmas I guess I feel like I need to make an extra fuss and plan something fabulous each year. Olive loves a party and has been actively planning this year's celebration since March!

This year she's picked a pirate theme. I can't wait to see Olive and her scurvy crew running around in their costumes, climbing aboard her pirate ship sandpit and sailing the high seas to seek buried treasure.

The cake is under way (and under wraps until the party).  Olive's excited because it combines three of her favourite things - you'll have to check back next month to see what they are.

My interest in cake decorating really started with her first birthday cake. So for a little bit of fun, here's Olive's life in birthday cakes (and the evolution of my decorating skills).


Maureen’s Mistletoe Mince Pies {Recipe}

This week I’m sharing with you a recipe given to me by my one of my best friend’s mum, Maureen.
I was bemoaning my lack of a tried and true mince tart recipe for the blog recently when Shelby talked up her mum’s pies – the pastry has orange zest in them which gives it a special lift.  “Just ask her – she’d love to share it with you”, she said. So I did.  And to my delight, Maureen said yes.

Chatting with her a few days later, Maureen told me she’s been making these mince pies for forty years.  She found the recipe in a little four page leaflet from The Australian Dried Fruits Association that she picked up in a health food shop. It is so old it is in imperial measure so you will need to convert, she told me. 
Like many recipes of its age, it’s deliberately vague about the final quantity it makes. I was able to make 20 using domed tartlet pans but I rolled the pastry out too thin.  Next time I‘ll make the pastry a little thicker, say 3mm thick – that will most likely yield 15 pies.
Next t…

Norwegian almond cookies - Kransekake {Recipe}

I'm ashamed to say that I’m not very fluent in Norwegian but I do have the important things down pat like
chocolate - sjokolade,
cake - kake, and
thank you for the meal - takk for maten. Then of course there’s the important social greetings like
“Hello” - Hei!“Happy Birthday” - Gratulerer med dagen, and
Merry Christmas - God Jul. But there’s another part of the Norwegian language that I am slowly mastering – cookies.

Cookies are the traditional language of Christmas in Norway.  Each year on Christmas Eve, families lay a feast which must include seven sorts of classic Christmas cookies.  My mum tells me the number varies according to the region you come from – she remembers her mum making twelve different cookies but these days seven is more common.

These days most families buy their cookies for the Christmas table but there are still some husmors (housewives) who still bake the holiday favourites. 
There are over twenty classic Christmas cookies to choose from but one of my …

Recipe rant

I did something yesterday that I'm not very proud of.

I ranted on Twitter and Facebook about a bad recipe experience and named and shamed the culprit.

This morning I felt a little ashamed for my lack of manners.  But then I got some feedback from friends and fans that they too had had a bad experience with the recipe and agreed it wasn't up to scratch.

If the situation were reversed, I'd be mortified.  But then again, I'm a little voice in the blogging net-osphere. The magazine/author I targeted is a household name with 10+ years standing.

I guess what really gets my goat is that the magazine blatantly promotes the fact that they test and retest the recipes to make sure that they're perfect.

I followed the recipe to the letter and even I could see that the wheels were coming off early in the piece.  But I was following their recipe and I persevered. In the end I ended up with flat, grainy meringues, not beautiful macarons.

I am a reasonably good baker and I can ap…

Grand Marnier & Macadamia Fruit Cake {Recipe}

This year I started my own family Christmas tradition with Olive.  We made the fruit cake together.  She helped me stir the fruit every day for two weeks and stood next to me while I made up the cake batter.

While the cakes baked we played Barbies and read stories. It was a very special time for us, one I hope we will continue to share each year. No doubt she'll still be stealing the glace cherries and macadamias out of the mixture when she's 21!

I only made this cake for the first time last year.  I'm not a fruit cake fan myself but Mr Di-licious is.  His only Christmas wish last year was for a fruit cake.

Not having a family recipe to turn to, I did the next best thing; I consulted the Australian Womens Weekly Test Kitchen (AWWTK).

I know some purists out there will criticise me for this but I fiddled with the fruit.  I have enough stuff sitting in my pantry without having half open bags of glace apricots and pineapple.  I just used good ol' Sunbeam Mixed Fruit. I …

Individual Sticky Date Puds {Recipe}

One thing I love about Christmas in summertime is it gives you permission to re-write the rules of tradition. I mean, who honestly wants to cook a hot roast on a stinking 35-degree day?
The same can be said for dessert.  Back in the day my Nanna would make a plum pudding for the family get together.  There was a lot of pomp in entombing the pudding info the huge [scary] pressure cooker and it would boil away for hours. Eventually it would be lifted out steaming and I would run and hide. Not even the promise of finding the sixpence could convince me to eat it.  It was hot and full of raisins and I just wanted ice-cream.
But even I have to concede that for some people it’s not Christmas without pudding.  So this week I’m suggesting you open your mind to something a lot less stodgy and a whole lot easier to make and serve – individual Sticky Date Puds.

Baked in a standard muffin pan, these puddings are not only easy to make, they freeze like a dream. And most importantly, they taste di-…