Friday, October 17, 2014

THE GIFT OF BAKING



Nothing is more beautiful than receiving a package of home made baking, especially when its a wholesome loaf of raisin and rooibos tea bread. This lovingly made bread is the perfect gift for somebody special and is quick and easy to prepare. Wrap in brown paper and a little twine, and you have a meaningful gift that is truly lovely.

Filled with soft juicy raisins, this loaf is naturally sweetened with banana and a little honey. It slices beautifully, and has the most incredible texture. It also makes a great morning toast, simply smothered with butter, or topped with ricotta and homemade jam. The recipe is very adaptable; feel free to add some spices, zest or dried fruit of your choice.

You can find the recipe over on the Viva website HERE. Have a great weekend! Eleanor xx

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SICILIAN ALMOND, APPLE & RICOTTA CAKE WITH PECANS


This moist and sweet Sicilian-style cake is packed full of apples and raisins, and has the distinctive Mediterranean combination of citrus, vanilla and cinnamon. Heavenly served slightly warm with a dash of pouring cream.

You can find the recipe over on the TASTE website here. x

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A RICH TOMATO RISOTTO WITH ANCHOVIES, OREGANO & PINE NUTS



I always find that when I have an empty fridge, I seem to conjure up something absolutely scrumptious as I get more creative with the little ingredients I do have. That was definitely the case for tonights dinner!

I started by making a basic risotto using aborio rice, Jamie Oliver has a great basic risotto recipe on the internet if you have not made it before. I also added two cans of cherry tomatoes, a small jar of anchovies, and a large handful of roughly chopped chives, italian parsley & oregano from the garden. I decided to add a large handful of pine nuts towards the end, best decision ever! these gorgeous little nuts added the most delicious crunchy texture to a beautifully satisfying dish. The risotto didn't even need parmesan (good thing because I didn't have any!). Eleanor x





Monday, October 13, 2014

CRUSTY ARTISAN DUTCH OVEN BREAD




I absolutely love the weekend ritual of baking my own bread from scratch. It's such a rewarding & therapeutic experience, and the outcome is truly enjoyable. This crusty artisan bread is a recipe I make often, deliciously moist and chewy inside, yet still has the beautiful outer crust of a rustic, peasant loaf.

It is baked in a cast iron dutch oven, and requires absolutely no kneading and only two hours of rising time. I used spelt flour in this recipe, although buckwheat and rye flour also work well to create a darker and more earthy style bread.

3 cups spelt flour* see notes below
1 1/2 cups warm water (think bath temperature)
1/4 cup honey, or 3 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp dried yeast

*I used spelt flour in this recipes, although you could experiment with using rye, buckwheat or flour of your choice. All purpose gluten free flour works really well for a 'white' style bread. This can be found at most supermarkets.

In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water, honey or sweetener and yeast. Leave to proof for 5-10 minutes or until foamy.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the yeast water and mix using a fork until a shaggy mixture starts to form.

Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 2-3 hours to rise.

Preheat the oven to 220 C. Once the oven has reached the right temperature, place the dutch oven with a lid in to the oven to heat up for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, using a spatula, carefully transfer the dough on to a floured surface, and gently shape in to a ball. Be careful not to knead!

Remove the hot pot from the oven, and line with baking paper. Do not miss out on this step or else the bread will stick to the bottom of the pot. Carefully the dough in to the bottom of the pot. Place the cover on top, and pop it in to the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes to crisp up.

Remove the bread from the oven, and place on a cooling rack.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

SALTED BANANA & ALMOND BUTTER CARAMEL MOUSSE


This whipped banana mousse tastes sinfully good, and has subtle hints of caramel from the almond butter. It is naturally sweetened with ripe bananas and a hint of honey, although you could also use pure maple or brown rice syrup if you prefer.

This luscious yet light and fluffy mousse is very simple to prepare, and will easily make enough to share with family and friends.

I have also popped the same mixture in to icecream moulds, which works as an equally delicious frozen treat. You can find the recipe in my weekly column for www.viva.co.nz.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A COLLECTION OF COOKBOOKS



My cookbook collection is getting slightly out of hand due to a lovely delivery from Murdoch Books today! You guys are the best, thank you! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

A NEW ZEALAND BEST SELLER & LIMITED SIGNED COPIES




I am feeling so incredibly happy to see that my cookbook is still a top ten non-fiction best seller in New Zealand, even though it has been over 5 months since its release date! I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for all of your amazing support and love! 

A few days ago, I received a small shipment of books from the next print run which are now available on my online store. The first 50 copies sold will also be signed by yours truly. If you would like a copy, please visit my online store HERE.

CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES IN THE GARDEN SUN


Friday, September 26, 2014

ZESTY APRICOT, PUMPKIN SEED & LEMON FUDGE BALLS



Here is a quick spring recipe to celebrate the weekend.... These brilliantly zesty apricot, pumpkin seed & lemon fudge balls are great little snacks and take 5 minutes to make! Simply add the following in to a food processor, 1 cup nuts of your choice, ½ cups pumpkin seeds, 1 cup dried apricots, a drizzle of honey, 1 cup shredded coconut, zest and juice of one lemon. Process until the mixture starts to come together. Shape in to balls, and then roll in shredded coconut. Have a fabulous weekend! x





Thursday, September 25, 2014

LEMONY BEAN SALAD WITH SHEEP FETA & MINT



Feta and mint are a classic combination. Here I have tossed the two with blanched green beans and roasted pistachios to make a lovely spring salad. The simple flavors in this dish have a surprising complexity, wonderful as a side dish or light lunch.  I served it with fish grilled in herb butter. Beautiful. You can find the recipe over on the Viva website HERE. Enjoy!