Orange Thyme Shortbread

go directly to the recipe

summary: playing with a recipe for Lemon Thyme Shorbread to make Orange Thyme Shortbread; when you don’t have lemons, use oranges; homemade orange extract; Christmas baking;

Christmas Goodies Christmas baking is underway! So far, I’ve made Clarke’s Bread (to go with pate that T is in the process of making), cherry snowballs (the real kind with dried cherries) and a new cookie for me: orange thyme cookies.

When it comes to cookies, for me they have to be buttery and crisp. I have never been a big fan of soft pillowy cookies, or those sweetened with icing. I like spice or nut cookies, but my very favorite cookie is a delicate butter or shortbread cookie.
– Deborah Mele, Italian Food Forever

A couple of days ago, a Christmas package from my sister arrived. I didn’t open it right away. But I knew that there would be a good shot of Mum’s Christmas cake. Yay! We only have a little of last year’s left….

Usually, my sister includes two or three kinds of cookies as well. Little tiny sugar cookies shaped like trees with sparkling coloured sugar. And spice cookies shaped like stars. And my favourites: lemon thyme cookies shaped like Angels. Invariably some of the angels wings have fallen off in the journey. This always makes me very happy. It means that I can safely eat the “damaged” angels. Because it wouldn’t do to serve them to guests, would it?

So imagine my surprise to learn from her that

There. Are. No. Cookies. Included.


(continue reading )

Whoa!! That’s Really Red Bread (BBB December 2016)

go directly to the recipe

Bread Baking Babes December 2016 summary: recipe for Beet Challah; fear of sourdough and scary colours; expectations and realisations; a Bread Baking Babes project; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) December 2016: Beet Bread

beet bread Oh the weather outside is frightful….

It snowed again last night. And I’m not ready for winter. I’m never ready for winter.

I know. It’s December. Whenever I hear the song “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”, I think about how foolish the dreamers are. Sure, the ground all covered in glistening white is very pretty. But it’s coooooold.

So it’s the perfect time to hide in the kitchen and bake bread.

Cathy (Bread Experience) chose a brilliantly coloured bread for the BBBabes to bake this month: red beet challah. Then she threw a spanner in the works. She said that it would be a sourdough red beet challah.

Noooooo!! I don’t want to have another pet!

(continue reading )

adding wheat germ to bread dough IS a good idea

summary: 50% whole wheat bread, using Ken Forkish’s 50% whole wheat bread recipe and using Michael Pollan’s method of sifting the wholewheat flour; adding wheat germ;

We are still reading “Cooked” by Michael Pollan (it takes a long time to to read a book when reading it aloud) and just came to the fascinating section on milling. I’ve known for a while that, nowadays, whole wheat flour was simply white flour with the bran and germ added back in. But what I didn’t know was that it might be possible that all of the wheat germ has NOT been put back.

And I got to thinking about the fact that our 10kg bag of 100% whole wheat flour lasts a suspiciously long time without going rancid….

Further grinding of the gears in my brain deduced that if the reason that wheat germ tends to go rancid is because of the fat content in it, and that flavour is often carried by fat, maybe I should try adding wheat germ to boost the flavour of our bread. (continue reading )

You win some – you lose some

summary: Wine and whine;

:-) Oh! Oh! :-)
vintage wine

We are always a little nervous opening wine that we’ve been keeping. There’s always the fear that it will be over-the-hill.

But we shouldn’t have been afraid; this one hadn’t quite reached its peak.

It. was. fabulous.

…just like all the years we’ve spent together.

Oh Oh…. :lalala:

When will I learn?! (continue reading )

Eating from the book…. Karma beet and coconut soup

go directly to the recipe

Beet Soup summary: recipe for Karma Beet and Coconut Soup, based on a recipe in the accompanying cookbook for Monica Bhide’s novel, “Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken”; substitutions and/or additions; book review;


Karma and the Art of Butter Chicken This book that is reminiscent of a Bollywood Movie (I could almost imagine the dance sequences!) is a fun light read, in spite of its underlying serious message reminding us of the inordinate number of people in the world who go hungry and how we well-fed ones treat them.

Yes, you’ll have to suspend your disbelief from time to time, but the interesting twist at very beginning with “taste of childhood” and the silliness of reality TV show, as well as the descriptions of the actual kitchen make it well worth reading the book. (continue reading )