5 recipes I’ll be making over the holiday period

stollen || cityhippyfarmgirl

Selecting just five recipes for this post was actually harder than I thought. What to make, what to bake….and most importantly, what to eat??

Stollen, there will be definitely some of this. Stollen involves, dried fruit, marzipan and really….that is just a match made in heaven.

vegan-mango-icecream || cityhippyfarmgirl

This ice cream, as it was a sure hit last summer, and I’m always up for easy crowd pleasing dishes.

Coconut Mango Icecream

In a blender, add two big bananas, one can of coconut milk, 1/3 cup of sugar and whizz it up. Pour it out into a dish and blend some fresh mango. Swirl that in too. Freeze it and either run a fork through every half an hour or so until you are ready to eat it or bring it out about 20 minutes before you want to eat it, running a fork through it, (the banana content should stop it freezing completely solid.)

I think I will have a play with some St Lucia saffron buns. I’ve been making quite a few Cinnamon Buns as they are easy, freezable and everyone enjoys them, but I would like to branch out a little and see how the saffron buns turn out.

custard-tart  recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

This family favourite will probably get a look in….as really, I’d be crazy not to.

And lastly, sourdough doughnuts. I’ve been planning, and planning this one, working out my best point of attack. I’m going in people, and will not rest until they are sitting plump on the table, surrounding by happy expectant faces….or at least my one satisfied one.

*************

What are you making over the next few weeks?

Advertisements

Carrot Top Pesto -ELC #5

carrot top pest recipe || cityhippyfarmgirlThe day I found out I could eat the tops of carrots was a bit of an exciting one.

“You can eat them!” I cried.

“Excellent.” He said, in a less than thinking it really was excellent, voice.

I pushed that lack of enthusiasm to the side as I was carrying more than enough excitability for this one to carry us both. Carrot tops eh? Who knew, actually it turns out lots of people knew, and I was just a bit slow on the uptake. So that’s why they quite often sell bunches of carrots with the tops still on… I just thought they were trying to keep the carrots looking au natural. 

What would I make with them? How would they taste? And would I get it by the rest of the family?

Carrot Top Pesto

Bunch of carrot tops, washed and finally chopped.

A couple of cloves of garlic

Juice of a lemon

Enough olive oil to get a good pesto like consistency.

Pop it all into a hand held mixer, and pulse.

With Carrot Top Pesto made, what was I going to eat with it? I had some potatoes that were whispering to be popped into the oven with some rosemary, and that looked like it could be it. Too simple? Surprisingly no. Mr Chocolate drizzled his with some Pukara balsamic vinegar, (which gave it an extra zing) and not a murmur of objection was to be heard about the ‘different’ pesto.

The following day I had more of the potatoes and pesto together, leaving out the snow pea shoots, (which just quietly I feel are a bit of a chore to eat.) Delicious, seriously delicious. I kept taking another bite just to makes sure. Armed with an empty bowl and green speckled lips, I decided that yes, carrot top pesto was indeed a winner.

A local, frugal, seasonal winner.

carrot tops || cityhippyfarmgirl

How about you? Have you made any food discoveries lately? Ever made carrot top pesto? Do you think snow pea shoots are a bit of chore to eat as well?

Where did my food come from?

Carrots- Rita’s Farm, Kemps Creek 50km

Sebago Potato- Naturally Grown, Naturally Better, Crookwell 240km

Snow Pea Shoots- Lin’s Organics, Londonderry 60km

Rosemary- My courtyard

Lemon- My parents in law’s backyard

roast potatoes || cityhippyfarmgirl

 Interested in taking the challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (where I will be posting here in the last week of the month).

Eat Local Challenge #4

Eat Local Challenge #3

Eat Local Challenge #2

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

 

Cauliflower Curry- Frugal Friday

cauliflower || cityhippyfarmgirlcauliflower curry || cityhippyfarmgirl

The good thing about having a blog is that you can see how you have changed over time. Looking back on your words, thoughts, photos and certainly for me, my recipes. Sometimes I feel those recipes need a little shake up.

Now come winter time, this dish (or a variation of it) often turns up on our dinner table. It’s easy, it’s seasonal, it’s super frugal and it deserved a better picture than this one from three years ago.

easy cauliflower curry recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

 Cauliflower Curry

1/2 a large head of cauliflower

3 potatoes

3 sticks of celery

6 cloves of garlic

1 finely chopped onion

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp curry powder ( a bit old school, but I like it)

400mls coconut milk

Dry fry the spices, onion, garlic (fresh chilli if you are feeling bold) and celery in a little vegetable oil. When they smell delicious, add the coconut milk. Let it simmer for a bit and then add your potatoes and cauliflower. Pop the lid of the pot on and cook it until they are as soft as you like.

curry

a boy and some biscuits

cityhippyfarmgirl cityhippyfarmgirl cityhippyfarmgirlcityhippyfarmgirl

Mostly the small boy doesn’t like a camera pointed at him.

Mostly he runs in the opposite direction to the apparatus that is making him stay still for a full 30 seconds. He might miss out on something. Something important.

Mostly.

Then some days he just pops up. Just like that. A wriggle under the table and tahdahhh! 

What are you doing mama?…and what’s THIS?

 Oh, and I want to be in your picture.

The longing. The hunger. The puppy dog eyes.

Disappearing only once a biscuit was firmly in hand.

Back to what ever mischief was interrupted before.

****************

These truly were just slapped together, but as four out of five of our family members really enjoyed them I thought I would put them up. As they are super healthy and easy.

No butter, no eggs, no processed sugar, no nuts.

Honey Chia Biscuits

2 cups of whole rolled oats

4 tablespoons of chia

4 tablespoons of sunflower seeds

4 tablespoons of water

5 dessert spoons of honey*

Add water and chia together, (a gel type mass should appear pretty quickly- this helps it bind it together.) Add the rest of the ingredients with an extra 2 or so tablespoons of water and mix well. Put aside for ten or so minutes, letting the water soak in. Squish them into balls and squash them done flat on to a tray.

180C for about 20 minutes and then I turned the oven off, leaving them in.

Eat with enthusiasm and regularity.

*(swap to maple syrup if you want to vegan it up.)

chocolate hot cross buns


hot cross buns

Goddess buns. I definitely liked the sounds of that.

I was doing some reading on the history of hot cross buns. Along with the obvious Christian links, the Anglo Saxon goddess Eostre is also connected. (She also seems to be a goddess that not a lot was known about.) A cross being placed on a bun to represent the four phases of the moon. Eaten during the time of the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. Well how about that… fascinating isn’t it this wonderful world we live in.

I also found out that Chocolate Hot Cross Buns seem to be an Australian/ New Zealand thing. It seems we have far more non fruit loving people down under than the rest of the world- which suits Mr Chocolate just fine, as dried fruit and he aren’t firm friends. The nose wrinkles a little and head pulls back in a sharp subtle manner… sultanas?!
.
Chocolate however, no problem what so ever.
.
Would the Saxon’s have approved of these Chocolate Hot Cross Buns in honour of the Goddess Eostre? I like to think so, after all, chocolate is, food of the gods.
.

cityhippyfarmgirl

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

250g sourdough starter

1 tsp dried yeast

100g sugar

250mls water/milk*

100g softened butter*

600g flour

200g dark chocolate drops**

100mls water

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp dark malt flour

2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together, except for the salt. Autolyse period 20-45 minutes. Add the salt and mix again, then turn out on to a lightly floured bench to knead until you get a lovely smooth ball of dough. Pop the dough back into the bowl, plastic bag over the top and leave to prove.  A couple of proves and folds over the next few hours. Then out onto lightly floured surface again and divide into 16 or so portions. Roll into balls, or simply divide to get a more square shape. Pop them on a lined baking tray, cover and leave for another prove. The dough is ready to be baked, when you press it in and it lightly springs back.

Crosses

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Mix together and spoon into a piping bag just before they hit the oven.

Then bake at 210C for approximately 15-25 minutes, (until golden.)

Glaze

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes and then brush on to the hot buns with a pastry brush.

Vegan variations

* to make these vegan, omit the butter and milk. Substituting the milk for water.

** use a dark chocolate without any milk solids, and add two tablespoons of great quality cocoa

This post submitted to the always wonderful yeastspotting.

sprouted quinoa sourdough

crumb

sprouting

The beauty of sourdough is it really is incredibly forgiving. There is no set way that you have to do things. It’s this part that appeals to me, as me and a regular routine don’t usually skip hand in hand.

Fasten it up, slow it down, make it with more water, make it with less water, cook it in a super hot oven, cook it in a slow oven. Leave it for 24 hours in the fridge? Yep, still good to go. Sure with all those changes, it might not have the same delectable taste of the the local sourdough bakery down the road, but your working conditions probably aren’t the same either. Phones get rung, children need feeding, appointments need to be kept and sometimes well, to be blunt you just couldn’t be arsed.

For these many reasons, this is why I love sourdough. It’s adaptable. Pretty much what ever I throw at it, it comes back with a tasty totally exceptable loaf of bread. It might not be winning awards, but it feeds hungry bellies, and it is good and true in a wholesome kind of way.

Putting sprouted quinoa in my sourdough sounded ridiculously wholesome. Thanks to my little friend Instagram, I have a steady supply of inspiring bakers around the world giving me advice, encouragement and all round inspiration that is pretty hard to top at the moment.

Sprouting had been at the back of my mind since I had had some delicious sprouted granola in Byron Bay, and with a steady supply of encouraging pictures via Instagram it was time to jump on board.

I tried sprouted organic brown rice first, delicious. Next up, quinoa it was. Dead easy in our summer, and whoosh… before I knew it they had little tails. Into the bread they went, which  resulted in a lovely moist, chewy crumb.

With a sprouted quinoa sourdough under my belt, now I just have to decide what to sprout next?

sproutedquinoa

Sprouted Quinoa Sourdough

400g starter

750g flour (5 cups)

500mls water

(5 minutes in the mixer)

(30 minutes snooze)

200g sprouted quinoa

2 tsp salt

(5 minutes in the mixer)

(60 minute snooze)

three way fold

60 minute snooze

three way fold and shape

overnight nap of 12 hours in the fridge

bring it back to room temperature

slash

230C preheated oven with steam.

 sprouted

this post submitted to the bready inspiration yeast spotting

new discoveries


DSC_0038 copy

choc agave balls

DSC_0030 copy

DSC_0052 copy

New discoveries…

New legs to walk on, and walk she does. At ten months and four days she said, whoooshka! Lets go, lets get busy…and hasn’t looked back.

New magnifying glasses for the boys, show little critters can become big critters at the right angle. There are a lot of new little things to discover.

Holiday time and park mornings are spent exploring. It can be hard work and they need lots of healthy energy giving snacks.

I’ve posted these balls before (here) but have changed around the ingredients a little. My new discovery of the deliciousness of dark agave nectar, was a lovely surprise. I would use it sparingly due to the food miles on it, but it is a wonderful alternative to sugar or honey.

These ingredients are just a rough guide, use whatever you have on hand and like to add to the mix.

choc energy balls copy

Chocolate Agave Energy Balls

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup linseed meal
1/2 cup sunflower kernals
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup honey (use extra agave if you want to make it completely vegan)
2 tbls of unhulled tahini
1 tsp vanilla
sesame seeds/ or extra coconut
Mix all ingredients together, add a tablespoon or two of water if needed to bind ingredients together and roll into balls. Roll again in sesame seeds or coconut.
DSC_0086 copy
This post is going to We Should Cocoa @ Chocolate Log Blog– for a sugar free chocolate combo this month.

land of the clear blue waters…and markets, so many markets

markets

goodies

Byron Bay. Land of the clear blue waters, green rolling hills, steady stream of campervans, surfboards, sandy thonged toes (flip flops US readers, flip flops!) and markets…lots and lots of wonderful markets.

Farmers markets, artisan designer markets, Christmas markets, and just well…markets. They are all there. Not just within Byron Bay, but also in the surrounding townships. All really worth a visit, as I am yet to find one I didn’t like.

Seeing such thriving popular markets makes me really happy. Local food fare seems so very easy and accessible to get in this area. Small local businesses are supported, local farmers are embraced, little ideas get run with, getting a chance to grow, and amazing food really is everywhere. Spending time up in this area was a lovely gentle reminder of why I think shopping like this is important. If it can so easily be done in a smaller community, why does it seem so hard living like this in a big city?

vegan black forest cake

Mulumbimby saw my first raw vegan Black Forest Cake. Just quietly, I’m usually a little hesitant with vegan dessert options, (cardboard, stodgy and tasteless are words that usually spring to mind,) but this was delicious and I stand so very corrected. I don’t think I could ever be a long term raw vegan but I’m definitely going to explore those two eating avenues a little further.

Alive Granola (raw, vegan, dairy, gluten and sugar free) was another delicious vegany find. I’m hooked on this stuff thanks to my friend who introduced me to it. I’m going to have to recreate it somehow now,  as my stash now has dwindled.

chocpuddingfruit

doughnut

I also finally tried a chocolate pudding fruit, black sapote. Does it look like chocolate pudding inside? Yes, it most certainly does, and unfortunately I don’t have a picture to prove it. (Have a look here if you are interested though.) I really can’t compare this taste to anything I have had before. Funnily enough I could certainly see it being used in raw sugar free vegan desserts, it would be absolutely perfect for it.

The Byron Markets also have the famous organic, dark chocolate doughnuts. Worthy of a long drive? You betcha. All doughnuts were definitely not created equal, and these superb little creatures live high on the mountain of ‘BEST DOUGHNUTS EVER’.

chai

DSC_0132 copy

Chai being my tea of drink these days, I knew before going up there that a few of my favourite tea companies were located in that general area. Well I was in for a treat, as I found more, and also found a new favourite. I’m picky with my chai. It can’t have liquorice root in it, and I would prefer to be able to see the spices in it, not all ground up to a dark fine powder. This one was perfect. Gives me a lovely little kick start first thing in the morning.

Handmade goodies are also a big highlight in this area. We picked up one of these sweet little softie dolls for a certain little ones first birthday next month (oh eek, nearly a whole year!) I could have bought a whole heap of them as I really couldn’t decide.

Then just like that, our time up in Byron came to a close. Land of the clear blue waters, green rolling hills and surfboards was feeling all too brief. Promises of we’ll be back soon, promises of return to pristine beaches, and promises of coming back to visit all those markets.

Mulumbimby Farmers Markets

Byron Bay Farmers Markets

Bangalow Farmers Markets

Byron Bay Regional Markets

the nordic return


It had been over a year since I had last made these. A whole year since I had gone all nordic with my reading and eating.

How had a whole year gone by and I hadn’t made them again? Having a baby might have been something to do with it. I got distracted, other things got priorities and slowly time ticked on by.

With my recent jumping in to spelt however, it was time to revisit knekkebrod.

These are ridiculously adaptable and now being made continuously again.

Knekkebrod

* I’m not sure how authentic my version is, but they work for me.

1 cup wholemeal spelt flour

1 cup whole oats

1 cup LSA/sesame seeds/pepitas

small palmful of caraway seeds

1 cup water

Mix it all together and flatten out with wet hands, on a lined baking tray. Divide it partially to the size you want them to be- easy to snap after baking then.

Baked at 160-170C until crisp.

******

I’ve also been playing with Cardamom Buns.

A lovely friend married to a Norwegian fella, gave me a recipe for them the same week that Joanna posted about them. I fiddled with the recipe to tweak it a bit to suit me. With the buns baking, I went and looked up cardamom buns in google… 385,000 possibilities! Probably should have done that before I started baking the buns of goodness, as I was a little underwhelmed with how very average mine looked compared to how they could look.

An hour before they were popped in the oven, I had looked at my proving dough all ready to divide and make pretty. I looked, got completely over whelmed with my lack of time, (laziness) and decided a divided slab would be fine. Sure it was fine, but next baking session I think I will try and make them look a little better and allow more time, (less laziness.)

I had also spotted spelt cardamom buns with marzipan thanks to my good friend google. Oh, oh my! Who knew it could be so good?! Spelt…and cardamom…AND marzipan. Clearly I need in on that action. So no recipe for these buns today, but promises of a bun return.

Or perhaps, a nordic return, (again.)

hippy salad- Frugal Friday

We’re having pizza!!! sang The Monkey’s to Mr Chocolate as he closed the front door behind him.

Two grinning boys launched themselves at their father…pizza! 

Mr Chocolate looked happy too as he scanned the table tops with their proving doughs. Although, you’re not having pizza Dada, I think you’re having salad, said a sombre looking Monkey Boy. His face fell, as he looked to me to for confirmation.

Yep, mung bean salad lucky man.

(oh relax, I’m feeling generous… you can have pizza as well.)

Hippy Salad

sprouted mung beans

one can of chickpeas

one finely sliced capsicum (pepper)

one finely sliced small chilli

couple of finely sliced shallots

Dressing

a couple of slugs of great local olive oil

good pinch of cumin

and dried coriander

salt/pepper to taste

pop half a clove of crushed garlic (new season- which is a bit damn exciting)

juice of half a back yard lemon,

 shake it up a bit and

add to your salad

eat with gusto… or pizza