Apple cinnamon Loaf

Original Post

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)<– I'd reduce it a bit.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 350F/about 180C. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated; add vanilla extract.

Combine flour and baking powder together in another bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture. Mix milk into batter until smooth. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Next add half the apples and half the brown sugar cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; top with remaining apples and add more brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a finger or spoon.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.


Our favourite Oatmeal cookie recipe

Danish Oatmeal Cookies

Original Recipe Yield 5 dozen

• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (we used brown sugar instead, otherwise too sweet- adjust accordingly, sometimes we use honey instead)
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup oatmeal
• 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
• 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, or as needed (we didnt use this- we used a sprinkling of sea salt once, a nice contrast)
1. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate large bowl, mix the butter, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in the flour mixture; gently stir in the oatmeal and pecans and lightly mix until combined.
3. With a spoon, drop about 1 scant tablespoon of dough per cookie onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely before sprinkling cookies with confectioners’ sugar.
• These cookies freeze well so I often make a double batch. The trick is getting some into the freezer before they’re all gone!
• You can use walnuts instead of pecans and regular oats for quick-cooking oats.

[Review] Raw milk Mascarpone from Bright Cow Milk

Here’s a little definition of what mascarpone is (from Wikipedia).

“Mascarpone is an Italian cheese made from cream, coagulated thanks to the addition of citric acid or acetic acid.”

A little background, we have been ordering our milk (raw milk) from Bright Cow (I think it’s been a year now) and they are now testing the market on cheeses. We were fortunate enough to be able to get a test sample of mascarpone for review 🙂

disclaimer: We aren’t super foodies/chefs so we can’t give some super duper detailed review. Just only whatever we’ve tried on our own.

Tasting the mascarpone on its own, it’s got a hint of cheeseness, but mostly very creamy. The boys found it a bit bland, but we agreed it’s meant to be accompanied by something.. it’s more a “flavour carrier” as my boys would say. (too much FoodTV). It is creamy, thick, so we liked the texture very much and the fact that it’s not sweetened, as some commercial brands are.

We didn’t use it for baking etc, but here are some of the things we did try.

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the container that arrived 🙂

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a closer look at the mascarpone.

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Mascarpone spread on croissants, with sliced cherry tomatoes, the other with jam. Very nice! This was a favourite idea for the boys.

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We made a tomato and mascarpone omelette instead of using milk (due to the creaminess). the boys enjoyed it. We wanted to try a burger with a bit of mascarpone inside but the boys finished it before I could get the meat from the market LOL

2013-08-01 19.45.43

Pancakes with mango (fresh) and mascarpone. It was DELICIOUS. with a hint of cheese and cream, it was really nice with fresh fruit. And it didnt feel as heavy and rich as you would think.

All in all, a very delicious first taste of raw milk mascarpone! 🙂

Our favourite bread recipes

our staple two for bread machine (which we adapted). one for “by hand” 🙂 can be used for pizza too!

Honey Oatmeal Bread


* 1 1/4 cups water (sometimes we use milk instead of water, but not if you are using an overnight setting).

* 3 cups bread flour (you can use whole meal too, but if you do, you need more sugar to help it rise more)

* 2 tablespoons honey (or brown sugar, I’d add a wee bit more if you add

* 1 1/2 tablespoons dry milk powder (we omitted)

* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

* 1/2 cup quick cooking oats

* 2 tablespoons margarine (I used butter and/or vegetable oil- dont like margarine :P)

* 1 tablespoon active dry yeast


Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select White Bread setting, and Start.

The other bread recipe (not for machine), Can be used for any bread recipe, buns, or pizza 🙂

Jamie Oliver’s basic bread recipe:


1 kg strong bread flour (In his original recipe, it was 500g semolina, 500g bread flour, it gives a lovely texture :))

625 ml tepid water

30 g fresh yeast, or 3 x 7g sachets dried yeast

2 tablespoons sugar (his book recipe called for 30g sugar, we use brown sugar)

1 level tablespoon fine sea salt (also 21g)

flour, for dusting


Stage 1: making a well

Pile the flour on to a clean surface and make a large well in the centre. Pour half your water into the well, then add your yeast, sugar and salt and stir with a fork.

Stage 2: getting it together

Slowly, but confidently, bring in the flour from the inside of the well. (You don’t want to break the walls of the well, or the water will go everywhere.) Continue to bring the flour in to the centre until you get a stodgy, porridgey consistency – then add the remaining water. Continue to mix until it’s stodgy again, then you can be more aggressive, bringing in all the flour, making the mix less sticky. Flour your hands and pat and push the dough together with all the remaining flour. (Certain flours need a little more or less water, so feel free to adjust.)

Stage 3: kneading!

This is where you get stuck in. With a bit of elbow grease, simply push, fold, slap and roll the dough around, over and over, for 4 or 5 minutes until you have a silky and elastic dough.

Stage 4: first prove

Flour the top of your dough. Put it in a bowl, cover with cling film, and allow it to prove for about half an hour until doubled in size – ideally in a warm, moist, draught-free place. This will improve the flavour and texture of your dough and it’s always exciting to know that the old yeast has kicked into action.

Stage 5: second prove, flavouring and shaping

Once the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out for 30 seconds by bashing it and squashing it. You can now shape it or flavour it as required – folded, filled, tray-baked, whatever – and leave it to prove for a second time for 30 minutes to an hour until it has doubled in size once more. This is the most important part, as the second prove will give it the air that finally ends up being cooked into your bread, giving you the really light, soft texture that we all love in fresh bread. So remember – don’t fiddle with it, just let it do its thing.

Stage 6: cooking your bread

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Very gently place your bread dough on to a flour-dusted baking tray and into the preheated oven. Don’t slam the door or you’ll lose the air that you need. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked and golden brown. You can tell if it’s cooked by tapping its bottom – if it sounds hollow it’s done, if it doesn’t then pop it back in for a little longer. Once cooked, place on a rack and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes – fandabidozi. Feel free to freeze any leftover bread.

NB: We often dont knead that much and leave to proof for longer (in both the bowl and the loaf pan). 🙂 for pizza, only one time proof 🙂

Home made Recipes: Peanut butter, butter, cheese (different kinds), Hummus, Tahini (some I’ve tried, some I haven’t)

How to Make Your Own Sour Cream


Things You’ll Need:

2 cups light cream
2 tablespoon of buttermilk

Step 1

Combine cream and buttermilk in a hot clean glass jar with lid.

Step 2

Cover tightly and shake the jar.

Step 3

Let stand in a warm place till thickened.

Step 4

Store, covered in refrigerator, stir before you serve.

Buttermilk Substitute

Making a recipe that calls for buttermilk? Use this simple substitute, and you won’t need to buy any:

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes


Milk (just under one cup)
1 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice


1. Place a Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup.

2. Add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line.

3. Let stand for five minute. Then, use as much as your recipe calls for.

Make your own Paneer Cheese

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


1 litre full-cream milk (use lean milk for a low-fat version)
½ tsp citric acid/lemon juice
½ cup warm water


Set the milk up to boil.
As the milk is readied, dissolve the citric acid/lemon juice in half a cup of warm water.
When the milk comes to a boil, pour the acid-water/lemon juice-water mix into it.
Reduce the heat and stir continuously until the milk is completely curdled.
Remove from the heat when the separation of the curds and yellowish whey is complete.
Strain the mixture through a clean muslin cloth.
Hold it under running water for a minute and then press out the excess water.
Hang the muslin for 15-20 minutes so that all the whey is drained out.
To make the paneer into a block tie the muslin and place it under something heavy.
The paneer can now be cut into chunks and used as required.

How to Make Labneh Cheese

recipe will make approximately 12 oz. of labneh cheese.

Things You’ll Need

Plain full fat yogurt or soy yogurt
Cheese cloth
Optional: Salt, Herbs, Garlic, Fruit


Purchase (or make) a quart of full-milk yogurt or soy yogurt. Cut a 15-inch square of cheesecloth. Empty the contents of the yogurt carton on top of the cheesecloth.Bring up the sides and tie tightly with string, leaving a length of string to tie up so the bag will hang and drip into a bowl placed beneath the bag, OR use a jelly stand if you have one. Place the container in the refrigerator (purists leave it out to drip into the sink, but for bacteria/mold reasons, don’t leave it out) and leave it there for 1-2 days until desired spreadable consistency is reached.Remove from refrigerator and reserve the drained liquid (which is called whey) when the cheese has reached the desired consistency. The solid part that is the cheese are also called curds.Add spices and herbs to taste. Traditionalists enjoy this cheese extremely pungent. Experiment with different mixes to find what works best for you.Transfer your cheese to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the cheese (keeps it fresher).

Place a small plate and 12-oz weight (like a can of soup) on top of the cheesecloth to speed processing.
Add 100 mls (3oz) of fresh double cream for a cheese very similar to cream cheese.
Flavorings: salt, herbs, garlic, jam, fresh fruit, or hot sauce.

Use as a low-fat cream cheese substitute in dip recipes.
Please don’t discard the whey! It is full of minerals and enzymes. Use it as the liquid in your next batch of bread, or soup.Instead of discarding the whey, use it in pancakes or muffins, it will make the best pancakes or muffins you have ever had! Don’t take a chance with bacterial contamination by draining this at room temperature.
be sure to rinse your cheesecloth well before using it, you don’t want the cheese to taste like dishsoap, or dryer sheets.

How To Make Vanilla Extract

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5 minutes to prep; 2 months to develop.

Here’s How:

Use a knife to split the vanilla beans open lengthwise, stopping one inch from the end of each bean.
Place the cut beans in a glass container, and cover with vodka.
Make sure the beans are completely submerged. Push down any that aren’t.
Secure the lid; and store in a cool, dark place.
Allow the extract to develop for at least two months before using, shaking at least once a week.


To replenish your supply of extract, just add more vodka to the bottle from time to time. The original beans will retain their flavor for years.
Homemade vanilla extract makes a great gift. Package some up in small bottles, and decorate them with your own label.
Online vendors often have the best price for vanilla beans.

What You Need:

1 cup vodka
3 vanilla beans
A glass jar with a snug-fitting lid
A knife


3cups of homemade peanut butter
4 cups natural peanuts (roasted, unsalted). Can use almonds or other nuts.
3 teaspoons peanut oil (or veg oil or olive oil)
1 teaspoon salt

Put half your roasted peanuts into the food processor or blender.
Add half the oil.
Grind the peanuts for two to four minutes. The mixture will appear clumpy.
Pour the remaining peanuts and peanut oil into the food processor or blender.
Continue chopping the nuts until you achieve the consistency you desire. Creamy peanut butter will require more blending time.
Add the salt and mix for another minute.

Refrigerate the peanut butter as soon as you have finished preparing it. It will last for about two weeks. The oil in the peanut butter may rise to the top when it is stored. Simply stir it to redistribute the oil throughout the entire concoction.

Prep time: about 10 minutes


1½ c. unsalted roasted peanuts
1 tbsp. peanut oil


For smooth peanut butter:

Mix the peanuts with the peanut oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.
Process the mixture until it’s very smooth.
Store your smooth peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.

For chunky peanut butter:

Take about ¼ cup out of your 1½ cups of peanuts and set them aside.
Mix the rest of the peanuts with the oil, and pour the mixture into the food processor.
Process the mixture until it’s very smooth, then stir in the peanuts that you had set aside.
Process a few seconds more to create the chunks in your chunky peanut butter.
Store your chunky peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.

Serves: 12 Serving size: 2 tablespoons

Homemade Mascarpone

Adapted from a dozen sources, all using the same ingredients in the same amount

Yields about 1 1/2 cups

2 cups heavy cream, pasteurized (but not ultra-pasteurized)

1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed

In a large saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium high heat until a candy thermometer reads 190 degrees F (88 degrees C). The cream should be at a simmer. Be careful not to scorch the bottom! Stir in the lemon juice and continue to heat at 190 degrees F (88 degrees C) for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The cream should thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Place a strainer lined with 4 layers of cheesecloth (or a few layers of coffee filters) over an empty bowl. Add the cream, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. Allow the cream to strain out for 8-12 hours, preferably overnight. Discard the whey; I only ended up with a couple tablespoons. When finished straining, transfer the cheese to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Use fresh mascarpone cheese within the week.

Rich Homemade Ricotta

Inspired by Salvatore Ricotta, via Tasting Table

I made this ricotta three different ways: with all milk, as the Salvatore recipe suggested (we found it a bit dry), with 3 cups milk and 1 cup heavy cream and with 3 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Guess what? The last two ricottas were virtually indistinguishable.The extra cream did indeed add an even richer edge, but the one with less cream was also very indulgent. I imagine I’d use the richer version for toasts, for putting out at a party and the almost-as-rich one for pastas and things where I might need a larger, sturdier quantity. I’ll leave it up to you which way you go.

Makes about 1 generous cup of ricotta

3 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream (see Note above about using less)

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pour the milk, cream and salt into a 3-quart nonreactive saucepan. Attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer. Heat the milk to 190°F, stirring it occasionally to keep it from scorching on the bottom. Turn off the heat [Updated] Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, then stir it once or twice, gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Line a colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl (to catch the whey). Pour the curds and whey into the colander and let the curds strain for at least an hour. At an hour, you’ll have a tender, spreadable ricotta. At two hours, it will be spreadable but a bit firmer, almost like cream cheese. (It will firm as it cools, so do not judge its final texture by what you have in your cheesecloth.) Discard the whey, or, if you’re one of those crafty people who use it for other things, of course, save it. Eat the ricotta right away or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Serve: On 1/2-inch slices of baguette that have been run under the broiler until lightly bronzed. Serve it simply [as shown in the top photo, left to right] with honey and a pinch of flaky sea salt, a couple grinds of black pepper, pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil, and/or a few droplets of an aged balsamic. Or with zucchini ribbons [as shown in the last photo], I started with about half a pound of miniature zucchini my mother-in-law had found at Trader Joes. Larger ones will work just fine, but you might want to first cut a big one in half lengthwise. Peel them into ribbons and toss them with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and let them drain in a colander for a while (this wilts them), about 20 minutes. Rinse and pat them dry. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste. Arrange in piles on ricotta crostini.

Do ahead: I keep mine only 3 to 4 days; the really fresh milk I used doesn’t last long. However, Salvatore also uses really fresh milk, and theirs appears to keep closer to two weeks. In conclusion? Shelf lives will vary. Use your nose to judge freshness. Or your partner’s nose, because who doesn’t like hearing “Hey honey, sniff this for me?”

Easy Ricotta Cheese

Yield: 4 cups


8 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

3 ½ tablespoons white or white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Equipment: A fine strainer and cheesecloth


Step 1

Combine milk and cream in a large pot and heat over medium-high heat until steamy, but not boiling.

Step 2

Turn off heat. Stir in vinegar and salt with a wooden spoon. Continue to gently stir for 1 to 2 minutes as curds begin to form. Allow to sit out at room temperature for 90 minutes.

Step 3

Place a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over a large bowl. Using a slotting spoon, transfer curds to the cheese cloth and allow to sit for an additional 30 minutes.

Prep Tip: Once you have gotten most of the curds out with a slotted spoon, pour remaining liquid through a separate fine mesh strainer; add those curds to the rest in the cheesecloth.

Serve fresh ricotta chilled or at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Making Your Own Butter at Home

Butter Making – Ingredients

You need double cream or whipping cream to make butter, single cream is just too thin.

Butter Making – Method

Let the cream reach room temperature, around 20 C (68 F) is ideal – this is critical. Don’t heat it but leave the pots out of the fridge for a good few hours to warm up. If you have a cold kitchen, put them into the living room to warm up.

With a jar you need to half fill the jar, put the lid on and shake it for anything between half an hour and an hour. With a food processor or an electric whisk, proceed as if you are making whipped cream. In the processor, use the plastic blades if you have them. I’m told the Kenwood ‘K’ beater is the best tool if you are lucky enough to have one.

It will go through the usual stage of starting to form firm peaks and then it becomes quite stiff. At this point you might like to reduce the speed of your whisk because when it goes it happens very fast. All of a sudden the cream goes a bit yellow in colour and then little bits of butter appear and a thin liquid, the buttermilk. Just seconds later, the butter seems to clump and is separated from the buttermilk. If your whisk is on high speed you are now redecorating the kitchen, hence my suggesting you reduce speed to a minimum.


Drain the buttermilk off – you can use this in baking, cooking or make your cat very happy.

Washing the Butter

You need to get all the buttermilk out of the butter or the butter will quickly go rancid. Add clean cold water to the butter in the blender and operate on low speed for a minute. You need the water to be cold or you melt the butter, which will then run off with the water. Repeat the washing process until the water is really clean, this can be seven or more times but I can’t emphasise enough how you do need to make sure the water is clear.

Pressing the butter

You now need to get the water out of the butter. In the old days they had special wooden paddles to press and shape the butter but you can use your hands and the back of a spoon to do this. When you have the water out you are ready for the next stage.

Homemade butter can be stored for at least three months in a freezer. I do know that commercial butter stores for much longer but I think they add stabilisers or something to it, which enables longer storage. If you are going to freeze the butter, don’t salt or flavour it. The freezing process enhances the saltiness or flavour and you may well find it tasted fine on the way in but is too salty after freezing. To salt do not add more than a small half teaspoon for each half pound (250 gr) – half that amount suits me but I don’t take a lot of salt. You can also add crushed garlic or dried herbs to make flavoured butter if you wish at this stage.

Shaping the Butter

If you have salted or flavoured the butter, you will need to mix it thoroughly and then you can shape it. I prefer a roll of butter rather than the traditional box shape. You can then wrap the butter to keep in the fridge or to freeze if you have a lot. I find cling film ideal, but I’ve been told you can use greaseproof paper.


Butter Basics When making butter, you’ll get about half as much butter as the amount of cream used, plus residual “butter” milk produced by the process. Thus: 1 quart (32 ounces) cream yields 1 pound (16 ounces) butter plus 2 cups buttermilk; 1 cup cream yields 1/2 cup butter plus about 1/2 cup buttermilk.

For best results, use organic cream with a butterfat content of at least 35 percent. Most organic creams and heavy whipping cream work well.

Pour the cream into a bowl, set the electric mixer on medium speed, and blend.

The cream transforms first into fluffy whipped cream and then stiff peaks. These break down into soft cottage-cheese-like curds as blobs of butterfat separate from the milk. The butter begins to stiffen and clump together and the watery milk pools in the bottom of the bowl. This should take about 10 minutes.

At this point, stop the mixer. Carefully pour off as much milk as possible and refrigerate it. Although this “buttermilk” is not like the thick, tangy buttermilk you’ll find in the market, it can be used for cooking, baking, and drinking.

Use a rubber or stiff metal spatula to press the butter to squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. Add about 1/2 cup ice water to the butter and use the spatula to press the butter and water against the side of the bowl. This step, called washing, is important to keep the butter from spoiling. Pour off the cloudy liquid. Add more ice water and repeat the process two or three times until the water becomes less cloudy.

Continue kneading butter against the side of the bowl until all the liquid has been pressed out. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Monique prefers not to salt the butter until she is ready to use it.

Pack the butter in containers, wrap tightly, and cover. Wrapping butter in parchment adds a touch of elegance. As a bonus, the butter won’t stick to the parchment as it does to plastic wrap. For storing, first wrap in parchment, if desired, then wrap in plastic wrap or foil to make an airtight package.

Refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.

Fun for Kids

Shake It Up Take advantage of children’s jiggly, giggly energy to turn butter making into a fun family project. Simply pour 1/4 cup of organic cream into a jar, tighten the lid, and shake, shake, shake. After 15 to 30 minutes of nonstop agitation, the butterfat will separate in clumps from the liquid. When that happens, drain the milk and place the butter into a bowl. Continue with the instructions for washing and kneading as described in the basic technique.

Compound Butters

Boost the flavor of grilled fish or steak, steamed vegetables, oven-hot biscuits, or fluffy pancakes with compound butters created by stirring herbs, chives, garlic, spices, or even fresh and dried fruits into softened butter. Follow the basic technique, add the desired flavors and place the flavored butter on parchment paper. Roll it into a log, wrap securely, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Then cut off small coins to serve. Some combos to try with softened, unsalted butter:

Lemon zest and snipped parsley
Snipped fresh Thai basil, chopped garlic, and chopped, drained, pickled ginger
Crumbled feta cheese and chopped kalamata olives
Grated Parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil
Grated ginger and sesame oil
Snipped fresh cilantro, lime zest, and Sriracha, or hot sauce
Coarsely ground black pepper and sea salt
Orange zest, chopped fresh or dried cranberries, and snipped fresh sage
Chopped pecans and honey
Orange zest, maple syrup, and blueberries

Home Made Tahini

Tahini is an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern dishes such as humous and falafel. A simple, cheap recipe for homemade tahini.

Tahini, or sesame seed paste, may be made of hulled or whole sesame seeds. This recipe for home made tahini, using a food processor with metal blades, uses whole sesame seeds which is more nutritious, but it does have a slightly stronger taste than tahini made with hulled seeds. The texture may also be slightly coarser than store bought tahni, but it has the same delicious flavor, and may be far cheaper!

When you make your own tahini, you are on your way to making tasty homemade homous and falafel which are delicious and cheap to make.

Sesame seeds are rich in minerals such as calcium, zinc and manganese. They also contain useful quantities of some B group vitamins including thiamin and B6, and are a useful source of vegetable protein. Sesame seeds are a useful addition to your diet, particularly if you eat little or no meat. It is said that the nutrients of sesame are more easily absorbed when the seeds are ground, as is the case in tahini.


It is worth making tahini in bulk to reduce waste as the sticky paste is difficult to empty cleanly from your food processor. This is the proportion of oil to sesame seeds to use, increase the quantities to suit your needs

¼ cup vegetable oil to 1 cup sesame seeds


Preheat your oven to 340°F (170° C).

Spread your sesame seeds on a roasting tray, and toast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring regularly to toast evenly. Do not allow to brown as this impairs the flavor.
Remove the sesame seeds from the oven and allow to cool briefly.
Put the toasted sesame seeds in your food processor, with metal blades fitted, and add half the oil.
Process the mixture on a high setting for a minute, stopping to clean the sides of the food processor with a spatula from time to time.
Add the rest of the oil, and continue to process the seeds to a paste, again cleaning the sides regularly and ensuring that the paste still covers the blades. Ensure that all the mix is blended to a paste. This can be a somewhat messy process but stick with it. The results will be worth it!
When the mixture is evenly smooth, and further processing does not further refine the texture, transfer your tahini to a tight fitting glass jar using a flexible spatula, if you have one, to reduce waste.

Tahini may be kept in the refrigerator for many weeks in a well sealed jar.

Hummus without Tahini

This hummus recipe is perfect for those who like hummus, but not with tahini. Many children don’t like tahini, so this is a great recipe to make for them.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin


In a food processor, blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

Serve immediately with pita bread, pita chips, or veggies.

Store in a airtight container for up to three days.

Hummus with Tahini

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil


Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus.

Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional).

Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, or cover and refrigerate. Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month. Add a little olive oil if it appears to be too dry.

Make your own Creme Fraiche

Creme fraiche is a thick cream used in sauces and soups and as a condiment for fresh fruits. Learn how to make homemade creme fraiche. Plan ahead as this will take some time.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 8-14 hours

Here’s How:

1 cup whipping cream mixed with 2 tablespoons buttermilk.
Combine well in glass jar and cover.
Let stand at room temperature (about 70 degrees F.) for 8 to 24 hours, or until thickened.
Stir well and refrigerate.
Use within 10 days.


Use as a thickener for soups or sauces.
Spoon over fresh fruits, puddings or warm cobblers.
Can be used in boiled recipes as it will not curdle.

What You Need

whipping cream
glass jar


1L Milk
2 tbsp (at least) of live culture yoghurt/yoghurt starter

equivalent size of Container, cloths (clean).

Heat up milk until your little finger cant stand the heat (scalding hot, but not boiling). (you can google online for more accurate temp).

Pour into the container, add the yoghurt culture stir. Cover up. I usually put it on an upside plate inside a larger dish of water (to keep ants etc away).

Leave overnight covered. By the morning (at least 8 hours please), it should turn into yoghurt (not thick yoghurt, that takes draining etc, google :D).

you can stir it and then leave it in the fridge. Lasts at least a week. Try to leave a separate small container for the following batch.

Bread recipes

Our Fav recipe (for bread machine) is below:

Oatmeal Bread

1 1/4 cups fresh milk
3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
2tbsp butter
1 tbsp yeast (yes, 1 tbsp)

Directions: I start with liquid and work upwards ending with the yeast 🙂 Large loaf, basic setting.

New recipe recently tried:

Grainy Mustard/Beer Loaf

1 1/2 cup flat beer (I used strong beer)
1/4 cup of fresh milk (as I dont use milk powder)
2tbsp veg oil or butter (I used butter)
4tbsp wholegrain mustard (I also tried honey mustard, was delish!)
4 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 3/4 cup of whole meal bread flour (I actually used 5 1/2 cups of bread flour, as no wholemeal in the house)
1 1/2tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated sugar (I used brown sugar scented with a vanilla pod)
1 1/2 tsp of dried yeast.

Instructions: I start with liquids first. still used the basic setting but if you had used wholemeal flour, I’d use the wholemeal bread setting.

enjoy! 🙂

New Foodie?

Someone emailed the starwith regards to the bread article asking for some help (she recently bought a breadmaker). So in the interests of a fellow foodie, I replied (Min hasn’t had a chance to yet).

CM, here’s what I read in my trusty book, The Bread Machine cook book by Jennie Sharper, ISBN: 13579108642 bought from MPH for RM9.90 publishers: Hermes House. :

If bread not risen enough/at all: yeast either expired or insufficient. Rapid cycle chosen (insufficient time to rise etc), too much salt (or salty objects), salt/yeast got in touch with each other (they kill each other). Wholegrain/wholemeal need longer to rise, a plain/all purpose flour may have been chosen (has a lower gluten content), insufficient liquid, lid open during rising stage, no sugar added. Ingredients not at right temp.

If the crust is too chewy and tough: increase butter or oil and milk.

hope this helps her!

Here’s a basic pasta recipe

Basic Pasta

Submitted by: Pat



  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the flour, add the slightly beaten egg, and mix. Mixture should form a stiff dough. If needed, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons water.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 3 to 4 minutes. With a pasta machine or by hand roll dough out to desired thinness. Use machine or knife to cut into strips of desired width.