You know those weeks where the freezer is nearly empty? That’s what I’ve had this week. Since school started, I’ve tried really hard to have bits and pieces on hand to fill up lunchboxes with healthy snacks. I’ve also had a fair bit of slow cooked meat ready to go for quick and simple dinners. This week though, it was starting to dwindle, so I have been baking up a storm.
Of course, not all storms end with rainbows, do they now? At family dinner the other night, we were joking about kitchen fails. My Mum made a chocolate pudding, but something went wrong and it didn’t sauce up. She called it a failure; I called it cake. It was still good. Some of this week’s baking escapades have been fails. My fails have been decidedly less tasty than ‘cake’, but they’re OK, and will keep people fed. They don’t complain, and I have sampled every single thing I’ve made, so I know it’s not that bad!
Here’s what I have made:
A batch of apple and carrot muffins – I tweaked the recipe and you can find the updates in the notes on the original post. These are a win. I remembered the seeds on top, fiddled around with the sugar and the milk, and they were really good. I added some craisins, but they were too sultana-esque for me, so they won’t go in next time. Otherwise a real winner this week.
A batch of cheesy potato bites – this was me trying to get Talbot to eat some vegetables. She ate potato gems once at her Nana’s house. I thought I’d try and do something similar minus the grease. Do you think she ate it? Nup. Beanie liked them though. I felt it needed more cheese and some salt and pepper. And some milk to the mash, because it was bit mealy. I made up the recipe, and it goes like this: cook up some potatoes, then mash. Add in two eggs and a handful of grated cheese, and mix until well combined. Then drop spoonfuls onto a lined tray and bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees or until nicely browned. Don’t eat them cold. They aren’t nice.
Some mac and cheese bites. I was really desperate that afternoon for something to feed the kids, we had almost run out of fruit and everything else. They say that necessity is the mother of invention. I found a packet of that three minute mac and cheese in my cupboard. I cooked it, added an egg and then baked it. It would have been a lot better if I’d used real cheese. But I did this from start to finish with a baby balanced on my hip, and if you’ve ever tried to grate cheese one-handed, you know it can’t be done. These had a lot of potential, so I’m going to work on this one.
I made some sausage rolls/pasties. Sort of a combo. I made shortcrust pastry, modifying a Nigella Lawson recipe (I don’t routinely keep lard in my fridge, so I used butter). I made a meat filling by shredding a carrot, an apple and half a zucchini, and combining it with 500g of sausage mince, an egg and some seasoning. I cooked them for 35mins at 200 degrees Celsius (a bit too long… I may have forgotten about them.) Next time I’ll use a different mince, rather than sausage mince. They’re OK, but not that great. Kitchen semi-fail, but everyone liked them, so not a total fail. I should probably just ask Mum for my Nana’s recipes. They’re killer.
I ran out of pastry, ta-da – meatballs. Or rather, meat blobs, because I hate touching raw meat to roll them. Same as the sausage roll -pastie combo; ok, but next time a different mince.
Cheesymite scrolls – we ate pizza for dinner one night (Talbot’s request, who then failed to eat said pizza). I make the pizza dough in the bread maker (will share another time). It makes enough for two pizzas, so I used the leftover dough to make some scrolls – spread with vegemite and top with grated cheese, then roll and slice. These are good and I will definitely make them again.
Slow cooked BBQ pork. This was so easy and so delicious. One shoulder of boneless pork, I cut off half of the fat layer (it was sort of hanging off anyway), and left the rest. Into the slow cooker and topped with a bottle of smoky barbecue sauce. Cooked low and slow all day long, then shredded it up with a fork. Yum. We ate it with a modified version of Jamie Oliver’s house beans and some home made bread and butter. Delicious. And plenty of pork leftover for my freezer.
Apricot bites. Well, we already know how great these are. Needs no commentary. See my original post.
And that’s my big week of baking slash kitchen semi-fails. I hope it makes you feel normal* if your cooking doesn’t always turn out quite right. Or hungry.
* and just to be clear, this is a really heavy baking week. I don’t normally cook this much. The rest if the housework is suffering, but people need to be fed, so that’s the priority this week.
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