How to make unleavened bread…with a newborn

I’m a bit limited in what I can do now with the youngest member of the Crafty Rabbit household being attached to me (literally) 24/7. This is my little man asleep on me in my Moby Wrap.

Cooking with Ethan

So I decided to make something simple and unleavened bread is just about as simple as it gets!

For those of us in Australasia, unleavened bread is very similar to what we know as damper. You remember damper right? That stuff they made you cook over an open fire at school camp.

By the way, I have to confess that this recipe is no family secret ~ in fact I actually got it off wikiHow!

But you know what, it’s super easy, so give it a go.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups standard flour
  • 2 tbsp butter/cooking oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dried rosemary and flaky sea salt

Beat together the eggs and oil then add to the dried ingredients

Dry and wet ingredients

Add wet ingredients to dry

Then add milk and mix until it looks a bit like this…

Add milk to create batter

Pour into a bread tin and cook at 450 Fahrenheit or 230 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle dried rosemary and flaky sea salt liberally before cooking (it makes it a bit more interesting)

The bread finished in oven

Unleavened bread is pretty dense (obviously) but goes well with soup

Bread and soup

Yum!

Tip: If Rosemary and flaky sea salt aren’t your thing then you could also try cheese and paprika or dried basil

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Easy Green Tomato Chutney

Got a lot of green tomatoes?

For those of us in the southern hemisphere we are now well and truly heading into autumn.

Chances are your tomato plants have finished producing tomatoes and are a withering heap of brown mess in your vege patch. But on the off chance you do still have a few scraggly plants with a mixture of red and green fruit then this is the post for you!

Last year my tiny vegetable garden was a great success.

Our vege haul

I managed to rope in my long suffering father to give me a hand tidying up

Tidying the garden

He even cleared my compost bin – my most hated chore.

Clearing the compost bin

Thanks dad!

We had an over abundance of green tomatoes and couldn’t bear the thought of them going to waste. Green tomato Collage

Don’t they look spectacular.

So my mother (another long suffering family member) taught me how to do some preserving.

Green tomato chutney cooking

We used this recipe I’d found in the New Zealand Gardener 2012 Garden Diary

Green Tomato Chutney Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 500g green tomatoes chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 500g onion chopped
  • 250g sultanas, raisins, prunes or dried apricots
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 500ml malt vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp curry powder

Method:

Combine ingredients in a heavy-based pot, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until thick (60 min).

Leave for at least a week….

….Hmmm, since we didn’t have a week to wait (my parents were only visiting for the weekend), we sort of skipped the ‘leave for  a week’ part. We were really pleased with how it turned out. Although I do have a few tips to help you compensate:

Tips: Add more curry powder to compensate for taste, as you can see from the photo (above) I was very liberal with it, also when you’re spooning the chutney into jars make sure it’s well mixed – some jars were a bit more vinegary than others and I think this is because it hadn’t had that week for the vinegar to be absorbed into the rest of the ingredients. So making sure it’s well stirred as you spoon it in will help.

Easy Homemade Muesli

Spice up your breakfast

Sick of boring cereal and blah muesli from the supermarket? Well, how about making your own…

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This is the easiest recipe you can make, it’s just a matter of throwing a few things from the cupboard.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sultanas
  • 1/4 cup apricots
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 3 tbsp shredded coconut

Combine ingredients, slicing apricots into smaller pieces. Serve with milk, plain yoghurt and fresh blueberries, raspberries,  strawberries.

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If you’re missing any of the ingredients you can just swap it for whatever you have handy in your cupboard. Add 1-2 tbsp of wheatgerm to give it an added hit of fiber.

Convert it into bircher by adding 1/2 cup of orange/apple juice, 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup of shredded coconut and leaving in the fridge overnight.

Try adding: walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, dried apples, goji berries or blueberries

Of coarse, I can’t take all the credit for this, the latest issue of healthyfoodguide.co.nz was a great source of inspiration!

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Men!

The Crafty Rabbit has been going into overdrive with the Christmas Spirit this December.

It’s the first time I decided to tackle Gingerbread Men. I’ve always been a bit intimidated by them.

Yes, they’re adorable, and delicious, but look at all that fussy decorating! I decided to shelve my fears and give it a go anyway.

Gingerbread1 First off, I chose a recipe.

A lot of the U.S recipes called for Molasses (the non-black strap variety). Well, we mustn’t have it in NZ because I searched about 4 supermarkets looking for it. I settled on a recipe a bit closer to home at Taste.Com. Check it out: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/9761/gingerbread+men

Ingredients:

125g butter, at room temperature
100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) golden syrup
1 egg, separated
375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
1 tbs ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Plain flour, to dust
150g (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted

Method:

Step 1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 2 baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.

Gingerbread2Step 2 Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

Step 3 Meanwhile, place egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beater to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide icing among 3 bowls. Cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Add red colouring to 1 bowl and stir until combined. Add green colouring to remaining bowl and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

Gingerbread3Step 4 Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a 9cm gingerbread man cutter to cut out shapes. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.

Step 5 Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Step 6 Place prepared icings in small plastic bags. Cut a small hole in a corner of each bag. Pipe icing over gingerbread men to decorate.

The Crafty Rabbits Final Thoughts…

Overall they turned out really well, tasted delicious and looked great. I think my husband has eaten his weight in Gingerbread Men. They made great Christmas gifts as I boxed them up with red and green string and gave them to friends.

But…I had a few difficulties…you had to get a bit of a technique going between transporting the cut dough onto the tray as they tended to break apart, I found the best way was to use a mini spatula and ‘flop’ it onto the baking tray. Also, the “15 minute prep time” and the “10 minute cook time is deceptive”. All-in-all it took me a good three hours to finish them! But…I loved how they turned out and will be making them again next year.