Music for your Mouth: Eagle Eye Cherry/Wild Cherry

Another double shot for you – Eagle Eye Cherry and Wild Cherry…very VERY different, but both edible audibles. I’m going to cut straight to the chase otherwise I might not get this post in before midnight – I have literally just finished making these. Apologies for the shitty photos, it is 11pm and the lighting is TERRIBLE! I had a camera in one hand while trying to hold a lamp behind my head all the while thinking about being asleep in bed.

cherry4Cherries are not in season here at the moment, so I’ve used dried and fresh in this recipe. I was originally planning to make a raw cherry ripe slice, but lost the motivation to complete it and thought that balls would be less work. It never works out that way though, and I was stuck tediously dunking individual balls into chocolate rather than just pouring it in a tray and letting it set. Oh well, you live and learn, don’t you?

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Cherry Ripe Balls
(makes a bunch)

1 cup cashews
1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dates
1/3 cup frozen cherries
2 Tbsp rice bran syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

150g dark chocolate
OR
100g dark chocolate + 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Put cashews in food processor or blender and process until they resemble coarse crumbs. Add cherries, dates, frozen cherries, rice bran syrup, vanilla and salt and blend until combined.

Transfer to a bowl and stir through coconut. If mix is too moist, add a little more coconut.

Roll into balls and place in the freezer to set.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate. I didn’t have enough chocolate to use it alone, hence adding coconut oil to make it spread further. I would have liked to do just chocolate and get a nice thick shell, but these were really good too. Coat each ball in chocolate and return to freezer until set. Voila!

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Music for your Mouth: Cream (with Ginger Baker)

See what I did there? Yeahhhh!

Cream are awesome. I like listening to them in the car, where I can groove along by myself and remain calm in traffic. They are good for that. Also check out young Eric Clapton, isn’t he funky?

Ice cream is also good! It is delicious and I love it. Not to toot my own horn but this ice cream is PARTICULARLY tasty. I don’t know that I’ve had ginger ice cream before but it definitely won’t be the last time I have it.

cream3The addition of crystallised ginger is really great here, and I suspect some crumbled up gingernut cookies would also be delicious. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

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Ginger Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce

Ice cream:
400ml coconut cream
400ml coconut milk
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup crystallised ginger, chopped into small pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp arrowroot
1 Tbsp vodka

Caramel sauce
400ml coconut cream
1/3 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt

For the ice cream – Put 1/4 cup of coconut milk in a small bowl and set aside. Place remaining coconut cream, coconut milk and ginger in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Turn of heat and steep for 15 minutes.

Pour milk through a strainer and return to pot.  Add rice malt syrup and vanilla and return to heat.

Add arrowroot, nutmeg and cinnamon to the 1/4 cup of coconut milk and whisk with a fork. Pour into pot and whisk well. Cook over medium heat while whisking continuously until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vodka.

Pour mix into a bowl and allow to cool completely. When cooled, transfer to ice cream maker and let it do its magic. If you don’t have a maker, pour into a tray and place in the freezer. Every half an hour return to the freezer to whisk the mix until it has set completely.

Once ice cream maker has done it’s thing, stir through crystallised ginger. Now you can eat it as soft serve or place into the freezer until set!

For the caramel sauce, bring coconut cream, sugar and salt to a boil in a small pot, then turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring every now and then, until the sauce reduces and thickens.

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Now I am off to watch the Bear play his first gig in a new band. I hope they are as rocking as this:

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Music for your Mouth: The Jam

The Jam! Another one of those bands that I’m sure you know, even if you don’t think you do. Have a listen and I swear you will.

I am running out of wind a little with MoFo now, though am on the final stretch. Just one week to go! It has been really fun, but also really time consuming, as you can all understand. I have posted every day this year, which I hope I can carry through the last week. Ahhhhhhhh. I’m sure there will be a collective sigh of relief at the end of the month, combined with the disappointment of no longer having a never-ending supply of wacky themed recipes and delicious posts. Until next year!

Anyway, I’m jumping the gun a little. Let’s get back to the food.

Pretty straight to the point recipe here – jam. Lately I have noticed a lot of talk about chia jam. I watched with amazement as Veganopoulous and Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe whipped up batches of the stuff. As soon as I realised just how simple it was, I was in. And I’m so glad I was! This is so easy and delicious, and isn’t overpoweringly sweet. The chia seeds remind me of raspberry seeds, just like in my Granny’s homemade jam.

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Apple Berry Chia Jam
(makes 2 jars)

3 cups strawberries, chopped
1 cup raspberries
2 green apples, peeled, cored and chopped or grated

1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp agave nectar
1 vanilla bean
3 Tbsp chia seeds

Place strawberries, raspberries, apple, lemon juice and agave nectar in a pot and heat over medium-low heat. The apple can be chopped or grated, depending on whether you like chunks in your jam or prefer it smoother. As we are not using kilos of sugar like you do in normal jam, you may not wish to add the lemon juice. I like the tartness, however if your fruit is not very sweet it might be too much. If you need to add more agave to sweeten your fruit to your liking, do so.

Allow fruit to cook down slowly – it can be helpful to put a lid on for the first while to steam it a little. As it cooks, use a fork to mash it up a bit. Once it has broken down a bit, scrape the vanilla bean out of the pod and add it to the pot, throwing the empty bean in there too. Continue to cook until the fruit has pretty much all broken down.

Turn off the heat and stir in chia seeds. Allow to sit for ten minutes until the chias expand. If you would like the jam thicker, add more chias.

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Music for your Mouth: Blondie

Is Blondie really a food? I’m not sure. It didn’t actually even click to me until recently that ‘blondies’ were just like brownies, but not chocolate. One of those ahhhhh moments. Regardless, I pegged her as a food so that I could groove to her tunes. In the process, I found a delicious treat!

Looking at the pictures now, I guess these are really more like dirty blondes, as I added some coffee to give them a bit of a kick. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Let us eat with our eyes.

blondie3I’ve never actually made a blondie before now, and I rarely make brownies either (I don’t know why – they’re delicious!) However now I’ve made them twice, as the first run didn’t quite go to plan. I had used spelt flour and mashed banana, however I also added too much baking powder it came out quite light and cakey rather than dense and fudgey. It was still delicious – just not a blondie.

The second time I went for a chickpea base, as I know black beans make great fudgey chocolate brownies. These didn’t quite have the same crisp crust that you might expect, however the inside was gooey and tasty. Plus you can eat the whole damn lot of them because they are made of chickpeas and therefore they are healthy. Yay!

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Hazelnut Choc Chip Espresso Blondies

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup nut butter
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup freshly brewed espresso

3/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup dark choc chips
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180C and line a square brownie tin with baking paper.

Toast hazelnuts in a pan over low heat until slightly browned and aromatic. Remove from heat, roughly chop, then set aside.

Place all ingredients except hazelnuts and choc chips into a food processor and mix until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and fold through hazelnuts and choc chips.

Spread batter into prepared tin and bake for 25-30 mins. It may seem a little soft when it comes out, however it will firm up as it cools. Look for a slightly golden top and the batter coming away from the edge of the tin. Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool (best to pick it up with the baking paper so it doesn’t fall apart) Cut into squares and enjoy!

Easiest recipe ever?

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I’m going to post a second video, because I just love her shoulder dancing about a minute in in this once. So good.

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Music for your Mouth: Soup Dragons

Soup Dragons are a band who I really only discovered through MoFo. I know a couple of their songs by ear, but never knew of the artist. I was originally going to feature Bowling for Soup – a band I listened to as a teen – but when I found out that the Soup Dragons did a cover of this Rolling Stones song I had to include it – it’s such a feel good classic. I love it!

soup1This recipe needs a bit more tweaking – I’m not quite happy with the flavour, however I’m on a roll with posting recipes every day for this MoFo and I don’t want to break it – this is the only one I have ready for tonight. And I’m free! To do what I want! Any old tiiiime. I will probably come back to it later and edit it once I get the balance right. Perhaps roasting the pumpkin first might help?

The inspiration came from a soup that was made for my work’s weekly Thursday winter soup day that was absolutely delicious – I will have to see if I can track down the recipe to see what mine is missing.

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Miso and Ginger Pumpkin Soup
(serves 4-6)

1 brown onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced (approx 1kg)
4 potatoes, diced (approx 500g)
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp brown rice miso
Salt and white pepper to taste
2 spring onions, chopped (for garnish)
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted (for garnish)
Wasabi (optional)

In a large pot over medium-high, heat coconut oil and throw in the onions. Cook until translucent – approximately five minutes, before adding the garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute or two, being careful not to let the garlic and ginger burn.

Add pumpkin, potatoes and carrots and cover with veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook until the veggies become tender.

Transfer to blender (or use a stick blender) and blend until smooth.

Return to pot and add miso, cayenne and salt and pepper. Stir through.

Serve with spring onions, toasted sesame seeds and a blob of wasabi if you’re into that. I know I am.

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I’m free, any old time to get what I want, yes I am!

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Music for your Mouth: Hot Chocolate

We all know Hot Chocolate. We all love hot chocolate.

hotchoc4 I am not going to go on about stuff today, because I am really tired. Instead I will show you pictures of my hot chocolate.

I have been going mad on the cashew milk lately, it is just so creamy that it makes everything velvety and amazing.

hotchocI had planned to do a giveaway today, but I haven’t organised it and as mentioned above, I am tired, and have also been sick this week. Hopefully I will get around to it in the next couple of days. Sit tight!

Also please note my mum’s beautiful mugs that I borrowed for a photo shoot. She has had these since I was little and they are my favourite.

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Spiced Hot Chocolate
(serves 2)

2 1/2 cups cashew milk
1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp cacao powder
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Dash of cayenne pepper
Marshmallows to serve (optional)

Place cashew milk in a small saucepan, then remove a couple of tablespoons of it and place it in a small bowl. Add cacao powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne. Whisk with a fork until the mix becomes a thick slurry, then add it back to the rest of the cashew milk. Stir in agave nectar and vanilla.

Heat saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until combined. Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows.

hotchoc2

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Music for your Mouth: The Banana Splits/Bananarama

Today I’m hitting you with a double band, mostly because I wasn’t sure if you would let me get away with using the Banana Splits as a band. I think it’s valid, but I’ve got Bananarama on backup – just in case!

For those who don’t know, The Banana Splits come from an old TV show – the Banana Splits Adventure Hour – featuring Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky. The show was totally before my time, however, my love of bananas alerted me to this awesomeness some years ago. Mascots of madness! Banana heroes! And cool fact for ya: the song at the bottom was written by none another than Barry White. Enjoy!

As for Bananarama…you really need to set aside a good couple of hours just to watch their videos. THEY ARE AMAZING. Think you don’t know Bananarama? You are wrong. I guarantee you will know at least three of their songs. Think “I’m your venus, I’m your fire, your desire” or “more more more, how do you like it how do you like it”. Yeah you know it! And can you believe they are still going? 30 something years on? BECAUSE BANANAS ARE POWERHOUSES!

Also, I just realised that I posted two banana recipes in a row. It certainly is bananarama!

bananasplitAnyway, I digress. BANANANANANAANANANA!!!!!!

Banana split!

bananasplit4Ruby is certainly a fan.

bananasplit2 Banana Split

1 banana, sliced lengthways
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
Vegan whipped cream
Chopped nuts
Chocolate sprinkles
Honeycomb crumbs

Chocolate fudge sauce:
50g dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 Tbsp agave nectar

First prepare your fudge sauce. Heat coconut cream and agave in a small saucepan over medium low heat until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat and add chocolate, whisk until combined.

Assemble your split! Place banana on either side of ice cream scoops. Top with some fudge sauce, then whipped cream, sprinkles, nuts, honeycomb and more sauce. Go crazy!

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Music for your Mouth: Cake

Who doesn’t love CAKE? Am I talking about the band or the food? I don’t know! Both! Another band that reminds me of the ’90s, with their funky base lines and deadpan vocals. I am into it.

Naturally, today’s recipe is for cake. This particular cake (or a version of it) is one that I used to make aaaaall the time as a child (in the ’90s!) – it was my favourite recipe from a kids cooking book that I had. I just loved the fruity combination of banana and pineapple, and cream cheese icing has always been my favourite.

If you like light and fluffy cakes, this may not be the cake for you – this bad boy is dense, moist and sweet.

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Banana Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

2 cups spelt flour
3 medium bananas, mashed
3/4 cup crushed pineapple
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Icing:
1/2 tub tofutti
2 Tbsp nuttelex
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and/or line a 23cm round baking tin.

In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, bicarb soda,salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a medium bowl or jug, combine banana, pineapple, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla. Stir through apple cider vinegar milk.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mix in, stirring until just combined. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and turn out onto a rack to cool.

For the icing, combine tofutti and nuttelex in a bowl and beat with electric beaters for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla juice, lemon and beat to combine. Add icing sugar bit by bit, and beat until combined. Place icing in the fridge to firm up a little until your cake is cool enough to ice.

cake3I kind of just slopped this icing on, cake still slightly warm as I was seriously running out of time to photograph this before nightfall – hence the crappy lighting and the taking the cake outside to catch some natural light as well, haha.

cake2I love watching the people listening and grooving to the song – and love the fact that it’s been played on a discman. Yeeehah!

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Music for your Mouth: Spice Girls

When I was in primary school, you were either team Hanson or team Spice Girls. Admittedly I was team Hanson, however that doesn’t really fit into the theme I’m going for, so I’m going to throw the Spice Girls a bone and include them in MoFo.

I probably should have made something hot and spicy, but ah well, this’ll have to do.

PEOPLE OF THE WORLD! SPICE UP YOUR LIFE!

spicegirls3My mum recently bought me a jar of really nice organic spice rub which I have been using to make baked tofu for an easy weeknight meal. When my stocks started running low, I took a squiz at the ingredient list and tried to create my own version which I think came up pretty well. You could easily multiply this recipe and keep a jar of it on hand to cut down prep time.

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Spice Rubbed Baked Tofu
(serves 3-4)

350g firm tofu, pressed and sliced
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp olive oil

1 Tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp coconut sugar

Preheat your oven to 200C and lightly grease a baking tray.

Prepare your spice rub.Depending on what form your herbs are in, you may need to grind them up a bit. I had home dried sprigs of rosemary, and I ran out of dried oregano so used fresh, so I had bits of all different sizes and consistencies. Regardless of the others, you will need to grind your mustard seeds – use a mortar and pestle to do this. After grinding the seeds, I added the remaining ingredients and just ground them all up together. Tip spice mix onto a small plate.

Combine lemon juice and oil in a small bowl or dish. Brush each tofu piece with the lemon mix, then dredge through the spice mix. Get your hands dirty and give each piece a good rub as you go. Lay out on baking tray.

spicegirls4Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for a further 10. At this point, I like to turn on the grill and chuck them under just to crisp them up a bit.

spicegirls2Serve with a lemon wedge and a side salad, such as this strawberry balsamic salad.

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Music for your Mouth: Fiona Apple

For some reason, every time I think of Fiona Apple I picture Fiona Horne – remember her, the white witch? I know they aren’t the same person so I don’t know what’s causing the mix-up, but I just can’t help it. Sorry Fiona Apple. I’m not sure if you guys have heard any of Fiona Horne’s songs, but well, I’ll let you have a listen for yourselves. Scroll down if you dare…

This is the first thing that springs to mind when I think of apple desserts. It has fond memories for me, it was a regular in mum’s winter repertoire alongside other favourites such as golden syrup dumplings, sago, and custard with dessicated coconut on top. It’s a relatively easy one to whip up, and is super comforting, particularly when you’re all snuggled up on a cold night.

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Baked Stuffed Apples
(makes 4)

4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp nuttelex or coconut oil
1 tsp lemon or orange zest (different but both delicious!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a small bowl, mix together dates, walnuts, coconut sugar, zest, spices and salt. Add nuttelex and vanilla and stir to combine into a kind of paste.

Now, core your apples. This can be a bit tricky without a corer, but I use a small sharp knife to make the first cut, then use one of those old school melon ballers to remove the rest. I have done it with just a sharp knife, however it does take a bit longer. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through to the bottom or your filling will leak out – try to leave a centimetre or so.

fionaappleUsing a sharp knife, cut a line around the width of the apple. This will prevent the skin from bursting in a funny way.

fionaapple2Now stuff your apples full of mix and pop them in a baking tray or dish.

fionaapple3Put a little bit of water in the bottom of the tray, then cover with a lid or some foil. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover, and bake a further 5-10 minutes until apples are tender.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, cream or custard.

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This is the first Fiona Apple song I ever heard.


And as promised, this is Fiona Horne on good old Hey Hey It’s Saturday…

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