Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

Mums Apple Pie.jpgSince my unexpected arrival back in Australia 2 weeks ago, I have been bunkering down at my parents’ house.  It has always been a place that I feel at home, get taken care of and can take some time to get my head on straight. I was fortunate to have one of my Apples.jpgclosest friends K and her baby and husband come up the first weekend for Sunday lunch. This was a wonderful distraction and enjoyable afternoon, a great way to get my mind of my own troubles.

I managed to help Mum whip up some food, making a mushroom risotto and some fresh bread. However in my less than stellar state I let Ingredients.jpgMum cook dessert. Mum’s apple pie (that is actually her sister’s husband’s grandmother’s recipe… yes it is one of those recipes) is sweet, delicious and not like the apple pies you get in the US. It has a sweet shortcrust pastry rather than the more savoury kind you get in the US.Pastry.jpg

Firstly put on the apples to stew… Just peel and slice up some granny smith apples and add them to a pot with 2 tablespoons of sugar.

For the pastry, beat 125 grams of butter and ¾ cup of sugar together until creamy. Add in 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Next mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla Rolling.jpgand a pinch of salt. Then gradually mix in 2 cups of self-raising flour, ½ cup of plain flour and ½ cup of cornflour. Mix this until everything is combined.

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The rest is simply rolling out the dough for the base and the top. Filling the pie with thecooled apples and then baking.

It bakes in a 180C oven for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. The great thing is that because the apples are cooked you’re Pie.jpgjust cooking the pastry until it is crispy.

This is now my new go to sweet choice for when I am down… not chocolate or icecream… Mum’s apple pie. Served with a dollop of icecream or fresh cream, it is just the perfect way to end a Sunday lunch or any lunch or dinner or breakfast… my new comfort food. Thankfully though it isn’t hard to make it is just time consuming enough for me not to make it too often… otherwise I could be in big trouble! Delicious, sweet and crispy… give it a try, it is guaranteed to help warm your heart!

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Bruschetta.jpgJ. and I attempt, but don’t always succeed, to have a date night once a week. We usually head out to a nice restaurant or a movie but last week we were beat and just wanted to stay home. I had baked some wonderful crusty Italian style bread earlier in the day and we had found some beautiful tomatoes at the farmers market… Bruschetta was the answer.

I decided to make 2 different versions and after a quick trip to Wholefoods for some delicious meat we were set to go. I didn’t just want to make an ordinary tomato combination for the top. It was date night after all, I wanted something a little different and unusual. I went with garlic roasted tomatoes on Tomato and basilsoppressata or prosciutto with jalapeno lime white balsamic vinegar to finish it off.

First off I put the tomatoes into the oven to roast. I only wanted them cooked for a very short time with some garlic and olive oil to really bring out the sweetness in these gorgeous tomatoes we found. I wanted them to hold their shape and keep the firm texture, not go all mushy.

ProscuittoWhile the tomatoes were in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes, I sliced some chunky bits of our Italian crusty bread and smeared them will olive oil. I heated up our grill pan and toasted these on both sides. I tried to get nice crusty grill marks on the bread. I did ok for the most part but there were some slightly crispier parts.Soppressata

Once these were grilled I just rubbed them with some garlic and set them aside to dress. I did a few of each meat for J. and I. Layer 1 being either soppressata or prosciutto. To be honest a few slices of each magically disappeared between the two of us… I love that stuff!

Basil leavesAfter the first layer of meaty goodness I added some fresh basil leaves. We had also picked the basil up at the market since our basil plant hasn’t survived it’s first (and only) Arizonan summer. By this stage the tomatoes were out and cooling down.

I cut the tomatoes in half and put them in a bowl, seasoned them with plenty of salt and pepper and then generously drizzled jalapeno lime white balsamic vinegar over them. I mixed them together and placed them on each piece of bread.

After pouring some wine J. and I sat down to a yummy, simple dinner. I had some goats cheese on the side as well for us to eat with the bruschetta. The creamy rich flavor worked so well with the freshness of the bruschetta. J enjoyed it so much we actually had something similar for dinner the next night. The tomatoes were extremely sweet and juicy. I was happy with how crusty and delicious the bread was as well. Such an easy, quick date night dinner. A good way of keeping my boy J. happy too!

Fairytale Brownie.jpgOnce upon a time… a long time ago… in a land far far away… a boy and a girl met. Boy wanted to impress girl with sweet, delicious treats, girl was happy to be impressed.

These are the stuff of fairytales, magic and myth… of love, romance and decadence… (I’m talking about my love and romance with chocolate).

Fairytale Brownies

J. had these sent to me very early in our relationship when we were both still trying to impress each other… He told me that they were great, that I would love them. To be honest I was incredibly skeptical. Every brownie I had ever eaten was ok, it was yummy sure but nothing special. Brownies really aren’t such a big thing in Australia.

This spectacular box of brownies arrived at my, then, office. of course, I couldn’t wait until I got home to try them so I ripped Big brownies.jpgthem open right there and then. Inside were 12 individually wrapped brownies of varying flavors. As pretty as the packaging was I still didn’t believe they were as great as J kept saying.

I chose an original brownie to try first… I took a bite, my knees went weak, I quickly sat down. Oh my, these were the best thing I had ever tasted! How is this possible when they were sent across the Pacific all packaged up?

Ever since that first bite it has been true love, a love that will never die. I have brought back countless boxes from the US to Australia for gifts, for my family, for friends. They freeze incredibly well so we used to have a stash of them in our freezer in Australia.

Why are they so good you ask? They melt in your mouth, they are incredibly chocolaty, they are moist, rich and decadent, and last but certainly not least the different flavors are just genius!

  • Original – Belgian dark chocolate brownie
  • Walnut – Brownie piled walnuts
  • Pecan – Bursting with handfuls of fresh, crunchy pecan halves
  • Raspberry Swirl – Raspberry purée swirls through the chocolate brownie
  • Cream Cheese – Cream cheese swirled through the chocolate brownie
  • Toffee Crunch – Big chunks of crunchie toffee have been baked into the brownie
  • Caramel – A thin layer of caramel through the center of the chocolate brownie
  • Mint Chocolate – Mint flavored chocolate hand-drizzled over brownie
  • Espresso Nib – Filled with rich espresso flavor, sprinkled with crushed cocoa nibs
  • White Chocolate –Chocolate brownie with white chocolate chips inside and white chocolate drizzled on top
  • Peanut Butter – Yummy peanut butter swirled through the chocolate brownie
  • Choc Chip – Chocolate chips inside the brownie for some extra chocolate

Sprites.jpgI have to admit that I have tried every one of these at least twice but I do have my favorites. I am a huge fan of the toffee crunch and the cream cheese while J. loves the caramel brownie. I don’t particularly enjoy the walnut or pecan brownies but then if they were my only choices I would still eat them. To be honest I would eat all of them over and over and over again, and we have!

J. and I recently stocked up for our Holiday trip home to Australia. We got one large box of brownies to share with the family. We will cut these up and they will go a long way. We also got a box of brownie sprites which are half the size but perfect to give away as gifts. I don’t think my family is concerned with Christmas presents, as long as I bring them home some brownies.Toffee Crunch.jpg

They are too good to be true; you eat them and think it has to be a dream. So Fairytale Brownies has a fitting name, and they certainly helped J. in his attempts to impress me. A little Phoenix based shop that delivers around the world… perfect!

I have to wait until Christmas for my next bite though… so I’m going to close my eyes and think about them for a little while now…

And they lived happily ever after… (me and the brownies)