Although I am not immune to a little Christmas excitement in late October – I am already thinking about how to ice my Christmas Cake this year and if I can hand make Christmas Decorations to give out as gifts. I feel it is still to early for those heavy Christmas spices, ginger, allspice, cloves etc and you need to ease yourself in gently with some autumnal cinnamon first!
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I have been looking for baking projects that I can make over the weekend, freeze and then take into lunch during the week. I found this recipe on The Kitchn for Spiced Lentil, Sweet Potato and Kale Pockets which seemed to fit the bill.
Think of a pizza pocket, but instead of the stringy cheese, you have spiced lentils and sweet potato. The wonderful thing about these pockets is that they don’t need to be reheated, you can just let nature defrost them for you.
Back in May 2010 I made wholewheat hot cross buns and I got a pretty good reception on them.
It’s not exactly the right time of year for Hot Cross Buns but I gave them another go, but then breads and sultanas never really go out of season!
So how can I claim these are healthier than my wholewheat 2010 buns? Well this time I substituted coconut oil for butter, low fat coconut milk for milk and Light At Heart sugar for, uhm, sugar.
I guess I should be up front about it – I was given Light At Heart sugar for free by Tate and Lyle, however I had been hearing about stevia based products for years and been dying to try them. Unfortunately until December 2011 they weren’t allowed to be sold in Europe! The good thing about Stevia based sugar is that it’s half the calories of normal sugar but it’s all natural. (i.e. Not weird Splenda type stuff that was invented in a lab).
This week I saw a punnet of British Cherries in the supermarket and it reminded me of this Cherry Bread I made a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately this was before I could get my hands on the British cherries at all.
I love cherries as you can probably tell from all the cherry recipes: cherry mince pies if you were really organised you could start thinking about making your mincemeat now, cherry bakewell cake, cherry and almond bread and a cherry teabread. Not even to mention the other draft posts I have for cherry recipes…
The problem with feeling so tired all the time is it becomes an easy excuse and a default action. So much easier to watch TV all night long than to write a blog post and edit photos, but suddenly you realise it has been weeks and you have done nothing but the very basics. I’ve lazed around for long enough it’s time to really force myself to do something.
This month I am hosting the Fresh from the Oven challenge! As you probably know, or can guess, Fresh from the Oven is a monthly bread baking group, where we have tried everything from Croissants to chocolate buns to no-knead bread.
So why oh why out of all the breads I could have chosen did I go for pizza?
Often we food bloggers forget how to do simple we start caramelising our pears and over egging the omelette. Sometimes simple is just as good as our over the top attempts at chef quality food, sometimes simple can be even be better.
It’s a long time till Good Friday, but these are too good to wait for! I have a special love of fruit bread, especially those spiced with cinnamon, so hot cross buns have always been a favourite of mine.
The supermarkets have been selling Hot Cross Buns since after Valentines Day, but I am yet to buy a single one. I made a promise to try to make more things myself. At Christmas I refused to buy mince pies and instead made my own – and I would never buy them again now. Why should it be any different for Hot Cross Buns?
Wow I am really not getting any better at the Fresh from the Oven challenge, am I? I wake up on reveal day (at noon, guess I am still getting over the jetlag) having had the intention of getting up and having the bread in the oven by that time.