Saturday, December 31, 2011

Food Stuffs and Raspberry Muffins

I always like to keep a few essentials handy in my pantry and freezer for unexpected meals and sweets, and to make things that little bit more interesting on the table. Here's a few:

Roasted Pumpkin (or Butternut Pumpkin to be exact).

I add this to tarts with spinach and feta cheese for a quick and simple meal. Pumpkin is a great addition to salads mixed with some pine nuts, rocket and goats cheese.

I roast a whole butternut pumpkin, cut into small cubes, toss with olive oil in a pan lined with baking paper, and cook at 200'C for about 30 mins. It should still be slightly firm, not mushy.

It's also a great vegetable for our toddler and having it cubed and already cooked means I can defrost the amount she needs, mix with some peas and corn and maybe some chicken and viola!

Garlic Infused Olive Oil

This is really easy and here I've used an empty Peanut Butter plastic jar to store it in. You might choose something prettier. Very simply put 4-6 cloves of garlic in the jar and fill with Extra virgin Olive Oil.

I use this on salads, on lamb cutlets before cooking, in my bolognaise sauce and loads more dishes that call for garlic. It just gives the dish that extra bit of flavour.

Frozen Raspberries

I always keep a packet or two of frozen berries in the freezer. You can make loads of dishes with them, from quick parfaits to berry topped ice-cream, to muffins.

Here's the recipe for the wholemeal raspberry muffins I made today:

200g of frozen raspberries
2 cups of wholemeal self raising flour
1 cup of plain flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
11/3 cups of whole milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Grease a 12 hole muffin pan. Pre-heat oven to 200'C.
Reserve 1/4 cup of the raspberries for later. Add the rest to your remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until just combined with a large metal spoon (I add the raspberries last so they don't break up).
Spoon mixture into prepared tin and top each muffin with the remaining raspberries (pressing in slightly). Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Turn onto wire rack to cool.
These muffins will keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container.

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