kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)

I came back from the doctor's appointment after eleven, turned on the heater, and the temperature inside according to its thermostat, was 10C. Which is COLD for an Aussie. And though I pottered around and had lunch after that, I was still hankering for a warm and filling drink, something which wasn't cocoa or tea or soup or coffee. So I made a warmshake (which is a hot/warm milkshake).

Bananaloaf Warmshake

(no actual banana-loaves were harmed in this experiment)

Ingredients:

  • 100ml quick-oats
  • 300ml milk
  • 1-2 bananas (depending on size of bananas - I used 2 small ones)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 whole cloves (because I didn't have any ground cloves; if you have ground cloves, add a pinch)
  • sweetener to taste (optional -- depends on how ripe your bananas are)

Instructions:

  1. Put the oats and the milk in a microwave-safe container and cook in microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until it just starts to boil over (that is, it hasn't boiled over yet, but it is nearly there). This isn't my carelessness, this is the test I use for cooking porridge, and since this is a super-milky porridge, I figured that would do.
  2. Put the banana and the milk mixture and the spices into a tall milkshake-sized container and puree with a stick blender (or put into a conventional blender and puree with that)
  3. Taste-test, and add sweetener if desired.
  4. Drink and enjoy!

I call it a "bananaloaf" warmshake because the oats make it loaf-like, more filling, and probably better for you.

kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
Didn't have time to puree my smoothie this morning, so I had it for dinner.

* quick oats
* 1 leaf of kale
* fresh mint leaves
* boiling water
* honey
* Greek yoghurt
* low-fat milk
* Splenda

The kale was a mistake. It didn't really blend. Unlike cucumber. And of course I couldn't tell which of the green flecks were mint and which were kale. Still, it was sweet and frothy, not horrible.
kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
Chocolate + Molasses + Banana is good.
kerravonsen: Tomorrow People titles, Opening fist, "Open your mind" (open your mind)
* quick oats
* Greek Yoghurt
* 1 Lebanese cucumber, chopped into chunks
* fresh basil leaves
* fresh mint leaves
* honey
* low-fat milk

Prompted by me getting mint & basil leaves to attempt the elusive Mint + Basil Frozen Yoghurt. This smoothie was a bit oaty at first taste, so I added some Splenda to sweeten it a bit more. This was not bad, but I think next time, if there is a next time, I will add more yoghurt and less milk. I say "more yoghurt" because the taste of the frozen yoghurt mix (it is churning away right now) was more yohurty (no milk in it at all) and that is what makes it taste so fab. Whereas my breakfast smoothie was very milky and didn't have that sharpness. Nice, but not fabulous.

I think one of the tricks with these breakfast smoothies is to pick flavours that will go with or even be enhanced by the oatiness, flavours that are used in cakes and biscuits: Christmas spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves), chocolate, banana, date, apple, berries.... what else? Any ideas, people?
kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
* quick oats
* one chopped-up apple (Red Delicious)
* Greek Yoghurt
* 1 raw egg
* molasses
* cinnamon

The most notable thing about today's smoothie is the texture. I'm not sure how to describe it, "fluffy" is the first word that springs to mind. And I let it stand too long after I'd pureed it, because all the cinnamon decided to sink to the bottom.
kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
Ingredients:
* quick-oats (just poured out from my new container of quick-oats... which ended up being more than what would be in a sachet)
* dried apricots
* apricot jam
* 1 raw egg
* Greek Yoghurt
* maple syrup
* low-fat milk

I'll class this one as a fail. It wasn't inedible, it just wasn't good. A combination of too many oats and the dried apricots meant that the drink... needed to be chewed. It wasn't smooth at all. Oh well.
kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
* 1 banana
* 4 dates
* Greek Yoghurt
* 1 egg
* 1 tsp nutmeg
* low fat milk

Very nutmeggy.
kerravonsen: Crayons vs Despair - animated (crayons)
Attempting to get a "gingerbread" flavoured smoothie this time, inspired by one of the recipes I came across.

* 1 sachet Apple-Honey quick oats
* 1 banana
* 4 fresh dates (carefully de-pitted by hand)
* Greek Yoghurt
* 1 raw egg
* 1 tsp ginger
* 1 tsp nutmeg
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp cloves
* low-fat milk

Well, the ginger drowned out all the other flavours! Still nice though.
kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
* 1 sachet Apple-and-Honey quick-oats
* 1 banana
* Greek Yoghurt
* 1 raw egg (Aussie hens are apparently free of the strain of Salmonella which can infect eggs before they're laid, so the eggs are okay to eat raw as long as they aren't damaged)
* Peach Jam
* low-fat milk

The flavour was mainly banana, with an undertone of peach.
kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
Because I felt like it.

* Chop up one apple.
* 6 tablespoons of brown sugar (because brown sugar is yummy)
* 1 teaspoon of Mixed Spice (because I don't know what spices are in it)
* 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon (because cinnamon is my favourite spice)

Put in microwave-safe dish and nuke on high for 3 1/2 minutes.

Spoon/Pour over vanilla ice cream.

Eat. Yum.
kerravonsen: Jarod investigating ice cream: Genius at work (icecream)
I don't cook much. What I do is normally on the level of tossing together a stir-fry (and of course, my ice cream experiments, if that counts as cooking when nothing is actually, you know, cooked).

However, today, for no particular reason (unless craving sweets counts) I wanted to Mess With Stuff. Which I never do. Except I did. And I was fully expecting it to be awful, and burnt and stuff. And it wasn't.

Oh, what did I do?

Well, I wondered what would happen if I took some cocoa butter and a tin of evaporated milk and put them together with some sugar... I had a vague idea that one makes caramel with sweetened condensed milk and sugar, but I didn't have any condensed milk. So... It was rather a journey towards the unknown...

First I took a couple of lumps of cocoa butter (yes, lumps) and melted them in the microwave.
Took the little bag of fructose that had been sitting in my cupboard for a long time, and stirred six tablespoons into the melted cocoa butter.
Poured in one tin of evaporated milk. Stirred.
Decided I definitely wanted something caramelly but flavoursome... so I added in three heaped tablespoons of Extract of Malt (the syrup, not the Malted Milk Powder that is more common).
Did a bunch more stirring.
Put the whole lot back in the microwave, and watched it bubble, and kept on increasing the time. At least five minutes of that.
Thought it wasn't sweet enough, so put in the rest of the fructose. Let it bubble some more.
I can't quite remember the order of this, but there was a point where I thought it still wasn't sweet enough and added a cup of icing sugar.
However the other interesting thing was... it got to a point where it looked like we had strange oily brown stuff, and little lumps of light brown stuff all through it - really quite strange and odd-looking, and not at all attractive. So I thought, hmmm, perhaps this needs some emulsifying. So I added some Soy Lecithin, and then stirred the bejusus out of it with my Bamix. I'm not sure if it was the Lecithin or the stick blender, but it turned into a nice smooth caramel-coloured liquid, slightly thickened.
So I put it in the microwave again, and watched it bubble again. For at least another five minutes.
Then I took it out and used the stick blender on it again. And tasted it again (trying not to burn my finger). And it was caramelly. And sauce-like.
So I declared it done.

Caramel sauce!

So I poured it into a couple of jars, then had the last little bit on some ice cream, and it was delicious!

And I will never be able to reproduce this recipe again, because I was doing no measuring whatsoever.
kerravonsen: Jarod investigating ice cream: Genius at work (icecream)
People have upon occasion asked about the strange chemical-sounding things I put in my ice cream recipes. Now, part of that is because for some things I prefer using the chemical name because it has many different brand-names depending on who is selling it, so for those things I think it will be less confusing if I use the chemical name. But that begs the question of why I'm using those substances in the first place.

So bear with me while I discuss ice-cream making, and the reasons behind my choices of ingredients.
the quest begins )
Onward! Upward! The quest continues!
kerravonsen: Stone egg on moss: "Art is Life, Life is Art" (art)
Yesterday I invented a yummy variation of iced coffee, which was inspired by [personal profile] afuna mentioning the iced coffee she had while on holiday: drip coffee, condensed milk, poured over ice.
skip for those who aren't interested in iced coffee )
Recently I've been watching Season 2 and 3 of Bones. Stephen Fry! As a psychotherapist! That was fun. Ah, I like these people. Though I don't like Hodgins' new haircut in Season 3. I preferred it when his hair was longer.
The other thing I've been doing at the same time is making necklaces. Hopefully I will make enough that I will have plenty of Christmas presents ready for Christmas this year, instead of completely stressing out at the last minute. Though I have still been doing some last-minute; I made a necklace for my eldest niece for her 21st birthday, and I was still working on it the same day I gave it to her. It was very pretty, though.

Other necklaces I've made have been: a white necklace, a blue necklace and a purple,blue,green and clear necklace.
kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
Home Made Strawberry Sauce

Ingredients:
* 1 punnet of Strawberries (bordering on the overripe)
* 1 T pure maple syrup
* 2 T sweetener of your choice (I used "Just Like Sugar" because of its citrus undertone)
* 1/2 t Guar Gum

Method:
1. Chop up the strawberries, cutting out the bad bits.
2. Puree the strawberries (I used my stick blender)
3. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and slightly thickened.

To serve:
Pour over chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

It was delicious.
kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
Yesterday I bought The Ultimate Student Vegetarian Cookbook, not so much to follow the recipes slavishly (since I expected many of them would have ingredients I wouldn't be allowed to eat) but more to get ideas. And I got a soup idea!
recipe )
It was delicious. I had no idea that those ingredients would work so well together. I have some left over for tomorrow.

I also bought "Molecular Gastronomy" yesterday, and have been reading it. Very interesting stuff.

Also, family came over and we played games all afternoon. That was fun.
kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
Not an ice cream experiment today...
do not drop the pot, Igor! )

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Kathryn A.

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