Recipe fails

Muffins, which look similar to mine but probably taste better and are much better photographed, by freedigitalphotos.netToday, I sent the girl and the man off to their several labours with Really Ordinary Muffins.

They contain all natural ingredients and many healthful and tasty things, and yet, the combined total is just… ordinary.  Not terrible, but boring.

In itself, this is not a complete disaster.  Not every recipe works.  They’ll be gone soon.  No harm done and my family is way too well house-trained to complain about home-baking that they didn’t make.

The thing that is getting to me is that I HAVE MADE THIS RECIPE BEFORE AND IT WAS BAD THEN TOO.  And I tried it again, with some tweaking, to see if I could fix it.

Why do I do this?

It’s not as though the world is short of recipes.  The internet is awash with recipes for muffins.  In my own recipe stash I have at least five tried and true favourites, at least three of which are at least as healthy as these (and the other two of which are death on a plate).

And yet, I feel the need to tweak a recipe that was boring the first time.  It’s as if I can’t leave any recipe behind.  I am the Marine of muffins.  I must maintain the faith that all recipes are worthy and can be rehabilitated.

But I’m here to say that this one really can be thrown out.  I will waste no more muffin cases on these Really Ordinary Muffins.  I will move on.

But if feels like a failure.

Am I completely insane, or just a little anal?

Enquiring minds want to know…

(Please note the photo above is not of my muffins.  I didn’t have the heart to photograph them.  I found this photo on and put it here as a mute testimony to what my muffins should have been and yet aren’t.  RIP best intentions.)

Recipes are just a click away…

I promised you recipes (there was a twitter conversation with at least one person) and I am keeping this promise.  But I’m keeping it over at my fellow wordpresser and RWA sister’s blog.

I’m at Cathryn Hein’s Friday Feast today, talking a bit about food and books and giving recipes for quick hasty tasty Evans favourites: dukkha (as it is not made in the Middle East, I’m sure, but still tasting good), Cajun Rare Salmon, Smashed Potatoes and Greek Salad.

Yes, it is a culturally diverse meal ( I prefer ‘diverse’ to ‘messed up’).  I live in Melbourne, a city which has never met a cuisine it didn’t want to absorb and run with.  To be honest, the same could be said of much of Australia.  In recent years (and apart from the Aboriginal Australians, it’s all recent) we are a country of immigrants so we have a lot of different influences in our kitchen pots.  For which I, for one, am very grateful!

Anyway, to encourage you to hop over and have a look at the post, here are some pictures…

Cajun Salmon with Smashed PotatoesDukkah ready to eatGreek Salad


And now the recipe I promised (and the comp is still open)

On Wednesday I promised you a recipe for chocolate pie and since I would hate to be called a chocolate tease, today I will come good on my promise.  (Update: this should have been up yesterday, I don’t know where my brain is this week!)

I must apologise for my presentation and photography: my food styling is not going to win any prizes any time soon.  But the taste will make up for it.  This pie will silence a table of guests, make you friends and possibly even sway a lover into your arms – and it’s EASY.

Here’s the recipe:

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An interview and a recipe (to come)…

I was all fired up to post a recipe today, then I realised that I don’t have a photo of the finished dish to show you – and you really should see it in all its chocolately goodness.

So I am going out to get the ingredients and I will make one tonight and take a picture, just so you can see it… what?  You don’t believe that I am making chocolate pie just for your benefit?  Oh ye of little faith! 😉

But in the meantime, you might want to read my guest interview over at my friend Jenn J McLeod’s blog, in which I mention chocolate pie.  She’s running a great series of interviews with Aussie writers, so check them out.  You might find a new favourite!

I’m off to the shops – come back later and there will be pie!


More Sunday Recipe Frolicking…

It’s still school holidays.  So I’m still at the zoo.  Or possibly the Museum.  Or the Art Gallery.  Or playing on the Wii.

So, in lieu of doing anything too strenuous for a Sunday post, I thought I would direct you to my other favourite recipe blog, The Nutrition Guru and the Chef.

These two are a couple and seem quite delightful and have delicious recipes that are also mostly healthy.  Really, there is nothing here not to like!

The picture above is of their tiramisu and if you click on the link you will be taken straight to that recipe.

Or, for all their sweet and savoury goodness, here’s the link to the blog proper:

The Nutrition Guru and the Chef.


What? You want feeding AGAIN? Another quick dinner

I’m still trying to produce a big word count this month, so dinners still need to be quick.  But lest you think that I ONLY work from the freezer and tinned veges when in a hurry, I thought I’d throw in a mostly fresh example.

This dinner came about because my local supermarket had packs of zucchini, bags of tomatoes and packs of button mushrooms on special.  I had bacon and onions at home and dinner was decided.  This is a very slight variation on a dish invented by my dear mother-in-law, probably in much the same way!

I made a huge pan of this, because I had bacon I wanted to use up, but it’s an almost infinitely variable thing (as so much of my cooking is; not big on precision around here), so I’ll give you approximate ingredient amounts per person and you can adjust as necessary.

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Is that the time? Another Quick Winter Dinner

It’s June, which in Australia means winter and in the Romance Writers of Australia means the 50k in 30 days challenge. (For the non-writers, that means trying to write 50, 000 words in a month.)

I’m not doing the full 50k – I’m only(!) trying for 40k.

But this means that other things – minor things, like shopping and cooking – get shoved down the priority list.  At times like these, having some reliable store-cupboard-and-freezer ‘recipes’ (if something this easy can be called a recipe) up your sleeve is very handy.

Here, for your delectation (and speedy hunger satisfaction) is one of our favourites. It is known, in our house, as meatball soup, although it doesn’t contain any actual meatballs.

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Gluten-Free Brownies (yessss, Chocolate…)

Last week, I was all about the healthy, dinner food. But it’s winter and we need cheering as well as feeding, so this week, it’s brownie time! Don’t be put off by the lengthiness of the method. I like to explain.  But these are easy and quite quick to make and taste fantastic.

Gluten-Free Brownies

Backstory: (writers please note: this isn’t a novel, so I am ALLOWED to put the backstory up front. Nernerneenerner!)

I had to make food for the child’s birthday celebration at school. Normally I make the Traditional Birthday Biscuits, cut into whatever cute shape is the craze du jour and ice them. But the child had a coeliac sufferer in the class so I went in search of a gluten-free recipe. The following is based on the normal brownie recipe in Nigella Lawson’s Domestic Goddess cookbook, with gluten-free adaptations based on a cruise of the recipes on the net.  It’s a big recipe.  It needs two brownie tins (or slice tins) and you can cut each into 24 pieces. If you are just making them to eat at home, you might want to cut the pieces smaller, as you can’t stop at one, and it helps with damage limitation!

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Quick Winter Dinner

I know Wednesdays are supposed to be about reviews and I know it’s probably rude to review your own quick hasty-tasty dinner-making, but if it bothers you, pretend someone else made this okay?

Okay, now we have that out of the way, I would like to introduce you to the very easy, very cheap, quick, really quite healthy and ridiculously tasty (for what is in it) dinner that is my:

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

This soup is the kind of thing you make when you have no idea what is for dinner and you walk into the supermarket and find that cauliflowers as big as your head are $1.50 each. (And yes, I know it looks like high-quality wall-paper paste with speckles, but you try photographing cauliflower soup!  It tastes good.)

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Friday Favourite Drinks: Bartender! Cocktails for all!

Okay, I know the title of the blog says wine, but I’m an equal-opportunity drinker and I dearly love a cocktail.  I love their glamour: the pretty colours and fancy trimmings, the tropical fruit and teeny umbrellas, the elegant glasses and the cute bartenders who make them.

Oh, whoops, did I type that last bit out loud?

Seriously, though, cocktails have always been a bit naughty.  They were invented during Prohibition in the US to cover up the taste of the dreadful illegal alcohol which was all that people could get.  And even now, they whisper of speakeasies and bootleg hooch, of flappers and gangsters and of Phryne Fisher, fabulous in her 1928 sea-green parlour.  Or maybe that’s just me…

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