Thin Crust Pizza

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I finally got a photo of something savoury! From the recipes on this blog it might appear that my house subsists on cookies and muffins alone but the truth is planning and cooking dinner is the highlight of my day. My Dinners Board on Pinterest is my biggest by far (560 pins and counting!) and is getting to the point that I should probably start sorting it into sub-categories of some kind. I’ve been lucky enough to get a bunch of early shifts over the past few weeks which gives me ample time in the afternoons to cook dinners that take a bit more prep work. I’m not a fan of rushed cooking so getting the time potter around the kitchen at my own pace is dreamy. For nights when time is nowhere to be found, this pizza does the job admirably.

I like me a thick crust every now and then but thin crust is my favourite when I look into my heart of hearts. Working quickly once the dough is rolled out is important, the longer it sits and rises the thicker it will be once it cooks. It will still taste great but you might not get the thin dough you were cravin’. Go easy on the toppings to ensure even cooking and be sure to try grating some parmesan on after the pizza has finished cooking, it’s something that I do no matter what recipe I use.

Thin Crust Pizza

Barely adapted from Thin Crust Pizza over at How Sweet It Is.

Dough (for one pizza):

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1/2 tsp honey

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

Toppings:

passata (tomato sauce)

garlic, crushed

salt and pepper

mozzarella

salami

fresh basil

parmesan

Preheat the oven to its highest temperature.

In a medium bowl whisk together the water, yeast and honey, allow to sit for around 10 minutes until frothy (if the mixture doesn’t get frothy, your yeast could be dead, check the expiry date on the packet and start with a new sachet of yeast).

While you wait the 10 minutes prepare whatever toppings you have chosen, try to keep them relatively light so as not to weigh your base down.

When the 10 minutes are up mix the flour and salt into the yeast mixture, starting with a wooden spoon and finishing with your hands.

Lightly flour a flat surface and knead dough until smooth and silky, place it back into the mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

Tear off a piece of baking paper (roughly the width of your oven) and spray it with oil then dust lightly with flour.

Roll out the dough onto the prepared baking paper as thin as possible, aiming for 30 cm (if the dough is too elastic and springs back allow it to sit for another 5 minutes).

Quickly add your chosen toppings then use a baking tray to transfer the pizza on its baking paper straight on to the middle rack of your oven.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the base is light brown on the bottom.

Remove from the oven using the help of a baking tray, sprinkle with any toppings that didn’t go on earlier like fresh basil or parmesan).

Allow to sit for a few minutes then slice and serve.

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Salty Choc Chip Oat Slice

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I felt so grown up today, I had to inform all interested parties about my change of address, something that I’ve been putting off since we moved in December (thank the lawd for mail re-direction). To reward myself I did something not so grown up and watched the episode of Pop Asia that I missed on Sunday (thank the lawd for SBS on Demand). This song is my current favourite. G Dragon, why you so pretty? As someone with a chronic lack of rhythm I’m also jealous of their dance moves. I know that I talk about Pop Asia a lot but if you could peer into my skull it would just be a vision of G Dragon and TOP dancing around a nacho hat and not much else.

If your days are as busy as mine, you need this slice recipe in your life. One bowl and only 20 minutes in the oven and you get a chewy, salty and chocolate-ey mouthful. It makes a biiiig pan of it too, share the love. Or eat the whole thing yourself and never tell a soul. No judgement here, it’s a safe place.

Salty Choc Chip Oat Slice

Slightly adapted from Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars over at Cookies and Cups.

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp coarse sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 3/4 cups plain flour

2 3/4 cups oats

1 1/2 cups dark choc chips

Preheat oven to 175 C and line a 9 x 13 inch baking tin with baking paper (if your tin is larger or smaller you will have to change the cooking time accordingly), spray the baking paper lightly with oil.

In a large mixing bowl combine the oil, brown sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla and salt, mix well.

Whisk in the baking soda, flour and oats until just combined, then mix in the choc chips.

Transfer to the prepared baking tin, spreading it into an even layer.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin then slide the slice out onto a wire rack to cool completely (the baking paper helps with this).

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

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23 years I have lived without knowing that these cookies existed. They’re basically chewy caramel with oats in it. Problem number one, they are mostly comprised of butter and sugar. Problem number two, this recipe makes about 60 cookies, so make sure that you have people to give these away to. What ever you do, don’t bake these and watch a whole season of Dance Moms because you will stress eat half of the batch.

A teaspoon doesn’t sound like a lot of mixture but this recipe spreads massively while baking. I did a test batch using a tablespoon of mixture and the cookies ended up waaay too big.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Barely adapted from Oatmeal Lace Cookies over at Add a Pinch

225g unsalted butter

2 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed

3 tbsp plain flour

1 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups rolled oats

Preheat oven to 190 C and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.

Combine the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until the butter and sugar have melted together.

Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Beat in the flour, salt, egg and vanilla then mix in the oats.

Drop teaspoons of the mixture on to the prepared baking trays at least 5 cm apart.

Bake for 5-7 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to prevent burning (my oven took exactly 5 minutes).

Slide the cookies (baking paper and all) on to a flat surface and allow to cool completely before moving.

Repeat until all of the mixture is used up (have one batch cooking in the oven while you prepare the next batch).

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Almond Brownies (Gluten Free)

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New favourite brownie recipe (you can have more than one favourite, right?). Super easy but makes the moist-est, fudgiest brownies in the known universe. They’re like eating brownie batter but this way it’s socially acceptable. It just takes one saucepan and minimal elbow grease. If you don’t need them to be gluten free then just replace the almond meal with plain flour.

Almond Brownies (Gluten Free)

Adapted from Sarah’s Cocoa Hazelnut Brownies over at The Sugarhit.

150g butter

1 1/4 cups caster sugar

3/4 cup cocoa

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp fine salt

2 eggs

1/3 cup almond meal

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 160 C and line an 8 X 8 baking tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on low heat then mix in the sugar, cocoa, vanilla and salt, allow to cool for 5 minutes off the heat.

Beat in the eggs and almond meal then fold in the chocolate chips.

Transfer to the prepared baking tin and spread evenly with a spatula, sprinkle over the flaked almonds.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, allow to chill completely before cutting into squares.

Strawberry Ice Cream (No Churn!)

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Here is an easy one for you to try this weekend, no ice cream machine required. What am I doing this weekend? I’m going to Melbourne, woop woop! 4 days of eating out for every meal and no cooking, how will I cope?! (No really, I go a bit crazy when I can’t cook). The Boyfriend and I weren’t content with winging it foodwise, although the food scene in Melbourne is so good that you can just walk into a random restaurant and it’s likely to be awesome. We planned and booked all the places that we’ve seen on cooking and travel shows that made us dribble a little. There’s Rumi, Half Moon, Lucy Liu and Spice Temple to name a few. If there is radio silence over the weekend it’s because I’ll be in a constant food coma and unable to use technology properly.

Strawberry Ice Cream (No Churn!)

Adapted from The World’s Easiest Homemade Ice Cream Recipe over at Redfly Creations.

1 cup strawberry puree

1 cup plain yoghurt (I used Greek)

1 tin (395g) sweetened condensed milk

pinch of salt

lemon juice to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together, starting off with 1 tsp of lemon juice, tasting and adding more for preference.

Transfer to a 750ml capacity container and freeze overnight.

Chicken and Cabbage in Silky Egg Sauce

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Do you like Chinese chicken and sweetcorn soup? This is a similar deal. Egg is stirred through the sauce at the last moment to create silky ribbons that hold all the flavour of the sauce. The ingredient list and instructions might look long but I just wanted to give you all the details so that it’s all ready to go when you get your wok on the heat. I’ve got a kick butt burner that hooks up to a gas bottle, once it’s going I can’t leave it alone so organisation is key (cue laughter from anyone who knows me!). If 4 tbsp of cornflour isn’t enough to thicken your sauce, mix more cornflour into cold water then add to your sauce. It might seem counter-intuitive to add more water but if you add the cornflour straight into the hot sauce it cooks into little lumps that are not fun to eat. I cooked this as part of a mid-week Chinese feast that included this Morning Glory Stir Fry, it takes about a minute to cook in the wok and is a great companion dish if you want to get some more veggies in.

Chicken and Cabbage in Silky Egg Sauce

Adapted from Chinese Cabbage With Chicken Slices In a Silky Egg Sauce over at 3 Hungry Tummies.

1/4 wombok cabbage, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

4 cm knob of ginger, grated

3 chicken breasts

dash of sesame oil

dash of  Chinese cooking wine

pinch of white pepper

1 tsp cornflour

6 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp caster sugar

1.5 L chicken stock

4 tbsp cornflour

3 spring onions, sliced

3 eggs

Place the cabbage in a bowl, set aside.

Place the prepared garlic and ginger in a bowl, set aside.

Slice the chicken breasts across the grain as thin as possible then place in a bowl with the sesame oil, cooking wine, white pepper, the first lot of cornflour and 1 tbsp of the oyster sauce, mix until the chicken is evenly coated then set aside.

In a large jug mix together the rest of the oyster sauce, soy sauce, caster sugar and chicken stock, set aside.

Mix the 4 tbsp of cornflour with 1/4 cup water, set aside.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk together, set aside.

Arrange all of your prepared ingredients near your wok.

Heat your wok until smoking then add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, add the cabbage and half of the garlic and ginger, toss for 2 minutes then transfer to a bowl or platter large enough to hold the finished dish.

Heat up the wok again and add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and the rest of the garlic and ginger, cook for a few seconds.

Pour in the stock mixture and bring to a simmer, add the chicken and stir slowly as it poaches, it should only take a few minutes (depending on how strong your wok burner is).

Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and place on top of the cooked cabbage in the serving bowl.

Add in the cornflour mixture and spring onions, simmer until the sauce reaches desired thickness then turn off the heat and pour in the eggs, stir gently to scramble it into thin ribbons.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and cabbage, serve immediately with rice.

Coconut and Cardamom Burfi

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Burfi are a type of Indian sweet made from condensed milk and sugar, usually with nuts and spices added for flavour. This is a quick version, using sweetened condensed milk to save you having to reduce milk and sugar together to form the sticky base of the mixture. These went down extremely well with the girls from work, they are perfectly afternoon-snack-sized.

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I was pretty reserved with the cardamom to start off with but added more towards the end for a stronger flavour. Start off with a teaspoon and increase slowly, cardamom can be pretty unpleasant when it’s strong. The flavour will also depend on how fresh your spices are, so if you’re using cardamom that hasn’t seen the light of day for a whole year you may end up adding a lot more than a teaspoon before getting the flavour you want.

I convinced myself that I wanted bite sized balls so I started rolling teaspoon sized pieces of mixture, a decision I began to regret about halfway through. I forced myself to carry on and keep them the same size, something I’m not usually disciplined enough for (back in the day when I hand rolled cookie dough there would always be one giant cookie at the end, an indicator of the moment when I just stopped caring anymore). If you don’t mind balls that are two bites worth, save yourself the anguish and roll tablespoon sized pieces instead.

Coconut and Cardamom Burfi

Adapted from Raini Singh’s Coconut cardamom burfi over at SBS Food.

250g desiccated coconut

395g tin sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp ground cardamom seeds

1/2-3/4 cup pistachios, chopped roughly

big pinch of sea salt

In a medium pan combine 200g of the coconut with the condensed milk, cardamom, pistachios and salt.

Place the pan over low heat and stir as the mixture warms up.

Keep stirring until the mixture drys out slightly and you are able to easily roll a small piece into a ball.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

Place the remaining 50g coconut onto a plate.

Dampen your hands with water then roll tablespoon sized balls of mixture, roll in the extra coconut to coat (for bite sized balls roll just one teaspoon of mixture).

Will keep for one week in the fridge.