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Guest Post: Cooking and Baking – A little bit of everything

Esme

Hello everyone, I would like to welcome Esmé from The Recipe Hunter.  She will be doing a guest post for us today and her subject is cooking. She will be sharing with us today some of her favorite recipes that she has tried and tested in her own kitchen.

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Crystal for the wonderful invite and opportunity to be a Guest on her awesome blog.  This is a huge honor and I hope you will enjoy the variety of dishes I am about to share with you.

Oh, maybe I should introduce myself.  My name is Esmé and my blog is a compilation of home-made tried and tested recipes from around the Globe and you can visit and follow my Blog @ The Recipe Hunter! as well as join, follow and share your very own home-made tried and tested recipes with the Group on Facebook @ The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy).  You will also find more social links you can check out at the end of this post.  Thanks in advance ♥

I reside in Vancouver, British Columbia for the past 20+ year, although originally from Cape Town, South Africa.

Now, enough about myself, so let’s get Cooking!!

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Breakfast: Cauli-Toast

Cauli-Toast.1

Ingredients:
1 medium head cauliflower
1 large egg
½ cup shredded Cheddar
1 t garlic powder
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cauli-Toast.2

Method:
Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Finely grate cauliflower in a large bowl and microwave on high, 8 minutes.
Let it cool slightly in order to work it.
Place 1/3 at a time in a clean cheesecloth, and squeeze until mixture is dry. Continue till all done.
Fluff the mixture into crumbs and add egg, cheddar cheese, and garlic powder to the dried out cauliflower and season with salt and pepper.
Mix until combined.
Form cauliflower mix into 6 toast shapes on prepared baking sheet and bake until golden, ±15-20 minutes.
Transfer to a plate and top with desired toppings.

Cauli-Toast.3

Toppings:
A slice of cold cut
A slice of cheese
Baked egg
Or anything you prefer

Recipe Credit: Delish

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Vegan Lunch: Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Shepherd_s Pie.1

Ingredients:
3 potatoes
2 carrots
3 celery stalks
1/2 onion
450g mushrooms
1+ Tbsp. flour
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh sage
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 ½ cups veggie broth
1/4 cup red wine
2 x 312g vegan ground round ‘beef’
Salt
Pepper
Soy milk (or rice milk)
Vegan butter
Dried parsley

Method:
Peel, chop, and boil the potatoes until soft.
Meanwhile, chop the carrots, celery, and onion, sauté in vegan butter or oil for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and season with salt and pepper, and sauté.
Add wine, flour, thyme, and sage.
Slowly add the veggie broth stirring continuously. Let simmer/cook till thickened to your liking.
Mash the potatoes and add the soy milk and vegan butter, till smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the veggie/’meat’ filling into a baking dish, then spread the mashed potatoes over top. Make a rough scraped designs for the top. The rougher the surface, the crisper it will turn out.
Spray the surface with cooking oil. Sprinkle with dried parsley.
Broil for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is crispy.

Recipe Credit: Own creation


Regular Dinner: Family Famous Chicken Pie

Family Famous Chicken Pie.1

Ingredients:
2 whole chickens – cut up into smaller pieces
1 onion – chopped
VOO – Virgin olive oil
2 heaped dessert spoons full crushed garlic
Salt – to taste
Chicken spice – to taste
Rosemary – to taste
Basil – to taste
10 cloves
2 cups of boiling water

Box puff pastry / or filo pastry
1 egg
Milk

Method:
Fry onions in VOO till golden and translucent, add garlic and fry another minute or two.
Spoon mixture out on a plate and set aside
Add extra VOO in a large pot, add chicken, stir and fry till you have all the pieces a golden color.
Add all spices, to taste and also the cloves.
Add water, and bring to a rolling boil and then cook for ±1 hour till meat soft and tender and falling off the bone. Be careful, do not overcook it.
Now we usually let this just sit overnight, in the pot as it will still have enough heat and cook a bit more.
The next morning, heat it just enough in order for you to not burn your fingers, and it’s easy to handle and debone thoroughly.
Shred the meat and leave it in the juice.

Family Famous Chicken Pie.2

Prepare your baking dish. Spray or butter the bottom. I use filo pastry, much easier than rolling out the puff pastry.
Place one sheet on the countertop, paint it with the egg wash along the edges and a few spots in the middle, and then add another sheet on top.
Continue till you have at least 5 or 6 sheets stacked on top of one another. Take this stack and place it in your dish.
Make sure you have the edges also covered with the pastry.
Now spoon the chicken out onto the pastry. I usually use a slotted spoon to ensure that I do not have a lot of juice, leave it till the end, then you will be able to see if you need to add a tad more, depending on how juicy you like it and it is.
Remember when it’s cold, you will not see as much juice, but when baking and heated you will notice the juice.
Egg wash the pastry sheets at the edges, as you will now add the top layer of filo sheets and they need to stick together.
Now start the process over again with the filo pastry sheets, another 5 or 6 sheets, and lay that over the top of the meat.
Egg wash the edges of the top sheets, and bind them to the bottom edges. I usually fold them to ensure that I lock down the meat and juice inside.
Egg wash the entire top.
Bake in the oven at 375F for ± 40-45 minutes, and you have a good golden color and the pie nice and warm.

Recipe Credit: Own creation

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Family favorite: Cape Seed Bread

Cape Seed Bread.1

Ingredients
500g whole wheat bread flour
85g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
25g poppy seeds
5ml salt
1 x 8g packet quick-rise instant yeast
15ml sugar

30ml sunflower oil
350ml lukewarm water (be careful, it should not be hot, as it will burn the yeast)

1 beaten egg to brush over the dough. You can mix a drop or two milk with it, but not necessary.
Decorate in lines, with sesame, poppy and sunflower seeds.

Cape Seed Bread.2

Method:
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Pour the water and oil onto the dry ingredients and knead for about a minute. It’s a bit sticky, but not to worry.
Place the dough in an oiled loaf pan/or use a spray to coat your pan liberally (9” x 5”).
Brush with the whisked egg and decorate with alternate lines of sesame and poppy seeds. As I did not have poppy seeds, I used sesame, extra sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Use a teaspoon, to lightly press the seeds into the dough, to ensure that it will stick properly.
Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rise for about 45 minutes – till it nicely fills out the pan to the top edge.
Pre heat the oven to 180C / 350F and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
Cool on rack.

Recipe Credit: I used and combined a number of recipes and then came up with this version

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Treat: Gluten Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.1

Ingredients:
½ cup confectioners/icing sugar
1 2/3 cups Gluten Free Flour (I used Robin Hood All Purpose GF Flour)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
1¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick room temperature unsalted butter
1¼ cups sugar (I used berry sugar, as I prefer a finer sugar)
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt with a wooden spoon and set aside.
Using an electric hand mixer, and in a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, ±2-3 minutes.
Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add 1 egg and beat on medium speed till blended.
Add the 2nd egg and vanilla and beat again until well blended.
Now combine the butter and flour mixtures and beat on low-speed just until blended, and no dry spots visible.
Use a 12.5 ml measuring spoon, scoop up a rounded spoonful of dough, and roll a ball in the palm of your hand.
In a separate bowl, sift the confectioners/icing sugar and then dip/roll the ball until well covered.

Gluten Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.2

Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake until they are cracked and puffed, ±-12-14 minutes.
Remove from the oven and when slightly cooled, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe credit: marlameridith

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Once again, I wish to thank my host Crystal for this wonderful opportunity to share some of my own home-made tried and tested recipes with you all.

I have prepared, tried and tested all the above recipes in my own kitchen: Esme Slabs from The Recipe Hunter (Cook and Enjoy) 

Please check out, join, comment, participate and follow
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THE LIEBSTER AWARD

Liebster-award-featured[1]

I would like to give a brief overview of the  Liebster Award for those who don’t know why we give this award.

WHY IS THE LIEBSTER AWARD GIVEN?

It is said that the Liebster Award was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers; and welcome them to the blogosphere. “Liebster” is a German word meaning beloved or dearest. This award exists only on the internet as pixels, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.

THE RULES:

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you.
  • Answer 11 questions from the blogger that nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 Blogs.
  • Ask the bloggers 11 questions.

I would like to thank Lebana’s Journal for nominating me for the Liebster Award. If you’d like to check her blog out, I have provided the link to her site. She has a great blog.

ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS FROM LEBANA’S JOURNAL:

  1. Where Do You Live? I live in a little rural town in Pennsylvania that you’re through in a blink of an eye. I live way out in the country.
  2. What’s the best thing about the area where you live. The different animals that I get to see.
  3. Where is your favorite place in the world? I really don’t know. I have always wanted to go to Ireland though.
  4. What’s your funniest travel story? Once again don’t have one. Although I did come home with my sisters from school one day and Mom said we were going to Niagara Falls.
  5. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment? I have been fortunate because I have more than 1 big accomplishment.  I was picked on/bullied all the way through college so surviving that plus getting 2 degrees would be my accomplishments. I wrote about my experience and it can be found  HERE .
  6. What makes you happiest? Being with God, my family and my pet cat.
  7. How many countries have you visited so far? Don’t know. Not many because I try to stay in the USA.
  8. Who is your role model? My parents.
  9. What can’t you live without? God, my Bible.
  10. How many posts have you made so far? I have 331 posts with my reblogs.
  11. What is your message to new bloggers out there? Don’t be afraid to start a blog and if you do start a blog, I suggest taking some blogging courses from the Blogging University.  You can find the courses at Daily Post – Blogging University .

MY NOMINEES:

  1. theintrovertedbooknerd.wordpress.com
  2. Boston Book Reader
  3. Kittyp0p
  4. Blog de companie
  5. Questionable Tortoise Couture
  6. Cats and Life
  7. RoseyToesSews
  8. The Joyful Soul Creates
  9. Oh, Elwood! (& Friendz)
  10. Feline Cafe`
  11. CRYSTAL’S PHOTO-BLOGGING SITE

MY QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES:

  1. What Your Job and Do You Like Your Job?
  2. Where Do You Live?
  3. Do You Have Any Pets? If so, What Are They?
  4. What Do You Do In Your Spare Time?
  5. Do You Collect Anything?
  6. Who Do You Look Up To?
  7. What’s Your Favorite Sport.
  8. What’s Your Favorite Car And Why?
  9. What’s Your Least Favorite Animal?
  10. Do You Have Any Kids (Children)?
  11. What is Your Message And/Or Suggestions For New And Upcoming  bloggers?

Congratulations to all of my Nominees. Please don’t feel rushed to put out your post right away. Get it out when you can. Once again Congratulations.

Sincerely,

Crystal