New toys

I have to admit that I go totally nuts over kitchen gadgets and I'm always on the lookout for something new to play with.

My Mother-in-law recently found a lovely shop in Johannesburg that specialises in baking equipment and bought me two sets of flower cutters and some edible glitter to try out. I could hardly wait for them to get here and was just about harassing the poor postman on a daily basis till he finally delivered my little pick-up-parcel slip.

The cutter are fantastic and I will post some more pics when I get time to try them on a cake (or even on some cupcakes).

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today is another gray, cold day with the wind rattling the doors and the rain tapping the windows, usually I love this kind of weather but today its just making me feel sad.

My kiddies went back to school yesterday after a lovely long holiday, thanks to the Soccer World Cup, and now the house seems way to quiet and empty during the day. I miss hearing them playing upstairs and knowing that they are safe and warm regardless of the freezing weather outside. I can’t wait for them to get home from school.

I decided to bake some chocolate chip cookies and shortbread as a treat for hubby and the kiddies for when they get home, I'm sure they will love it. So for anyone else out there who needs a little pick me up today, try these chocolate chip cookies they are sure to put a little smile on your face.



Ingredients:


225g (1/2lb) self-raising flour
100g (4oz) butter or baking margarine
100g (4oz) castor sugar
50g (2oz) soft brown sugar (or normal white sugar)
100g (4oz) chocolate chips
1 extra large egg beaten


To make:


- Heat to oven to 190C / 375F
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl
- Use your fingers to rub the butter/margarine into the flour till it looks like fine bread crumbs.
- Stir in the castor sugar, brown sugar and choc chips
- Add the beaten egg and mix by hand till it forms a smooth dough
- Grease 2 baking sheets with butter/margarine (or spray-n-cook)
- Break small pieces off the dough and roll into balls in the palm of your hand
- Flatten slightly and place on the baking sheet, not to close together as they will spread out
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes depending on your oven
- Let them cool and then just enjoy



Notes:

-Both brown and white sugar make brilliant cookies, but if you use soft brown sugar the cookies will be darker and color with a slight caramel taste

- This recipe is very forgiving so if you don’t have castor sugar just use 100g normal white sugar – they will still taste delicious.


Pasta Blanco

Just for fun here is one of my all time favorite pasta recipes, it is stunning as a side dish with grilled chicken, fish or kassler steaks; although it also makes a wonderful light meal with just a green salad on the side. This takes hardly any time and yet it is full of flavor.

This recipe will serve 4 hungry adults.

Ingredients:

1 pkt tagliatelle pasta (or spaghetti)
2 tbs butter
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 container grated parmesan cheese (about 75g or a big handful)
Salt and black pepper to taste.


To make:

- Cook pasta in a big pot of salted boiling water.

- When pasta is just soft drain the water; but keep about 6tbs of the water in the pot with the pasta

- Add the garlic, parmesan, butter, salt and a few good turns of black pepper and toss lightly with a fork till all the pasta is coated and the butter has melted.

- Serve straight away.

Note: This pasta can be quite rich, for a lighter version use only half the amount of parmesan cheese.

Extra Ideas :

- Use lemon pepper instead of the black pepper; it gives the pasta a fresh taste.
- Add chopped up fresh basil leaves just before serving.
- For a delicious meaty alternative add cooked crispy bacon (or chicken bacon or chopped chorizo sausage), and a hand full of frozen peas.