“Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies” from “Bill’s Basics”

Anna: Chocolate chip cookies.  I learnt to cook them standing on a chair next to my mother as a child.  So, as you know, I only ever make the same recipe using Toll House chocolate chips.  The recipe is on the back of the packet.

Peter: That’s why we have to smuggle bags of them back into the country every year when we go to visit your dad.

Anna: Indeed.  But, you need something sweet to take to work and I was in the mood to try this recipe.  It gave me the excuse to use up all the leftover bits of chocolate I’ve got in the cupboard.

Peter: All the chocolate’s gone?!  What chocalate have you used?

Anna: Just the dark and white cooking chocolate from the deserts I’ve made over the last month.  Panic not.  Your Dairy Milk megabar has not been touched.

Peter: Normally you see the chips in the cookies.  With these you don’t necessarily know what you’re going to get with each bite.  I like that.

Anna: I had to chop them up so some melted into big pools of loveliness didn’t they?

Peter: I liked these.  They aren’t too brittle but have a nice soft texture.  They would taste good with ice cream.

Anna: Mmm.  Ice cream sandwiches!!  Yes, I agree.  These are lovely.  And, in some ways easier to cook.  I don’t have to work out what a cup of butter is, for example.  I will definitely be making these again.  Perhaps my chip-smuggling days are over….

Peter: Does that mean there’s more room in the bag for bike bits?

Ella: Those biscuits were amazing! I really liked the chocolate-y bits. And they were nice and crunchy.

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“Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies” from “Bill’s Basics”

Blogging Birthday Bash – “White Ladies”, “Rice Paper Rolls”, “Keralan Fish Curry with Lemon Rice” and “White Chocolate and Passionfruit Mousse” from “Forever Summer”

Anna: I’m getting quite good at these birthday feasts given it’s the month of August. Because you are my co-conspirator and blogging partner-in-crime, this is a particularly special one.   Thankfully Zoe was able to run to Marks’ in her 3 inch peeptoe heels, on an emergency lemon mission, so now we are able to drink White Ladies all night!

Zoe: I only got one blister!  (Cackle)

Kirstin: I’m going to miss the cocktails.  I think we should do them anyway after this month.

Anna: Shall I email Bill and ask him to write a cocktail book?

Zoe: Wasn’t the idea to drink less if we had cocktails? But instead we downed the first one.

Anna: White Ladies were chosen in honour of us and our purity.  Eh Zoe?

Zoe: (Cackle) Continue reading “Blogging Birthday Bash – “White Ladies”, “Rice Paper Rolls”, “Keralan Fish Curry with Lemon Rice” and “White Chocolate and Passionfruit Mousse” from “Forever Summer””

Blogging Birthday Bash – “White Ladies”, “Rice Paper Rolls”, “Keralan Fish Curry with Lemon Rice” and “White Chocolate and Passionfruit Mousse” from “Forever Summer”

“Chicken and Cashew Nut Curry” and “White Chocolate Almond Cake” from “Forever Summer”

Anna: I chose this menu for you Natalie.  It’s your birthday week, and everyone deserves a nice curry on their birthday.  Will you be blogging tonight in the manner of Gregg Wallace?

Nats: If I was critiquing in the Gregg Wallace-manner, I’d call it a ‘tender, buttery, smack-in-the-chops of flavour’.

Anna: Can you translate for us?

Nats: That was me trying to be Southern! I was particularly impressed with how well the rice was cooked, and that wasn’t even in the recipe.

Anna: Thank you.

Nats: I think the curry was milder than I’d expect from you.  But absolutely delish.

Peter: It had an interesting texture due to the addition of nuts.

Nats: Did you feel they contrasted particularly well with the beans, which were a bridge between the chicken and the nuts?

Peter: I’m with you.  I can see where you’re going with that one.  Good point.  Well observed.

Nats: I’d always associate Anna with cooking something that punches you round the mouth.

Peter: No, it wasn’t a chicken Nazi.

Anna: You make me sick.  The pair of you.

Nats: Now the cake was absolutely lush.

Anna: I have to admit that I had to improvise a bit with the ground almonds, discovering as I did at the eleventh hour that I had none.  So I whizzed up some blanched almonds in the food processor instead. This means it probably has a crunchier texture than it’s meant to.

Nats: I would say that’s a good thing.  Because it was quite a simple cake. I’m saying that, but how many cakes do I make?

Anna: Do you mean rustic?

Nats: I don’t know… do I?  Maybe because it was flourless, it needed a bit of texture.  It was very moist.

Anna: I don’t like the word moist.  You know that.

Nats: It’s so descriptive though.  It means exactly what it says on the cake tin.  Anything with almonds is a winner with me.  I particularly liked the addition of the fruit.  Even though I don’t normally like mango.  I’m with Kirstin on that.

Anna: Did you get the white chocolate?

Nats: No.  I couldn’t taste it specifically.  No.  NO.

Anna; I did.  But I knew what I was tasting as I licked the spatula when I was cooking it.

“Chicken and Cashew Nut Curry” and “White Chocolate Almond Cake” from “Forever Summer”