Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kashata Squares #CreativeCookieExchange

A cross between candy and cookie, kashata is a popular snack in East Africa. Kashata is usually made with peanuts or grated coconut, or both, and is cooked on a stove or over a fire so no oven is needed. 

A few months ago when I was preparing for my trip to Uganda, I started researching Ugandan food. I was looking for local ingredients to use in muffins, for one thing. I wanted to bake my Monday Muffins ahead of time since I knew I wouldn’t have an oven in the hut that I was staying. My second objective was finding a sweet treat I could make for the students, without an oven. I came across kashata on several websites with varying amounts of the basic ingredients and copied and pasted a little from here and a little from there to come up with a mixture that sounded delicious. But I never ended up making them. After a long dusty day teaching the children, it was all we could do to make ourselves some dinner and fall into an exhausted sleep. When the theme for this month’s no bake cookies was announced, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. Maybe next time I go to Uganda, I’ll manage to make them for the children.

1/2 cup or 100g sugar
3/4 cup or 55g freshly grated coconut
1/2 cup or 75g roasted peanuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon flour
2 tablespoons water

Mix all the dry ingredients, except the sugar, together in a small mixing bowl.

Sprinkle the sugar on to a frying pan and cook it over a medium heat, stirring, until it melts and just begins to brown. Mine melted into clumpy pieces of sugar and then finally melted into syrupy stuff again.

Reduce heat and quickly add the dry ingredients, stirring well.

Continue stirring for about a minute, making sure everything is well mixed.

Add the two tablespoons of water and mix again.

Pour out on sheet pan lined with greased foil. Press into a square with a spoon.

Allow to cool for a bit and then cut into smaller squares.

Mine were really crumbly but I did manage to cut them into squares, some missing a corner or two. This didn’t affect the taste. I would have eaten these with a spoon, if necessary.


Are you looking for No Bake Cookies to Beat the Heat? I've got some great ones for you! 

The Creative Cookie Exchange theme this month is Beat the Heat with No Bake Cookies. Even if we don’t want to turn on the oven, we still want cookies! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura via email (thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com) and she will get you added to our Facebook group where we coordinate events.

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Facebook page, our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Pink Lady and Walnut Muffins #MuffinMonday #glutenfree

Walnuts and beautiful Pink Lady apple chunks bake up lovely in gluten-free muffins for the perfect breakfast or snack. 

This week I am blessed to be staying at a dear friend’s house in London. We’ve settled my younger daughter in her temporary housing for her summer internship, with a new sim card for her phone and some essential toiletries. Hard goodbyes were made easier by plans to meet again for dinner later in the week. So now it’s time to play. We are off today on the train to Brighton to visit my friend’s daughter and treat her to lunch. Since it’s Muffin Monday, we decided to make some muffins to take along for the trip.

2 eggs
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
1 cup or 240ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups or 240g gluten-free flour blend (I used Dove’s Farm.)
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup or 60g walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large Pink Lady apple
2 tablespoon brown sugar for topping, optional

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease your muffin tin or line it with paper liners.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, canola and vanilla extract.

Peel, core then chop the apple.

Aren't the Pink Ladies just the most beautiful apples?
Add it immediately to the egg/buttermilk mixture, stirring well to make sure all the little pieces of the apple are covered so they don’t turn brown.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, xanthum gum, sugar, baking powder, baking powder, walnuts and salt.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and top each with a sprinkle of brown sugar, if desired.

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to cool completely.


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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Jacques’ Cucumber Salad (but) with Onions #SundaySupper

Cucumber salad, made Jacques Pepin’s way, stays crunchy for several days, making it a great make-ahead contribution for your next potluck or barbecue party. You’ll want to double or even quadruple this recipe for a crowd. 

This week Sunday Supper is going to a barbecue party and bringing along everything you need from drinks to salads to ribs (You gotta have the ribs!) to make it just perfect. I love a fresh dish, but sometimes time does not allow for in-the-moment creations. That’s where Jacques Pépin and his cucumber salad come to the rescue. In the chef’s own words, “The salt, you will discover, draws the juices from the cucumbers, making them limp, and, paradoxically, very crisp at the same time. Prepared this way, the cucumbers will stay crisp for several days.” And so they do.

Many thanks to our hosts today, Jennie from The Messy Baker and Melanie from Melanie Makes! This recipe is adapted from Jacques Pépin's Complete Techniques.

4 cucumbers – weight 1 1/3 lbs or 585g
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt – I used sel gris.
1/2 small purple onion – about 2 oz or 55g
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sour cream
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon peanut oil

Jacques’ ingredient list calls for three cucumbers, which he says will give you five cups sliced. I got two cups out of my four cucumbers so I don’t know where we went wrong but I reduced the rest of the ingredients proportionally to fit what I had. After all, you can’t salt two cups of cucumbers with the same salt that’s meant for five!

See? His aren't bigger than average. 

Peel your cucumbers and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

Cut them into slices about a 1/4 inch or 1/2cm wide.

Pop them into a colander, over a bowl to catch the juice. Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt and mix well. Allow to drain for at least an hour but preferably two, at room temperature.

Meanwhile, slice your half onion as thinly as you can manage and soak the slices in a small bowl in the lemon juice. Stir it occasionally as it sits.

When the time is up for the cucumbers, rinse them thoroughly under cold water and then press them lightly to get rid of excess water.

I laid them out briefly on some paper towels.

Mix the sour cream and the peanut oil into the lemon juice and onions, along with a good few grinds of fresh peppercorn.

Pour this mixture over the cucumbers and stir.

Jacques says more salt won’t be necessary and he is absolutely right. Because of the sour cream, refrigerate this salad if not eating immediately.


Are you looking for more barbecue party recipes? Sunday Supper’s got you covered!

Sides and Accompaniments
Main Dishes
Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement?
It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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