Jul 19, 2013

Baking In Ugg Boots. A Personal Everest Conquered.

Mum's arrived.  Numerous cups of tea have been shared and numerous cuddles have been bestowed on Baby SSG.  It's only been three days but mum's worked her magic on nap time - lots of lullabies and lap time are her secrets.  On his part, Baby SSG is lapping up the extra attention and he's showering us all with giggles and beaming smiles.

All of which has been very conducive to my getting my baking ugg boots on this week.

To go with all the cups of tea, I made Donna Hay's date and pecan loaf from Modern Classics Book 2.


It's a very light loaf, almost like an upsized date scone.

Date Loaf

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 cup rough chopped dates
1/4 cup milk 
125 g butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup rough chopped pecans 

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C. 
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar into a bowl and add chopped dates and pecans.  
  3. Add melted butter, milk and eggs, mix until almost all combined and add the pecans.  Bake for 45 minutes to 50 minutes. Let cool in tin for 5 minutes.
  4. Perfect straight from the oven with heaps of butter!

I then got the Bastille Day party a bit late with a smoked salmon and asparagus quiche, using this recipe from the AWW.  I had to look up taste.com for the low down on how to properly line my flan tin with short crust pastry.

Taste.com advises the rolling pin technique where you ease the pastry over the tin after having rolled it up over the rolling pin.  It didn't quite work for me and I ended up doing a cut and paste job as illustrated above.

What did work for me was the suggestion of using a little ball of pastry dough to press the lining of short crust pastry into the tin.

There's something slightly frivolous about using baking beads and blind baking during the week.

The smoked salmon I used was an American vacuum packed variety from Costco.

It has a shelf life of years and I wasn't quite sure how it would look coming out of the packet.  Leathery  perhaps?

It's actually a whole side of salmon, skin on which has been smoked and packed in its juices.  The flavour is much more intense than the 'fresh' version we find more commonly in Australia.  The fish has the texture of canned tuna.  It is pretty salty out of the packet as well which makes it perfect for dishes where baking or some other kind of cooking is involved.  The 680g side of salmon cost under $20.

And here's my quiche out of the oven with an artful arrangement of asparagus spears on top.  I'll let you in on a secret.  I forgot to add the mozzarella cheese and it still tasted fantastic.  Even better the next day for lunch.  Somehow, the smoky saltiness of the salmon toned itself down overnight and the end result was a slightly fancy leftovers lunch.

My most exciting news of the last few days, though, is this shot of my laptop screen.  I'm actually getting photos printed.  I've been through six months' worth of photos on my computer and distilled Baby SSG's life down to 93 photos which I'm going to print and the use in his long neglected 'first year'  baby book and flip album of happy snaps which the Americans cutely call a brag book.  Given that it's taken me so long to get the photos organised, I'm not going to even attempt to scrap book the photos.

This month's Donna Hay is a culinary tribute to the black and white theme.  What I've seen so far has been amazing!

Confirming that order of photos was my personal Everest.  I owe both sets of grandparents photos and though the final editing wasn't as painful as I feared it would be, finding the time and headspace to get it done was the hard part.  To celebrate, I'm going to take that Donna Hay magazine from under my mouse and read it whilst catching up on the sauciness that was last night's episode of Offspring.

Have a lovely weekend and I hope to be back again soon after being a bit absent this week - sorry about that.


  1. Donna Hay, Mum visits and baby photos…could things get any better?

  2. It was a bit saucy, wasn't it?

  3. Love mother's coming to visit their grandchildren. Congrats on the baking and photos- I've never been organised with the blind baking beads/ rice- I usually find random things around to weigh down the pastry- last time I used metal cookie cutters. Still tastes the same. Have a lovely weekend

  4. Your baking Ugg boots. LOL.
    Love grandmums!
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit


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