Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

Apple, Maple & Cinnamon Peanut Butter

In Pickles & Preserves on December 19, 2012 at 6:54 am



Yes, this is as delicious as it sounds. I can’t take credit for the idea as I saw it on pinterest. I was drawn to idea of creating a spread using a slow cooker. My mum’s slow cooker is a bit of a weird one (apparently, you need a spanner to be able to change to dial from high to low) but eventually I managed to get my apples cooked enough to be turned into apple butter. I used this and this recipe as a reference. It’s dead simple; make the apple butter and then blend in with the peanut butter, maple syrup and cinnamon.

I decided to make this along with the jam because I thought it would make great Christmas presents. I’m also looking forward to stirring it through my porridge in the mornings!


Boysenberry Jam

In Pickles & Preserves on December 19, 2012 at 6:29 am


I went away on a family holiday recently, the last day of which happened to be my birthday! Unfortunately, despite my best intentions, my birthday meal was fried takeaways (granted, it was battered scallops and chips, so one can’t complain too much) but the best part about it was a dessert. Granted, there was a gap in between dinner and the dessert, but one can’t be too picky! After dropping my brother off in Hamilton, we stopped at a roadside shop which was advertising berries for sale as well as ice cream. Well, the ice cream was the best dessert I have been privy to in a long time, so was well worth the wait. I chose the boysenberry flavour and bought just under 2 kg of boysenberries to match. I guess after that, jam was just inevitable!

I hadn’t received any brainwaves about interesting things to mix the boysenberries with so I went for a classic and simple 3 ingredient jam. My mum reckoned I could have bulked it out with some apple, but I still managed to get a good 8 jars of jam with just the berries!


To make the jam:

I began with washing the berries (they were already destemmed and without leaves) and boiled them in a large pot on the stovetop (yup, without any water – the berries disintegrate quickly). Once the berries disintegrated to form something of a liquid, I began adding sugar. I used a roughly 1:3 sugar ratio, but you could adjust the sweetness to suit your own taste. I was trying not to make the jam too sweet, but I guess sweetness is kind of unavoidable with berries, isn’t it? I added the sugar slowly, stirring whilst adding so it dissolved quickly. After boiling rapidly for about 20-40 mins, the jam was syrupy and ready to set. I took the jam off the stove and added the juice of 3 large lemons to ensure it set. After cooling for a little bit, I simply poured it into my pre-sterilized jars and sealed them. I was left with 8 jars of jam (of varying sizes) as back up christmas presents. Of course, I will keep one for myself! I think this particular jam will be lovely swirled through some greek yoghurt or over vanilla ice cream. It might also be nice with ricotta or mascarpone and other fruit…or even on a sweet/savoury bruschetta with a soft goat cheese. Mmmmm…the possibilites are endless….



And I’m back…with cookies!

In Biscuits/Cookies on December 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm


As you may have noticed, ElvisBreakfast is back in operation! I am still going to continue with the The New ElvisBreakfast, though will keep it restricted to pictures. I’m not sure what I will do about my diminishing space on this blog, but will deal with that problem later. This blog is now up to date! I must apologize for the undelivered promises about more frequent posting and sadly, there won’t be any new posts for another week or so. My cat went missing (but now has returned, thank god) and I’ve been working, so haven’t been able to travel up north to use my parents’ kitchen as much as I’d have liked. (I can’t attempt much in my grandmother’s kitchen – that is hostile territory!) However, at least when I do make it up north, you can expect a good few posts to follow! I have a massive list of things I want to try, not to mention Christmas and my birthday are coming up….

I’ll leave you with a photo of some delicious ginger molasses cookies which I made a few weeks back. I can’t remember where I got the recipe from, but they were fantastic! I managed to eat almost the entire batch myself, oops!

Carrot & Fennel Soup and Kumara, Kohlrabi, Carrot & Fennel Soup

In Soup on December 8, 2012 at 8:20 pm


Whew! That’s a bit of a mouthful, isn’t it?

I didn’t have much time to photograph my soups, so apologies for the awkward presentation. I rather like keeping my soup in jars; it means you can store it in nice manageable portions, plus it looks much prettier than tupperware.

Anyway, fennel was one of the things I didn’t mention earlier which I also had in my garden. I had planned on doing one of my staple dishes – fennel risotto with black olive pesto – but discovered I didn’t have any sundried tomatoes for the pesto. So I settled on soup instead.

I got inspiration for a carrot and fennel soup from a magazine somewhere, but for the life of me cannot remember which one. After getting the first stages of the soup underway, I realized that I only had two carrots – hardly enough to make a proper carrot soup! Therefore I adapted my plan to use what I had on hand – some kumara (nz sweet potato), kohlrabi (also from my garden) as well as the two carrots and fennel bulb.


The recipe is roughly as follows:

olive oil, butter or margarine

1 large onion, finely diced

1 fennel bulb, finely diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 large kumara, peeled and diced

2 kohlrabi, peeled and diced

approx. 3-4 cups vegetable stock (though you could use chicken or another stock, if preferred)

cream, to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

Have your vegetable stock heated and ready, I keep mine at a bare simmer. Heat the oil, butter or margarine in a med-large saucepan. Add onion, cook until soft but not browned. Add the diced fennel and let it cook for a few minutes also. [You could probably add some spices here, if desired – like curry powder or cumin – but I found the soup fine without any.] Add the rest of the vegetables, stir quickly and add the stock. Bring to the boil; reduce to a comfortable simmer and leave until all the vegetables are cooked through – test this with a fork or knife. Once cooked, blend with a blender stick (very handy, that way the soup can stay in the pan) or if you don’t have a blender stick, use a food processor. Return to pan, season with salt and pepper. I prefer to use a very strong flavoured stock so I often find I don’t need to season. Add cream as desired and serve!

Note: this is one of the few times I haven’t included garlic in the recipe. I always put garlic in my soups, even when recipes don’t include it. However here I thought it might compromise the lovely fennel flavour and distract from some of the other subtler flavours going on with the kumara and kohlrabi.

After buying some carrots, I made the same soup again, only this time the vegetables used were 5 carrots, 1 fennel bulb and 1 potato. However, I found I actually preferred the first version, even if it didn’t have such a pretty colour.