sneak peek + news

the steam on that first cup of coffee in the morning

Hey guys! It’s been a while, I know, and I have a LOT of stuff to tell you about. I’m working on revamping the site, there have been a bunch of recipes I’ve been trying out and I can’t wait to tell you all about them.

sneak peek

For now, though, the big news is that I have a new domain name! This site, I don’t know if you’d noticed, is now happily at home at cutthecookie.com. We have a .com domain! This is very exciting news. I feel like it’s a proper website now, and I hope to be able to treat it like one. I’ll be updating more regularly and expanding a little on the content side of things.

coffeecoffeecoffee

Happy Sunday! Have a cup of coffee for me.

Much love, friends.

-e xx

christmas biscotti

biscotti

bowls and bowls

How exciting! We’re at the halfway point between the first day of December and Christmas Day and I’m excited. I can’t wait till Christmas but at the same time I’m really enjoying the excitement in the lead up. Included in that excitement was the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012.

the line up

pistachios

I signed up for the swap after hearing about it via Best Friends for Frosting (I’m pretty sure) in November. The deal is, you bake a bunch of cookies. You send 1 dozen cookies to three food bloggers (that’s one dozen each) and in return, three food bloggers send you cookies! It was so much fun making up my packages and I love love love recieving mail so getting the cookies was awesome too!  Continue reading

father’s day breakfast buns

What do you love?

I love breakfast. I love coffee. I love family. I love eating, I love food.

I love sunsets, especially ones shared with friends. Especially ones from my own porch. (They’re beautiful!)

I love winter. I love socks. I love loving stuff, getting so uncontrollably, jump-up-and-down-in-your-chair LOVING stuff. Being so excited by something you literally cannot control yourself. I love uncontrollable laughter with friends.

I love reading. I love writing.

I love baking and cooking. I love sharing, especially something I’ve made, with other people. I love giving.

This week, I got uncontrollably excited about the Melbourne Writer’s Festival. I started reading a book I bought there (I currently have four books I’m juggling, five if you count the Bible. Not that you wouldn’t – it’s just that it’s always being read in some capacity:). I finished writing my essays and drank surprising amounts of coffee (surprising considering the amount of stress I put myself through with those essays). I watched several sunsets from my porch, one from my lecture hall and one in my rearview mirror. I celebrated socks by wearing two pairs at once at the start of spring, the end of winter but still a pretty good season.

I gotta say, I pretty much love all seasons. For different reasons.

This week, I heard about some things that other people love. What other people do in their everyday lives that expresses their love for something bigger than themselves. I gave a piece of myself in the form of a poem. I got a stir in my belly that warned me of getting stuck in a rut.

And I baked breakfast buns for my family for Father’s Day. I didn’t get to be at home for as long as I’d have liked to, but I was there for long enough to make and enjoy these immensely. I’m hoping the next time I try, they’ll rise a little better, though.

What do you love?

Lemon Raspberry Breakfast Buns

Adapted from Joy the Baker

 

So, my yeast wasn’t exactly alive. Not quite dead, but I couldn’t make it into the scrolls that the original recipe requested, so I rolled it out as best as I could and cut it into rounds and we ate it that way. It was still delicious, and I’ll put in instructions for both ways.

1 cup milk

2/3 cup sugar

1 pkt active dry yeast (1 1/2 tbsp)

1/2 cup (110g) butter, room temperature)

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp salt

4 1/4 cups plus 1/2 cup plain flour, plus more for sprinkling

For the filling:

1 heaping cup fresh raspberries (or frozen, not thawed, unless you’re making buns not scrolls) (I used a mixed berry mix because that’s what we had)

1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp cornflour

1/4 cup butter

 

Warm the milk to just under body temperature (in a saucepan or in the microwave). Pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir the sugar and yeast into the warm milk and leave it to froth if you like, but you should probably know if your yeast is alive. (HINT, HINT).

Add the butter, eggs, lemon zest, salt and 4 1/4 cups flour. Beat on low speed for a few minutes, then scrape down the bowl and mix again for a few seconds. Now you can use a dough hook, if you have one, and mix on medium speed for ten minutes, or take out the dough and knead it for the same amount of time. Use the 1/2 cup of flour, plus more if needed, to sprinkle on your kneading surface. It should be soft and slightly sticky.

Place in a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place either in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.

If you left it in the refrigerator, take it out for half an hour while you do this next bit.

Grease a 9×13″ pan or line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.

Combine raspberries, 1/3 cup sugar, lemon zest and cornflour and set aside. If you’re making the scrolls, brown the butter in a saucepan and set aside.

Roll out the dough. If you’re making buns, preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius, and roll the dough out to about an inch or so thick and cut out 2″ rounds. Place on the baking trays and bake about 20 minutes. Serve with the butter and raspberry mix scattered over.

If you’re making scrolls, roll it out to about a centimetre. Brush with the browned butter and scatter the raspberry mix all over. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over and carefully roll the dough and filling lengthways into a log.

Slice it into inch thick rounds and nestle into the baking dish. Cover with a tea towel and let rise another hour in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius and bake 20-25 minutes, until the filling is bubbling at the edges and the tops are golden brown. Let cool about half an hour and then gobble them down with your family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

procrastabaking

I started uni again a couple of weeks ago and just after I started, I discovered this youtube channel and stopped studying before I started.

That’s not entirely true. My general dispensation to stay inside and read, combined with my intense nerdiness which means I geek out over textbooks (textbooks. Not even awesome soon to be published by favourite author who’s going to sign all the first printing of his new book books but textbooks. NERD ALERT) combined with the terrible weather combined with OH MY GOODNESS ALL MY CLASSMATES ARE SMART I NEED TO PROVE MYSELF ness means I still study. But still, I procrastinate. Not only by watching youtube videos but also by baking.

Unfortunately, I seem to be much more able to convince myself not to bake than not to watch youtube (here’s the probable reason why) but fortunately, when I do bake, I make some pretty awesome things.

Like these rolls.

They’re adapted from the most popular recipe on Joy the Baker, Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread, but I made the dough into rolls because I don’t own a loaf pan. Also because I knew that cream cheese glaze would work on cinnamon rolls. Because I still had some left over from when I made carrot pineapple cupcakes.

These were amazing. They are best eaten straight out of the oven, with or without the cream cheese glaze on top (alternatively, for a more complementary cream cheese glaze you can blend the cream cheese with icing sugar and milk until it’s silky smooth and drapes well over the buns.)

This is the song I was listening to when I made the buns:

I freaking love this song!!

And the one I listened to as I ate them:

Clearly I still have some issues to do with procrastination (and perhaps vlogbrothers…) but I have to say, it’s true that when I have to do something, like for uni, I procrastinate, whereas when I do it just for fun, it tends to happen a lot faster. And so I just have to pretend I’m not going to uni and not getting anything for this assessment that’s due in two days, and it’ll happen really quickly! Yay!

It’s been 21 days since the project started and there are some updates, but I don’t want to post twice in one day so you’ll have to wait until an as yet undetermined date. DFTBA.

UPDATE: I wrote this the day the first project incarnation was supposed to “end” but I’m posting it now. Please don’t hate me. The project is failing miserably but I’ll write more later.

Cinnamon Buns

Adapted from Joy the Baker

2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons plain flour

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/2 tsp salt

200g unsalted butter

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup water

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FILLING:

1 cup (approximately) sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

 

Whisk together 2 cups of the flour, yeast and salt and set aside.

Whisk together the eggs and set them aside.

Melt the butter with the milk in a saucepan. Let it cool slightly and add the water. Cool so it doesn’t kill the yeast (about room temperature is fine).

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk mixture. Mix it together, then add the eggs and mix them in. Mix until it’s all incorporated, then add 3/4 cup flour and mix until that’s incorporated.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.

*At this stage, you can refrigerate it until morning.

Deflate the dough (if you’re taking it from the fridge, just leave it out for about half an hour first) and knead in 2 tablespoons of flour. Let that sit for five minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Melt the butter. Butter a large baking dish. (Do this. I didn’t. Do.)

Now, roll out the dough until it’s about 50cmx30cm. Brush it with the melted butter, then scatter the dry filling ingredients all over it. Roll it up into a log and slice into thick rounds. Arrange these on the baking tray and let rise another half hour or so. You can preheat your oven now to 180 degrees C.

*Alternatively, at this point I refrigerated my buns overnight. I let them sit for half an hour in the morning while my oven was preheating, and then…

Bake the buns for about half an hour, until deep golden brown. Share with your housemates. I said share! I know it’s difficult. Do it.

 

 

 

it’s my party

Wow! It was my birthday six whole days ago and I still haven’t told you about the amazing food experiences I experienced!

This is terrible. I am a bad food blogger. I haven’t even written since then. At all. It’s been pretty busy.

Well, there’s time enough to rectify. For me, birthdays are a lot about the food, pretty much equally about the people, and not much about the presents (although the presents are very nice. Thanks for the presents.)

So I decided to have my favourite meal for my birthday – brunch. I love brunch. It combines sleeping in/lazing in bed in the morning, and breakfast food. Best. Ever.

Unfortunately, I don’t know a whole lot of brunch places near my house so we decided to go to one I’d been to before, even though it’s in Abbotsford – three bags full.

I have to pause here for the amazingness of the place to sink in.

Wow. So, we drove to Abbotsford to eat brunch – well, I had brunch, in the form of twice-baked french toast with chestnut cream and quinces. So good. My tummy’s rumbling remembering the deliciousness. It wasn’t too soggy or crisp,  it was beautifully creamy and eggy and the chestnut cream was amazing. The quinces weren’t too sweet and there was exactly enough for me to finish it and be full, but not too full.

And I drink coffee in the form of cappucinos. three bags full has some good coffee. They get it from Five Senses and offer a range of blends and signature origins and different kinds of brews… I just drink cappucino. And it’s really really good.

For dinner, then, we changed scene and went to Grill’d. Grill’d, for those of you who don’t recognise the name, is a chain of burger places. Now before you click away, hear me out – they’re not burgers like McDonald’s make burgers. These burgers are amazing.

Being vegetarian must be a bit of a hindrance, you might be wondering, but you’d be wrong! There are three different vegetarian burger options, each with their own toppings and custom name, even. They have lamb, beef, chicken, steak sandwiches, salads and amazing chips. People, we have a winner. Let’s just say that I don’t often enjoy vegie burgers. I love Grill’d.

All right, all right, you must be wondering about the cake. It’s a birthday, right? There must be cake.

Well, there was a slice of New York Cheesecake from Secret Recipe which was lovely and creamy and pretty good as store-bought cheesecakes go, although I have to say that the real cake is on it’s way! Stay tuned for some fun times!

a day in the life

I had a pretty good day on Friday. Sleep in, picnic, walk in the park, cupcakes and pizza. I thought I might share some pictures because I like taking pictures and I took a lot. I’m getting in the groove because I figured before I ask for a super fancy camera for my birthday, I’d better know whether I was going to use it. Right?

Right.

And, yes, that means that right now I use a point and click. Hey, a girl’s gotta have some sort of pictures on her food blog, right?

Right again. So.

This is my bed. I like to make my bed in the mornings… yeah, the picture’s a little wonky. Sorry. I had to get up early to drive my brother to work experience. I then slept another three hours. I love sleeping in.

I saw a beautiful sunrise this morning. I didn’t take photos because I was driving.

After I got up, at approximately noon, I messed around on the internet and wrote you some words. Then I took in the washing and took some photos of some flowers.

Pretty!

I went to the library to borrow some books… and to scan in a design for a camp I lead on in September. It’s called… September Camp. Surprise!

I can’t show you the design because it’s a secret still. I think.

Then I went on a picnic in the park.

I got coffee and a toastie from this place called Yarra Coffee. Good coffee – you can buy beans there too! – and great food. I got the #5 toastie, with avocado, tomato, fetta, pesto, baby spinach and possibly one more ingredient I can’t remember. I had a choice between olive and rosemary sourdough or plain. I chose olive and rosemary. Yum!

Toastie

Coffee

Converse

I went on a walk around the lake and listened to the Joy the Baker podcast with Joy and Tracy from Shutterbean (available from Homefries). I love going for walks! Me and my roommate went on walks around the lake pretty much every day for a while there last year.

Beautiful day for a walk. I really loved the look of these rushes. Oh! Unfortunately, I wanted to feed some scraps and duds to the ducks but I wasn’t allowed. Sad face.

I was going to make muffins but decided to make cupcakes instead when I saw local strawberries for sale.

And then I went to hang out with friends and eat pizza. And talk about camp. Excited!

How was your Friday?

cappucino cookies

Remember that cookie bender I went on a few weeks ago? Well, it’s back. The cookie craving, I mean.

Last week, I had so many (SO MANY) recipes I wanted to make and I couldn’t, because people in Third World countries can’t make cookies whenever they want. Also, it would have been WAAAY too hard to resist licking the bowl.

Especially when this dough is in there. Forget licking the bowl, after this has been in the fridge a little while, I suspect even YOU won’t be able to resist. It’s kinda like cappuccino flavoured ice cream, but in cookie dough form.

Yes. I went there. The only thing I would add (apart from MORE white chocolate than is already in it) is some DARK chocolate to go with it. That topping on a cappucino is oh-so-sweet and creamy and delicious…

Wow. I may be going too far now. I haven’t had dinner yet and I HAVE to eat dinner tonight before I go all cookie-licious. Mmm-mmm…

I got this recipe from Joy at Joy the Baker. Like Joy, in the winter (which it is now) when it’s raining (which it was when I made these) I like to make cookies. They’re the best comfort food. Curling up on the couch with a cookie and a hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire = happiness.

Now make these. For you.

Cappuccino Cookies

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes about 36

250g unsalted butter, very soft

1 1/2 cups raw sugar

2 large eggs

2 1/4 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons instant espresso or coffee powder (I used instant

1 cup white chocolate, chopped finely (Joy suggests chunks. I liked the little slivers. You decide.)

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and line two baking sheets with baking paper. Set aside.

Whisk together together butter and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk well. Dump all the dry ingredients into the bowl.  Mix with a spatula, using your hands at the end if it gets a little difficult (I had a silicone spatula and it just kept bending back on itself. Add chocolate and fold in until throughout. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Just before you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Shape tablespoons of dough into balls and set about three centimetres apart on the baking sheets.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.  Remove from the oven, allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store cookies in an airtight container.  Cookies will last several days, if you’re lucky.

day four – LBTL

So I know I’ve been banging on about this a lot, but, well, it is kinda my life at the moment. But hey, just so that you don’t think that a) I’m a raging b*tch or b) I’m superhuman, yes, it’s hard. And so I thought I’d answer a few questions that people have been asking me about Living Below the Line.

What do you miss the most?

Coffee. Followed closely by sweets and sweet snacks. It’s just being able to eat whenever I want. I can’t because I have to save it for the next meal.

What’s the hardest thing about it?

You know, I’d originally thought that working around food as I do would be the hardest and it is hard. Especially today when we had cake scraps to pick from, and it’s day four and I really just want to eat cake. And I’m sick (getting over a cold) and that’s been pretty difficult too. Early days for uni, wanting to curl up and go back to sleep. But the hardest thing – harder than no coffee, early mornings, no snacking, no flavour – is that every single time I think to myself  ‘man, I just want a cup of coffee’ or ‘Can I just cheat? just a little?’ there’s this voice in my head that goes ‘Suck it. You know that there are 1.4 billion people who have to do this every day, with even less food because they have to spend their money on other stuff as well.’ The hardest thing is not being able to feel sorry for myself, and then realising how good I have it, how spoiled I really am.

What’s the best thing about it?

Fundraising! All the amazing people who have donated, thank you. All the amazing people who are about to donate, all you have to do is click here! No, kidding. I REACHED MY FUNDRAISING GOAL! YAY! And it’s all for an amazing cause – to help people get out of the cycle of poverty. Education is really good. Be grateful for your education! Utilise your education! Don’t skip class or nap during lectures! It doesn’t take much to make me grateful, sure. Just a week of hunger, longing and beating up on myself.

One day to go!

Tomato Soup

This isn’t a concrete recipe. Just take some tomatoes.

Slice them in half.

Roast them for about half an hour.

Put them in a blender.

Cover them with water. Add a little bit of butter.

Blend.

Eat with yesterday’s flatbread, dreaming of a better world.

sunday best

I never really dressed up for mass. (For all you Protestants out there, that’s what we call church. Mass is the gathering; church is the people. Or the building, depending on who you talk to. I always thought it was the building, but then I found out different when I got older. Excuse me, we don’t tell people what we believe, we try and make them guess by how we act. Unfortunately, this way you can get a little confused, especially if you’re only five.)

But hey. I digress. (Often. Clearly.)

Today is Sunday and I am in my Sunday Best. I went out for breakfast and you know what I was saying about the best way to break in new shoes is to dance in them? It’s true but the second best way may be to walk down a sun-dappled street on a summer morning after a beautiful breakfast. It was so good and I was so disappointed that I couldn’t finish it. I clearly need to make my stomach bigger. The walk was almost necessary just to get that over-full feeling from my stomach. I will never be able to stick to a portion-control diet. I think it’s ridiculous.

Sunday best for me today was my new shoes, a red dress pinned up to be bubble like (which, incidentally is great to dance in) and flowers in my hair.

I love driving slowly down sun-dappled streets with the windows down and the wind in my hair. It’s a beautiful way to get to know someplace and when I move I’m totally going to go on many new drives, particularly to orchards and pick your owns and particularly with my housemates and my friends. I’ll put on beautiful music and revel in life.

I love the idea of taking a day off from the rest of your life and remembering your roots, where you come from, where you’re going, what your purpose is. That, I believe, is the true meaning (or one of them) of Sunday services, although I think it’s either been lost or it just doesn’t get talked about enough. We are scared to tell our stories for fear of being told we are trying to convert people but what’s the matter with telling people the beauty and the mystery of life as we know it?

So I didn’t go to mass today (yet… there’s still time:) but I did remember what I’m trying to do in life – put the world back together. And part of that is loving myself and sending out happy energy into the world. Because to love others like you love yourself, you first have to love yourself, right? Well, maybe not first, but it’s definitely a part and parcel of loving the world. And remember 1 John 4:20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. You have to love others to love God. Everything is connected.

So go and connect yourself. Happy Sunday. Happy January 16.