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Here are three things you NEED to know about ANZAC biscuits.

1. The typical ANZAC (that’s the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) biscuit recipe was created during WW1 so wives could send these biscuits to their soldier husbands abroad. The lack of eggs means they keep well during transport.

rolled into balls, waiting patiently to be cooked

2. The term ANZAC is protected under Australian law (stick with me here, this gets interesting) and shouldn’t be used without permission from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs… There is an exemption granted for ANZAC Biscuits, as long as they remain true to the original recipe and are referred to and sold as ANZAC Biscuits and never as cookies.

Yep. They take this stuff really seriously. They even made Subway drop them from the menu for not making them to the original formula – you can read about it in full here.

3. They are deliciously, lovely, chewy goodness.

Now, this recipe fits the bill of the traditional ANZAC biscuit – except for the sultanas. So in risking having the Department of Veterans Affairs come down on me, please understand it’s an optional, voluntary extra. My mum used to do it, and I think it’s a welcome addition to the traditional biscuit. Try it. I dare you.

P.S. As it’s my mum’s recipe and I’m just the messenger shall we all agree she is legally responsible? Good. I feel better now.

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
¾ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup sultanas
125 grams butter
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
1 teaspoon of bi-carb soda
2 tablespoons of boiling water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Put the oats, flour, sugar, coconut and sultanas in a large bowl, mix.
  2. Pop the kettle on. Then put butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and get it to a high simmer (almost boiling). The butter should be completely dissolved
  3. Put two tablespoons of boiling water in a mug, dump in your teaspoon of bi-carb, give it a quick stir, then pour it into the hot butter mixture. As the whole thing starts to froth up, as it will rather quickly, remove from heat and pour the saucepan full of frothing liquid into the bowl with the dry mixture. It’s pretty cool. I even took a picture. Simple things…
  4. Then eat the cookie dough. No, no, that’s not right.
  5. Make into balls, press down a little. Leave room for them to spread, and bake each tray for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on tray for 5 minutes then move on to wire rack. Makes 30.
pouring butter mixture into bowl

low and behold the power of bi-carb soda!

Healthy? 100-ish calories an ANZAC biscuit

Gluten free: I’ve made them with GF flour mix and it worked fine.

Storage: In an airtight container.

Warning: The type of coconut you buy in American supermarkets is not desiccated coconut. American supermarket coconut is very moist, dessicated is dried (which is what you get in Australia and the UK). While in the US I made these with the moist version of coconut and the biscuits still worked, but spread a heap and are super chewy. At least that’s what happened to me. They’re not really ANZAC biscuits anymore in the true sense. American’s can buy dessicated coconut from healthfood stores, or dry coconut via this method.

References:
1. My mum
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANZAC_biscuit

I went ahead and made you all a vegetable bake for dinner. But then I got real hungry so had to eat it. It was so good. The best vegetable bake ever. You would have loved it. I know how you love vegetable bake. You might have to make you own dinner now. Sorry. My bad.

You see, I saw all these lovely vegetables sitting in my fridge draw.

And I thought, we should do this! We should eat more vegetables!

But then I thought, bacon is tasty, we should put that in too.

So I did. And then I remembered that binding ingredients were probably necessary lest we just sit down to bacon and grated veggies. So I found some good healthy binding things. And now you should make it too.

And you know what? It’s healthy! Double bonus.

Preparation time: 20 minutes preparation, 50 minutes in the oven.

Servings: 4

Ingredients

No Kevin Bacons were harmed in the making of this vegie bake.

4 rashes of shortcut rindless bacon, diced
½ onion, diced
1 ½ cups grated zucchinis (courgettes) – about 2 medium zucchinis
1 cup grated carrot – about 1 large carrot
200 gram tin of whole corn kernels, drained
¾ cup of lite cheese, grated (80 grams)
1 cup flour/rice flour/gluten-free bread crumbed
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs lightly beaten
¼ cup skim milk
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Lightly grease a 20cm round cake tin/loaf tin/whatever you’ve got, or line with grease proof paper.
  2. Fry the bacon and onion in a saucepan until bacon is cooked to your liking (I like mine very crispy).
  3. Combine all other ingredients together in a large bowl, and add bacon and onion.
  4. Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean, is golden on top and bounces back to touch. Cut and serve! Nice with a bean salad. Lovely cold as a picnic snack too.

Healthy? Look at all those lovely vegetables! It’s about 320 calories a serve. 250 without the bacon (booo).

Gluten free? This is very adaptable. I’ve made this with gluten free flour, crumbed up gluten free bread (while travelling and short on supplies) and wholemeal flour. All work well.

Storage: I usually eat this over two nights, it keeps well overnight, and is great to make the night before a picnic too. I’ve never frozen it, let me know how it goes if you do.

EAT ME. please.

I have a very real first world problem. I think this is even worse than when my air conditioner went onto turbo and made my apartment so cold I had to put on a jumper, during a heat wave. At the moment, get this, I have too many baked goods and not enough friends to eat them because I’m temporarily living abroad. I know!

In Melbourne it was easy, bake stuff, stuff disappeared. Bake stuff, stuff disappeared. People came over for wine, after two bottles of sem sauv they left merrily with a doggie bag of biscuits for work the next day. Sometimes I’d give stuff to the neighbours. Or, I’d mail them to Perth in lieu of buying people real gifts. Er, I mean, out of love.

Believe me, I’m doing my best. I eat a lot and love to eat. But I also like variety and cook to wind down. I need some hungry friends. The girls at work are happily taking some, but they’re skinny I tells you, skinny, and not eating enough.

This AWESOME muffin recipe is pinched from Sue, who lived next door to us when I was a kid. After school I’d go over and tell her about my day at primary school and play with her toddler. She’d often have these muffins fresh out of the oven. And I bet she was grateful I ate them. After all, food is best shared.

And yea, they taste just like jaffa lollies.

Ingredients
2 oranges: grate the rind from one orange, then squeeze them to make 1/2 cup of orange juice
125 grams butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups plain flour
90 grams dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with patty cases and spray with cooking oil.
  2. Grate orange rind and squeeze the juice or the orange to make your 1/2 cup. Mix together butter, eggs, sugar, orange rind and orange juice.
  3. Add baking powder and baking soda, mix with a fork to get all the lumps out, you’ll see the rising agents working.
  4. Fold in flour and chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
  5. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and they bounce back to touch. Makes 12

Healthy? Until more of my baked goods disappear everything is calorie-free. Yes, I have the power. (update: they got eaten. 276 calories a muffin.)

Gluten free: No, and I’ve tried adapting it. No luck, they’re just not right.

Storage:They freeze well, otherwise best eaten within a couple of days. Store in airtight container.

Little aerodynamic movie missiles aka jaffas.

Tonight I am very grateful that I have leftover soup in my freezer. It’s raining and I may be feeling slightly worse for wear after some red wine last night. I would even opt for take-out if it didn’t require me to find a) an umbrella, b) my purse.

My lovely vegetarian friend Megan recently made this Moroccan lentil soup – a recipe we’re both fond of – and it’s also happens to be what’s in my freezer. As my defrosting soup isn’t that photogenic, here’s one she prepared earlier (thanks Megs!):

Megan has pretty bowls

Preparation time: 20 minutes of cooking, then let it cook for an hour and a half.
Servings: 6

Ingredients
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon fresh ginger
6 cups water
1 cup red lentils
1 can chick peas, drained
1 can cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
1 can diced tomatoes
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method
In large pot sauté the onions, garlic and ginger in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.

Add everything else (ten out of ten on the lazy scale!). Bring to a boil for a few minutes then simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or longer, until the lentils are soft.

Serve and enjoy!

Megan says: It was YUM! I added a lot more spice than the recipe said, as well as five cloves of garlic instead of two to keep the idiots from Twilight away. I used a can of borlotti beans instead of chick peas, as I didn’t have any. It all worked awesomely – thanks! I even have enough to feed me, the neighbour & Next Week Megan. I think Next Week Megan will be happy.

Healthy? About 230 calories per serve.

Gluten free: Yep!

Storage: Will last in the fridge for a couple of days and freezes well.

and now for….

Cornbread muffins

You can view cornbread muffins as a separate post to print out here – http://clevermuffin.com/2011/05/15/cornbreadmuffins.

This recipe is awesome as it uses natural yogurt instead of butter, making cornbread on the side a smashingly healthy choice. Yet, they still taste buttery, it’s a baking mystery I tells you!


Ingredients
½ cup flour
½ cup of cornmeal (also known as polenta – found in with the polish food in UK supermarkets and with the pasta in Australian)
1 tablespoon sugar (more or less to taste)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 egg
¼ whole kernel corn, drained

Method
Preheat oven to 180 C. In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients. Then put everything else in and give it a good stir. Pour in to a sprayed square tray or fill eight muffin cups to about ½ full, as I have.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, best served warm.  When I defrost them to have with leftovers, I often pop them back in to the oven to give them that crustiness again.

Healthy? 80 calories a serve/muffin.

Gluten free: Switch out the flour for your GF flour alternative and these taste exactly the same.

Do: add an optional ¼ cup jalapenos and/or olives – it’s great if you are making it to go with chilli con carne, not so much with Moroccan lentil soup, too many flavours.

Storage: Store in an airtight container or they freeze well. Putting them back in the oven for 10 minutes when serving with leftovers is extra nice.

Soup recipe modified from http://www.allrecipes.com

These are the best dunking biscuits in the world. This recipe makes them just like the ones you get from the packet. But fresher. And it makes your whole kitchen smells like ginger bread men.

This is the required number of ginger nuts for a tea party of one.

Ingredients
60 grams butter, softened
1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup treacle (maple syrup works well too)
1/3 cup golden syrup
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ginger

Method
1. Preheat oven to 200 C. Combine the butter and caster sugar.
2. Mix in the egg, treacle and golden syrup.
3. Add the flour, baking soda and ginger and mix well.
4. Place neatly heaped teaspoons of the mixture on a tray lined with baking paper. I tend to roll them in to balls. Leave plenty of room for them to expand.
5. Press down the balls a bit with the back of floured wooden spoon.

Bake for 12 minutes or until well browned. Leave to cool on a rack. Makes about 40.

Healthy? About 80 calories a cookie.

Gluten free? No. I haven’t tried to adapt this one, not sure if they’d bind.

Storage? In an airtight container. If not airtight the moisture makes them soften and go chewy.

Do: Try these with red wine. It’s amazingly good. If you only take one thing away from this blog, you must try that.