Sunday, October 18, 2009

HoBOO Highlights: Montana Whoppers!

I'd seen these around the blogworld many, many times, but never quite got around to making them. But when I saw them on Megan's blog yesterday, I decided it had to be a sign!

I halved the recipe, as making it according to instructions would have:

a) left me completely buried in cookies; and
b) cleaned me out of pretty much all of my staples!

I also left out the mini M&Ms, which I think would have added a nice texture, because, in the spirit of HoBOO, I'm trying not to cook with ingredients I wouldn't be allowed to eat on their own!

These were delicious, and WILL be made again!

Monday, October 12, 2009

HoBOO: Phil gets into the HoBOO spirit

Well, lots of homemade goodness (well, yumminess) this weekend. We didn't make it a "home food only" weekend as we sometimes do, but we made sure all our "junk" was homemade.

It started with juicy pear bread on Thursday.

This was yum. Not quite a replacement for my favourite banana/date/walnut bread, but it will feature again, I believe. Thank you Fit Bride for pointing me to this recipe, and suggesting some mean substitutions.

On Friday night, we scoffed down some pasta at our favourite local Italian, then hurried home to watch Season 3 of How I Met Your Mother. AWESOME!

I took a break part way through to make Belgian Biscuits, using this recipe from Ever since seeing them on someone else's blog, I'd been craving them. Plus, I thought it would be fun to make roll out cookies instead of teaspoon-dollop cookies.

I don't know whether Belgian Biscuits are big in other countries. Certainly it seems as if they're a European/British treat, not a North American treat. Basically, a Belgian Biscuit is a spicy, gingerbread man-type, sandwich cookie, stuck together with raspberry jam and iced with simple white frosting and a dust of coloured sugar. The predominant spice is mixed spice, but they also have plenty of cinnamon. They're delicious!

I also had a great time making them, although I had to get creative with no rolling pin- and I didn't even have any empty wine bottles (what is the world coming to?) It's been far too long since I rolled out cookie dough over and over again, punching out shapes and re-rolling the edges. Love it!

My icing was yuck (butter not as fresh as it could have been) so we ended up eating them un-iced. I'll have to find something to do with the bag of coloured sugar in my cupboard....

Anyway, these were delicious, and have gotten spicier with each passing day. HoBOO win!

We really lifted our game on Sunday night. And by we, I mean Phil. No longer content with baked goods, he ventured into the realm of the ultimate junk food main. Yep, fish n chips!

Believe it or not, this was the first time I'd ever eaten homemade battered fish. Actually, we cheated a little and used sweet Fogdog beer batter mix, which we stumbled across while browsing the Auckland fish market for finds (we also came across a yellow tomato and bought that too).

Next time (well, next time AFTER we finish the packet), we'll have to make it truly from scratch.

Phil did the honours while I worked on some evidence.

...and before you could say Jack Robinson, I was served up a plate of juicy fish , tasty kumara and potato chips, and fresh organic asparagus. Spring meal WIN!

We rounded out our indulgent homemade Sunday night with Lemon and Vanilla Cheesecake from the Healthy Food Guide. Again, 100% made by Phil and, again, 100% delicious. This one is definitely on the "entertaining" list!

What's on the menu for next week? Just you wait and see...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

HoBOO Week 1: Epic Photo Fail

Well, HoBOO week one is over and done, and baking for HoBOO week three has begun.

(That was an eniterely accidental wee rhyme, and I'm not going to take it any further).

Dessert in the weekend was molten chocolate marshmallow cake (see below) and it was To Die For. I used muffin pans instead of ramekins. Partly to keep the serving size down, and partly because I have no ramekins in my apartment!

The recipe was easy to follow, absolutely delicious, positively decadent, and not TOO bad on the calorie side either (by my calculations, our servings were 281 calories each). Definitely going in the "entertaining" file!

One of the best things about these cakes was that they needed no accompaniment. Of course, I'd have liked to dip into the dairy milk chip ice cream, but the gooey marshmallow totally made up for the lack of smooth, creamy ice cream.

No picture- we devoured them too fast. But pretend they look like this (but a lot messier, and with the marshmallows slightly too big for the muffin cups and exploding through the chocolate):

On Sunday evening I baked our snacks for the week. (Well, as it turned out, I baked our snacks for Monday - Wednesday! Baking doesn't last long in either of our houses!)... da da da DUM:

Banana Oatmeal (Walnut Raisin) Chocolate Chip Cookies!

These were great! I was a little disappointed at first, as I had in mind a flat, chewy cookie (yeah, despite the TWO teaspoons of baking powder in the recipe... smart I am) and these were more like the puffy "oaty" biscuits my mum used to make than a traditional oatmeal cookie. But Phil loved them, and once I accepted that they were not supposed to be what I expected them to be, I loved them too. Will definitely be made again!

On Wednesday, after eating all of my share, I emailed the husband to ask if he had any left so I could get a late picture. But sadly, he had scarfed his down too. Sad face.

I didn't have any HoBOO set backs. I had a near miss on Tuesday night, when I spied some leftover tinned pears and a Fresh n Fruity 100 cal chocolate mousse that EXPIRES DURING HoBOO. My chocolate wanting side and my waste-averse side teamed up to try to convince my HoBOO side to cave. But my HoBOO side won in the end and I had a cookie instead.

What's your favourite home-baked treat? Anything I should try in HoBOO week two??

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's HoBOO!

"What's HoBOO?" you ask

Well, it's Home Baked Only October.

Reading Holly's blog awhile back, I came across some key principles by Michael Pollan in a recent speech. Number (4) on Holly's list stuck out:

Eat all the junk food you want if you make it yourself.

Well- that's a challenge if I ever saw one!

Since Jenn and I have been baking more recently and trying to buy less junk, I knew I could count her in. And Phil's a sucker for a nutrition bandwagon, so he was a sure bet.

So, it's time for "no junk unless you made it yourself October". That didn't quite have the right ring to it, so we enlisted the help of facebook, and a helpful friend supplied us with Home Baked Only October, or HoBOO for short (that's right, the kids can call you HoBOO).

This means no candy, no chocolate (except in baking), no chippies, no hot chips, no bought biscuits, cakes, or icecream, well- basically no bought baking.

But to make it a little easier, we can have all the homemade brownies....



chocolate chip cookies...

banana bread...

and molten chocolate marshmallow cakes...

we want!

Let the baking begin!