Words Crush Wednesday – Pema Chödrön Edition

Have you ever wondered why the same thing keeps happening to you over and over? As if it’s on an annoying loop and you can’t find the pause button. I fully believe there is a lesson to be learnt in everything, good and bad, and it is up to you to see and receive that lesson. This quote, simple yet profound, deeply resonated within me which is why it’s this week’s Words Crush Wednesday. If you can’t understand why you keep finding yourself in the same situation, this might help:

 

Pema Chodron 3

 

Monthly Mystery Munchies: Appetizers in Dough

It’s the second installment of my and Ann from Grubbs n Critters‘ Monthly Mystery Munchies challenge and this month was her turn to choose, which she did well. The theme is appetizers using dough and, admittedly, this pushed me out of my comfort zone but it was a welcome challenge because I always enjoy creating new recipes and working with ingredients that I don’t use in everyday cooking. It’s exciting, it’s challenging and it’s interesting. Do yourself a favour and check out Ann’s recipe – not only is her dough homemade but she used curried potatoes! I think we have a winner!

Bundles and foldovers 1I created three appetizers using phyllo pastry and, well, they didn’t last long! Listen, give me crispy, creamy, buttery pastry any day! The first one is fried mixed mushrooms and garlic with mozzarella. I used white button mushrooms but added portabellini mushrooms to add some extra flavour. I used fresh garlic cloves and fried up the lot, added mozzarella and baked for 15 minutes. Oh. Yum! The second one is blue cheese and honey. You make the phyllo the exact same way but substitute the ingredients with blue cheese and honey. This, it must be said, was The Husband’s suggestion. I personally do not have an affinity for blue cheese, I just can’t, but he does and I decided to oblige. Scored major points! Note that for the bundles, you can use butcher’s twine (kitchen string) to tie them into parcels. I did it both ways. The third one is salami and cream cheese foldovers with Italian parsley. The reason I used Italian instead of regular is because it has a stronger flavour. You can also do this dish the same as the above bundles but I made foldovers to add variety and they’re easier to chomp on. Also, bear in mind you can double or even triple all of these recipes – I made four of each simply because I was testing them and it was just The Husband and I, but if you’re having a large dinner party or catering for several people, you can adjust these recipes to as many as you need. Here we go…

Mushroom, Garlic and Mozzarella Phyllo Bundles:

Mushroom bundles in phyllo ingredients4 sheets phyllo pastry
6 portabellini mushrooms
6 white button mushrooms
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
80g grated mozzarella
¼ cup melted butter plus 2 tablespoons
Pepper for seasoning

 

 

Mushroom bundles in phyllo 2 1Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F). Thinly slice the mushrooms and garlic and fry in 1 tablespoon of butter on medium-low for ± 10 minutes, until soft and cooked. Season with pepper.

Melt the butter and drizzle 1 tablespoon over one sheet of phyllo. Paint the butter, spreading across the entire sheet, lay another piece of phyllo on top of the first piece and repeat these steps until you have four layers of phyllo. Using a sharp knife, slice the layered phyllo into four squares. Spoon one quarter of the mushrooms into the centre of each square and top with grated mozzarella.

Mushroom bundles in phyllo 3 1Bunch up into a ‘bundle’ – at this stage you can either pinch it at the neck or tie with kitchen string. Paint the last of the butter over the bundles, place them in a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes until golden and crispy.

 

 

 

Mushroom bundles in phyllo 5 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Cheese and Honey:

4 sheets phyllo pastry
4 tablespoons blue cheese
4 teaspoons honey
¼ cup melted butter plus 1 tablespoon

Follow the same steps as the mushroom bundles but use the above ingredients instead.

Salami, Cream Cheese and Italian Parsley Foldovers:

Salami cream cheese foldovers ingredients4 sheets phyllo pastry
4 slices salami, sliced up
4 tablespoons cream cheese
Italian parsley
5 tablespoons (70g) butter

 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Melt the butter and drizzle 1 tablespoon over one sheet of phyllo. Paint the butter, spreading across the entire sheet, lay another piece of phyllo on top of the first piece and repeat these steps until you have four layers of phyllo. Using a sharp knife, slice the layered phyllo into four squares.

Salami cream cheese foldovers 6 1Place one tablespoon of cream cheese into the bottom righthand corner of each square and top with a quarter of the sliced up salami. Place four leaves of the parsley on top of the salami.

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 7 2Now, fold down the top of the square until it meets the ingredients.

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 3 2Fold the bottom right corner upwards into a triangle shape.

 

 

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 4 2Fold over again (to the left).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 5 2Tuck the last piece underneath.

 

 

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 10Paint the foldovers with the remaining butter, place on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Salami cream cheese foldovers 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, Ann, for this lovely idea! I had so much fun! Here’s to next month!

 

 

 

 

 

Words Crush Wednesday – Alice In Wonderland Edition

I’m having this kind of day. I needed to see this. I needed to be reminded not to let myself think that anything is impossible. We all have days like today when, for whatever reason, things are overwhelming and start to get you down. Always remember there’s nothing you can’t do, as long as you believe you can do it. Here is this week’s Words Crush Wednesday:

alice-alice-in-wonderland-impossible-mad-hatter-quote

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been using this choc chip cookie recipe for years. It’s foolproof, creamy, chocolatey and chewy.  They are easy to make, don’t take long – 5 minutes prep, 15 minutes in the oven, and taste delicious. I use dark chocolate in my baking because it has a stronger flavour than regular milk chocolate. However, I was craving peanut butter, so I added half a cup. Be still my beating heart. Delicious! I will never make regular choc chip cookies again!

Yields: 12 large     Prep time: 5 minutes     Baking time: 15 minutes

Peanut butter choc chip cookies ingredients80g melted butter
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup peanut butter – I favour crunchy but you can use smooth
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Peanut butter choc chip cookies 2 1Preheat your oven to 170°C (340°F). In a large bowl using a whisk attachment on medium, cream together the butter, peanut butter and white and brown sugar until smooth, about 20-30 seconds.

Sift in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. The mixture will be crumbly.

 

 

Peanut butter choc chip cookies 3 1Beat in the eggs and vanilla and stir until fully blended. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut butter choc chip cookies 3 21Line your baking trays with parchment paper, put 1 large teaspoon of batter in your hand, form a ball and place on the baking tray. Leave a large gap between the cookies as they expand quite impressively! Bake at 170°C for 15 minutes until golden brown around the edges.

 

 

 

 

Peanut butter choc chip cookies 4 1Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Makes 12 large cookies (there aren’t 12 in this picture because we got hold of them and demolished a few!).

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut butter choc chip cookies 5 12