Pear and Vanilla Vodka Granita with Sweetend Lemon Scented Cream

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A while ago on the Sundays with Joy facebook group they made espresso granita with sweet lemon cream. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like coffee, so I really didn’t want to make it as well its coffee flavoured. However I did play around and make granita based on a cocktail I had recently had. At the time I didn’t blog about it as it was the middle of winter and I had a couple of other posts on the go.

Well Summer’s got off to an early start here, cue ridiculous heat and some humidity. So I thought it might be time to revisit it. Its prefect for summer as its cold, icy and refreshing. It’s also really really really easy to make. You are pretty much mixing a few liquid ingredients, freezing then topping with some whipped cream sweetened with lemon infused sugar.

It’d be a delightful dinner party desert and its easy put sounds really fancy.

I’m giving you a recipe but I suggested tasting it and adding more of less of the ingredients to taste

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2 types of vodka (winner) plus the always fancy sounding elderflower cordial are amongst the ingredients

Pear and Vanilla Vodka Granita with sweetened lemon scented cream recipe adapted from Joy The Baker Cook Book

2 cups warm water

70ml of pear vodka

30ml of vanilla vodka

50 ml elderflower cordial

30ml lemon juice

1/2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 cups cream

3 tbls sugar

1 tsp lemon zest

In a glass bowl dissolve sugar in water, leave to cool for a bit

Add vodkas, elderflower cordial and lemon juice, mix taste and adjust if required.

Put in freezer, after 1 hour take out and scrape and break up with a fork (what you don’t want to happen is for it to freeze into a solid mass, which is probably unlikely with all the vodka), put back in freezer. After 30 mins take out and scrap with fork again. Leave 3-4 hours until frozen into flaky crystals.

Once it’s all frozen  and flaky, it can stay like this for a few day.

When ready to serve, put sugar into mortar and pestle with lemon zest, lightly pound together to release oils form lemon.

Whipped cream for 1 min, then add sugar, keep whipping until peaks form.

fill glasses with granita, and top with dollop of lemon scented cream.

Enjoy on a hot night.

Sundays with Joy – Zucchini Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I’m what one might call an enthusiastic gardener. I have grand plans about growing stuff and plant out, lots of things, but I don’t quite have a green thumb so not everything grows. My vegetable garden attempts are pretty much the same. I often plant out a variety of stuff and some of it grows.

We’ve got 2 smallish veggie garden beds in our garden.

One was larger but as you can see in the background we put in a chicken coup and run. We recently chicken sat a friends chickens while she was on holiday, it went well so we’ll be getting out own. so in front of the chicken run is pretty hot in summer so I’m thinking of planting chillies/capsicum.

At the moment the other garden bed is a mixture of a parsley/kale forest some pea seedlings , which are in a bit late but the kids really wanted to grow them and some tomato seedlings which unlike the peas are probably in too early, as well  garlic in amongst it all. We’ve just fenced this off form our puppy so I’m a bit excited at what we can plant up the fencing wire in summer, probably cucumbers and beans but I’m keen to try melons as well. I suspect we might try to squeeze some corn in there as well as the good ole Zucchinis. I plant them every year and they always grow. At first they seem a bit slow to fruit then suddenly it’s all day of the triffords and they are just going berserk growing massive zucchinis in what seems like a day. This of course gives you a zucchini glut and there is only so much you can give away and put into savoury dishes.

This week the Sundays with Joy Facebook group made Zucchini Cream Cheese Pound Cake which will be perfect for using up the massive glut of zucchini’s.

It was really similar to a carrot cake and I was tempted to put walnuts in it and probably will next time. I iced it with Joy’s brown sugar cream cheese icing which improved on the already yummy cake.

recipe from Joy the Baker cookbook

Sundays with Joy – S’mores Brownies

Food can be a strange thing, but it can also be a historical thing to. I mean what we call biscuits, is known in the UA as cookies, and there biscuits are scone like to us and what they call scones is one big round cut into wedges. Why is this and how did it occur. Some people might not care as long as its tastes good. But I’m sure these subtle food naming difference represent something deeper historically.

This thinking about food history really came about after a colleague went to the USA and reported back about the triangle wedge scones. She said they were similar in texture and taste but not the same as our cones. It posed the question why were scones in USA different from ours. We guessed maybe our strong connection with the English lead us to follow their food and baking traditions long after maybe the Americans had abandoned them. Was it availability of ingredients, was it to serve some other purpose. We couldn’t really get to the bottom of it.

But my point is why food is cooked eaten and named is really a link to the history of a country or region. A dish usually evolves because of need plus available ingredients. So by looking deeper as to why a dish/recipe is the way it is you can understand the history behind it and of the region it comes from. Eg Damper is an example. It’s an Australian bread , but it’s made pretty much with flour salt and water (sometimes milk), but no yeast, it’s also traditionally cooked on the coals of campfires. Why? Well it evolved out in the Australian outback where people did have access to flour and salt but wouldn’t have had access to yeast. They probably didn’t have access to an oven, particularly if they were exploring, mustering, travelling or early settlers. So from all of these we get damper but also a bit of understanding of life in the Australian outback 100 plus yrs ago.

So what does this have to do with the Sundays with Joy facebook group? This week we made S’mores brownies. Now I know brownies are a North American thing, Cleary born form a need for a fudgy cake type slice, but I had no idea what S’mores are. In fact I’m still a bit lost on what they are, I’m suspecting they are something we call something different tin Australia (again why does this happen, what’s the reason behind it). I’m guessing they are marshmallow campfire things. Joy’s intro into the recipe in the book kind of gives that away.

But is uses Graham crackers which really threw me. Some investigation and some help from the Sundays with Joy facebook group gave me the indication they were a basic sweet biscuit (if they are a biscuit then why are they called a cracker, not a cookie?) . I suspect my choice of plain sweet biscuits (Arnott’s Granita biscuits) wasn’t quite right but none the less a set out to bake me something I didn’t quite understand (again what are s’mores?).

The ingredients look pretty promising

The result

whatever county you’re in it was chocolaty fudgy goodness with marshmallows on top and biscuit chunks within and I’m hoping thats what it was supposed to be.

Recipe in the Joy the Baker cookbook

Blog link up via Bakeaholic Mama

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Sundays with Joy – Blueberry Orange and Almond Pancakes with Orange Maple Glaze

I make these pancakes every Saturday.  But not today, today as part of the Sundays with Joy facebook group I made what I shall call fancy pancakes.

Some breakfasts call for simple pancakes, some call for fancy pancakes (aka you need to impress somebody, thank somebody, need something from somebody).  These would be the fancy pancakes you make.

I mean just the name of them sounds fancy. You even servie them witha a fancy glaze.  If you served them up for breakfast people would be so chuffed you’d gone to the effort of making something fancy for them.

But you know what made them extra fancy and special besides tasting pretty damn good? They were easy as to make.  A few extra ingrediants than my normnal recipe but pretty much made the same way, combene dry ingrediants, combine wet ingrediants, mix together, cook, enjoy.

Simple

Recipe for super easy suprer fancy pancakes from the Joy the Baker cookbook

Part of the link up hosted by the talented Bakeaholic Mama

Sundays with Joy – Zucchini and Potato Pancakes

I work 2 1/2 days a week. This leaves me with 2 /12 days a week where I’m not at work and my kids are at school. Now some might think I use this non working kid free time to watch trashy tv and drink cocktails in between napping or lunching with friends. I can only wish. I spend these days doing housework, grocery shopping, running errands, attending any appointments, basically doing mundane everyday stuff.

I never really make and effort with lunch on these days, its usually something quick with what I have on hand and sometimes I skip it as I can’t be bothered making anything.

However lunch on one of these days was different. This week the Sundays with Joy Facebook group made Zucchini and Potato Pancakes.

It was essentially a case of mixing all these ingredients together.

I served them with bacon and sour cream, they were amazing.

The whole thing of taking the time to make something delicious for lunch, sitting down in peace and quiet and taking time to enjoy the meal made a refreshing change to lunch. It reminded me that it nice to make the item to do something nice for myself

I made a couple of small amendments to the recipe and used 1 spring onion instead of the onion and self raising flour instead of the flour & baking powder. I also served it with bacon (high recommended),

For the recipe you’ll need the Joy the Baker cookbook

To see how others tackled the pancakes visit the blog link up hosted by Bakeaholic Mama

Sundays with Joy – Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Pops

This week the Sundays with Joy Facebook group make Chocolate Raspberry pops.

It was a bit traumatic. Not because I have some super phobia of chocolate (god forbid) or raspberries or ice cream, Not even because I made ice cream in the middle of winter. But because I had to find my ice cream moulds.

I’ve had my ice cream moulds for a few years. They were given to me by my mother in law. I’ve used them to make a variety of ice cream/ice blocks but hadn’t used them for 18 months. This meant they had moved to the deep dark corners of the tupperware cupboard. The only things I can ever find in our tupperware cupboard are the most used items because these are the things that fall out of the cupboard when we open the door because they are the things shoved in cupboard while the door is slammed shut.

I methodically took things out of the cupboard whilst hunting for all the bits to the ice cream moulds, oh okay I randomly pulled things out the cupboard whilst possibly swearing and vowing to organise it one day (note that would not be the day that I had most of the contents of the tupperware cupboard on the floor, because that would be too easy and I relish the challenge and trauma of doing it all again).

In the end tupperware was scattered all over the place and I was missing one stick bit, but feeling scarred and emotional and slightly triumphant I was ready to go.

Its essentially a custard cooled with raspberries and chocolate chunks added, then frozen (note I used frozen raspberries because they are out of season but mainly that’s what I had on hand). They were delicious even more so after a couple of days. Totally will make again, but maybe in summer.

mmm sugar cornflour and cocoa powder

plus milk cream vanilla and butter

= chocolate custard

raspberrires & chocolate mixed in lead to Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Pops

I only made a half batch because I could tell by other posts that a full batch would be more than my small ice block moulds could handle. I also only mixed raspberries and chocolate chunks into 3 out of the eventual 5 made and left 2 plain for the kids.

They were absolutely perfect for dealing with the trauma of the tupperware cupboard (although gin/vodka/wine would have helped too).

For the delicious recipe you’ll need the Joy the Baker cookbook

And for more delicious versions of the Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Pops see the delightful blog link up at Bakeaholic Mama

Sundays with Joy – Kale Spinach Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

This week in Sundays with Joy Facebook group we made a green smoothie

As we all know I bake – like a LOT. As much as I would like to live on cake alone, I need to do something to compensate of all the baked goods. One of these things is to have green smoothies for breakfast (well weekday breakfast because weekend breakfasts are for pancakes, bacon, waffles etc.). I got into these after my mother in law and sister in law started raving about them. I like them because they are healthy, like super healthy as kale’s packed with goodness. They are also easy and quick to make and I can sip it whilst running around getting everyone ready for work, school etc, or if I’ve run out of time take it with me.

I usually just blend up a small handful of spinach/kale a frozen banana, and whatever fruit is on hand. But this one is different it has both kale and spinach (although I had no spinach so used silver beet), frozen banana, peanut butter, honey and milk.  The peanut butter and honey I could totally see working in a green smoothie and I’ll probably add to the ones I usually make. But the milk well I was a bit unsure. Joy’s recipe said cow’s or soy or almond milk. I used cashew milk instead.

Overall it tasted like a pretty good green smoothie, prefect for attempting to balance out the butter and sugar in my life.

Recipe available from the Joy the Baker cookbook