Kitchen Therapy


Crumb Topped Apple Bars

It has been a very long while since I cooked with the Tuesdays with Dorie group. I have always enjoyed being a part of the group. However, as I mentioned in my last post, I was working with rape and domestic violence clients, working a 24 hour roster and then I caught every virus going, the last one being glandular fever. I just could not recover. I made attempts to join in with the cooking, however it was always short lived.
I have recently found a functional medicine doctor, not many of those here in Australia! I wasn’t expecting much, considering my experience to date with doctors has been… not great to say the least.
Some genetic testing revealed I have inherited faulty MTHFR genes. Not one, but two faulty copies from each parent! Basically, this gene mutation effects my ability to convert folate I eat into something my body can use. If you are cruising through life, this might not be much of an issue, and for me it was fine for some 40+ years. However once I became very ill, it was hard to recover.
I tried everything! Even going vegan for a while, which I now realise made things worse as my body needs a much larger amount of B12 than the average ‘non mutant’ gene person 🙂
I am excited that with high doses of B12 and methylfolate (tiny doses) I am already feeling better! And the first thing I wanted to do was cook!

This week’s recipe was interesting for me as part of my healing was cooking green apples, with a handful of raisins, cinnamon and some honey. I love this combination. The crumb topped apple bars are the same combination (minus the cinnamon) on a cookie base!
It was so much fun cooking this. I haven’t used butter and sugar in a while and it was ridiculously enjoyable! I realised my tastes have changed a bit and while I loved the apple filling I did find the whole bar a bit too sweet! Something I did not think I would ever say in my life!
The rest of the family was very excited with the smells that filled the house with this recipe. They have enjoyed the raw desserts I’ve been making however they did say they missed the smell of baking 🙂
I am looking forward to reading about what the other members of the Tuesdays with Dorie group thought of their recipe of the week.


What Can You Do With Left Over Egg Yolks? Creme Brulee!

My daughter turned 15 the day she left for ski camp.
We had a dinner the night before to celebrate.
I asked her “what cake would you like me to make?”
She said “Pavlova!”
We adore pavlova in our family.
I usually make a 12 egg white pavlova and there’s never any left over for the next day.
We had a great dinner and the next morning we dropped her off at school at 6am.
She spent her birthday on a 6 hour bus ride to the snow with her friends.

I was so excited to have her back a week later, I made another pavlova to welcome her home!

I was telling my friend I was making another pavlova and she said, “You make a lot of pavlova’s! What do you do with all the egg yolks?”
Innocent enough, right?
I stared at her blankly… the egg yolks?
I’ve always thrown them out without a second thought.
Her question caught me off guard.
It made me look at my habits.
Suddenly all I could hear going through my head was Maya Angelou’s famous quote:

“When you know better, you do better.” 

My blissful ignorance was shattered and I had to change my wasteful ways.
So I turned to Google.
And Google led me straight to Creme Brulee.

I had never, ever made creme brulee or custard of any sort from scratch.
The first thing I did was go out and get myself a blow torch (which I had secretly been coveting for some time.)

Next I opened Dorie Greenspan’s book ‘Around My French Table’ and hoped there’d be a recipe in there for creme brulee. I figured one day the recipe would come up with the French Fridays with Dorie Group and I would be prepared ahead of time! A first for me!
Dorie did have a recipe for creme brulee! Yay!
However my smug happiness was short lived!
The French Fridays with Dorie group had already completed this recipe… last year!

I decided to put this week’s scheduled recipe on hold as my daughter was bringing a bunch of friends over after school and I was making her a third pavlova, one to share with her friends!

I then proudly used the left over egg yolks to make Dorie Greenspan’s creme brulee!

The girls devoured the pavlova as soon as they walked in the door.
There was 7 of them and the pavlova didn’t stand a chance!

After dinner I pulled out the creme brulee and we all stood around the kitchen bench talking about boys and taking turns melting the sugar on top.
The girls loved it!
I could not believe how delicious it was!
I SMS’d my friend and proudly told her I used the egg yolks to make creme brulee and thanked her for bringing something so incredibly easy to make and delicious into my life!

I can’t wait to check out this week’s recipeFrench Fridays with Dorie group, but I have to say I am so glad I caught up on a recipe I had missed. A recipe that will now be made every time I make a pavlova!


An English Street Party!

It’s an English, royal wedding, street party at Forever Nigella and this month’s challege is hosted by Mardi at EatLiveTravelWrite!

I bought a new toy and I wanted to use it!

I have never used an icing/decorating/whatever it’s called gun.
I was excited!
I pulled out my favourite Nigella book,
‘How To Be a Domestic Goddess – Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking’.
Just holding this book in my hands fills my stomach with butterflies of anticipation!

I chose Nigella’s basic cupcake recipe and trimmed the peaks ready for icing…

I ate every one of those gorgeous, sweet, crusty tips.

Then I made Nigella’s recipe for butter icing I found further into the book.
The kids and I had so much fun colouring the frosting.
We were going for the red, white and blue of the English flag!

My 3 year old and 10 year old boys decorated these cupcakes with me!
They were excited we were using a ‘gun’ and who cares if it shoots frosting!
We had a blast!

We ate a lot of frosting as we worked!

 And we were pretty impressed with our artwork!
We decided we would be proud to take our final product to any street party!
And I just want to add, that the cupcake and the icing on their own were great to eat.
However when the two were combined it was THE BEST!