The Bold And The Beautiful…

The spoiler’s in the title peeps. Today turned into a veritable flour frenzy at Gidday HQ as I tried my luck with my next baking challenge – Biscuits.

(I know I did Anzac biscuits in August but I don’t really eat them/they didn’t really look like biscuits so I thought I should have another go.)

Having bought a couple of extra ingredients yesterday while out and about – not wishing to give myself any excuse for shying away from this next frontier – I thought I’d get inspired this morning by catching up on last week’s episode of The Great British Bake Off, a series currently running on BBC. (I am now wondering whether BBC actually stands for Biscuits, Bread and Cakes but I digress). Last week it was biscuits. ‘Perfect!’ I thought making myself comfy, spatula within reach. 

There were some disasters and some triumphs and as long as I wasn’t attempting brandy snaps (that curl thing looks quite difficult) or macaroons (a high proportion of contestant tribulations here), I figured I’d be ok.

My first recipe was Double Chocolate Cookies (thanks to a recipe in Sainsbury’s Magazine). All went smoothly, I put them in the oven to bake and checked on my 13 little biscuit bundles (recipe said makes twelve but hey, I’ll eat one to test and then we’ll be square) after about 20 minutes. They weren’t kidding when they said leave 5cm between each ‘walnut-sized’ mound (how big is a walnut anyway?) – I had one rather large Double Chocolate Cookie on my hands! ‘What to do? What to do?’ my frantic mind muttered. And then inspiration struck.

This, my friends, is what an eggcup is for!

A useful gift and in Vegemite colours – what’s not to like?

And so I cut and cut and cut, popped them back in the oven for another seven minutes and out came these little beauties.

Proud little soldiers – all cute and chocolate-y!

Inspired, I started on my second batch, Zingy Ginger and Lemon (props again to Sainsbury’s magazine!). This one took a little creative thinking as the mixture just didn’t seem to be quite as ‘roll-into-walnut-shaped-balls’-able as my chocolate attempt but I soldiered on, dribbling little dollops of water until things looked (and felt) a bit more promising.

I am one who always learns lessons in life so out came two baking trays and soon there were 16 dollops ready for the oven.

But blow me down at the 20 minute mark they’d spread again – like they couldn’t bear to be away from each other – and although not faced with an indistinct tray-shaped cookie like last time, I thought it was time for more inspired culinary thinking. You see, while the eggcup thing worked quite well, it did leave rather a lot of ‘inbetween’ bits which, try as I might, I could not eat in these quantities…

The inbetweeners – a bit like donut holes

So I grabbed some of those little round dishes you have for dipping sauce with Asian food and Voila!

Zingy Ginger – pre lemon

After 10 more minutes in the oven, these emerged to bask on the cooling rack (their chocolate counterparts having cooled sufficiently to migrate to a plate). 

Then there was the great Icing Incident. Don’t try this at home without the right equipment peeps – it won’t go well.

Oh dear – icing may not be my forte!
And not looking much better presented next to the chocolate ones either

Maybe I should have quit while I was ahead. But they taste amazing. Here’s one I was eating earlier…

Delicious – never judge a book by its cover.

You may be wondering what I learned from this afternoon’s baking exploits.  Well I learned that:

a) I am spatially challenged – wearing flat shoes has obviously blunted my appreciation for 5cm heels and who the heck knows what’s meant by walnut-sized anyway.

b) I used think I was ok on the maths front but I cannot for the life of me work out how that much mixture only makes twelve biscuits.

c) I am not an accomplished baker in the presentation stakes but can improvise so that no-one ever suspects – I have not spent 20 years working in Marketing for nothing.

d) I am a mucky pup in the kitchen – a recent learning as I have just discovered some rogue icing on my t-shirt as I sit here tap-tap-tapping away.

But the proof of the pudding is in the tasting so stay tuned for the update after the people at work get their paws on them.

Maybe…

Nom, nom, nom…

Lazy Saturday…

It’s a been quiet Saturday so far, gratefully received after a ‘big one’ last weekend and a mid-week, impromptu ‘red, red wine(s)’ session which took me a good sleep on Thursday night to recover from but was hugely enlightening from a getting-to-know-my-workmates-more point of view.

My first on-line grocery shop arrived promptly and without any horrendous substitution errors. (Someone at work told me they ordered wine and got baguettes???  Now THAT would be disappointing!)  Sainsbury’s Online may just become my new BFF.

So I’m tapping away here with some Kylie tunes in the background before I head out into the chilliness (yes, people, the snow coat is out!) to be reunited with my phone (it’s been a looooong 3 weeks) and buy the Saturday edition of The Times. 

I love a lazy Saturday…

ps…only 28 days to go peeps…that’s 4 weeks ’til we all talk turkey and dis’ the fat man…the widget thingy never lies!

Hell on Wheels…

Have you ever been to the supermarket an hour before it closes on a Sunday? 

You know prior to the 15 hour closure (my local Sainsbury’s anyway) before it opens again on Monday…a break apparently lengthy enough to induce bulk buying, long queues and some creative car parking behaviour.

Well I was just there, the timing unplanned.  I meant to go much earlier but time got away from me and I had things to buy which (hopefully) will stop me from eating some meals this week completely devoid of any nutritional benefit…anyway I digress…

Wow! it’s a battlefield out there.  Cars, trolleys, prams, bikes, baskets, elbows…I am sure that the TV Show Gladiators was modelled on this.  I was glad to get home to my little flat…all cosy and snug, and safe from those wet, nasty elements in the aisles of the Sainsbury’s Sury Basin store and car park!

At least my fridge had finished defrosting by the time I got home and I could fit things into the roughly-two-brick-sized freezer again…

Small blessings…