Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Feeling a bit Stepford Wife

Today I spent the day in the Kitchen baking.

 After reading at school with Mr W's classmates, I dashed home and took a quick audit of the baking staples from the pantry. I pulled out my recipes for the day and cross referenced them against what I had so I could collate my shopping list. Off to the grocery store and dashed around like a mad thing up and down every aisle. Stopped at the butcher and then at the Asian grocer for spices.

Back home I unpacked the goodies for the first thing - Raspberry Ice-cream cake. Whipped it all together in a jiffy and put it away in the freezer. Next I put Mr M's Soy Vanilla Yogurt in the freezer to partially freeze. Cleaned up and put more groceries away.

Second thing - Baked Cheesecake*. I know lots of people don't like cheesecake, I'm not sure about what is popular elsewhere but I grew up with that funny lemony one that sets in the fridge. This one is not that type... everyone loves it, and I think it was part of the reason my DH asked me to marry him. LOL. Anyway, out came the food processor and I smashed up the biscuit base and pressed it into the tin. Into the fridge and then I started the next thing.

Third thing - Nut Tartlets. Something else everyone loves. I recently made 100's of these for my brother's Japan relief fundraiser and my Step Dad's thanks-for-employing-me morning tea at his new job. I made the shortbread cases filled them with nuts and sauce and began baking them in batches of 24 (I need more mini muffin tins). While these baked I looked over the instructions for thing four. By now Mr M's Soy Yogurt was frozen so I scraped it all into a big bowl and mixed it with raspberries and put it back into the freezer in a small ring mould (I guess this is thing 1B). It looked almost the same as the ice-cream cake.

Thing four got started after I pulled out the really huge ceramic mixing bowl (my Mum just gave me it as a living bequeath-ment - she's alive, I'll get it in the will so she gave it to me now so I could use it... and I think it saves her some cupboard space) Did I say what thing four is yet??? Hummingbird Cupcakes. I drained the pineapple and removed the bananas from cyrogenic storage and got mixing it all together. I lined the large muffin cups with paper and scooped the mixture inside and cooked them with the last batch of Nut tartlets.

Back to thing two... I made the filling and popped it onto the chilled base and while I waited for the oven to empty and cool a little, it was time to wash dishes and wipe over the empty pantry shelf then start to put away all the ingredients.

Remember the spices I mentioned buying? I had been looking at some Dutch cooking for Mr W's school cultural day and thought it would be nice to make those yummy spice cookies (speculaas). After the cheesecake went in the oven and (with about 5 minutes to spare) before the school bell rang at 2:30pm I decided to make up the spice mix. It smelled so good, cinnamon, mace, ginger and cardamon... yum!

I actually heard the school bell as I raced out the door to pick up Mr W. A quick walk waddle later and we were heading back home. The cheesecake was almost ready to exit the oven. I surveyed the damage to my tiny kitchen. OMG what a mess!!! There were was baked goods everywhere!!! I did another round of dishes (two actually) and then funnelled the spice mix into glass jars. I started the cream cheese frosting for the hummingbird cupcakes. Then the phone rang and DH needed to be collected from the train station.

When we got back I took the cooled cheesecake out of the oven which had been left ajar to help slow the cooling. Then I decided to crank the oven up again to make a bonus baked goody aka thing five.

Thing five. How could I make speculaas spice mix and not use it? So for something easy I made cookie press cookies and added the spice mix to it. I have a cookie press gadget hiding in the back of the cupboard, it's been there for about 8 years but I think I've owned it for almost 20. The cookies turned out really nicely, I did consider dipping half of each one in melted chocolate but got over it fairly quickly. There are quite a few so I might do this tomorrow.

While the cookies were baking I frosted the cupcakes and added a banana chip to each one.  They turned out pretty good too. I washed up more dishes and trays (at which point I caught myself smiling contentedly - as I became aware of this I wondered if I had actually blown a fuse because I would rather walk through the local dog pound with $10 worth of sausages tied to my waist than spend a second washing the dishes). I discovered the table top again as cakes, tarts and cookies got packed into containers and I also found some vegetables I had purchased at the grocery store. So I put away all the rest of the shopping too.

Mr W came in and asked for spaghetti bolognaise (I made the tomato sauce for this a few weeks ago and just added mince to it) for dinner and I had homemade basil pesto sauce on my pasta (I try not to combine animal protein and carbohydrate in the same meal - it makes me sick).

So with a final wipe down of all the surfaces and the cooled cookies placed in boxes, Mr W helped set the table and we ate. I was starving!!!! I had not realised that I skipped breakfast and lunch today. I was running so late for school this morning so to save time I brushed my teeth (morning breath = gross) and decided to eat breakfast when I got back... but because I still had minty freshness in my mouth I thought I'd already eaten when I got home from school. I didn't intend to miss lunch either I just kept postponing it until I had done this quick thing, and then that quick thing.... Therefore the pasta tasted sooo good tonight. We all had a hummingbird cupcake for dessert... lucky that 3 wouldn't fit into the box!

We all played some hangman on a huge white board in the lounge room after dinner. Then Mr W and I took turns reading a book with silly voices and substituting silly words before he went to bed. We also recorded some funny messages on his bedroom door secret spy sensor.

I am not sure where I found the time but I also managed two loads of washing today and even a little folding got done through the course of today.

When I get up tomorrow, I just have to whip the cream and dress the cheesecake with cream and peach slices and then after school I'll drive all these goodies into my DH's office in the city. I hope his work mates enjoy their morning tea... and I hope I made enough for them to share!

So now my little batteries are running on low and seeing as I am human (and not actually a stepford wife) it is time to hit the hay. Wow a super early night for me... it's not even 10:30pm yet. I sure hope I make it into bed, I am almost certain if I fall asleep in the shower I'll wake up once the hot water runs out. Brrrr

* Sorry no recipe for the Baked Cheesecake, it clearly says in the picture it is Madeline's Secret recipe. She entrusted me with it in 1995 (I think she might have been joking about the secret bit but I'm not certain so I'll just keep on keeping the secret).

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