27 June 2012

food and places to visit

You may not see many posts from me in the next couple of weeks as I've taken some annual leave and I'm planning on taking advantage of it! However despite the fact I won't be baking at home it means I will be enjoying some delicious food in some more exciting places than my lounge room! Don't worry I'll share my adventures with you! So here is a collection of my favourite places that I have visited in the past couple of months and my food memories that go with them to get you excited!


Josh is into National Parks, hiking and being outdoors. This is of course rubbing off on me so when he suggested a hike a Springbrook National Park a couple weekends ago I was as excited as him! We completed the Twin Falls Circuit which was gorgeous. I wouldn't recommend doing it after rain as there were some parts of the track that would be difficult to complete. It took us about 2 hours at a steady pace while of course taking our time to enjoy in the scenery. We took some delicious mixed roasted nuts with us and snacked on them as this gorgeous vantage point! We had been to Springbrook before but didn't have the time to complete a walk but with it being only an hour from the Gold Coast it's a spot that will receive regular visits from us!


springbrooknationalpark 

mixedroastednuts



We spontaneously stumbled across the Mt Cootha Summit Restaurant one day in Autumn. We enjoyed their two course lunch special in the afternoon sun which left us satisfied and relaxed and in to good of a mood to head back to our tiny apartment to do house work. We visited Summit again on Mother's Day and on both occasions enjoyed their mouth watering shredded beef and cranberry spring rolls with Kewpie mayonnaise and fried shallot. Oh my gosh my mouth is watering just thinking about them! With this gorgeous view of the city to match it's definitely one of our local favourites!


mtcootha

wagubeefspringrolls



Sunshine Coast hinterland is one of those places on the coast that we just can't seem to get sick of we as we have visited on more than two occasions (see here and here). We recently took a day trip through the Samford Valley, Dayboro, Mt Mee to Mary Cairncross Park where Josh enjoyed this perfectly stacked steak burger with the view of the glass house mountains to match. We also picked up some triple cream brie from Maleny Cheese and paired it with almonds, dark chocolate and fresh strawberries yum!


steakburger 

marycaincrosspark 

nibblesatlakebaroon


Compiling this post has made me excited for my holiday! 

19 June 2012

cinnamon french toast

For breakfast my favourite thing to have at home when I feel like something warm is Josh's Savoury "Eggy Toast". It's left me craving its sweet counterpart though so when I was deciding what to cook Josh for breakfast before his exam this week French toast seemed an obvious choice. Strawberries are of course gorgeous and in season so with some maple syrup and cinnamon sugar to keep the strawberries company I think that this would be a perfect choice for breakfast for someone you were wanting to impress.


frenchtoast2 


frenchtoast3

Ingredients

1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
4 thick cut pieces of bread
4 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar

Whisk together the cream, milk, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar in a large shallow container.
Soak each piece of bread in the egg mixture until it has soaked almost all the way through the bread. In a hot pan add a knob of butter and a small drizzle of olive oil. Cook each piece of bread until golden brown on each side. To finish the cooking process place the French toast in a 180c oven and bake for 10mins.
Serve straight away topped with a generous serve of cinnamon sugar, maple syrup and strawberries.
Feel free to top with whatever fruit, cream, chocolate you desire.

18 June 2012

cranberry and honey muesli bars

I have been wanting to make my own muesli bars for a while now, mainly so I have a snack option for not only Josh but myself where I know everything that has gone into it. 



A trail mix packet containing cranberries, sultanas, petitas and a few other types of nuts was what made me decide to try this recipe.









recipe from Women's Weekly Super Diet Cookbook

Ingredients

125g butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups rolled rice
1/2 cup SR flour
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped finely
1/3 cup dried dates, seeded and chopped finely
1/3 cup sultanas, chopped finely
1/4 cup pepitas
2 tbsp sesame seeds


Preheat the oven to 160c, grease and line a slice pan with baking paper.
Combine butter, sugar and honey in a small saucepan, stirring over a low heat until smooth.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stir in the butter mixture. 
Press the mixture firmly into the pan before baking for around 35mins or until the top is golden and you have the smell of honey, butter and brown sugar wafting through your house. 
Cool in the pan before cutting into bars.


These bars are a delicious and filling snack that are relatively good for you and too easy for you not to try in your packed lunches! 
These taste way to good to be "healthy"!


13 June 2012

cookie giveaway prizes

The lucky winners of the giveaway should be receiving their baked goods in the mail today. I just wanted to make your mouths water with some pictures of the cookies they chose. 
Although you may not have been lucky enough to win a batch I recommend you give them a try as each will definitely brighten up your day with your favourite mug of tea or coffee!! 

Walnut Chocolate Macaroons



  walnutchoc3 
 
Chocolate Chip Cookies

 
 
 
Snicker-doodles

 

  snickerdoodles1 
 
My favourite are the choc walnut cookies with the snicker-doodles coming in a close second..but who could go past a fresh choc chip cookie straight out of the oven??

9 June 2012

happy 1st birthday forkmyfood - orange and poppyseed cake

In one year I have achieved a lot. I am now the master of short crust pastry, I've experimented with yeast and tackled a cake 6 colours/layers tall. 
I have collaborated with a couple lovely people and satisfied many friends hungry tummies. I have learnt that brown sugar is my favourite sugar, that I would rather eat sweets with fruit in them rather than chocolate and that I definitely prefer savoury to sweets. 
Most of all this blog has made me realise more about myself. I have learnt to become more patient and instead of freaking out in the kitchen when something goes wrong I deal with it and move forward, this I have carried over into the rest of my life as well. 


This side project has brought me further than I thought it would. It has connected me with other bloggers both local and international that have opened my eyes up to different ideas, beliefs and values whether they are aware of it or not. 
Thank you to everyone who has supported me and given me the confidence to share my food and food experiences, thank you especially Josh for putting up with me photographing the food we eat when we eat out and when we are at home. I'm sorry for making you wait until I have shot from the perfect angle before you can get into the chocolate goodness. 


I hope all of you will continue to follow me on my food journey, I would love to hear what you would like to see on my blog. Thank you for your support!


I baked an orange and poppyseed cake for my blog's birthday. It was delicious, it was moist, it is worth trying!


forkmyfood1stbirthday2

I saw this gorgeous cake banner bunting idea on Joy the Bakers blog and thought it would add that perfect celebratory touch to my cake! 

forkmyfood1stbirthday3

forkmyfood1stbirthday1

I have wanted to bake an orange and poppy seed cake for a while so what better occasion than this! It was best enjoyed warm and if I baked it again I would leave the rind out of the syrup!


forkmyfood1stbirthday

Orange and Poppy Seed Cake


recipe from Donna Hay Modern Classics Book 2

Ingredients 

1/3 cup poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
200g butter, softened
1 tbsp orange rind
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup shredded orange rind


Preheat oven to 160c. Place the poppy seeds and milk in a bowl and stir to combine, set aside. Beat orange rind, sugar and butter until light and creamy. 
Add the eggs one at a time ensuring each egg is well combined after each addition. Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture, add the orange juice and poppy seed and milk mixture and stir to combine. Spoon into a greased and lined cake tin. Bake for 55-60 mins or until cooked when tested with a skewer. For me the cake was perfect after 1 hr and 15mins. 
While the cake is cooking make the syrup. Place the orange, sugar and rind in a saucepan over a medium heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil for 5-6 mins or until syrupy. Do not leave the stove top as this will boil over and cook onto your stove top and make your house smell like burning in a matter of seconds! If I were you I would also leave the rind out, it was too bitter in the syrup for my liking. 
Pour half of the syrup over the hot cake. This cake is enjoyed best warm with more of the syrup spooned over the cake!!

4 June 2012

apple and pecan streusel muffins

Remember those apples I picked at Sutton's Farm? Well this is what I baked them into!


I picked this recipe before I went apple picking and knew that the lovely freshly picked specimens would do this dish justice. They turned out surprisingly pretty and the crumble like topping just left me craving apple and rhubarb crumble..... sigh yum!




Pecan batter divided amongst the pans.


Top them with the caramelised apple goodness.


These are for me a variation of apple crumble in cake form. 





Apple and Pecan Streusel Muffins


recipe from Women's Weekly Family Favourites

Ingredients 

4 medium apples
20g butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups SR flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup pecans. roasted and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup butter milk
90g butter, melted
1 egg

streusel topping
1/3 cup plain flour
2 tbsp SR flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp mixed spice
80g butter, chopped coarsely


Before you do anything else make the streusel topping. Combine the streusel topping ingredients in a food processor and process until the ingredients come together. 
Form the topping into a ball, wrap in cling wrap and put in the freezer.


Preheat oven to 180c, grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
Peel, core and quarter apples and slice thinly. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the apple for about 5 minutes or until browned lightly. You want the apples to stew a little so they break down. Add the brown sugar and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly.
Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients. Spoon the mixture into the pan holes, top with the apple mixture. Coarsely grate the streusel topping over the muffins. I found it easier to grate the streusel topping onto a plate before dividing the topping between the muffins. Bake approx 25-30mins. Cool on a wire wrack. 
If you are to have them the next day, they are enjoyed best reheated and paired with custard or vanilla ice cream!