Saturday was a slightly bigger day that I anticipated, as the little grandnephew and two grandnieces arrived unexpectedly as well. They are lovely children, but they did exhaust us today, or maybe we are just getting older!
Grandma Flamingo Dancer is now 84 and BIL told me that during the week she became quite worried as she couldn’t remember the name of two of our children – Daughter2 and Son. We have noticed for some time that her mental capabilities are not as strong as they once were, but we had hoped that things would not progress too rapidly. We lived through dementia with our Dad and so are very aware of the process. Still, she is having more good days than bad, so we will value that while we can.
We were just going to have a very simple sausage sizzle (a sausage wrapped in a slice of bread, with sauce and onions) but I decided to add a couple salads.
So, tonight, I am feeling well fed, but tired. I may give myself an early night. Being a hostess with the mostest is rewarding, but exhausting!
Recipes for those inclined…
Roast pumpkin and avocado salad
400g peeled butternut pumpkin, chunky
2 ripe, firm avocados, chunky
Juice of ½ lemon
1 small red onion, sliced
1 bunch of rocket leaves or watercress
100g cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
60g each pepitas and sunflower seeds
1 tbsp each ground cumin and coriander
1 tsp sea salt
¼ cup (60ml) balsamic vinegar
¼ cup (60 ml) pumpkin seed oil
6 springs Italian parsley
Season pumpkin with sea salt, pepper, cumin and coriander and roast on baking paper in a hot over 230C for approximately 10 minutes, or until cooked but still firm. Cool slightly. Gently mix with remaining ingredients and serve on rocket leaves, with pepitas, sunflower seeds and sprigs of parsley.
Gluten free and dairy free. Vegetarian.
Serves 2 ( I obviously quadrupled the recipe!)
4-5 large leaves fresh basil, finely sliced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
¼ teaspoon wholegrain mustard
15 ml apple cider vinegar
¼- ½ tsp apple juice concentrate
Pinch sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
150g potato, scrubber and clean (smaller potatoes are best)
120g green beans (runner preferable to stringless) topped and tailed, string removed and cut into manageable lengths, then cut in half widthways.
70-80g salad green (rocket and cos makes a nice mix)
8 cherry tomatoes, cut into half
4 baby beetroot
8-10 pitted olives.
2 hard boiled eggs, each cut into quarters
1.Place the beetroot in an overproof dish and with a little water- about ¼ cup for 4 or 5 beetroot.
2. Bake in a moderate oven until tender when pierced with a knife tip.
3. Removing the skin is bet done when they are warm.
4. Combine the basil, garlic, olive oil, mustard, apple juice concentrate, salt and pepper in a jar. Screw the lid shut, shake and adjust to taste.
5. Put the potatoes in a pot of water and bring to the boil. Cook until tender.
6. Rinse under cold water, pat dry with a towel and cut into halves or quarters. Set aside to cool.
7. Top and tail the beans and remove any string. Bring water to boil, add the beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute.
8. Tip into colander and run cold water over to stop cooking, and dry and place in the fridge.
9. If the beetroot are large, cut into wedges
10. Arrange the greens in the dish and place potato and beetroot as desired. Top with green beans, sprinkle with cherry tomatoes and olives.
11. Arrange egg pieces throughout the salad.
12. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
Butterscotch Surprise Cake
125 g margarine
¾ cup of caster sugar
¾ cup plain gluten free flour
½ cup self raising gluten free flour
¼ cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Combine margarine, sugar, eggs, sifted flours, soy milk and vanilla in a bowl. Beat until smooth.
2. Spread half the mixture into a greased 20cm ring tin.
3. Pour butterscotch filling evenly over the cake mixture.
4. Spread mixture with remaining cake mix.
½ cup of brown sugar firmly packed
2 tablespoons of custard powder
½ cup of soy milk
2 teaspoons margarine
1. Combine brown sugar and custard powder in saucepan.
2. Gradually stir in soy milk.
3. Stir constantly over heat until mixture boils and thickens.
4. Stir in margarine
5. Allow to cool for 5 minutes
6. Stir in beaten egg and use mixture while still warm.
Bake in a moderate over (200C) for approximately 35-40 minutes. Longer if in a bundt tin (50-55 minutes). Allow to cool in tin or ten minutes before turning out onto rack or plate. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
To make in a bundt tin, double cake mixture and use one mix as base and one as top of cake, with butterscotch filling in between. I iced the pictured cake with chocolate butter icing.