My Favourite Things, Recipes

My favourite things #4: Fruit Mince Pies

In the spirit of everything Christmas, I thought I might share my favourite Christmas treat recipe – Fruit Mince Pies 🙂

Ingredients:

Pastry
• 2 ¼ cups plain flour
• ¾ cup ground almonds
• ¾ cup sugar
• 277 g butter
• 2 egg yolks
• 1 ½ table spoon water

Filling
• 2 x 410g jars fruit mince
• ¼ cup sweet condensed milk

Topping
• 400g marzipan
• 1 cup ground almonds
• ½ cup sweet condensed milk

Tools required:

• sift
• rolling pin
• 6 ½ cm fluted cutter
• electric mixer
• mixing spoon
• cutting knife
• cup and saucepan
• several mixing bowls
• 2 x large muffin tins
• 24 circles of baking paper (cut to size of base of muffin tin holes)
• Spray olive oil (better than canola as canola oil froths)

Instructions:

Pastry

  1. Sift flour into a bowl, add almonds and sugar.
  2. Rub butter in.
  3. Add egg yolks and water.
  4. Mix to firm doe. Split into two halves to make it easier to work with.
  5. Roll pastry out onto lightly floured surface to 5mm thickness.
  6. Cut into rounds using 6 1/2cm fluted cutter.
  7. Spray muffin tins with olive oil and place circles of baking paper onto bottom of every muffin tin hole.
  8. Line large muffin pans with pastry.

Filling

  1. Mix together.

Topping:

  1. Grind almonds in the mixer; chop marzipan into small blocks (with a little icing sugar).
  2. Combine marzipan, extra almonds, extra condensed milk and egg whites, mix until smooth, spoon onto fruit.

Cooking:

  1. Bake on 200* C (or 180* C if fan forced) for 15-20 min, till golden brown.
  2. Allow to cool before removing from pans (so they don’t fall apart), and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Makes 22 to 24 pies.

 

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My Favourite Things, Recipes

My favourite things #3: Mars Bar Cheesecake

mars bar cheesecake

For New Years Eve just past, my mother made one of my favourite childhood deserts – Mars Bar cheesecake. It had been quite a while since I’d last enjoyed the treat – several years in fact (I think I’ve made it once, maybe twice, as an adult), but it was just as yummy as I remembered. So, in the spirit of all things favourite, I thought I might share the recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 250 g plain chocolate biscuits – crushed
  • 125 g butter, melted (add more if needed)
  • 3 tsp gelatine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 375 g cream cheese (Philly)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 3 x 60g mars bars, chopped (add more if desired)
  • Flaked almonds / extra mars bars / extra cream for decoratation

 Tools required:

  • 22cm spring tin
  • electric beater
  • mixing spoon
  • cup and saucepan
  • several mixing bowls

Instructions:

  1. Mix biscuits + butter with spoon. Press mixture evenly over base of tin (and up sides – if desired).
  2. Place tin in fridge until crust firm.
  3. Sprinkle gelatine over water in cup.
  4. Sit cup in pan of simmering water until gelatine dissolved. Cool Slightly.
  5. Beat sugar + cream cheese + vanilla until smooth.
  6. Beat cream in separate bowl until soft peaks.
  7. Stir gelatine mixture into cheese mixture. Add cream + mars bars.
  8. Pour into biscuit crust.
  9. Refrigerate until set.
  10. Decorate around edge with cream + flaked almonds / chopped Mars Bar

How To Eat:

Quickly, before anyone else realises you made it 😀

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Houses, My Favourite Things, Uncategorized

My favourite things #2: The “Marley and Me” Stone House

My second favourite movie house of all time is the stone house from “Marley and Me”. There’s just something alluring about that house covered in snow – a real home ready to be filled with love 🙂

Here are some pictures from the movie:

Turning into the driveway…

Coming home…

Looking out across the yard…

Welcome home!

At the base of the stairs…

the loungeroom

The lounge room.

in the kitchen

The kitchen.

window seat

A window seat in the bedroom…

snowy day

The view on a snowy day…

snow angels

Making snow angels in the garden…

And here are some shots of the real life house:

outside

dining rustic_kitchen  fireplace

barn

main bedroom bathroom bedroom sitting room

side of the house

downstairs loungeporch

I can just imagine myself baking cookies in that kitchen with my boys, or sitting on the enclosed verandah reading a book…

The house was for sale recently:

I also found the property on Google Maps – and some gorgeous shots of it from the street:

aerial view

A bird’s eye view…

street view 4

Driving up Historic Route 100…

street view 5

Look! There’s Meetinghouse Road 🙂

street view 1

And there she is…

street view 3

The view when driving to the house along Meetinghouse Road…

After scouring the net (as I do) I found this really gorgeous stone house for sale in Ontario Canada:

stone-home-ontario

Ah… a girl can only dream 🙂

Some links of interest:

And if you know of any other gorgeous stone houses, please be sure to share below…

snowing

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Houses, My Favourite Things

My favourite things #1: The “Baby Boom” House

The “Baby Boom” house is my favourite movie house of all time.

It seems the concept of a successful city business woman leaving the rat race behind to live in the country has always appealed to me – even back in the late 1980s when this gem of a movie was released (I think I was about 10 years old when I first saw it).

The snow, the trees, the fresh air… absolute heaven 🙂

And what a house!

driveway

Driving to the house…

house

Welcome to the “Baby Boom” house!

bedroom

The bedroom…

night

The “Baby Boom” house at night…

kichen

Making apple sauce by the fire…

table

The kitchen/dining table.

snow

All on a winter’s day…

snowy car

Baby, it’s cold outside…

entrance hall

And it’s cold inside too!

backyard

A view of the house from out back…

kitchen cupboards

Just look at those gorgeous blue cupboards…

window seat

A seat by the living room window…

loungeroom

Absolute bliss!

After scouring Google Maps (I adore Google Maps – especially the Street View feature), I discovered the “Baby Boom” house is actually marked as a tourist attraction. Just outside the township of Peru, Vermont (Main Street actually featured in the movie – the most notable landmarks being the Peru Congregational Church and the JJ Hapgood General Store), it’s nestled among trees at the end of a long dirt driveway.

Capture

An aerial view…

driveway2

The driveway from Google Street View…

And here it is on Google Maps:

Through my meanderings across the net, I discovered this type of house is called a Cape (or Cape Cod) house:

Definitely a style of house I could go for in the future.

Some great links:

baby_boom_house

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