Fig and Toasted Pecan Bread

We went to friends for a board game night and I baked two quick loaves of bread to take. These loaves are gluten free, low carb (you can leave the figs out for an even lower carb count) and fantastic with just butter or any cheese.

This is a variation of my other nutty keto loaf. I plan to bake other variations, like an olive parmesan or spiced ginger and apple loaf.

The beauty of this loaf is it’s so quick, no separate beating of egg whites, folding in and working quickly like other keto breads. I let the one loaf rest in the dough stage while I mixed up the second. Baked beautifully!

Best flavour in this loaf is the toasted pecan flour, it came out like pecan butter and the taste was sublime!

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NY White Sauce

I had never heard of this sauce before, and just recently saw a recipe for it. There were a few ingredients I did not like in the recipe so I switched out a few, added some and omitted the sugar and vinegar. Super quick and easy to make.

It was great served over the roasted veg I made for lunch yesterday. Pretty sure you could put it onto just about anything savoury.

Here it is served with roast shoulder of seasoned beef, eggplant with green chili and Adobo spice, yams with Ancho spice and delicata squash with freshly grated turmeric. My fingers are still saffron yellow, but absolutely worth it. I found the fresh turmeric at the Mexican Mercado market I love to go to, but tbh, I don’t go often enough!

Here are the treasures I found at the Mexican market last Sunday. The ginger is fantastic and I have plans for that chorizo sausage! The green salsa is delicious but very hot and the little fingers of turmeric are absolutely perfect.

I just mixed the NY white sauce up in the yogurt tub I had.

See recipe below!

Quick tip for zesting citrus.

I find leaving zesting for after I’ve juiced a lime or any citrus, the juicer makes a perfect holding device for the skin. I’m always grating myself when just holding the citrus in my hand. This is my go to default way to zest without scrapes.

Be sure to have a pint sized jar for storage. If you would like this runnier for pouring or drizzling, add more cream or buttermilk at the end.

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Bobotie Egg Bites

We’re going to friends tonight for a party and I’m taking these along as an appetiser. Bobotie is a favourite traditional South African dish, basically a curried ground beef casserole, topped with turmeric egg custard and bay leaves served with “yellow” rice which is infused with turmeric and cooked with cinnamon sticks and raisins, served with a sweet chutney and tomato sambal.

It’s a great gluten free dish. As keto, I would serve it with cauliflower rice tossed with butter, mustard seeds and turmeric. It’s a terrific dish.

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Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Chocolate crust, orange topping.

It’s been every kind of winter weather today. Crisp sunshine, sleet, windy gusts, calm and then driving rain. A “spend time in the kitchen” kind of day.

The lovely mandarins I bought for zesting and freshly purchased cocoa seemed the perfect combination for cheesecake.

I was surprised to see how cracked the cheesecake turned out and learned that overbeating is the cause. It’s odd, because when I poured it into the cheesecake pan I thought, ooh!, what a wonderful light mix. Using a whisk is apparently the answer to a perfectly smooth, heavier more settled mix and smoother top. I did use an electric beater, so lesson learned. Be sure to let all your cream cheese come to room temperature if using a whisk, otherwise you’ll be tired out mixing until smooth. Letting ingredients get to room temperature is a challenge for me as my recipes are usually impromptu whims!

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A Case for Xmas Cake (more cake … fresh fruit! )

I’m not a fan of glacé fruit of *any* kind and I dislike traditional compressed glacé Christmas fruit cake intensely. It’s the worst! Sticky sickly sweet, weird texture, the glacé fruit has no resemblance of fruit flavour whatsoever, and yucky to eat … and barely a trace of cake. I fall firmly into the non- fruitcake group.

But. I’ve been baking this LCHF cake for Xmas for a few years now. It’s based on a friend of my parents, Kathy, who lives in South Africa. I wrote her recipe up in 1987(!) and have used it as a base since then. It’s evolved into a more keto friendly cake, still a tad high in carbs if you’re on serious keto, but fine for an annual holiday treat. I never ever made the icing though! Not a fan.

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Saffron and Ginger Celery Cauliflower Soup

I love soup. I’m also a little puzzled by people who don’t! Admittedly, I’m not a fan of chilled soup, but I’m sure in the heat of a hot mid summer day I could be persuaded. Just serve it in a tall wineglass with ice and celery sticks!

It’s almost winter here so the theme for the next few months may get a bit soupy. We receive a bi-weekly box from a business called Imperfect Produce. I have it listed in my password keeper as Perfect Produce. I feel that if you can eat it and it has a blemish here or a peculiar carbuncle there or looks different, it’s still a miracle born of the earth and is beautiful, it just has personality! If it was my company I’d rename it I’mPerfect Produce!

Anyhoo.

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Apple Sauce Bundt Cake with maple icing

When I woke up yesterday, if you had have told me I’d be baking that evening … in a brand new and much desired and longed for bundt cake tin, I’d have not believed you. Yesterday my partner texted me from a kitchen store where he was acquiring a cheesecake springform pan as he is The Maker of Delicious Cheesecakes in this house. “Anything you need?”, he asked. Just as well it was raining. I’d planned on walking over to meet him, but it was pouring down.

I’m a pushover for two things, plant nurseries and … kitchen shops. It’s bad. Really bank balancing breaking bad.

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