Bloggers with Blogger had a few 'interesting' days without server! Pity about all the comments lost, but funny enough I had a huge amount of visits instead, after doing a little experiment: I was tired of seeing this post at the top of my most read posts (3,353 visits since June 2010), so I twitted the link of another post, my Twilight Menu, to a few Twilight/Pattinson/Meyer fans. And it worked!!! It got to the top of the list! (well, for this month at least... the home made halloumi with probably catch up by tomorrow!). Pity that I did my experiment during the Blogger outage, and then nobody could comment anyway! Hahahaha! That's showed me just how much I do rely on Blogger :-).
And of course today is also Robert Pattinson Birthday, so happy birthday and best wishes to him!
Chocolate and Macadamia Cookies
Now to the cookies: I used a whole 250 g bar of Whittaker's Macadamia Block (please note that this is milk chocolate). The Whittaker's Macadamia Block is good value, it is full of nuts and you don't need to buy extra for these cookies (macadamia nuts are quite expensive!): with one block we made 30 good sized cookies!
250 g macadamia chocolate
100 g butter
100 g sugar
200 g self rising flour
1 tsp cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla paste (ar a few drops of vanilla essence)
icing sugar to roll the cookies in before baking
Melt the chocolate with the butter, then stir in the eggs, sugar, self rising flour, cocoa and vanilla paste (or essence). You will get a very oily dough. Line a 90 cm baking tray (or two 40 cm baking trays) with baking paper. Make little balls with your hands (about the size of a heap teaspoon) and roll them in icing sugar. Place on the baking tray, remembering that during baking they will flatten and take a cookie shape, so leave enough space between each ball (don't look at the photo here, once all the balls were ready we repositioned them a bit more far apart from how they appear in the pic above - those are too close!). Bake at 160°C for 20 minutes, then take them out of the oven and let them cool down on the baking tray: do not touch them until they are cold, even if they smell amazing: they are too soft when hot. They are very rich and chocolatey, so they should last a while...
And now for something completely different, and yet... I laughed when I looked at the pics, in a way these mushrooms look like the chocolate cookies of the previous photos, so I though of putting everything in one post, after all I could not post for a few days :-).
Portobello Mushrooms Escalopes
If you are vegetarian or a vegan then mushrooms can be your super-food! Clean the Portobello mushrooms with a damp cloth. Heat some olive oil with a few peeled garlic cloves, then place the mushrooms in the pan, top side down. Move them around with a spatula, so that they don't stick to the pan, but do not turn them. When they start to brown at the bottom sprinkle a little salt, and then add a glass of wine. Cover and let them simmer on low for about 20 minutes. They should put out lots of water, but if not add just a little water, if they become too dry. After 20 minutes turn them over and let more of the juices come out. With a sieve add one tsp of flour and stir, the juices, mixed with the flour, should make a nice gravy/sauce. Taste for salt, and then add plenty of freshly chopped parsley. Serve with polenta, or potatoes, or cous cous, or even in a bun as a veggie burger.
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©