Homemade Cultured Butter

 Prep Time : 5 + 60 Minutes | Cook Time : 0 Minutes | Total Time : Overnight | Difficulty : A bit messy

Hello my lovelies! I’m a fan of butter. Especially on toast. There’s nothing like it. And I can’t go past a good DIY. Cultured butter tastes more buttery. If you can believe it. Which you should. The flavour is intensified and a slight acidity balances it out. And it’s super easy to do. We are basically going to make a light yoghurt using double cream. Then whip it to separate the glorious butter. A bit of rinsing and you’re moments away from an epic toast experience. You need to allow a bit of time to do the beating and rinsing. And you need to start the process before bed the night before. If you want a more intense cultured flavour start an extra day in advance the let the culturing go a bit longer. We should all be prepared in advance for this to make a bit of a mess. Clear the bench so nothing gets drops of cream on it and have a cleaning cloth handy to keep things under control. We need to use a fresh natural yoghurt with no sweeteners or additives because we want to capture the live yoghurt cultures.

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[Small Batch] Golden Peach + Bourbon Chutney

 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 45 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Apologies to the Kiwis this one is perfectly timed for the northern hemisphere. Or people who stash peaches in their freezer like me. Put it in your back pocket for later – summer will be here before you know it. This is a fruity, sweet, tart, spicy chutney perfect for burgers. It’s also pretty good on a cheese cracker. While this is a preserve it is dead easy. All chutneys are. You just chuck everything in a pot and cook it for a while. You do need a little patience after it’s in the jars to wait for the best flavour. But it’s still pretty good straight away. This is a small batch that only makes two cups. Perfect for small households. Perfect to test the flavours to see if you like it. You will.

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Pickled Carrot + Cumin Ribbons

 Prep Time : 15 + 5 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 1 Hour | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! I have been meaning to share this recipe since I first made it when my friends came over for the scandi mid-winter feast. I was playing around with a different pickle to add to the snack line-up and there were extra carrots lying around (which also motivated this carrot dip). Simple pickles are so easy to make. If you stick to small batches that will live in the fridge, there’s no need to follow full canning processes. We are going to make thin ribbons of the carrots. We want a little crunch but not hard chunky pieces. The thin slices are also easier for the pickle brine to penetrate. I just use a vegetable peeler to make the ribbons. When I get close to the end and it’s hard to peel, I just eat the leftover piece of carrot. No point wasting it. I wash the carrots but don’t actually peel them before slicing. These pickles are a great snacking pickle and also make the perfect addition to a spread with breads and cheeses. You can also finely slice the pickled ribbons and add them to a coleslaw or salad for a spot of bright acidity.

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Homemade Marzipan

 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 0 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! This isn’t the prettiest recipe. But it’s useful. And much cheaper than running out to get expensive imported store-bought marzipan when a recipe calls for it. This is one of those back pocket tricks. And it’s bizarrely easy. Like why haven’t we been doing this all along? I am a total fool for marzipan as a treat. Chocolate covered marzipan is up there with liquorice and those chai flavoured chocolate almonds from my local supermarket in the compulsive eating stakes. I really shouldn’t have made it while I’m trying not to eat treats. The things I do for you guys! Anyway. This is best if you make it for prompt use in a specific project but it can hang out in the fridge if you wrap it well. Don’t want it to taste like fridge.

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Sunshine Punch

 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! This week is brought t you by desperately clinging to warmer days. Bright golden summery-seeming punch today. Golden sunny saffron rolls later on. Let me have this one. I’m wearing two layers of woollen socks. Homemade cordial couldn’t be easier. It’s just juice, a bit of sugar and maybe some extra spice. We are keeping the sugar low today so this one will need to be kept in the fridge. No biggie. Winter citrus is a miracle. Fruit that conjures up bright sunny days and zesty refreshment. And it comes into season right when you need cheering up. Citrus is one of my all time favourite things. Smells good, is a bit bitter on the outside but is a big sunny hug on the inside. A bit like me. This punch also makes great cocktails. Just add your favourite white spirit and you’re away. Now this does have a bit of passionfruit in it. You can still get them in stores here and you only need one. I do recommend getting frozen passionfruit to have on hand when you need an injection of sunshine!

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Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Peppered Pickles..

 Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 10 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! It’s all pickles all the time around here at the moment. It’s a great way to experiment with flavours with very little effort. I love classic cucumber pickles. I am the only one at home who does. It’s okay. I eat enough of them for both of us. This recipe is adapted from one given to me by the lovely Nic Murray. Who is incidentally now my boss. I added chillies. Natch. My first attempt didn’t come out very spicy at all – the pickle juice dulls the heat. So you may need to experiment a couple of times if they don’t come out hot enough for you. Pickles are super easy – just be careful not to shock the jars with major heat changes as they can break. I have only ever had problems with one brand of jar with this but we should be careful always.

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Pickled Ginger. With Chilli.

 Prep Time : 15 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 90 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Part two of the back to front week! My brain is back to front this week as well. A mix of information overload and upset routines. But we forge ahead. In style. I have been meaning to make pickled ginger for a while and was prompted to go ahead and do it by a post on Instagram. I got together that recipe and some others and have made my own franken-pickle. Because I am obsessed at the moment I added chilli. It actually rounds out the heat and fruitiness beautifully. Everything is mellowed by the pickling but still has a satisfying bit of burn. This is a super easy quick pickle. It comes together in a flash. Then you have to wait a few days. The extra days are worth it. Be VERY careful slicing with a mandoline. I am living proof that while you will survive and go on to live a full life, you may have a slightly misshapen thumb for a while… Try to use the plumpest freshest ginger possible. The older the ginger the more heat it has and the root can get woody and tough.

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