Archive for the ‘Snacks’ Category

Fennel (Variali) Biscuit

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

fennel-biscuits

I really enjoy the taste of fennel seeds (variali), it gives a wonderful fresh feel to the mouth, which is the reason why it is used as a after dinner mouth freshener in India. Also it retains its taste when mixed with other herbs and spices. When I was living in India for my placement year, I went on a little weekend break with my maternal uncle’s family and along the car journey we saw fields of variali and drying red chillies. When I asked my cousin what was growing in the fields he said variali, so we stopped the car and cheekily ran into the field and picked a bunch of variali, it is so refreshing and cool when eaten fresh and raw.

So when I saw the event of ‘Think Spice.. Think Twice‘ for this month which was for fennel, I thought I must take part and make these biscuits. This event is originally started off by Sunita of Sunita’s World, and I feel it is a wonderful event where we learn a lot about different spices, not to mention the vast array of recipes we get from it as everyone uses spices in different ways. This month the event is hosted by Ivy from Kopiaste, where she has given the option of two different spices, fennel and mastic gum.

I originally made these biscuits a couple of years back as one of my Diwali treats. I had them at one of my husband’s cousin sister’s place. Sheย  makes lovely biscuits, so I asked her for the recipe and made them a year or so later. However the biscuits had spread while baking, as I had beaten the butter and sugar mixture too much. So when I saw this event I thought I would make these biscuits, remembering not to over beat the mixture. However this time I cannot explain why it happened but once I had added the milk, the butter, and sugar, the mixture curdled slightly. I still carried on and the biscuits turned out to be a success. They are quite refreshing and a good treat and go wonderfully well with afternoon tea.

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Vegetable Buns

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

vegetable-buns

My father is a free mason, and when he used to go to the lodge, this is one of the more popular dishes that he would take as the vegetarian option. I remember my older sister helping our mother to make them for him to take. It is a good dish to serve as a snack, with afternoon tea or at parties. Because these can be prepared in advance and then baked before serving makes it good to serve at dinner parties. We tend to use the same filling and pastry as the vegetable pie, however I have also made these buns with the same filling as the toasted sandwich. Experiment with the ingredients you have or enjoy to make the buns.

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

chocolate-chip-muffins

I made these for breakfast on valentines day, thought it would be a good way to start the day – with a treat ๐Ÿ™‚

I was planning to make some plain muffins with just blueberries, and some with chocolate. However as I was mixing the batter I saw some passion fruit which needed to be eaten and thought passion! – the correct ingredient to add to the chocolate muffins. I liked the combination from eating them with pancakes as mentioned in a previous recipe. It turned out to be a good experiment. I used some fresh passion fruit and some from the Easiyo squirt packet, which is normally used to flavour yoghurt. The taste of the fruit in the muffins was subtle but there were parts that had a very good tangy and sweet taste, with a little crunch from the seeds. So I guess my little experiment goes to show that you can add any kind of fruit, fresh, dried or jams to your taste, of course you may need to change the amount of sugar accordingly. In the past I’ve added blueberries, blackberries and cherries.

Because there are no eggs in this recipe, they don’t keep as well and have to be eaten within the week – although you may not have many left.ย  The smell and taste when eaten warm out of the oven is something else ๐Ÿ™‚

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Avocado Toast

Monday, February 16th, 2009

avocado-toast

A good filling healthy snack, that is all what we need sometimes instead of turning to the usual potato crisps or other fast foods. I made this simple recipe for Avocado Toast after a conversation with one of my cousin sisters. She had it whilst on holiday in Australia.

When I was growing up in Malawi we had two avocado trees in our back garden and we used to eat them mashed with sugar and milk as a dessert, it was so wonderful. I also had quite a lot of it after my son was born, it was a very good way to boost the vitamins into the body and have a nutritious snack while lactating. Apart from eating them, we also used to use them for beauty treatments, like applying mashed avocado in our hair to act as an excellent conditioner.ย  Back then we didn’t realise the benefits of Avocados. Here’s a good article about avocados for keeping your hair healthy.

Avocados may be high in fat, but they have other vitamins which are very good for us. It is said that avocados are good for memory, clarity of thought and also to help protect the brain cells. I felt that it was another wonderful way of eating avocados and I guess it makes a good snack while studying ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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