Thursday, January 19, 2012

Banoffee Sour Cream Pie

I think I've just created the most delicious dessert I've ever made (well, if I don't count anything made with chocolate!!) It's a combination of banana, caramel and sour cream and I am in pudding heaven, eating it as I type. Many years ago when I was a student at Canterbury University I would spend what little treat money I had - these were the days before student loans - on this amazing dessert from Mainstreet cafe. It was a wholemeal based pie with a banana sour cream filling. When I left Christchurch after five years, I would have friends bring some back for me to Timaru on a mercy mission. 

I've never found a recipe for it. There was nothing close to what my memory could recall on a Google search either, so tonight I decided to try and create my own version with a hint of caramel in it. I guess it could also be called Banoffee (Banana + Toffee) Cheesecake. Who doesn't love banoffee pie?

Baked Banoffee Cheesecake


200 gm rice cookies (gf vanilla wine biscuits) 
or plain biscuits or digestive biscuits for gluten diets
100 gm gf rolled oats

Blend in a processor and add:
50gm melted butter
Blend and press in to a greased springform tin
Bake 180℃ 10 minutes then cool - turn oven to 140℃


250 gm cream cheese
2 Tbsp rice flour (✳ or white flour)
50 gm castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 bananas
1/3 can caramelised condensed milk (about 3-4 Tbsp)

Blend in a processor then add:

250 gm sour cream
2 eggs

Blend until the mixture is very smooth.
Pour onto the base and bake at 140℃ for 1 hour.
Cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back to the drawing board

This morning I did an interesting art commission for a lady who breeds Boer goats. I've had quite a number of animal requests of late and I must admit I do enjoy doing them, even though they take me out of my 'people' comfort zone.

I've posted a stage by stage development of my illustration. 

Firstly I draw a rough sketch to plan the layout. 

I then pencil draw the idea on Bazzill smooth card. Once I'm happy with the picture I use either a Staedlier Tech pen or an Artline 0.2mm ink pen to outline and then I rub out the pencil.

Now I use my Copic Sketch markers (at least three of each colour) and very carefully fill the colours in. Starting with the lightest marker in the grouping, the area is blocked in. Next the mid shades are used to add depth and then the darkest shade for the outer lines and natural shadows. Taking the lightest marker I then blend blend and blend some more so the colours all merge to create fullness to the area. I add a shading line in the darkest marker to finish (e.g. in the goat bodies).

If I think the figures need to stand out more I will do a soft background colour wash. In this instance I used the colourless blender to wash out the grass. If I think more detail is needed, for example in the clothing, I add that too. When I do my next illustration I will show you the colour family blending step by step.

And lastly I frame the picture with a white mount and black wood frame. Ready for a new home!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rain, rain and a new plan

I should feel guilty as it has been raining and I've been inside for two days . Not much happening with the garden...but I have been busy. I've been following Pinterest ideas for decorating a lot lately as I think it's time for a new fresh look. I'm sitting on my hands so as not to paint the living room again (I've already done it twice in three years!) so it will have to be soft furnishing and accessories. I LOVE the Scandinavian look of reds and whites, so I will probably make do with what I have and do tomato red, duck egg blue and off white. I brought some fabric samples home from my local interior designer and found the perfect gingham but woah - $180 per metre for cotton drill??? Still on the wish list.....


I've also used the few quiet days (while I'm still thinking about the holiday season) to plan for this year's Christmas decorating. It's nice to have some new ideas for repeat visitors to my open home nights. High time that I made some new crafts and I'm keeping the new colour scheme in mind. 

The first thing I created yesterday was some red and white decorations from polymer clay : candy canes and little nordic decorations with snowflakes. I hadn't made anything with polymer for years and it was FUN. I will need to glaze them with a varnish product.

Today I made mini stuffed polkadot hearts with twine hangers. These turned out so cute. I hung the decorations on my twig tree which was left undecorated this last Christmas. This looks so much better!

My photo are not great at the moment because I can't upload from my Canon 50D due to software issues. The images from the last month are off a point and shoot Panasonic so apologies for quality!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Salad Days

 Yesterday I made a favourite salad of mine - bacon, egg and spinach. Yummo. It's easy to do - just a bag of baby spinach leaves, a few boiled eggs, tomato, fresh basil, red onion and some hot off the grill streaky bacon. What makes it so good is the homemade garlic aioli that I have on hand at all times as it is so popular.
Garlic Aioli

2 cloves of garlic
2 eggs
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp celery seeds
fresh herbs (optional)

In a food processor mince the garlic, add other ingredients and then slowly add 2 cups oil ( I use canola). Stores in the fridge for about two weeks...if it lasts that long!

I make toasted seeds as well and add to my salads. Gently heat a cup of pumpkin seeds and a cup of sunflower seeds until the pumpkin seeds pop. Take off the heat and add approx 1 Tbsp of tamari (or soy sauce for if you are not gluten free) to taste. Store in an airtight jar when cool.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcome 2012

Would you believe it I had the majority of my Christmas decorations and trees packed away by the first week of January this year? A few good aftershocks made me think I would be sorry to see a tree or two crash, and with the weather a little too drizzly for gardening I set myself a target of one tree a day. The house is certainly looking bare as a result! ( Although I admit to keeping up the woodland tree as it doesn't take up much space and it really looks so beautiful at night...)

My other mission is to fill a 9 cubic metre skip that I hired last week with garden waste. I call my overgrown garden "the garden monster" - what was a spectacular sheltered garden six years ago when I bought the property has now turned completely out of control and is more like a forest! Not so easy to do when I've got a shoulder awaiting surgery this year, but no one else has put their hand up for the position of caretaker. After a week it's starting to return to it's former glory. Hoorah. 

When the weather has been good we've gone swimming at the pools around the district. It was our first time to the one at Geraldine and the kids loved it. We'll definitely be back before the summer holidays are over at the end of January!