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Sunday, 22 April 2007

'Tapas Dinner' - a belated Birthday Dinner

My wife and I invited Priya and Raymond over for a belated Birthday Dinner for Priya. Her birthday was in March but we just couldnt get together earlier. We had actually planned to take food over to their house but since Michael was down with Conjunctivitis, they came over instead.

We decided to go with lots of appetisers or finger food rather than the traditional large main meal so it turned out to sort of a Tapas Style dinner! Angelina made Bruschetta, a lovely Greek Salad and her famous Cheesy Spinach Dip. I made Devilled Eggs, Garlic Mushrooms and Spaghetti with Garlic and Chilli

For Dessert, we had Angelina's very own homemade Apple Pie.

Bread rubbed with Garlic and Olive Oil and lightly toasted before being topped with Chopped Tomatoes, Oregano, Basil and grated Cheddar Cheese

Greek Salad
a mixed Salad with Feta Cheese topped with Angelina's special dressing of Lemon, Olive Oil, Sherry Vinegar and Garlic.

Cheesy Spinach Dip
Cream, Spinach, Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese make up this lovely dip and served with corn chips.

Devilled Eggs
Hard Boiled Eggs with the yolk scooped out and 'devilled' with Mayonaisse, Tomato Sauce, Worcetershirse Sauce, Tabasco Sauce and Mustard. Chopped Gerkhins were sprinkled on top while a caper 'surprise' was placed in each egg.

Garlic Mushrooms
White Button and Swiss Brown Mushrooms fried in olive oil with lots and lots of garlic.
>Eat them on its own or with the pasta. Either way they taste great!

Garlic and Chilli Pasta
Lots of Garlic and Chilli Flakes fried together in Olive Oil with oregano, basil and black pepper and then seasoned with salt. Makes a nice side dish and a simple yet tasty meal on its own

Apple Pie
Great with Ice Cream... Yumm!!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Chocolate Cookies or Homemade Oreos without the cream

Both Michael and Sarah love Oreos and so I thought I'd see if I could make them homemade Oreo cookies - minus the cream of course. I surfed the web for recipes and found this one. I made a few alterations and the cookie turned out rather well. Depending on how thin you make the cookies and the length of time in the oven, gives you a slightly chewy or crispy 'Oreo'. I prefer them slightly thicker and thus a little chewy.

Since Michael likes to take cookies to kindergarten, we bought a nice set of cookie cutters that make lovely big cookies. As they often say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating - and these cookies passed the test. Mike and Sarah absolutely love them!!

The cookies also taste delicious with vanilla ice cream!

The recipe


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons castor sugar
6 ounces butter (salted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder

Cream sugar and butter.
Add the salt, egg, water, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Beat in sifted flour and cocoa until well combined (the dough will be stiff)
Roll the dough into small balls. Place the balls on baking paper/greasproff paper/lightly greased cookie sheets and flatten each ball until nice and round. To get a nice round, use the bottom of a glass dipped in cocoa powder. (Note that too much cocoa left over on the biscuit gives a moist, bitter cookie as the cocoa tends to melt a bit in the oven)
You may also use a cookie stamp and cut out shapes.
To get a nice crisp cookie, it’s important to press them thin. For a chewier cookie, let them be a little thicker. Too thin and the cookies will burn. Too thick and they will be chewy. Try out a few first to see what you like.
Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator to chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes.
Remove the cookies from the baking pans and cool them completely on a wire rack.



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