Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Greek Cheese Pastries - (I Quit Sugar - well nearly )

Got more than I bargained for when I decided to try and take sugar completely out of my diet. Massive headaches, migraines, blurred vision and nausea - but that was a long time ago. My doctor at the time told me I was too crazy; "get some fruit into your body and the pains will stop", he told me - and he was right of course.

But now there are new ways to quit sugar and I've realised that if I do it slowly and readjust some of my recipes, it may not be THAT bad. But I've got to thinking what drives us to eat such sweet meats? From what I've read it appears that once you start eating something sweet, the high you get from that tells your brain to eat more, so you get onto that vicious cycle - the more you eat, the more you want.

So I'm trying to do it bit by bit - yes I still have the occasional craving for a sweet treat and sorry Sarah Wilson I will continue to eat the odd fresh date, but I am trying to rid myself of the cakes, biscuits, ice cream, chocolate and hidden sugars in any packaged foods. I'll just have to go back to my kitchen and try out new ways of cooking without sugar or honey.  I hope you will stay with me for the journey.

So when I long for a piece of cake - I just dip into the Hummus instead! Bwahhhh!

Now these incredibly tasty pastries have no sugar, so I am happy to start with these. I've served them with a fresh Greek Salad (minus the Feta) and I think they make a delicious meal. Hope you enjoy them.

Anyone got cake recipes without sugar or honey???


Ingredients - Makes enough for 4 people

2 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 sheets filo pastry
200g feta cheese
250g cottage cheese
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 egg beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbls plain flour
grated nutmeg
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
2 tbls finely chopped coriander
Vegetable oil

Mix together feta and cottage cheese, yoghurt, egg, garlic, flour, grated nutmeg, lemon zest, juice and coriander. Keep a little coriander for serving.

Take 5 sheets of filo pastry and brush with melted butter.

Divide the mixture between the sheets of filo, spreading it on the long side of the rectangle of pastry. Leave enough at the ends to roll up, tucking in the sides.

Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

In a non stick fry pan heat oil and fry each pastry until nice and brown, turning over once. This will only take a few minutes. Now cut each one into 2 pieces and serve with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkling of chopped coriander.


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Plum Cake

Thanks a lot weather for turning cold on me. Just because it is autumn doesn't mean it has to be wet and cold. Okay so we have had a few sunny days and I have to admit that I've been away to Melbourne and then spent an entire 2 weeks in my garden doing a big renovation project. 

I'm dreaming of some fab warm sunny days, sipping tea on the verandah and watching the glorious leaves changing colour. So damn and blast I just have to make a cake, even though I 'm trying to give up sugar.

Plums are on their last legs and we will just have to be content with apples and pears and citrus fruit until the whole darn weather recycles itself and comes back to spring.

Fabulous time of year (if it stops peeing with rain). I've done a quick scout of my neighbourhood and I've brought you the best of the autumn show.

Here are some Fabulous Facts about Deciduous Trees.

 - Leaves fall off trees in winter because a layer of cork grows across the leaf stalk gradually cutting off its water supply.

-  Physiological changes in the leaf produce outstanding autumn colours.  Short, warm days and cool nights produce pigments which develop into the wonderful autumn colours. Carotenoid pigment gives yellow, orange and brown and bright reds and purples are from anthocyanin pigments. 

Red and purple leaves are actually caused by the presence of sugars from sap that is trapped inside of the leaves.

- If you live very close to the Equator, you will not experience autumnal colours.

- Plums are an autumnal fruit and you should find the last of them in the shops now.

So dash out and buy a few because this may be your last chance this season to make this cake.



1/4 cup (60g) caster sugar
115g butter
1 cup (125g) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
4 plums, pitted and quartered
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons Rice Malt Syrup
pinch salt
1 - 2 teaspoons caster sugar

Preheat oven to 170º fan forced.

Beat sugar and butter together until nice and creamy.

Beat in eggs one at a time until combined.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl and gently incorporate into the creamed mixture.

Pour batter into a greased springform cake tin, approx 20 cms in size.

Place the quartered plums, cut side up into the batter, pressing down slightly.
Sprinkle  the plums with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Bake in a preheated oven for 40 - 50 minutes.

Cool for 5 to 10 minutes then take out of the tin and cool completely on a cake rack or serve warm with yoghurt.