Posts Tagged ‘coconut’

Healthy Macaroons

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Getting through a workday without my 11am cereal bar is all but impossible.  No matter what I eat breakfast never fills me up until lunch, I seem to have a crazy fast metabolism (which I am eternally thankful for, imagine what size I’d be if I didn’t!).  Shop bought cereal bars or granola bars are usually my go-to, which is bad, I know, with all their unnecessary sugar and fat, but they are so convenient and tasty – Tracker bars and Nature Valley granola bars being my favourite.  In my defence, every attempt at granola bars has ended in…well, granola, so shop bought it is!

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A couple of weekends ago when on a mega baking kick, I wanted a little respite from all of the butter and sugar, when I found these.  They are truly delicious.  You don’t feel remotely short changed by the wholesome and mostly healthy ingredients.  They are sweet, soft, a little chewy and they definitely feel like a treat, I’ve made two batches since discovering the recipe already! (more…)

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Mango & Coconut Muffins

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Making time for everything in a hectic week is not easy.  Just take this blog and my appalling lack of updates recently.  Falling behind and running out of time really stresses me out so I know I need to start making a big effort to become more organised and pro-active.  I have been busy the last few weekends, which is when I do most of my baking, but if I had prioritised post writing over grand prix watching I wouldn’t have left a full week between recipes.

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To try and help myself out a bit I’ve been organising wherever possible.  I bought a big weekly calendar which I have pinned on my wall (right where I get ready every morning so there is no escaping it!) where I schedule my posts for the week ahead.  I can also tick these off when they’ve been posted – always fun!  My baking equipment had spread to all corners of my bedroom, the curse of sharing with a non-baker and having a small kitchen, so a small set of drawers were purchased to store my photo props, cake tins, cutters and cake decorating bits and bobs.  I also bought an adorable little Moleskin note book that fits in to my handbag where I can jot down any ideas or make plans when inspiration strikes.

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So these muffins mark the start of a new organised Kirsty…or something like that!  They are good muffins though, using mango to provide delicate sweetness and coconut to give them a tropical flavour.  When baked mango becomes soft, sweet and luscious adding great moisture to cakes.  Coconut flakes add contrasting texture as a finishing touch.

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“Kirsty Goes Bake to the Future”

So, remember this post where I talked about my Grannys old cookbook and made some super easy coconut macaroons from it?  Well, after that post I thought I would be uncharacteristically forward and get in touch with the editor of the newspaper that published the cookbook way back in the 1970s.

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As it turned out, they were interested and one of their reporters called me up the very next day to carry out a short interview about the book, baking with my granny and the blog.  Now, two weeks later the article has hit the shelves!

I’m sure that everyone that knows me is already sick of me talking about it, due to the wonders of oversharing on Facebook, but as the article was a direct result of this place, then it was only right that I wrote about it one last time.

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There I am, in print, complete with suitable cheesy headline.  Now I’m wishing I’d spent (even more) time on picking the absolutely correct photo but I suppose it’s not too bad.  Thanks to Jenna and Paul from the Highland News, you were both very helpful and it’s really exciting to see myself in the local paper and I think my grandparents would have been impressed by the piece.

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If you fancy a bit of further reading the full article is on the Highland News website.  I’m really interested to see if some of the newspaper readers remember the book and share their stories and recipes.

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Chocolate & Coconut Macaroons

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I found this cookbook in my grandparents house a couple of years ago when we were tidying it up to sell.  It was published in the early 1970’s by local Inverness newspaper the Highland News and is made up of recipes submitted by readers from the area.  Everyone who has submitted a recipe has there name and address published as a footnote, I can’t imagine that happening nowadays!

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The name ‘Highland Housewives Cookbook’ sums up exactly the style of the traditional, classic recipes.  My Granny’s copy has been well used and my favourite thing about this copy is that she has written the date beside some of the recipes she must have made, the earliest I could find was 1983.

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I’ve flicked through this book many times looking at all of these dates but it was only last week when I was searching for a recipe to post that I spotted this…’Kirsty, Sunday, 1995′ next to the millionaire shortbread recipe.  That’s me, at 10, baking millionaire shortbread with my Granny on a Sunday afternoon, which is really weird as I mentioned this exact thing a few weeks back when making the fudge for this recipe.

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My second favourite thing about this cookbook is this girl, from one of the first pages…

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…she’s so sassy and stylish, even with a pan on her head!

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The idea behind this book so very charming, it seems much more personal having the contributors information beside their submission.  I think it would be really fun to release an updated version of this book back in Inverness.  It would be really interesting to see how the recipes people are using have changed and adapted or if the classics really are still popular.  I’m fairly certain we wouldn’t need recipes titled ‘Cooking by Electriciy’ or ‘Cooking by Gas’ but back then they wouldn’t have needed ‘Meals in Minutes’ or ‘Low Carb/Fat/GI/Insert Other Diet Trend Here’.  I’m happy to coordinate and recipe test the new book (I’m certain a lot more goes in to publishing a cookbook than that) if anyone out there is interested in paying me!

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So, until that day, I shall continue to bake and publish right here.  I was looking for a quick, tasty recipe that included coconut – I had an open bag that needed used up.  This perfectly fits the bill and I adore coconut macaroons, it was win-win.

The quote from the contributor, Mrs M Norris, states ‘…this is a treat for all the family.  My mother handed on to me this simple recipe many years ago.’

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Coconut Lime Loaf

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When I came across this recipe for coconut loaf it was like a revelation.  I mean, coconut…in loaf form.  What could be better?  Possibly nothing but that didn’t stop me tampering with the recipe a little bit.

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Coconut and lime.  These two flavours really do spell summer, don’t they? As we are slap bang in the middle of summer I can think of no reason not to make this recipe.  My favourite way to enjoy this loaf is toasted, topped with a little butter and raspberry jam.  The smell of it toasting, lovely.

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This loaf is quite dense, and not as moist as a banana loaf, which is why I think it benefits from being toasted.  It takes a good hour to cook, so I would recommend covering it with tin foil after about 40 minutes to make sure the top doesn’t get too overdone.  The crust will be quite substantial though, but its contrasting texture  is one of the best qualities.

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