Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Rose water cheesecake

For the Baha'is all over the world, the Ridván Festival is the biggest one all year. Why? Because the Messenger of God for today - Bahá'u'lláh declared during those days that He was the Promised one of all ages. So there, enough reason to celebrate!
It is called the Ridván festival because these events took place at a garden called "Ridván". This festival lasts from the 21st of April until the 2nd of May. Roses were Bahá'u'lláh's favourite flower and this garden had an abundance of them.
"Every day,... ere the hour of dawn, the gardeners would pick the roses which lined the four avenues of the garden, and would pile them in the center of the floor of His blessed tent. So great would be the heap that when His companions gathered to drink their morning tea in His presence, they would be unable to see each other across it. All these roses Bahá'u'lláh would, with His own hands, entrust to those whom He dismissed from His presence every morning to be delivered, on His behalf, to His Arab and Persian friends in the city."
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 153)
So, remembering those days and the smell and taste of the beautiful fragrance of those roses, we are making this rose water and cardamon cheesecake. This post is part of the collaboration for the "Walking through the garden of Ridván" series.


- For the crust:
1 pack of Marie cookies
100 gr melted butter
1/2 tsp cardamon

1. Powderize the cookies and mix with the melted butter.
2. Add the cardamon to the milk and then pour slowly and knead until you reach the desired consistency (if too dry add more milk but be careful not to add too much since you will have to find where to get more cookies from)
3. Once the crust is ready, spread on a pie tray and bake at 180ºC for 5-10 minutes until less wet. Remove from oven.

- For the filling:
1 can of condensed milk
1 pack of cream cheese (250 grams)
2 eggs
2 tbsp of rose water
A splash of lemon juice

1. Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until well combined.
2. Pour onto the baked crust. Burst all bubbles (if possible).
3. Bake for about 30 minutes at 180ºC. The time will vary so you have to check it and make sure it is not under cooked. To do this you have to shake the pan and if the center wiggles, it needs to bake longer.
Let cool at room temperature and then refrigerate.
Please note that cheesecake tastes better when it has set so if making for a party or function, you can bake it the night before or early in the morning to allow enough hours for it to set.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Bread :)

Yummy yummy bread.
F has been attending a Steiner playgroup in Sydney. Every week they make bread and it is delicious! So they gave me the recipe :)
We tweaked it a little and this is what we made:

1Kg of flour (you can mix and match any kind- we used wholemeal and plain)
500ml of water (@ body temperature)
1 Tbsp dry yeast
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp of oil (we used olive)
Chocolate flakes
Anything you want to add to the loaf.

1. Put 250ml of the water in a container and sprinkle the top with the yeast to make it bubble and foam (if it doesn't, it means the yeast isn't good and your bread won't rise). Leave for 10 minutes.
2. Add all dry ingredients less the oregano and chocolate flakes and mix in the mixer.
3. Add the water and yeast and knead with the kneading hook.
4. Slowly add the rest of the water until your dough forms.
5. We split the dough in two and mix the oregano onto one batch and the chocolate on another. You can add whatever you like such as cheese, sultanas and nuts, etc.
6. Leave in a greased bowl covered with a tea towel at a warm place for it to rise for an hour.
7. Remove from the bowl and knead for a few minutes again. Put back in the bowl and cover with the towel and let rise again for another 30-45 minutes.
8. Make whatever shapes you like and bake in a 180ºC oven for 25-45 minutes (depending on the size of your loaves). It will be ready when you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow.



Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Dyeing fabric with food items!

Obviously this post isn't about edible food.
F and I have wanted to dye our sofa bed's cover. We bought it on Gumtree and the owners had bought the cover in white!!
So, after a while, we gave up with the bleaching since the heavy stains weren't coming off and one day we decided to give home-dyes from the pantry a try.

Basically we just mixed spices that were red/yellow and that didn't have chilli -we thought that wouldn't be the greatest idea!
Here is what we did (please keep in mind we had a LOT of fabric and the amount of spices you will need will depend on the amount of fabric and the amount of color you want on it):

What we used:
LOTS (about 300gr) of bright spices (we used turmeric and mild paprika)
Half a kilo of salt
The fabric
Washing machine

1. Pre-wash the fabric to remove dirt and light stains
2. Mix all spices in a bowl
3. Once the fabric has been washed, take it out of the machine, place the spices and salt in the machine (not the soap dispenser)
4. Put the fabric in and wash on 40º gentle cycle
5. After the cycle has finished, wash again on normal cycle at 40º.
6. Take the fabric and put out to dry.
7. To wash the machine just run a cycle on an empty machine to get rid of all possible dyes.

NOTE that our fabric wasn't all that bright at the end and some spots were darker than others. We assume this happened because there was so much fabric and didn't wash evenly.
We also ran the last cleaning cycle with a sock inside and it came out clean! :)