Raspberry & Pear Loaf (a rewind-post)

Raspberry & Pear Loaf (a rewind-post)

[I found this post in my drafts folder from June…I don’t know why I didn’t publish it at the time…or maybe I did and it just isn’t coming up in my searches.  Weird.  It is quite likely I just didn’t like the photos of the finished loaf so I scrapped the whole thing.  Or I just forgot.  Or some crisis popped up and I lost my brain for a few days.  Who knows?  Anyway, here is a recipe for Raspberry and Pear Loaf.  It was alright from memory :)]

Ahhh…full tummy…can’t move…must digest…

Just got back from a very lovely dinner with some equally lovely friends of mine at one of our favourite restaurants nearby, The Dux.  So delicious.  L, K and I were co-workers for years and have remained good friends – L was actually my boss for quite some time but I think, even from the very start, we were friends and I sort of see her as a second Mum.  We try and catch up every couple of months, either for a lunch or a dinner, or sometimes just a quick coffee (and probably cake – let’s be honest!) and always have a good natter and share all our news and gossip.

We have been to the Dux before (I myself have been there LOTS of times, for breakfast mostly) and love their menu.  We always take forever to decide what to have but usually go for an entree rather than a main, so we can have dessert.  The entrees themselves are pretty substantial and filling enough on their own.  Tonight, K and I had the Caramelised Fig and Persian Feta Tart.  Oh so yummy.  It is served with a green salad and extra bits of feta and caramelised onion.  L had seared scallops which was served on a bed of pulled pork, with julienned pieces of apple.  It looked delicious, even to a non-meat-eater like me.  We also had some dips and different breads and some seasonal steamed veggies to share.  We always say we’re not going to overdo it and then we do anyway ha ha.

We also said we would be good and not get dessert tonight.  Pfft, who were we kidding?!  K and L just had a tiny serving of biscotti and house truffles.  Me, I went the whole hog and got the Peanut Butter Parfait with Salted Caramel Peanuts, Chocolate Sorbet and Goats Milk Yoghurt.  I mean, why wouldn’t you???  I didn’t eat the chocolate sorbet (no choccy for me – it was bad enough I was having peanuts) but the tiny bit I tasted on my spoon was so dark and bitter – it would have been lovely but it was just too much choccy for my little kidney to deal with.  The parfait though – oh Mylanta! – so scrumptious!  It was so yummy – I really just wanted the rest of the room to melt away and leave me and my tastebuds to be alone together.  It was heaven.  And I don’t feel a bit guilty.  Well, maybe a bit but it WAS delicious.  What made the meals even better was that we had a discount card for the restaurant and so we paid a paltry sum for our wonderful meal.  I hadn’t eaten much all day so my tummy was happy (though groaning ever so slightly).

I actually had to go to the dentist again today as my temporary crown had come loose in the night.  It’s been re-cemented on now and will hopefully hold on if I am careful.  Which I thought I had been, as I have been mostly having soft food and soups all week.  Oh well, hopefully my dentist isn’t psychic – he doesn’t need to know about the peanut butter…actually, don’t tell my renal specialist either.

On the weekend, I baked a Raspberry & Pear Loaf to take to my friend CW’s.  My oven is retarded.  I know you’re not supposed to use that word anymore, but, seriously, it is the only word that applies to my oven.  Things that should take 25 minutes (e.g. this loaf) take an hour.  Other things burn in half the time they should have taken to bake.  It’s rubbish.  But I persevere in the hope that I will figure it out one day or find a recipe that corresponds to its perverse and uncooperative nature.
(post script : I just re-read the recipe and it actually says “bake for 1 hour, 25 minutes…” so d’oh!  I am the mentally challenged one here, not my poor oven…)

I took the leftovers to work yesterday and they were gobbled up by everyone.  People said it was nice so I am including the recipe here.  If your oven works like an oven should do, the loaf will probably turn out even better than mine did.  It’s a fairly easy recipe (thanks, Australian Home Beautiful) and makes quite a large loaf.  Give it a try…

Raspberry & Pear Loaf

2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
3/4 cup caster sugar
825g can pear halves, drained (juice reserved)
125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 160 C.  Grease and line a deep loaf tin with baking paper.
Sift flours and bicarb into a large bowl.  Stir in sugar.  Puree half the pears in 1/2 cup of the reserved juice.
Put pear puree, butter, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk until smooth.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in puree mixture until just combined.
Roughly chop remaining pears and stir into batter with raspberries until just combined.
Spoon mixture into loaf tin.  Bake for 1hr and 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
Allow to stand in tin for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.
Cut into slices whilst still warm and serve with butter if desired.

Voila!

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Everybody needs a tiger in the garden, right?

Everybody needs a tiger in the garden, right?

Last week, when I was out with my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin, we spent some time in a little pet-supply-cum-garden-decoration place.  My Aunt and Uncle love it there and enjoy looking at all the amazing animal sculptures (fibreglass I think) you can buy for your home and garden.  Some of them are so life-like and would look great hiding amongst some foliage or peeking out from some ferns or tropical plants.  They also had dinosaurs (my nephews would have loved them!) that were almost life-size and some enormous garden gnomes which I kinda liked, despite not being a garden gnome kinda person.  My Aunt was in love with a rather dilapidated donkey statue which had seen better days – we eventually convinced her we didn’t have room for it in the car boot – and I found myself wondering if I didn’t actually desperately NEED a tiger in my front garden, y’know, just to add a bit of interest to it…

I’ll leave the pictures to speak for themselves…

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I’m off to the dentist shortly to have my temporary crown fitted and also my new night splint to stop me gnashing my gnashers at night. Not looking forward to it or the pain involved (in my mouth and in my wallet).  Oh well, could be worse I guess!  Hope you have a great day and do not have to go anywhere near a dentist!  Send me happy thoughts and courage (I’m not too bad at the dentist but my anxiety can get the best of me at any time so there’s always room for a little bit of extra bravery!).

🙂

 

Rose-tinted days (and the dentist)

Rose-tinted days (and the dentist)

I spent a lovely afternoon at a garden centre with my cousin, Aunt and Uncle last week.  I love my Aunt – she is so amazing and despite battling many illnesses (not least of which is chronic renal failure) she is always upbeat and cheerful.  She never lets anything get her down and she is so strong and tough.  She does her own dialysis at home (I could never be that brave!) and is just an inspiration. So it was lovely to get to spend some time with her and my Uncle.

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Despite the cold weather, it was a beautiful sunny day and we had a delightful morning tea, and enjoyed a nice leisurely stroll around the centre, looking at all the beautiful flowers that were in bloom.  Such gorgeous roses!  In every colour imaginable.  I wish I had a greener thumb and could keep beautiful plants like roses alive and well but, alas, I am a killer of all things green (except for a few herbs) and can only swoon and sigh at other people’s horticultural success.  Just look at these fabulous specimens, beginning with the “Abracadabra” rose:

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Unfortunately, that day I also had an appointment with my dentist.  I am not what you would call a “regular” at the dentist.  So much has happened in the last year or so that I have allowed my dental health to get overshadowed (i.e. ignored).  I enjoy a visit to dentist about as much as I enjoy doing my taxes.  Both things are painful, take too long and usually end up costing me money.  This trip was no different… I have been experiencing pain and locking in my jaw for a while now and it has been getting worse, to the point my left side of the jaw is a bit out of whack.  I grind my teeth a lot and I thought maybe that had something to do with it.  My dentist confirmed that the night-time clenching and grinding (that sounded far ruder than I meant it to!) has indeed made my jaw a bit off-kilter.  It’s also cracked one of my back teeth almost in half.  Dr W said “it’s like the Grand Canyon in there!”  which is not something you really want to hear in regard to your teeth.  He said it was amazing that it hadn’t actually fallen apart completely or caused me any pain.  Anyway, I am now getting a “splint” for my bite so that I can’t grind my teeth at night, and a lovely, blingy gold crown for the cracked tooth.  So gangsta, yo!  I had the choice of gold or ceramic, my Dr W said he recommended gold as it lasts forever and as it is at the back of my mouth it won’t really show.  All this for the princely sum of about three grand.  There goes my new couch I was going to buy this month.  Oh well…couches can wait.  I don’t want the tooth to crack entirely and fall out or get really infected or anything so I need the crown and, in order to prevent any more cracked teeth or jaw issues, I have to get the splint as well.  Apart from those two things, I am really lucky to have good teeth – no signs of decay or need for fillings.  I’d hate to have ongoing dental problems – it’s so horrible and expensive!

It’s a long weekend this week so tomorrow (Monday) is a day off!  Hooray!  I am going to try not to sleep in (did that yesterday – slept for 17 hours, which is awesome but also DISGUSTING!) as I want to get some things done around the house and find some time for crafting as well.  Hope your weekend is going well, and, if you do have to go to work tomorrow, I hope Friday comes around again super quickly!  I’ll leave you with a funny little note I saw at the garden centre this week :

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🙂