Good morning, luvs! How was your weekend?
After feeling pretty blech with a cold/flu/achy something last week, I perked up on the weekend and had such a good couple of days.
Saturday I got to visit my friends Shirley and Joe at their gorgeous goat farm. I can’t wait to show you pictures of their wildflower-filled creek banks and darling baby goats a bit later this week.You won’t believe the enormous belly on one of the pregnant mama goats!
Yesterday afternoon my friends Ann, Neil, Lizzy and Jess joined bear and me at the farm, and we had a jolly work party getting all sorts of things done.
We built new pens and roosts for the chooks (Aussie word for chickens) and shifted the feathered folk around. They are so happy to be out of their small cages and dashing about in their expansive new digs.
We let the goats out of their pen and gave them free reign of the yards. Tentative at first, they’re now roaming happily as if they owned the joint. Below are William (the Dad) and Felix and Sophie (the two month old twins). They love coming up to get their heads scratched.
Although it’s spring here in Queensland, the weather was quite cool this weekend and put me in the mood for autumnal dishes.
After my grand cheese-making experience last week, I had fresh ricotta on hand that needed something special to go with it. I pondered for a few days and finally settled on roasted pears. With hot ginger caramel sauce. And toasted walnuts.
I love recipes like this. Decadent ones that are so very, very simple to make. This one is especially lovely because the sauce makes itself! Simply combine melted butter with brown sugar and powdered ginger in the bottom of a cake tin. Top with halved and cored pears and roast them at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Turn the pears, spoon over some of the sauce and roast for 10-15 minutes more. Then place the pears on a plate, top with a dollop of fresh ricotta, drizzle with the remaining sauce and sprinkle on toasted walnuts. Delicious! I had some for second breakfast this morning and can’t wait to have the rest for dinner tonight.
Below you’ll find my friend Ann’s recipe for ricotta cheese. It is so creamy, delicious and easy to make, you may never go back to store-bought ricotta again.
What is your favorite dessert on a cool, cloudy day?
Ginger Caramel Roasted Pears
(Serves two hungry people or four recently fed ones)
2 Bartlett pears, halved and cored
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2-3 Tbsp chopped toasted nuts
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In round metal cake tin pour melted butter. Stir in brown sugar and powdered ginger until combined into smooth syrup.
- Place pears cut side down over sauce.
- Roast in oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven, turn pears, baste with sauce and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.
- Place each pear cut side up on plate, top with dollop of fresh ricotta, drizzle with remaining sauce and sprinkle with chopped, toasted nuts.
Ricotta Cheese Recipe
(from Ann Hill)
5 litres (1.3 gallons) whey
2 cups whole milk
Salt to taste
Approximately 40 mls white vinegar
- Heat whey to 60 degrees C (140 F) Stir frequently.
- Add whole milk.
- Add 1/2 -1 tsp of salt if you like.
- Continue to heat the milky whey to 90C-(194F) Continue to stir.
- At 90 C (194 F) add approximately 40 mls of white vinegar. At the first sign of small specks appearing in the whey, stop adding vinegar.
- Let stand on low heat for 5-10 mins to let the ricotta firm up, then, gently scoop off the layer of curd that has risen to the surface into a ricotta mould (or use butter muslin in a colander).
- Eat straight away or store in the fridge and use with in a week.