Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Baking bliss!

When life gets a little crazy, I love nothing more than spending a bit of time in my kitchen.  Baking (and cooking) for the people in my life who I love is my idea of bliss! 
Today it was the dogs turn for a treat.  Our wee cavoodle Max (half Cavalier King Charles spaniel and half poodle!) is quite a fussy pup and he is also prone to getting the most noxious gas if we feed him dog food from the supermarket.  So, in an effort to please the pooch and be a bit more frugal I have started making his dog food for him. 
There are quite a few good recipes on the internet, here is mine:

·         4 cups of cooked brown rice

·         500g minced pork (chicken or turkey – I use whatever is on sale!)

·         4 cups of chicken stock (I use home-made, which is low sodium, but store bought is fine)

·         1 cup of breadcrumbs

·         A few herbs from the garden – today I used finely chopped sage

·         2 eggs

To make, simply brown the meat in a large frying pan (I use my wok), add the cooked rice, stock, bread crumbs, herbs and eggs and stir until combined.  Ta da!  It keeps in the fridge for about 4 days, but you can also freeze it in batches and just take it out when you need some.

Next it was time to make some yummy human food!  Is there anything more comforting in life than baking (okay maybe eating baking ha ha!)? 

I am lucky enough to have a few people in my life who have been especially kind to me this year.  So as a way of saying thanks to one of those dear friends who has helped me through the stinky days this year, I made a gorgeous old fashioned ginger loaf – perfect with a cup of tea!  The recipe is one that has been in my family for generations, but I prettied it up a bit by placing a few cubes of crystallised ginger on top of the cake also (if you prefer a more mild ginger taste then I would omit these as they pack quite the flavour punch!).
Old fashioned ginger loaf recipe:

·         50grams of butter

·         1 tablespoon of golden syrup

·         1 egg

·         ½ cup of brown sugar

·         1 cup of flour

·         1 teaspoon of baking powder

·         2 teaspoons of ginger (powdered)

·         1 teaspoon of mixed spice

·         1 teaspoon of baking soda

·         ¾ cup of milk

Preheat your oven to 180 C (160 fan-bake) and line a loaf tin/baking dish with baking paper.

In a bowl (or mixer) mix together the egg and sugar.  Melt the better and syrup together in a pot, then add this to the egg and sugar.  Sift in the dry ingredients except the baking soda (I say sift, but I never sift – I just plonk them in and they are fab).  In a small cup mix the baking soda and milk and then add this to the rest of the ingredients.  The mixture will be fairly runny – like a cake mix.  Pour this into the loaf tin and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  As I said above, this time for a change I scattered a few cubes of crystallised ginger over the top before I baked the loaf, but the taste was quite strong, so I will probably omit that next time.

Max the dog thought this new treat was for him too…    

What do you mean this isn’t for me?

I’d better take the darling pooch for a walk now.  We are having the most gorgeous autumn weather here in Wellington (New Zealand) and I am desperate to soak up as much sunshine as possible before it disappears for the winter!  I will just have to keep cheery by reading all those lovely blogs by the folk in the northern hemisphere. 


  1. I have been looking for a nice ginger loaf recipe as the ones I have use dark treacle and dark sugar and they are a bit bitter. I will try yours for the weekend Mmmm. My Mam makes her dogs' food to the same recipe as you minus the egg. Sometimes she cooks some white fish in the microwave and crumbles it over rice instead. Her dogs have always had really sensitive stomachs and the vet said it was better for them than tins. Little Son and I love Max - we want to kiss him!!

    1. Hi Lily, your note really made me smile :-) What spoiled doggies ah? Oh but they are so worth it! Your Mams' idea of using white fish is a really good one - I dont know why I never thought of it. We eat a lot of fish and often have leftovers. Have a fantastic weekend hon! Becks xxx

  2. Oh hon, G will be your best friend when he sees your loaf! It's his absolute favourite so I will have to try it soon. That head-tilt pic of Max is beyond adorable!!! Give him a pat from us.

    1. Thanks Leah! I'll have to remember that G likes ginger cake and make it next time you guys are over :-) Hope you had a good weekend hon. xxx

  3. I love making ginger loaf too, it makes the house smell fabulous. Love the puppy pics! x

    1. Thanks hon! Well YOU were my inspiration for making the ginger loaf after I read your FB post, lol. Honestly this blog could so easily turn into a baking blog...but that won't help my figure any. Have a good week sweetie pie! Becks xxx

  4. Hello, thank you for sharing the recipe.
    Max looks adorable!
    Wishing you a Happy Easter! xxx

  5. Hello lovely and thankyou for your kind message,Jacks settling down with his new diet and medicine :)
    He's mainy having chicken,white fish with plain boiled rice and a little cottage cheese,very easily digested and low in fat. It s so awful to see them in such pain,I'm so glad hes settling down.
    Max is a gorgeous boy and am sure he's so well loved and looked after,this recipie sounds yummy.
    My kids keep saying the dogs are eating better than us,lol,as if!
    take care sweetie,xoxoxojuliex

    1. Thank goodness Jack is settling down and taking to his new food okay. I know what you mean about the dogs eating better than us, ha ha! After spending an age making dog food yesterday, I was too tired to cook anymore so we all had pizza - very naughty! Becks xxx

  6. Your doggy is so sweet! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with us! Can't wait to try out this new recipe!

    1. Thanks hon! Max (the dog) is my little kitchen companion - never far away when I am baking something yummy. Have a great week. Becks x