MALIBU, California

MALIBU, California

Friday, October 31, 2014

Toffee Apples, Treacle toffee, Barley Sugar, Butterscotch Toffee, Creamy Caramels..British Homemade Toffee Making for Guy Fawkes Night Nov 5th

As a child growing up in the North West Of England, Halloween was the start of almost a week's worth of parties, ending with the burning of the guy on a bonfire on Nov 5th, and lots of fireworks

Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the House of Lords ( in the Gunpowder Plot) in 1605,and since then we have had a celebration.

For 2 weeks before, we made an effigy of   "guy" out of old clothes and stuffed with paper, and wander the streets looking for anything that would burn on our big street bonfire, every household donating old furniture, some folks not knowing they had donated their old fence.
When not collecting bonfire stuff we would stand outside stores and pubs, with our guy asking "Penny for the Guy"..begging really for money for fireworks or candy.

Halloween we would wander the streets with turnips (Rutabagas") carved into Jack o'Lanterns, held up with string...Halloween always reminds me of the smell of candle wax and scorched turnips, we didn't do trick or treat we just did trick.

Then home to barrels of water filled with apples for dunking one's head to catch an apple.

Simple times and GOOD times.

This week also featured Mum's home made toffees,(never used a sugar thermometer) butterscotch and treacle, wrapped in waxed paper (usually the paper from a sliced loaf) or cracked in a the pan and handed round; and eaten either round the bonfire or before going tricking.

Toffee apples came later, as did barley sugar.

Here are some great recipes from those GOOD OLD DAYS, and yes they are in Imperial Measures.... British Through and Through.
Check out the top of this blog for conversion ideas.


Toffee/Candy Apples

makes 12 medium sized

12 wooden skewers or Popsicle/lolly sticks

12 ripe medium sized apples
6ozs golden syrup (available in British food markets)
12 ozs light brown soft sugar
1 ozs regular butter
1/2 pint water
1tsp vinegar

Wash in hot water the apples (removes any waxy films) and dry well.
Remove any stalks and push the skewer, Popsicle stick in that end .

Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan, stir over gentle heat until the sugar dissolves.
Bring to boil and cook briskly until 290f (or a drop in cold water snaps easy).

Remove from heat and very carefully dip each apple in the hot syrup.
Swirl to coat completely but avoid contact with skin (this is like burning tar and very dangerous).

Dip each coated apple into a bowl of cold water and then stand them on a greased cookie sheet, with sticks upright.

Serve when set completely or wrap in waxed paper..this caramel gets sticky in damp temps.
Avoid using food coloring as it can be dangerous to children

Treacle Toffee

This makes about 2 pounds

1 pound dark brown sugar
1 pound black treacle ( again from British food market, comes in a can)
OR Molasses (molasses are more liquid and take longer cooking)
2 1/2 tbsp malt vinegar*

Put everything in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
Stir over low heat to allow the sugar to dissolve.
Bring slowly to boiling point, keep it boiling for 10 mins.
Stir occasionally.
Carefully stir in
4 ozs sliced butter, piece by piece.
Continue to boil to softball stage (a drop in cold water remains soft and chewy)

Remove from heat and allow the toffee to settle (removes air bubbles).
Pour into a well buttered (do not use oil) 9 inch square x 2 inches deep oven proof pan.
When cool enough cut into squares.

When cold break into pieces with a toffee hammer or back of a heavy knife.

 * using vinegar makes a hard toffee, if you prefer a much softer caramel style then omit the vinegar.
But this will be softer and not need a hammer to crack.

Barley Sugar

This is VERY old English, and is made into a sheet that  is then cut into sticks or bars, and they are twisted before allowing to set.

Makes about 1 pound and takes just 30 mins

1 pound white sugar
1/2 pint water
pinch of cream of tartar
6 drops lemon extract OR 1 tsp lemon zest

Lightly oil a  heavy cookie sheet ( back) or marble slab

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the sugar, water and pinch of tartar.
heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Then bring to boil and cook until the sugar turns light amber color,add the lemon extract.
Remove from heat and pour on to the oiled surface and  leave to cool a little.
Fold the sides into the middle and using kitchen scissors cut into strips.
Twist the strips and place on waxed paper...when cold they are ready to serve.

Butterscotch Toffee..this is the easiest and tastiest toffee.
makes 1 pound

1 pound light brown sugar
1/4 pint water
2 ozs butter

Butter a 7 inch x 2inch square pan.
Dissolve the sugar in the water, in a large heavy bottomed pan, slowly bring to boil, without stirring,  until soft ball stage (see previous recipe).
Stir in the butter (also sliced) piece by piece.
pour into buttered pan, mark into squares while warm and allow to cool completely and continue as for treacle toffee.

Creamy Caramels

Soft and chewy makes about 1 pound and the  recipe can be doubled

6ozs white sugar
 2 ozs light brown sugar
2 ozs golden syrup
3 ozs butter
3 tbsp single cream or evaporated milk
4tbsp water
vanilla extract

Butter a 7x2 inch pan

Put water, sugars, syrup and 1 oz butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan and  and gently heat to dissolve the sugars .
Bring to boil, softball stage, remove from  heat and carefully add the cream and rest of butter, stirring in.
Bring back to boil and cook for 10 mins.
remove from heat and add the extract, stir in  and pour into the pan.
Cut into squares when cold.
Remove the squares and wrap pieces in waxed paper.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014



Vegan-Vegetarian "Blood & Gore" Halloween Menu in ZOMBIECOLORphotos

                            Happy Halloween Week Everyone!!

Bugs and Bits (lentil & split pea-vegetable soup with kale)

Creamed Blood & Maggot Soup (carrot & butternut squash)

Spicy Steamed Maggots (brown rice)

Bullets and Slugs served with steamed maggots (Black bean and butternut squash chili with rice)

Dead Man's Muffins (pumpkin muffin batter with fresh frozen raspberries and broken vanilla shortbread cookies added)

Zombie Brains served with worms (butternut & mushroom pasta sauce to be served with spaghetti)

Creamy, Dreamy Witch's Pot, will be served with steamed maggots (vegetable curry and rice)

The muffins baked

They will be frosted with cream cheese and almond-caramel frostings

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Bars & Black & White Blondies : 2 COOKIE RECIPES FOR NOVEMBER 2014

Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Bars

 13 x 9 x 2 inch oven proof dish well greased

Middle shelf

4 large eggs
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cooked pumpkin* (or squash) or 1 x16oz canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 cups all purpose flour
2tsp baking powder
2tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp sea salt

In a mixing bowl mix the eggs lightly with a fork.
Add the sugar, oil and pumpkin and mix well.
Using a wooden spoon, mix in the flour, baking powder, spice and salt well.
Pour the batter in the greased pan and bake 25-30 mins .

Do not overbake...remove from oven and cool on wire rack in pan.

Meanwhile make the frosting:
8 ozs cream cheese softened
1 cup butter/8ozs softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl combine everything and slowly beat with an electric mixer, until smooth.

Frost the pumpkin layer and then cut into bars.
Store in the fridge.

These freeze very well, place on single layer on small sheet pan and freeze then wrap in foil.

* In place of pumpkin or squash try these with mashed ripe bananas, omit the cinnamon and add some chocolate chips.

Black & white BLONDIES

these are made with good quality white chocolate and also have semi sweet chocolate chips added.

Grease a 9 x 9 x 2 inch oven proof pan/dish

middle shelf

1/2 cup butter melted
8 ozs white chocolate, chopped and melted
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp orange zest
OR 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, whisk in the sugar and orange zest.
Add the melted butter and white chocolate, whisk well then add the flour and baking powder and mix well to combine, but do not beat.
Stir in the chocolate chips and then spread the batter evenly in the greased pan.

Bake 25-30 mins or until top is dull and set.

Let cool in pan on wire rack and cut into bars/squares when cold.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Minestrone Soup; French Style Vegetable Stew with Buckwheat Crepes; Oatmeal Peanut Butter Apricot cookies; Photos of prep & TIps for tomorrow

own grown from the garden

For the crepe onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil, add, eggplant, zucchini and own grown peppers, fresh tomatoes, cook without salt (salt draws the juices and flavors out of the veggies, better not to season until  filling crepe then use strong Cheddar cheese), as it marinates overnight it will create it's own juices. I also added basil and thyme from garden and fresh rosemary

Buckwheat crepes

MY own creation peanut butter-oatmeal cookies with apricots, sort of similar to granola

PRECIOUS METAL reunites with Friends, for a charity GIG with loads of 80's musicians for a sold out concert at THE MINT in Los Angeles last

Precious Metal, Alex, Leslie, Carol  & Janet reunited (Mara couldn't make it as she lives out of state) with FRIENDS:
Micky Dolenz (The Monkees)

Kelly's Lot
Suzette Andres ( founder of Precious Metal and now in Wild Side)
Abby Travis (Eagles of Death Metal, Bangles)
Ali Handal 
Aviva Maloney (The Monkees)
Bikki Johnson (Terence Trent Darby)
Brie Howard-Darling (Fanny, Boxing Ghandis)
Dian Katz
Jeff Mattern
Garret Podgorski
Homero Chavez
Lorraine Lewis (Femme Fatal)
Mary Kay (The Dogs)
Mimi Chen (100.3 The Sound)
Monte Pittman (Madonna)
Sunbie Harrel (The Orchids)
Suzi Sphereious
Tony Matteucci (Quiet Riot, The Dogs)
Vicki Calhoum (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Triple Threat ( Elle Peterson, Lucy Eaton, Victoria Randall)
and Many many More fantastic musician FRIENDS