Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent and the Advent Wreath

This coming Sunday is the start of Advent and I'd like to share with all my followers this special page that explains this tradition.  Read this page for lots of interesting information as well as prayers that can be said during this special time.  I suggest you print out this page and have it handy to read out from just before every evening meal. Towards the end of the page is a link for prayers for very young children.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Almond and Chocolate Pie (Torta tal-Marmurat)

This is a traditional sweet/cake made mostly around Christmas time in Malta. Click on the recipe for a sharper image.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Treacle Rings Recipe

This is a traditional sweet enjoyed throughout the year in Malta but mostly at Christmas time. This Maltese speciality dates back to the 15th Century and may be enjoyed with wine or as a dessert or even at tea time. Some people also like to call this sweet 'Honey Rings'.  I made this recipe a few years ago and I was very pleased with the result...maybe I'll give it a go again this year : )

For the filling*:                                                         
900g (2 lb) treacle                                                       
An equal amount of water                                            
Zest of tangerine, orange and lemon                             
A small amount of candied peel (optional)                    
A pinch of cloves
2 tablespoonfuls jam
400g semolina

For the pastry*:
800g flour
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon butter
Water to bind

* You can use half the amount if you only plan to make 3 rings.  Adjust amount of all ingredients accordingly.

Sprinkle the baking trays with semolina. Put aside.
For the filling
Place all the filling ingredients, except for the semolina, into a saucepan.
Bring to boil and thicken with semolina.  Add half the amount at a time and stir, then add the remainder ingredients.  Cook for a few minutes.  Let cool for several hours, preferably overnight.
To make the pastry
Sieve the flour, rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Bind with egg yolks and water.  This pastry will keep well, wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
Divide the pastry into six pieces, and roll out one piece at a time into rectangles. Again out of each rectangle cut out rectangles,  10cm(4") wide x  18cm(7") long.  Depending on how thin you roll out the pastry you will have several strips now ready for the filling.
To make the treacle rings
Take a dessertspoonful of the stuffing and place it on the cut rectangle, shaping it into a sausage shape 3-4cm (ab.1 1/2") thick and as long as the pastry rectangle.  Dip your fingers into semolina, sprinkled on the board to help you shape it.  Fold the pastry over - there's no need to dampen the edges.
Bring the two ends of  the folded pastry roll together in order to form a ring.
As each ring is ready place on the prepared baking sheets. Do not let the rings touch each other.  When they have all been prepared, cut five or six slashes on top of each ring with a sharp knife, lifting the pastry gently so as to let the stuffing show through.
Bake in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is only slightly coloured. Let cool.  You can wrap these in cellophane to give as gifts.  The fresher they are the tastier of course!  Enjoy!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Veteran's Day ~ Poppy Appeal Sunday 11th November

I may have already posted this bookmark but here it is in any case, hope someone can use it. Click on each for a better image to save to your files...the second one has space at the top for a tassel.

Live on air this Radio Elenjani 95.8FM

I'll be on air this morning from 9.30 up until 11.45 if you'd like to tune in. My programme is Kreattivita ma' Doreen (Creativity with Doreen). So tune in to today's show and listen in to talk about creativity, how to be more creative at work, at home and anywhere. Enjoy some interesting quotations and great music too. Get your pencil and paper ready for a great recipe and more. The show is mostly in Maltese with some quotes in English...enjoy the music too!
I am half way through this season's programmes : )
Visit my Creativity by Doreen FB Page for more recipes and great crafts ...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November Delicacy - Dead Man's Bones

Here is the Recipe for the Ghadam tal-Mejtin (translates to Dead Man's Bones) which is a sweet pastry with almond filling and is totally delicious...of course the shape of this pastry is that of a bone but I can assure you it is delicious in whatever shape you decide to make it : )

These bones are a special delicacy in November when we honour our dear departed ones.
I must thank my very dear friend Miriam Borg for generously sharing her recipe with us, thanks Mir : ) Your pastries are always so delicious!

Ingredients for pastry dough

480grs.self raising flour



1 egg yolk

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Vanilla essence

For the filling :

300grs .ground almonds


Grated rind of 1 lemon

Egg white

Almond & vanilla

How to make the pastry:

Sieve the flour into a large bowl,holding the sieve as high as possible, so that the flour get a really good airing, add the margarine cut into small lumps, then rub it into the flour using fingertips only .

In a separate bowl mix the sugar, egg yolk, vanilla and lemon rind mix well.

Add the the flour work into the pastry in a polythene bag and leave in fridge for 30mins.

How to prepare the filling :

Mix the ground almonds, sugar and lemon rind. Whisk the egg white and add the vanilla & almond.

Combine and mix with the almonds, sugar and lemon rind mixture .

How to make the “bones”:

Roll out the pastry thinly and cut several 15cms x 10cms rectangles.

Take spoonfuls of the almond filling and place down the middle of the pastry rectangles, dampen the edges with water. Roll the pastry and form into wide strips, close the edges and shape into bones .

Baking Procedure:

Bake in a moderate oven for some 15 or 20 minutes .
Let cool completely before decorating.

Decorating the bones:

Mix icing sugar in some water (the mixture has to be thick).

Spread and paste the mixture on top of the bones.

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