Most of us have our go-to recipes, be it for a mid-week lunch, a dinner-party pleaser or a sumptuous cake that Nigella Lawson would be proud of. In case you’re stuck in a food rut, however, here are some of our readers’ fail-safe recipes from around the world to add to your repertoire. Bon appétit!
Linda Kilburn-Peterson, US and Australia: Crunchy Granola Bars
“We love granola bars for a sweet treat in school lunches, but buying them every week gets expensive. Plus, both my children go to nut-free schools, so I decided to make them at home so I could control the ingredients. The key to getting bars crunchy in this recipe (from blog; Delectably Mine) is to toast the oats first.”
- 3½ cups rolled oats
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup honey
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven and set the temperature to 190 degrees Celsius.
- Line a 46 x 33cm rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil.
- Combine the oats, oil and salt in a large bowl and mix until the oats are evenly coated. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and spread in an even layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until pale gold. Remove the oats and lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees Celsius.
- Combine the honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to dissolve. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Add the oats and thoroughly combine.
- Spray a large square dish with non-stick spray and firmly press the mixture into a flat, tight and even layer. Bake until golden, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Cool in the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, cut into bars all the way through and then allow to completely cool. (Do not wait longer than 15 minutes before cutting, as it hardens up quickly.)
Pamela Ng, Australian: High Tea Scones
“I generally don’t enjoy spending too much time in the kitchen. I like dishes which are quick and easy but bursting with flavour. These scones are fool-proof for even the most amateur of bakers. The recipe was given to me by my sister-in-law who is an amazing baker. They’re best served warm with clotted cream, strawberry jam and a cup of tea.”
- 3 cups self-raising flour
- 1¼ cup buttermilk (or make your own buttermilk by adding lemon juice to milk)
- 110g butter, cubed
- 5 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the cubed butter to the dry mixture and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture becomes coarse.
- Make a well in the middle of the mixture and slowly add the buttermilk. Mix until a dough is formed.
- Sprinkle some flour onto your bench top and knead the dough on it. If the dough sticks to your hands, add more flour. Roll into a large ball, then flatten it out until it is approximately 2cm thick. Cut out the scones using a round cutter.
- Place on a greased baking tray and bake in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 13 minutes.