I didn’t think I would be this sort of parent but here is a picture of my wee one on her first hallowe’en. I still can’t believe it as we never imagined we would have a child and she just amazes us each day. Don’t pinch me-I don’t want to wake-up.

To celebrate Hallowe’en we had leftover chicken disguised as lasagne. I posted this recipe quite awhile ago and I’ve been bugged to make it again ever since. Yummm…somehow the lemon zest in the recipe lightens the whole dish.

This is our second batch of baked goods this week as they seem to disappear as fast as I make them. I’m actually quite happy with this as I get quite cross when food is wasted. Madison now can spot a baked good from a mile away and while sidle-up to whoever owns it. Luckily she has the cute factor working for her so the mooching goes quite well for her.

This is a recipe from Anna Olsen that I just love. They are one of the few muffins that still taste just as good a couple of days later.

Vanilla Jam Muffins
1 1/2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

To Assemble
1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat milk with scraped seeds and pod of vanilla bean over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, to infuse flavour. Remove vanilla pod and let milk cool to room temperature. Whisk sugar, oil and eggs into cooled milk. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and cinnamon. Add to milk mixture and blend just until incorporated (do not overmix). Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full with batter. Stir raspberry jam to soften and spoon a tablespoonful into centre of each muffin. Top with remaining muffin batter and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until even light golden brown on top. Let muffins cool in tin for 15 minutes, then turn out to cool completely.
2.For dip, brush tops of muffins with melted butter and dip into sugar and cinnamon which have been mixed. Store muffins in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days or freeze and warm in oven or microwave to serve.
3.Yield: approximately 12 large muffins.

I had planned to take a photo of this cake but it was gone too quickly. I don’t even think we let it totally cool.

•2 cups all-purpose flour
•2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon salt
•1 cup butter, room temperature
•2 cups granulated sugar
•3 eggs
•grated zest of 1 large lemon
•1 cup sour cream
•Lemon Glaze:
•1/4 cup melted butter
•2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
•2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 325°. Generously butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
Into a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl with hand-held electric mixer, cream 1 cup butter and granulated sugar; beat at high speed until mixture is very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down side of bowl frequently. Blend in lemon zest. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, adding each in 3 additions. Scrape sides of bowl frequently. Pour batter into prepared cake pan; bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden pick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine lemon glaze ingredients in a bowl, blending until smooth. Carefully turn cake out onto a platter; drizzle evenly with glaze.
Serves 12 or more, depending on size of servings.

To round out the week; I’ve already made some basic chicken soup (leftovers) and the lamb below. I think we’ll throw-in a nice ommelette and some bread from the bread machine and that will be it for the week.

This recipe yields a really succulant lamb that has a deep flavour all the way through it. Don’t let the name put you off. Simply bung all the ingredients in a pan with a frozen (or fresh if you have it) leg of lamb and let sit in the fridge overnight. When you get home from work throw it in the oven with a few small potatoes and some carrots at 350 until still pink in the middle (about an hour).

Lamb and anchovies
•1 leg of lamb 2-2.5kg, trimmed
•4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
•generous handful of rosemary sprigs
*1 tsp of paprika
•8-12 anhcovies (jarred)
•juice 1/2 lemon
•maldon salt and freshly ground black peppers
•1 tbsp olive oil
•1 1/2 cup of red wine