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Love Knots for everyone…

Love Knots Recipe

Jenny asks…

what’s the difference between bagels and strudels and doughnuts?

what’s the difference between corndogs and hotdogs?? bagel is always served with coffee? what is considered “chinese food”? and what is tex- mex? what about asian food in america? and what are pretzels?

LoveKnots answers:

Bagel-making used to be a guarded secret

Sometimes referred to as the cement doughnut, the bagel has long been a staple in New York delicatessens and a favorite of the Jewish community. Once relegated as a bland breakfast food given flavor by the addition of lox and cream cheese, there are now more bagel flavors than you can shake a stick at. The bagel has also risen in up the culinary ladder to become a popular base for sandwiches.

What makes it a bagel?
From a purist standpoint, a bagel is a round yeast roll with a hole in the middle, no egg in the dough, malt rather than sugar, cooked in water, and then browned in the oven. This process produces a dense, chewy roll with a crisp exterior, hence giving rise to the term cement doughtnut. Of course, nowadays, bagels have evolved to include not only egg, for a bit lighter roll, but also spices and herbs to give added flavor. A common misconception is that water bagels are any bagel cooked in water. Of course, all bagels by definition are cooked in water and then browned in the oven. To the purist, water bagels are bagels made with water in the dough, specifically with no egg or flavoring additions.
Donut Recipes
Is it doughnuts or donuts? Call them what you will, these little gems of hot dough, sprinkled with confections and fried to a golden brown are a breakfast staple in homes and offices all over the planet. So, just where did these little nuts of dough originate?

As with many of our most beloved treats, the donut originated in Europe and came to America via European immigrants in the 1800s. Originally, the Dutch called it the “olykoek,” which turned out to be a simple delight Dutch immigrants created by frying leftover bits of bread dough in hot oil. The origin of the name is more difficult to determine, though. Some people think the Dutch twisted their dough into knots before they fried it, and these turned into “dough knots,” and then the term we know and love today. Others aren’t so sure, and think it had to do with pressing nuts into the center of the rounds, hence “dough nuts.” Wherever the name originates, there’s no controversy around the popularity of these sweet treats, and the good news is, they really aren’t that difficult to whip up in the home kitchen!
About Apple Strudel
Apple strudel (Apfelstrudel) is a thin sheet of dough, filled here with apples. But there is a wide range of strudels, sweet and spicy. Apple strudel is among the favorites of visitors to Austria.
A corn dog is a hot dog-type sandwich coated in cornbread batter and deep fried in hot oil, although some are baked. Almost all corn dogs are served on wooden sticks, although the original corn dog was not.
A pretzel is a baked snack that is twisted into a unique knot-like shape, which according to some people is meant to resemble two hands folded for prayer. The pretzel dough is made from wheat flour and yeast. Prior to baking, it is dipped into either “Natronlauge” which is German for lye (sodiumhydroxide solution (NaOH)) or sodiumcarbonate solution (NaCO3) and sprinkled with coarse salt. During baking, a Maillard reaction then gives the pretzel its characteristic brown color and distinctive flavor. In Bavaria it is obligatory in a Weißwurst breakfast. It is also sold in straight pretzel sticks.

Mandy asks…

Where is the best place to wildcamp in the Craingorms Scotland?

I want to do some climbing there , on some rocks etc to learn free climbing. I want to have a stream nearby/ water source and also a forest to learn some other skills. Hopefully there is a place like this in the Cairngorms that also has a sense of remoteness with it. (I dont mind what weather it will be)

Thank you in advance :)

LoveKnots answers:

Cairngorm is not a suitable place to learn outdoor skills by yourself. When you already know enough to be safe alone go to Cairngorm and enjoy it.
Weather is always an issue there even for professional climbers.
Beginners looking for a wild remote place to learn outdoor crafts from scratch are also a big concern.
Especially for the already over-stretched mountain rescue teams.

You would be far better off in a safer place like Glencoe which has good scrambling and climbing, plenty of fresh clear water, forest within walking distance, an outdoor pursuits centre, an excellent cafe to escape to, lifts to the tops like Cairngorm but much steeper, a far side you wouldn’t guess is an hour from a road with a bus service and therefore an escape to safety off the hills, and miles of wild remote Rannoch Moor at hand where you can easily fall into a black hole if you can’t read the grasses and never get out again.
A rapid learning curve to a watery grave.
Deer fall in them too and they know more about places like Rannock than most wannabe outdoor types with dreams of self-sufficient adventures on the hills.
They were born to it, lived in it every day and still die.
Learn in safety and then go to wild and remote places, not go to wild and remote places first.

Reality time.
Glencoe and the magical Buachaille Etive Mor…The Shepherd of Glencoe…are a paradise for walking and climbing. It has some of the best climbing in Britain. At all grades from easy to……grief, won’t get me up there….yikes!!!
It’s got miles of open land for walking, camping (not through the glen or by the road) or just sitting down and making tools from bits of rock if you fancy that.
You can camp on the mountain or in Glen Etive which is beautiful, and anywhere on Rannoch. Take a floating tent for the worst bits or stay on the drier bits when there are any.
You can get to forest and shelter in the trees and you can cook by a rapidly tumbling stream which might also provide a trout for supper.
The big problem with water in Scotland is that midges love the stuff and you’ll get bitten to smithereens if you choose a windless day so take a midge net and some elephant coils….they smoulder for hours and keep the blighters away, when it works.
Midges apart, Glencoe and the surrounding area is a dream for living outdoors and learning a bit about it.
And it’s easy to get to. And escape from. Even though it’s in a wild area.
Http:// . . . . .
In Wales there is the soul of Snowdonia. Not Snowdon. Tryfan. The ideal beginners mountain, bold and rugged, and with good camping all around.
Like Glencoe there is a road nearby…..very good too.
If a pot boils in four minutes ten miles from a road it’ll do that ten yards from a road too.
Knots and tents and firemaking work the same too and so do camping recipes.
Being remote doesn’t change how to do things or how they work. It just makes life more miserable when it all goes wrong because some guy tried to run before he could walk.
Tryfan is a great place to learn the ropes…….and so are a hundred other areas in Scotland Wales and England. Which are far more suitable than Cairngorm.
Don’t go hungry….eat well outdoors . . . .
Navigation . . . .
Have fun

Lizzie asks…

How do you get yellow lab dogs to stop chewing things up?

My yellow lab chews up everything.

LoveKnots answers:

In my experience, this is a phase that must be suffered through. I highly suggest crate training and crating when the dog is not supervised. Liberal use of chew toys should help.

Labs are genetically predisposed to chewing. The same instincts that make Labradors great retrievers also make them want to expend their energy chewing. Chewing is a normal and healthy behavior that should be encouraged and directed in appropriate ways. Not only do chew toys allow labs to use their natural instincts, but chewing helps to exercise their jaws, get rid of excess energy, and can help clean their teeth.

Most dogs love rawhides. Since labs are generally “power-chewers” I recommend getting either compressed rawhide or retriever rolls for maximum chewing time. The knotted rawhides and most rawhide shapes just don’t last as long at our house.

However, rawhides just don’t do well with some dogs and can cause diarrhea, gas, or vomiting. I don’t know why, although it could have something to do with the chemicals they use to process the hide – some countries may use formaldehyde or arsenic in the curing process. The recommendation is to only use rawhide that says “made in the USA” because we have stricter processing standards here than they do in other parts of the world. If your dog does well with rawhide that’s great and there really is no reason to stop giving you dog a supervised rawhide treat. Please make sure to watch your dog when he is chewing on his rawhide as larger pieces can pose a choking hazard if swallowed.

Nylabones may offer a safer option. There are three levels of bone hardness – gumabone is the softest, then regular nylabone, and Galileo bones which are the hardest. A regular nylabone or Galileo would be the best bet for most Labradors. Nylabone also makes edible bones. Depending on how powerful a chewer your dog is, these bones may last quite awhile or only a few minutes. In our house we’ve found carrots to last just as long and be much less expensive. (Photo: former L.E.A.R.N. Foster dog, Beamish, shows off his Galileo bone (left) and a sterilized beef bone (right).)

Kong toys look like a red or black beehive and can be found at just about any pet store. You can put any type of treats into a Kong – has a variety of recipes that you can try, or you can make up your own. To make a Kong last a little longer you can try freezing it. Also, the tighter you pack a Kong, the harder it is to get the food out. I find using both soft and mushy items in a large black Kong works well. We use over ripe banana, left over bread, rice or noodles, and mushy cooked carrots all seem to take a little longer, especially if there is frozen peanut butter or cream cheese over the top and all of the ingredients are packed in tightly.

You can also stuff treats into a sterilized bone. I get mine from Dr. Foster and Smith and none of them have splintered yet, although after 2 years they are getting ragged and need to be thrown out. Not only do the dogs have to work to get the goodies out of the middle (which is a little harder than a Kong because the bones are longer), but some dogs just like to chew on the plain bone. A marrow bone could be another option along these same lines. Get a large, raw soup bone from your butcher or grocery store. Be careful where your dog chews on one of these because they are quite messy and greasy. These are very rich and can make your dog’s stomach a little upset, so give them under supervision and with moderation. These are not to be eaten in one sitting!

You could also try giving your dog meals in a Buster Cube or Molecuball. Both make the dog figure out how to get food out of a hole in the toy. My dogs have been known to spend 30-45 minutes rolling the toys with their noses and batting at it with their paws. My preference is for the Molecuball because it’s a little quieter and sturdier, but it’s easier to make the treats come out. The Buster Ball is more challenging but pretty loud. I’ve found that if I put some broken bits of dog biscuit in a Molecuball, then the food doesn’t come out as easily. (Photo: Beamish shows off his treat-hunting prowess with a large Moleculeball.)

If you really want to torture, er, challenge, your dog, you can knot the food toys in an old rag before giving it to your dog. Then the dog has to figure out how to get the rag open before getting to the toy and then the food. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog, though, to make sure that she doesn’t eat the rag.

Outdoors in warm weather, or in any stain-proof area, you can try giving your dog popsicles. Use any size container and fill it with water that’s been flavored with low-sodium beef or chicken broth. Most dogs really enjoy chewing on ice and I redirected many inappropriate puppy chew fests by giving my dog a chunk of ice to chew on. In puppies the popsicle not only tastes good and gives the dog something to do, but it can also help to numb the sore gums in a teething pup

Helen asks…

What’s your favorite holiday baked good?

My favorite are these cookies I make every year. Raspberry jam thumbprint butter cookies!

What’s your favorite holiday baked good?

LoveKnots answers:


These buttery, sugar cookies can be shaped into pretty knots or bows .

1/2 lb. Butter — softened
3/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 1/2 C. Flour
2 tsp. Baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 F. In an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light. Add oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. On low speed, add 2 C. Of flour and baking powder. Mix just until blended. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in remaining 1/2 C. Of flour. Knead until the dough is soft but not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes.

Break off pieces of dough and roll on a lightly floured surface into small snakes, about 1/2 inch wide by 4 inches long. Twist or knot dough pieces, or shape into an s. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, spacing each 2 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove cookie sheet from the oven. Using a metal spatula, remove cookies from the sheet and place on a wire cooling rack. Cool completely. Frost, if desired, with confectioners icing. Store cookies in an airtight container.


Usually one would use a round, tall sided panettone pan which can be found at kitchen specialty stores, but almost any casserole or bread pan could be used.

10-11 C. All-Purpose Flour
2 C. Sugar
8 Eggs
2 C. Milk
1/2 C. Warm Water
3 Pkgs. Active Dry Yeast
Peel Of 1 Lemon, Finely Grated
1 C. Candied Fruit
3/4 C. Raisins
1/3 C. Oil
1/2 C. Shortening
2 Tsp. Vanilla
1/2 C. Anisette Liquor

First dissolve the yeast in the water and let sit until bubbly. Mix together the rest of the ingredients, adding enough flour to make a workable dough. Knead until you have a smooth, elastic dough, about 8 minutes. Cover and let rise for 10 – 12 hours. Place on a floured board, and cut into four equal pieces. Place each piece in a buttered pan. Let rise another 8 hours or until fully risen. Bake at 300 F. Until golden brown, about 1 hour. Makes 4.

This is a traditional Christmas dessert bread recipe.

David asks…

bread and donut recipe?

I would like to start making bread from scratch. I have a bread maker, but the bread is not as good as the other. My family loves donuts too. Anyone out there have a favorite recipe for either???? Thanks

LoveKnots answers:

Looks like you have the bread part covered, this is for the family:
Glazed Yeast Donuts for the Bread Machine

1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
oil for deep-frying

Add ingredients to the bread machine according to manufacturer’s suggested order. At the end of the kneading cycle, cover the pan with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. (Or, transfer the mixture to a lightly greased bowl) Refrigerate overnight.

Remove dough to a lightly floured surface; roll to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out into donut shapes or form strips into knots or donut shapes. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour. Fry at 360° until light and browned. Glaze as desired.

Chocolate Glaze
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons hot water
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat; add cocoa and water. Stir constantly until mixture is thick. Remove from heat; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat with a whisk until smooth. Add additional hot water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until drizzling consistancy.
For vanilla glaze, omit cocoa and add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.

Donna asks…

How can I make no-bake cookies without ANY appliances?

I have to do a demonstration in Spanish class on how to make no-bake cookies, and since it’s in a classroom, I don’t have access to a stove, oven, or microwave. I can’t find ANY recipes that don’t need any of those appliances…can anyone help. Also, the presentation has to be 6 minutes long so stirring up oatmeal and peanut butter won’t really cut it. Needless to say, I can’t put the cookies in a refrigerator or freezer either. Thanks for any help!

LoveKnots answers:

Cookies in a Jar

Cranberry Hootycreeks
Makes about 36
5/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Layer the ingredients in a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, in the order listed. Attach a tag with the following instructions:

Cranberry Hootycreeks

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until fluffy. Add the entire jar of ingredients, and mix together by hand until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Note: Reviewers, please help us out and note the yield. Thanks!

Reviews of Cranberry Hootycreeks

The jar looks great, and these taste great. My advice to any jar makes is use a small ladle to pack down any layer you need to, specifically brown sugar. This way, it forms a barrier between the next layers, and it makes presentation nicer. Five stars

Very flavorful! Baked dozens for a cookie exchange plus made ‘Cookies in a Jar” for a gift. Turned out perfect, used parchment paper and cooked for 8 min. Until slightly brown. Cooled on cookie sheet before putting on racks. Yield 3 dozen medium cookies. Five stars

Creme de Menthe Balls
1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/3 cup green creme de menthe
additional powdered sugar

Combine wafer crumbs, pecans, 1 cup powdered sugar, corn syrup and creme de menthe, blending to make a stiff dough. Roll into 1″ balls, then roll in additional powdered sugar to coat

These are actually really good, so long as you LOVE mint. I tried a few variations:
Double everything EXCEPT nuts and C de M, I used 1/3 cup of water to make up for the moisture. It worked dog as they are strong. I also tried with oreo crumbs and with pistachios. All were fantastic.

Edible Cookie Ornaments
Makes about 9
1/4 cup vanilla frosting
9 ring-shaped butter flavored cookies or any ring-shaped cookies
1 roll (9 count) ring-shaped fruit flavored Life Savers
1 1/2 to 2 yards red string licorice or ribbon

Place frosting in small bowl. Add desired food color; blend well. Place colored frosting in decorating bag fitted with small writing or decorator tip, or in small resealable plastic freezer bag with 1 corner snipped off to make a very small hole for piping.

Place 1 cookie on flat surface; lightly outline center hole with frosting. Place 1 ring-shaped candy over frosting, pressing lightly and matching center openings. Pipe frosting decoratively on cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies; let dry. Insert licorice through hole in each cookie; tie in knot or bow. Hang ornaments on tree or use to decorate packages or gift baskets.

Peanut Butter Balls
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup orange blossom honey
1/2 cup date sugar
1 cup rice cereal
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Mix together peanut butter, date sugar and honey. Fold in rice cereal. Form into walnut size balls and roll in shredded coconut to coat. Chill and eat. Makes about 2 dozen

Daniel asks…

How do I Help my Hair?

I had my hair Japanese straightened for the 2nd time a few months ago (it was 10 months after the first time). Ever since then, I’ve been losing hair terribly, to the point where my hair is so thin and stringy that you can see through it at some parts.

I’ve been trying to do possible things to prevent the breakage and shedding, like putting huge mounds of conditioner in my hair every time I wash it (which I have been decreasing to about three times a week, since I heard it’s not good to do it so often), and only combing it once, right after I wash it. But, all of this is to no avail.

Is there anything else I can do to prevent the breakage and shedding? Also, is there anything I can do in the meantime to make my hair appear thicker?

LoveKnots answers:

Here is what you can do to prevent hair fall

Shampoo regularly. Remember, a CLEAN scalp is a HEALTHY SCALP.

Brahmi amla oil also promotes hair growth.

A high protein diet with plenty of fruits, green vegetables and dairy products is a must.

Drink 10-12 glass of water everyday.

Use a very mild shampoo and condition your hair at least twice a week. When you do, make sure you rinse out the conditioner thoroughly, otherwise residue build-up will cause your hair to look limp and dull.

Know your vitamins! IRON is important for healthy hair and brittle, limp hair indicates an iron deficiency. Spinach has a good iron content, so gulp it down!

ZINC helps prevent hair loss and greying. Eat adequate zinc rich foods. Overweight people tend to have zinc deficiency, which is inversely related to the body mass index. Thus if you are overweight and if your hair falls too much, you may want to increase your intake of zinc containing foods. Recipes containing stone ground, wholegrain flour are rich in zinc.

A shortfall in VITAMIN B may cause dandruff, falling hair, loss of colour and could encourage grey hair. So B group Vitamins are essential for gloss, colour and thickness.

VITAMIN C ensures the health of capillaries supplying blood to hair follicles. Make sure your diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and veggies.

VITAMIN E encourages hair growth. Switch from refined flours to whole meal and wheat germ, eggs, vegetable oil.

COPPER stops hair from falling. Studies show that the copper content in the blood serum of people with falling hair is less than normal. Different types of alopecia (falling hair) are seen to have a deficiency of this important trace element. Include small quantities of nuts, especially cashews and peanuts, seeds, whole milk and beans in your diet as these contain minute but important amounts of copper.

Homemade remedies for preventing hair fall:

Apply almond oil on scalp and massage.
Grind fenugreek seeds in water and apply on your scalp. Wash off after 40 minutes. Do this every morning for a month ¡V if it suits you! Remember, different treatments suit different types of hair.
Massage warm castor oil + almond oil into your scalp gently. Wrap a hot towel around your scalp so it gets absorbed into the hair. Do this twice a week for healthy, shiny hair.
Add 2-3 drops of honey to a glass of water and use this as the last rinse after shampooing.

Quick Hair Care Conditioner

Mix 1 egg, 2 tbs castor oil, 1 tsp vinegar and 1 tsp glycerine. Beat until frothy and massage lightly into your scalp. Wrap your head in a hot towel, steam, and then wash off. This conditioner makes hair thicker, shiny, soft and manageable.

Honey Conditioner

Beat 1-2 eggs (depending on the length of the hair), 1 tsp honey and 2 tsp olive oil. Massage gently into the scalp. Steam, and shampoo after an hour.

Alcohol Conditioner

Beat 1-2 eggs with 2 tsp brandy. Massage into your scalp. Leave for 10-15 mins. Rinse well. The egg nourishes your hair and brandy stimulates hair growth.

Your hair is a vital beauty asset, requiring constant loving care. And with a little nurturing, lush, glossy hair will be yours


Does your hair fall often Arm yourself with these tools to combat hair fall.

Wide-toothed comb

Get yourself a wide-toothed comb. This is probably one of the most important yet underutilized of all hair tools. A wide-toothed comb helps you distribute conditioner evenly all over your hair while shampooing and conditioning. In addition, it also helps get rid of knots smoothly.

The best time to get rid of knots is during conditioning. Apply conditioner and run a wide toothed comb gently through your hair.

While untangling dry hair, do so in sections. Take one section at a time, and first, untangle the ends of your hair. Do so slowly, and don’t pull unless you want your hair to fall out in clumps or break.

Don’t wait for the last minute before detangling your hair. Every night, while sitting in front of the television, run a wide toothed comb gently through your hair, until you have untangled it completely. Do this every night, and you will notice that your hair remains free from tangles.

Leave-in conditioner
Dry hair tends to tangle easily, and, needless to say, causes it to break. Make sure your hair is never devoid of moisture by always keeping a bottle of leave-in conditioner handy. The next time you feel your hair is dry and rough to the touch, simply rub a dollop of leave-in conditioner between your palms, and apply it to your hair. Comb through with your wide toothed comb. Your hair will be instantly rejuvenated and moisturized. Gradually, the texture will also improve. This is a must if you blow dry your hair regularly, or if it is chemically treated. Such hair constantly craves moisture, so get yourself a bottle of leave-in conditioner.

Olive, almond and coconut oils are all excellent for the hair. While you could apply oil as an alternative to leave-in conditioner, oil tends to make your hair sticky, and you cannot style your hair well after applying oil. Your only alternative would then be to tie up your hair. For better results with oil, apply just a few drops immediately after washing your hair, when your hair is still dripping wet. Oil doesn’t penetrate the strands as easily as leave-in conditioner does though. Nothing beats a hot oil massage followed by a steam treatment, as the steam helps the oil penetrate the hair strands, strengthening them and curtailing hair fall.

Egg is great for the hair? There are no two ways about it! True, it causes a tremendous stink in the bathroom, and your hair may let off an? Egg? Smell, but the results are instantaneous and worth it! Egg strengthens your hair almost immediately, and the egg yolk leaves your hair shining. Whip an egg with two tablespoons of olive oil and apply it to your hair. Wash off after half an hour. Make sure you wash off with cold water though, or the egg will start cooking in your hair, and would be harder to take off! Use a scented shampoo to counter the smell of egg in your hair, and follow up with a leave-in conditioner. Do this for a month, and you will be amazed by the change in your hair texture and the reduction in hair fall.

Sharon asks…

What’s a good gift for your boyfriend on valentines day?

I want it to be cute and unique, not so tradtional like a heartbox chocolates -__- . But keep it low budget, like maybe make him something? I just don’t know what…

LoveKnots answers:


2 Cups Sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons dry Hershey’s Cocoa
2 Tablespoons of butter or margarine
1/3 coup white Karo Syrup (corn syrup)
1/2 cup condensed milk
1 cup walnuts (shelled and chopped)
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Combine all ingredients except nuts and vanilla. Stir together well. Bring to a vigorous boil and boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from flame. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Beat vigorously to make it creamy. Add walnuts and vanilla. Stir and pout out onto waxed paper lined square pan.

NOTE: Do not attempt to make cooked candies (this fudge recipe) when the weather is rainy, very cloudy or wet fog.

Quick Banana Chocolate Chip Bars

1 Medium Ripe Banana, peeled
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
¾ Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Olive or Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
¼ Cup Chopped Nuts
½ Cup Chocolate Chips (or what feels good)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray small rectangular or 9×9 square baking pan with non-stick spray.

Chop or mash banana. Combine with flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, oil, milk, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips to this mixture OR save them to add as topping, sprinkling on top of mixture after poured into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Isabellas (Oatmeal Cookies)

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oats
Dash salt, optional
Powdered Sugar

Cream butter and sugar until light. Mix in vanilla, then flour, oats and salt. Chill thoroughly, about ½ hour in the refrigerator. Shape into small balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten with a fork, crisscrossing. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-18 minutes (depending on your oven). Sprinkle with Powdered Sugar

Make a laminated bookmark: find pictures of the two of you – it can be a few small pics or just one, glue it to construction paper (you can make it two-sided), make sure you know how wide you want it to be before you start with the glue, then take it to Staples/Office Max, Office Depot or a store like that and get it laminated, then cut it. After hole-punch the top and put a ribbon or twine of some kind through the hole and tie it in a knot.

Make a ‘love jar’ and fill it with origami hearts, flowers and slips of paper with notes of appreciation written on them or ‘I love you’ written in different languages (on the back write which language it is).


Say I love you in different languages

Michael asks…

Any recipes for Hapuka?

Hub bought some Hapuka Filet and I’d like something different than butter, lemon juice and capers on the fish. Any suggestions. Thanks – love you all:)
Thanks Valencia – I got the first recipe on a search too. Looks good.

LoveKnots answers:

Fish :: Hapuka with Cherry Tomatoes & Basil
4 Hapuka fillets
10 basil leaves
200g cherry tomatoes
4 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
2 lemons, cut into wedges

Shred basil leaves. Toss tomatoes with half the oil and half the basil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 180C for 15 mins. Heat pan and sprinkle with a little salt. Add remaining oil and heat. Season fish with cracked pepper and place in pan. Cook 3 mins each side. Serve fish on top of tomatoes and decorate with lemon wedges and rest of basil.

Hapuka with Courgettes
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4 Hapuka steaks
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
4 sliced courgettes
2 cloves garlic (peeled and diced)
10ml fish stock
150ml white wine
1 extra courgette parboiled for garnish


Preheat oven to 200°C.

Place Hapuka steaks onto an oiled baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and the basil. Roast for 15min.

Meanwhile, combine the courgette, garlic, fish stock and wine in a saucepan.

Cook over a high heat stirring constantly for 15 mins or until the liquid is reduced and the courgette softened.

To serve – divide the vegetable broth between the 4 plates. Top with steaks, garnished with the extra courgette sliced into rings.

Serve and enjoy!

ANd Finally!:
Roast Crab Crusted Hapuka
Make the recipe for this delicious roast crab crusted hapuka with red lentil coconut broth, roast kumara, shiitake and Asian greens in the convenience of your own home.

6 x 140g portions of hapuka fillet, skin and bones removed
100g hapuka fillet, diced
120g firm tofu
1 scant teaspoon of flaky Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon shichimi spice mix
2 tablespoons firmly packed and
drained gari (sushi ginger) shredded
2 spring onions, finely sliced, rinsed and drained
100g white crab meat, picked over, all shells removed
1 cup red lentils
80g leek, thinly sliced and washed
100g ripe plantain, peeled and sliced
50g ginger, thinly sliced
1 pandan leaf, tied into knots
2 black cardamom
300ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons shiro miso
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 medium kumara, skins scrubbed
1 cup honey panko crumbs
A handful of Asian greens
12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Vegetable oil for frying
Sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons mirin
Sprouts for garnish
2 tablespoons deep-fried curry
Leaves for garnish.
Lightly season the fish, wrap in kitchen paper place in the fridge while you prepare everything else.
Place diced fillet and tofu in a food processor and blitz for 20 seconds, scraping the sides after 10 seconds.
Add the salt and shichimi and blitz another 5 seconds.
Tip the mixture into a bowl and add the ginger, spring onions and crab meat, mix well. Place in the fridge and leave for 2 hours.
Put the lentils, leek, plantain and ginger in a pan and add 500ml tepid water. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally and cook until the water has all but evaporated.
Add the pandan, black cardamom,coconut milk and another 200ml water and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.
Remove the pandan leaf and cardamom, squeezing out extra flavour then mix in the miso, tamarind and fish sauce. Puree and adjust seasoning.
Meanwhile, boil the kumara in their skins in salted water until half cooked. Remove, cut into discs 2cm thick and lay on baking trays. Drizzle with olive oil and season then roast at 200°C until coloured and cooked through.
When you’re ready to serve, divide the crab crust amongst the fillets giving an even coating and then press the ‘mousse’ side into the panko crumbs.
Heat up a fry pan with about 4mm of oil and fry the fish, crumbed side down, to colour the crumbs deep golden. Carefully flip over then place into the oven and bake till barely cooked. Remove from the oven and keep warm.
Heat a wok up and quickly stir-fry the greens and shiitake in a little sesame oil, finishing with the soy and mirin.
To serve, place the roast kumara in a bowl plate and sit the wok-fried vegetable on top. Spoon the broth around this. Place a piece of fish on, crumbed side up and then add some sprouts and curry leaves.

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