Friday, July 4, 2014

My Favourite Recipe Book for Slices -The Australian Women's Weekly Little Squares & Slices

Well I can only tell you that baking was boring and uninteresting before by dear sister-in-law introduced me to this wonderful cookbook.  

The Womens Weekly Little Squares & Slices. The easiest, tastiest and some are even healthy little treats that you can make, encourage you to bake for kids fairs, church fundraisers etc.

 A few of them even freeze well, so I have a day where I cook up the freezable ones. Then I leave an assortment of (usually cook 3) them in a cake tin on our kitchen table (the gathering and eating place) and freeze the rest cut and ready to go with baking paper between the layers. That way I just take out a little of each at a time (there's only hubby and I at home now) and we don't "pig out" on them before the slice goes stale.  It's also handy when friends/family drop in unexpectedly as you can go to the freezer and take some out and in about 5 mins they are ready to eat, depending on the slice. My favourite to freeze is chocolate caramel slice, but it takes a while to defrost. Our son however loves it straight out of the freezer as the caramel doesn't really freeze hard, he then boils the kettle, makes his cuppa and then it is soft enough for him to eat, and lovely and cold.

The apple and  cranberry muesli and the Albert slice defrost in 5 mins for example, while the kettle boils and you get organised.

I also enjoy making these slices and taking them up to my elderly parents. Again I make a few different ones. Pop them in individual take-a-way containers ready to freeze. This gives them a mixture to choose from in small enough amounts for them. Mum simple goes to the freezer and takes out a container and she has an assortment of slices that will last (if not eaten) up to a week in a sealed container. They never last though as dad has a real sweet tooth and eats something with his morning and afternoon tea.(even though he's diabetic, it doesn't slow him down much)

Another idea is if you are going to someones place for dinner. I like to take a plate of assorted slices for us to have after dinner with a cuppa. Just remember if they have kids:

1. Take double what you think you will love them!
2. Check with the parents in regard to allergies before you go and bake accordingly.

So here's a sneak peak of what this handy little recipe book looks like (although the cover may have changed, the name probably won't have).

I really love the presentation of the slices, it's so feminine and pretty, it makes you want to bake and eat them!
I must admit, it brought out my "girlie" side and I found myself shopping for pretty cups and saucers just like grandma used to have with a teapot so I could make "real" tea, not tea bags. Then there's the serving plates, well you just have to have something pretty to put your slices on.

This actually turned into an idea for me. My father loves morning and afternoon tea, so whenever I bring them down to Melbourne to visit, I send an email to all the family (yes ALL, his brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and their clans) to come for an open house afternoon tea on such-and-such a date at such-and-such a time. I ask them to reply if they are coming so I know how much to bake. There are a couple of his sisters who are AMAZING bakers and they always bring a home make cake for him, which goes nicely with slices.

Then I get out my assorted pretty cups (usually the men want mugs....that's fine with me), and we fill a couple of tea pots with steaming hot tea, and another with boiling water for those who like their tea weak. If they want coffee then I'm afraid all they get is instant. Were not big coffee drinkers and don't have a coffee machine. The family is used to this and the coffee drinkers lower their standards and suffer through the instant coffee or they can have pot tea with the rest of us.

Anyway, as it turned out dad enjoys this (and so does mum) so for dad's 80th a few years back we decided to adopt this idea on a grander scale. We hired a hall, sent out invitations, brought another freezer, and I baked like a maniac for a week before. I also make heaps of sausage rolls, spring rolls etc. Then I went to Mr. Coles and raided his freezer of yummy finger size treats.

I invoked family privilege and asked some of the ladies to make a plate of something else, eg, sandwiches and bring it along. All in all, it was a fantastic afternoon tea for dad with lots of food to eat. Everyone had a great time .

For those who want to find this great little book, it is wonderfully packed with delicious recipes.

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