Friday, August 28, 2015

Some interesting internet reads

Here are some internet reads for you so grab a cuppa.  Below is a picture I took of Sienna on the weekend.

How to make yoghurt in the slow cooker.

How to make puff pastry in 10 minutes again by "Erin Made This".

A beautiful e-book "Weekend with the Daily's".

Rhonda from "Down to Earth" bread recipe tips.

Chicken Pot Pie recipe from 3191 Miles Apart and the history of this friendship and blog which I first heard about back in 2008.

Another blog I have been reading since about 2008 and Elise's latest "Rainbow Quilt Picnic Blanket".

Again from Elise "Tips for everyday photo taking" and one of her photography projects to document her child's 2nd year called the "E and e" project being her and her daughter's initials and what they were into.  I wish I had been able to do something like this years ago.

If you are into knitting here's a lovely scarf pattern for you.

A post on having experiences not stuff.

Love this story from "A Plot in Common" personally I find the website a little bit busy but I love their story.

For little kiddies some footprint artwork to do at home.

A woman downsizes to a tiny cottage this house is so cute.

Heather from Beauty that Moves interviews Ben about his book "The Nourishing Homestead".

Monday, August 24, 2015

Baking on a Sunday

Our two main staples in our house are Anzac Biscuits and Chocolate Slice however this week I saw a recipe by Sophie Asher (formerly known as Her Library Adventures) for a "Happy Pantry Slice" so Sienna and I made this yesterday and it's a winner.  I didn't have any real chocolate for the topping so I just mixed up 1.5 cups of icing mixture, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, 20 gms of butter and add to that 2 tablespoons of hot water and mix together.


1 Cup Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup of desiccated coconut
1/2 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 cup brown sugar [or dark muscovado sugar]
1/4 cup of caster sugar
125gms butter
1 tablespoon of good local honey
2 tablespoons of boiling water
1/2 teaspoon of bi-carb soda
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
2 tablespoons of linseeds

CHOCOLATE OR ICING ON TOP [use one or the other]
100gms of good quality dark chocolate

 *** or icing mixture below***
1.5 cups of icing mixture
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
20gms of butter
2 tablespoons of boiling water

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a slice tin.
Combine oats, coconut, flours and sugars in a large mixing bowl.
Melt butter and honey in a saucepan on low heat [or in microwave].
Mix bi-car soda and boiling water, then add to the butter and honey mix and stir well.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine.
Add in the chia and linseeds and mix well.
Press into lined slice tin.
Bake for 20 minutes.  You want it to be golden but still a little bit soft in the middle.  This will give your slice a nice fudge texture.

I used the icing recipe from our Chocolate Slice and it's best to pour it over the slice while it's still hot.  I just tip the icing in the middle along the slice, pick up the tin and tilt it towards me until the icing runs to one edge and then tilt it back so that it runs to the other edge and once cooled I put it in the fridge to set.  Later that afternoon I was cleaning up the bench near the stove and discovered we left out the 1/2 cup of spelt flour so only 1/2 cup of plain flour went into the slice.  Considering we had especially driven to the bulk food store on Saturday to get the spelt flour it was disappointing however the slice was perfect and stayed together so will be making this again and again.  The kids loved it and is much quicker than making a whole lot of biscuits.  I wanted to put sultanas in it however Sienna doesn't like them and considered making half of it with the sultanas but in the end we made this one without them this time.  It's delicious and it's all cut up in the freezer now.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Around Here

Around here we are in the middle of an annual photography project called "Week in the Life" where you photograph your life for 7 days from morning till evening and record a snapshot of your life in 2015.  I've done this project for the past 6 years and it's such a great project to do and I've written about it here.  The project is done at a different time each year and Ali Edwards fits this in with her schedule of work and travel commitments and seasons.

It is pretty full on and by the end of the week you just want it to end however when you look back on your days and the week I'm always glad I've participated again.  Imagine if your Mum gave you a photo book of your life when you were 7, what would the furniture look like, they probably had wallpaper, what did the TV look like, huge and chunky, what food were you eating, the car you were driving, the school you went to.  All of these things seem ordinary in the week you are in however in 5, 10, 15 years this will seem different to your current life.  Here's just a few pics from our week.

This girl is just adorable.

My weekly batch of Anzac Biscuits cooling down for afternoon tea.

A trip to the nursery on the way home to get some veggie seedlings.

James took this of Sienna and I (note to self...explain to him that we need to have hands in picture next time)

Had to pump up the bike tyres at the servo so he could ride to school the next day.

James trying out some new scooter tricks.

Sienna doing some Powerwing-ing with one hand!

Home made pumpkin soup for lunch.

Time to feed the chickens.

Having fun with the self timer and camera remote.

Homework at the bench next to "Bluey" who was waiting to go to bed.

My favourite snack, fantastic chilli and sour cream rice crackers and Laughing Cow cheese.

This week's menu plan.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bacon & Leek Quiche with home made pastry

I'm a pretty confident cook however when it comes to pastry I feel a little intimidated by it however yesterday I decided to make a Quiche including making the pastry from scratch.  I mixed the pastry up in the Thermomix and then gave it a quick knead and then popped it into the fridge for a while.

I decided to use this rectangle tin I had rather than a glass bowl and it turned out perfectly.  The kids loved it and I loved it although the whole process takes a while from organizing the pastry, cooking the leek and bacon, grating the cheese and mixing the eggs and milk together.  It feels like it takes half a day to cook and then we sit down to dinner and it's eaten in 5 mins.  The recipe made the large tin plus a single little serve which I cut in half for the kids to take to school today for lunch.

The recipe came from here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lime Tart

This recipe is super easy and it's the most impressive dessert with the least amount of effort in my opinion.  I have to confess I'm not a pastry maker even though I have "pie weights" in my pantry because I have always dreamed of making pies.  However I'm a bit intimated by pastry probably the way I was with bread except that I can make bread now so I should really give pastry another go.  Here's a link that I have bookmarked for the future but for now I go the convenient method and buy a "tart shell" from the supermarket.   It is so yummy and looks so fancy with a dollop of double cream and a sprinkling of icing sugar.  Give this a go as it's a 10/10 dessert and you will not be disappointed.

Lime Tart
Ingredients (Serves 8)

            Premade Pastry Tart Shell (or bake your own)
            1 Tablespoon Grated Lime Zest (do this first before squeezing limes)
            ½ Cup Lime Juice (4 Limes – may get away with using 3)
            4 Eggs (YOLKS ONLY)
            405gms Tin of Sweetened Condensed Milk


1.         Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees.

2.         Combine all ingredients and mix together until smooth. (this can be done by hand).
3.         Pour mixture into pastry shell.

4.            Bake in oven for 15 minutes.

5.         Put in fridge overnight or for a few hours for a firm, cold tart.

Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and a dollop of double cream and a wedge of lime.
Note:  There may be slightly more mixture than required for the small tart shell.  If you were doing individual little tart shells you would just keep filling them until you had no more mixture left.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Around Here - Football Edition

Already Week 5 of Term 3 and nearly mid-August, these days are flying by.  Here's what's been happening in our lives this weekend.  Saturday afternoon we went to the Gabba to see The Brisbane Lions vs the Gold Coast Suns which is our once a year trip to the footy.  We love going to this match as our tickets are free being an AFL member and we catch the train, bus, yell and cheer and generally have fun with other members from our footy club.

A family pic with the "Lion".

Bupa handed out free "selfie" sticks so James and I had some fun with it.

Then I got the kids to hold the "Cup" and take photos.

One of Sienna with the cup which is pretty big.

Sienna trying out for a "speckie" (aka a spectacular mark)

James was picked to be in the "Guard of Honour" on the field so we were waiting until he went in.

And the "Brisbane Lions" make an entrance through the Lion complete with bursts of fire.

James doing the Guard of between the yellow and red flags.

Her 2nd game to the Gabba and loves holding up the banners.

James with his footy team mates.

The Bupa "selfie sticks" getting a work out which was loads of fun.

More "selfie stick" action.

At night at The Gabba.

Then Sunday morning James celebrated his 50th Game with the Club being our 3rd year.

He got to run through onto the field first.

Leading the way onto the field celebrating 50 games.

James in action against a tough side.

More on field action to get the ball.

Coming off field, love the dirty knees.....

Another run through first back to the change rooms. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

School Lunch Box Ideas

In our house it's usually sandwiches for school lunches with James having ham and Sienna having vegemite on her sandwich.  Today I made some Pizza Scrolls which will go in the freezer and I can just take one or two out to pop in their lunch boxes for a change from sandwiches.  They are super easy and don't take that long to make.

You can make any pizza dough recipe and use bread flour or plain flour however I always use bread flour with my pizza dough.  It take 5-10 minutes to sort out the dough and then leave it to rise for an hour or so before rolling it out.  I placed some glad bake (parchment paper) on the kitchen bench and put my dough on that and rolled it out flat.  I used tomato paste with herbs however I have previously used tomato sauce which was good as well.  Use whatever you have on hand is my motto with these scrolls.  I topped the dough with ham, cheese and some dried herbs today.  Roll it up and slice it using a bread knife and then lay flat on a tray and then bake them.  If you haven't tried making these before I suggest you give it a go as they are easy and tasty.  You could use any topping you like, bacon, spring onions or the old vegemite and cheese scrolls. The pizza scroll recipe is in my previous recipe post so check it out here.