Thursday, February 22, 2018

Around Here

Around her I'm loving a bit of rain and the change in weather....the heat...OMG the heat this summer was shocking so all I can say is bring on Autumn.  Here's a few pics of what's been going on around here.

Bluey enjoying the view to the backyard.

A bit of "freelensing" photographic technique I was having a go at on my faux tulips.

Another pic of same flowers.

Again this is a moody arty pic not meant to be in focus.

We love the huge flowering Bougainvillea up the road from our place.

We are still enjoying the jam drops I made recently.  Here's the recipe.

A family self portrait taken at GOMA....they had cameras on the floor.

This was all mirrored and a rather crazy exhibit with we had to wait 30 mins to view and were in there for about 3 mins.

Rainbow light shining onto the kitchen back splash.

Afternoon painting activities.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Jam Drops

I don't know anyone who doesn't love a good Jam Drop biscuit.  When I was 21 years old and flatting with a friend his mother used to make a batch of jam drops and send them down to Brisbane in a biscuit tin. She lived about 4 hrs from Brisbane in a little country town and as I was flatting with him I got to eat the yummy jam drops as well.  It was always a highlight when the mail came.

I made a batch of jam drops two weeks ago however they had brown sugar in them and they were quite sweet and they didn't hold their shape very well so I've gone back to my normal recipe and made some this morning for the freezer.



Here's the recipe that I've used.

JAM DROPS

½ cup Sugar
125 gm Butter
2  eggs
2 cups Self Raising Flour
1 teaspoon Vanilla
pinch of salt
Jam of your choice

Method:

1.   Turn oven to 160 degrees.

2.    Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in Thermomix on speed 5 for 20-30 seconds and scrape down the bowl.  If using your normal kitchen mix master just cream butter, sugar and vanilla.

3.    Add eggs and process for 20 seconds on speed 4. (mix until eggs combined).

4.      Gradually add sifted flour and salt and process for 30-40 seconds on speed 3 until a stiff dough forms. (mix until dough forms).

5.      Roll into balls, place on greased oven tray.

6.      Push thumb into center to make a small indent and fill with your chosen variety of Jam

7.   Bake in moderate oven for about 12-15 minutes until just brown.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Afternoon Tea

I'm sure you all have a favourite pikelet recipe and this is the one we currently use.  This morning on the TV they interviewed a lady by the name of Kerri-Ann from Toowoomba who is a whiz at meal planning, meal prep and saving time and money in the kitchen.  She spends $150 per week and this covers their blended family of 7 so I'm very keen on getting tips from her.

She does not do a bulk cook up of a month's worth of dinners however she does bulk cook morning and afternoon tea items.  Here is the interview from this morning.




This morning I cooked up a big batch of her pikelet recipe and made pikelets for the freezer.  Often I will mix up the ingredients before I pick the kids up from school and cook them when we get home or on the weekends I get the kids to whip up a batch for morning tea.  Her recipe has a cup of sugar in it however this is a really large recipe and made about 45 pikelets.  Having them in ziplock bags in the freezer is very convenient.  If you were doing this for afternoon tea to eat and didn't want to freeze any for school lunches etc. I would do half the recipe.

PIKELETS (makes about 45 pikelets)

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of Sugar
  • 2 cups of Milk
  • 3 cups of Self Raising Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Essence 

Method
  1. Beat eggs, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl with a whisk.
  2. Add milk and flour alternately and mix until smooth.
  3. Cook spoonfuls in a warm buttered pan (not hot) until bubbles form on the surface then flip and cook until golden.
  4. Serve with butter and Golden Syrup or Jam.
Notes:-
  1. Use a whisk to ensure the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. If you have time to leave the mixture to rest for 20 mins before cooking it's good to eliminate any flour balls or lumps
I also bought myself a pan from Aldi this week for $9 so that we can get our pikelets an even size.  Not that this matters however it means you can fit in 7 at a time whereas when we do them in a normal fry pan we seem to only be able to make 4 at a time.  I didn't need this pan and tossed up if I should another another item in the kitchen however we've used it twice this week and I'm really happy with it.  Our design has a smiley face on it and the other one was more of a waffle effect.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Memories are worth printing

Years ago I had a film camera which was a Canon AEI and in those days you took a few rolls of 36 images, got them printed and then put your photos into an album.  These days everybody takes photos whether that's with their iPhone, iPad, point and shoot camera or Digital SLR.  They say that this is the generation with the most images ever however in years to come those images will no longer be around.  They are stored on phones, computers and these things break, get lost or the technology gets replaced.  I still have a couple of VHS videos in my garage.  Here is an article about the Lost Generation.

I do have a couple of Photography Projects that I print each year however I am way behind in my year books however it's something that I have come to live with and something I am chipping away at.

I recently came across an app for your phone called "Keepsake" where you can order a framed print direct from your phone in a couple of minutes and have it shipped to your door within 7 days.  This is the website if you want to check it out.  While is not necessarily frugal, ordering a framed print while I'm enjoying a coffee at home is fantastic.  There are different frames to choose from and different shape frames so the price will depend on what you choose.  Postage is included in the price so when you take that into account and the fact that it's professionally framed and ready to hang it's a great service.  They even include a picture hook for you to put in the wall and hang your print straight away.  The print was here within a week and it was wrapped with bubble wrap and in a cardboard package so totally protected for delivering interstate.

As it's professionally framed you can't swap the picture out yourself however you get a much better quality piece of art to hang immediately.  The app is simple and user friendly and I was done ordering in a couple of minutes.  The frames are made in Melbourne and shipped locally.  My picture was $49 so if you deduct say $10 for postage that's $39 and for that you get a professionally framed piece.  Alternatively you could spend 30 mins in Harvey Norman ordering a print and have to come back to collect it.  Then you can either get a frame from Harvey Norman or go to another store and collect a frame which could take another hour then dig around in your kitchen drawer for a picture hook.  You then have to put the print in your frame and hope that it's the right size and use sticky tape to keep it from slipping in the frame.  That, or spend 2 minutes on your phone and order a gift for yourself or someone else.

You can actually order a print for someone else as a "gift" and get it shipped directly to them with a note.  I would totally use this service again.




I think as a gift this would be amazing like Grandparents presents a pic of them with the Grandkids.  Someone's birthday, leaving work any type of celebration where you can give them a piece of artwork.  A few years back my sister gave her friend (our old neighbours) a photo of them together on their push bikes when they were about 10 years old in a little frame.  It was such an amazing gift for her 50th Birthday and the memory and the clothing and the types of bikes they were riding just took you back to your childhood.  Currently you can only use images from your iPhone and not directly download a photo from your computer to the website in Australia yet.  I believe that is coming.  My better photos are on my computer which is why this would interest me.

I think having framed family memories on your wall rather than on your phone or computer makes so much more sense and this was so quick and easy.  The original photo had our hands cut off and it's probably not the best photo, however it's one that I love and I have hung it up in the kitchen because I spend a lot of time here and see it every day.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Around Here

Around here we have just had Week 2 of school and all the forms and timetables are big on our Agenda.  It is always so daunting that first month of school, meetings, forms, remembering which child has sports uniform on which day and which day music practice is before school.  Here's a few pics of what's been going on around her with the theme of "Blue".

Beautiful blue sky.

Got stuck into weeding and planting in the back yard.

Time for exercise.

Bluey has his cousin here for a week as we are minding him.

Ziggy's cover for his night time sleeps.

Swimming Carnival done and dusted.