Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Herman the German Friendship Cake...

 As you remember, on Saturday the 26th, I received a Herman starter so I thought I'd keep you up to date with his progress.  Above is Day 1 as he arrived on my bench top!
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 I transferred him to a large bowl and covered him with a clean tea towel.  This is what he looked like next day.
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 Day 3 - there was quite a bit of bubbling action...
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 ... and today not so many bubbles but the mixture had risen a bit.
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I had to feed him today so he got a cup of plain flour, cup of sugar and cup of milk added and stirred in.  Now he just hangs about for another four days, being stirred until its time to feed him again.
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If you'd like to start a friendship cake, check out the website here.
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Cheers - Joolz

Baking mistakes!

 

Oh, dear! For the second time in two weeks, I've stupidly used plain flour instead of SR flour in recipes. I made some Weekender cookies and they turned out like nuggets (they could break a window if thrown!) and last night I made the same mistake again - both times when it was too late and the goods were in the oven. Idiot!

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Anyway, the Lazy Lady slice still turned out okay, just a bit flatter and fudgy than vakey but thats okay. The taste is still there (especially once I plastered it with chocolate icing and coconut).
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I made this boo-boo because I had the cherry shortbreads in the oven, watching them like a hawk so they didn't over brown, plus mixing the choc slice mix on the stove, dealing with cocoa and flour flying in all directions! I should have taken a pic of the mess! Then I realised that I had used all the cocoa so I had to make a quick trip to the shops for more...anyway, alls well that ends well!
These are going to a friend of mine who is off to the city for some 'lady surgery'. She has to stay for 5 or more days so I thought something to have with her coffees might be nice.

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Cheers - Joolz xx

 

Monday, October 28, 2013

First taste of Quinoa ...

 I haven't tried quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) before so when I happened to find it at the supermarket, I bought a packet.  This is a white, red and black mix but you can get it separately.
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 I simply boiled it for about 18 minutes in some chicken stock the drained it and spread it out on a plate to cool in the fridge.
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 I decided to make a simple veggie salad with it so I grated a carrot, chopped cucumber, capsicum and red onion and added a cup of cooked corn kernels.
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When I plated up, I spooned the quinoa/veg mix over some lettuce mix and served our chicken kievs with baked potato chunks.  I dressed each salad on the plate with Chang's Oriental Salad dressing (now available ready made!).
It was really delicious and there is plenty left over today to have as another salad with some cold meat.  Have you tried quinoa?
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Cheers - Joolz

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl Cake ...

 I am trying a new Chai tea, recommended to me by a very old school friend - well she's not 'very old' , she's the same age as me, lol!.  I can't buy it in my home town but found it at our regional centre.  I brew it for 3-4 minutes then add hot milk and 1 sugar.  Nice!
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 (Photo from Estelle's blog)
I found this lovely blog and recipe and just had to try it so here it is.
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 The recipe called for butter milk of which I had none so I remembered Rhonda Jean at Down to Earth just sours plain milk with lemon juice to get the same effect.  1 cup of milk to 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
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 Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet stuff in the other...
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 Put half the batter in a loaf tin then sprinkle with half the sugar cinnamon mixture (obviously all over the cake not mid way as pictured) ... top with remaining batter then sugar again...
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 Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour...
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It made a lovely high loaf (took a bit over 1 hour to bake) and is delicious with a bit of butter...
I really love discovering new recipes from around the world, this one from Estelle in Texas (formerly of Maine, I think).  Have a look at her blog, there are lovely autumn decorations and all things Halloweeny!
Cheers - Joolz xx

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday, quietly busy ...

 Do you have a 'Lady'  Tool kit?  I keep this in my laundry cupboard, hidden from hubby - its just a cheap toiletry bag $2 and a small hammer, pliers,tape measure, multi head screwdriver, pinch nose pliers, blade knife, scissors and mini screwdrivers (great for fixing loose screws in sunglasses/glasses).  It probably cost me $20 to set up but I find it invaluable when I need a hammer or screwdriver (saves me having to hunt for one out in the shed) - I make sure hubby doesn't know my hiding place!  Haha!
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 My sister Janine gave me a starter mix for a Herman the German friendship cake - there is a whole website for Herman here.   I will make my cake in 10 days time.  There are many varieties of the cake but I think I will stick to the apple and raisins in the recipe.  If you'd like to start a cake off, the recipe for the starter is there too.
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We had work drinks last night to farewell a staff member and as one of the wives were leaving, I commented on her cute bag.  Hers was hot pink and she bought it locally (from her sister who has a lovely gift shop in our town).  I went in this morning and I took one look at the orange version and knew I had to have it.  I wear a lot of black and white so it will go with anything.  Its quite small so I wont use if for everyday where I need to lug all my essentials around.  What do you have in your handbag?
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 In my bag, I always carry (from top clockwise... note paper (and pens), little sewing kit (with pins, cotton, needle, buttons, safety pins and mini pliers/screwdriver), anti-bacterial wipes, tissues, fold up hairbrush (although I rarely use it as I use hairspray and my hair doesn't move!), keys (I have 2 bunches), credit/store card wallet, chapstick, chewy mints, Diprosone ointment (for skin flare-ups), 2 different lipsticks, the green pouch for Panadol etc and the black and white pouch for lady products and my wallet.  My prescription sunglasses are always in my bag too(but not today!).
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The little green pouch has a mirror, a toothpick holder with tp's, bobby pins and paper clips, Aspro Clear, Panadol and Nurafen and Band-aids.  I like to be prepared!
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I was also gifted some lovely juicy lemons this week.  They have sat around and I didn't do anything with them so I bought some little plastic containers ($2 for 20) at our cheap shop and I've squeezed them all and have frozen the juice.  Each tub is the juice of one lemon.  I actually drove into town the other night because I forgot to buy a lemon - not any more!
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Its been a busy, faffing around kind of day - I've washed and put away loads of washing, packed a lot of crystal ware away in a big stacker (stuff given to me from Mum), cleaned a lot of surfaces with that new cleaner - the house smells so fresh! Tomorrow my car will get a tub and there are some marks on walls that I want to get off with that cleaner.  We also need to hang some pictures if I can drag Gus away from the motor racing!
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 I paid some bills on line, filed stuff away where it belongs..  Do you file your paperwork or does it lie about?  I deal with paper immediately.  All bills to be paid go in the purple folder so I know what's what, then when they're paid they get filed under "Accounts Paid'.  I keep every account for the year - you never know if you might need a docket or account for query or return/warranty.  All bank statements etc. are filed in here too.   I have a 'Tax Shit' file for superannuation accounts, insurance premiums etc. so come tax time, its all there.   I had a friend who said she used her accounts paid etc. to light the fire!  Oh dear!   Today, I can say its all up to date for the week!
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The most amazing smells are wafting from the kitchen and hubby is knocking up a Chicken Casserole (that he found in a book club book at work) and mash for dinner. Can. Not. Wait!
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Cheers - Joolz xx

Fantastic Miracle Spray ...

My friend Karen gave me a recipe for an all purpose kitchen/bathroom/household spray so I made up a batch of it today and have been cleaning madly ever since!
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You can find the recipe and so many other tips and hints at The Cheapskates Club  - its highlighted in the "How to" section... click on it and it gives you a PDF so you can print it out.  
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MIRACLE SPRAY
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Ingredients:
1.5 litres water (1 cup of this boiled)
300 mls white vinegar
60 mls dish washing liquid (your favourite)
25 mls eucalyptus oil
3 dessertspoons washing soda (Lectric soda)
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Method:
Mix washing soda with a cup of boiling water to dissolve, add remaining ingredients, pour into spray bottles or store in a 2 litre bottle.
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Of course, it always pays to test in an inconspicuous spot - I'd hate for it to peel the paint off your walls or mark your bench tops.
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I went about cleaning this morning - toilet/seats, window sills, shower screen (fantastic), sink, benches - my hands stayed nice and soft unlike if I use Spray n Wipe and my jewellery was sparkling at the end!  Tomorrow I am cleaning marks of my walls.
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Cheers - Joolz xx

Happy Birthday!


We took a whirlwind trip to the big smoke to see Bri for her 20th birthday (and Kirby too)!
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We had a lovely Chinese dinner...
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They surprised Bri with a molten chocolate dessert!
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Cute couple!
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On Wednesday, I took them out to lunch (delicious curry!) then it was time to hop in the car and head home the 400 kms!
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Such a cutie! We are very proud of Bri, you've grown into a beautiful woman, studying hard and you now have a part time job in aged care. Love you so much, Mum & Dad xxx

Monday, October 21, 2013

Squash & Spinach Rotolo ...


This is a recipe from jamieoliver.com - I saw him make this on his Save with Jamie TV program and thought it looked yummy.
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Spread dampened pasta sheets with the mashed roasted squash (I used pumpkin), onion & spinach and crumbled fetta cheese. Roll up and cut unto 4 rounds.
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Stand the rounds up and place in a baking dish with the garlic passata sauce. Top with coarsely grated parmesan cheese and bake about 40 minutes ubtil sauce is bubbling and cheese has melted.
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Serve immediately with a green salad.
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Cheers - Joolz xx

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Baking for a fete...

 my Mum's aged care facility held their annual Fete today so I did some baking to donate to their food stall.   I made labels for each bag.
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 First I made 3 batches of  Anzac biscuits...
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 Then I made Cherry Shortbreads (although these pictures are from a batch I made last week ...
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I should call them Traffic Light shortbreads ...
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 All bagged up - 18 bags in all  which they sold at $3/bag
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 There was lots of food at the Fete, homemade pasties, lamingtons, cakes of all kinds... I am sure their day will be a success.
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 Quick dinner last night was chicken kebabs 9marinated in sweet chilli sauce, garlic and peanut oil) with satay sauce and baked rice.  I just put a cup of rice in a shallow dish, add 2 cups chicken stock, diced capsicum, sweet corn, onion, peas, crack of pepper and salt.  Stir it all in, add a few dobs of margarine/butter then cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes until the stock has evaporated and the rice is fluffy.
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Satay sauce: 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter, 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce, 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.  Combine all in small saucepan and heat until just boiling, lower heat and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat, sauce will thicken in time to serve over kebabs.
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We are off to a surprise 50th tonight and we are staying at the venue so it should be a good night out with friends.
Cheers - Joolz


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