Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lunch Wrap

Here is the lunch wrap I made for Amelia, I think it turned out well. She thinks its pretty special with princess on it. You can fine the instructions for it here. I am going to make some for Wes, Dave and I too. I think they will be great for picnics too as you can use it as a place mat when you eat.
The bonus is that so far she has brought it home! I am thinking about making a pouch along a similar vein for biscuits and muesli bars.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Curtains and Beetroot!

On the weekend we drove over to Fantastic Furniture to pick up a queen bed and mattress for our spare room. It looks pretty good! And its comfortable! I know Mum and Dad will appreciate it when they come up in a few weeks.

I also put up the curtains Mum made us. It is so good to be able to open the lounge room curtains without feeling like your on display to the whole world. We got a heap of rods from a garage sale for $2 the lot and there was one in there that was perfect.

And I also (finally) made Amelia's Princess curtains. It took me ages because I wanted it to be good so I measured and ironed and pinned almost fanatically but they do look good. A couple of the seams arent as straight as they could be but only I will notice that and they make her room heaps warmer. The other big job was to pickle our beetroot. There were a few that never seemed to grow properly even though they had lovely big leaves, so I discarded those and they also didnt seem to get as big as I had hoped so that is something to think about for next year. This is what we pulled from the vegie patch;
Once the tops came off and all the dirt it worked out to be about 1.5 kgs. So then it was time to pickle them! I used an apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper mix. I popped them into the Vacola - Its a spunky orange with a bright yellow lid! I did hear the lids pop and they have that look. I think they look great. They made two large bottles.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lessons Learnt

I have learned a couple of things since making bread that have resulted in some deflated loaves. They still are yummy and everyone still takes their lunches on them but they are smaller slices.

So far I have found out that if you accidentally get water on a loaf that's risen (2nd rise) it will deflate. And last night I found out that it will do that if you get the cling wrap stuck on the top and have to rip it off - I had obviously missed a bit when I greased the plastic wrap. So if you are going to try and make bread learn from my mistakes! :)

I made some banana bread last night with some very over ripe bananas and it was yum. I also made tonight's dinner which is a beef, mushroom and tomato casserole. I will have it with kipfler potatoes, carrots and peas. I will have to make tomorrow nights dinner tonight as I am working a full day tomorrow as well.

Another lesson learnt yesterday - I went to the local fruit shop and asked which apples were the local ones from Tenterfield or Stanthorpe (that I had been previously told they had by a worker there) and the owner told me that they buy them through the markets. So they don't buy them direct like they told me before. That has kind of turned me off them so I am going to go to another fruit and veg place that might be better. Hopefully since I know where their farm is it might have more local produce. Lesson learned.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Four Week Challenge!

I have set myself a challenge for the next four weeks. That is to NOT have any store bought cakes, biscuits or bread. Only homemade.

One of the main reasons for this is to save money, when I add up all the stuff I buy for lunchboxes, afternoon tea and just snacks in general it is alot!! A single box of 6 snack bars it usually $4 -$5 and with two kids (or two adults ) that only lasts 3 days. And taking into account how much I pack into the lunch boxes its expensive.

I am also cutting down the amount of food I put in the lunch boxes. I have talked to the kids about it and we have come to a decision about what is a good compromise. I am hoping if I do this for four weeks it will become a habit. It will also cut down on our household rubbish and recycling as there is a huge amount of packaging used in the store bought snacks.

So that's my challenge. The hardest bit will be when I just don't feel like being bothered.

In other news I got my sewing machine out of layby. I have had a little go sewing up a pair of Amelia's Pyjama pants that had ripped at the seams. It went beautifully!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We all need to Aspire to something!

This weekend we went to Gunnedah and Dubbo. While in Gunnedah at Mum and Dads I took some pictures of the garden. I would love this garden!!! If I had had more battery left on the camera I would have taken some of the fairy garden and the front garden too. I will next time!!!!

Here is the passionfruit vine, its absolutely loaded with them. I think I might have to give one a go!

Lemon tree, I brought some lemons home with me too.

Vegetable gardens. The frame is up for tomatoes come the summer. Dad's getting it all ready - Isn't he clever!

And this is Dad's green thumb!!! :)

Mum also gave me a stack of plants from her garden. I am planting them tomorrow afternoon as I had knitting group today and got home too late. Being a good Mum she also gave me the world's most gorgeous quilt she had made, curtains for my lounge room and onion bags for my Christmas hampers! I also got a jar of Dad's 3 Fruit marmalade which I will taste.

I spotted a spool holder while at Mum's and have told Dad I want one, so I am hopeful he will take the hint - ok not a hint :0)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Afternoon Tea

Since I didn't need to bake bread for tomorrow (it's the kids lunch order day) I made a loaf of banana bread for afternoon tea. Dave and I have been drinking loose tea in a pot, which is so much nicer than bags, so I might have to make myself a nice tea cosy. The one in the picture was the second cosy I ever made.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is Mother's Day, so Happy Mother's Day Mum! I got a lovely pair of pearl earrings, bread tin and a pink pen set. Very spoilt. So I have baked two loaves of bread and they are great - if I do say so myself.

This is the second loaf - I left this one for much longer to rise and it worked really well. I also timed how long I kneaded the bread for as I think I didn't do the full 8 minutes on the first loaf.

This is the first loaf which was still yummy and just as Mum predicted everyone gobbled down.

Today Amelia and I planted some seeds. They are broccoli, cabbage and pansy. She was very good at making the holes. Wes raked up some leaves for my leaf mulch bags too.
Here is the seedlings in the back veg patch. Dave and I planted sugar loaf cabbage, cauliflower, onions and pansies. I even planted some out of season celery as I just wanted something to break up the cabbage and cauliflower silhouettes.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday in the Garden

Fushias are out. I think they look like ballerinas!

I found that something had been having a feed of Silverbeet. I think its birds and I will let them have one or two plants as I want them to hang around to eat the bugs that will want to eat my cabbages and cauliflowers.

Another rose blooming in the front garden.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I made a cookie dough that I got from the Down to Earth blog. I added some macadamia nuts and some 85% cocoa Lindt chocolate. They smell delicious.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In the Kitchen

Choko Pickles
Vacola bottles waiting for a wash. I have cleared out the laundry cupboard for them.

Coconut Biscuits
This is the easiest biscuit recipe ever! I got it off the internet somewhere and they are really yummy.
1 cup self raising flur
1 cup sugar
1 cup of coconut
1 egg
1/2 cup melted butter
Mix it all together for a few minutes and then place teaspoons full on a baking sheet. Cook in a moderate oven for about 10 - 15 minutes.

Out the Front

Red Roses
Black spot on the roses. I have sprayed but it might be a case of piccking all the leave off.


A surprise found by Mum.

Flower on my dwarf lemon trees.

More Back Garden!

In the fairy garden.

New vegie patch waiting for seedlings.

Spinach and Beetroot planted by Dad!

Rooster in the beetroot.
Uncle Ronnie's way of raising seedlings. Giving a it a try.

My ingenious poison box!

Camelia on the deck.

In the Garden

Welcome to our Garden!

The fairy garden.

Seed propagation - dubious results.

Everything you need to make washing powder.
The recipe I use is;
2 bars of pure soap - grated
1 cup of washing soda
1 cup of borax
Just mix altogether and use a concentrate scoop to measure.