Sunday, August 30, 2009

Introducing mini moo

You may have noticed that I have not been blogging much lately. Well, this would be why:

Mini moo was born on the 23rd August, at the convenient time of 1:30pm. She is 4.25kg, 55cm long, and has a head full of blondy-brown hair.

My favourite things so far are the way she curls her toes around my finger when I tickle her feet, and the way she raises her eyebrows when she feeds as if to say 'ooh, something interesting is happening here!'

In other news, Mr X just gave an excited yell, which I take it to mean he has secured second place in his footy tipping comp--a big week all round for the household :)

Five Minute Artisan Bread

Simple Savings also brought this amazing idea to me - Five Minute Artisan Bread. I was amused by my bread section in my home made recipe book - 24 Hour Bread, One Hour Bread, and then Five Minute Bread.

The theory behind this bread is that you whip up a batch, let it sit for 2 - 5 hours, and then stick it in the fridge. When you need bread, you pull out as much as you think you will need, shape it, let it rise and then cook in a very hot, moist oven, and tada! Five minutes is the shaping time.

This bread can be used to make Naan bread, pitas, flatbread, loaves, frybread, fougasse, buns, baguettes, and pizza.

There are now a couple of books on these breads. This is a standard slow rise bread, and the authors recommend re-using the dough remnants to make the next batch develop the sour dough style flavours faster. The dough keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Another bread is a brioche style, using a dozen eggs to enrich the dough, and also has a shelf life in the fridge of 2 weeks.

The books are now available on Amazon, and a number of people have had success asking their libraries to find them copies. Once the basics are down, this seems like a very handy, and very easy, thing to have in your fridge at all times.

More information:

Sarah P

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Home Made Christmas Gifts Part One

Home Made Worcestershire Sauce

This is yet another recipe from Simple Savings. Oops, looks like I forgot the bottle of treacle from the pic! Ah well.

The original recipe is for 2 litres of vinegar, but since I only had a half a jar of treacle, this worked out well, so I halved the recipe. I don't use a lot of Worcestershire sauce, and since this is an untried recipe I didn't want to make gallons of it. I have a couple of pretty bottles ready to go, plus I have a planned trip to Plasdene to look at what sort of options we have. Christmas this year is going to be awesome!

So far the recipe has used stuff I already had in the cupboard, or else provided by friends. (Lemons) so has been very frugal indeed. I have had the treacle for a long time now, and wasn't sure what to do with it. Yay, I have that space back!

So now I stir it once a day for six days, and then we see if it's any good! I'll post the proper recipe when I post the finished product, and a review.

Spring is Around the Corner!

Spring! It's coming... fast some days and slow on others.

I managed to fail on the 'labelling of seed trays' front, and so I am guessing as to what has come up and what hasn't (yet). We have the Digger's tomatoes, Punkin Delicata, Australian Butter Punkin, Ha-ogen rockmelons, beans and peas. We planted them only about 2 weeks ago, and now look!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Birthday Cake!

The Big V turned four a couple of weeks ago! I can't believe it! Four! Years! Old!

When he was born, he was so tiny. His eyes were so huge! And black. I remember when he was just a few hours old, lying in bed between us and looking up at us with these huge obsidian eyes. I think I lost myself in those depths, and I'm glad I never found my way out!

So, birthdays. Cake: yes. Party pies: yes. Cocktail franks: yes. Lolly bags: yes. And OH MY GOSH the balloons. I have renamed myself Killer of Balloons after today where I popped about twenty sad, sick little balloons. Chesh made this cake, I'm pleased to say! I'm not the only talented cook in the house!

We've been sick on and off for about 8 weeks before the renewal (a month ago) and now I have been sick on and off for the last month as well. I have been diagnosed as having a gallstone, and so my energy levels have been very low. We bought pretty much everything for the birthday party, and the lovely Linstar was an absolute champion and made a rather awesome brownie stack and cob loaf and all sorts of extra yummies.

Unfortunately, my gallstone decided that the party was a great time to attack me again, and I spent most of it stoned. And while this may sound like a great party for some, I really like my life and would rather not be stoned while it happens thanks. Time and place and all that guff. Having said that, oh thank goodness for painkillers!

Now we're all on Baby-Watch, waiting waiting waiting. My sickness and gallstone meant i couldn't be onsite for Sarah X's new addition to the family, but we can all hurry up and wait for a baby no matter what side of the continent we're on. My goodness life has been exciting this year!

I have been spending a lot of time reading the Simple Savings website again, and I have been working on a recipe I found there. When I'm happy with it, I'll be posting some pics and some ideas!

Sarah P

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baking and Bread

It's been a baking kind of week around here. At the beginning of the week, I heard about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day, and was so excited to try it out! So, I have been making bread all week, and while in the groove of things I have been baking other stuff too.

Tonight we had Mexican for dinner. I used some home made baked beans, added heaps of cumin, served with a home made salsa and fresh tomato, lettuce and cheese, on what is basically a frybread made using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day recipe. Now I am thinking I want to get my hands onto the actual book!

I love ciabatta style chewy loaves, and this loaf fits that bill quite nicely. It's a bit dense, but since I'm just using black and gold white flour, I'm not surprised. It's crusty and yummy, just how I like it. I have been eyeing off recipes in Jamie's Italy, which has heaps of old ciabatta bread ideas.

This summer is going to be a Summer of Salads. I have been experimenting already. Expect a post a week as we explore all sorts of exciting salads.

Sarah P