Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sewing Know How

Once learning to sew was taught to children either at home or at school, now its does not seem that people think its a necessary skill to learn. Every thing is cheap to buy and easy to throw away. 
It makes me sad that we have created such a disposable society.

Why should you learn to sew? Well if you can sew then decorating your home or clothing your family becomes something you can be proud of, not to mention all the beautiful gifts you can make.
Rest assured that anything you make will last at least 10 times longer than a cheaply bought item. Sewing can also save you money.

That's my trusty old sewing machine above, she's a Janome My Style 30, a gift from my husband and father in law for Christmas, i think it was 1989. She has only had one service and that was last year, she just keeps going and going.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lemon Pudding

Still using lemons in this cloud like, melt in your mouth sweet but also sour lemon pudding. There are lots of pudding recipes out there and i have tried a few. This one is very easy, you can cook it in a large dish or in individual ramekins.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rice Pudding

On a cold winters evening a warm bowl of Rice Pudding is very welcome.
I make mine in the slow cooker, its supper easy, pretty much add and forget. The smell of vanilla drifting through the house as the pudding bubbles away in the crock pot makes my mouth water.

Rice Pudding can be eaten warm or cold with or without fruit on top, its very filling so a little goes a long way. However saying that i always make a double lot so there are leftovers for the next day.

Rice Pudding

4 cups Milk
1/2 cup short grain Rice
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla or 1/2 tsp of Vanilla Paste

Add all to your crock pot and cook on low for 4 or 5 hours and then on high for 1 hour. stirring a few times during cooking. 
You want the rice to be cooked and most of the milk absorbed, cooking times will depend on how big your crock is and if you doubled the recipe.

 If you cook for too long and its very thick and gluggy, turn off the crock and add a little milk and stir until its the consistency you like.
If you reheat it the next day add a little more milk, unless you like it really thick.

This one had a few frozen raspberries on top but you could use any fruit you like or even a bit of jam.
I was thinking of adding sultanas to the crock the next time i make it, i think it would make a good addition.

For the milk you can use fresh, long life, powdered or even almond milk, i pretty much always use long life milk and as i double the recipe its a full 2 litre carton. However when i double the recipe i don't double the sugar.

Anyone else like Rice Pudding, do you make it on the cook top or do you also make it in the slow cooker. 
If you have a different recipe id love to give it a try.

Edited Sunday :
I made it on Thursday and added 1/2 cup sultanas and cut out the sugar. It was very nice, i will make with sultanas again. You could also use raisins or currents as well.

Linked here
 R and R Wednesday # 66
Fabulously Frugal Thursday # 81
Homemaking Party
Tasty Tuesday
Backyard Farming Connection # 94/ 95
Wonderful Wednesday # 87
Tuesdays with a Twist # 72
Maple Hill Hop # 44
 What you Wish Wednesday # 14
Homestead Barn Hop # 172
Homemaking Link Up
Motivation Monday # 109

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Signs of Spring

We have had next to no rain this year, until that is when it started to pour down last Saturday afternoon and continued right through until early this morning. It is still grey and cloudy but the sun peeks through every now and then to say hello and the rain is starting to lighten up.
While it has stopped for the minute i thought i'd have a walk around my yard.
 Most of my orchid looks like this with their bare winter arms.

 However i also see signs of spring with the blossom taking a chance on some of my fruit trees.

Our water tank is full again, as you can see from the over flow barrel. The wire is so birds can drink and not drown in it, as was the case before we added the wire.

My chooks have been doing a great job up in the vegetable garden, digging it through and eating up anything that was leftover in the beds. It still needs digging through before we redo the beds for planting.
I have been asked before why we used white netting over black, the reason is with the white netting the birds can easily see and don't get tangled in it. The black is a lot harder for them to see. We have a lot of birds here i probably see at least 10 different species a day, even more of the ones i can hear and not see.

As you can see my lemon tree still has a few fruit on it. Lemon Pudding any one?

The orange tree down in the chook yard has some fruit on it. This morning the Magpies were steeling food from the chook yard, its a mama and her two babies and they are defiantly not scared when you approach them [no photos as it was raining].

It is starting to rain again and i can see from my window that the Rosella's are eating the blossom from one of the plum trees and picking through the grass. The Bower birds are in the loquat tree making a racket and i see small fruit starting to form.

The grass has started to turn from brown to green. Even tho it is cold outside it feels like spring is on its way or maybe it's just because i see so many trees with flowers.

Soon all these seedling trays will be full again, oh Spring the time of everything new and fresh.

Linked here
Backyard Farming Connection
Motivation Monday # 104
Homemaking Monday # 14
Momemade Monday # 94

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lemon Meringue Pie

This is my all time favourite lemon recipe. It was also the first lemon recipe i ever made and that's going back over 25 years. 
The difference between my pie recipe and others is i use a biscuit base instead of a short crust pastry base.
I use Arnotts Marie biscuits and crush them up in my big bench top blender, i usually do two or three packets at a time to fill my jar.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Biscuit Crumbs [enough to line your chosen dish or plate]
Butter melted

Condensed Milk [can or homemade]
3 Egg Yolks
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Meringue Top
3 Egg Whites
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/8 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp dry Lemon Zest [or zest of 1 lemon]

Combine the butter with the biscuit crumbs, the amount of butter will depend on the amount of crumbs. Start with a little and add more if you need it. The base should be moist so it can be pressed onto the dish at the bottom and sides. Place in the fridge while you make the filling.

Using a wooden spoon mix the milk and juice, add the egg yolks and mix until combined.
Pour into the base and put back in the fridge.

Meringue Top:
Beat whites, salt and cream of tartar until soft peeks . Beat in vanilla and sugar a little at a time until stiff peeks form.
Gently place spoonfuls on top of filling until pie is covered. No need to smooth as its best to leave it rough.
Sprinkle lemon zest on top.
Cook 160 Celsius or 320 Fahrenheit  for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

I like to make this the day before i need it, as it tastes better the second day. Afternoon tea or a dessert with coffee or a cup of tea, share it or don't its up to you :o)
How do you make your pie ? Do you use a short crust pastry, a puff pastry or a biscuit base.
If you have not made this before and love lemon or lime then please give it a try and let me know how it turned out.

Linked here Happiness is Homemade # 33
and here Simple Saturdays # 36
and here From the Farm Hop
and here Say G'day Saturday # 100
and here Homestead Barn Hop # 172

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Roast Pumpkin Soup

We have had a couple of cold days so i thought i would make some pumpkin soup. 
This is not my usual pumpkin soup recipe. I dried all my garlic a couple of months ago therefore i didn't have any fresh to roast so thought id try a different recipe, and i have to say i like it a whole lot better than my old Pumpkin Soup recipe.

Pumpkin Soup

Freezes Great
I like to use Jap or butternut pumpkin, you can use a 2kg to 3kg pumpkin anything bigger you will need to double your spice mix.

2kg Pumpkin
2 large Potatoes
2 Carrots
1 Onion

Peel and roast all of the above leave the onion whole and chop up the other veg, drizzle a little olive oil. Cut your potatoes smaller as they take the longest to cook. Roast about 40 mins to an hour 180 Celsius or 360 Fahrenheit. I do mine a little longer because i like it when the pumpkin starts to get black bits around the edges = more flavour.

1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Ginger
Salt and Pepper
4 to 6 cups Vegetable Stock
Greek Yoghurt

To a bench top blender add vegetables and stock a little at a time until well blended and smooth.
Pour into a large stock pot and add the spices. Depending on how thick you like your soup you can add more stock or water. I like a thicker soup so it sticks to your bread.
Cook on low for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt or sour cream.
Of course you will also be wanting some Crusty Bread to accompany your delicious soup.

Freezes great, if you use those reseal bags they can be frozen flat and it is heaps quicker to defrost and saves on freezer space.
When reheating from frozen you may want to add a little water.
You can bake the vegetables up to 3 days before you make the soup.
A roast dinner on Sunday add in your extra vegetables and soup on Monday or Tuesday, too easy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tribest Personal Blender

For christmas last year Mr GoingGreen gave me a Tribest Personal Blender. I researched personal blenders and this one was the best in function, workmanship, attachments, spare parts and price. 
Everything you can see in the below picture can be replace separately. All plastic parts are BPA free. 
It also comes with a manual and 40 recipes.

This set was $165.

The large cup holds 425ml and the small cup holds 250ml, there is also an extra large cup at 550ml {not in this set}.

The base unit is 17cm high, weighs just under a 1kg with a 200 watt motor. It is not quite as loud as a normal large bench blender. The little rubber feet can also be replaced if you happen to loose one.

These are the two blade options, the two wing blade is for grinding nuts, small dried items like ginger, peel, garlic and also herbs. The four wing blade is for shakes, smoothies, fruits and vegetables. It can also crush ice. The rubber O ring can also be replaced.

The three mason jars come in 300ml, 175ml and 75ml. They each come with a lid and band and 1 plastic fridge lid.

The mason drinking jar comes with a lid and a commuter lid. Also pictured is the mason jar attachment so you can put the jars or the drinking jar on the base. It also fits on IXL jam jars so they can also be used on the base.

This is the base with the 250ml cup attached.

This is the 75ml mason jelly jar with the jar attachment. Below is the mason drinking jar with the attachment.
Being able to mix/blend right in the jar or glass you require makes it so easy and less to wash up.

In addition to all of the above i also received more lids, jars and drinking jars.
I use my Tribest pretty much everyday. Unlike a bench blender where i have to rinse the jug when i need to blend something else, with this little beauty i can just change cup/jars. Wash up is just as easy, give everything a rinse and your good to go.
Wether i am grinding up nuts, herbs and spices or im making smoothies, salad dressing or health drinks this little blender can not be beaten.  

If you want to add a health drink to your morning breakfast then this is the way to go, the convenient size means you can take it to work, fill your cup with everything before you go or even the night before and place in the fridge at work, then blend away at lunch time. It would also be excellent if your going travelling in a car, camper van or even on a cruise just think of the possibilities.   

Here is the link for the company Tribest and this is where i purchased my Tribest here in Australia.

Linked here Homemade Monday #93
and here Simple Saturdays #35
and here From the Farm
and here Homestead Barn Hop #171
and here Homemaking Monday #13

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Natural Pectin

Part 1

I dont buy commercial pectin that is used in jams and jellies. Instead i use lemon seeds.
All citrus seeds are rich in pectin and will thicken any flavour of fruit preserves.
As you may have noticed i use a lot of lemons, they have so much to offer. Juice, peel, pith, flesh and seeds, they can be used in a large variety of sweet and savoury foods.

The seeds can be stored in the freezer for when you need to thicken up your curd, butters or jams. Store them in a small container and just grab as many as needed.

To use the seeds i put them in a small bag that i made out of a piece if net curtain with a draw string and place in your pot or bowl of simmering fruit.

You can also put them into a small piece of cheese cloth and tie with string. I dont like cheesecloth i think it is over rated and way too expensive. A cheep net curtain from a second hand store is a much better option.
When the fruit is done squeeze the bag over the pot, then you can empty and wash for the next use.

If you really want to see pectin at work put several in a small dish with a little water and leave over night, the next day the seeds will have a gel around them. You can use them like this, just drain off the extra water and place in a bag or cloth.

You can also make it from apples and other fruits. The white pith on any under ripe citrus fruit like yellow grapefruit it very high in pectin.
I have not tried making pectin with the pith or any other fruits so when i do ill right up the recipe to share.

Linked here Fabulously Frugal Thursday # 79
and here Say G'day Saturday #99
and here Homemaking party
and here R&R Wednesday # 64
and here From the Farm Blog Hop
and here Old Fashioned Friday # 80
and here Farmgirl Friday # 167
and here Fabulous Finds #18

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Lemon Melting Moments

These are soft melt in your mouth cookies and very hard to stop at just one. Nice with a hot cup of tea or a cold glass of milk.

 Lemon Melting Moments

225g Butter
50g Icing Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
3 tsp dry Lemon Peel or zest of 4 lemons
225g Plain Flour
3 Tbl Cornflour  [Cornstarch]

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and peel until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and cornflour into the butter mix.
Roll into small balls and lightly press with a fork.
You can also pipe these onto the tray, but i find it a pain and too much clean up after.

Cook 175 Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit for about 12 mins, these do not need to be brown.
Let them firm up a bit before placing on a wire rack to cool.

125g Icing Sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry Lemon Peel or zest of 2 lemons
Lemon Juice

Mix in enough juice to make a soft spreadable icing but not too runny, just add more icing sugar if its too soft. Spread over cold cookies or you can sandwich them with icing in the centre.

I hope your not all sick of lemon recipes yet as i have a few more to come. 
Why so many, you might ask well i do love anything lemon but as there is so much juice, peel and seeds when you process the lemons then you also need recipes to use them up.

If you make these you will not be disappointed, the flavour is delicate yet tart. 

Friday, August 01, 2014

Tuppaware Cupboard

Does your tupperware cupboard look like this ? 
Lids, containers, jars and any number of other items that gets put in there. Chuck it in and close the cupboard real quick before it all falls out, its amazing how quickly it becomes out of control.

I think that the jam and peanut butter jars are multiplying when the door is closed and why are there more lids than jars.

I pulled it all out and sorted it into washing baskets. Because i have so many glass jars i decided to make a shelf to utilise the space better and hopefully keep them in better order.  

I started out with an off cut piece of ply. This was left over from my wood box that Mr GoingGreen made.
Measured the hight of the jam jars and how long i wanted the shelf. I used the jigsaw to cut the top and both legs. Gave them a quick sand and glued and nailed them together.

There was only one small piece leftover and that went into the off cuts bucket.

I decided to add a piece at the back to make sure the legs don't move about over time, also a piece from the off cuts bucket. The shelf only took 30 mins at most to make.

Here it is finished with all my jars stacked on top.
I have made these before for my pantry, they are very easy to make and they extend your pantry space. They are great for packets or small jars, especially if your pantry is deep.

It feels good to get things organised and tidy.

There were a number of things that did not make it back into the cupboard and even after i took this photo a couple more items were removed.
The blue and brown ice cream containers hold all the jar lids. Being able to grab it out makes it easier when i need to find the right lid.
All the tuppaware bases are sorted by size and so are the lids, they are stored in a large container so again easy to pull out to find the right lid and also easy when putting them away.

Do you have a cupboard that you have to chuck stuff in and close the door or are you more of a everything in its place type. 
For me pretty much the only cupboard that gets like this is the tupperware cupboard all the rest have everything in its place even my Draws, ask me where anything is and i can put my hand on it straight away.

Linked here Old Fashioned Friday #79
and here Fabulously Frugal Thursday #78
and here The Home Acre Hop #81
and here What you wish Wednesday