About Me

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Fifty six year old empty-nester. Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Around Here...with Recipes

From the garden...

Kale, celery, apples, cucumber, lemon and ginger.

 Delicious  home grown rock-melon...

Hubby has recycled these into garden pots/beds.  
I will use the wicking system with these.

Making fig jam...

I use my Mum's recipe.  I am going to try making it in the slow cooker next time as I have more figs nearly ready to go.  My mum tells me the vinegar helps to keep the jam better. Delicious with crackers and cheese J

6lb Figs
4lb sugar
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup vinegar

Make syrup from sugar, water and vinegar by heating together then add the fruit. Cook for approx 3 hours or until the jam sets on a cold saucer. (I cooked mine for 5hrs) Place in sterilised jars while still hot.

Some zucchini relish I made in back in December, and forgot to post about it J

Impossible Pizza...
I found this recipe on Stay at Home Mum webpage
I have adjusted this recipe a little bit and it is now a favourite in this house J

1 cup Breadcrumbs dry
1 cup Milk
150 grams Ham
1/2 Brown Onion chopped finely
1/4 cup Capsicum red (diced)
1 cup Cheese grated
30 grams Black Olives
Sprinkle top with pizza herbs
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Grease a round pie dish well with canola spray oil.  Spread the breadcrumbs evenly over the bottom of the pie dish.
In a mixing bowl mix together the eggs and milk until well combined.  Add the remaining ingredients.
Pour the egg mixture carefully over the breadcrumbs.
Bake for 20 - 40 minutes or until golden brown and set.
Cut into wedges and serve with a garden salad.
            Recipe Hints and Tips:
This recipe is not suited to freezing.
Best made and eaten on the same day.

Mediterranean Chickpea Patties...

   1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
        1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
         1 garlic clove, chopped
        1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
        1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
         1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
         1 egg, whisked
        4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
         2 tablespoons olive oil
         1/2 cup low-fat Greek-style yogurt
        3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
         8 cups mixed salad greens
        1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
         1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
        Pita chips (optional)

 Pulse first 4 ingredients (through cumin) and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a food processor until coarsely chopped and mixture comes together. Transfer to a bowl, add egg and 2 tablespoons flour; form into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Place remaining flour in a small dish and roll patties in it with floured hands; tap off excess flour.
 Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden.
 Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, and remaining salt and pepper. Divide greens, tomatoes, onion, and patties evenly among 4 plates; drizzle each salad with 2 tablespoons dressing. Serve with pita chips, if desired.


Just because J

Simple vanilla cake, topped with whipped cream and strawberries.

1 cup white sugar
125g butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour a 23cm x 23cm cake pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla essence.
Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until mixture is smooth. Pour or spoon into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or when ready.

You really MUST try this recipe!

Mimi's Apple Tray Bake

Serves 8-12
1 cup yoghurt, any flavour
1 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
2 cups plain flour (I used gluten free of course!)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 apples, cored and sliced thinly (a mandolin slicer is ideal for this)
Icing sugar or cinnamon sugar to serve
Preheat your oven to 160C.
Lightly grease and flour a large baking tray or large lasagna dish.
Now is the time to melt the butter in a microwave safe jug and allow it to cool slightly. Once the butter has cooled a little, mix it with the yoghurt.
Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, and add the sugar. Beat this with electric beaters until creamy and pale. This usually takes about 60 seconds.
Add the yoghurt and butter mixture, and reduce your beater speed to low, mixing well until combined.
Use a metal spoon to fold in the flour, vanilla and apple slices.
Pour it all into your prepared dish, smoothing it out and making sure that the apple slices are evenly distributed. Pop it into your preheated oven.
Depending upon the size of your dish and your ovens idiosyncrasies, this takes between 40 and 55 minutes to cook. It's done when it's golden brown, and firm and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Sometimes I find an extra ten minutes with the temperature turned up to 200, gives the Bake an extra crusty top.
Serve dusted with icing sugar, or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar with a little cream, custard, icecream or yoghurt on the side if you wish. One layer of Apple Tray Bake is yummy, a tower of layers sprinkled with caster sugar or cinnamon sugar is a sight to behold and hard to resist!
This is a great one to serve for a crowd, or for one very greedy family...he-he!

Some op shop finds. 
I love old linen tea-towels.  
These are quite large and were only fifty cents each.

We lost a limb of one of our shady trees a few days ago. Always sad when this happens, as shade is needed here. Hopefully no more branches fall...

Continuing on with another pair of boot toppers. 
I am counting down the days until my daughter leaves for her overseas trip on the 26th February.

Reading and learning...always learning J

The hot weather has arrived.  I knew it would get here soon, so let's see how the garden goes over the next week or so...hoping that the temperatures don't get much higher than these. They sometimes do.

Tuesday 39C (102F)
Wednesday 40C (104F)
Thursday 38C (100F)
Friday 42C (107.6F)
Saturday 43C(109.4F)
Sunday 41C (106F)
Monday 39C (102F)

Wishing you a lovely simple, slow and gentle week J


  1. I am so coming to your house for supper!!!! All look like super recipes, ones I MUST try.....

    I'll trade some of our cold for some of your heat!!

    Gill in freezing cold Canada!!

  2. Wow Tania, your garden has done well this summer. Where did you get your containers for the wicking beds as they seem to be the same that Rob Bob uses? Our big wicking garden has sprung a leak so it is going to be a big job to fix it up and I would like to make more smaller ones. Thanks for the recipes. I have just given up sugar so will have to give the sweet ones a miss but some of the others will be great to try out.

  3. I always wind up hungry after visiting your blog. You sure can grow some good looking food and you know how to make a good meal too. Too bad you are already taken, I would convert to the Mormon faith and marry you and bring you to the compound here! I expect my wife would snatch me bald headed but the great chow (you folks say Tucker, right?) would be worth it! ;-)

  4. Hmm Tania, that looks so yummy!!! Can't wait to try these recipes!

  5. Hi Tania. It's always nice to come by. I make a similar chocolate cake but it's really quick and done in the microwave and moreish especially when served sliced in half . Spread with jam and cream. Put together again. Top with choc icing and serve with tinned cherries and more cream and or Icecream. An easy decadent black forest cake. Maybe I'll try Mimi's recipe too!
    Must try that apple slice tray...I tell myself and then hopefully not forget.
    Mimi has fabulous recipes and ideas :)
    You have certainly been busy in your garden .
    Have a happy day
    Alexa from Alexa-asimplelife

  6. Wow you have been a busy girl. It all looks so delish I wish I could smell and fast through the Internet lol

  7. Hi Tania!
    Such a great array of baking and cooking. Lucky recipients! I love the sound of the fig jam with a little cheese. Your garden's yield is causing me envy and guilt!!! I better look after mine better....xxx
    Stay cool in that heat... Phew

  8. Wow Tania what a good post, produce and cooking. You even got a proposal from Harry! Nice going!

    I think you have talked me into trying Mimi's Apple tray bake. I love anything apple.

    You have done so well. I am sorry about the hot weather. I dont know how hot it gets there, like when Adelaide gets something really bad like 45 what is it there? I am thinking that must be terrible as we are getting 38 etc and that is hot enough. I basically fear the 44s plus.
    Stay cool and out of the heat. You have done so much and your harvest is just beautiful! xxx

  9. Are you sure you dont do home stays. I'd like to reserve my room. Fabulous yummy post. I hope you give yourself a pat on the back.

  10. Phew Tania! I'm in awe! All that baking and cooking in that heat! Fantastic work on the garden too. I am brilliant at herbs, and not so good at more substantial things, but I keep trying. The kale...well kale is my new favourite. We slice it super thin and pan fry it with heaps of garlic, a method I borrowed from Pioneer Woman. I MUST try growing some now! Well done! Mimi xxx

  11. Isn't it funny how some of the simplest old recipes are still abiding favourites.....the plain cake with cream and strawberries.

  12. Such lovely home beauty...produce, baking, and thrifty finds too! So delightful! Thanks for the homemaking encouragement!


  13. Such wonderful recipes.. They look delicious!! Thanks for your lovely visit to my blog.. Praying you are having a great week.. Happy Monday.. xo

  14. Tania, I wonder if you'd do me the honour of sharing this post at my Five Star Frugal linkup? Mimi x

  15. Sure can Mimi. I hope I have done it right lol!


  16. Tania, your garden produce looks amazing. You've done so well considering the heat.

    Your food looks great too.

  17. Hi Tania, I wanted to ask you about the book you are reading " Living more with less ". Is it a good book and who wrote it? It sounds like something I'd read. Wendy xoxo

  18. I have resorted to planting veg/herbs/fruit in pots due to marauding bush turkeys. Will post photo's next week.

    As always your harvest looks fab!




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