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Life on two acres of arid dirt, on the edge of the Australian outback.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Catch Up

From my Valentine J

A lovely calendar from my new blogging friend

Getting back to basics in the kitchen.

 A special request for Lemon cheesecake. 

From the garden...

A weird looking cucumber

One huge sweet potato...almost three kilos! (6.6lbs)

And lots of smaller ones.

Pumpkins and rock melon...

And zucchini and beetroot...

In the heat yesterday I pickled the beetroot , then water bathed them for twenty minutes.

Twelve jars of deliciousness!

 Kale, cucumber, tomatoes, beetroot and rhubarb.

I cooked the rhubarb using this method;

1/3 cup sugar
juice of one orange
500gms of rhubarb cut into 4cm pieces

Place sugar and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved, then bring to boil. Add the rhubarb and reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 8-10 minutes until the rhubarb is soft but holds its shape.  Cool in the pan.
I eat this with homemade Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of weet-bix.

I bought some plums on special and stewed them up...they were oh so nice.  
Love the red colour J

On my needles...

Crocheted this teacosy using this pattern

I knitted this toilet roll holder using the boot topper pattern I have been making for my daughter.  I just added a couple of rows of crochet loops to the top and threaded a chain stitch tie through them.
My girl is now in the UK! I am following her travels via Instagram J

Out Back...

I am looking after the not so happy noodle spoodle, my daughters very much loved baby.  He is going to miss her while she is gone...

A new window

in the chook house

We have had visits from two rather large snakes this past week. And as everyone knows Australian snakes can be deadly!
Hubby nearly put his hand on one that was hiding in the nest boxes, so he decided it was time for a bit more light in the nesting area.
Sadly we lost one of our bantam girls to a snake bite. She was broody and sitting in one of the nests.  We presume she may have pecked at the snake :(

A tiny gecko wandering around outside, he was so small...

It has been hot here...
It reached 46.9C (116.2F) a few days ago at 5.30pm!

A cool change is due later today, and it should be cooler all week.  This will give me a chance to clear out the garden as most of the veggies are almost finished for the season.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend J

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