Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scones anyone?

I love scones, drop, gem, griddle, you name it I'll eat them. My all time favourite of course is Devonshire tea.

I'm determined to learn the fine art of scone making. Oh how I'd love to be able to whip up a batch that looked like the CWA had just graced my kitchen. I've tried a recipe from my high school cookbook, also tried Lady Flo's pumpkin scones (a bit sweet for my liking, Tony loved them). This is the latest attempt, not sure where the recipe came from.

2 1/2 cups SR flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
45g butter
1 cup water
1 tablespoon of castor sugar
1/2 cup sultanas or chopped dates
Milk for glazing

Preheat oven to 220C, grease and flour a a biscuit tray.
Sift flour and milk powder together in a large bowl. Rub in butter till it resembles fine bread crumbs, add sugar and fruit, pour in water, mix to a soft dough. Turn dough onto a floured surface, dust with flour and gently pat out to 2cm thickness. Cut with a floured cutter or knife. Place close together, just touching on the prepared tray. Brush with milk, bake in a hot oven approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and wrap in a tea towel until ready to serve.

They turned out better that my last batch, lighter and a bit taller. The only problem is that Tony loves them so much, he ate five in one day!

Next time I'll try the CWA recipe, then the lemonade scone recipe, as well as placing them closer together on the tray, it helps with rising.

Hope you have a lovely day
Cheers Lisa

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's 9 o'clock, times up!

Wow a whole week since my last post, I have been slack!

I'm under a self imposed computer ban, no computer after 9 in the morning and 9 at night. Tonight I'm lucky, Tony has given me permission to spend a little time here while I have my tea and toast. Honestly I really need the computer police!

I just seem to spend way too much time trolling around the net, looking at stuff and seeing how others live etc. This results in me not accomplishing much during the day, then feeling angry and annoyed with myself for being so lazy.

Pretty flowers that sprung up in the long grass

Not looking on the computer in the mornings has allowed me to become more productive again. I go to the gym around 6am then walk the dogs, do a bit around the house or garden. I even baked at loaf of bread yesterday morning before going to work.

Hopefully I'll work out some sort of balance, this ban is not conducive to blogging or checking the forum.

Remember this

Pineapple vinegar - day one

Week two

Three weeks have passed and this is what the pineapple mess looks like now. Sure smells interesting.

I've been stirring it diligently. Removing the layer of skin that forms each day (not sure what it is, gosh I hope it's not the mother). Rhonda's instructions say to remove the pineapple now and allow it to sit for another couple of weeks. Lets see what happens. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

Hope you have a lovely day
Cheers Lisa

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vintage loveliness

Over at the DTE forum a vintage sheet swap is underway. Ooh how I love all things retro and vintage, how could I pass up this opportunity to swap some lovely squares of vintage sheets. Of course one has to have sheets to swap. Alas I gave all our old 60's and 70's sheets away when we did our big move. So I've been making the supreme sacrifice and visiting all the local op shops, searching out vintage sheets and pillowcases. Well someones gotta do it, hey!

This is my lovely stash so far, hmm might have to visit the neighbouring suburbs and check out their op shops!

Once the squares are swapped, we will then make them into a picnic blanket.....groovy baby!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Is this the way of the future?

I listened to an interview with Jeb Brugmann, author of 'Welcome to the Urban Revolution', whilst driving to work Friday morning.
ABC local radio Mornings with Madonna King. An interesting concept and worthy of a read.

I suspect in high rise buildings that most of the food produced would have to be hydroponic. Not sure how ethical it would be having animals living in that sort of environemnt Sounds like more factory farming to me. I think Transition Towns are really the way of the future.

Friday, October 8, 2010

New for me

As I stumble through my journey, I've encountered many new experiences, here are a few of my most recent 'firsts'.

First mulberries on our tree

First strawberry

First time pickling beetroot
Just a tad on the strong side for us, next time I'll go for a sweeter pickling mix.

First time making pineapple vinegar
It doesn't look that pretty now, more like a festering mess!

First time making Flo's pumpkin scones
Mine turned into drop scones as the dough was way too wet. Tasted great!

On the sewing front, progress is being made. I have one top cut out waiting to be sewn up and I'm in the process of drafting a pattern for a summer top. Yay back to sewing at last!

Rhonda's recipes can be found on her blog Down to Earth - pickled beetroot and pineapple vinegar

Hope you have a lovely day
Cheers Lisa

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nut milk

Being an ethical vegetarian I'm now leaning towards a more vegan approach to life. The one thing that does hold me back it that I really love dairy products.

Thanks to all those wonderful blogs out there I think I may have found the answer, homemade nut milk..... my latest obsession. I know it only covers the milk side of dairy products, I'm still working on the others. Nut milk is super easy to make, great tasting and so good for you. Tastes wonderful in smoothies, on breakfast cereal and in baking. I must admit I've not gone the whole hog and used it in a cup tea, although chai tea made on nut milk tastes fantastic.

The left over pulp can be used in baking and cooking or as a face mask or scrub. Ooh I just had a thought, I wonder if you could use it in soap.
I found a couple of links that have heaps of info about making nut milk, Novel Eats and Girl on Raw

This is how I milk a nut
1 cup of nuts - cashews, soaked overnight in a couple of cups of water. If using almonds I usually soak for 24 hours and change the water twice. Nuts need to be soaked, as it removes the enzymes inhibitors found in them, making it easier to digest.

Place rinsed nuts in a high speed blender with 5 cups of water (some use up to 8) and blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Pour into a cloth lined sieve and squeeze out the milk. For the serious milk makers there are nut milk bags available.

The leftover pulp, has a rather bland taste, slight flavour of cashew. It can be dehydrated and made into flour or frozen and later used in cooking.

Cashew nut milk, keep it in the fridge and give it a good shake before using, yummo.

Banana and strawberry smoothie made on almond milk, even Tony tried this one.

Banana Current Muffins made with the leftover pulp. I'll post the recipe another day.

Hope you're having a lovely day, remember it's World Animal Day today

Cheers Lisa

I seem to be having a few problems with spacing :(