Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Buy Nothing New - week 3 update

Gosh we're into week three already of Buy Nothing New Month and to be honest it's been fairly easy. The only new non food items I've purchased have been seedlings, mulch and some compost, I just cannot make enough of the stuff to replenish my no-dig garden beds. As its all for food production and necessary I'm allowing we go, making up my own rules :'}

There are a couple of items that I am almost tempted to buy because they are kind of necessary, a new battery charger for my camera, inserts for my bike helmet, oh and a very belated birthday present for my nephew. OK not really necessary I guess. I did however received a Visa gift card recently for doing an online training course, maybe I can use that to get my nephew a gift. At 11 years of age I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate knitted face clothes and

Even in the kitchen second hand is best

After the month is up I aim to continue in this no spending mode. I know it will be tuff avoiding the op shops and markets, goodness knows I don't need anymore stuff no matter how useful or beautiful it may be. Perhaps if I've been good I'll allow myself a little treat and have a once a month nosey.

Did you join in, how are you fairing?

Cheers Lisa

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meeting in real life and a muffin recipe

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet a fellow blogger and moderator from the Down to Earth Forum. Narelle from Just Like My Nan Made is in Brisbane with her husband for a few days and dropped in for a visit. I had a lovely time chatting with Narelle, we talked about gardening, crafts and our pets, amongst other things.

Tana and Chester thought they were in heaven with all the pats and attention they received. Poor dogs, you'd think they never got any attention from us.

For morning tea I decided to adapt my favourite lemon and coconut muffin recipe.

Tropical Fruit Muffins
1 1/2 cups unbleached white SR flour
1/2 cup wholemeal plain flour
1/3 cup dessicated coconut or 1/2 cup shredded
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup macadamia nut, virgin coconut oil or similar mild flavoured oil
1/3 cup honey
1 cup milk kefir or 1/2 milk and 1/2 yoghurt
3 eggs
1 lady finger banana chopped and equal amount of mango flesh chopped (I have both frozen from last years season)

Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease muffin tins or line with papers. Sift flours together, stir in coconut, lemon rind and chopped fruit. In another bowl beat together eggs, oil, lemon juice, honey and kefir/milk until well combined. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and lightly mix until just combined. Spoon into muffin tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool a few minutes then remove from tray.

Makes 12 - 14 1/3 cup muffins.

The addition of banana and mango makes a nice change.

Thanks for visiting Narelle, I hope you managed to find your way to the op shop and nursery and didn't spend too much money.

Cheers Lisa

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Samosa, curry puffs or little vegetable pasties

These little treats are a quick and easy way to use up leftovers. Today I used leftover chickpea and vegetable curry or you could use leftover roast vegetables, chili, thick lentil and vegetable pasta sauce, tofu and stir fry vegetables. Anything really, just make sure that the mixture isn't too moist, otherwise you'll end up with a big mess when you cook your parcels.

Here is the original pastry recipe, I'll add my modifications in (..........)

1 cup wholemeal flour

1 cup unbleached white plain flour

1/2 cup wholemeal SR flour

3 tablespoons + 3 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup cold water (I use 4 tablespoon of milk kefir or yoghurt in a half cup measure, top up with water, then add more water as you mix the pastry).

Sift flours together add oil and lemon juice. Using a butter knife lightly combine the oil and lemon juice into the flour, then rub the mixture using your finger tips till it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the kefir/water then gradually add more water as needed. Mix well until it comes together in a ball. Knead lightly then allow to rest 3o minutes or longer in the fridge.

Prepare your filling, chop or mash the mix to the desired consistency. Sorry I'm not able to give exact amounts of filling required. I'd say you need approximately 2 cups or, if you're like me just stretch it out with the leftover rice from the curry.

Prepared your baking sheets, either grease or line with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to moderate 180C.

The parcels can be whatever size you like. Divide equally into eight for large size, I usually stretch it out to make 16 or 18 puffs. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle, you want it fairly thin. Brush some water around the edges of the dough, place a spoon full of mixture on one half (keep about a 1 cm clear from the edge), fold over the dough to encase the mix, either crimp the edges with the tines of a fork or if you want to be fancy, lighty brush the curved edge with a little water and fold the edges over (sorry its a bit hard to explain). Use a fork to make a few holes in the top of the parcel, then place on your baking tray. Continue on till you either run out of filling or pastry.

Brush the tops with egg wash (optional) and bake for approximately 30 - 40 minutes depending on your oven. Turn your trays around and swap shelves half way through baking.

Serve as a meal with a green salad, chutney or homemade ketchup. They are great for a snack or even as finger food for a party.

Leftover pastry can be stored in the fridge and used the next day.



Monday, October 3, 2011

Buy Nothing New Month

After my recent spending sprees (all secondhand mind you) I remembered that I wanted to join in this years Buy Nothing New Month . Whilst buying nothing new will be easy, I'm challenging myself to buy nothing unnecessary. No more op shops or markets for me this month.....eeek!!

Come on, join in, you could even win a prize and you'll feel better for doing it.

Cheers Lisa

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Latest op shop and market finds

I'm happy to admit that I'm a bit of an op/charity shop junkie. My first job after finishing school was volunteering in the local St Vinnies shop. That was in 1983 and everyone was throwing away all their 40's, 50's and 60's possessions........I was in heaven. Thus began my slight obsession.

Anyway I digress, I still love nothing better than a good nosey around the flea markets and op shops, always hoping for a little treasure. Here are some of my recent finds over the last few months.

Beautiful cotton Country Road top

with 3/4 sleeves

This one is made of silk and cotton and had a small tear on the cuff, 15 minutes at the sewing machine and it was just like new. I got both for $30 as they were in the designer section.

Some much needed storage - I'd say 50's era blanket box, the legs are inside. Just needs a coat of paint and a new cushion and cover. Perfect for all our winter manchester and clothes. Not bad for $40.

Can you believe I found a canner from the USA in Brisvegas. On the same trip I found a Pyrex double boiler. I can't tell you how long I've been looking for one and was sooooo excited when I stumbled upon this beauty. These items were a bit on the expensive side, $70 for the pair. The op shop is near the city and prices reflect their close proximity to town.

Oh dear, a few more vintage sheets to add to my collection. Word must be getting out that they are in demand, cause the prices have been steadily going up. I paid about $23.00 for 4 single bed sheets.

If found this cute old jar at the local market, only paid a $1.00 for it.

At the same market I found this lovely trio of Royal Vale china, a steal at $2.50.

$6.50 for this little bundle at Lifeline. Can you believe the cotton was 50 cents a ball! I'm planning on using the fabric to make a strainer for paper making and for some fruit and veg bags.

I'm now working on the system one item in two boxes of my junk out. That should help me rid myself of some of the clutter.

Hope you've had a great weekend.

Cheers Lisa