Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Check out my buns lol.......

I recently bought a breadmaker and I'm gradually working my way through the recipes in it's manual. These buns started life as a fruit loaf, but guess who forgot to press the button to release the fruit into the mix? So I had to quickly salvage the dough and mix the fruit in by hand. They turned out pretty well after all, Braeden (13) ate most of them. Boys are just bottomless pits! Braeden has shot up by 5 cm (2") since Christmas!
Note my sneaky addition of the kitchen timer to the pic in the hopes that no-one would realise a bun was missing? Guess you know now lol... Had to show it off anyway, I loooove this timer. I picked it up at the op-shop a couple of weeks ago for $2. It is a 5 hour timer, made in great Britain by Smiths. Works a treat, and nice and loud too.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bean burgers

Thought I'd share this recipe with you. I keep this in the cupboard for occasions when the carnivores in the family are having meat and three veg and I want something quick and easy for me. I always double the recipe....

Bean Burger Mix

Ingredients:
½ cup chickpeas
½ cup soybeans
½ cup raw peanuts or sunflower seeds
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup pea flour (I used soy flour)
1 tbsp dried parsley
1tsp salt

Method:
Measure first four ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Using a food processor grind ½ cup of this mixture at a time until it is the consistency of dried breadcrumbs. Be warned this is extremely noisy!!!
Combine ground beans with remaining ingredients. Store mix in an airtight jar until needed.

To make 2 large burgers:
1 cup burger mix
½ cup water
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 clove garlic
1-2 tbsp oil to cook
Mix ingredients (except oil) together and stand for 15 mins. Cook over moderate heat for 5 mins each side, covering the pan to allow the burgers to steam and speed up cooking. Very yummy, especially on a burger with sweet chilli sauce and some sour cream...... yummmm.....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My new chook-chooks!

I have 7 Isa Browns left from my rescue chickens, a few died of natural causes and Angel the cattle dog (who is anything but) finished one off. So it was time to get some more. Instead of propping up the battery hen industry by purchasing their poor worn out girls we decided to buy our new chickens from a reputable breeder. Last Friday we took delivery of my gorgeous new chickens.

They are White Sussex pullets. They are only babies so it will be a while before they lay. I have a rooster amongst them so hopefully we will have some chicks one day!
I rang my sister for her birthday and she told me what she'd ordered for my birthday in August. More chickens! They haven't hatched yet, so I won't get them for a while lol... We had chatted recently about Aruacana's which lay a blue egg, how cool is that? So Lisa is getting me six, yay!!!
Here's some info on the breed....

Aruacana
A very hardy and reliable breed, hens lay 180-200 pale blue to turquoise eggs per year
When the Spanish arrived in South America there was one tribe they could never subdue - the Aruacanas from northern Chile. But the local poultry crossed well with lighter Mediterranean birds. the new breed, with its unusual egg colour, earmuffs and beard, was first recognized in the mid-sixteenth century.
The pic is of Lavender Aruacanas (Sydney Royal Champion progeny). Mine are supposed to be lavender too, but they come in a few colours. May have to add extensions to the hen-house!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Well at least we'll be clean lol.....

Is it normal for one person to do so many different things? Most people seem to choose a hobby or three and concentrate on doing them well. Not me, I flit from thing to thing like a voracious honey-bee in a flower garden. I sew, embroider, spin, make soap and candles, do punch needle and rug hooking, make prim dolls, knit, crochet, make braided rag rugs, and so on. And that's not to mention the preserves, bread, pickles, jams, etc etc etc. I just love producing things with my hands. I may not be an expert at any one skill but I never get a chance to get bored! I am in full-on soap mode at the moment. It's becoming an obsession. First it was the olive and lavender soap with oatmeal and hemp. Now I have produced a massive 3. kg lot of canolive soap which I am in the process of hand milling, or re-batching, into different varieties. Merran (11) and I made chocolate and vanilla soap today, and tonight I made a batch of cinnamon soap. It has real cinnamon and cinnamon leaf essential oil in it. Yummo! I had no idea how long it would take to melt down the canolive soap, it took about an hour. The first batch we did in a saucepan over a low heat. I was stressed out thinking it was going to burn. So the following batch I did in the Pyrex jug over a saucepan of hot water. Took just as long but not as scary. Apparently it can be done by double bagging the grated soap and immersing it in hot water. I'll try that next time.
This is the canolive soap curing so it can be hand milled. Who ate the top of the bread? Hot bread is just soooo good.......If I can't get the hand milling process sped up I'll just make small batches of the gourmet soaps. I made extra of the canolive so I can use it to make my laundry liquid anyway. Hmmmm, wonder how long this phase of my creativity will last?