Friday, June 28, 2013

Staking my claim...

Rightio- I have no idea why this script isn't working properly...but basically it's me claiming this blog as mine on Bloglovin!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

To make sure you don't "lose" me on Monday when Google Reader ceases to on the Follow me on Bloglovin button over there -> on the right! :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wholemeal chocolate cake with coffee frosting....

For your viewing pleasure..... you're welcome!

Even the "help" wanted some......

Wholemeal chocolate cake with coffee frosting
2 cups plain wholemeal flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
250g very soft butter
1cup milk ( or buttermilk, sour cream, yoghurt etc)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1tablespoon strong instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water

125g very soft butter
1 tablespoon strong instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
1 1/2 to 2 cups icing sugar.

Cake Method:
Preheat oven to 180c ( fan forced) .Grease and line 2 18cm cake tins.
Place all cake ingredients in bowl and mix for 5minutes until well blended.
Divide equally between tins and then place in oven.
Cook 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre of cake comes out clean. Cool in tins 5 mins then turn out & cool completely.

Frosting method:

Beat softened butter with coffee-add icing sugar until a consistency of whipped cream is achieved. Spread half over one cake, place other on top then use remainder to spread over top.

Cut a slice and taste test.......wouldn't want to be giving anyone else a slice if the cake was below par now-would we? :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sunshine & sniffles.....

When I went outside this morning at 7am I was greeted by a lovely crisp morning-with frost covering the landscape. In the distance a thick fog carpeted the paddocks and water was starting to drip from branches.

I let the hens out and went back inside to discover that it was -3.8c at that point....explained why my toes were so cold....I suggest that Birkenstock thongs are not the best choice of footwear on mornings like these!

Broadbean seedling ringed with frost
Broccoli  and cauliflower seedlings

I have come down with a case of the winter sniffles and was intrigued to find a method for a DIY Eucalyptus Vapor Rub online. With all the ingredients at hand I decided to try it for myself-leaving out the Vitamin E oil mentioned.
Ingredients: Olive oil, beeswax and eucalyptus oil
6 oz ( 2/3cup) olive oil with approx. 20 gram chopped beeswax
Beeswax and olive oil after melting over a low heat in a saucepan-eucalyptus oil about to be added.

Mixture poured into jar and already starting to set
After 10 minutes the rub is almost set.
DIY Eucalyptus Rub.
Ingredients: 6oz ( 2/3 cup) Olive oil, 20gram beeswax, eucalyptus oil ( I used 10-15ml)

Method: Pour olive oil into heatproof container and add roughly chopped beeswax. Melt over low heat, stirring. Allow to cool slightly then add eucalyptus oil and pour into small jar. Allow to set and apply as required.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Seasons & Superstars...

I've had a wonderful weekend...spent with family and friends. The highlight was attending the Saturday matinee session of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne with our two daughters. I have loved the music for 40 odd years but have never before had the opportunity to see a performance live. I was mesmerised and thought that setting the age old story in modern times was a touch of brilliance!

So here I am a few days later-back in our home in the country. The winter sun is shining, next door's new batch of calves ( Holstein or Friesian..I'm not sure which) have been gambolling ( love that word!) on the wet grass and I managed an hour's weed spraying in the back yard.

Every thing is growing well- the seeds planted recently have sprouted and the brassica seedlings I planted out are all looking strong.

We have had lemons off our tree-but will be waiting a year or so for fruit off the two orange trees. As oranges are cheap and plentiful at this time of the year I purchased a 3kg bag yesterday and decided to try my hand at a "healthy" version of a whole orange cake.


2 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon psyllium husks
1/2 cup water
120g coconut oil
1 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1 ts baking powder
1 whole orange.
Preheat oven to 180c. Grease & line pan/s
Place psyllium husks in a bowl with water, stir & set to one side.
Melt coconut oil
Chop orange into quarters ( remove excess pips) and place in food processor. Process until pureed.
Add remaining ingredients and process until combined.
Pour into prepared pan.
Cook in oven until done-should be golden brown on top and slightly moist in the middle ( insert skewer to check)
Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then turn out.
Allow to totally cool before cutting.
This makes a moist and mild tasting cake-although not a low fat option it is full of fibre and healthy oils. I used a pan that makes 8 individual loaves-which I then cut in half to provide 16 serves.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kitchen capers.....

After a night of good, soaking rain we awake to a winter's day snug under a blanket of cloud, drizzle deepens the colours of the landscape and I decide to try my hand at a couple of cooking ideas that have been tormenting me! :)

First up is an egg and processed sugar free wholemeal chocolate & banana bread based on a recipe found here.

Health food made tasty?

Egg free Wholemeal & Chocolate Banana Bread

Dry Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups wholemeal plain ( All Purpose) flour
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder ( unsweetened)
3/4 teaspoon bi-carb soda ( Baking Soda)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:
1/4 cup plain yoghurt ( could be replaced with non-dairy)
1/4 cup maple syrup ( could be replaced with honey)
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla 
3 overripe bananas-mashed well
1 tablespoon psyllium husks -mixed with 1 cup water.

Preheat fan-forced oven to 170c. Grease & line a large loaf pan.
Mix together dry ingredients.

Mix wet ingredients together really well-you may need to "squish" the psyllium to blend with the wet ingredients.

 Add wet ingredients to dry and mix together- if you think the mix is too dry then just add a little more should be a "sticky" mix but not really wet.

Place in pan, smooth top and cook until skewer inserted in middle comes out clean-approx. 30 - 40 mins.

 Leave in pan for 5 or 10 mins then turn out and cut the end off to taste.......

 I think that slices of this bread will toast well for breakfast. :) Next time I'm going to add cinnamon or cardamom to the dry ingredients.

Next up was quinoa. I love the taste & texture of quinoa but have never prepared it before. After a little research on the Net I decided to use my rice cooker and prepare it for my lunch.

Sorry about the fuzzy photos!

Tomato, cheese and spinach quinoa
Serves two as a main.
1 cup quinoa
1 tin diced tomato
1 good handful of freshly picked and chopped spinach
Favourite cheese-chopped or shredded
Herbs (fresh or dried)

Place quinoa in rice cooker and pour over 1 3/4 cup water.
 Swish around until mixed. Put lid on and set rice cooker to cook.

When cooked take lid off and allow to steam dry for a minute or two. Turn rice cooker off and pour tomato over, throw in spinach, herbs and most of the cheese. Stir well.

Place in bowl, top with rest of cheese and devour!

Whilst in the kitchen I had a startling visitor when I went to wash the dishes......
maybe it's a sign that I should give up doing the dishes?


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mumma Bear....

Recently I was involved with a recipe swap held over at  the Down T oEarth Forum. We were placed in a group of 4 or so people-and you then posted the same recipe to the other people in your group.
 I used two of the recipes I received over the weekend-as we had a houseful of people for a couple of birthdays. One was a recipe for Oatmeal Pancakes and the other was for a chocolate cake...nom,nom!
I *may* have turned 45.....5 years to go until 50! How did that happen?
We also had a friend's daughter staying whilst her parents were away and she happened to turn 13 whilst she was with us. I offered to bake her a cake & cook a roast lunch ( which ended up being for 14 of us!) and she promptly requested a chocolate teddy bear cake!
Ergo I give you Mumma Bear! :)
Sorry about the dark photo...and the fact that I haven't got step by step photos...because I just decided to wing it after she showed me a pic from the Net.
The eyes & nose are actually plastic teddy bear making supplies purchased really cheaply locally.
Oh...and I'm a little excited that one of my DIY projects has been featured over at Kammy's Korner.!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Have you ever thought about what it must be like for a pea seed?
Buried beneath a heap of dirt...plunged into darkness.
Till you feel yourself start to swell and yearn.....
You break through that heavy soil and strive to grow...
To reach for the sky-doing what it is you were meant to do.
That dark, heavy place long forgotten.
Yet still hoping that the chickens don't scratch you to shreds.
 Sometimes we all need a fence to protect us from the chickens.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I've arrived home from my trip.

The place is still standing, the vegie garden survived the attack of the flying chicken ( the rooster noisily alerted His Lordship to the escapee!) and the washing basket is full.

There is no other place I would rather be.

Back later....after I've found the bottom of the washing basket and clipped some chicken wings!
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