Sunday, December 26, 2010

Homemade Christmas Treats

This first pic was a real treat for us. The Garrett family came Christmas caroling one night. I was sooo good!! I couldn't get over it and I hoped they didn't think we too weird for asking them to sing on the driveway so our (hiding) neighbours could hear.(L to R Me, DS2 Nicole, Dad Garrett, Mum Garrett, Deardre, Emily, DH, front is Julia (?) and DS1)

Peppermint Fudge with crushed candy canes.  500g dark chocolate melts/other, 65g butter, 1 can of swt cond milk. Heat in pan and mix. Take of heat and add a tsp or two of vanilla and a tablespoon of peppermint ext. Pour into lined tray and sprinkle over crushed candy canes.
NEXT year I'll do chocolate thin cookies squished together with a crushed candy cane butter icing.

 Childhood treat, Malt Buttons (or I call them choco biccy balls). 250g biccies crushed, 1 can swt cond milk, 2 tablespoons coco (if you use organic or raw then use less, it's stronger), 1 cup desic. coconut and an extra half cup for rolling in at the end. Mix all and roll in extra coconut. Refrigerate.
*Tip, the rice cookies that are gluten free are easier to crush, need less swt cond milk (maybe half the amt) and taste yummy. Try not to crush the biccies to a powder, the odd crunchy bit is nice.
 Fruit Mince scrolls and gingerbread.

Candied Almonds. 2 Tbpns each of water, honey and oil (flavourless like grape seedoil) bring to boil in frying pan. Add 2 cups toasted and cooled almonds and 1/4tsp - no more! of cayenne. Stir until all liquid has reduced. Pour onto baking paper lined tray to cool.

Herbed Salt Rub. Crushed rock salt with thyme, bay, sage, parsley, lemon verbena, lemon zest... I think that's it. Great for chicken and fish.

All of them were loved!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lettuce catch up

Har de har...
Anyway, here's DS1 with one of our oak leaf lettuces from the garden. We've had it coming out of our ears and I'm ashamed to say some went to seed as we couldn't eat them quickly enough. Re-planting as I go.

 A visitor on the Christmas tree, spot him?
 DS2's 2nd birthday and ginger biccy cream cake ( you know when you squish the g.biccies together with a bit of jam and cream, cover in cream, refridgerate overnight and then it's like a soft creamy cake? Well that was it)

 My FIRST ever time at growing flowers that are not for companion planting or edible purposes. Just pretty. We have lemon yellow, fuchsia pink and blushing white colours. So pretty!
 My precious little dwarf red shatoot mulberry tree is doing well in it's large pot. I was wondering how a fruiting tree didn't flower but produce fruit and then it answered my question. It has flower fluff! Great teaching moment for the kids, fun to tickle and exciting to watch them mature.
 Some of our tomatoes. These are little love heart shaped ones. They're so so sweet and even I (the tomato blase) love them. I ticks me off at the shops when they sell tomatoes on the truss, all ripe and ready, I doubt anyone buying them knows they're sprayed/gassed to ripen all at once like bananas. They ripen two at a time from the top to the bottom of the truss. So nice for a daily treat!
 The heady sweet, musky, curry leaf tree flowers.
 6 year old honey (or older). We're finally digging into this as our runny honey stash has depleted. I'm already a third through after making the honey almonds for Christmas gifts. It's so yummy, honey seems to get a stronger taste over time.
Nice catching up with you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Summer's here, I'm getting there.

So it's Summer and I'm barely getting the rest of the vegie patches clear and putting the runner & bush beans in... but we have heaps of herbs, beetroot, lettuce coming out of our ears, celery and an a huge amount of passionfruits waiting to ripen.

We ran out of pesto the other day (shock!) It didn't dawn on me we had all the ingredients at hand until DH suggested it. I used plain and lemon basil, cashews, Parmesan and olive oil... er, can't remember what else.
It was GREAT! The colour was flippin' amazing! I used cashews because I wanted the pine nuts whole in the pasta dish.

The silverbeet/beetroot/lettuce/garlic/weed patch. Looking scraggly but very productive. Who has time for weeding?! I just about manage to keep my toddler and pre-schooler out of the vegies let alone stop them from copying me when I pull things out.

The re-vamped Strawberry patch. Since this pic (a month ago) the plants are tall and fruiting. Shame about that bane of my life -onion weed. grrrr!

Lettuce, celery and tomato bushes. I planted to the tomatoes as per Gina's instructions from Steve Solomon's book (Gardening When it Counts). I stripped the stem of all but the top leaves and made a ditch and duge it in lying down to have only those top leaves poking out of the ground upright. They've hardly needed watering and they're so healthy and producing like MAD! I'll be doing that every year from now on!

The garlic bulbs are small this year but the cloves are plump and pack a punch! I think these are the easiest thing to grow. I'm not sure if it's the done thing, but I always pull out the flower shoot that grows up from the stem. It only makes sense right? Why would you want all that nutrient and goodness going to the flower and seeds. It's what I do with everything else, pluck the flowers off or pick it before they bolt.

A few of the stems snapped when I was lazily pulling them out of the ground instead of doing it the right way. The beauty of that though is that they'll be perfectly fine there for another week or two ... or .. er...
until I dig it for the next lot of vegies.