Archive for the ‘Household’ Category

My Very Own Chocolate Biscuits

September 5, 2015

I love to bake.  I learnt to bake at my mother’s knee as a preschooler.  I know a lot of people that are afraid of making cakes and things because they feel it is an exact science.  I have never had that problem.

However, biscuits are my kryptonite.  I can just never tell when they are done.  Or maybe I am just not patient enough to get all those batches cooked for the right amount of time.  Something.

Until now.

I have even developed my own recipe.

And to top it off they are gluten-free.  Primal-inspired, even.  (I like baking with sugar, I must admit.)

And here it is.  But, remember, I believe in sharing my recipes for love, not money, and I want you to do the same.  As my Mum would tell us, a recipe is never less good by letting someone else enjoy making it. My recipes are covered by the usual copyright.

Chocolatey, Triple-Choc, Choc-Chip Biscuits

(as named by Little Princess)

This makes about 36 – depending on how much dough is eaten before it gets to the oven.

2 cups (about 220g) almond meal
1/4 teaspoon of salt flakes (just a pinch if you are using table salt)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup of butter
3 Tbsp sugar (I use raw caster sugar)
4 Tbsp cocoa
~250g chocolate chips/chunks of your choice (I used 1/2 250g packet of choc chips and 1/2 375g packet of those big white chocolate melts, but you can use whatever you would like, even pieces from a block of chocolate, adjusting the amount you blend them.)

Put everything except the chocolate chips in the blender/food processor and blitz it until it is combined.  It will be a sandy texture, but sticks together when you squeeze it.

Add in chocolate and give it another blitz to mix it up and get the chocolate pieces about the size that you would like.  Remember, mixed chunks are good.

Make into balls about the size of a walnut and squash a little into fat circles on a lined tray.

Bake at 180deg C for about 10-12min.  After about 8 minutes I open the over and give each one a little press with my finger.  This seems to make them a little less puffy and a little more dense.  I might be kidding myself, though!  I am notoriously bad at cooking biscuits – never knowing when they are done.  I have noticed that if you remove these the moment you can smell them in the oven, they are about right – assuming your nose works like mine.

(Share recipes for love, not money.  Rights reserved.)

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What do you do?

April 15, 2014

Possum is 7 years 11 months

Bandicoot is 5 years 9 months

Little Princess is 3 years 3 months

What Did I Do Today?
What did I do today?
Today I left some dishes dirty,
The bed got made around 3:30.
The diapers soaked a little longer,
The odor grew a little stronger.
The crumbs I spilled the day before,
Are staring at me from the floor.
The fingerprints there on the wall,
Will likely be there still next fall.
The dirty streaks on those window panes,
Will still be there next time it rains.
Shame on you, you sit and say,
Just what did you do today?

I nursed a baby till he slept,
I held a toddler while she wept.
I played a game of hide and seek,
I squeezed a toy so it would squeak.
I pulled a wagon, sang a song,
Taught a child right from wrong.
What did I do this whole day through?
Not much that shows, I guess that’s true.
Unless you think that what I’ve done,
Might be important to someone,
With bright green eyes and soft brown hair,
If that is true…I’ve done my share.

Author Unknown.

My Front Door

June 23, 2012

As you know, I have been feeling a bit grim lately.

One of the things that has been really getting me down is my front door.  Since F1 came along, and especially since this bout of depression, housework is pretty much on a survival basis (as is everything else.)  Even at the best of times, a lot of housework doesn’t inspire me.

However, it has really been bothering me that when I arrive home, I go to the front door and it is dirty.  I put my key into a dirty door.  Yuck.

I am already feeling bad, and I know my house is a comparative bombsite, but to have it greet me before I even get inside – well it is just awful.

So this morning, I cleaned my front door.

IMG_4882

As you can see, our front door is a very cheery colour.  I love coloured front doors.  I grew up in a house with a green front door (number 32, just like Paddington Bear).  When we were house hunting I completely fell in love with a house with a red front door.  The house was totally inappropriate for our needs, but I still think about that house because of it’s door.

And now, I can see our lovely, coloured front door.

It just gives me a little buzz inside.

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Pancake Day

February 21, 2012

Possum is 5 years 9 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 7 months

Little Princess is 1 year 1 month (13 months)

 

Lent is fast approaching, but what do we need first?  Pancake Day!  And if you are around these parts, you will know why the French call it Fat Tuesday.

We started the day with blinis.  Yes, “blinis” not “blintzes”.  They are  similar but they are not the same.

A couple of years ago, DH and I backpacked through Russia (amongst some other wonderful places.)  Oh, alright, maybe not a couple of years ago, but we like to think that the years aren’t going that fast.  On that trip we stayed in homestay accommodation (quite a mixed bag of experiences, there!) and we got to taste quite a variety of blinis for breakfast.

The best blinis in the whole world were for the Homestay Wife in Krasnoyask (I have since forgotten her name, but I have not forgotten her blinis.  I also have not forgotten her husband telling us that she cooked them for him every single morning.  Wowsers!)

Well, this recipe tastes a lot like hers: ~tantalising link to blini recipe~

It is worth reading the comments and actually paying attention to the description of when to turn the blini (I forget to do that every time and about the first three end up in the bin until I remember those instructions are there…)

The wonderful Krasnoyask Blinis (needs capitalisation) were filled with smetna and rolled somewhat like a burrito.  She then fried them to re-warm and seal them.

I decided to make them like that this time, but to put them in a casserole dish and reheat them that way.

Now, these little fellows are fiddly to make, and knowing how crazy life can get around here, I decided to make the blinis the day before.  What a brilliant idea.  EXCEPT – well, as I explained to Sam-O, blinis purpose in life really seems to be the vehicle ferrying the melted butter to ones mouth.  Oops.

This is the second batch:

 IMG_3872

I would have to say that they were quite a success.

I even managed to keep a couple aside to use for the boys’ lunch the next day.  These ones I spread with nutella (I warmed it up so that it spread thinly and easily).  Then I folded it in halves and in halves again so that it was a quarter of a circle shape.  Win!!  (This idea is not my own.  We had some super yummy ones done just this way at the Peter and Paul Monument in St Petersberg.  MmmHmm.)

 image

(Yes, alright, this isn’t one of our pics, but that’s where the blini man was.  This pic is from http://russianworldforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=713)

 

For lunch we had a German Pancake (more carbs…):

6 eggs / 1 cup flour / 1 cup milk / 1/2 cup sugar

Pop a hot dish in the oven with butter in it.  When the butter is all melted, pour in the batter and bake away until fluffy-ish.  Brush with a little butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  (Thank you to the Aldi Australian Cookbook for this one…)

 

Afternoon tea involved store bought pikelets.  Pikelets are not my forte and Possum had his first date over from big school, so I didn’t want to stuff up. (And let’s be honest, just how many hours can you stand over the stove flipping pancakes?)

image

And for dinner – well a nice chicken curry packed with veges really seemed to the anecdote required.

Can you afford to buy local? Can you afford not to?

January 25, 2012

Possum is 5 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 6 months

Little Possum is 1 year

 

We are lucky, lucky, lucky to live where we do.  Not only are we in the west, but our country, through whatever means, weathered the last GFC fairly well.

An upside is that our $ is strong.

A downside is that our $ is strong.

We are able to shop around for cheap goods, especially with the internet.  This means we can get some special or interesting things that we would never be able to afford here.

Unfortunately, this has the effect of sending our strong $ off-shore, and it is hurting our local industry.

So what do we do?  Buy locally made?  Restrict ourselves to local service providers?  Well, I would like to, but I just can’t afford to do that all the time.

Liz over at life, loves and liz (me) has come with a timely reminder:  it isn’t all or nothing.  We can all help in a small way.  I suggest reading her article and joining in her challenge:

so my challenge to each and every one of you is this: at the end of your supermarket shop this week look into your trolley, select two items and if they are not produced within australia, swap them for a similar product that is.

Easy, huh.

On a related note, I have been concerned about the milk that we buy.  I buy the cheap supermarket milk.  I do this because we go through approximately 3L of milk a day, and it costs a lot of money.  However, I have heard reports (haven’t we all) about how this is sending our dairy farmers broke and that in 10 years time, our milk will be imported (ick.  I like it fresh.  And local.)  So, I am going to try swapping out one bottle of the cheapy stuff, for one bottle of the name brand milk each week.  Only a small change, but a little help along the way.

What changes do you think you can make?