Monday, December 29, 2008

Tomato Surplus

I had a gut feeling (pardon the pun) that I was going to do so well with this season's tomatoes. Well I have done exactly that.

Today I made 4 kilo of my own organic tomatoes into sauce. Last year was my first time making sauce and this was from home grown tomatoes given to us.

This year..... mrgreen

Tomatoes, onion, ginger cooking away before the last ingredients are added. Once again I have used the Ezy-sauce recipe on the bottle.

Three smaller bottles are for Deb, Josephine & Amy. Five big bottles are for Pat & myself. More so me as I lurv tomato sauce. I had been saving the last of 2008 sauce for special meals. Now I can be a bit more free with it.

Just need to make labels and once cool, stick them on and pop it away in the pantry.

This is where taking food from the garden to our plate makes all those hours in the garden worth while. I feel a sense of pride when I look at the end product and think..... wow I grew and cooked that.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Meat Savings

Money is getting tighter and Christmas is next week. How is your freezer looking meat wise??

After going to the shops yesterday, mine is looking a tad bit healthier.

Each fortnight I allow ex amount of $$ for meat and that is it. So I'm always after a bargain and I found this one at our local IGA stupidmarket.

Whole rump going out for $4.99 a kilo, this pack cost us, $24.95 and was cut up into 8 meals for Pat & myself.

This costing us roughly $3.11 per meat meal. I may have got an extra 2 meals if I cut the meat thinner, but hells bells, gotta have rump thick and juicy on the dinner plate with all those yummy organic vegies. mrgreen

I try and get a feed of meat no dearer than $5.00 per meal for who ever is home for that meal. This time round I scored the jackpot.

Hope you too are scoring some pre Christmas bargains in the meat area to ease the $$$ pain as the silly season gets closer by the day.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Zucchinis & Eggs

Zucchinis out in the garden are just booming along and its time to make zucchini slice. This is very popular in my house. So popular I have to hide it in the freezer, as Amy takes it to work every day until its all gone. Me, I see it as a great side vegie in the winter months.

All those chook eggs are just so fresh and this slice is a great way to use up those excess eggs.

Fresh out the oven and a couple of squares for my tea hot and the rest in the freezer.

Making another 1 today and maybe if time is on my side tomorrow, another one then.

Also I am making a boiled fruit cake today for Pat.

It's busy time here in my kitchen. mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Lunch Today

Tigerella and Black Russian tomatoes sliced on some cracker biscuits for my lunch. Simple and so enjoyable, savoring the flavours of these home grown tomatoes.

Pretty well.... eating our own tomatoes now into the new year. mrgreen

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Food Saving

On payday Pat found some cheap economy 1 kilo packets bacon for $4.99. These packets are usually the end cut offs and such.

Having a food saver machine at home, I bought a packet as its a cheap way of getting diced bacon. Not much good for bacon & eggs as a lot is cut thick and in chunks.

I'm not looking at using a lot of diced bacon at this time of the year, unless I make fried rice or a spud salad. But the 1 kilo pkt was just too good to leave behind. I've seen diced bacon priced at $9.99 in shops. Why pay for the privilege of having it diced for you.

After dicing the bacon, I made small pouch bags and sealed the meat inside. Suggested time frame for pork in the freezer is 6 months. By using my food saver kit, 2 to 3 years in the freezer. So there is no rush for me to use up the bacon in the next 6 months.

Not everyone has a food saver, but still looking and buying bacon this way and dicing at home, will still save you $$$$$.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Apricot Jam

Last weekend when James was visiting, he told us about his fruit trees (plum, apricot & quince) in his backyard, James had been living there for about a week and Con his dog is keeping the birds away from the trees.

The other day I was lucky enough to score just over 7 lbs of apricots off his tree. Today I have turned it into jam.

One thing I like to do is when given bulk food that is made into a jam or sauce, is give that kind person back a jar of the end product. Even though James said not to bother, I'll pop a jar of jam in his fridge as a thank you.

This weekend we are taking around our old fridge for him, so I'll see if I can collect some more apricots as well.

Apricots in the sink having a rinse. Not many bird beak marks on them, Con keeps the birds out of the backyard. I know these aren't a "Moorpark" apricot as that is what we had in our backyard before it died.

Lovely new thick spoon for stirring the fruit. One year I actually snapped my jamming spoon in half. Pain in the bum when that happened. At this stage I had the sugar warming away in the oven.

After the sugar was added, I let it boil (stirring all the time) making sure it doesn't catch or burn.

While this goes on, Pat helps by washing all the jars & lids in water so hot, I can't put my hands in it. Removes any labels and glue. Then into the oven to dry and sterilize them.

All that needs now is to cool down and make & stick labels on them. That big jar is for Debbie, she keeps me in sheep poo through out the year. Red lid jar is for my niece Jo and the little green lidded jar is for James. One of the front jars is for Amy & Benny and the rest if for me & Pat.

Now I'm going to tell you my recipe as people say my jam is sooooooooooooooooo lovely.

This is between you and me okay? No sharing this around with family

7 lbs apricots
5.5 lbs sugar warmed
1 cup water

Cut your fruit up and add to heavy pan with the water. Bring to boil slowly and simmer for 20 mins.

While that is going on...warm your sugar up in the oven. (Figured this is done, so when added to the fruit it doesn't cool the mixture down)

Pop a plate in the fridge and get it chilled. Then later on your ready to see if the jam is setting or not, and if ready for popping in jars.

Add the sugar gradually and boil till the jam sets on that plate in the fridge.

I use jars with metal lids. As the jam cools, it tightens the lid and becomes air tight and the jam will last for years. Debbie's jar has a clear preserve cover on it, as I couldn't find the lid.

Okay so you have your apricots be they yours, neighbours, families or bought cheap at the markets....... what are you waiting for ...get some jars and make yourself some beautiful jam.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Grubs Up

My dinner tonight, just finished and was it yummy. There was 7 food items harvested from my vegie patch today.

In the green vegies there was asparagus & broccoli.

Steamed potatoes were harvested this morning, variety is "Nicola". The taste is a clean, crisp full flavour.

In the mushroom sauce I made from scratch (no packet food here) with spring onion from my garden.

In the butter, was my own fresh garlic and chives. The garlic is fresh and when using my garlic press, I could hear the crunch as it was pushed through the press.

You know if I had more land, the steak could have come from my own cow too.........

All that playing out in the garden is paying off and has been for weeks now. Soon I'll be harvesting tomatoes, eggplants, climbing beans plus even more.

I know what has gone into the soil to feed the plants. I'm on a first name basis with what I ate tonight and the best part is...... its organic and freshest as it can be. Unless I move my kitchen out next to my vegie patch.

Have you checked out my main blog? If not have a look as there is a lot happening.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008


While out shopping today Pat & I came across these strawberries at our local green grocer. Roughly the weight came to 1 kilo, costing $2.50.

I don't want to guts into them, so none are wasted. How do I save the best ones for later on early next week?

After washing them and patting dry with some paper towel (which is then composted) I put the fruit that wasn't bruised or soft into the "food saver" canister.

By removing the air in the canister and refrigerated, these strawberries will keep in this condition for a week.

To open the canister I just have to press the little gray button and once the air stops hissing out, I can open it.

Nothing worse than spending money and food wasting through poor storage. Or too much and not doing something with it.

I want to buy more of these canisters as I can store spinach or lettuce as well, without damaging the food.

Off now to have a feed on strawberries and cream mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Drying Herbs

My parsley is starting to go to seed. With so many healthy leaves still on the plants, I thought I'd take advantage of this and dry some.

Up early before the sun gets onto the plants as this can lower the flavour of the herb. I was enjoying the early morning out the back with my ducks and chooks making noises.

I should get enough jars to see me through those lean days where parsley is scarce in my garden. A jar for my dad too, as he loves the flavour the parsley gives off in his cooking. Dad said its so much nicer than the bought variety.

If you don't have a dehydrator and want to dry herbs, you can use a microwave or your oven on low. I tried the oven way once...... forgot the herbs were in there, boy did that stink the house out eek . First time I used a dehydrator I borrow one from a friend and that sold me on getting my own.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Almond Chocolate Fingers

Due to receiving a request for the almond fingers, I have decided to post the biscuit recipes here, over the next few days. They can be found on my main blog

60g (2oz) butter
125g (4oz) ground almonds
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons plain flour


60g (2oz) butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup liquid glucose
125g (4oz) flaked almonds
2 tablespoons water
90g (3oz) dark chocolate
30g (1oz) copha


Place butter, ground almonds and sugar in small bowl of electric mixer.

Beat until well combined.

Add eggs, mix well.

Add sifted flour and stir through.

Grease a tray (I used a biscuit tray) and line with greaseproof paper and grease lightly again.

Bake in moderately hot oven for 7 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove and spread with topping while still warm.

Return to oven and cook another 5 minutes or until topping turns a pale golden brown..

Cut into fingers while still warm and cool on a wire rack.

Melt the copha and chocolate in a double saucepan simmering over hot water. Pour topping into a bowl and dip biscuits into the chocolate. Placing on an alfoil tray to set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

This is a very sickly biscuit and so make the finger sizes small rather than big. I also harden the biscuits off once dipped in the chocolate in the freezer, to set them quicker. Also make sure your tray is chilled before placing the dipped biscuits on it.


I found it a bit fiddly trying to remove the grease paper, so I turned the slice out onto a clean table and peeled the paper away and cut the slice up.

Resource: The big book of beautiful biscuits by the Woman's Weekly.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Whitening Leeks

Ever wondered how those leeks are made so lovely and white?? People have different ways of blanching them. I thought I'd tell you how I blanch mine.

These leeks were picked last night for the chicken pie I was cooking for tea. I popped a pencil next to the leeks, to give you an idea of their size.

The whiter the stalks the more tender the leeks are and also less waste. I used toilet rolls or kitchen toweling paper rolls cut in half.

By the time the leeks are big enough for harvesting, those leeks have become lovely and white. Perfect for the dinner plate.

All sliced and ready for the chicken pie. Toilet rolls are not wasted either, into the worm farm they go.

If you haven't grown leeks, give them a go. Great flavour and a good fill in for when you run out of onions in the kitchen.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

About That Pasta Meal.

How about that photo?? Doesn't it look yummo??

Well I am very proud to say it was such a hit and the pasta came up beautiful. Very pleased with how the whole meal turned out.

So pasta is taken off the shopping list and I have another food item I can make from my chook eggs.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Eggs Equal Pasta.

I have found another way to make good use of the chook eggs I collect each day.

Today I made ribbon pasta for the first time. Never even seen it being made or tasted home made pasta. Tonight we will be guinea pigs for my first pasta batch.

It was my birthday on Sunday and Pat bought me the pasta maker. Seeing the pasta dough going from this stage to.....

This stage and thinness, so easy was really interesting and way so cool.

The end result, ribbon pasta for tonights meal with cream chicken & mushroom sauce to go on top.

Even if it's a flop....I'll post a photo tomorrow of the end result of the whole meal.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Are You A Trader?

Are you a trader?? I am. mrgreen

I love to swap produce from my backyard for other foods or something to help my garden out.

Last night my nephew called in with these oranges and mandarins from their own trees. For this lovely bounty of citrus, I gave them 3 dozen eggs.

No money was exchanged and we each off loaded a surplus of food and in return we got something we don't have in our own backyards.

What a great way to not have food go to waste.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tips For A Better Meringue Pie.

These tips were emailed to me yesterday, hope they help solve some of your problems with your meringues.

Many thanks to who emailed me. biggrin

"Troubleshooting Meringue - If you have a problem with meringue, follow one of these suggestions for solving it:

Weeping - When water seeps between the filling and the meringue, the pie is weeping. This is caused by spreading the meringue over a cool filling, which prevents the meringue from baking completely. Solution: Make sure the filling is hot, even boiling, before pouring it into the pie shell. Immediately spread the meringue over the filling. The hot filling will begin to cook the meringue from the bottom, ensuring even cooking throughout.

Beading - This happens when water droplets form tiny beads on the surface of the meringue. It's caused by over-baking the meringue. When egg whites bake too long, they begin to tighten, squeezing out little drops of moisture. Over-baking also produces a tough meringue. Solution: Bake meringues just until they are light brown and dry to the touch. Egg whites need to be cooked to 160 degrees F. but not so long that they are overdone.

Shrinkage - Meringues may shrink during baking, separating from the crust. This is caused by the meringue not clinging to the crust. Solution: Make sure the meringue is spread over the filling and touches the crust around the entire edge; do not leave any openings around the pie.

Limp or soggy - Humidity affects a meringue's texture. Damp, humid days may cause it to be limp and sticky. Solution: Ideally, meringues should be made on dry days. The cornstarch mixture used in these recipes helps them hold up under humid conditions, but to ensure success, plan to bake when it is less humid. "

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie.

Lots of lemons can be seen in people's backyards hanging from the trees. Home grown lemons are great for desserts, spreads and anything else you can find in a recipe book or passed down through your family.

My lemon tree is still too young to produce lemons. But I am able to source them out from friends.

Today I made a lemon meringue pie. Thought I'd post the recipe here. With photos of my pie, before it was eaten.


2 cups plain flour
pinch salt
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
185 g (6 oz.) butter/margarine
1 to 2 tablespoons water.

Lemon Filling:

4 tablespoons plain flour
4 tablespoons cornflour
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups water
90 g (3 oz.) butter/margarine
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
4 egg-yokes


4 egg-whites
2 tablespoons water
pinch salt
3/4 cup castor sugar (I use normal sugar)


Sift flour, salt & icing sugar into basin, rub butter into dry ingredients. Add lemon juice & sufficient water to combine ingredients. Press dough into a smooth ball, chill 30 mins.

Roll out onto lightly floured surface until large enough to fit 20 cm or 23 cm pie plate. Press firmly down into the plate. Do not stretch the pastry, as this can cause shrinking during baking. Prick base and sides throughly with a fork. This will stop pastry rising during cooking.

Bake in moderately hot oven 10 to 15 min, or until golden brown. Set aside until cold.

Spread cold lemon filling into cold pastry case, top with meringue.

Spread meringue to edge of pastry case to form a complete seal.

Bake in moderate oven 5 to 10 mins, or until lightly brown.


Combine sugar and sifted flours in saucepan. Stir in combined lemon juice & water gradually; add lemon rind.
Place over medium heat, stir constantly until mixture boils & thickens. Its important that the mixture boils. Reduce heat, stir for further 2 mins.

Remove from heat, add butter/margarine and lightly beaten egg-yokes; stir, off heat, until butter is melted, set aside until cool.


Combine egg-white, water & salt in small basin of electric mixer, beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beat until sugar is dissolved.

Enjoy mrgreen

Resource: The Australian Woman's Weekly. Great dessert cookbook.

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