Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

8 May 2017

Autumn Activities

The last couple of weeks have been a mix of relaxation, warming winter food and either planting cold season crops or feeding and mulching areas for the Winter so they will be ready for planting in Spring.

Sunday 23 April we met with my daughter, her partner and her friend at Iandra Castle, Greenethorpe - which is about 45 minutes from home - for an open day and took our picnic lunch. A fitting place for PC and I to go :). The property has a few open days a year and we will probably attend the next few to see the changes in the season in the gardens.
Here are some outdoor views and the sale sign when the property was subdivided in 1916. The property was huge and I want to locate the history as the owner was revered by the locals due to the services etc he implemented for the area.


 It would take too long to decide which of the inside views to post as there were so many interesting things, so, if you ever visit Young, NSW,  Australia then type this into your computer search engine - -  and reserve a whole day to look at it. It's definitely worth it!

Mmmmm...... A couple of Winter warmer recipes I've recently discovered online. Both meet the approval of PC....I'm having a run of success there!
The one above is Teriyaki Chicken and the one below is Chick Pea and Vegetable Curry.
Both can be frozen and reheated but the curry goes a tad mushy due to the vegetable content.

There's been some more rain this week. Only a few millimetres but the seedlings virtually jumped out of their trays. PC dug out the old grape vine and softened the soil for the pea seedlings to go along the east fence in the next few days. I've been researching and I can grow a fig tree in the conditions here, so when the stump of the other tree is removed, it will be replaced with a brown turkey as that is what I have had success with before in extreme summer heat and frosty Winters.

Right -This is a close up of the white patches in the above garden. We had our first frost today! No wonder I felt half frozen when I climbed out of bed this morning...brrrr.

The moss on the rocks appreciates the recent moisture as well. I thought frost may hamper it's growth but it seems to thrive on it.

I'm looking forward to much observation and note taking during my first Winter here :).

RobynLouise XO

2 Jun 2015

Tempting, Toothless, Temperatures and Tasty

Look…look….I found a local who sells free range eggs! $4/dozen if you collect and $5 delivered. I fried 2 to have with my bacon this morning and they are the freshest, most golden eggs I have had since I had my hens on the farm 2 years ago. Nothing like the flavour of a fresh egg. I could be tempted to eat lots of these poached, fried and scrambled but I’ll be good and use most of them for cooking. Beats the beejeebers out of the pale runny “organic” eggs you can buy from the supermarket. She only lives a couple of blocks away too. Another thing I love about living in a village J.

I was eating crunchy ANZAC biscuits last night and thought one bit was overcooked then realised I was a bit short on the eating equipment! Excuse the "morning face" WYSIWYG!!

Thank goodness for friends to ask (thanks Di!) and Dentists on line and that they have a vacancy tomorrow. Doesn’t change the fact that it’s going to cost me a couple of hundred dollars L.

BRRRRRRRR………it’s definitely Winter!! By CRIKEY it was cold last night! I lit the fire in the wood stove again but made sure I stacked some extra wood in it before I retired for the night. There was a nice crispy first of the year frost in my back yard at 7.30am when I finally dragged myself out of bed. Didn’t think to take a photo but everyone who’s lived with it knows what a good frost looks like – right? So I thought I'd post a picture to make everyone in the cold climes feel warmer.

Made myself some chicken stock yesterday in the slow cooker using chicken necks and then added to it to make chicken and vegetable soup for lunch today. Nothing like hot homemade soup on a cold day. The ingredients are all purchased but I hope to change that in the future, well except for the chicken, but then maybe I can find someone around here who will give me a non laying freebie or sell it to me cheap.

Cheers to all plus keep warm wishes to those in the Southern Hemisphere!

18 Apr 2015

Reboot and Reshuffle

Hey everyone, I finally remembered to purchase the washing soda and made laundry liquid (wash) yesterday. This should last me a few months and for a cost of about a dollar as I used my home made laundry soap!

Just after my last blog post I made home made cottage cheese using powdered milk and juice from the lemons off the tree here. I'll be trying this again and using the lime juice next time to see how it works out.
This blog link was posted in a DTE forum thread but I altered the recipe a bit as I used 4 cups of water to 1 cup of powdered milk. I also used ¼ cup of lemon juice as I wanted it spreadable.

The "curd" draining

The recipe makes about a cupful. 

Soooo yummy! 

Last of all, as I’m finally socialising here and going out to dinner with the local over 50’s singles group, I shuffled through my “glad rags” to see what would fit, and is suitably warm enough, for the suddenly cooler weather. This involved lots of trying on clothing yesterday morning when I had my RMO (Rostered Morning Off).
I was pleased to find that it was worth keeping those clothes I was determined to fit back into one day as I now can *big cheeky, cheesy grin*. I’ve saved myself a small fortune there and damn if they don’t look better on me now than they did when I bought them as I’m still curvy but in all the "right" places. Yep, I’m full of myself but I worked hard for this and I feel I deserve the rewards. If I can’t love and respect myself and all I’ve achieved then how can I expect anyone else to?

There’s another Discover moment.

I’m hopeless at selfies and the natural light is awful here today as it’s raining so I’ll try to finagle someone in the group into taking a photo of me on my mobile phone tonight and update here tomorrow :D.


RobynLouise xo

Postscript: Managed a not so bad selfie!

Cheers, RL xo

9 Apr 2015

Expensive week?

Spent money all over the place on all sorts of things in the last week!

A "new" bike cost me $250 plus $50 for the helmet I then needed. Mind you, the bike is about 6 months old and barely used and is almost $800 brand new for just the bike plus it has extras in the form of locking chain, lights and little carry bags for your goodies and the bike's repair/tool kit. With 27 gears I should be able to find a suitable range of speeds/torque to keep me fit :P.

I went away for the Easter long weekend to visit my daughter but the day before I left my mobile phone died :(. Purchased a new phone whilst visiting that cost me about twice as much as the bike. As I can't take a photo of it, as it is also my camera, it should last me at least 3-4 years compared to the under $100 talk/text/bit of internet varieties that I've owned previously.

Between the bike and the phone I have a lot of learning to do *roll eyes*.

Easter Saturday I surprised my eldest daughter with an early "cake" for her birthday.

The centre was also filled with chocolates and choc covered liquorice. If you fancy one of these, and live near the Junee Liquorice and Chocolate Factory , they are well worth it. Organic chocolate and liquorice in wonderful types and flavours. If you can't visit then you can always buy their boxed goodies online.

For someone who said she didn't eat chocolate or sweets very much my daughter managed to demolish this, mostly on her own, by the end of the long weekend :D.

I also bought myself a few things and the jar of choccies, below, which I shared amongst a few of the guys who "torment" me at the place I work. They're a good bunch and keep me alert with their humorous comments. Lucky my hair is already going grey though!

The weather is cooling off this week so I've ordered in a load of wood to burn in the wood stove but it won't be coming until after next payday.....thank goodness.

RobynLouise xo

29 Mar 2015

Wonderful Weekend

Well it's Sunday night and I feel fine :D.

Yesterday I attended the gym and spent about an hour longer there than I usually do for my personal workout as I discussed some more exercises with 2 of the trainers, Chrissy and Megan, as well as free weight mass and best place to purchase barbells and weights for them. I really should buy a pushbike so that's on my "future" list. Won't hurt the fat border collie to run beside a bike instead of walking beside me.

When I left the gym I collected my car from the repairer and did my fortnightly shopping. I was very pleased to find most of my purchases at discount prices so saved about 20% on what I had budgeted :).

After I arrived home I made some pumpkin soup in the crockpot from a JAP pumpkin that I purchased from the CWA stall a couple of weeks ago using Julie's recipe. It is delicious!

 I also made some toilet bombs and they fizz nicely as they clean the toilet bowl :).

This morning I went to see a friend and we talked and had cuppas and then lunch. Afterwards I decided to drop into the park beside the river and go for a walk.

I cooked another Crock Pot Chicken  and seasoned it with soy sauce, ginger and lime and lemon pieces and it was ready around the same time this evening as Phil's Swedish Meatball recipe that I tried.

All of the above links can be found on the DTE forums and I love being a member!

Hoping everyone had as great a weekend as I did :D.

RobynLouise xo

8 Mar 2015


I'm settling in here now. If I walk into the local pub they know what beer I drink and what size glass I have and ask which flavour chips I'm having with it :). The bar staff know my name. The Chinese meals from the restaurant are tasty and good value and the take away serves are huge as I can have 2 big meals from a serve of main and a large fried rice. Lol, I'm trying not to indulge too much!!

Wandered across the above park to the little supermarket yesterday (Saturday) morning and bought a few things to fill out the stock in the pantry till I shop next week. These cost me $5 each, were a spur of the moment buy, and are locally produced. I've tried the prunes (yum) but have yet to broach the red wine vinegar, which is sealed with a cork :). Lunchtime salad today is when I'll find out what it tastes like. The prunes are grown and produced on a road a couple of blocks away, that the dog and I have walked along a few times, and the vinegar is made in the village next door, Bilbul (about 6kms SW), to the one I live in.

I only realised today that I didn't post photos of my local purchase of apricots back in January and my effort at drying them in the car. These are a kilo of apricots stoned and halved and ready to go in the back of the car. It worked fine except for the fact that on the second day the weather cooled off considerably and I had to finish them in the oven. They didn't quite dry out as much as I would have wished so had to be stored in a jar in the refrigerator. They tasted delicious and I will be trying this again next apricot season.

Considering all the scares with imported foodstuffs I will be trying to buy local whenever possible now even if I have to process fruit/veg myself so I can store it. It also tastes soooooo much better and all the nutrients wouldn't be lost in transit/storage :). I'm so lucky to be living in a rural area where so many foods are grown and produced. That reminds me I need another kilo of local pure honey!

RobynLouise xo

28 Jul 2013

Home Made Sausage Rolls

I've had this recipe for a few months and I finally tried it. 

Beef and sausage roll
Few people can resist the lure of crispy pastry! Add the savoury succulence of a herby sausage filling and you are onto a winner with the family. Sausage meat can be fatty and all meat is expensive. This super stretcher recipe combines lean beef mince with the sausage meat for a healthier option and stretches 500g of meat into 8-10 serves.

*      250g sausage meat
*      250g lean beef mince
*      1 tsp mixed herbs
*      1 onion, chopped
*      2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and boiled till tender
*      ¼ cup tomato sauce
*      ¼ cup chutney
*      2 sheets of frozen puff pastry or a block of pastry (home-made short crust will also work if you have no frozen pastry)
*      1 egg for glazing - optional
Preheat the oven to 220°. Prepare the pastry by brushing a little water along one edge. Overlap the wet edge with the second sheet of pastry and press firmly (I roll over the join a few times with the rolling pin). If using block or home-made pastry roll it out to roughly 50cm long and 24cm wide.
Chop the onion and combine with the sausage meat, beef mince and herbs, this can be done in a food processor. Slice the cooked potatoes into ½ cm slices. Combine the chutney and tomato sauce.
Brush a little water down one long side of the pastry. Spread the sauce mixture over the pastry not quite to the edges. Form the meat mixture into a sausage shape down the middle of the pastry, flattening it slightly so it is compact. Place the potato slices on top of the sausage and carefully wrap the pastry around the filling. Stretch the pastry a little if you need to, to accommodate the filling. When you have joined the pastry along the length of the roll as best you can (don't worry if it's not perfect) carefully lift (using a long spatula) or slide the roll onto a greased baking tray, you may need to place it diagonally. Beat the egg lightly and brush over the pastry, then use a serrated knife such as a bread knife to cut slashes into the pastry top at 1 ½ - 2cm intervals. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until pastry is a rich golden brown. Slice and serve hot or cold with vegetables or salad.
Cook's tips:

We get at least 8 adult serves (2 slices per person) from this when we serve it with side dishes. If you are feeding little people you'll get even more. If you don't want to waste an egg on 'glazing' the pastry, just brush it with milk.


However, I'm a bugger for changing things around to make them more healthy, and doubling recipes so I'm not forever cooking, so I added a few veges, popped in a half a cup of finely ground oatmeal to compensate, mixed all the ingredients together and made them regular sausage roll size.

The filling turned out a little soft, even though I let it cook for a bit longer so maybe I should have added more oatmeal but possibly it was the sausage mince was too fatty.

Ah well, they taste nice and one half of the mix is curried so there's a bit more variety :)! Shame the poor light doesn't make them look as good as they taste.

Cheers, Rob xo.

20 Jul 2013

Birthday treats

Today is my Grandson's birthday and  a friend of mine recently shared, on her facebook page, a birthday food treat she'd found. I thought it was ideal for a 6 yr old and made him some to share at his party. The teddy cars disappeared very quickly!

Sorry for the poor quality photo but it's very overcast here today.

I'm going for a walk (waddle?) now to burn off all the calories from the birthday food *roll eyes*!

Robyn xo

13 May 2013

Enough bikkies?

This morning after TeenageDD went to school I was busy adding to the goodies she would be taking to share at the Beef Week she will be attending with her school agriculture group. I've already made a wholemeal pumpkin fruit cake and a dozen wholemeal banana muffins so I baked a double batch of tollhouse cookies, or chocolate chip cookies to other people.

A double batch means 72 cookies but I decided I could keep some for DH and I as the recycled ice cream tin wouldn't take them all!

As it's a 3 hour trip I wonder if there will be any biscuits left by the time they arrive as 26 children are attending this one?

Robyn xo

11 May 2013

Afternoon tea

The pumpkin scones are eaten, I haven't bought or baked any biscuits or cakes, so there's no temptation to snack on sweet things, and it's Mother's Day tomorrow, Sunday, so I'll be visiting my Mum and I don't want to go empty handed - foodwise. I'm also tired of eating a piece of fruit or having nuts and dried fruit for afternoon tea. Teenage DD is going to a week long cattle show with the school next Monday, as well, so I'll need to donate some edibles for that.....something filling as teenagers have hollow legs!

So it's a good time to cook up something healthy that I am unable to eat a lot of in one session.

After looking through the supplies and the recipe books I decided on pumpkin fruit cake as it's diet friendly, filling, healthy and pumpkin is one ingredient I have plenty of.

The recipe for this tasty morsel is on the recipes page. I only have the name Linda on the recipe as credit for it but I think she was in a quilting forum I used to be a member of. This cake keeps and freezes well and it's very easy to make a double batch, as I've done, so you can share with a relative/friend or eat one now and freeze one for later - for when you've run out of goodies to eat with your afternoon tea.....or coffee!

Oh and I should have taken the photo just after I cooked it as it disappears fast around here ;P.

Robyn xo