orange and cinnamon cake
Cakes, Community, Food

Ten Minute Orange Cake Recipe

Reminiscing about my Danish Grandmother who used to cook Orange cake for Sunday afternoon tea, I remembered how, as a child, I looked forward to visiting her house as I could smell the aroma of baking, as we arrived.

Anyone can find ten minutes to spare, right?

How long does it take to post on instagram with all those hashtags that must be included?

You can abandon convenience food a.k.a. supermarket style prepared cakes, in favour of a freshly baked treat and know that it is not difficult nor time-consuming.

And it tastes SO much better!

This cake took me less than 10 minutes to prep, due to speedy preparation in the processor.

Then you simply wait for the oven timer to ring, while you check your social media or email and voila! Time for tea!

Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon this quick and easy recipe will have your mouth-watering for more. Apart from the sugar content, and a small amount of necessary butter, there are no extra unhealthy ingredients; plus it has the advantage of a bit of Vitamin C and delightful orange flavour.

Processor Orange Cake

A cake that is good for you! Yay!

Delicious as is, there’s no need to add any frosting or topping, eat it straight out of the oven.

A dusting of vanilla/icing sugar, or a simple mix of icing sugar and small amount of juice to soften to a clean frosting would be a nice option, if you aren’t counting calories or sugar content.

recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Caster or fine grain sugar, but ordinary sugar will do.
  • 1 cup Self Raising flour (Self Raising flour is the same as 1 cup plain flour and 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
  • 2 tablespoons extra of normal plain flour
  • 2 tsp grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) soft butter
  • 2 eggs

Method:

1. Combine sugar, flours, and orange rind in food processor with butter. Blitz sporadically until just combined.

2. Pour Orange juice through the chute with motor on.

3. Add eggs and blitz till smooth. Not too much though or your cake won’t be light.

4. Pour into well-greased bar tin (something with a base about 12 x 22cm/ 5 x 9 inch) that has been lined with grease-proof or baking paper.

5. Bake in a Moderate Oven 180º C, ( 375º F), for 40 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Ensure the cake cools for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out on to a wire rack.

If would be nice with a Cream Cheese frosting.

When you are unsure of what to serve for tea, let them eat cake –

Orange cake – No fuss to ponder about.

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Community, Food

Nutty Rice

I was recently asked for a way to get folks and children to eat brown rice. “Disguise it with yummy additions,” I said. Or use the recipe below:

So far it hasn’t met with rejection.

[Just don’t tell anyone this is actually Brown Rice for then staunch haters of brown rice will gobble this up!!]

Brown rice is a great source of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamine, manganese and B group vitamins as well as fibre s it is quite disappointing to see folks/children reject it based on its taste. This recipe complements its nutty flavour.

Nutty Brown Rice

saute onion and celery
saute onion and celery

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Season to taste
  1. Heat oil in heavy saucepan and saute onion and celery fro about 3 minutes till onion becomes transparent.
  2. Add pine nuts and cook over low heat for 2 minutes or until they are lightly browned.
  3. Add the rice, stirring well until the grains are well coated with oil.
  4. Add the Stock, Thyme and Bay leaf and bring to the boil .
  5. Cover saucepan and simmer until rice is tender and all the vegetable stock is absorbed. This will take about 45 minutes.
  6. Season if desired.

Variations: –

  • Add 1.4 tsp cumin or Turmeric towards end of cooking.
  • Leave to cool, then add beansprouts and serve as a cold rice salad.
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Community

Lemons – The Good News

Why are Lemons a Good Thing to Have?

Acidic by nature, lemons and limes are alkalizing once eaten, due to their high alkaline mineral content. It is not the pH of the food in its natural state, it is the effect it has on the body that is important.


Delicious in a lemon cake, or freshly squeezed over vegetables, salad or washed, sliced and left to permeate in drinking water, here are a few of the benefits of lemons:

Benefits

  • Lemons are antiseptic
  • Lemon water aids digestion and can ease heartburn and bloating
  • Lemons cleanse and stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • Lemon juice contains calcium, magnesium and potassium
  • Lemon juice has been known to relieve asthma
  • Because it is high in Vitamin C, warm lemon water is a favoured remedy for colds/flu
  • Lemon juice is a great skin cleanser
  • It can kick start one’s metabolism when taken first thing in the morning.
Lemons

Tips

  • Always wash your lemons thoroughly to remove any residual spray – or purchase organic lemons. Even better, plant a lemon tree of your own.
  • Just be sure not to clean one’s teeth for at least half an hour afterwards. Otherwise, the enamel on your teeth might begin to break down.

Click on the title of any of the Cakes/Cookies listed below for recipes of delicious and easy ways to incorporate lemon into your diet.

Scroll further down for a no-fail Lemon Cake recipe that I can recommend.

Lemon and Ricotta Ring Cake

IMG_20150215_161353 (Small)

Lemon Madeira

lemon madeira

Lemon Biscuits

Lemon Cheesecake

LEMON Cake Recipe

(from The Australian Woman’s Weekly)

INGREDIENTS

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (75g) plain flour
  • ½ cup (125ml) milk – fill to within 1/8 Inch of brim of measure with milk, then top up with lemon juice

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to moderate (180°/160°C fan-forced)
  2. Grease a deep 20cm round or large loaf pan, then line the base with baking paper.
  3. Beat the butter, rind and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between additions.
  5. Stir in the sifted flours in two batches with the milk.
  6. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake in a moderate oven for about 35 minutes or until the cake is cooked when tested.
  8. Allow cake to stand for 15 minutes before turning the cake onto a wire rack to cool.
  9. Pour icing (see below), over cake whilst still warm

Note: I don’t make icing or a topping, as the cake is sweet enough and nice enough without, but if you wish to make it, and add even more lemon juice, here it is……

Icing

Combine ½ cup (125ml) lemon juice and ¼ cup (55g) caster sugar in a jug and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the topping over the cake whilst it is still warm from the oven.

This cake is suitable to freeze but not suitable to microwave.


Community

Eat Like the Japanese

It seems like the only people I have seen in Japan carrying extra kilos, (Sumo wrestlers notwithstanding), has been more often than not, Australian tourists – like me! I was thinking that there was something in this. Perhaps it should be a wake up call for Aussie lifestyle and diets.

At breakfast the morning after our arrival, the reason why Japanese appear so lean was becoming obvious. But first we had to make it to the breakfast restaurant.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm, or Does It?

Factoring in that there was two complexes that make up the Washington Shinjuku Hotel, I became a tad concerned about how busy the restaurant might be, particularly at breakfast time.

Arriving promptly at the buffet restaurant at the allotted time, would be the best way to stay ahead of the crowds all wanting breakfast at the hotel in Shinjuku, or so I thought. But this is Japan.

Booking.com photo credit

So when the lift doors opened to the 25th floor, it seemed that my concerns were totally unfounded. Only a few people were waiting at the restaurant’s entrance. They had even provided a couple of chairs for us. How thoughtful, I mused.

Then it dawned on me. Chairs? How long could the actual wait time be?

It was as if they were reading my mind, because an attendant quietly placed a cardboard clock on the counter, indicating a wait time of 30 mins to be seated for breakfast. Oh!

But it must be wrong I thought, as there was only one couple ahead of me, wasn’t there?

Several minutes later, we were ushered into a specially assigned waiting room…. full of guests waiting for breakfast. Water, mints and reading material was provided. This was a little concerning! When was breakfast?

All was good though, because a mere 20 minutes later, we were invited to enter the restaurant. I was still impressed by the Japanese organizing capabilities. A waiting room – great idea!

JAPANESE ORGANIZATION


We were given breakfast cards to keep and use at our table. An ingenious concept that I had not seen before. Just flip your card depending on your status, ‘Having a meal’ when you take one or those,’ more please,’ trips to the buffet and ‘End of Meal’ when you leave.

No confusion or wasting table space with empty tables waiting to be cleared of dirty dishes, in the restaurant. Such a clever idea. So Japanese and so organized.

Breaking the fast

Endless varieties of lettuce featured at the buffet

As well as a slight obsession with fresh lettuce, (so far the single most recurring food theme of this holiday), an array of pro-biotic fermented foods such pickled kelp, mustard greens, dried plum and leeks featured significantly at the breakfast buffet.

I was starting to see more reasons why Japanese have a healthy diet.

You had to be super quick if you wanted to try these Deep Fried Fish Balls and the cooks could not keep up with the demand for Gyoza. Two foods that are probably not that good for the waistline.

I wasn’t sure what the above delicacies were. Apart from the greens, it looked like leeks, some kind of breakfast cereal on the left and beans and pasta in the middle. Any ideas?

I focused on the pomegranate juice; (at least I think that is what it was), but I could not altogether resist the American style donuts and had to satisfy my curiosity with a Japanese Sweet Potato Cake, ( bottom left in the photo below). Yes I was satisfied – but the cake was a little too sweet to eat for breakfast, but still quite delicious!

The view from the buffet window might have taken my breath away, but it did nothing to assuage my appetite. Plenty of walking was scheduled for today, so that would work off the donuts, wouldn’t it?

No wonder the Japanese are lean.

More about our day, walking over 15 kilometres around Shibuya next time.

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Community

Turning Japanese

How do you spend two weeks travelling Japan, with a teenager in tow, during the season of the ‘Crimson Leaves?’ By seeing incredible nature and having numerous experiences, good, bad, funny and serious, but all of them, unique. In fact, sometimes I felt like this old eighties song:

Leaving Australia

I was a little unsettled by a shaky start when we arrived at the check-in counter at the airport for our departure. Miss Teenager Now Adult suddenly realized she had left her passport at home.

“Why didn’t I check this myself?” I chided myself inwardly, as we made a frantic phone call to a family member, who lived nearby.

They came to the rescue with a hasty trip to the airport ‘drop off’ zone! Lucky they live so close, I thought! Apparently even flight attendants occasionally forget their passports, (and it’s usually at Christmas time), at least according to the Airport Ground Steward we chatted to.  He did not seem especially sympathetic to forgetful Staff, but was a tad more reassuring for Miss Teenager Now Adult. She responded to this kindly reassurance by slipping back into the standard mode of ‘parents are so embarrassing / awkward teenager,’ reproaching me sharply with a instruction to, “Stop Talking Mum,” albeit in hushed tones, so the Steward would not hear.
However, her surly adolescent mood was placated when confronted with a chirpy and upbeat check-in clerk, who offered us a Business class check in, as a thank you for trialing their new facial recognition software. “I hope this new software isn’t costing jobs,” I gently admonished as we zipped through passport control.

First Impressions

This wasn’t my first trip to Japan; although it had been some time since I had been in Tokyo itself, so I was anxious to see how much had changed since my visit 14 years before.

On touching down in Narita, we were escorted to a luxury limousine electric van, the comfy, serene interior of which made for a silent sixty minute glide/drive to Shinjuku, our destination for the next three nights.

As bedazzling as the metropolis outside the window was, I felt certain the quiet interior of the limousine belied the sounds outside. Endless streets of high rise skyscrapers, a sea of commuters on the streets and buildings lit up like Christmas trees wizzed by our window, in a never ending parade.

Inside the glass encased megaliths, I could see Japanese citizens still working hard at their desks, even though it was 8.30 in the evening. A diligent population!

Food


Miss Teenager Now Adult was not at all keen to eat anything for dinner. For some reason, she seemed to have lost her appetite on the plane. Rationalizing that she needed to eat something to sustain her energy levels for the following day of planned walking, we ventured down to the main streets of Shinjuku, and found convenience stores variously called: ‘Family Mart’ or ‘Ministop’ or a little ironically, ‘Lawson.’ I let out a sigh of relief when we bypassed the temptations on offer in the street vending machines. It seems that Japan has brought that range to an absolute art form, as you can see in the photo.


Little Miss chose to eat noodles and potato chips, [surprise, surprise], which certainly required her to use a few detective skills to discover which flavour might be similar to her Aussie preferences. Of course, she remained unconvinced Green tea flavored Noodles or Matcha Potato chips would be welcomed by her thoroughly Australian digestive system.

To our surprise and delight, she was so impressed with one flavour, (something akin to sour cream and chive flavored potato chips), she promptly posted a ‘Two minute noodle and chip review,’ on Snap chat, her favorite social media platform. They must have been impressive, I guess.

It is all about the Lettuce in Japan

As for me, I grabbed a humble ‘sanger,’ featuring a large amount of lettuce. Being a former vegetarian, I loved the tribute to green matter on the Family Mart sandwich. Basically it was a lettuce sandwich with a tiny amount of ham and cheese, rather than the reverse! Yay for lettuce! I was later to discover lettuce and greens were a recurring culinary theme on this vacation. No wonder a Japanese diet is considered healthy.

Hotel Shinjuku Washington

Our Hotel room was most likely large by Japanese standards, but adequate for two of us. We were perched on the 23rd floor, so the view was nothing short of spectacular.

Our view

As with most hotels and indeed traditional Ryokans, Japanese accommodation comes with almost everything one needs, so you can ‘go light’ with your luggage. As well as complimentary disposable guest hairbrush, hair ties and toothbrush, Q-tips, Nail files and other hygiene tools for personal use, we were supplied with complimentary slippers and Pajamas.

But be warned the pajamas/yukata, supplied, are unlikely to feature in a fashion magazine any time soon, so they ARE for personal eyes only…. hence the reason I didn’t take a photograph of me wearing them! [Think time warp to retro hairdressers of 1950’s and you would not be too far off].

Having said that, the pajamas and the Washington hotel itself, was extremely comfortable and provided us with a good dose of our required beauty sleep, only surpassed by breakfast the following day. But more of that, another time.

Washington Hotel Shinjuku

Close to Shinjuku station, Meji shrine and Gyoen National Garden and Metropolitan Government Building

Chome-2-9 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

Described on Google as a “straightforward hotel offering a refined steakhouse & a posh restaurant with city views.”

Fancy that: We had breakfast in a posh restaurant. Something to ponder about.

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Community

Last Minute Christmas Ideas

Decorations are in the shops from August in some places, carols are playing over the speakers in shopping centres, and Christmas comes earlier and becomes more commercialized every year.

Even kids are organized early, these days. When my children were younger, a lengthy Christmas wish list of various items ranging in price from in expensive to earth shattering out of my budget, expensive, would appear on my bedroom wall, about a month before Christmas Day. Just in case I was unsure of what exactly to buy for them for Xmas. 

Kids growing expectations of Christmas gifts

There is expectations around gift giving now. Mind you, can’t really blame the kids for trying, even if the follow through does not reach such dizzying heights.

Humbling was the child from a family, at school, who said, when asked what they got from Santa, “A new lunchbox for school.”  Did this pull at my heart strings?  Oh yes, indeed. Makes me think of many possible alternative options for low cost or free activities, as gifts, that one can request and give for Christmas.

(Write these up onto pretty gift cards, placed in a “surprise bag” and could be pulled out by each child/ adult, as a kind of lucky dip/Christmas game)
* A warm and cosy evening/day spent doing whatever each child wishes, one on one, without disturbances from computer, phone, mobile phone or Ipod, Ipad etc etc.  It might be a board game, cocoa and a chat, playing games, like hide n seek, or pictionary/ monopoly.

* A Christmas themed movie or power-point presentation for Grandparents and/or extended family

* Building a cubby house, go cart, or raft together. This can be as complex or as simple as you like: the full wooden hammer and nails bit, or a large cardboard box.

* Sewing or embroidering a calico/reusable plain shopping bags, with permanent markers or paint

*Make low cost decorations for the tree with pre-printed felt, ribbon and glue.

Embroidery star decoration
Simple – cut out printed felt or embroider and glue to make low cost decorations

* Making the Christmas cake/ lolly or cookie jars to give to others.

* Setting out tea light candles all along your street and letterbox dropping others on surrounding streets to do the same. We do this and call it ‘Santa’s highway’.

Tivoli

* Making a card or memory album for Grandma

* Constructing a year in my family chronicle to give out to family members at Xmas with recipes, funny stories, and photos.

* Challenge the kids to present a puppet show or play to family members on Christmas Day. Make a video to give to them when they are older

* A talent quest for family members with a Christmas theme

(Chocolate Prizes for all entrants)

* Swimming or running races or even Trampoline competitions if you have one

* A Forest hike

* A walk or play on the beach, perhaps with the promise of ice cream afterwards.

* If the kids are into books, a trip to the library or bookstore or book exchange

Lucerne christmas

There are plenty more ideas available on the net or in books, so these are just a few that came to me, off the top of my head. This kind of experience will stay in a child’s memory for longer than the short lived joy of getting a cheap plastic toy that may be broken/forgotten in a few months time.

Christmas need not be super expensive. Be creative and have fun, and still be giving a priceless gift that has the bonus of being environmentally friendly.

These activities will surely be something kids might ponder about when they reminisce about Christmas past.

Ways to save money this Christmas and still have fun with the family.

How do you manage Christmas spending?

Have you got a way to save money and still have fun with the children?

Community

Something light for Tea

You may have heard me espousing the benefits of almonds and walnuts in recipes such as salads, or the Almond and Walnut Muffin recipe, I have previously posted, but what about  the benefits of incorporating cinnamon in our diet?

cinnamon almonds.jpg

I have to confess to being quite a fan of the cinnamon, especially in the crumble toppings you might find on a apple rhubarb dessert or a gourmet muffin. Combining cinnamon with almonds and walnuts, which are a fantastic source of Vitamin E and Magnesium, was a way of creating a light, and more importantly, HEALTHY cake recipe that if cut into bite-sized servings, is only a teeny bit decadent. Altogether a Perfect combination for a healthy morning or afternoon tea. Find the Recipe below.

cinnamon walnut streusel cake
Cinnamon Nut Streusel Cake

What are the Health Benefits of Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is astonishingly good for you. Would you believe that a mere teaspoon of cinnamon contains 28 mg of calcium, almost one mg of iron, over a gram of fiber, and quite a lot of vitamins C, K, and manganese?

[Source:cinnamonnutrition.com/index

In traditional medicine, cinnamon has been used for its mild anti-inflammatory effects, and to treat digestive ailments such as indigestion, gas and bloating, and diarrhea. As little as half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control.  Improving insulin tolerance can help in weight control as well as decreasing the risk for heart disease.  Read More here.

Streuselkuchen

Cinnamon Nut Streusel Cake

Ingredients

Base:

  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup (55grams) soft Butter
  • 1/2 Cups Milk
  • 1egg
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

Top Layer:

  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoon Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons (or more), of Cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons soft Butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts – I used a combination of walnuts and flaked almonds

Method

Base:

  1. Preheat Oven 175 ° C and Grease or line a 9″ x 12″  or 20 x 30 cm slice tray
  2. Cream butter and sugar in mixer
  3. Add remaining base ingredients and mix well
  4. Spread out evenly in the tray.

Streusel Topping:

  1. Mix Streusel topping ingredients together
  2. Spread about 1/4 of the Streusel topping onto the base layer and lightly swirl through with a skewer or knife.
  3. Spread the rest of the Streusel topping thinly over the top of the base.
  4. Bake for 20 – 35 minutes or till cooked through, when pierced with a skewer
  5. Allow Cake to cool and cut into small squares to serve.

Tantalizing Tuesdays

Something healthy and delicious to savour about

winning scones
Food

Pumpkin – Eat Yourself to Good Health

Showing signs of fatigue, dark circles or puffiness, allergies, nasal congestion?

Then pumpkin is for you.  It’s contains 245 % of  the average person’s daily needs of Vitamin A, as well as antioxidants, alpha and beta-carotenes, and it’s a fantastic source of vitamins C, K, and E. Furthermore, it has magnesium, potassium, and iron, and fibre.

PicsArt_04-22-02.39.13

Being such a fantastic source of good nutrition, one has to wonder why the humble Pumpkin is so maligned?  Children often turn up their noses at the thought of it and the Irish once considered it only good for pig food! Perhaps it is a little boring: after all, there is only so much roast Pumpkin one can eat. 

Here are a few creative ways for incorporating Pumpkin into your diet.

Ways to Eat Pumpkin

  • Once you roast it,  leftover Roast Pumpkin goes well in a Spinach and Rocket Salad sprinkled with a bit of Feta and balsamic vinegar. Delicious!
  • Incorporate it into a Roast Vegetable Frittata – Find that recipe here
  • Add some diced Ham, Mushroom and Caramelised onion pieces to a Roast vegetable pie.
  • Replace Pumpkin in any recipe that needs squash.
  • Dice into small 1 inch pieces and roast with Rosemary and Thyme til crisp. Sprinkle with Sea salt and eat as a healthy alternative to  Hot Chips.
  • Pumpkin seeds called Pepitas can be used to make Crispbread, Salads, Muffins or as a healthy afternoon snack.
  • Being a sweet vegetable it is great to use in Cakes, Scones or Pumpkin Pie.

When talking sweet Pumpkin recipes, my absolute favourite is Pumpkin Scones. Here is how I make them: –

Pumpkin Scones Recipe

scones

Ingredients:

  • I cup of mashed Pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • pinch of Salt
  • 2 cups Self-raising Flour

Method

  • Beat first three ingredients together.
  • Add Egg, Salt and Flour and mix gently.
  • Add a teaspoon or two of Milk*, enough to make a wet Scone Dough that you can easily roll out to a floured board. * Often it is already of a good consistency and no milk is needed.
  • Roll out to 3/4 inch or 3 cm thickness on a floured board and cut into circles.
  • Place on a greased tray and brush tops of Scones with a little dab of Milk.
  • Bake in Hot Oven 250 degrees for 10 minutes

Hint:

To make Pumpkin puree to use in Scones:

Prepare to roast a whole Pumpkin by stabbing it with a knife once or twice to vent the steam, put the whole Pumpkin on a baking sheet, cook in a moderate oven at 175 C for an hour or so, until you can easily stick a knife into it.  Cool, then scoop out the seeds and string middle or pull out with tongs.

pepitas

Pumpkin Seeds

(Pepitas)
Pumpkin seeds, called Pepitas, are loaded with minerals, and it’s claimed they have an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as help to protect against prostate cancer and osteoporosis. A quarter cup of seeds has about 1.5 grams of fibre.

Hint: To prepare the seeds:

Let them dry on paper towels, then oil and salt them (add any other seasonings you want) and slow roast them in a 150 C oven until they smell good – about 45 to 60 minutes.

Stir them every 15 minutes or so. Cool and Store in an airtight jar.

Selection and Storage

  • Choose a Pumpkin that has firm skin, (no wrinkles), and feels heavy for its size. Knock on it with your knuckles.  If it sounds woody, it is ready to eat.  Stay away from the larger pumpkin, as a smaller and denser is better, in this case.
  • Whole Pumpkins should keep for up to 6 months, if kept in a cool, dry place.
  • A sheet or two of newspaper underneath the Pumpkin will absorb any dampness.
  • Once cut, Pumpkin will only keep for a few days, unless you remove the seeds and stringy centre and leave unwrapped in the lower part of your fridge.
  • Cooked Pumpkin will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

To read nutritional information about Pumpkin, click here.

Grow Your Own Pumpkin plants

The plant is a fast-growing vine, in my yard; it self-sows from my compost bin, creeping along the ground surface.  But throw a few Pumpkin seeds in the garden and nature will do the rest for you. You may have to water them as the vines do get thirsty.

Pumpkin’s health benefits are Something we should all Ponder About

Community

Raspberry Pie with Vanilla Sauce

raspberry

This recipe for Raspberry Pie with Vanilla Sauce comes from Pike at ArtKoppi

On my menu for this weekend. Have you cooked with rhubarb? If so, what did you make?

Easy and quick rhubarb pie

1 egg

3 dl sugar

3.5 dl cream milk

6 dl wheat flour

3 tsp baking powder

100 g of butter

1 l rhubarb (or raspberries or apples)

Beat the eggs and sugar in a mess. You can also choose to float the mixer. Add the cream of milk. Add the flour and baking powder. Finally, add the melted butter and stir. Spread the dough on a baking sheet on a baking tray and sprinkle over the rhubarb. Bake for about 1/2 hour at 200 degrees. Serve with vanilla sauce though. (Google translator)

I made it like this, but next time I would use more whole grain wheat and almond flour! And with ice cream it’s best, of course!

Vanilla sauce
(4 servings)

ingredients
3 dl milk
1 tablespoon of potato flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg yolk
2-3 tsp Vanilla Sugar

Measure the boiler cold milk, potato flour and sugar. Add the egg yolk and mix the ingredients properly. Remove pan from the stove and heat all the time still stirring, until the sauce thickens. Do not boil. Remove pan from heat and add vanilla. Cool the sauce between the whipping and providing.

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WPC – Out of this World

Something that is Out of this World

cotton candy

but very much edible. The biggest cotton candy I’ve ever seen…. Or

if you are Australian: Fairy Floss

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Iceland’s most Haunted House

Also Out of this World. Abandoned, unforgiving, and definitely haunted, according to my friends who tried to stay the night here where they experienced an out of this world happening, during their overnight stay in this abandoned house.

Something ‘spooky’ To Ponder About

cropped-stpa1.jpg

Community

Healthy Afternoon tea:-Almond and Walnut Muffins

If you could find a way to incorporate a food that provided you with magnesium and Vitamin E, could lower your blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol you would eat it, wouldn’t you? And what if that food could also reduce hunger and assist with weight loss? It would be a miracle!
But it is not. This ‘miracle’ food is almonds and unless you are allergic to nuts, this is a great way to incorporate almonds into your diet, even if you don’t like eating whole almonds themselves.

Almond and Walnut Muffins

Ingredients:
  • 150g Anchor Lighthouse Self Raising Flour
  • 50g Almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 85g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 55 g chopped nuts – I use a mix of walnuts and pecans
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (125mL) milk
  • Pinch salt
Method:
  1. Sift all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  2. Combine butter, eggs and milk.
  3. Pour into dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Line muffin tray with paper muffin cases.
  5. Fill cases to 2/3 full
  6. Bake at 170ºC for 20-25 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean

Sprinkle with cinnamon for an additional health benefit!

Something delicious and healthy to Ponder About


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Community

Acidosis? Examining our Modern Diet

Scallops and waldorf salad
Scallops and Waldorf salad

Recently I have been wondering about how the modern Western diet can be extremely acidic and what implications this has for our bodies?

Our bodies try to maintain a natural acid and alkaline balance. If it doesn’t, our body would not function. This is true, as I once was called on to resuscitate an elderly citizen who had suffered a heart attack, due to prolonged acidosis.

However, our incredibly complex bodies have a variety of back up plans in order to maintain our pH balance.

Lemons, while acidic can be alkalinising once ingested

In the presence of a lot of acidic foods, the body will:

  1. Use up all the available alkaline reserves in the body.
  2. he body will attempt to eliminate excess acids from your blood.
  3. Acid will be stored in your body’s fat cells.  This then has implications for anyone attempting weight loss. Why? Because the body reacts to avoid the influx of acid that might be released during sudden weight loss. An acidic body holds onto excess weight, making dieting extremely difficult. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?
  4. Swiss cakes
    Sweet cakes in a Patisserie in Switzerland

    Your body finds an alkalinising agent, such as calcium. It will try to redress the pH imbalance by leaching calcium from your bones, which can be a contributing factor to osteoporosis.

Common symptoms of Acidosis or high levels of Acid*

NB these symptoms can also indicate another medical condition so always see your Doctor or health professional for further investigation

  • fatigue, and chronic fatigue syndrome
  • fatigue or weakness after eating meals
  • frequent colds, low immunity
  • poor circulation (cold hands/feet)
  • low blood pressure
  • burning sensation during urination
  • kidney stones
  • headaches
  • pallor
  • Gastro intestinal issues such as stomach cramps, reflux, diarrhoea, ulcers
  • agitation, nervousness anxiety, depression
  • lack of joy
  • lack of ambition
  • dental problems, bleeding or inflamed gums, cavities,cracked lips, loose teeth,
  • muscle cramps and spasm,
  • tension in neck and shoulders
  • joint pain, (arthritis like)
  • nail and hair problems
  • vaginal discharge (candida)
  • tendency to insomnia, restless sleep
  • tendency to itchy skin, acne
  • tendency to allergies, runny nose, chronic bronchitis
  • Minestrone soup – Tomatoes  and mushrooms are higher in acid compared to other similar foods

How Acidic is your diet? Find more info here

This post is not meant as a health guide, just sharing information, and giving us Something to Ponder About

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Community

Blue Skies – About Me

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Lorelle is relatively new to the WordPress world, and in support of her, I have decided to accept the nomination to participate in the Blue sky challenge.

Now, I hear that slight, almost inaudible inward groan, from the seasoned wordpress veterans, who have completed many such awards/challenges. However, it is my belief that the WordPress community is a supportive one and as such, we do everything we can to encourage new bloggers. This challenge is a way to do that and by doing so, discover new blogs and also for me to highlight other blogs, you have yet to come across.

Having said that, and bearing in mind the time constraints of such challenges/awards. I will highlight other blogs in accordance with the rules, but emphasize that there is not an obligation to complete/pass this on, to others.

So, here are the rules as I was given them:

  • Thank the person who tagged you – Thank ever so much Lorelle from AMindfulTraveller,  whose blog comes with the tag line Explore, Live Love.
  • Answer their 11 questions
  • Tag 11 people
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

My answers to the questions

1. What is your “dream” holiday destination?

I am so fortunate to have already been there – Scandinavia and Poland, although Greenland/Antarctica would be wonderful, but it is unlikely that I will travel there.

2. The most disliked place you have travelled to?

Unfortunately, I would have to say Bangkok. Too noisy, busy, and Humid!

3. If you could learn a foreign language, which would it be?

Again, I already learn Norwegian, but perhaps I could extend that to Icelandic one day.

4. Do you prefer Summer or Winter?

Always, always a winter person…I simply can’t tolerate heat and humidity. I grow horns in summer!

5. What have you learned from blogging?

There are more similarities between people from diverse cultures than there are differences. We can learn so much from each other if we keep an open mind.

6. What is your favourite food?

Seafood and berries – I could just eat that for the rest of my life and be content

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Definitely a dog obsessed person. Dogs are a treasured gift of unconditional love.

8. What makes you laugh?

Good question, Lorelle. Political Satire mostly, otherwise it could be dry wit.

9. What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of the colour red?

Recently, I have been instructing young ones on how to drive power wheelchairs so a red, stop sign,is the first thing, that comes to mind, otherwise the Dannebrod, the Danish flag!

10. One word to describe your partner/ loved one (if there is someone) .

Loyalty

11. What is your greatest fear?

Losing my loved ones

11 Questions I would ask:

1.Your favourite place in the world?

2. What keeps you young?

3. Something you would never ever do again?

4. Favourite book/author?

5. Thing you most remember from school?

6. Most important lesson you have learnt in life?

7. Tidy desk or Messy Desk?

8. Do you prefer forests or the seaside?

9. Style of art you prefer?

10. Favourite food?

11. Have you changed careers since you left school?

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Blogging is Something  Great to Ponder About