pikelets
Cakes, cookies, biscuits and Home Bake, Community, Food, Motivational

Picky about Pikelets – Anzac Day Traditions

Princess Would it be crass to say that I am the Queen of Pikelets?

Well, I’ve said it, so if I am crass, it is because these Pikelets have won awards for many years at the Royal National Show. Seriously!  If the reactions of others are anything to go by, they really are impressive, well, as much as a pikelet can be, I suppose.  I have always kept my recipe a closely guarded secret, but today being April 25, Anzac Day; a significant, almost sacred national day for Australians and New Zealanders, (that you can read more about here), I’ve decided to spread the love that only an Aussie pikelet can do, and share this recipe with you!!

pikelets

Pikelets are very definitely entrenched as a home bake favourite in the vernacular Australian and New Zealand cuisine and are much better than the much touted Anzac biscuits, [find that recipe here] -an oh so popular wartime ‘cookie’ that entered Australian and New Zealand folklore as one of our few traditions that are uniquely our own, but today – today it is all about Pikelets!

Meanwhile, some of you are probably thinking: ” Just, what ARE Pikelets?” Right? Continue reading “Picky about Pikelets – Anzac Day Traditions”

Irish Stew
Community

Winter in South/Autumn in North

 

When you have had a series of rainy days there is nothing better than a good hearty stew, and we can thank the Irish for the basis of the stew that I cooked this week, which satisfied 8 teenage appetites.

We can also thank the Naxon company in Chicago for first developing a rudimentary slow cooker or Crock pot which has since been refined to the wonderful appliance we have today. This means the ingredients can be placed inside and albeit forgotten until hours later when the slow cooker has worked its magic and produced a tasty and nutritious meal completely without supervision. In the current supercharged world, this is a wonderful advantage and fantastic alternative to fast food dinners.

“Ever since man first tamed fire, slow cooking was discovered as a way to soften up and tenderize those tough slabs of meat and fibrous ‘root vegetables. In prehistoric times, indigenous peoples often cooked wild root plants in a slow burning fire pit for a full 24 hours. This released the nutrition locked into the bulbs and made them much more tender and tastier to eat. Tough meat cuts especially benefit from slow cooking. Slow cooking these chewy cuts broke down the collagen in the meat and turned it into a gelatinous broth. As the fibers of the meat separated and shrunk during slow cooking, the juices would moisten the meat and turn even the toughest cuts into a mouth watering meal.” (click here to read more)

Family Stew Recipe

♠ Place a selection of diced vegetables in the base of the cooker, including:

3 sticks celery

3 onions

3-4 carrots

1 capsicum (green)

3-4 small new potatoes

I also add the following for flavour:

1 swede or rutabaga

1 turnip

1 parsnip

2 zucchini

You can also throw in any leftover vegetable you have in your fridge; Spinach or Silverbeet leaves or corn kernels might be nice.

♦ On top of the vegetables place diced Mutton chops or Blade steak (I use blade myself)

(trimmed of excess fat)

♦ 2-3 cups of beef or chicken stock (I use chicken to avoid Mad Cow Contamination – but then I may be too paranoid)

♦ seasoning of your own choice

♦ 1 teaspoon thyme

♦ a few celery stalks with leaves intact

♦In the morning, set the Slow cooker to Auto for 6-8 hours, or Low for 8-10 hours. (Auto setting will simply adjust the cooking time from high initially to low in the later stages of the cooking time)   Cover and let it cook. When you come home in the evening, add:

♠1-2 cups frozen peas (or beans)

♦ 3 tablespoons cornflour mixed with 1/3 cup cold water (and a little stock from the pot)

Cook on high till thickened ( about 10-15 minutes)

Voila! Dinner is done…

Serve with rice or noodles, and it will feed at least 8 people comfortably.

Something Delicious to Ponder About

 

salmon pie
Community

What’s for Dinner? – Salmon [Fiesta Friday]

I think it must be a common family scenario, but I’m not sure?

Location: A suburban family kitchen. Time: 5pm, any day of the week. The pantry door swings open and shut several times; a low groan is emitted from a junior family member, quickly followed by a, “There’s nothing to eat,” kind of mantra.  As the cook of the house, my first reaction, to hearing this mantra, is to ignore it and keep working. I find that is best.

But as each family member wanders into the kitchen, clearly starving and desperate for a crumb of sustenance after a long day at work, my resolve wavers.  Collectively, their next move is to inspect the pantry, a second time, with the due diligence of police detectives at a crime scene, and it is then they hit me with the ‘kicker’, that eternal question, the one that makes me inwardly cringe………..

This is me inwardly cringing
This is me inwardly cringing

“What’s for dinner, Mum?”

And it is not only them. So attuned to hearing the ‘What’s for dinner?’ mantra, the canine members of my family become edgy at this hour too, and begin to pace up and down at the kitchen entrance, chiming in, in their own special way, to pressure me for food.

It is at this point, I have to steel myself and feign deafness, [clearly unsuccessfully], as I am always asked a second time, a little more urgently, “Hey, Mum. What’s for dinner?”

“Salmon,” I have to say, on this particular day, albeit through slightly gritted teeth, to which the response is anything from a contorted grimace, (coming from the fish-hating child), to unenthusiastic moans/yawns from the adolescent man-child/children.

canned_salmon_l1
Source:http://img.thrfun.com/img/089/862/canned_salmon_l1.jpg

Salmon!

It may be the ‘Steak and three veg’ of the hipster movement,  and it’s almost certainly still a popular dinner for both the weight-conscious and the seafood lovers of the world, but in my family, salmon is, ostensibly, boring and unappetizing, for dinner. [I can’t understand this, myself.] Now, thanks to a dear friend sharing her treasured family recipe with me, I can serve a seriously good Salmon Pie, that effectively nips the ‘What’s for Dinner’ groans, in the bud.

I hope you feel tempted to try it for yourself. It may just be something you ponder about for dinner.

2016-04-14 13.49.54

Salmon Pie

[Salmon is considered by some to one of the world’s healthiest foods, and contains Vitamin B12, D, Niacin, Omega -3 fatty acids, Phosphorus and Vitamin B6]

To make the Pie Crust:

1 and 1/2 cups of Plain All Purpose Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Paprika

1 cup Grated Cheese (I use tasty)

125 g Butter

Method:

Rub butter into flour, until it is well mixed. It should still be crumbly at this point, not mixed up together into a dough*

*[A food processor is the easiest way to do this, especially if the butter has not yet softened].

Press 3/4 of this mix into a greased pie dish with your fingers, to form the base and sides of the pie. Reserve the remaining 1/4 of the mix for the topping.

Pie Filling:

220 grams Salmon (flaked and boned)

I Onion, finely chopped

3 Eggs

375 g Sour Cream

1/2 cup Grated Cheese

2 drops Tabasco Sauce (optional)

Combine all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl and pour on top of the base.

Crumble the remaining 1/4 of  the pie crust mix over the pie filling.

Bake for 40 – 50 minutes at 180° Celsius or until slightly browned.

Allow to cool and serve warm with a Garden/Greek salad or cold.

 

 Linking to FiestaFriday.net

For more fantastic menu ideas visit:

hostessatheart

toozesty.wordpress.com

Community

Blueberry Muffins with Brown sugar

Blueberry muffins with fresh blueberries

We must take advantage of blueberries when they are in season. They are cheap as chips and so good for you, protecting against diseases and ageing, as well as helping to metabolise carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which is excellent if you are wanting to loose weight. Not yet convinced? Read more nutrition facts below:

Thus, I will share with you my recipe using brown sugar and a little butter. Nutritious, easy on the waistline, simple and quick to make, and very few dishes to wash up. That is the kind of recipe I like to ponder about on Tantalizing Tuesday.

BLUEBERRY MUFFIN RECIPE

2 cups Plain flour ( this means general all purpose flour)blog pictures 002

3 teaspoons of Baking powder

3 Tablespoons of Brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup ( 55 grams) melted butter

1 punnet fresh blueberries (that is around 125 g)

1 tablespoon brown sugar, (extra)

Method:

Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.

Melt butter in separate bowl, let cool slightly, then add milk and egg and mix well.

Add wet and dry ingredients together and stir gently for 30 seconds, or until well mixed.

Gently fold in blueberries. Don’t fuss too much. You don’t want to smash them like at Cold Rock.

Fill muffin cases 2/3 with mixture. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of each muffin and press down lightly.

A 12 muffin baking tray requires a moderate oven (190 degrees) for 12 – 15 minutes.

Test them close to the end of the cooking time to see if they bounce back when lightly pressed.

This is a good sign to say that they are cooked through.

Enjoy with a dob of sour cream or cream. ( if you are not counting calories, or course)

Makes 12 Muffins

Tantalizing Tuesdays

Blueberries nutrition facts

From: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/blueberries.html

Sweet, juicy blueberries are rich in pro-anthocyanin natural pigment anti-oxidants.

These tiny, round blue-purple berries have long been attributed to the longevity

and wellness of indigenous natives living in the subarctic regions in the Northern hemisphere.

  • Blueberries are very low in calories. 100 g fresh berries provide only 57 calories. However, they possess notable health benefiting plant-nutrients such as soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely towards optimum health and wellness.
  • Blueberries are among the highest anti-oxidant value fruits. In addition, these berries have other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotene-β, lutein and zea-xanthin.
  • Altogether, the phyto-chemical compounds in the blueberry help rid off harmful oxygen-derived free radicals from the body, and thereby, protect the human body against cancers, aging, degenerative diseases, and infections.
  • Further, research studies suggest that chlorogenic acid in these berries help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus condition.
  • Fresh berries contain a small amount of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E. Altogether these vitamins work as potent anti-oxidants, which help limit free radical mediated injury to the body.
  • The berries also contain a small amount of B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folates and pantothenic acid. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. These vitamins are acting as co-factors help the body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
  • Furthermore, they contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron and zinc. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
baking recipes
Community

Lingonberry/ Cranberry Slice – Tantalizing Tuesday

Well known in Scandinavia, the lingonberry is related to the cranberry, bilberry and blueberry. Berries are a great addition to one’s diet. Why? Because they contain powerful antioxidants  and provide many health benefits when we eat them. And why not enjoy them in a delicious dessert slice. This slice can be served hot or cold.

Tantalizing Tuesdays

More information on the health benefits is given below but here is the Scandinavian recipe:

Lingonberry  / Cranberry  Slice

 

Base:

4 1/2 dl (almost 2 cups) Plain white flour
1/2 dl (2/3 cup) Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking powder
150 g(5 ounces, almost 2/3 cup)
Unsalted butter
1 Egg
2 dl (3/4 cup) Lingonberry  or cranberry jam/ plum filling/ or your favourite preserves

Streusel topping:
1 1/2 dl (2/3 cup) Oatmeal
3 tablespoons Butter
1 dl (1/2 cup) Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla sugar (1/2 teaspoon extract)

Pre – heat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).
Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder then cut in the butter.
Add the egg and mix well. Spread into a greased 20×30 (8×12″) pan.
Spread the preserves quite thickly over the batter.
Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden.

Cool in the pan and slice while still warm.
Enjoy served warm or cold. Yumm!!!!

 

Animal studies have shown how the lingonberry can lower inflammatory molecules, block oxidants from destroying tissue, and also help the body replace important antioxidants, like glutathione, which is a master antioxidant in our body. Lingonberry has also been shown to increase red blood cell and liver enzymes needed for antioxidant protection. We need antioxidants to protect vessels and nerve tissue, and also to help decrease the damage from inflammation. Proanthocyanidin extracts from lingonberries were also found to be effective against the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause a wide variety of infections.

[Credit: http://www.doctoroz.com/article/superfruit-lingonberry%5D

Something nutritious and delicious to Ponder About

Honey steak
Food

Tantalizing Tuesday – Honey Steak – Don’t Complicate It!

Honey steak

Who says the cheaper meat cuts aren’t tasty?

Not me, I can assure you!

Whilst they have the sad reputation as being off-cuts, or ‘depression cuisine’, I agree there is a bit of an art to cooking cheaper cuts of meat, such as blade and chuck steak. And that art is, to “do” them slowly, preferably in a ‘crock-pot’ or slow cooker. “Sure, they are affordable, but who could be bothered with all that cooking,” many of us ask? “Most of us are out of the house, until late in the evening, or busy throughout the day, so who feels up to producing a gourmet meal, when we’d rather just wind down and relax?”

tired

There is a growing trend away from a weekly grocery ‘shop’ and planned meals, and towards ‘picking up’ processed, packaged or ready – made meals on the way home from work, as time-poor adults create demands for items like this:

The solution, I’d like to suggest, is easy. Spend 5 -10  minutes preparing the ingredients, (and this recipe has very few of those), the night before the meal, place in a zip-lock bag in the fridge, or prepare them first thing in the morning. Then, before you leave the house, bung it all in the slow cooker, and when you return  home in the evening – hey, ‘Presto!’- Your meal is ready to serve.

An added bonus to this cooking method is coming home to a tantalizing aroma as you enter the kitchen! [This aids digestion by stimulating the flow of digestive juices!!! – Believe me, all good stuff as we get older!]

Using the slow cooker also means there is only one bowl to wash up afterwards!   After a busy day, what could be better than a nutritious, delicious meal that required less than 10 minutes preparation and clean up?

You might also prepare some vegetables, such as chopped carrots and sliced onions in a separate zip-lock bag, then add them in the slow cooker, as well; just be sure to place them in the cooker FIRST, and the meat on top! Wanna try it?  Here is the recipe:

Honey Steak

Please note that this is not a stew*- it is steak, cooked slowly, in a rich marinade. The vinegar content in this recipe aids the break down of the blade steak’s fibrous texture and results in a “melt the mouth’ quality.

*[Scroll down for an alternate, slightly more complicated stew recipe, also in the slow cooker ]

Ingredients                      

Blade steak, sliced thin and cut into serving pieces – I used 1 and 1/2 steaks and this was enough for 3 adults
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, (or ordinary white vinegar will do)
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup water (Add more if you would like lots of sauce)

Method

Throw it all in the slow cooker !!

Cook on low setting for a minimum of 4 hours.

[My slow cooker does cook a little hotter than most, on the low setting……so you may want to rack it up a notch, if yours is an older model]

Add seasoning to taste and serve!

* That is it! What could be simpler?

I served this with potatoes, steamed carrots and spinach and feta – Delicious!

Final Thoughts:

Every day, I see more and more processed, packaged or ready – made meals, slowly infiltrating the consumer psyche, as acceptable items on the supermarket shelf. I lament that all too soon the simple act of grating a carrot ,or shredding our own lettuce, will be relegated to an activity seen only at historic reenactment group ‘open’ days, as we as a population, (generally speaking), forget the simple tasks involved in creating a balanced meal, for ourselves, from uncomplicated  ingredients.  We must buck the contemporary trend to complicate food and hang on to the practice of preparing and cooking not only  nutritious meals, but also ones that are freshly made with a variety of ingredients, even the less popular ones.

If you are someone who prefers a more stew like consistency to your meal, and you want to use blade steak, here is another Slow Cooker recipe:

BEEF and CARROT STEW

1.25 kg diced beef (I used blade steak)
1 large onion diced
3 large carrots cut into large cubes
1 capsicum chopped
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1/2 small jar whole grain mustard (I used a supermarket brand)
1 small tin tomato paste
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in the pan with a small amount of oil, until soft.

Add beef and cook until browned.

Transfer beef, onions and garlic to the Slow cooker.

Add all other ingredients except sour cream, and mix well.

Cook in Slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

Mix sour cream in before serving.

(If you like a thicker sauce add in a teaspoon cornflour that has been mixed in 1 tablespoon water  and add to the stew 5 minutes before serving).

Serve with mashed potato and vegetables/salad!

Tantalizing Tuesdays

Something to ponder about

baking recipes
Community, Food

Not Another Lemon Cake!

If you’ve been reading Something to Ponder About for a while, you might recall that I often will espouse the health benefits of adding lemons to one’s diet, in any form. If you are unsure what I am talking about, you can read more about the benefits of lemons here.

Lemon tree
“A lemon a day keeps …” well, you know the rest….

You might also know that I like that lemony ‘zing’ in foods, so you won’t be at all surprised to find me posting another  Lemon cake recipe. Although, this one is really useful, as it is quick and super easy, the Lazy man’s, (or person’s), Lemon Cake. You just bung it all in together and cook in the oven.

Lemon Cake

Easy Lemon cake

Ingredients

125 g Butter

1 tablespoon Lemon rind

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 cup Caster sugar (or fine white sugar)

2 Eggs

1  1/2 cup Self-Raising* flour

*N.B. Self Raising Flour is a combination of 1  1/2 cup plain flour and 3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 tablespoon Icing sugar (to dust the top after cooking)

Lemon juice, extra

Method

Combine all the ingredients, at low speed in an electric mixer, until thoroughly mixed.

Increase speed and mix till batter is smooth.

Place batter in greased and lightly floured Bundt or ring tin.

Cook in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes at 180 ° (that is a fan forced electric oven).

Cool for 5- 10 minutes and then turn out.

With a skewer, poke holes in the top of the cake and drizzle the extra lemon juice* on top.

Dust with icing sugar and it is ready to serve.

Simple, quick and very delicious.

Tip: The cake will keep better in humid climates if you restrict the amount of lemon juice that is poured on top.

Tantalizing Tuesdays

Something Delicious to Ponder About

 

baking recipes
Community

Oh so Light Cinnamon Cake

Cinnamon cake
If you want to bake a cinnamon Cake that is as light and fluffy as a sponge follow this recipe

If you want to bake a cinnamon Cake that is as light and fluffy as a sponge follow this recipe and you will be in for a real treat! And check here for another great cinnamon recipe and to find out Why Cinnamon is so good for you.

Cinnamon Cake Recipe

Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Cream the sugar and butter till light and fluffy in a separate bowl, and then add the flour mix .Add milk vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each addition.

Pour into prepared kugelhof tin, ring or small loaf pans, or both, ( it makes a large mix and could well make a standard cake and 2 small loaf tins, 1200 x500mm)

NB – the cake is light and will take longer to cook in the centre, hence my use of the ring cake tin!

Bake 180 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes (25 mins for small loaf pans)

Lay out to cool and decorate with icing of your choice, or cinnamon sugar and melted butter

 

*NB. Tip: Be careful turning out as it is so light, it can easily break. After cooling for 10 minutes on a wire rack,  I invert a plate on the top of the cooked cake whilst it is still in the tin,  then flip over and carefully lift off the kugelhof tin.

Tantalizing TuesdaysGood luck and Enjoy the taste and texture whilst pondering the problems of the world

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Community

Tantalizing Tuesdays – Danish Spice Cake

I apologize in advance if you resent, dislike or even hate my post, due to the addictive properties of this recipe. As if the aroma of gingery,’Christmas’ spices wasn’t enough to entice you to cook it on a regular basis, your taste buds will be screaming out for just another slice! Read on and you’ll discover this cake recipe is not all bad, indeed it has many health benefits, derived mainly from the spices it contains. Amazingly, it is a cake that can actually help with weight control, and a variety of digestive ailments. Using a pro biotic yoghurt, instead of buttermilk, magnifies the benefits of a slice or two of Danish Spice Cake.

danish cake

Fast Facts about Spices:

Cinnamon is a source of calcium, iron, vitamins, fiber, and can assist with  a variety of digestive ailments such as gas and bloating and has a mild anti-inflammatory effect. Studies have shown improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control by taking as little as half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day. Improving insulin resistance can help in weight control as well as decreasing the risk for heart disease. [Source:http://cinnamonnutrition.com/index.html%5D ]

Then there is Cardamon, and its various health benefits – gastrointestinal protection, cholesterol control, relief from cardiovascular issues, and the improvement of blood circulation in the body. It is useful for curing dental diseases and urinary tract infections such as cystitis, nephritis, and gonorrhea. Cardamom possesses aphrodisiac properties and is also used as a cure for impotency, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation. [Source and read more here]

Enough of the fast facts: What are waiting for: bring it on!

Danish Spice Cake

Ingredients:

2 dl Dark Brown sugar

0.5 dl White sugardanish cake

4.5 dl Flour

1 tsp Baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp Ground  Cardamom

2 tsp Cinnamom

2 tsp Ginger

2 tsp Clove

1 tsp Mixed Spice

1 tsp Ground Nutmeg

2 tblspn  Cocoa Powder

Pinch salt

2ooml Buttermilk or Vanilla Yoghurt

2 Eggs

1ooml melted Copha/Coconut oil/Vegetable oil

 Method:

Mix all the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Ensure melted copha and buttermilk is at  room temperature and add to the dry ingredients.

Mix well, but not too much.  If the copha solidifies, place the bowl over a hot water bath and gently fold until even.

Pour into greased cake tin, I used a ‘kugelhof’ mould

Bake in oven 175° celsius (350°F) for about 40 minutes.

Cool 10 mins  before turning out.

For extra decadence (entirely optional): Drizzle melted butter over the top and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar/dusting sugar.

Tantalizing Tuesdays

Tips for measure conversions: 

American

1 cup = 8 fl oz = 2.4 dl = 24 cl = 240 ml

British

1 cup = 10 fl oz = 2.8 dl = 280 ml

Australian

dl 

1 deciliter = 6 (scant) tablespoons

There are many good reasons to indulge in a cake like this: It doesn’t require heavy lashings of icing, and the less sugar we eat, the better for us, right?  (there is plenty of sugar in the cake itself, so why add more?) And while we are eating it, think of all the good things the spices are doing for our bodies! That is really something to ponder about.

Australia, Community, Food

Money for Jam – How to Make Rosella Jam

Ever heard of Rosella Jam?

Possibly not, unless you are Australian? So what is it, you say?

Only the best preserve known to man! Known more to our grandparent’s generation as Rosella, the Queensland Jam Plant is a native of Africa and Asia, yet has become such an iconic part of Aussie folklore, Rosella Jam is considered quintessentially Australian.

If you want to make some yourself and have loads to share with family and friends, this is my Grandmother’s family recipe, along with some general tips for successful preserve making.  Once you’ve tasted freshly made jam, you’ll be forever spoiled for eating the supermarket brand jam varieties again.

2015-07-03 21.29.09

Tart, tasty and packed full of vitamin C, hands down, this is the best jam! Making the jam is not the arduous operation you think it might be; in fact, picking/sourcing the Rosellas is the most time consuming part of the process.

Growing ‘Rosellas’ in the Garden

The Rosella is a medium shrub that is related to the Hibiscus family and needs a growing season of at least 6 months of warm weather to mature, so is best suited to tropical or sub-tropical areas. The fleshy red calyx can be used in salads, jellies, cranberry-like sauces, jam and cordial, syrups and wine. Furthermore, you could plant the hardy Rosella as a hedge, a fast growing windbreak or privacy screen in the summer garden.

Moldiv_1435922343335

According to Green Harvest: Dried the red calyx is used for tea and it is an important ingredient in the commercial Red Zinger, Hibiscus and Fruit teas. The tea is very similar in flavour to rose-hips and also high in vitamin C. Seeds can be roasted and ground into flour. Young leaves can even be steamed or stir-fried and are known as Red Sorrel in the Pacific.

Tips for Jam/Preserve Making

For Rosella or any other jam, the addition of a good knob of butter when adding the sugar will prevent most scum from rising to the top.

Any that does rise, can be stirred in on completion of cooking.

Other points to watch are:

  • Warm sugar for jam making.
  • Use a wooden spoon for stirring and never over boil, as this darkens the colour.

  • If you must add extra water, add it to the seeds when boiling. If you add water when cooking the leaves, you will need to purchase ‘Jamsetta’ (available from supermarkets), in order to make the jam set, as the seeds are the parts from which the pectin is sourced. It is the pectin that makes the jam set.

* To Prepare Jars for any Jam Preserves:

  1. * Wash jars well with a bottle brush, detergent and warm water.
  2. * Dry and warm the jars by placing on a tray in a low oven, heated to around 120 degrees Celsius, for 10 minutes.
  3. * Pour boiling water over the lids and drain.
  4. * Fill the jars with jam whilst they are still warm.

 The Recipe

To Prepare Rosella Jam:

  1. Moldiv_1435922052883* Separate red flower petals and seeds
  2. * Wash and drain.
  3. * Cover seeds with cold water. Tip: (Add a little extra water to the seeds, at this stage, if necessary, rather than adding extra later)
  4. *Bring to boil and boil covered, for 30 minutes.
  5. * Strain and reserve this juice.
  6. * To this juice, add the Rosella petals which have been thoroughly washed and drained. The leaves may not be completely covered with juice, but they will boil down very quickly.
  7. *Boil for 20 minutes.
  8. * Measure cooked pulp and return to pan.
  9. Add one only good teaspoon of butter, and the juice of one lemon.
  10. Add  1 cup of sugar, (which has been warmed on a heat proof tray, in a oven on low heat), to each cup of pulp, stirring well till all the sugar is completely dissolved.
  11. Boil quickly uncovered for 20 minutes or until jam falls thickly from a spoon when tested.

Moldiv_1435922545283Tip – How to tell if the jam is set:

Monitor the jam stirring occasionally to ensure it does not burn on the bottom. … to see if the jam has reached setting point pour a teaspoon of jam onto a cold saucer, which has been sitting in the freezer. Leave the jam on the saucer for 1 minute then lightly push from one side with your finger – if the jam crinkles and is gluggy then it is set so turn the heat off. If the jam stays like a syrup then continue simmering and check again every 10 minutes until setting point is reached.[http://www.selfsufficientme.com]
  1. Fill jars with jam while the jars and jam are still warm. Allow to cool a little and then seal.

2015-07-03 21.29.24

Trust me, you will have the family begging for more…

Delicious on toast, scones or pancakes, or even as chutneys, Rosella jam is worth ‘Pondering About ‘

Community

D.I.Y Essential Oils Toilet Freshener

Why buy it? When it is better and cheaper to make your own.

No Harsh chemicals, and a lovely fragrance from essential oils, easily purchased in bulk.

Toilet Freshener

10 Homemade Recipes for Beauty Products: DIY Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray 2

 INGREDIENTS:

15 drops bergamot essential oil

10 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops lemongrass essential oil

2 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol ( Isocol is fine)

4 oz. distilled water

1 tsp. vegetable based glycerine
Spray bottle

DIRECTIONS:

1. Fill a small spray bottle with water and rubbing alcohol.

 2. Add essential oils and glycerine then replace top and swirl gently to combine.

To use: Before you go, give the bottle a shake then spritz the water 3 or 4 times. That’s it!

[Source and photo credit: http://www.freebiefindingmom.com/10-homemade-recipes-for-beauty-products-diy-poo-pourri-toilet-spray/]

Something we don’t often ponder about

Food

Need a Chocolate Fix? – Chewy Chocolate Slice

Need a chocolate fix in a hurry?

My quick and simple recipe can give you that hit of chocolate you are seeking! And the dark chocolate means there is added health benefits. Dark chocolate aids in preventing heart disease and, is loaded with minerals – read 7 health benefits of chocolate here. After all, we can do with a little indulgence, at times.

And chocolate is good for our mood, isn’t it?

Chewy Chocolate Slice

Chewy Chocolate Slice

1 23 cups sugar

34 cup butter, melted

(you can use margarine too, but I prefer the natural qualities of butter)

2 tablespoons water

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 13 cups flour

34 cup Baking Cocoa

12 teaspoon baking powder

14 teaspoon salt

Optional: – (to increase decadence and flavour!)

1/2 cup dark cooking chocolate, coarsely chopped (I like to chop this into chunky choc chip sized pieces and grate a little, to sprinkle over the top of the mix as well)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 ° C and grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan ( I line the pan with baking paper as well).
  2. Combine sugar, butter, and water in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; stir into the sugar mixture.
  5. Fold in chopped dark chocolate
  6. Spread into prepared baking pan.
  7. Sprinkle grated chocolate on top ( optional)
  8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into bars.

Chocolate indulgence is Something I often Ponder About

Food, History & Traditions

Scones with Tea – A Morning Tradition

In my husband’s family, it is a tradition to have morning tea. That is, a cup of hot tea with a scone of two with butter or jam. My husband’s paternal grandmother was a brilliant farmhouse cook and used an old wood burning stove – one that was without thermostat or temperature gauge. Yet she cooked everything to perfection, testing the temperature only with the back of her hand. Wouldn’t we all love that skill? Granny Mac was of German heritage, so perhaps her cooking skills came from a background of generations of women cooking in the kitchen? Or perhaps from necessity?

Together with her husband, they owned a dairy farm, atop ‘Clear Mountain’, so it is self-evident that there was plenty of fresh cream available.

Thus, making and then selling the scones was a way to supplement the farm’s income and feed Granny Mac’s ten hungry children at morning tea time.

This same recipe made the scones served to the State of Queensland’s Governor, as well as many tourists, or day trippers, in the 1950’s, who drove up the steep, Clear Mountain Road, for a weekend picnic.

This is that never-fail secret family recipe!

Granny Mac’s Scones

Ingredients:

NB. the quantities of ingredients were never measured by the original cook, just estimated. However, for the rest of us, I have provided the following measurements:

2 1/4 cup Self Raising* flour

*(Self raising flour can easily be made by combining 2 teaspoons of baking powder per cup of plain flour and sift well)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup cream

Optional: a good handful of currants/sultanas/chopped dates – my kids love that)

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, place all the dry ingredients, (and fruit), and stir to mix thoroughly.
  2. “Cut” the wet ingredients into the mix by stirring thoroughly with the blade of a flat butter knife.
  3. Knead mix a little with extra flour, if needed. (You will want a dough that is smooth enough to handle, but not too dry)
  4. Roll or pat out on a floured board, to 1 inch high (no less)
  5. Cut 6 cm rounds with a scone cutter or as Granny Mac used: a used, empty, small baked beans tin, (cleaned and dried, of course)!
  6. Bake 12 -15 minutes @ 210 degrees Celsius on a metal scone tray

Delightful served with butter or jam and cream.

Best eaten while hot, however they do freeze well.

Is there a traditional recipe within your family heritage? Do you still make this food?

Will you keep up this tradition for generations to come?

Something to ponder about….