Saturday, September 1, 2012

So I don't know if anyone is out there . . . . Hellooooooooo? Well in any case, I have decided to start blogging again, but over here. Come visit me :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A word to the wise . . . .

When baking, if a recipe calls for stiffly beaten egg whites to help make to make it light and fluffy:
  • Do not cheat! 
  • Do not experiment with a recipe that you know works, when you are time poor and have a 40+ cupcakes to bake for a birthday!
  • Do not think that you know bwtter than Martha Stewart and her esteemed guests.
  • Do not, I repeat, do not expect this to work as a substitute for fresh egg whites.

Now I'm sure it makes a perfectly lovely pavlova. The mixture was thick and glossy, but it certainly didn't work in this capacity . . . for me anyway. Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's the humid weather. I don't know, but this is how they turned out:

I know what you're thinking . . . "Just fill that ridiculously huge sink-hole with frosting and no one will ever know!" right? Believe me folks, there ain't enough frosting in the world to fill these craters :(

So methinks it is off to Woolies for a pack of these for the birthday boy to take to class on Thursday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's Your Laundry Ritual?

For most of us it's not our favourite household duty but all we aspiring domestic goddesses have our own way of doing laundry. Our own systems (or lack thereof) that vary depending on the size of the family and the time at hand. What's your ritual?

I don't find the ritual of the laundry particularly rewarding. Its NEVERENDING! I'm either washing it, hanging it, bring it in, folding, sorting, hanging, ironing or putting it away. And then it starts all over again. Now I realise that our grandmothers had it a lot tougher, and that really we shouldn't complain with our automatic washing machines and dryers. But . . . well . . . . No I got nothing!

That said, I do have my favourite products and methods.

For starters, I wash clothes on the weekends, with a couple of incidental loads of towels and stuff during the week. I just find this fits in with life at the moment.

Spray, spray, spray with Preen Oxyaction Max. I love this stuff! I probably go through one refill a week. Fantastic for all those greasy mystery stains. You know the ones that are still there after you've washed, dried, sorted and folded.

Everybody's whites are separated and soaked together overnight in Napisan Oxyaction. This is great for avoiding that greying that can happen when whites are washed with the rest of the load.
PS I have tried other varieties of soakers, but this is the best. I can't explain why, but it just is :) I also pop a capful in the machine with each load (colours too)

 What I'm washing with at the moment is Nutrimetics Nutriclean Laundry Liquid. I really like this stuff. It is a much thinner, clear blue detergent than you might get at the supermarket. It's very concentrated so you don't need a lot. And it has this lovely light fragrance which oddly doesn't stay in the fabric after washing. The laundry smells clean, but not fragrant. Which to my mind mean that it has completely rinsed outo f the fabric. That has to be a good thing, right? And best of all, none of that crusty detergent residue left on the clean items that then either have to be hand sponged or re-washed.

And then there's this
From Life

I know you are going to think I am insane, but this actually make ironing bearable, no enjoyable. Yes I said it! But here's why. I actually get a result that looks like the garment has been ironed. And ironing time becomes "me" time. I get a few of my fave TV shows on the planner and just zone out. It's actually kinda fun for me. And then there's the sense of achievement when (for a split second before they get worn anyhow) you stand back and admire a closet full of lovely pressed clothes.

So, I know it's only laundry, but anything that makes it easier or more enjoyable has got to be good . . . right?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Recipe Share - Creamy Chicken, Leek & Blue Cheese Pie

No, not reallly seasonally appropriate I know. But a recent facebook discussion on favourite chicken thigh recipes has prompted me to share this one. You see I have trawlled allover cyberspace, and can't find a link for it anywhere, so I have created my own. You asked for it Yvette - you got it :)

Creamy Chicken, Leek & Blue Cheese Pie

From Food

A real winter warmer. Rich, creamy and delicious.

  • 2 sheets short crust pastry, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 500 g Chicken thigh fillets, cubed
  • 60 g butter
  • 2 leek, halved, washed, finely sliced
  • 125 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves removed and chopped
  • 300 ml thickened cream
  • 2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 45 g creamy bue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • mashed potato, peas or other vegetales to serve
1. Preheat oven to hot (200℃). Place short crust pastry sheets next to each other on a lightly floured surface, with edges overlapping. Join together by rolling overlapped edges with a rolling pin. Gently ease pastry into a 6 cup capacity pie/baking dish, allowing to overhang. Chill for 20 minutes. Bake for 5 minutes
2. While chilling pastry, heat oil in a frying pan on high. Sauté chicken in batches seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, until browned. Transfer to a plate.
3. Melt butter in same pan on high. Sauté leek for 5-10 minutes until caramelised. Add the mushroom and thyme and sauté for 5-10 minutes until mushroom is tender.
4. In a jug, blend cream and flour together. Blend into leek mixture with cheese. Season to taste. Bring to the boil on high, stirring. Add chicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer for three minutes. Cool.
5. Pour mixture into pre-baked pastry case. Cover with puff pastry and press down edges firmly. Trim excess. Press a fork around edges to seal.
6. Brush pastry with egg. Make a small hole in centre of pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake for 25-30 minutes until pastry has risen and is golden brown. Serve with mashed potatoes and peas or other vegetables of choice.

(Serves 6)

If you like a stronger blue cheese taste, use the whole 90g packet of creamy blue cheese. Alternatively if blue cheese isn't your thing, try camembert, brie or any other soft and crumbly cheese.

Print Friendly Version

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Recipe Share -Sunday Pancakes

Alternative Post Title: Too good not to be shared :)

So both boys are out of the house this morning, so we girls decided we would have a pancake breakfast!

I don't know about you, but I love a good pancake. But for me it has to be light, fluffy, piping hot and melt in your mouth and at least a centimeter and a half high. Do you know how hard it is to get a GOOD pancake when out for breakfast? Most places I have been to they end up being rubbery, flat, cold and good for nothing but Frisbee frankly!

Well, no more! Put down that "Shake'n'Pour" because I have the mother of all pancake recipes. I found this probably eight or nine years ago and I can honestly say that I have never ordered pancakes form a breakfast menu again! (Except for twice from the Pancake Parlour while on holidays. And let's face it, if an establishment specialises in pancakes we can pretty much guarantee that they are going to be good. 

The reason I have never again ordered pancakes from a breakfast menu or buffet? While I am perusing the menu I am thinking to myself "Don't do it, you know you're going to be disappointed, it doesn't matter how good they claim to be - you know yours are better!"  and so I move on to Eggs Benedict or the pastry basket!

Yes this recipe really is that good!

Sunday Pancakes


  • Dry Ingredients
    • ¾ cup plain (all-purpose) flour, (cake flour is excellent!)
    • ¾ cup plain wholemeal flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar, heaped
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder, heaped
    • pinch salt
  • Wet Ingredients
    • cups milk
    • 1 egg
    • 2 teaspoons vanlla extract
    • 2 egg yolks, from separated eggs
    • 2 egg whites, beaten stiff
    • unsalted butter and oil for frying
  • For Serving
    • Maple Syrup, best quality
    • cream
    • butter
    • icecream
    • jam
    • cinnamon sugar
Sift (or whisk) the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Combine the wet ingredients
Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.
Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Place a large frying pan/skillet over a low heat. Heat until the pan is hot enough so that droplets of water "dance" for a second or two.
Add a teaspoon each of butter and oil to the pan and swirl around until meted
Pour in half ladle sized portions an when bubbles rise to the top, flip and cook for a further 30-60 seconds.
I like to keep a baking dish covered with foil in the oven on the "keep warm" setting. Pop the cooked pancakes in here to stay warm until all the batter has been cooked.
Serve in stacks with butter, maple syrup, fresh seasonal fruit, cream, icecream, jam or cinnamon sugar (or all of the above!). Makes 12-14 10cm diameter pancakes

(Serves 4-6)

Print Friendly Version

But don't take my word for it. The proof is in the eating as they say