Monday, April 22, 2019

Insourcing...the working womans guide....

 
Friends, when you work full time and you have STUFF TO DO...it just gets done.
 
By hook or by crook.
 
I know...you're admiring my DIY chandelier, aren't you. More on that in a minute.
 
Meanwhile, I used the Easter long weekend to enjoy some peaceful reflection, as one should at this time of year. It's not all about chocolate and camping, folks.
 
Speaking of chocolate though, we avoided gifting too much of it, purely for healths sake.
 
The granddaughters instead received SOME chocolate, and other little gifts like this cute succulent in a ceramic bunny bowl...
 
 
….Unicorn milkshakes, which granddaughter number 2 (in birth order, not in any sort of order of preference), declared she could SEE the unicorn in....

 
….the traditional feast was held...
 
 
...new little friends were made in the garden...I do not like stick insects, but to my enormous surprise, they were declared 'beautiful' by daughter and granddaughters and permitted to climb over both.

 
Easter goings-on complete, it was on to the business of the week ahead.
 
Sweet potato was roasted for lunches.

 
Pantry salad was made...basically a tin of bean mix, a tin or corn kernels, and a good dose of a mixture of maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and wholegrain mustard. A favourite from wayyyy back. And great for work lunches.

 
...fresh herbed ricotta...can't make it fast enough to keep up with the demand just now!

 
Todays lunch lighter fare...some of the aforementioned ricotta, roasted sweet potato, baby spinach and smoked salmon. Yummy.

 
Here's my $5 chandelier and about $25 worth of aurora borealis crystals ordered on Wish.com.

 
Here's my $5 chandelier hung.
 
Impressive, right?
 
Many of these crystals are attached with jewellery magnets. They're meant for DIY necklaces. Works well, and much easier to remove and clean the crystals!
 


 
Make the most of every day friends.
 
Do one thing, then just one thing more. My Mums mantra.
 
It works for me!
 
What's happening there?
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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Homespun Things...Life Changing Bread, Ricotta and Nutella Raspberry spread.

 
I love this bread. I'm not sure it's 'life changing' as such, but it sure is a welcome relief from the sponges that are labelled 'gluten free loaf'.
 
My husband is not a fan. He prefers the sponges. Daughter is ambivalent. But since when can I not cook something for ME, right?
 
Over the years, I've adapted the original My New Roots recipe here, streamlining it a little for my own time poor methods.
 
I have a loaf on the go now. I'm taking it to work with my home made Herby Cheese, which is sort of a copy of the very pricey Boursin cheese, that I rather love, but cannot afford to purchase in the quantities in which I prefer to consume it!
 
So without further ado, here are those two recipes.
 
Mimi's Savoury Seeded Loaf
 
1 1/4 cups L.S.A. mix (Linseed, Sunflower, Almond)
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups Quinoa flakes
2 tablespoons Chia Seeds
4 tablespoons Psyllium Seed Husks
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil or ghee
1 1/2 cups water
 
You also need a silicon loaf pan.
 
In the pan itself, mix all of the dry ingredients until well combined.
 
Mix the melted oil, maple syrup and water together, and add to the dry ingredients in the loaf pan. Mix well with a fork, until thoroughly combined. Press down and smooth with the back of a spoon.
 
Allow this to sit for at least 2 hours to allow the chia seeds and other ingredients to bind.
 
 
Heat the oven to 175C/350F, and bake the loaf for 20 minutes.
 
Turn the loaf out on to a tray, and bake for a further 30-45 minutes until browned and hollow sounding when tapped.

 
Allow to cool, then slice thinly and toast as for normal bread.
 
Absolutely delish with my home made herbed ricotta.
 
Mimis' Herbed Ricotta
 
Makes about 600-650gms fresh ricotta
 
2.5 litres full cream milk
Salt
Citric Acid
Muslin or paper towel to drain
2 small handfuls fresh herbs, chopped finely
1 tablespoon grated onion
 
Mix 2.5 litres full cream milk in a large saucepan, with 1 heaped teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons Citric Acid. Bring to a fast simmer over heat, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk scaulding on the bottom.
 
Once it comes to a simmer and bubbles around the edges, turn it off, and allow it to sit, undisturbed, for ten minutes to allow the curds to form.
 
Prepare a large sieve or colander by setting it over a jug (assuming you want to capture the whey, otherwise just in the sink is fine), and lining it with muslin (cheesecloth), a rinsed Chux cloth (if you're an Aussie), or paper towels (in a pinch).
 
Very carefully, start scooping the curds from the surface of your boiled milk with a slotted spoon. Do this gently so as not to disturb the formed curds.
 
You should be left with a watery residue, perhaps light yellow in colour. If yours still looks 'milky', and your yield of curd looks a little sad, add another 1/2 teaspoon Citric Acid and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the liquid and repeat the process. I sometimes to this two or three times. It usually happens because I've been too impatient and either not heated the milk sufficiently, or not allowed the curds to form for long enough.
 
Allow them to drain, changing the paper towel if necessary (yes, yes, I know there's chemicals in the paper towels and all, but not nearly as many chemicals as in purchased ricotta).
 
You can keep the curds really soft and milky, or allow them to drain until they're dry and form into a ball like mine. That's a matter of personal taste.
 
Once they're drained to your liking, add the chopped herbs, mix well, and press into a small bowl lined with cling wrap or a beeswax wrap.
 
Chill well, and eat like cheese spread, as a side with meats, or tossed with pasta. Absolutely scrumptious!
 

And in the 'But wait! There's more!' category...
 
Behold my banana loaf laced with currants for an Easter morning tea at work later this week.
 
It's a monster. It must weigh a full kilogram (2.2lbs).
 
I'm freezing this baby till Thursday, where it will be served with....
 
 


...Nutella Raspberry spread. Yes indeedy.
 
Just equal parts Nutella and frozen raspberries.
 
You will like.
 
I promise.
 
 
 
Just in case we don't see one another before then....
 
Happy Easter!
 
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Friday, April 12, 2019

Getting on with it....the working girls guide to insourcing....

 
So let me tell you about this weeks insourcing.
 
See, Husband thinks he's all over this shopping for groceries bizzo.
 
He's out there loading up the trolley at Aldi and patting himself on the back and all.
 
Does he menu plan? No.
 
Does he write a list? Yes. But he doesn't include things like pet food, sanitary items, or food that Daughter and I actually eat.
 
He buys frozen mixed vegetables (which are NOT my favourite thing), and precooked spare ribs (also NOT my favourite thing).
 
But what's a girl to do? He's shopping. He's doing it willingly. I say nothing. I just gently 'remind' and pop into the mercifully close Aldi underneath the office where I work and buy those things myself.
 
Meanwhile, the overabundance of peaches and nectarines due to Husbands over-enthusiastic adding to trolley of said fruits, has meant baking of morsels such as Peach Upside Down cakes seen above. Ahem...we won't talk about WHY.
 
Here's that recipe in a couple of sentences:
 
Upside Down Cakes
 
To make those, just slice the fruit and lay it on the base of your tin or muffin holes. I used a tray of square muffin holes for this. Pour your favourite vanilla or buttercake batter over that and bake as usual. Make sure your tins are well greased and floured. When you turn your cakes out they'll look just like mine.
 
Similarly, the Baby Spinach that I didn't know was there, and he doesn't like to serve, was wilted with poached eggs and avocado topped muffins for Sunday breakfast. Waste diversion tactics by me, naturally. He would have thrown it out, bless him.

 
He likes his bought yoghurt. So be it. I'll stick with my home made version. This one is Greek Yoghurt laced with honey, which you can find here.. I made my coconut version as well. That recipe here.

 
Thank goodness for cutting up veges ready to go. That saves a bunch of time on busy nights.


And life's not right without a pretty cake for morning tea. Everyone goes mad for a retro cake at work.
 
Team building stuff right there, folks.
 

 
What happened at your place this week?
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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Getting on with it....the working girls guide to insourcing...


You might think that now that I have a Job Outside of the Home, that it's all Chanel bracelets and good times on the town.
 
Not at Chez Mimi, it's not. Never.
 
Yes I'm admiring this Chanel Assemblage style charm bracelet, but look...!
 
 
I've bought the base for my own DIY version on Etsy. $20. Including postage. A bargain, right?
 
I added two Victoriana inspired gold heart lockets to my cart while I was there. $50-ish each thanks to exorbitant postage.


 
I already have a third one which I wear regularly. These will all now be attached to my bracelet.
 
A reasonable facsimile of the Chanel version will  be achieved I think. P'raps even a little classier.
 
Meanwhile, I'm embroidering wattle and leaves on face washers whenever I sit still. Wattle is a true Aussie tree with a beautiful scent. You'd love it.
 
 
And if you thought we'd be lured into that den of iniquity called Take Away, you'd be wrong.
 
Behold bulk lasagnas….a godsend in a busy week.


This here is not a soap. No.
 
It's a wax melt. Custom made for the burner it's being gifted with.
 

 
I made it by melting the accoutrements in the burner itself...
 
 
...oils and botanicals added, stacked and wrapped with the oil burner, it's a pretty gift.
 
 
And daughters friends were so impressed with her candle making, that they're all coming here on Sunday for a candle making session.
 
I call that a win on every front.
 
Poached chicken is consumed here. Often. And with everything.

 
I apologise if I've already shown off the pretty puppy cake I conjured up for Granddaughter who just turned 7. I was a bit proud of self.


Her friends were so impressed that they've ordered cakes too....this one was for a roller skating fan.

 
Meanwhile Husband is doing insourcing his way.
 
He's tiled the ensuite of the She Shed.
 
Impressive, eh?



Macarons. I was scared of them
 
No more!
 
Success!
 


Rice and vege 'cakes' are the work lunch du jour round here.
 
Gluten free heaven.
 

 
And of course Son number three didn't just want a 'cake' for his birthday.
 
He requested Banana Bread Tiramisu.
 
What's a Mum to do but comply?
 

Meanwhile, I'm She Shed Chandeliering.
 

 
I decided I'd like it better white.
 
Now I have to pull it apart.
 
It will be worth it.

 
Oh...here's some mini brown rice cakes!
 
They're delish too.
 
 
...and Rock Cakes....an oldie but a goodie.

 
See? Nothings changed....
 
What's different at your place?

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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Homespun Things....getting on with it...

 
You might imagine that all is fairy dust and sparkles at Chez Mimi now that the fountain of economic reward is spouting at a lively pace...that means I'm earning nicely, folks.
 
I'd like to say it's all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but the truth is, that some days I'm tired.
 
But then....I had days where I was tired before, so really...nothing changes.
 
So as has always been my habit, I insource.
 
I insourced diced and roasted veg for lunch salads this week....behold!
 
 
I insourced garlic chicken breasts too. Healthy stuff, I'm telling you.

 
The fridge had a makeover and a fillup of goodies. Don't be fooled by the commercial coconut yoghurt container. It's still my own recipe. I just use their container to fool the family....bwahahaha!

 
I'm lining up lasagnas every second weekend. They save us from the evil takeaway outlets. Why make one lasagne when you can make three, I ask you?

 
I'm finding time for creative pursuits that entail sitting still.
 
Embroidering wattle on facecloths is the current project. This is all French Knots and bullion stitch. Such pretty things.


The Struggling Student, aka The Diva, learned a valuable lesson, trotting out three hand crafted candles for about $3 each the other weekend. She swears she'll never buy another premade one!
 


 
Granddaughter requested a pink puppy dog cake for her seventh birthday.
 
Naturally I obliged.


Alas all has not been well for The Struggling Student. She truly has been struggling with a bout of Glandular Fever. Poor love. Thankfully she's recovered just in the nick of time in order to commence studies at her artsy performance university. Phew!
 
Meanwhile it was Mamas chicken broth and noodles for several days. Did you know that Glandular Fever is often misdiagnosed as Tonsillitis. Truth. That's what we thought she had.
 


Anways...she's on the mend.
 
Meanwhile I celebrated the last of my birthdays in my fifth decade.
 
Lunch was here. Rather nice, I have to say.

 
I made heart shaped cakes for my birthday. Well, nobody else will.

 
We enjoyed gluten free agnolotti for lunch over the weekend. Don't ask me for that recipe. I bought ready made. Quelle Horreur, right?


The work crew have discovered I can cook things. So here's what they're getting tomorrow. It's a raspberry coconut cheesecake slice. Yumbo…
 

 
...and not one, but two!


Have I mentioned that there's a wedding in the family this year? My stubbornly monogamous, but altar-shy middle son, finally did the right thing. You're a good boy.
 
I'm eyeing off headgear like nobody's business. When else does one get to frock up AND wear a fancy head thingo??
 

 
What's happening in your corner of the world?
...Mimi...