August 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
Hello, I hope you’re already having a good start in your week :)
I was baking cookies again, and this time it was a sugar-free recipe from my lovely friend Keith. Although it says sugar-free they are indeed quite nice with a cuppa. I think the next time I make them I will put a little ginger powder into them, half a teaspoon or so and try baking soda instead of baking powder, because they didn’t rise at all. They needed flipped in my fan oven, you can see they look a bit “well done” in the photo. But I would definitely make them again as a “good-conscience” teatime treat ;)
Here’s his recipe (makes approx 16 cookies):
August 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
Over the weekend we were invited to a party where I wanted to bring a gift of some homemade cookies, but unfortunately I didn’t get the time to do it then and I got them a book token. Just as well as I forgot that the birthday boy is lactose intolerant!! The day afterwards I got around to it and gifted to someone else as a thank-you.
The cookie jar you see here is for us and is a re-purposed sweetie jar. They are the soft-chewy kind and take a little bit of time when they’re being baked because you need to just watch that they are browning on the outside but not too baked inside. They are ridiculously simple to throw together and everyone is delighted to receive home-baked cookies! The simple recipe came from a library book way back when and I don’t know what the original book was called, but here it is (makes approx 36 cookies):
Classic Soft-Bake Choc Chip Cookies
- 220g butter
- 160g brown sugar
- 110g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 300g plain flour
- 1tsp bicarb of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 250g choc chips
- Preheat oven to 190°C.
- Beat butter and sugars together until smooth
- Add eggs & vanilla then continue beating until combined
- Sift the flour, bicarb of soda & salt and stir into the butter mix until just combined
- Add choc chips and stir
- Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the ungreased baking sheets about 5cm apart
- Bake for 10-12 mins until the surface is just set but the centres are still soft. they will appear underdone but will continue to harden while cooling. The “secret” is not to over-bake them.
- Allow to cool for 2mins on the baking sheets (no longer or they’ll harden too much) then transfer them to wire racks to finish.
August 15, 2014 § 4 Comments
Something I didn’t mention the last few weeks is that I have been trying to reduce the old spare tyre a little bit and am trying a mixture of freeletics and paleo. The hardest part is that I do my exercise in the morning and it makes Paleo breakfast a bit tight for time, so I thought I might bake a loaf to save me a bit of time. The reason I didn”t make muffins instead is that I have no muffin tray.
- Here was the recipe i muddled to gether from a few different paleo cakes/loaves:
- 1 and 1/4 cup carrots
- 1/4 cup oil (I had no coconut oil so I just used sunflower – not paleo but whatever)
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1 cup ground coconut
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 3 bananas mashed (I think I would take two next time)
Then handfuls of the following from the pantry:
- poppy seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, raisins
- And before it goes into the oven add a quick tablespoon of vinegar (i had japanese rice wine vinegar)
I baked it at 160 C for about 40 mins and it came out more like a dense, moist, slightly sweet loaf.
August 10, 2014 § Leave a comment
Hello, I hope you’re all keeping well and enjoying the summer. We’re having some wonderful weather here which is so uplifting and is giving me a lot of energy to get the things done that a girl need to get done. It was a pretty hard week with almost a spontaneous decision to go home permanently, or in stages and another spontaneous decision to quit our jobs and go traveling abroad. Neither of these ideas lasted until Friday but it was a very emotional and stressful time. At the very worst time we had a chance encounter with an old friend which diffused the situation. Sometimes we forget how important it is to get help from our friends…
…In between things have calmed down, and we spent some time at a little exhibition in the Ethnology museum today seeing an exhibition on everyday objects in China and Germany. One of the items was a little golden piggybank, with which there was a nice quote from a chinese monk who noted how the piggybank fills himself up without the thought that some day he will be smashed open. Is it a comment on the destructive quest to accumulate wealth?
In other news, after taking a cue from the chance meet with our friend and how beneficial that was, I decided it was important that my boyfriend can visit his best friend soon. He lives in London. So I booked some very reasonable flights for October, but I cannot get over how expensive the accommodation is – especially hostels. The cheapest I found was with the Friendship House, but in the end we chose two nights at a Travelodge. We’ll stay one night with an Aunt of mine and then we’ll have one day still to sort out. Any suggestions of where to stay / eat on the cheap are very welcome!
And everything else I will just take one day at a time :)
July 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
Hello! It’s hot here at the moment, the whole week it’s been over 30 degrees celcius (86 F) and I’m feeling the effects of it – hot and bothered! I feel like I really can’t concentrate on anything either at work or at home and it seems like balancing keeping on top of things at work along with a relatively clean home, nutritous meals, being washed and looking put together is becoming more than a bit overwhelming. I discussed it with my behavioural therapist, who recommended strongly that I come home from work on time. No if’s or but’s. And although it will be hard sometimes, so far so good. This weekend has been a lazy one, just what I needed. Setting clear boundaries is something I struggle with.
I need some time to get myself together for leaving my current job (which is becoming more urgent) and getting a mid to long-term plan for where I’m going to go in general. I’m slowly getting the courage to making the first steps to getting out of here and developing more of a concrete anti-anxiety plan for myself including much more exercise and free time.
Other than that I have been trying to eat paleo for the last two weeks to try and fit more comfortably into my clothes. I’ll do it for a month. I notice a small difference already but do struggle with breakfast in particular because I don’t always have leftover meat or fish and I seem to be going through eggs like nobody’s business. Today I made paleo pancakes, enough for 4 people but we ate them all in one sitting! LOL!
July 13, 2014 § 1 Comment
While chatting to Lois at her Livingsimplyfree blog I got inspired to have a go at making my own plant feeder. Last year I asked a friend to feed my plants and my milk kefir, and not getting into the details too much, I really felt like I was imposing on her. So this year I thought I would try this, or just get some new plants.
Keeping in mind I don’t own SO many plants, this did work for our two week holiday – even my delicate basil plant lived! I thought I would share what I did. I used:
– 1 lasagne tray
– A couple of squares of damp kitchen roll (line the tray first with a few layers and pour on some water enough to hold it
– then I poured on about a centimeter to two centimetres of water
– and covered with couple of clear plastic bags
I couldnt believe my eyes when my basil plant was still living when I returned! Actually it’s doing pretty well :)
Hope this is useful to somebody!
July 12, 2014 § 2 Comments
Hello! I’m back from our Austrian-Swiss adventure and it was so wonderful! All in all we travelled about 3,000km in 2 weeks, through 4 different countries (Germany via Fuessen in Bavaria), Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. We could have easily dropped into Italy from Austria, but were trying to keep our car travel to a minimum and have more time to enjoy the places we stayed.
We saw fireflies and danced with a man in Lederhosen in Füssen, hiked in the countryside around Kals am Grossglockner and stayed at this wonderful B&B that I can’t recommend enough. On thursdays in a little watermill abotu 10 minutes hike from the guesthouse into the forest, traditional-style fresh baked bread is served. We regretted not staying here longer – not just for the bread but because it was so relaxing and there was so much to do.
In Switzerland it rained a lot but enjoyed the famous Interlaken area and saw some spectacular views and even some strange wildlife (beetles and bugs). « Read the rest of this entry »