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How cool is this? Bread is my latest weekend hobby. Bread in a camp oven over hot coals. The first two attempts resulted in absolutely delicious bread but it was a little burnt. This one was a smaller batch and I did it all by myself. I even decorated this one so it looked a little bit French. I am a little in awe of how satisfying it is to make bread completely from scratch. You can gather so much enjoyment and pleasure from food, growing it, harvesting it, cooking it. All food should be enjoyed. It’s an amazing blessing and it is a beautiful thing to share home cooked and home grown food.  

Homemade bread tastes far better than purchased loaves and I can’t see myself going back to supermarket for bread at the moment. In a normal week I won’t eat much bread. A large loaf cooked on Saturday or Sunday generally keeps me going all week. And it makes the most perfect toast and the best bruschetta bread with my homegrown tomatoes.

I’m still adjusting to the changes in my life and sometimes I feel as though I have to validate my lack of social activities with other events such as gardening, cooking, going out for coffee or jazz or organising a camp oven roast and dinner under the stars. They’re all lovely things to do but I can’t deny I’m a little bit lonely. It’s good for me though, I plan on going rural when I finish my education graduate diploma and it’s going to be just me on my lonesome. I can do this! 

Love to you all,

xo

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Note to self.

Those brownies were amazing. Good idea self. So good that I made them twice. Time to make them again soon.

Keep up the good ideas.

xo

We bought some chicken drumsticks last grocery shopping trip and I really don’t enjoy cooking them. I also must confess that I have a secret weakness for fried chicken (popcorn chicken is one of my vices) but I hate the actual process of frying – the dishes are way too messy and I don’t like spitty oil…so it was only logical that this was my inspiration for a recipe search. I ended up finding this recipe for oven fried chicken and modifying it according to the ingredients I had on hand (I would never buy ‘seasoned breadcrumbs’ when I can season my own). I am going to write out the recipe the way I did it. (By the way, they turned out deeeeeeelicious! Very crunchy and very much worth doing again). I’ll draw some pictures to aid the instructions. Actually bring on the pictorial recipe…

So there you have it. I am sure this would work with any chicken pieces…wings or thighs or little bits of chicken breast (ooh yeah, bring on the popcorn chicken!). There are plenty more recipes around there, I recommend checking out oven fried chicken recipes on allrecipes.com to look at the range out there. Anywho, this is a great way to use budget chicken cuts. I also made my own breadcrumbs with a few frozen crusts I had in the freezer and I crumbified them and mixed them with herbs and whatnot in a food processor. Easy peasy. I used the leftover egg/flour/breadcrumbs to make potato wedges which were also loveeerly.

In other news, my other computer had a little crash moment and is getting repaired. 😦 I’m a little sad about that, but I was assured that my files should be ok. *phew* I have a lot of photos and paintings and drawings stored on there. Time to do some backing up when I get it back. That’s why we have an external hard drive! I’m also more distrustful of PCs now too. I grew up on macs and deviated to PCs in the last few years but this imac has been pretty faithful. I think when I finally buy myself a new computer it will be a pretty pretty shiny imac or ibook. I’m also having trouble with my scanner on this computer, but after extensive googling, this is not uncommon and it’s a problem with the canon hardware not the imac. I had to use the camera to get that recipe up there on here. Thank goodness for options!

That is all from me for now, this might be my last post for a week or so because I’m probably going to the beach for a week on a bible family camp. I’ll bring you back some photos…I promise.

xo

Buy some flour so you can make these brownies.

Hope you have a good day.

xo

I promised a new post, and although it may not be exactly when I promised…here it is.

It was my brother’s brithday last week and I helped him make a cake that he was going to take to a dinner party thing with his mates. So we made cake…it was my favourite of favourite cake recipes, a glazed orange poppy seed cake. I don’t use a sunbeam mixmaster, I use a spoon and it never fails. I really really love this cake. This cake is the reason that I always have poppy seeds in the pantry. Love love love this cake. I also made another cake for his home birthday cake, a huge carrot cake. It was taaaaaaaaaaasty and we made so much that we have leftovers in the freezer. I added a can of crushed pineapple to the cake too.

Anyway, back to my brother’s cake. We made cake and then he took it to his dinner party with his mates and then he came back home about 2 minutes later because his friends had made him a cake already (or course) and they were just tricking him. And then he said something I didn’t really listen to* and then he went to enjoy friend cake. So it was me and my sister at home and we decided that we could eat some cake. And then my bro came home and was all like ‘You ate my cake! I was going to take it to work tomorrow*!’ (this is what he apparently told me when I wasn’t listening…heh). So we set our make-semi-eaten-cake-look-like-whole-cake plan in motion…

Step 1. Slice cake (note the missing 2 pieces)

Step 2. Slice orange. (This is my most favourite photo. Ever. Well at least at the moment. )

Step 3. Arrange as shown in picture…

It’s pretty swish is it not? Also, how do you like our classy plastic wine glass vase? I love it. Lately we’ve been plundering random nieghbourhood gardens for flowers. Cheap, but thrilling and fun. Our current flower is a half dead bird of paradise.

That is all for me today, I have much uni stuff looming over my head.

Love you all,

xo

ps. I just joined a very cute flickr group, What I Wore Today. Just posting my drawing now…

Here is a modified recipe for a risotto that is delicious! I know it looks like a lot of steps, but it’s really simple. Take the time to read the recipe and understand it before you actually start cooking. This is my second risotto…the first I made was from a Jamie Oliver cookbook of my sister in law’s (the recipe was for roasted butternut squash, pancetta, chestnut and sage risotto). I highly recommend that recipe. It ignited an interest in making more risottos.

This recipe is modified from another recipe I found in a google search. The original recipe is here…http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/006126butternut_squash_risotto.php

Ingredients

2 cups arborio rice
1 small butternut pumpkin aka butternut squash (or half a jap pumpkin)
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 small onions (or a big fat one) diced finely
2 cloves garlic diced finely
3-4 tbsp butter
1 small zucchini thinly sliced (use a vegetable peeler for best results)
1/2 cup grated/shaved parmesan cheese
3 rashers bacon
olive oil
salt
garlic powder (optional)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
2. Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds with all the goopy orange fibres
3. Spread tsp olive oil onto baking tray and put the scooped out seeds onto the tray and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.
4. Slice up pumpkin (with skin on) into 5mm thick slices, put some olive oil onto big baking tray and toss pumpkin pieces so they have a light coating of olive oil.l
5. Place both trays in oven, set timer for 10 minutes (pumpkin seeds should go on top shelf)
6. After 10 minutes, check pumpkin seeds. They should be lightly browned.
7. Remove from oven and let cool, keep tray for cooking bacon later
8. Turn oven down to 180 degrees, cook pumpkin for 30-40 minutes or until they are roasted nicely and are soft to touch.
9. Remove from oven and set aside to cool
10. Heat stock in pot, leave on low heat while beginning the risotto
11. Melt 2 tbsp butter in large frying pan over medium heat
12. Add onion, cook until onion is soft and transparent
13. Add rice, stirring and cooking for 1-2 minutes until the grains look transparent
14. Add wine, stir until absorbed/evaporated
15. Ladle in a spoonful of stock and gently stir risotto til stock is absorbed
16. Repeat step 15 til the rice is cooked…this takes 15-20 minutes
17. In between ladles of stock, place 3 rashers bacon onto seed roasting tray and cook in 180 degree oven until crispy
18. Slice up roasted pumpkin
19. In the last little bit of risotto cooking, add the zucchini and stir til combined and zucchini is soft. Add pumpkin and half of the parmesan and mix it in
20. Slice up bacon
21. Garnish risotto with crispy bacon, parmesan and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Yummmmy! The roasted pumpkin seeds are so delicious, I don’t want to ever let another one go to waste!

Let me know how this risotto goes if you make it. I love hearing from fellow food lovers…