Thursday, April 29, 2010

Homemade Baked Beans

Coming into winter, the mornings here are getting brisk and fresh to say the least. We don't have air con at the moment which is sort of refreshing as we all rug up in slippers and dressing gowns and often indulge in porridge (which I keep low in sugar so it is a winter "weight management" dish too lol). I found a savoury breakfast that I just love. Homemade baked beans. YUMMM!!! I let it simmer on the stove and then also decided to spoon some into a ramekin and crack an egg on top and throw it in the oven. Right before it was ready, I sprinkled parmesan on it and put the grill on to make it crispy...OH MY!!!! I often find myself making things without a recipe and using taste tests to guide the ingredients, so here is my best guess at the recipe (there are also many available on net too). This would be enough for breakky for several adults, so feel free to halve it if necessary.
1. Put in an 800g tin tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, 1 onion (or handful of frozen onions if you want to avoid tears) in saucepan.
2. Add 3 tins of white beans, i used butter beans and canelini beans.
3. Add a dash of worcestershire sauce, a dessert spoon of dijon mustard, a spoonful of brown sugar, a bay leaf or two and a sprig of fresh thyme (dried is okay if thats all you have - but it's worth slashing out for fresh). Thought of adding tabasco whilst typing this (next time;)

4. I added a sprinkle of smokey paprika, tumeric, salt and lots of pepper.
5. Simmer on low heat for about 10-20 mins (longer will make it richer).

Serving suggestions:
1. Crusty bread and wilted spinach

2. On toast with crispy bacon
3. Spoon into ramekin and crack egg on top. Once egg is cooked, place some parmesan or
gruyere cheese and top with a fresh sprig of thyme and serve with soldier toast on side.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yummy and HEALTHY lasagne!!!

Well, I am a big fan of The Biggest Loser but I loved the masterclass that they added this season. One recipe I was dying to try was a grilled vegetable lasagne with difference. Instead of a normal white sauce which was full of butter, flour....they gave an unusual option which I tried and am now a BIG fan of.
Turn some ricotta to a white sauce consistency with some skim milk and you have a version of white sauce with HALF the calories! The amount of milk will depend on whether you buy your ricotta from the fridge or the deli. The deli ricotta is dryer and will require more milk. I bought 1kg of ricotta and made a canelloni as well for tomorrow night (trying to be organised and multi task - hehehe).
Here is a link to the recipe that i used. Very simple and delicious too! If you try it let me know how you like it :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Family Values/ Rules chart

I wasn't going to post today - but I found a post at a NEW blog called
The Pleated Poppy that I was SO impressed with. You need to go to the blog to see all the rules written out clearly - but definitley ANOTHER craft project on my list....LUUUURVE it!!!!

Also loving this one done by Brown Paper Packages ;)

Do you have something like this at your place? If so, what is on it and how did you make it?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Artist in Review : Leroy Lee

I have quite a varied taste in music. One style I do love though is that alternative indie music that whispers soulfully in the backround and makes you want to chill out with some mates around a cheese platter and catch up. Well, if you like that style too - you will love this guy. His smooth melodies are just SOOO easy to listen to.

I actually went to high school for a few years with this guy and he always had the girls attention because he played the guitar (and what young girl doesn't love a musician - hehehe). Many years later he realeased an album that I know you will love! You can find out more about him on
facebook, myspace and his album is on itunes too. Enjoy xo

Monday, April 19, 2010

Inspiration that takes my breath away

Hubby and I have our eyes set on a beautiful piece of acerage that we would LOVE to aquire in the near future.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Basil Pesto and White Wine Gnocchi

So I often cook (not bake though) without a recipe and just see how I like the flavour as I go. You will notice that I will use measurements like drizzle, splash, handful. This is mainly because I didn't write down the recipe, but also allows you to adjust to your own taste.
Tonight I made this gnocchi (varying a friends recipe) for dinner and just loved it! Would serve 2 for a rich dinner or 4 as a side.

1. Boil up 500g packet of gnocchi in a saucepan.
2. Whilst boiling, finely cut up 1 green capsicum (could use red, but I had green and they are cheaper too).
3. Then peel some pumpkin (I used about 2 handfuls) and discard skin. Keep peeling the pumpkin till you get a handful or 2 of the slithered pumpkin.
4. Drizzle a little oil in a frying pan/ wok (I used chilli oil for a little kick) and when hot cook the pumpkin and capsicum till tender.
5. Place a heaped dessert spoon of basil pesto in the frying pan.
6. Then add a splash of white wine and cook it out for a minute.
7. When Gnocchi floats to the top, scoop into the frying pan mixture.
8. Before serving, add a drizzle of cream or evaporated milk (if you want to be good).
9. Serve with a grinding of pepper and fresh basil leaves (i also grated a little peccorino cheese).

YUMMM!!!!!! ENJOY xo

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cute Footprint Memories

I saw this craft project on 'brown paper packages' and just thought it was SOOO cute!!!! What a way to keep the memory of your family alive. ADORABLE!!!!! You could even make it a "green" project by re-purposing a wooden stool you have at home.....for details, click on the blog link above and see their instructions - this is DEFINITLEY going on my to do list!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Panna Cotta!

So, I have often seen panna cotta recipes and have wanted to try them. For some reason I have been very hesitant to use gelatine. I don't know why because it was such an easy recipe. I found white chocolate panna cotta recipes quite easily, but thought I would try this yoghurt based one so that it would be a bit healthier. I am definitley keen to experiment and try different flavours now that I know how to do it. I am thinking rosewater, coffee, chocolate or berry flavours - yummm!

The recipe is from taste and the trick we found was to sit the ramekins in the sink with hot water for a few seconds and they came out easily onto the plate!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting creative with some friends ;)

Well, I have been quiet in blog land for the last week - been very busy here. Part of that busy week was a wonderful craft night I hosted. A few friends poppped in for a chance to get creative with a company that sells gorgeous wooden stamps, beautiful papers, buttons, ribbons and stunning colour palettes! Stampin' up! have added a lot of gorgeous products to my creative toolbelt -that's for sure!!!! Apologies for the quality of the photos ;)

This card was So easy to make, the gorgeous purple and green combination is so much richer in person than the photo suggests. The thing about this project that I loved was the envelope. We made it with the BIG SHOT!!! It it a die cut machine that is easy to use, punches out up to 50 different materials from fabric to chip board. It punched the envelope in no time and scored it ready to fold and assemble. SOOOO getting me one of these - the options are endless for possible uses!!!!! hehehehe ;)

All of their papers are double sided, so opening the envelope still gives another opportunity for a burst of colour ;) Just love it!!!!

The cutest bird card that had hand stamped and punched details. I just love the gorgeous soft tones in this design and the 3D bird adds stunning dimension. The stamp says "Sending you a little something wrapped in a whole lot of love!" Cuuuute!!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

You've Got Mail

There is something very exciting to open your letterbox and get something other than bills. I love the idea of email on my iPhone - but keeping snail mail alive is very important. Saw these photos and they just make me nostalgic for a time of a time where people knew their "postie" and a time of beautiful penmenship and stunning stationery - hope you enjoy!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Goodness ;)

HAPPY EASTER SUNDAY MORNING EVERYONE!!!!!!! Easter is a very special holiday for me and my family. One of the things I tried last year was SOOOO successful that I think it will become a part of our annual Easter Celebrations. I (after years of hesitation) finally made my own Hot Cross Buns and they were DELISH! Here is a link to the recipe on one of my favourite online recipe data-bases taste! I hope you try them too and enjoy the goodness that is "homemade".


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