Thursday 30 May 2013

Using My Slow Cooker/Crockpot

I've been getting much more use out of my lovely Breville slow cooker(thanks Mum) these days and then Mandy linked me to this great facebook site, My Slow Cooker Recipes . A lot of the recipes use canned soups etc but the techniques can be modified to suit the "cooking from scratch" recipes I prefer to use.
The members are friendly and very helpful and Jenny does a great job of keeping this very large group running smoothly and the recipes clear and easy to follow.

However yesterday a lovely member posted this ridiculously easy pull-apart bread recipe and I was very keen to try it myself using one of Joe's tins of condensed soup, his childhood favourite.

3 1/2 cups of SR Flour
1 tin of condensed soup(that is the kind that you add a tin full of water or milk to to dilute it)
1/4 tin milk
handful of chopped bacon
handful of grated cheese

Mix them altogether and then knead lightly
Break into 6 pieces and place in slow cooker on baking paper or grease well
Bake on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours with a tea towel over the cooker but under the lid to soak up the steam

It's a keeper!

This week I've also used the slow cooker to make a lovely Vegetable Bake using mainly root vegies and tomatoes and I'm cooking a whole chicken in it this afternoon.

Vegies at the ready...just a couple of tablespoons of water and Worcestershire sauce provided the initial liquid and as the vegies cooked they released their juices...


I bottled up my second lot of olives yesterday...I had no idea there were so many and I had to use every jar in the house...

It's cool and very wet here today as we wait for the lady to come and do our Rent Inspection.
Stay warm and dry,
Love from Sue

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Perth Craft and Quilt Fair 2013

Well I took myself along to the fair again this year, mainly to browse and admire the quilts. I was hoping to find some nice but affordable wool to knit but that wasn't to be so I only bought 2 fat quarters and some fish and chips for lunch! May's edition of the Australian Woman's Weekly was given for free and the train and parking were free too so it was quite a frugal treat in the end.

I pulled out my knitting on the way there and then another lady nearby did the same, we shared a smile. On the way home I did the same and ended up giving a brief knitting lesson!

Here are my photos, it was a beautiful sunny day, Perth looked gorgeous so I took a few pics outside the Convention Centre first...the deciduous trees are just losing their leaves...

the City...

the striking exterior of the Convention Centre...

Perth Busport with BHP behind in the distance, my first husband's company made the rounded arches that cover this building, they were rather special as no-one else was constructing with fibreglass reinforced concrete 20 odd years ago...the kids and I helped at weekends in the Kwinana workshop and they were transported by lorry to Perth. The Chinese Govt was considering buying some to use as bus shelters!

Into the Fair and the very first stall was a wonderful knitted tea cosy selection from Loani Prior. These two are based on the (awful) hats that Princesses Beatrix and Eugenie wore to William and Kate's wedding last year!

there was colour everywhere...quilts for children...

Bunnies always catch my eye...

an embroidered quilt...just a small piece but so detailed...

this one represents the Queensland Rain Forests...

Moroccan inspired quilt, single bed size...

 Best of Australia Quilts included this beauty...

"SA: Golden Ivory by Rachelle Denneny: I have always loved white/cream wholecloth quilts. A touch of bling was added with delicate gold free motion machine embroidery. Trapunto was used to enhance these sections and the quilting was then designed to fit around the embroidery without overpowering it. Quilted and free motion embroidered on a Brother QC 1000. Original design."

Colourful appliqué work...

This quilt would fit a king size bed and each hexy was a different was truly a work of art...

 This may have been my favourite quilt...

oh look here's my fish and chip lunch...

Prudence Mapstone was there too with her free form crocheted and knitted pieces, the theme this year was Hearts and Flowers...

I really enjoyed my few hours there and highly recommend getting out and seeing what wonderful items and heirlooms are being created around us.


Friday 24 May 2013

Happy Birthday, Miss Olivia

Our darling turns 9 years old today...

Just a few hours old...

waiting for Jessie's birthday cake, aged 2...

Little Miss Independant...

riding her bike, aged 4 yrs...

Chatting with Auntie Liz...

Fun with great Granddad and the three-legged race...

Wishing you a very happy birthday, Sweetheart...hope you get some white chocolate Tim Tams today!!

Love from Nana

Sunday 19 May 2013

Picking Olives (Again)

After visiting a friend recently I noted that there many fully laden olives trees growing on street verges in her area. I asked if was OK to pick them as they seemed to be just falling and rotting on the ground and she assured that it was. BUT I was too shy about going by myself for I had the brainwave of inviting Jess and Livvie. I asked Gord on the phone, he turned and asked them if they'd like to help me and I heard loud cheers and "Yes yes yesses."
Then I heard a little voice ask "What are olives?"

I arranged to pick them at 10am the following morning and Gordie sent word that they ready to go at 8.10am lol So off we went. I was too busy picking to remember to take photos, Olivia saw a mouse and I saw a wasp's nest, they wandered off to look at the creek and came dashing when back like startled deer after 2 wild ducks took to the air close to them!

our haul...after we'd also picked limes and lemons from Mum's lovely neighbour's trees...

We filled the bucket to the brim and then decided to visit Ma and Pa. Livvie wondered out loud if they'd be able to get the golf cart out for a ride and I explained that Saturday is Men's Day and the golf course would be very busy and unsafe. Undeterred she plotted to "use my cutest face and then Granddad will say yes! Have you got your cutest face on, Jess?"

On the way we had to wait for a goods train and counted 56 wagons...that took ages and then I noticed a lot of motor cycle riders coming up behind us. I pulled over to watch them go by and the camera had flat batteries so no pics there either! Jessie counted 64 in all.

The batteries were flat because some people had been taking self-portraits...

Granddad was suitably soft when asked about the golf cart and the three of them spent half an hour riding around the big front garden

The girls then decided they'd like to eat some lemons and sugar ...not quite as good an idea as it sounds judging by Liv's face...we oldies laughed our heads off at their antics...

Then home again and I took a couple of garden photos, I can't believe how many beautiful big passion-fruits are growing on the vine now...

 So that was our Saturday along with lots of knitting and football watching on the telly. I even bought fish and chips for the first time in many months.
 I especially enjoyed Frugal Queen's home cooking post last week and dreamed I had made her oven baked scotch eggs...I'd better make that dream come true very soon.

How is your weekend going? Busy or calm? Sunny or wet?
Love from Sue

Friday 17 May 2013

A Fridge Scrape Soup

Cold day, vegies and leftovers to use up and a fridge that needs a good clean...perfect for fridge scrape soup...I love this name and the freedom it allows, the thrift of using up all the those bits and pieces so there is no waste in the kitchen.

I'll start with gently frying onion, carrots and celery and then add some fresh garlic. What's next? That half a zucchini, those elderly potatoes, soft tomatoes, bits of broccoli, cabbage, the silverbeet that Twitch won't eat, the left-over mushy peas than need longer cooking and that scrap of corned beef from earlier in the week. Quick look in freezer and there's that bag of butter beans from goodness knows when...they can go in near the end! Give everything a good stir round in the oil and then cover with hot water from the kettle, plenty of salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce or your favourite spice/herb blends. Cook gently until the vegies are tender and clean the fridge now lol
Then you can eat and enjoy your soup!

Do you make soups at home, are you game to try a fridge scrape soup this weekend?

This blogger made several different versions which may inspire you!

Thrifty, warming and delicious.

Enjoy your weekend,

PS I didn't know it was Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day when I started cooking this morning, he is such an inspiration to us all

Tuesday 14 May 2013

An Upside-down Plum Cake...

...without the usual buttery and sweet goo on the fruit(sorry). Fresh plums are very cheap at Spud Shed this week, $3 per kilo, so I bought 6 with the idea of making some sort of plum cake with them. The plums were huge so I only used 3 and had to chop them up a bit...

It's a food processor recipe and that makes it very easy and quick too, it will be lovely served warm with ice-cream.

Here is the recipe, I used raw sugar as that's all I have at the moment. It is sooooooo good lol A keeper for certain!

The Habanero chillies are almost fully ripe...their fruit is extremely hot so a little goes a very long way...I already have a jar of sauce made from them that will last me all winter so I think I'll pass these along to my sons who both love cooking and chillies!

Hope all is well and thank you for all the lovely comments yesterday about my baby knitting, it's really very satisfying as baby clothes knit up so quickly, I've just finished another Pebbles vest today!

Bye bye for now,
Love, Sue

Monday 13 May 2013

Sweet Baby Knitting


 I did have a special Mother's Day with lots of love and laughter. Mum and Dad loved their photo-book of old and new family photos(I used Blurb) and it makes it a very special family 'book'. I was also blessed with roses and $$$ to spend in Canada on our August holiday ;) Gordie came over and he and Joe chatted about weird electrical computer things and he left with a big piece of that potato cake and a jar of olives both made by his was a lovely day.

Here are the Pebbles vests that Phiona has taken to Port Hedland for her grandson who is due in July...that tablecloth cost $4 at the op-shop a couple of years ago...

and a 4-ply basket stitch blanket...

I taken a different path with these items and used very soft acrylic/nylon yarns that are machine washable for busy new point using wool that will shrink and spoil...I'm still learning ;)

Love to you all