Orange, Almond and Honey Cake

I love the fact that we grow some of our own food. We have had fruit trees for many years. Some don’t produce as yet, probably because we don’t do enough t them to help them grow, but some, like our citrus, are wonderful at giving us fruit during winter.


Our mandarin tree grows so many fruits that I am able to share them with many people, and our orange tree is going great at the moment too. The fruits aren’t huge, but they are tasty. I picked 5 the other day and decided to make an orange, almond and honey cake.


I am  one of those people that if they get an idea for a recipe in my head, I google and look at MANY different recipes, and then see what I have in the  cupboard and whip up said food using what I have. Some recipes I follow to a T but others I make up….some ones they work and sometimes they don’t. 

The most  important thing you need to realise is that you need to boil the oranges for two hours making sure it stays covered with water so a top up very now and then is needed. When done let them cool. I did mine a da before I use them and left them in the fridge. I then cut them in half to get the seeds out.


INGREDIENTS

3 smallish boiled oranges (processed to mush in the food processor)

2.5 cups of almond meal

6 whole free range eggs

Between half to one cup of raw honey(I’m not huge on measuring)

1.5 teaspoons of baking powder(no aluminium added stuff)

Slivered almonds

Two tablespoons water

Dollop of honey (at least two tablespoons worth)

METHOD

Pre heat oven to 180¬įC

I used a little hand held blender to mix up the honey and the eggs.

I then folded in the oranges and then folded in the almond meal and the baking powder.

I then lined one regular sized square tin with baking paper and popped the mix into the tin then into the oven. 

I cooked it for 35 minutes and took it out I left it in the tin for 10 minutes to cool.

I mixed the extra honey and water together popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds and then poured it over the top.

I sprinkle the slivered almonds over the top and took out of the pan and popped it onto a cooler, still with the baking paper underneath. 

We ate it with a little yoghurt on top. It made 16 really decent  sized pieces of cake.

YUM!

I think the next time. Make this I will pop some black poppy seeds into it. 

Let me know if you give it a try.
Until next time

Lots of it

Mandy

Xxx

Home Made Bread

Bread….it’s delicious, but I can’t have too much of it. I do worry about the preservatives in it, and have tried my hand sparodically making it in a breadmaker ive had for a few years.

I have discovered the perfect recipe as of yesterday.

And just let me add, it smells delicious, and is light and fluffy.

I think doing it this way would have a lesser impact on the environment. No plastic as well, which is what I am into at the moment. Just taking small steps, in hopes of putting it out there , setting and example to my kids, and hoping that others will follow.

So, here is my very simple recipe for making a delicious white bread. I have done a bulk order for some unbleached, and also whole meal bread, so I will see how it goes with those two.

Loaf

2 1/2 cups 00 flour

1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

big pinch ascorbic acid (vitamin c found in a packet at the chemist)

Pinch salt

Teaspoon of sugar

tablespoon of olive oil

1/3 cup coconut cream/milk

190 mls water

Pop all in the bread maker and switch on. Mine is the first setting and it takes about 3 and a half hours to cook.

Once it has stopped mixing and it’s in for its final bake, with mine it’s when it has about an hour to go, I gently painted on an egg white and sprinkled the top with a mix of chips seeds, sesame seeds and pepitas.

And that’s it.

Delicious home made bread without preservatives to go with the pumpkin Soup I will be making for dinner tonight.

Now, one little slice won’t be too dreadful for me. ūüėČ

Here it is in the bread maker.


Any questions about making this…..just ask.

Do YOU make homemade bread. Would love to hear about it and what you use in your ingredients.

Until next time

Lots of it

Mandy

Xxx

Shock and Anzac Biscuits

This week has been a big one. I was away with 3 of my 4 sisters for a sports competition, which was wonderful fun in a really beautiful spot of NSW, Shellharbour. We went very well, two out of the three days of the comps we were the winning team. Lawn bowls is a fun game to play for young and old, and just about everyone you meet has a smile and a tale to tell. I thoroughly recommend giving it a go.


The shock came On Tuesday morning with the terrible events in Manchester. Heartbroken. As we all will be. And that is enough said about that.

The Anzac biscuits came about after eating a delicious dinner cooked by me, and thinking a sweet little nibble and a cup of tea would be perfect, so Anzac biscuits are quick and easy to whip up, and I seem to always have a variation of the ingredients in the cupboard.


I use

One cup of oats

One cup of wholemeal plain flour

One cup of shredded coconut

One cup of very losely packed brown sugar

Mix

125 g unsalted butter melted

Three big dessert spoons full of coconut syrup(mix into the melted butter)

About 60 mls of boiling water and then stir one teaspoon of bicarbonate soda into it and then mix all the wet ingredients up well.

Plonk that into the dry stuff, mix well and dollop spoonfuls onto a lined baking tray.( I used 4)

I cooked at 175 for about 12 minutes.

I may have over cooked  them.

There are loads of variations of these and I really think you can never go wrong with them.


And now I relax. It’s been a hugely emotional week, I am sure we have all felt it…innocence lost. My comfy Mother’s Day socks are ¬†on, heater going, watching a movie and enjoying my Anzac biscuits and a cup of tea, I think I will turn off social media for a day or two after I finish this post.


Hope your weekend is grand.

Until next time

Lots of it

Mandy

Xxx

Refurbished Furniture

There is nothing like the rewarding feeling when you have worked hard and made something g beautiful.

Recently, I got a chest of drawers from a pay it forward site. I actually passed on a bundle of clothing, so the site works well and really makes you think about what you have in your home and could anything you have in your home get better use by someone else…..anyway…


This chest of drawers was a little worse for ware, with many scratches and it looked loved , that’s for sure, but also looked like it could use a little more love.

So, sanding back and beeswaxing made this a little beauty. The woman that we picked it up off actually told me that it used to be her mothers, and this lady was a tad older than me,  so we are talking beautiful vintage chest of drawers. I feel so lucky to have these now sitting in my bedroom.


It’s amazing what a little hard work can do.

And not a cent was exchanged, nor anything thrown out. Yippee!!!


Recycle and reuse.

Saving the planet one little step at a time.

Until next time.

Lots of it.

Mandy

Xxx

Curing Olives

Well…I have an amazing tree. It was planted about 9 years ago. It’s so pretty, even if it is growing on an angle, and it has only produced 8 fruit in all that time. My olive tree has given me 6 fruits this year and two last year.


So, I am thankful for my crop swapping page on Facebook. I swapped 2.5 kilos of mixed olives for some grape vine cuttings and some lemons and limes. If you don’t already, start to grow some of your own food. It’s so incredibly rewarding.

I have done lots of reading and seemed advice from others who have done it, but here’s how I have, and they taste delicious.

Marinated Olives Black/Greenblack

Olives (pick out soft, bruised or damaged ones)

I used spring water in a ten litre bottle

Red/white wine vinegar (I had no red so used apple cider vinegar. I hope it works out ok)

Sea salt (don’t use anything with anticaking agents or iodisedsalt)

Herbs

Garlic

Olive oil

So, you cut a slit on each side of the olive and try hard not to reach the seed. This helps the water get into the olive to soften the bitterness of the olive.

Find yourself a clean container, and pop the olives in.

Fill to the top with the water.

I had some popping up above the water line so I used an old ten litre water bottle and cut a piece that fit on the top of the olives. I pushed it below the water line and it kept them down.


I did ¬†his for 13 Days…make sure you change the water every day. I generally did it in the morning.

I drained the water on the 13th day, rinsed them, and then added the brine.

1 litre of spring water

Half cup sea salt(mix that in until dissolved, or almost dissolved)

1 cup red  wine vinegar for the dark olives and

Half cup white wine vinegar for the green/black olives

I threw some bay leaves, rosemary and garlic into the bottle and poured the brine over the olives.

pour some olive oil over the top of it all. I put about half an inch in.

Make sure the  olives and herbs are under the brine (this is where I used the plastic cut out to push them down)

Store in a dark cool place for a month. They should be ready by then.

Apparently they can keep for up to a year. It haven’t tested the theory out, but once I start using them I will leave them in the fridge.


I am trying to get my hands on more olives at the moment to do some more.

Until next time

Lots of it

Mandy

Xxx

Prepping Food

Forever trying to get healthy. Sometimes it is hard, as it requires time and dedication. So this morning I decided to go for it. Being prepared is a good motto to have and it is especially important when you want to eat healthy.

So, this  morning I got up and went to my garden and picked some herbs and leafy greens. I had some bacon and a leek and kale from the markets in the fridge. Chopped it all up and made a delicious frittata. I have just this minute finished chopping it and popping individual serves in the freezer. Brekky and/or lunch done for the week.

It’s also nice to have a treat. It keeps you going and offers you an alternative to the temptation of crappy, processed treats. I made some very tasty apple and carrot muffins, based on almond meal as opposed to flour, and no refund sugar, just some honey. The ingredients made 16 muffins. So delicious.


Got to sit down and relax for a bit, ready to get started teaching the kids.


But first, the recipe for the frittata.


BACON AND VEGIE FRITTATA

4 trimmed and chopped pieces of bacon

However many leafy greens you have chopped

One leek

Some herbs (I used mint, some fennel tops and curly parsley)

A couple of garlic cloves

12 free range eggs

1/3 a tin of coconut cream/milk

Fry up the bacon, and then add the herbs, garlic and veggies. Cook.

Cover the pan with some coconut oil and then place the cooked food evenly across the pan.

Crack the twelve eggs into a bowl along with the third of a tin of coconut cream. Whisk.

Pour over the bacon and veggies.

Cook in the oven on about 180 degrees Celsius until cooked. I had mine in for about 20 ish minutes.

Yum

A friend is starting a thing. Why not join in.

#renewableenergynowearthwide

You make a sun with 8 rays out of what you find outside. Go get your craftiness on.

Until next time

Lots of it

Mandy

Xxx

Stretching Your Dollar Further

I just thought I would update you on our Marleyspoons dinner.

It was the Beef enchiladas, and with a vegetarian and one that only eats chicken breast, it was going to prove tricky.

Here is the run down

I bought three dinners, using a discount voucher of $30, the three meals, for two adults and two kids, came to $84. So, $28 per meal. But, I am very good at stretching meals and changing them up for a family of 8.

Here’s what came with the pack


Here is a list of what I added

4 whole grain large wraps cut into quarters

One tin of kidney beans

One tin of tomatoes

Grated cheese

2 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

So, it feels 8 of us with actual leftovers. Though not much.

I ended up making a vegetarian lot of it too….and it was all so very tasty and got a big tick of approval from the kids.

Here’s what is left, except the vegetarian one has lots…it went!


So, yep, I think good value.

I hope I can stretch out the next two meals like this one.

How do you make your dollar go further when you are cooking dinner?

Until next time

Lots of it

Mandy

Xxx

Before My Second Coffee

My life is busy. I am not perfect, and sometimes I succumb to an easy option for dinner…..takeaway. Yeah, I’m not happy about it but sometimes you need to do the thing that saves your sanity.

This week  I am trialing marleyspoons.

It’s a place that packs in the ingredients for whatever you need to create a meal, I selected the three dinner plan this week, and all I pretty much will need to do is add some more veggies from the garden, and from the markets, and chop and cook.

It’s not ideal but better than take away right. The meat is free range and the veggies are local apparently, so it’s not too bad.

I will let you know how it goes.

The box, being delivered at 2.38 am, set me off on my morning ( I did not get up then…it’s got ice blocks n there to keep it all cold, I actually got up after 7…yay)


I had to clean out the fridge and load the food packages.

I had toast and coffee.

I unloaded and loaded dishwasher.

I scrubbed the stove.

I tidied the back room.

I did a load of washing.

I loaded four lots of dried out seeds into bags ready for storing.


I cleaned the bench.

I watered the veggies.


I tended to the clipping I am trying to grow.


Received a parcel.

Texted a conversation to mr c.

Checked the recipes for the marleyspoons delivery.


And now just finished my second coffee.


What does your morning look like?

Until nxt time

Lots of it

Mandy

Xxx

Seeds

I have a bit of a passion at the moment. Well, I have always had it. I am a bit of a closet hippie. But what I really mean is, I love to do lots of arty crafty things, I am loving growing my own food and sharing it, and I am trying to lesson our family’s environmental impact and on our gorgeous planet. Trying to recycle as much as I can, preserve food and I have even started up an excess produce swap group. And to make me even more alternative, I homeschool.

And I absolutely love it all. 
Now, onto the seeds.
Yesterday I made pumpkin Soup for dinner, and decided to save the seeds and hopefully I will be able to plant some and also grow some seedlings to swap with others.
What you need to do is, wash the pulp away from the seeds, and spread out to dry. Leave them for about a week to dry out. I will store them in a brown paper bag and pop them with all my other seeds. They are due for planting in September, October, November and December. So I have a bit of a wait.

Here is the process in photos.




Still a few days before I can pop them into an envelope. 

Here are some other seeds i used the same process with.

Capsicum


And Eggplant


Here’s hoping they work.

Only had one swap this week, but it was for a lovely kiwi fruit cutting. 

It will pop it up onto the frames I made a month or so ago.

Always trying to make a difference. We throw out so many seeds each day. Maybe you could give it a try? Would love to hear of your successes and what you have learned from trying to grow from seeds.

Until next time

Lots of it

Mandy

Xxx

ÔĽŅPumpkin Soup and Watering.

Ah. I love the cooler weather. Temperatures that don’t make you feel uncomfortable and sunshine that warms you just that right amount. It’s weather that makes me bring out the slow cooker and the slow cooker makes me feel like a domestic goddess. I feel like I’m on top of things when I have put dinner on by 9 am.

I started my day with a coffee, and then toast. I watered the Vegie patch and enjoyed the sun warming my back and listened to the soft sounds of the water hitting the leaves and plants  I have been nurturing. I set the sprinkler on to give the citrus a huge soak. I then chopped and diced and saut√©ed and put the pumpkin Soup on in the slow cooker.

Of course I did loads more, taught the kiddos and cleaned and , mulched the veggies. I taught miss m how to sew a very cute pillow case and master j was encouraged to cook some healthy banana muffins. Miss m also cooked a second dinner as she wasn’t feeling pumpkin Soup, so plenty of leftovers for tomorrow nights dinner. Too easy.

Bit as I did all of that, I took a different approach to it. Different to my usual hurried sprinklings, and getting impatient , and rushing through the chores. Today I saw everything that I did as nurturing. Looking after the plants that will feed my family, and  check to see how much they have grown. I really looked at all the different types of leaves I am growing, looked at the little patches of brown on the grass and wondered why ? I marvelled at the spider webs that were created and how they carried tiny little droplets of water that sparkled in the sunlight. I  wondered why there were bird feathers on the ground and tentatively looked about, worried that I would find a bird that had had a misfortune, which made me wish I had some chooks. There was no bird thankfully. Tiny water droplets tickled my skin which was refreshing, but cold because air had quite a nip in it. I got lost in my Watering, and wanted to take some photos of it. Weird right.

I hung clothes on the line and took the time to try and straighten the line . It’s a bit uneven and really annoying me as the lines droop, which makes it tricky to hang up cloths. But I slowly tried to fix it, and did it mindfully. Tugging and pulling the cord, slowly figuring out the lengths and the paths each was taking. It didn’t work, but is a little better. Lol.

It really enjoyed my time outside this morning and will try to make sure I look at all other things in my life just as thoughtfully.

Anyway. I made a so so simple pumpkin Soup. Not sure how to post it up, but  have made a little recipe page that eventually you can download and print off for your use.

I am a a mum to 6 kids, all adults or almost adults, and I have learnt a few little tricks along the way. We are not worldly travelers but love home and being at home, so as a result, we spend a lot of time there, cooking and basically doing homey sort of activities. Bit Of A Hippie blog will find me sharing recipes, craftyness, templates and ideas to help you or give you some ideas that may just make your life a little easier and possibly more fun. Budget saving ideas and sewing, artyness and a little educational stuff thrown in.

I am wanting to take life a little more slowly, mindfully.

IMG_3414IMG_3415

IMG_3419IMG_3416IMG_3417Lovely muffins cooks by mister j.

IMG_3435

And the lovely pillow case miss m made.

And the pumpkin Soup.

 

Dont forget to subscribe too.

until next time

lots of it

Mandy

xxx