Monday, 26 July 2010

Leftovers fritters

Whenever we have mashed potatoes we seem to end up with leftovers, I'm not sure if it's a comment on my mashing skills or if I just cook too much, but with leftover potato you have the beginning of some really nice fritters, although you could probably throw anything in the batter and it'd taste good!

Batter:

(all measurements are approximate, so feel free to mess around with it)
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cornflour (the thickener type)
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
a couple of cups of leftovers
a can of beer

mix together all the ingredients except the beer, stir in as much beer as you need to get a fritter consistency, fry in shallow oil, drink left over beer while cooking, add salad and crusty bread to the plate and enjoy!

The cornflour and rice flour give a crispy texture to the fritters, and stop them being so stodgy, and the beer gives a really nice flavour and helps the crispness too, you could substitute the beer with rice or soy milk if you are allergic to the idea of wasting cooking with beer!

Ginger Cake - roasting pan style

Another variation to the ultimate no mess, one dish cake, (you make the whole thing in a roasting pan and cook it in the same dish). Many may know the chocolate version of this which has been around for donkeys years, but this version removes the chocolate in flavour of ginger, with a really nice moist result - even better eaten the next day!

Place the following ingredients in a large rectangular roasting dish and mix well

3 cups plain flour (you can 50/50 with wholemeal)
2 cups raw sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon

make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the following into the well in the stated order

2/3 cup rice bran oil (or other light flavourless oil)
2 Tbsp vinegar (white, or cider is nice)
2 Tbsp Treacle (your could substitute golden syrup or molasses, but treacle is best)
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups water

Mix well and bake in a pre heated oven 180degC for 20-25mins fanbake or 1 1/4hrs bake (or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Really nice served as pudding with soy yogurt.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Sweetcorn and Pineapple Scones

Ok, weird,yes, unique, yes, needed some spring onions, yes, but basically you could use this recipe with two cups of ANY semi liquid stuff.. so be inspired!

4 cups plain flour
4 heaped tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (1 tsp if your other ingredients don't contain salt)
1/4 cup yeast flakes (optional, just for a cheesy taste)
100mls oil
1 cup cream style sweet corn
1 cup crushed pineapple (you may need a bit more if mix is too dry)

Mix together, (add more liquid if it's too dry), knead lightly, shape into scones and fan bake 12mins 210C

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Best ever gingernuts

Can't beleive I haven't posted this recipe before now, these are THE BEST gingernuts, they taste like griffins used to!

In a pot put

3 Tbsp golden syrup
75gms raw sugar
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Heat slowly stirring well until it come to the boil then add

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup rice bran oil

Stir well and mix in

1 3/4 cups plain white flour

Leave to cool a bit, then the mix can either be rolled and cut with gingerbread man cutters or use walnut sized balls and flatten with a fork

Bake 180C for 10-12 mins - no fan, they get really hard and crunchy when cooled down, and make great dunking bikkies

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Pikelets

I love pikelets (these can be made large and called American pancakes too ;) )
While the original recipe calls for eggs, I just leave them out totally, and it works fine.

For every cup of flour add
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk sub (plus extra to get right consistency)

Mix well, the batter should be about thick paint consistency, add a little more milk if too thick.
Cook spoonfuls (or ladle fulls for pancakes) in a hot-ish frypan until mix bubbles and`edges dry slightly, flip and brown on other side.

If you want you can add mashed banana or chocolate chips to the batter

Friday, 16 July 2010

Homestyle stew - crockpot

Part of this actually came from the supermarket as a vege pack with instructions on how to cook it up, but no reason why you couldn't just make it from scratch.

3-4 cups of the following veges sliced/ cubed
Potato
pumpkin
parsnip
red capsicum
onion
carrot
leeks

place in crockpot on either high (4-5 hours) or low (8hrs) with

2 tsp Beef style Massel stock (or equivalent vege stock)
400gm can chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup pearl barley
1 Tbsp mixed herbs
1 bayleaf

Mix and add boiling water to just cover the veges then mix in two cups of cooked chickpeas, or other cooked white beans.

When cooked throw in a cup of spinach leaves and a Tbsp of chopped fresh parsley and leave another 10 mins on high before serving. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serve with crusty bread (and a glass of beer!!!)

Sun Dried tomato hummus

Mr 3 loves one flavour of hummus, from one brand... only! (Lisa's if you're curious, I must admit it is VERY nice)
As it's pretty expensive I thought I'd try making some at home and see if it came up to standards, and the verdict is "yum" (though he wants me to store it in the bought hummus containers, maybe it's the packaging that counts?)

This recipe is very approximate, as I threw stuff at it till it tasted right....

2-3 cups really well cooked chickpeas and a bit of the cooking water (I cook them till they are almost mushy)
5-6 whole sundried tomatoes (the stuff in oil, not the dry stuff, very important!)
oil (garlic flavoured would be good)
lemon juice (about 2-3 Tbsps, add more at the end if it doesn't have a tart enough edge)
2-3 Tbsps chopped peeled tomato (I used canned stuff)
1 tsp brown sugar
1-2 tsp dried basil (or a couple of Tbsp chopped fresh if you have it)
salt to taste

Blend until resembles hummus, taste and adjust lemon and salt to suit

NB - this recipe really SHOULD have both garlic and tahini, but as Mr 3 doesn't like garlic and we never seem to have any tahini it's up to you if you add them or not, probably 1/2 cup tahini and a clove of garlic would be about right.

Our favourite way to serve hummus at the moment is with seaweed flavoured rice crackers (they are less salty than plain salted rice crackers)

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Lemon roasting pan cake

OK, weird name, but this is the ultimate no mess, one dish cake, you make the whole thing in a roasting pan and cook it in the same dish. Many may know the chocolate version of this which has been around for donkeys years, but this version removes the chocolate in flavour of lemon (working on the basis that the choc version for pudding is keeping Miss 1yrs awake at night)

Place the following ingredients in a large rectangular roasting dish and mix well

3 cups plain flour (you can 50/50 with wholemeal)
2 cups raw sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
zest of 1 large or 2 small lemons

make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the following into the well in the stated order

2/3 cup rice bran oil (or other light flavourless oil)
juice from the lemons you zested
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups water

Mix well and bake in a pre heated oven 180degC for 20-25mins fanbake or 1 1/4hrs bake (or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Variations:
If you want to make the chocolate version, omit the lemon and add 2/3 cup cocoa to the dry mix and 2 Tbsps vinegar instead of the lemon juice.

Add 2-4 Tbsp berry jam to the wet ingredients

Add 1/2 tsp ground ginger to the dry ingredients

Use an orange instead of a lemon

Car Caddy from scraps


I had to make an extra item for a swap at the last minute, and decided to use up some scraps making a couple of car caddys.
The closed caddy has bright vehicle fabric on the back, and is held closed with snaps


This is the one I made for the swap, using up the last of the skirt I used to line the trousers.


And because Mr3 loves his fire engines and saw me making the swap one, I whipped this one up for him, all I need to do now is find some felt to make a fire for the fire engines to put out!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Chai tea syrup

I bought some chia tea the other day, THEN read the ingredients, MILK, ugh, so then I googled vegan Chai tea and found this blog http://indietutes.blogspot.com/2007/12/chai-this.html (this chick is like my hero!) but as I'm a dead lazy sod and don't want to boil up this stuff every time I fancy Chai tea, I used her recipe and turned it into a syrup, just add a few Tablespoons to boiling water, top with milk substitute and bobs your relative!

Chai Tea Syrup:

3 cups water
3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp peppercorns
2 small cinnamon sticks
8 cardamon pods, broken open (I couldn't find this in the shops so just used ground cardamon)
sprinkle of ground ginger
Bring contents of sauce pan to boil carefully, stirring until the sugar is all dissolved. Simmer at low heat for 30 minutes, or until reduced by about half.
Add 2 black tea bags and allow to simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Pour tea from sauce pan through a strainer into a hot sterilized bottle, and when cold store in the fridge.

This is quite sweet, so you might want to increase the spice quantity, it would also be really nice with some orange peel in the syrup.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Skirt to childs trousers tutorial

Here I'm going to go step by step through turning an adults skirt into kids trousers. I do tend to cut up skirts a lot, so I apologise in advance to any skirt lovers, but skirts are great for upcycling as generally the fabric is in good condition, and there is more usable fabric in them than in jeans. This skirt caught my eye because of the funky pockets.


First thing I needed to do to make the pattern fit was to remove the elastic from the waistband.


I quick seam rip with the quick unpick and the elastic is gone, I also ripped the back seam out so the fabric would sit better when I put the pattern on it.


I used the existing waistband when I cut out the pattern, it will be easy to thread elastic through once the pants are sewn up.


You can do this with many styles of skirt, this corduroy one didn't need any unpicking to cut it out.



Even better than a skirt is a large denim dress, there is tons of fabric in these and they usually have lots of neat stitching on them



Even after cutting out there should be fabric left to make something else.





If you have a four piece pattern then sew the front to the back at the side seams



Next sew up the inside leg on each peice



Turn one leg right side out and slide inside the other leg, match the crotch seam and sew from middle back to middle front through the crotch. Them hem the legs and turn over the top for elastic.



Tada! Jeans with funky stitching down the front.



And here are the pocket pants, lined and turned up ( a bit too long yet), will add a better photo when I'm allowed to have them back!





Downsizing a tee shirt Tutorial

The original tee shirt is pretty sad looking, stretched out of shape and a bit faded under the arms.


I cut the tee up cutting down all the original seams so the front, back and sleeves are all separate


I've left a bit of extra length in the sleeves to try and avoid the faded patches under the arms, and used the original double sleeve ends, I'll do the same with the front and back to keep the look.


Next, sew the shoulder seams together



Sew the neckband seam, fold in half and place pins in the four quarters



Divide the neck into four and pin the neckband on





Sew the neckband on, you should get something looking like this



Next sew up the side and arm seams, because I'm using the original cuffs there is nothing else to do but zigzag over the loose overlocker ends to finish



The finished tee, a bit on the large side but a vast improvement on the saggy baggy original!

Downsizing adults sweatshirt to childs tutorial

This tutorial will take you step by step through downsizing a zip collar sweatshirt from and adults to a child's. The one I'm cutting down is a size small, and I'm taking it down to a toddlers size T2. Here is the sweatshirt before cutting.


The first thing you need to do is cut the seams, you want to do the side seams, and depending on the size of the child's shirt you are making you may wish to leave the sleeves in, I've taken them out for this one as there is just room for the pattern. DO NOT cut the shoulder seams, you want to leave the shoulders and neck seams intact.


Next you want to find the centre of the sweatshirt and place your pattern pieces on it


Try and line up the shoulders, there will probably be a bit of extra length when you sew the arms in, but you can trim that off with the overlocker (or by hand if you aren't using an overlocker)





Next cut out your sleeves, don't forget to put the right sides of the fabric together so you get a left and a right sleeve.



Here is the cut down front and back, next we will be sewing the sweatshirt up.





To sew up, line the centre sleeve with the shoulder seam and sew the sleeves in




As long as the seam and centre sleeve line up it doesn't matter if the sleeve isn't perfectly matching, you can trim the excess off when sewing up the sides.



Here is the sleeve sewn in



Now sew up the sides and arms, you want to line up the underarm seams, you can trim off excess from the cuffs and hem if needed. Once you've done the side seams hem the sleeves and hems, and all finished.



The finished article