Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm makin' waffles!

Ahh, I've been a good wife this morning! I made waffles for brekkie!! Waffles with spiced crabapples... one even had icing sugar sprinkled over the top! Julian's a happy chappy today!

Here's a pic:
I found the original recipe for spiced crabapples here. But this is my version

Spiced Crabapples

400-500g crabapples, top and tailed and thickly sliced (remove cores if you want)
1 cup sugar
1tspn each of ground cloves, cinnamon and mixed spice
2 cups water

Stick all the stuff in a saucepand and cook until crabapples are tender (but only just). Serve hot or cold with sweet stuff (like waffles!) or as a sauce for some meat.

Now I know crabapples aren't the most common fruit... I only have some because my neighbour's daughter has a huge crabapple tree, and most of the fruit just goes to waste. If you know me and wouldn't mind getting your hands on some crabapples, drop me a line and I'll see what I can do for you!

And just to keep you updated... Julian and I are actually making some changes: we have switched to soymilk, and have decided that from now on it will be Julian who cooks the pasta meals, as he cooks pasta really well. He made on the other night (just one with a sauce from a jar and some chicken, but it was a really nice sauce and, therefore, a really nice meal). Later on this week he will be making a fettuccine carbonara. I found a really simple and inexpensive recipe for it (in a recipe book that I think might belong to my sister-in-law...), so if it is yummy I will share it with you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Compared to yesterday I have nothing exciting to share, but that doesn't mean I can't have a ramble...

I got my Bachelor of Arts certificate thing in the mail today. Julian was very excited, but I have been hanging out for some books (for uni) that I ordered, so I was a little disappointed. Julian doesn't really get it, but I am sure some of my fellow ladies will understand! We also did a little tiny shopping: we had $42 MAXIMUM to spend because of bills etc... but we did it! I prayed before we went: please let the things we need be on special! Guess what!?! Seven of the sixteen things we bought were on special (the mince was on special AND marked down by more than $3!). In total, we saved an estimated $7.50! Isn't God good!

Em (who I made the kiwi jam and lemon butter with) and I are both doing the Honours this year, and therefore have the same books to read. One of the books (Writing Machines) looks like it will be quite difficult to read (let alone understand!), so we made a 'pact' to both read it by the 17th of Febuary. So far I have read the blurb... Em has read the blurb and the preface... so she is 4 exhausting pages ahead of me. Lucky her!! I really should read some tonight, after I watch Forces of Nature on tv... and whatever else is on... and by then I'll be too tired... There! I have my night sorted!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Homemade Kiwi Fruit Jam & Lemon Butter

I have been very productive today!! A couple of friends came over and while her hubby kept my hubby entertained (they played a ps2 dancing game, and they both wiggle their bottoms when they dance!!), Em and I were being productive in the kitchen. Don't worry! We still managed to fit a few dances in (and, yes, I am sure we wiggled our bottoms too...). We made kiwi fruit jam and lemon butter. Both recipes are very easy and the ingredients are very affordable too, which is always good.

Here's a pic of the kiwi fruit jam:

We did 2 batches, the first lot (back 2 jars) was a lot darker than the second one (too much food colouring - Em!), and also didn't fill up the two jars, which I had checked to see if they held the amount the recipe said it would make. Oh well. At least I now know to underestimate by about a cup. We only made one batch of the lemon butter. It tasted delicious. Unfortunately though, there are some little solid lumps of egg through it because it wasn't "stirred constantly". We were dancing instead! Here is the lemon butter (notice the little egg lumps...and Em's lovely handwriting...):

Here are the recipes, both from the Australian Women's Weekly Fruit & Vegetable Cookbook:

Kiwi Fruit Jam

12 Kiwi fruit, peeled
1/2 tspn citrus pectin (we just used 1/2 tspn jam-setting stuff)
2 Tbspns water
2 Tbspns lemon juice
2 cups sugar
green food colouring

Cut kiwi into eigths, discard seeds and core. Blend or process pectin, water, lemon juice, and 1 Tbspn of the sugar until smooth. Add kiwi fruit, process until they are roughly chopped (not smooth.
Combine kiwi mixture and remaining sugar in a saucepan (it should not be more than 5cm deep). Stir constantly over heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, boil rapidly, uncovered, without stirring, for about 10 minutes or until a teaspoon of mixture will jell when tested on a cold saucer.
Tint with food colouring if weirdish green-brown colour is not desired, mix well, wait until bubbles subside and pour into hot sterilised jars. Seal when cold (though we sealed strait away...)
Makes 2 1/2 cups (apparently)

Note: I sterilise the jars by heating them for at least 10min in a 100' (celsius) oven.

Lemon Butter

4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 tspns grated lemon rind
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
125g butter, chopped

Combine all ingredients in top half of a double saucepan or in a heatproof bowl. Stir constantly over simmering water until mixture thickly coats the back of a wooden spoon. Pour into hot sterilised jars, seal when cold.
Makes about 3 cups (though this lot only made 1 and a 1/2, but it only ever coated the back of the wooden spoon 'mediumly'. Still absolutely delicious!)
Store in the refrigerator, and use it in four weeks (trust me, it will go! Yummy!)

They are so easy to make! I really recommend them. The lemon butter has a great taste, and the kiwi fruit jam is great for something a bit out of the ordinary. It is sweet, but has a bit of a tang as well. And it's way cheaper and way way healthier than getting the store stuff! (And you get a soft, fluffy feeling of satisfaction...)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Whoopsiedaisy Bread

I may as well tell you about the bread - it will probably make you laugh. (It made me and Jules laugh, though I think Jules was laughing more at me than at the bread. Oh well.) Okay, so I have decided I want to start making bread fairly often. I have heaps of recipes for it, and I enjoy doing it, so I get out my recipe book and my dried yeast. I get the yeast dissolving in some water and sugar, and then go to measure out the flour. Whoopsiedaisy number One: do not have enough flour - in fact I have barely 1/3 of the amount I need. So I have to run up to the shop and buy some more (thank heavens the shop is basically next door and we have change). That crisis averted, I am able to return to bread making, and really enjoyed kneading it (makes my hands feel beeyuooootifoooooool). Then Julian and I have to go out for at least a couple of hours. I figure fine, I can punch it down when I get back. Well, 2 hours turns into 5 hours, and we get home to Whoopsiedaisy number Two:

All this from a blob of dough about this big (wait I minute while I tear a lump off... ahh, here we are):Happily though, it punched down really well. Here is a pic of it after it was baked: It browned very well. This photo also - unfortunatley - shows Whoopsiedaisy number Three. I forgot to grease the baking paper. When I cook biscuits I don't grease it, but they obviously have enough butter in them to 'self grease'. Anyway, the paper refused to part from the bread, so we had to cut the crusts off. Lots of fun! And in the end it tasted a bit too yeasty (sooo disappointing), which I think was because of how long it was left to rise.

Oh well! I was going to post the recipe, because it is really simple, but I think I will make it again without any Whoopsiedaisys first, and then, if it is really yummy, I will post it. (My hands are still lovely from all that kneading though. Whoopee!)

All these things I want to tell you!

As you might have noticed I edited the post about the Chicken and Champignon Bake - it was just so much nicer this way. With a bit more experimentation it should be a really yummy dish...

I wanted to show you some apricots that I preserved (well, I certainly hope so anyway, or I'll open them to find I was growing a forest of mold the whole time), so here they are:
They are quite sweet, even though I only put in 1 cup of sugar. As you can sort of see, the apricots are in quite big chunks. The syrup is absolutely delicious!! I actually made 3 jars, but the lid didn't pop down with one of them so we had to eat it (what a shame...)

I also wanted to share with you the corn recipe that I was raving about in an earlier blog. It's from the Australian Women's Weekly Fruit & Vegetable Cookbook.

Mustard Corn with Bacon

30g butter, softened (basically melted)
2 tspns brown sugar
2 tspns seeded (wholegrain) mustard
6 bacon rashers
6 medium cobs fresh corn

Heat the oven to 210C (mod hot oven). Mix butter, sugar and mustard together, then spread the mixture overthe bacon rashers. Wrap a rasher around each cob of corn, and then wrap each cob in foil, so that it is completely enclosed. Put corn in a single layer on an oven tray (I put them directly on the oven rack), and cook for 45min or until tender. Enjoyenjoyenjoy!!!
I will limit myself to just three (or 4, if you include the 1st two sentences) things in this blog (I'll tell you all about my interesting bread soon!). As a last thing, I just wanted to tell you that if you want to see the beautiful handbag my (lovely, generous, and busy) sister in law made and gave to me for Christmas, click on this word: fungible.
Happy Blogging!

Hmm... need to start eating better

Lately I have been thinking that I need to make some changes to what Julian and I eat. Honestly, we don't eat very much fruit or veggies. It's not that we eat bad food - we don't often have takeaways etc, but I just don't think we eat enough fresh food, partly because we don't have that much $$. So I have been looking things up, such as which veggies and fruits are the most nutritious to eat, and the best way to cook veggies so they retain as much of their goodness as possible. If you are interested finding out which veggies are really good, I found this useful (I'm sure that there are more certified sites, but the info on this does fit in with all the other stuff I read).

As part of the changes, I am thinking of changing to soy milk. It is better for Julian (he isn't intolerant as such to lactose, but it does block his sinus' up a bit), and he actually likes the taste. I know it is more expensive, but we don't really use that much milk, just breakfast occasionally, hot drinks and sometimes in cooking. Speaking of cooking, we are having leftover Chicken and Champignon Bake for lunch, though today I was going to spread some seeded mustard, brown sugar and butter on the chicken before putting the whole thing under the grill. Hopefully it will be really yummy!

Friday, January 25, 2008

I made this for tea, and it tasted okay (which was nice)

I like playing with food, and tonight I made up a recipe that I call...

Chicken and Champignon Bake

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1kg chicken drumsticks (10 drumsticks)
400g tin champignons
salt and freshly ground black pepper
dried garlic

Spread onion over the base of a greased baking dish. Arrange chicken over the onion. Sprinkle the drumsticks with salt, pepper and dried garlic. pour a little of the juice from the champignons over the chicken and onion. Cut champignons in half and arrange over the chicken. Cover with foil and bake in a mod hot oven (210 celsius) for 45minutes.

*edit* Instead of the s&p and garlic, mix 4tspns brown sugar, 4tspns wholegrain mustard and 60g butter, and spread over chicken. After baking, put under hot grill for 5-10 min. Much nicer!

  • Estimated cost: $7
  • Preparation time: 5-10min + 45min cooking
  • Serves: 4

Here's a pic of it before it was cooked (sorry I forgot to take one afterwards, but it looked pretty much the same except the chicken is whiter):

It tasted okay... I have to go watch my hubby play indoor soccer, so I'll finish writing what I want to tell you when I get back...

Well, I'm back and Julian's team won, 9-3. Yay!! So... I was pretty happy with the chicken dish, though there are some things I would change. It had a nice flavour, but it was a bit too subtle. It might be nicer with a tin of sliced mushrooms in butter, or with seeded mustard spread over the chicken. I served it with corn on the cob, which had been wrapped in bacon coated with seeded mustard, brown sugar and butter, and baked in the oven. Totally delicious. Tomorrow we will be eating the rest of the chicken with a lettuce, tomato and avocado salad with a balsamic vinagrette. (My mouth is already watering.)

If you try cooking it let me know - especially about any changes you make!!

Hey Hey!

Hey, while you are here, why not make your way over to the right side of the page and vote in my "I went to uni and I..." poll. If you didn't go to uni, don't be put off! Rather, do one of these two things:
  1. Substitute 'uni' for work training, school, or something else like that (you get the idea...)
  2. Imagine you went to uni... how would you like to think of your time there???

Well, I have given into the pressure...

Hello to you, my valued bloggee...

Yes, I have created a blog, and in this first post let me draw your attention to the name of my blog: "The Ramblings of a Student Wife". Notice the word "ramblings". That's there because I have no idea what I will be talking about, though I am sure *ahem* it will be interesting!

I just spent about 10min writing the "About Me" bit, so take a squiz if you feel so inclined...