I like to write about simple healthy living. This blog has evolved over a few years and includes some time living in the country and enjoying raising chickens, walking dogs and growing our own veggies. We are back in the city for a while to build the bank account so that we can retire back in the country in the not too distant future. Till then it's two days at a time.

Friday, 1 January 2016

A Brand New Year

A Brand New Year and a Brand New Day it was time to find a different walking route.  It's amazing what is going on so close to home but out of sight from our everyday routine.

Beautiful flowers, a gorgeous flame tree and knitwear for trees and signal posts.

It was a beautiful morning and a great start to a New Year with my two favourite dogs, Layla and Lupin.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Tomato Soup

Once again we have an abundance of cherry tomatoes that have popped up without us planting them. They self seed each year and not always where we want them but we put up with them to get these little beauties.  I'm about to make my favourite Cherry Tomato and Chili Jam blog post here and last weekend I made some roasted tomato soup.  I know it's not really soup weather here in QLD but I work in a really cold office and as I'm not a Coffee drinker, soup is a great thing to have for morning tea.
It's healthy gluten free, dairy free and nutritious so it ticks all the boxes.  I read a few different recipes but then just improvised.   
Here's what I did with around 30 grams of cherry and small roma tomatoes. 
I cut them in half, put them in two baking trays and drizzled them with olive oil.  I cut the top of a garlic bulb and put one in each tray.  I then baked them for about 40 minutes at 180 degrees.

I then transferred the tomatoes to the Thermomix.  I squeezed the garlic out of the cloves and then blended it all on speed 9 for a couple of minutes. At the end of the blending it looked like tomato puree and there were no skins to be seen.  I added about 2 cups of water and a couple of tablespoons of my vegetable stock - recipe here.  I then cooked it on 100 degrees for 15 mins and finished it off by blending it for another minute.I didn't add any cream as I'm dairy free so just ate as is, and it was delicious :-)

Sunday, 29 November 2015

5am Sunday Gardening

I was out in the garden at 5am this morning and spent a good two hours just trying to tame what had become a wilderness in only a short amount of time.   It's very very humid here and we are getting sunny days and some rain at nights which means everything is growing.  Unfortunately it's also bringing in all the pests and I've given up on growing Kale and Mustard Greens for now (among other things). 

I really enjoyed the garden last Winter, we were virtually pest free and keeping it tidy was a lot more enjoyable in our beautiful Brisbane Winter. 

Anyway no complaints we are still getting plenty to eat out of the garden and providing I'm out there at 5am all is good.

I can see I'm going to be making some Pesto in the next few weeks with all the basil I have.

I had a great little helper this morning. Except for the time she dug up a hole heap of dirt looking for a lizard.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Paleo Bread (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

Due to some Thyroid issues my diet is now supposed to be Gluten Free and Dairy Free.  I have good days and bad days with this but finding a good bread recipe will make it easier.

Today I used this recipe from the Thermomix Community but it was adapted from a non-Thermomix recipe and they provide the link if you don't have a Thermomix. It was super easy and tastes really good. The recipe has honey in but I don't like sweet bread so inside of 35 grams I just used 15 grams.  I haven't tried toasting it yet but it's not crumbly so should be fine.

Monday, 11 August 2014

No Such Thing as a Standard Egg??

When it comes to our chooks it seems like there is no such thing as a standard size egg.

Our baby chicks are laying little eggs and our big chooks have the whole size range covered.

That big one is 127grams!!!  Some poor chook must be a little sore tonight.  The one on the left (as you look at the pic) is a standard 60gram egg.

It's lucky we aren't a professional egg farm, our sorters would be having all kinds of problems.

Can't wait to see how many yokes are in that big one.  We often get 2 but I'm sure this will be more.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Rosemary Focaccia

The finished product. - simple ingredients, water, yeast, flour, salt and oil

 It helps when you have a Thermomix to need the dough

Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with Rosemary before putting in the oven

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Yoghurt Cheese

Some people call this Quark and some call it Labna - I call it yoghurt cheese.  Super simple to make and a great replacement for cheese and dips.  These photos show you how to make it rather than how to eat it.  There are many ways to enjoy yoghurt cheese.   Add herbs or chilli or honey just depends on whether you want a sweet or savoury flavour.  Sometimes I don't add anything and just spread some on a rice cake for a really quick snack. 

I use a plastic strainer that fits nicely into a plastic jug.

I place a piece of muslin inside the strainer and then pour in a whole container of my favourite five:am plain yoghurt.

It then needs something on the top to weigh it down.  This pushed all of the liquid out. The liquid is full of pro-biotic so good to put into food or a drink.

This one I left in the fridge for a few days but usually 24 hours is enough.
The strainer I use gives it a great pattern but I don't have a dish big enough to keep it in like this so I've squashed it into the glass container below.