Showing posts with label getting ahead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label getting ahead. Show all posts

7.29.2009

Bread Recipe - Cafe Style



I made this bread a couple of days ago. It was meant to be a long bread roll. As it rose on the tray before baking it grew as wide as both my hands put together. I thought I would continue, warning everyone that as it rose in the oven, be prepared with an escape plan in case it grew out the oven door and began to overtake the kitchen.

Although it was nothing like I planned, it came out looking lovely and sure smelt good. After a few taste tests and then a few more ( just to determine the correct use for this style of bread) we decided it would be perfect to make garlic bread with. We would just slice it up, toast it a little and then spread with a mixture of butter, crushed garlic and Italian herbs and pop it into the over for a few minutes to brown up. Beautiful cafe style garlic bread!

....... and just for the purposes of further testing - you can also through it into the toaster and spread it with vegemite..........delicious!

TO MAKE:

Use two bowls. In the first bowl put a cup of boiling water, one tablespoon of butter, 1/2 tsp salt and one tablespoon of sugar. Leave aside until it cools to luke warm.

In the second bowl put 1/4 cup luke warm water, one tablespoon dry yeast and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.

When ready, mix the two bowls and stir in about 3 cups of plain flour. Leave it to rise for about 40 minutes and the roll out flat onto a floured board and then roll it up until it forms a long sausage. Cut three to four slices across the top and leave on a baking tray for another 30 minutes. Paint the top with a mixture of egg and milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

If you do have a go, make sure you come back and leave some feedback. I am sure you will have a way to improve this trial recipe. Maybe you would like to try it with wholemeal or a multigrain flour.
Part 12 cups boiling water2 T butter2 T sugar2 tsp salt Cool to lukewarm.Part 21/2 cup lukewarm water2 T active dry yeast1 T sugar

6.11.2009

Time For A New Budget


It is coming up to the end of the financial year and time to do up a new budget.

Budgets always need adjusting, they change as family needs or incomes change. As your budget evolves you may notice that you have more than enough income in one category, but are always running out of funds in another category. As seasons change you may have different expenses. In our household winter sports and less water skiing means that one category goes up while another comes down.

I never view a budget as a negative thing. I think it is one of the most powerful tools that a family can use in order to bring peace to a household. Involving your children in the family budget is also a great way to teach them how to save and use their money. My boys have learnt the value of money, for example, if they are putting $15 a week in a particular category then they know how long it takes to save $90. If we want to do something on a weekend they look in the ‘entertainment’ envelope and can make decisions about whether we can order a pizza or go bowling and eat out. There is very little nagging or squabbling because they understand the process.

As my regular readers know, I work with a cash budget because this system works really well for me. I have read about people who budget using a credit card and virtual envelopes and that works extremely well for them. The secret is finding a system that ‘honestly’ works for you. Because of the state of financial markets I am considering parking the ‘savings’ type categories into my no fee investment account to maximise the interest ( a whole 3.5%). If I do this, I will still break it up into ‘virtual’ envelopes so that I know what is what and so I don’t start spending savings amounts or spending bills money by buying clothing. Having said that, the majority of my categories will be cash based. Things like groceries, fuel, pocket money, kids sport, entertainment etc work best if they are in cash for us.

Is your budget constantly changing? Have you noticed that it changes as the seasons change ? Do you successfully budget with ‘virtual’ categories ? I’d love to hear from you.

4.30.2009

Lawns Into Lunch .... always busy !

On the weekend we extended our 'farm' area. We had a vision for many more garden beds so we moved the fence closer to the house, giving us an extra 2 metres in length and lots of room for extra beds. Today we dug out an area for a tomato and chili patch. Of course the chooks had to get in and help.


I am really loving the 'farm' area. I spend quite a lot of time up there now, planting seeds, filling in the garden diary, sketching plans and reading gardening info. As part of the 'farm' extension we took out the clothes line. It was far too close to the chook house and took up quite a bit of space. I now have a temporary makeshift clothesline along the veranda in this area until we 're-purpose' the old clothesline into a new model that better suits our needs.



Someone commented on the simple savings website that they enjoy my blog, but I don't write enough. I have been thinking about this...... I guess the reason is that sometimes I am too busy doing things to sit and write about them! lol

People can go to work and be busy all day and get paid for their efforts and then spend that money outsourcing their life needs. They get someone else to grow their food, bake their bread, make their clothes etc. Some even outsource even more of their ‘needs’ – they have other people mow their lawn, wash their car, take care of their children, and even cut and buff their toenails! Lol

When you don’t have a job, you have to do many of these things yourself. This means that your job is ‘life itself’. I find that living this DIY lifestyle is somewhat busier than a ‘normal’ life.
You see, If I want bread, I have to make it. If I want baked potatoes for tea I have to grow them. These tasks are not easy by any means! I can’t just get up at 7am and realise that there is no bread and ‘whip one up’. It takes about 2 ½ hours using a bread making machine and if i make it by hand I still have to allow time for rising etc. So there is a lot of forethought in a loaf of bread.

Potatoes! ::geesh:: they are even worse. If I want baked potatoes for my tea then I have to think about 14 WEEKS IN ADVANCE ::lol:: so that I can actually grow them.
This translates into a lot of busyness on any given day. Life is always about getting ahead and thinking ahead.

Thinking about needs for the future – what will I eat tomorrow, next week, next month? What can I do today to make sure that happens? That might be as simple as getting some meat out of the freezer or planting some broccoli seeds. It might be baking a cake for afternoon teas for a few days or making jam. Each action we do today is a sowing that we will reap some time in the future ....... therefore,....... :: AS YOU SOW, SO YOU REAP::

So if it is such a busy life, a life that takes planning and preparation – why would you bother ? Why would I bother growing potatoes when I can go to the supermarket and buy them for $2 a kilo ? Why would I make soap when it is on special around the corner ? Why not just go and earn money and just buy these things ?

The answer is THE JOY FACTOR. An undefinable, unquantifiable invisible element that some people see everywhere, whilst other people miss completely. There is a deep sense of satisfaction in roasting your own potatoes, or snipping off your own shallots. Sure sure, there are other factors at play. People have a number of reasons for doing things like growing their own food. It may be as a way of saving money, a way of obtaining fresh, organic produce or a way of securing a food supply in times of uncertainty. These factors DO play a role in my decision to grow my own, but the number one benefit to me is JOY, HAPPINESS, FULFILLMENT, ACCOMPLISHMENT, SATISFACTION or whatever other title you want to put on it!

1.08.2009

Getting Ahead Again.



With the last visitors waved goodbye yesterday morning I turned my mind back to 'getting ahead'. It was terribly hot the day before so in order to be able to bake up a storm I had to get up really early and turn the oven on before it got too hot. I woke at 5.20am ready to start the day. By 9am it was game over, just too hot for cooking!

The lamington recipe that keeps incarnating into different things has done it again! From lamingtons to slice, to cake and now to muffins. I just stirred in some blueberries that a friend gave me from her recent 'pick your own' adventure.





I also made a huge lot of crackers to replace water crackers, Saos and Saladas. I adapted the lavash crackers recipe I have used before. I roll the dough out with the pasta maker to make it quite thin which is fine for a cracker to use with dips but for something more like a water cracker or crispbread style I just fold it over. To speed up the process I roll out the dough, lay it across a baking tray and slice it with the pizza cutter.










They come out of the oven crisp and golden brown. Now I need to harvest some sweet basil and make a great dip to go with them.





Yesterday was the first day that I let the girls out to roam. I had been told to leave them in their enclosure for a while so that they learn where home is before I let them out. They were a little hesitant at first but soon began enjoying their surroundings. I noticed how they picked the bugs off the cucumber leaves. We don't use any sprays or pesticides and generally run with the philosophy that there is enough for us and the lady bugs, as well as the fact that they seem to only munch on the leaves. But the chooks, well they had a picnic feast! I will let the girls wander around the garden beds. I know that the benefits will outweigh the fact that they will scratch around. I will protect anything that I don't want destroyed by them.



They must have loved their little romp in free range land, because....... they rewarded me with my very first egg!!! ( ***tears of joy*****) We proudly showed it to hubbie who replied 'it's a bit small - you might have to give them some steroids!'. Hmmmpph. I replied with ' if you want bigger eggs, go and get yourself an Emu'. lol.



It's a mighty fine start girls, don't listen to him. Bigger is not always better. You will get there!

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