Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pinterest Tried and Tested - Crockpot Red Curry Lentils

Crockpot Red Curry Lenitls

I love it when I arrive home from work and I can smell the fragrant meal wafting out of my kitchen!

All because I took a little time out in the morning to fill my crock with some wondrous ingredients which allows me to come home to a cooked, hearty meal - Nothing tops that feeling!

Today was one of those days!

I went perusing through my Crockpot board on Pinterest last night and remembered I had bought the ingredients for this lovely sounding Crockpot Red Curry Lentils.

crockpot meals

I changed the meal slightly by adding an extra tin of chopped tomatoes and a whole cup of coconut milk at the end of the cooking time.

As I wasn't here through the cooking procedure, I made sure to add 2.5 bottles of water to make sure the lentils had enough liquid throughout the morning.

All I had to do when I came home was drop my naan breads into the toaster and dig in!

curry and naan bread crockpot slowcooker recipe

How divine!

Definitely a meal to add to my food storage menu plan!

What recipes have your tried from Pinterest lately?

Pinterest tried and tested recipes

Feel free to link them below - we can never have enough good recipes right?

See you soon
Bon Apetit :)

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Jams

7 day strawberry jam

Oh my is this yummy!!!

This year Stefan and myself have decided to focus our attention on preserves, and preserve-making as well as general honing of our homesteading talents.

At the moment our temperatures are not ideal to be out in the garden but I am not going to let that stop me in learning some new - or rather re-learning old techniques with a new swing :)

Strawberries were on sale at my local store last week and so I thought this would be the place to start.

blue chair jams and marmalades

I enrolled myself in a great Craftsy course - Jams and Marmalades and started off with her Strawberry Jam class.

This is not the first time I am making jams, but Rachel Saunders taught me how to make jam over a 7 day period to get the most taste possible out of the strawberries - why not, I will try anything at least once.

Let me walk you through my 7 day progress:

Day 1: I had to buy 4 kg of strawberries as not all of the berries were red right to the leaves, the top few are still a little white as I wanted to get to the given weight needed for her recipe. (to be quite frank, I was just a little lazy to work out the recipe with smaller amounts :)) The berries just fit into my largest stainless steel bowl, so I ended up covering them with clear wrap and laying a dinner plate reversed on top of them.

Day 3: The gorgeous aroma of the strawberries is incredibly strong. They are starting to look more syrupy and the sugar is just about completely dissolved. There is quite a bit of liquid to be seen and the strawberries have shrunk considerably.

Strawberry Jam

Day 7: Wow, the smell is amazing - now into the jam stage :)

Boiling Jam

After boiling the jam for quite a while, I finally could bottle it.

I thought I would try Rachel's canning technique as we jar our jams here a little differently.

I sterilized my jars in the oven and then filled them with the jam.

At this point our methods differ. 

I would generally fill the bottle right to the brim, screw the lid on tightly and turn the jar over. This creates the vacuum we need to keep our jam for a long time.

Rachel recommends filling the jars till just below the rim, and putting the jars back into the oven for about 15 minutes with the lids finger tight.

As I was a little unsure that my lids would "POP" I thought that I would compromise and fill the jars to the brim and if they didn't vacuum as they cooled I could still turn them on their heads :)

canning techniques

After the allocated 15 minutes back in the oven, I took the jars out and left them on the wire rack face up and see here, after a couple of minutes the first jar made a cool clicking noise! 

sealing jam jars

You can definitely see the difference between the vacuumed, and non-vacuumed jar - that was quite an exciting moment if I do say so myself!
I will certainly be trying this way of sealing jars again!

homemade strawberry jam

And the jam itself - oh my, it is wonderful!
The first jar is gone already - Note to self - M U S T stock up on more berry jam :)

Rachel has a couple of recipe books, one of which I have ordered and am waiting for it to find its way to my doorstep.

As for her other recipes which she shares with us on Craftsy - Once summer is in full swing and I can get my hands on local lemons, I will definitely be working through her lemon marmalade course and can't wait to try that. 

Have you started your jam making yet?

Join us tomorrow for our Linky Party - Pinterest Recipes Tried and Tested!
If you have some Recipes which you would like to share come on over and join in the fun :)

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Festive Year Planning in March


Yip, we have started our festive year end planning :)
Above you see the beginnings of my 2015 "Rumtopf". 
I start now because it tastes great the longer it stands and ideally it should stand for 6 months or more to mature.
I can't wait for the season to get into the full swing so that I can fill this baby with all the amazing fruits we find and grow.

Have you ever had Rumtopf? Rum pot?

If you would like to try your hand at this amazing festive addition to any ice-cream bowl over Christmas you can find my recipe HERE

Freeze Dried Food
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spring Awakening


Our bees are up, alive and well!
We can't wait to get a deeper look into the hive to see how our fine ladies are doing!

They are eating which is a great sign..

bee sugar dough

They are also returning to the hive with "Yellow Pants" :)

bees pollen

Here a closer look:

The hive is looking worse for wear, so I plan on sanding the hive next door (as it is still empty) repaint it and then move these ladies across into their new home. Then I will do the same to their hive now just incase I manage to find a new swarm this year :)

Talking of hives, are any of you out there planning on purchasing a Flow Hive?
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Pinterest Tried and Tested - Red Cabbage with Sausage and Apples

Red Cabbage with Sausage and Apple

This was sooo good!

I had half a red cabbage waiting for something exciting to happen to it in the fridge, and I came across this great looking recipe on Pinterest. (You can find the Link HERE)

I had all the ingredients on hand and whipped up this very tasty German recipe.

Hashbrowns, Sausage and Red Cabbage ala Pinterest

The result was great and it went well with a side of "Rosti" (Hashbrowns) and will definitely be added in my future monthly meal planning!

Have you tried a Pinterest recipe that you loved?

We would love it if you shared your favourites, or not so favourites below in our Pinterest Tried and Tested Link-Up Party.

See you again soon

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