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Easy Peasy Almond Milk-Thermomix Style

Tuesday, 31 December 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

I have been making a small batch of this cashew milk every week for a long time now, I have it on my home made muesli every weekday, I make a quarter quantity of the original recipe and it makes the perfect amount to last all week with no waste. This week, I was out of raw cashews and I didn't have time to drive up to Simply Good over the weekend to top up with bulk nuts, rolled oats and the like so I thought I would have a go at making almond milk instead.

I used a similar method to the cashew milk but then strained the almond milk through one of our fine mesh produce bags and it worked a treat. I now have just the right amount of almond milk to get me through the week and it is absolutely delicious. I have made a small batch but you could easily double or quadruple the recipe.

Here's how I made it-

Ingredients for Easy Peasy Almond Milk-Thermomix Style, from left-
2 teaspoons of maple syrup, 55 grams of raw almonds soaked for 3 hours and 285 mls of fridge cold water 

Drain the almonds and add them along with the cold water and maple syrup to the TM bowl

Blitz for 2 minutes on speed 9

Pour and scrape resulting mixture, into a nut bag lined funnel over a jar or bottle 

And squeeze out every drop 

Creamy and smooth, sweet almond milk

Your turn, do you use a dairy milk alternative, if you do, for what reason?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-1SE 2018


What Are You Doing Today?

Monday, 30 December 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

And that you...Monday? It all feels a bit weird at the moment, the days just don't feel like they usually do, which is great considering I really don't like Monday's! With all the public holidays and weekends, the days seem all mixed up, last Friday at work, felt really strange, I had to keep telling myself it was Friday as it just didn't feel like a normal Friday.

I am trying to make the most of my time away from work even though all I want to do is sit down and  blob for a while, as I mentioned yesterday I am kind of sad to see the last of Christmas but also glad all the hard work is over for another year, I truly am looking forward to the new year, with all the hopes and dreams it holds for us all.

Over the weekend I did a few jobs like-
Fed the compost bin
Packed away Christmas
Vacuumed where Ninja had slept under the Christmas tree while it was up, holy cat! there was enough cat hair there for 4 kittens!

Did 5 loads of washing, folded it and put it away
Cleaned the toilets
De-Seeded all the spent Mustard Green plants, I now have a jar of Mustard Green seeds to plant out next growing season.

Tidied up the front gardens

The hedge of parsley was looking a bit tatty so I removed the daggy bits 

Same for the Perennial Spinach 

I also got to do a few nice things for myself-
I received a gift card for a pedicure for Christmas so I booked myself in for Saturday Morning

I also received a gift card for Bunnings as I want to buy an olive tree, so we went out to Bunnings on Saturday afternoon to have a look. Unfortunately they were out of the variety I wanted but the lovely attendant said she will order some more.

And on Sunday afternoon, after lunch, I thought I would go and have a little nap as I was quite tired, well three hours later I woke with a fright, I was so disorientated and thought I had slept right through till the next morning. I obviously needed some self care.

Today I am back at work and again we will be busy, every 45 minutes we either have a new patient or a class to oversee, I am certainly never wondering what to do next! Then back home to do what's on the to-do list, today it is cleaning the bathroom, then it's the woofs walk and then dinner. Tonight I am making this Chicken Tray Bake which I will marinade before leaving for work this morning. I have already packed my lunch this morning (leftovers) and made our fruit salads for breakfast, I will pop this post up and then make a start on tomorrows then its time for a quick walk with the woofs before breakfast.

What are you doing today, whatever you are doing I hope you have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday
Two Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Three Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday


Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 29 December 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Today I am grateful that Christmas is all over for another year. I do love Christmas but it is a lot of work. Talking of work, the tree is coming down today!

How do you feel now that Christmas is over for another year?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Two Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday
Three Years Ago-Back Into The Swing

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 28 December 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

There is so much lead up to Christmas isn't there and then it is over in a blink, even my small preparations were almost too much for me, on Christmas Day I started to feel quite over whelmed but then I took some deep breaths and told myself to relax and enjoy it. I had marinaded the boned legs of lamb the day before and I had made the pavlova also, so on Christmas morning all I had to do was whip the cream and wash the berries for the pavlova and then pop the lamb roasts in the oven to slowly roast for a couple of hours.

Lovely Hubby did the pork in the charcoal BBQ and he did an amazing job, he firstly blasted the pork in the Webber BBQ to get the crackling going, then he transferred them from the Webber to the big charcoal BBQ to slowly cook for a couple of hours. Both the lamb and the pork turned out lovely and everyone enjoyed it. There was quite a bit left over so everyone was able to take a container home with them and as I mentioned yesterday we have frozen down 3 meals of lamb and 2 of pork to enjoy down the track. The ham that we bought along with the lamb and the pork will be baked today using this recipe, so that will cover a lot of meals next week, all in all we are set for meat for a while.

Here's what else we bought, spent and ate this past week-

What we bought

The Aldi Shop 

Fruit and Veg from the Northside Discount Fruit Barn 

Shopping from Coles

What we spent
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$36.26

TOTAL-$115.56 (Not including the meat for Christmas Day)

What we ate

Friday-Baked Beans on toast with grated Parmesan

Saturday-Veggie Loaded Spaghetti Bolognese

Sunday and Monday-Baked Ham with Potato Bake and this Coleslaw. We had a family lunch on Sunday and were too full to eat anything at dinner so the leftovers were eaten on Monday. Also LH won the leg of ham at the Christmas Shoot (Clay Target)

Tuesday-Leftover Veggie Loaded Spaghetti Bolognese, I added the rest of the mushrooms from the crisper draw and grated some cheese over the top to make it go further

Wednesday and Thursday-Christmas Day and Boxing Day

I want to add that we bought the meat for Christmas Day from our Butcher who specialises in free-range meats, it was quite a lot of meat, 2 x boned legs of lamb, 4 loins of pork and a ham, I'm not going to share how much it was, as it is our choice to buy only free-range meats and we are happy to pay the price. In saying that, thank heavens Christmas only comes once a year!

Your turn what was on your family table this week?

Have a lovely day,


This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 27 December 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

And hello to the frugal Friday after Christmas Day and as Christmas Time is not well known for its frugality I think I might struggle a bit this week to find 5 things I did to save money this week. I am back to work today, working in my regular work unit and I know it is going to be busy, but that is okay, hopefully the time will just fly by. Then the weekend will be here again, back to work for Monday and Tuesday, off Wednesday for New Years Day and then back to normal for Thursday onwards. Even though I haven't taken any recreation leave, it will feel like a bit of a holiday with lots of breaks in-between.

Lovely Hubby did a really thoughtful thing for me for Christmas, a little while ago we went up to Maleny for a drive, as always we looked through a couple of Antique shops while we were there. I saw a couple of beautiful old items that, once I got home, I really wished I had bought and then I must have mentioned it on my blog. Well, a little birdie (hello Gwen) told LH about this and last Monday he made a very quick and stealthy drive up and back while I was at work to buy those two items for me. I am so over moon with these old kitchen items, look how sturdy and practical the citrus juicer is and even though I already have a lovely butter dish this one is even more beautiful. A diamond ring wouldn't have made me any happier!

I have to say I'm looking forward to next year, 2020 just has to be a great year, I love even numbers and pleasing patterns, and to me it also means having 20/20 vision all if which adds up to being a favourable year. I also love a new year for the hope that it brings and the opportunity to plan for the year ahead. I am a planner and love it when a plan comes to fruition and I am able to tick off that item from a list. Stay tuned for a post next week on our goals for 2020.

So lets see what I can come up with on the frugal front-

1. Listened to free music on the free Spotify app, I have had Michael Buble's Christmas album on repeat for the last two weeks.

2. Plated up a couple of meals for my darling sister, from left over Christmas lunch, for her to enjoy and took it up to her yesterday. My Sister doesn't celebrate Christmas, but really loves a good roast dinner.

3. Froze down the rest of the roast meats from Christmas Day, we have 2 meals of roast pork and 3 of roast lamb

4. Used some leftover red fabric from making the tablecloths for Christmas Day and thrifted white ribbon to wrap some home made Christmas gifts in for co-workers. The fabric in infinitely re-usable as is the ribbon.

5. Put out lots of buckets, the watering can and even the little woofs pool to catch the rain from storms and showers that finally came our way

5a. Made 5 mini loaves of Guinness Gingerbread to give to co-workers as a Christmas gift, except for the can of Guinness I had all other ingredients at home. I also made a Gingerbread Brownie to take for our shared morning tea at work. 

Your turn, how did you save money at this, usually non-frugal, time of year?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-A Walk Around the Garden 
Two Years ago-Pork, Mustard and Cider Casserole
Three Years Ago-Salmon and Potato Frittata

Happy Boxing Day and...we got rain!

Thursday, 26 December 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas Day and that today is relaxed and easy. I have a bit of heavy duty washing up to do this morning, like the roast lamb baking trays that needed to be soaked overnight, I ran a load of tea towels through the washing machine last night so those need to be hung out and the floors need a good vacuum and mop but apart from that I don't have any thing on my list to do, which is heavenly.

So, guess what? This happened on Tuesday night-

I have often seen storm fronts, like the one above on the BOM radar before, but never one that was heading our way and actually arrived. To say we were excited was an understatement. I went out the front and took this little video-

We seem to miss out on storms, they will appear as if they are heading our way and then just slide north or south of us, but not this one. There was no damaging hail or winds just heavy rain for an hour or so. We received just over an inch of rain and our tanks are full again.

We put out every kind of container and bucket we could lay our hands on to catch as much water as we could, we even dragged the dogs pool out from the verandah-

And the pumpkin vines just loved it!

How was your day yesterday and what are you up to today?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-This Morning
Two Years Ago-How to Make Caster Sugar in the Thermomix
Three Years Ago-My Plastic Replacement for December 2016

Merry Christmas for 2019

Wednesday, 25 December 2019
Merry Christmas Dear Reader,

On this Christmas morning, I would like to wish all my lovely readers a lovely Christmas Day, spent with those you love most in the world, may you have a peaceful and happy day that brings together family in the best possible way. Thank you, as always, for popping in everyday to read my little blog, somedays are more interesting that others, but that's my life, somedays are diamonds.

I truly appreciate the time you take to comment, I know we are all busy these days and every moment is precious, so thanks again for always making my day. I wish you peace and simplicity in this crazy, way too fast world we are living in. If a slower, less commercial life is something you aspire to, you can do it, simply step of the merry-go-round.

Stop going to the shops except when you really need to, be selective on what you watch on TV, buy only what is needed, that includes the food you buy, visit an Op-shop, you just might find what you've been looking for at a great price, stop junk mail coming into your home, start a garden, herbs are a great place to start and only plant what you will actually eat, menu plan, use every bit of food that comes into your home, start a compost bin, move your body everyday, eat a simple meal each week it might be beans on toast or a perfect egg on toast, eat a meat free meal once a week, make a cleaning schedule for your home, doing a little each day and drink more water.

Turn your thoughts to your home and see the beauty there, create and curate your life the way you want it to be. You are driving the family bus, get off the freeway and find a quieter road for you and your family. The new year is just around the corner, now is as good a time as ever to try something new.

Merry Christmas, Dear Readers, from my family to yours.

Have a wonderful Christmas Day,

Three Years Ago-Merry Christmas for 2016

Gingerbread Brownies

Tuesday, 24 December 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Today's little recipe is a ripper, divinely soft and dark chocolate brownie laced with the spices of Christmas. There is lots of ginger, cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg too and the method is so very simple, just melt and mix. Because of all the chocolate in it, the brownie bakes very dark but it does look spectacular dusted with icing sugar, just like snow.

As always, I baked mine in a square pyrex dish measuring 20 cm x 20 cm greased and lined with baking paper to make sure it will actually come out of the dish, no one wants tears in the kitchen at this time of year.

As I mentioned this recipe is very easy to make, in fact I made it late at night, well, late for me, about 7.30 pm which is when I am normally heading towards the bedroom, so a taxing recipe just would never happen at my place at that time of night, gosh don't I sound like a granny!

I know it is quite late to post a Christmas recipe but I think just about everyone would have these ingredients in their pantry at this time of year, make it today!

Ingredients for Gingerbread Brownies-clockwise from left-300 grams of dark chocolate buttons (this was actually a 290 gram packet from Nestle) 250 grams of butter, melted, 1 1/3 cups of plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 2 tablespoons of cocoa, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1 cup brown sugar and 4 eggs at room temperature 

Preheat oven to 170C and grease and line a 20 cm square baking tin/pyrex dish.
Add the dark chocolate button to the melted butter and let sit for a minute 

Then whisk to combine

Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition

Now add the flour, spices and cocoa 

And again whisk till just incorporated 

Pour and scrape into prepared baking dish/tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 170C or until done to your liking.

Let cool completely before slicing into squares

Dust with icing sugar to serve

You would think that all that chocolate would be too rich, but it isn't, this brownie bakes very moist and tender and is just sweet enough. Merry Christmas.

Have a lovely Christmas Eve

Two Years Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday


Old Dogs, New Tricks

Monday, 23 December 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Today I'm sharing a little video of our woofs and their progress in learning good manners. Lulu (black and white and the Mum, 12 years old) and Pippa (tan and white and her daughter, 11 years old) were never given any kind of obedience training, they were simply indulged, they slept anywhere in the house they wanted to and were often fed from the table. So it has taken us a long time for them to listen to us and then carry through the action.

Lulu is very good, such a clever girl but Pippa, she pushes the boundaries every chance she gets, I have been doing this kind of training with them every time I feed them and they are getting the hang of it, but Pippa will always be the last to sit and be the first to move, hence there were lots of false starts.

Please enjoy the shenanigans of Lulu and Pippa at dinner time-

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Jack Monroe's Slow Cooker Bread and My Slow Cooker Fruit and Spice Loaf
Two Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Three Years Ago-On The Eleventh Day of Christmas, I Made Chocolate Christmas Biscuits 


Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 22 December 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

Today I am grateful for the beautiful tablecloths and tableware we inherited from my late In-Laws, they had impeccable taste and collected many antique dinner settings over the years plus beautiful old  tablecloths and napkins. I will be using some today for a family lunch at our place.

The tablecloth could have done with a good iron, but that just didn't happen and for ease I am using paper napkins as I know I won't have time to wash in the next few days. On the table today is a mixture of old and new crockery just to mix it up a bit. It all matches though because, hello blue and white!

What are you grateful for today?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Two Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday
Three Years Ago-On the Tenth Day of Christmas I Made Ninja Bread Men

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 21 December 2019
Hello Dear Reader,

And just life that another week has flown by, work is very demanding at the moment with many complex patients requiring extra attention from all staff. To say we are all exhausted is an understatement and I have been falling into bed every night and sleeping deep, but I'm still finding it hard to wake up in the morning.

The new job position I have been waiting and wishing for has still not been advertised but I feel I am very prepared for it when it finally is! I have been working on the application on and off at work, mostly during my lunch break as well as reading every bit of information I can lay my hands on about the program, again during my lunch break. I am not a naturally studious person but I find reading and re-reading and researching unfamiliar topics as I go helps me enormously. I just hope I get an interview and that I can actually remember my name, I find, when I'm stressed I can't string two words together, hopefully with all this reading something will stick!

On the food front and on the lead up to Christmas, I have been making quick and easy recipes that don't require a lot of fuss, that theme is being carried over to next week. Each recipe I've made this week took less than three quarters of an hour to get on the table, with minimal prep and clearing up afterwards. That's what you need at this time of year, easy and dependable recipes that don't require a lot of effort from you and of course are delicious and enjoyable. On the menu for next week I am making recipes that will provide us with leftovers so I won't have to cook every night.

Now on with the rest of the food-

What we bought

Fruit and veg from the Northside Discount Fruit Barn

The Aldi Shop

What we spent 
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$19.20


What we ate

Friday-Obligatory Beans on Toast 

Saturday and Sunday-Vegetarian Chilli with all the trimmings-Avocado, tomato, grated cheese, pickled jalapeños, a squeeze of lime and chopped coriander 

Monday-Fish Burgers made from gifted fish, this was the last of the Wahoo

Tuesday-Curried Mince with Roti 

Wednesday-Tuna with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Angle Hair Pasta and home grown Perpetual Spinach, this too was the last of the gifted yellow fin tuna 

Thursday-Chicken Pesto Pasta-Thermomix Style

Your turn, what easy meals are you making on the lead up to Christmas?

Have a lovely day,