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Light and Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

Thursday, 30 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,


A little while ago, on a Sunday,  I had a hankering for pancakes for lunch and as I had some blueberries in the crisper draw to use up, blueberry pancakes it was. I have a lot of pancake recipes, but I think this one is my new favourite, as they are so very light and fluffy, not too sweet either and are just divine with butter and a good slosh of maple syrup.

It is the combination of buttermilk (just milk and vinegar mixed together and let sit for a while) baking powder and bicarb soda that makes these pancakes incredibly light and fluffy while still being very easy to handle. Once combined the mixture looks puffy and it cooks out beautifully golden brown. Make them this weekend!

Ingredients for Light and Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes, clockwise from left-2 tablespoons white sugar, 1 cup plain flour, 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup milk (I used powdered milk) plus 2 teaspoons of white vinegar, a punnet of blueberries, washed, 2 tablespoons of butter, melted (I forgot to add this to the photo)  and 1 egg at room temperature 

Firstly get the milk and the vinegar together in a jug, mix well and let sit for a couple of minutes, it will split and look weird, that's what you're aiming for. Add the egg and melted butter to the "buttermilk" and whisk together 

Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl 

And whisk (this is instead of sieving)

Now add the buttermilk, melted butter and egg mixture to the dry ingredients

And whisk well till no there are no lumps. It will start to look puffy and fluffy, that's chemistry 

Cook in the usual way, adding as many blueberries as you like 

Flip and cook on the other side till golden 

Turn out onto a plate, add a knob of butter and pour over as much or as little maple syrup as you like, while waiting for the next one to cook.

This recipe made eight lovely little pancakes, which was just perfect as a special lunch for two. Easy, simple and really delicious.
4

Wednesday Roundup

Wednesday, 29 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

And welcome to the last Wednesday in April, time is fleeting! I have an extra long weekend coming up as there is a public holiday on Monday and I requested Friday off, so, hello four days off for me. We were originally going down the Gold Coast to stay at The Star on Friday night to see this show for my Birthday but of course it has been postponed due to Covid 19. We were able to get a refund for the one nights stay at The Star and the show has been postponed till the 2nd of October, hopefully everything has gone back to some sort of normality by then.

Now lets see what I can come up with for this weeks Wednesday Roundup-

On My Mind-
Wondering when I will ever be able to buy yeast again! I used the last of my instant yeast on Sunday to make another batch of these cottage cheese bread rolls to go with a beaut pea and ham soup. We are due to go up to Simply Good in a couple of weeks time, maybe they will have some.

On the Breakfast Plate-
This weeks breakfast fruit has been banana, kiwi fruit, the biggest blueberries I have seen in a long time, blackberries and raspberries. I made two beautiful big jars of vanilla sugar on the weekend using four vanilla pods to 500 grams of sugar all whizzed up in the Thermomix, I used this gorgeous smelling sugar to make our vanilla yoghurt this week.



On My Reading Pile-
Not currently reading anything

On My TV-
I watched another series of Outlander on the weekend, I am currently re-watching Season 2.

On the Menu This Week-
Favourite meal this week has been pea and ham soup made with the leftover ham bone from Christmas and a small ham hock. I made it on Sunday morning and it made a huge pot full. I was able to give a big pot full to our daughter and her fiancé for their dinner and there was still enough for another dinner for us on Monday night.


From the Camera-
This sunset blew us away, we were a bit later getting going for our afternoon dog walk on Monday afternoon, and I am so glad we were, just look at those colours-


Looking Around the House-
So happy we have made a good start on the cleaning of the windows and shutters, only three more rooms to go.

Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week-

It is time for the pumpkin vines to come out, so we will tackle that job sometime over the long weekend. Then we will have to dig in plenty of compost in preparation for planting our of autumn/winter/spring garden. Although I love idea of gardening, I am not very strong and I get frustrated at not being able to do what I want.

Your turn, simply cut and paste and fill in the blanks-

On My Mind
On the Breakfast Plate
On My Reading Pile
On My TV
On the Menu This Week
From the Camera
Looking Around the House
Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week

Have a lovely day,
💕Fi

One Year Ago-How to Cook Quinoa in the Thermomix
Two Years Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday 
Three Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week 
Four Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday
1

What we bought from the GCFO

Tuesday, 28 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

I seem to have a bit of a back log of posts to be published at the moment, so today I am playing catch up. We go to the Golden Circle Factory Outlet every 6 weeks, the same time as we go to Simply Good which is out closest bulk goods store. The GCFO is only one block down from Simply Good so it makes sense to pop in while we are up that way.

I love this shop so much, so does LH, you just never know what you will find. There are a lot of products that we just don't buy but there is always a surprise at what good quality items there are. This last trip was no exception. Here is what we bought-



Have a lovely day,
💗Fi

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
Four Years Ago-The Easiest Way to Make Polenta


5

Chai Spiced Peach Compote

Monday, 27 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,


One of my lovely readers asked for this little recipe, happy to help out Jana.

I like tinned fruit for the convenience, of course it is nothing like fresh, so this is my way of helping the tinned fruit along a bit in the flavour department. It also makes the peaches lovely and soft, like the texture I remember of Mums beautiful "stewed fruit" she would make out of an abundance of fruit. We would have the fruit with tongola tinned cream or custard made from Poppy's custard powder. The fruit would depend on what was growing at that time of the year, sometimes it was fresh fruit she would stew and other times it was dried fruit like apricots and prunes.

The spices in this recipe add so much flavour and really compliment the sweetness of the peaches while cooking it slowly and softly makes the kitchen smell amazing. It is really such a simple thing to do but the end result is just wonderful.

Ingredients for Chai Spiced Peach Compote, clockwise from top-1 x large can of peaches in juice, 2 teaspoons or more to taste of raw sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cardamon pods, crushed lightly, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice and 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Drain peaches and add them along with all the other ingredients to a medium saucepan, bring to a gently simmer and turn heat down to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until peaches are lovely and soft but still holding their shape

The gentle cooking will develop a thick syrup from the peaches, sugar and spices

Cool and serve with whatever your heart desires. We had ours with other fruit plus a big scoop of homemade vanilla yogurt for breakfast, but they would be divine with ice-cream for dessert.

Have a lovely day,
💗Fi

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-Water Kefir 
Four Years Ago-What we ate and what we spent
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Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 26 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

Today, I grateful for the help of Lovely Hubby, yesterday. I mentioned that it was time to clean the windows, shutters and window tracks so he suggested we make a start on them together. So instead of it taking me 2 weeks to complete the whole house (doing one set of windows and shutters a day) I will have them finished by this Friday. Yesterday we did 7 windows and shutters together and I am so very grateful and thankful to LH for helping me with this big job. Only 7 more to go!

It was so lovely to look out through sparkling clean windows and shutters yesterday-


What are you grateful for today?

Have a lovely day,
💘Fi

One Year Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday 
Two Years Ago-Banana and Chocolate Muffins 
Three Years Ago-Cottage Cheese Bread Rolls- I am making these again to have with Pea and Ham Soup tonight
Four Years Ago-Slow Cooker Cuban Black Bean and Ham Hock Soup
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What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 25 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

I mentioned yesterday that in this time of change and uncertainty you can rely on my little blog to remain the same. I blog everyday about my normal everyday life, it is not glamorous or really that interesting, but I keep blogging on anyway. I have a good routine with my blog, Mondays usually consist of a new recipe, Wednesdays I do a roundup of what is happening in and around my home and life, Fridays are when I post my 5 frugal things, todays post is always about the food we bought, how much we paid for it and what we ate over the past week and finally on Sundays I offer thanks and gratitude for one good thing, in my life on that day. Tuesdays and Thursdays posts are more flexible and are sometimes a hot tip or another new recipe.

As you can probably see I am a creature of habit and love my simple, I'll say it, boring life, but that's who I am, just an everyday woman who writes in this space everyday about a calm life. I can't control the world around me but I can control what happens inside my home, I have created and curated this little life we lead and I wouldn't have it any other way. Boring? Yes, but also peaceful.

In other news LH and our Son will be able to go back to work in a couple of weeks which is wonderful news, the exact date will become clearer in the near future when the powers that be make that executive decision concrete. I am locked into a few weeks of longer hours covering some hours at work so we are okay on the financial front.

Lovely Hubby and I are just about to go out the front of our home and join in "Light up the Dawn" to honour our ANZAC's, are you doing it too?

Now on with the food of last week-
What we bought

Northside Discount Fruit Barn and the ham hock in the paper bag from Marjax Meats

The Aldi Shop + 2 tins of tomatoes that I already used

What we spent
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$26.71
Marjax Meats-$8.35 (ham hock)
Aldi-$56.88
Coles-not pictured-a cob of corn and bean sprouts-$3.20

TOTAL-$95.14
What we ate

Friday-Stagg Veggie Chilli on toasted panini, this was very nice, we bought it from the Golden Circle Factory Outlet on our last visit

Saturday-Prawns in Mustard Cream Sauce with Herby Mash and steamed broccolini

Sunday-Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Monday-Tempura Whiting, steamed basmati rice and bok choy

Tuesday-Prawn Stir Fry

Wednesday-Snags with Mash and Upmarket Mushy Peas

Thursday-Veggie Chilli-Thermomix Style

The stage is yours, what was on your family table this week?

Have a lovely day,
💖Fi

Two Years Ago-Asian Chilli Relish 
1

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 24 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

Holy cow, where did that week go? I know I've said this literally hundreds of times over the years of writing this blog, but truly, has someone pushed fast forward on the whole world? And it's not because everyone is staying home due to Covid 19, I've been doing that for years, there is something about this time of year, the year is no longer new, it is hurtling along, driving so quickly past Easter that it was a blur and then on to ANZAC Day, which is tomorrow, then it is full steam ahead to Mother's Day and just like that, almost half a year has gone. I struggle with this every year but this year seems worse somehow.

In other news I have been able to increase my hours at work temporarily, in an ad hoc way, doing longer days here and there, I am grateful for the extra hours and over the course of a fortnight (we are paid fortnightly) it will all add up. Still no news on whether I was successful in the job I applied for, but I really have a bad feeling about the whole situation. It has been 5 weeks now since the interview and even in this unusual time surely the powers that be have had to make a decision as part of the whole interview process. I would happily reduce my hours if I was successful (the job is part time) as it is a role that I feel very passionate about. My mental health has copped a battering and I am full of self doubt and I am continually questioning myself about my ability and qualifications. Silence will do that to a person.

In this time of change and uncertainty, you can rely on this regular Friday post popping up every single Friday to share how I tried to save money over the past week, read on to see what I got up to on the frugal front this week.

1. Made a wonderful chicken stock with the bones from roast chicken we had for Easter, I froze the bones till I needed them. As we roasted the chickens in the charcoal BBQ the stock had a lovely smokiness to it.


2. Made another batch of vanilla yoghurt. I have now used all of the vanilla beans that I had been using to make vanilla essence. I have ordered some more vanilla beans from here.


3. Ate prawns from the freezer for dinner two times in the past week, Lovely Hubby caught these prawns a few weeks ago, they are banana prawns. Love free protein. 

Prawns in Mustard Cream Sauce

Prawn Stir Fry

4. Made fluffy blueberry pancakes for lunch on Sunday. We didn't have any leftovers in the fridge so I whipped up these pancakes, they made a cheap, delicious and filling lunch. 


5. Used the warm up water from the shower to keep the citrus trees hydrated, there is no rain forecast for the next week and everything is starting to look for it.


Orange tree on the left and lemon tree on the right, they are still very small but I have high hopes. The greenery you can see at the front and a hedge of Italian Parsley, I want every plant in the garden to be edible. 

How did you save money this week?

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi

Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today 
Four Years Ago-Fruit and Spice Loaf 
2

The Best Baba Ganoush

Thursday, 23 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,


A few weeks ago I made a recipe of Jamie Oliver's, it was his Veggie Moussaka using three medium eggplants, LH had bought four, so I had one left over. What to do with one lonely eggplant, turn it into the best baba ganoush, that's what!

This baba ganoush is super easy to make and tastes just amazing, all the smokiness from oven roasting it shines through along with all the usual spices and some not so usual ingredients. I use a little trick to make my life easier though, I cut the eggplant in half and roast those halves face down to increase the roasting surface area and it makes removing the softly roasted flesh after so much easier too.

Firstly roast the halved eggplant at 200C for about 30 to 40 minutes until the eggplant has started to collapse on itself, set aside until cool enough to handle 

Ingredients for The Best Baba Ganoush, from left, salt and pepper to taste, juice of half a lemon or to taste, 2 large or 3 small cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane, 1 medium eggplant, roasted as above, a sprinkle of smoked paprika to finish, 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Scoop out the softly roasted flesh of the eggplant into a sieve to let an excess moisture escape, softly squish the eggplant with a large spoon to help this process along 

Add the roasted eggplant to the TM bowl along with all the other ingredients except the smoked paprika

Blitz for 5 seconds on speed 8, scrape down the sides and repeat till smooth and silky 

Pour and scrape into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the smoked paprika 

We ate this silky smooth and delicious Baba Ganoush with crunchy crackers and veggie sticks for dipping. 

Have a lovely day,
💜Fi

2

Wednesday Roundup

Wednesday, 22 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,


And welcome to another edition of Wednesday Roundup where I do a brain dump of what is happening in and around my home at the moment. We had quite a productive Sunday which was great, we have finally finished our little cat Ninja's, side of the house and it looks so neat and tidy, I just love it. When our beaut kids overhauled the back corner of our garden a few months ago they tipped a lot of the soil into the raised garden beds that Lovely Hubby had built along Ninja's side of our property, unfortunately along with that soil came rocks, chunks of clay and a lot of housebuilding rubbish from all those years ago when our house was being built.

So we had to screen all of that soil before we planted anything out, LH made a giant sieve and we set to work sieving out all of that rubbish, it was hard work but now we are left with lovely rock free and rubbish free friable soil.

What else have we been up to? Read on-

On My Mind-
I am so loving the cooler weather, we spent most of Sunday out in the yard, doing quite hard work and I didn't break a sweat!

On the Breakfast Plate-
Breakfast fruit this week has been banana, blackberries, kiwis and raspberries but we were a bit short of fruit for this mornings breakfast so I made a chai spiced peach compote yesterday afternoon from a big can of SPC peaches in juice.


On My Reading Pile-
Not reading anything currently

On My TV-
Back to watching just the news at 6 o'clock while we eat dinner then it is turned off.

On the Menu This Week-
Favourite meal this week was this chicken pot pie soup which was made out of leftovers, firstly I made a stock from Easter's roast chicken (frozen till I needed it) and the chicken legs, carrots, celery and onions,  from making a simplified version of Jamie Oliver's Get Ahead Gravy, again for Easter (again, frozen until needed) the stock and the chicken meat and veggies were put together in a big pot and bought to a boil, turned down then I added a cup of cream with 2 tablespoons of plain flour mixed into it and just before serving I added a cup of frozen baby peas and a good handful of chopped parsley. It was just the best soup ever!


From the Camera-
The beautiful colours left over from a magnificent sunset while walking the little woofs on Monday afternoon, aren't those colour just beautiful.


Looking Around the House-
Our beaut kids have started painting our garage for us, we had the floors finished with an epoxy resin flooring over the Easter weekend and it made the walls look very old and tired so they offered to paint it for us using the leftover white paint from when our bathroom was renovated last year.

Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week-
I have made an executive decision, the windows and shutters must be cleaned so I will take the bull by the horns this weekend and make a start. If I do one set a day it will take me two weeks.

What's happening in your world, join in by cutting and pasting from the headings below-

On My Mind
On the Breakfast Plate
On My Reading Pile
On My TV
On the Menu This Week
From the Camera
Looking Around the House
Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week

Hope to hear from you,
💗Fi

One Year Ago-No Blog Post Today
Two Years Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday
Three Years Ago-Rosella Tea
Four Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday
2

What we bought from Simply Good

Tuesday, 21 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

We try to visit Simply Good, our closest bulk good store, about every 4 to 6 weeks to top up on pantry staples such as bread flour, nuts, rolled oats and honey. They have a tremendous range of goods, ranging from every type of flour you could think of, nuts, both roasted and raw, a huge range of spices, an extensive gluten free range, bulk laundry liquid, hand wash, dishwashing liquid and powder and the biggest range of lollies I've ever seen. What we buy each time differs based on what we are planning on cooking and eating.



This is the shop we did on the 28th March, I just haven't had a chance to post it until now. The main reason we shop there is to reduce the amount of single use plastic coming into our home, however it is a more expensive way of shopping, for us, at this time in our lives, it suits us, however our lives are ever evolving and there may be a time in the future where we have to go back to buying supermarket items packed in plastic to make our reduced income stretch a bit further.

Have a lovely day,
💚Fi

One Year Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday and Happy Easter for 2019
Two Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Three Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday
Four Years Ago-A Walk Around the Garden 
2

Roasted Red Capsicum, Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

Monday, 20 April 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

Look at all that goodness

I made this lovely salad last week to go with some field mushrooms that were cooked on the BBQ with lots of butter and also a mushroom sauce made simple by sautéing half an onion, then adding sliced mushrooms to the hot pan, a little at a time so they would take on some colour and not go all floppy, then I added about a cup and half of thickened cream to the pan and let it bubble away till reduced and thickened, add some salt and pepper and your good to go. It truly makes the best mushroom sauce.

But I digress, today is all about this wonderful little salad, it is full of flavour with only a handful of ingredients. I started this salad off before leaving for work by steaming the quinoa, letting it cool before popping it in the fridge till I needed it that afternoon. Grab a couple of pantry staples like chickpeas and roasted capsicum, add some diced feta and red onion and then drizzle with a very simple dressing and you're looking at a delicious, filling and full of goodness, salad. It is quite the sturdy salad and held up well for three days, only adding some of the dressing just before serving helped this situation I think.

Ingredients for Roasted Red Capsicum, Quinoa and Chickpea Salad, clockwise from left-
1 cup of cooked quinoa, 1 can or home cooked equivalent of chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned, 2 roasted red capsicums, diced, quarter to half a red onion, sliced, a block of feta cheese, crumbled or diced, plus a good handful of parsley, finely chopped

Add all ingredients to a large bowl 

Make the salad dressing by adding 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoon of oil of choice (I use rice bran oil for everything) 1 tablespoon of Dijon, 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane, 1 teaspoon honey and salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a glass jar with a lid and shake, shake, shake 

Mix the salad gently but thoroughly and add the dressing just before serving, giving the salad another  gentle mix 

And serve

The balsamic dressing does give the quinoa and chickpeas quite the summer tan but that is okay, the dressing is so very yummy and a lovely contrast to the sweet capsicum, the salty feta and neutrality of the quinoa and chickpeas. 

Make it today.

Have a lovely day,
💕Fi

Four Years Ago-What we ate this week 
0