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Olive, Pesto and Parmesan Scones

Tuesday, 30 June 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

I made this lovely, rustic, savoury scone a few weeks ago to pad out a dinner of leftovers and it was a hit. This giant and very rustic scone has a crisp exterior and a soft belly full of lovely salty olives and parmesan cheese. It is super quick to put together too, so you can whip it up at short notice if you think your dinner needs a little padding out or if you have a surprise guest staying for dinner.

This easy and delicious carb filled scone would be beautiful served with soup, stew or a slow cook of some sort during these dark, cold days of winter and is lovely on its own or slathered with butter. I used my scone recipe for the base of this savoury scone and it worked so well, the trick is not to over mix the dough, be gently and use a light hand.

To a large bowl add in 2 cups SR flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup roughly chopped olives of choice (I buy the large container from Aldi once a year) 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and mix together 

In a jug add 1/2 cup each of milk and cream plus 2 tablespoon pesto of choice (I had just enough of the Aldi brand basil pesto leftover in the fridge) whisk to combine 

Add wet to dry ingredients 

And mix with a knife to form a sticky ball 

Turn out onto a floured surface and gently knead and bring together into a disk. Don't over do the kneading as it will make the scone too dense, use a light touch to just bring the dough together 

Shape and roll into a 20cm round and using a serrated knife dipped in flour score the scone into 8 wedges, brush with a little milk and pop into a preheated 200 C oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and smelling wonderful. As always every oven is different so start checking for doneness at the 15 minute mark.

Golden brown and gorgeous

Make it today.

Have a lovely day,

Four Years Ago-Drunken Chicken 

Magic Moments

Monday, 29 June 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

We often try to time our afternoon dog walk with the sunset, sometimes we're too late and only have the remnants of what would have been the most amazing sunset, but yesterday we were right on time. When we were leaving the house and just starting to walk across the first little bridge we saw some wonderful colour in the sky and we said to each other we might be lucky today.

Well, I think this is hands down the most incredible sunset I have ever seen in my life. Not just the colour but the second aura created by the residual rain clouds of the day was simply amazing. Sorry, but I'm out of superlatives.

Hope this beauty makes you smile.

Have a lovely day,

Three Years Ago-Sultana and Spice Loaf
Four Years Ago-What we ate this week 


Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 28 June 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

Post haircut yesterday 

Today I am grateful for my hairdresser, who is, thankfully, still taking the threat of Covid 19 very seriously, she will only allow one customer into the salon at a time and she is still wearing a mask and practicing hand hygiene. I think she is a very wise woman.

What are you grateful for today?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday 
Two Years Ago-Looking Forward, Looking Back
Three Years Ago-Tuesday Afternoon Bargains
Four Years Ago-Sorting the Seeds

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 27 June 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

I think I will have to have a good lie down when I calculate how much money we have spent on food this week, I feel it will be a big week. Along with what we bought we also had a lunch and a dinner out, we do this very rarely and often enjoy the experience. We had lunch at a little cafe in Maleny on Tuesday and it was our first experience of eating out since the relaxation of Covid 19 social distancing laws. To be able to eat at the cafe you first had to complete hand hygiene, then register at the counter, then you had to wait for a table to be available, because of the social distancing law every second table was closed, so it took a while till a table was ready for us. You also had to write down your name and address in a book, I guess they need to know who has been dining with them and where you are from, incase of an outbreak.

The table and chairs where given a thorough wipe down in between patrons eating there too so I am sure they followed all protocols. I ordered a ricotta and spinach parcel with a side salad and LH ordered a BLT with a side of sweet potato chips, both meals were lovely and we chose to sit out the front in the sunshine.

The other meal out was dinner, after being on the beach all day on Wednesday, LH had his heart set on sushi but I wasn't so enthused, I was tired and cold and would have been happy with an egg on toast at home. It was quite late by the time we got to the sushi place (well, late for us-7pm), the sushi place wasn't busy and because of that there was sushi already sitting on the little conveyor belt that goes around and around. Well, we looked at the same food for quite a while before one new plate was put on the track, which LH took as soon as it came around to us, I then ordered an avocado roll and called it good. LH kept taking plates off of the track only to find them cold and disappointing. We won't go there again, even though the owners are just lovely, the main reason you go out to eat is to have something you can't replicate at home and is of good, consistent quality. I would have enjoyed an egg on toast at home so much more.

Along with eating out we also visited our bulk goods place and a factory outlet store and of course we did a menu plan and did the shopping at Aldi and Coles. It was just me doing the shopping this week as LH had to work so I opted to just get the fruit and veg mostly from Aldi with just a few items from Coles. This was the first time I'd been grocery shopping since the beginning of Covid 19 and I found everyone to be polite and observing the social distancing as well as all the new hygiene wipes for the trollies and hand baskets and the perspex screens at Aldi, it truly is a new way of doing things.

Now on with the food of last week-

What we bought

Fruit and Veg from Aldi

The rest of the Aldi shop 

A few items from Coles, the paper wrapped parcel contains some free range ham 

The Simply Good Haul, the only thing that didn't make it into the photo was a large jar of local honey 

And some goodies from the Golden Circle Factory Outlet 

Beautiful dairy from the Maleny IGA

What we spent
Simply Good-$110.10
Maleny IGA-$26.37

Lunch and dinner out-approximately $90

TOTAL-$370.32-Holy moly...

What we ate

Friday-Left over Creamy Pumpkin Pasta 

Saturday and Sunday-Pumpkin Soup and soft rolls 

Monday-Calamari, sweet potato chips and a simple salad

Tuesday-Peking Chicken Wraps

Wednesday-Disappointing Sushi-no photo cause...Disappointing Sushi 

Thursday-A combination of this recipe and this recipe plus home made garlic bread

Over to you, how was your grocery budget this week? And what was on your menu this week?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Inspiration, Take 2

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 26 June 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

This week has just flown by, well of course it has, I've had a week off of work but I still have the weekend to look forward to. In saying that, I am quite excited about going back to work, I only have one more week in my current role (I have worked in a rehabilitation unit assisting the Physiotherapist for last 10 years) and then the following week I will be starting in my new role as a Multi Professional Assistant (MPA) with the Eat Walk and Engage (EWE) Program.

This program has proven itself to be a valuable addition to the hospitals where it has been rolled out, it is a holistic approach to patient centred care, to help prevent delirium and to also help the patient get back on their feet and get home quicker, who wouldn't want that? I am so looking forward to bringing this wonderful program onto some of the acute wards of the hospital where I work.

It hasn't been a frugal week here at SHI, mainly because, well, we didn't stay home instead, we had two days out, which was lovely. On Tuesday we drove up to Simply Good and The Golden Circle Factory Outlet, after those two stores we kept driving up to Maleny where we had a lovely lunch at this little cafe  and picked up a few things at the IGA. I was hoping to pick up my favourite curry powder made by Gourmet Afrika but as I mentioned on Wednesday they are phasing that line out of their store. I was lucky enough to track down the new owner and she is kindly sending me down two jars of the Special Malay Curry Mix by post, I am so very grateful. So, yes the food budget is a lot higher than normal this week.

The few items from the wonderful IGA at Maleny, we ate half the Maleny Double Brie at the beach on Wednesday. The Liddels lactose free yoghurt is for one of our little woofs, Lulu who has a funny tummy at the moment, I'm adding a teaspoon on her food morning and evening to see if it improves her intestinal issues

Items from Simply Good-from left-hand wash, dishwashing liquid and laundry liquid, peanut butter, pink Himalayan salt, buckwheat flour, raw nuts, chocolate peanut toffee, sunflower seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, ground cinnamon and bread flour

Just a few items this time from the Golden Circle Factory Outlet, they didn't have a lot of products that we would buy, this time, they are moving soon and I think they aren't keeping as many lines as they usually do.

Then on Wednesday we went fishing up to our favourite beach, unfortunately we only caught 6, just legal, Summer Whiting and it took us all day to catch just those few. The weather was just glorious though with hardly any wind and the suns warmth shone on us all day. The water temperature was actually warmer than the ambient temperature so being knee deep in the water most of the day was lovely.

At one point I went for a walk along the high tide mark, near the dunes and of course I couldn't help myself and I started to pick up rubbish. I walked approximately 20 meters in either direction of where the truck was parked and I was able to pick up two shopping bags full of rubbish of all sorts. Plastic water bottles (a scourge on our planet) lengths of rope, bits and pieces of coloured plastic in all states of degradation, bottle caps, black tubing and hoses, frozen meal containers, balloons-both normal and helium with the plastic string still attached (of all the things to bring to the beach, I think balloons are the worst of all, turtles think they are jelly fish and consume them, then they slowly starve to death) an esky lid, I even found a pair of shorts and one shoe.

Now lets see if I can think of anything resembling frugal that I achieved over the last week-

1. Fed and turned the compost bin

2. Line dried all the washing, the days have been gloriously warm and dry

Ninja photo bombing the laundry glamour shot

She spends most of the afternoon out in her luxury cat run, we call her the solar cat 

3. Took tea, coffee, a thermos of hot water and our cold water bottles with us when we were on the road two days in a row, we also packed lunch and snacks to take with us to the beach

4. Made a big pot of pumpkin soup from one of our home grown pumpkins and soft fluffy rolls to share with our Son and future DIL next door. They have started to remodel their kitchen and lay new flooring so their home looks like a construction site, we have been supplying them with a few breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Cheaper than takeaway anytime. 

5. Watered the garden using water from our rain water tanks, we now have plenty of water to keep the plants happy.

Your turn, how did you save money this week?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Citrus Tree Shopping 
Three Years Ago-Shepherdess Pie 

Wednesday Roundup

Wednesday, 24 June 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

We had a lovely day out yesterday, we visited Simply Good at Morayfield and the Golden Circle Factory Outlet and then we drove further up the hinterland to have lunch at Maleny and also to buy a few things from the wonderful IGA. I was hoping to pick up my favourite curry blend made by Gourmet Afrika (not a typo) but they only had a few items left of this range.

I picked up one of the GA products from the shelf and found a contact number on it, I really wanted to find out where the special malay curry blend could be found as it is just such an aromatic spice blend. The phone call went through to a place called "Clouds" a lovely local place to stay and holiday, I was a bit confused as I was thinking the number would be for a contact for Gourmet Africa, I found out that the wonderful Matilda Scarfe who started the GA business many years ago had sold it early last year and that the person whom had bought the business worked for "Clouds". Anyway the lovely young man who took the call promised to follow up on my request and took my phone number, I hope he returns my phone call.

Here's what else I got up to over the past week-

On My Mind-
I've been preparing for my new role by buying a lovely green folder with dividers and I also copied the programs logo from the internet and printed it out in colour to slip inside the folder cover, it looks quite official. I have so many ideas to get this program started but I won't go overboard yet.

On the Breakfast Plate-
We had another two big breakfast plates over the weekend, we love it so much

What's Growing Well in the Garden-
Finally things are starting to get going in the garden, the mustard green is growing especially well, but then again it always does. And my little experiment of re-growing Asian greens from the base of mature veg is going so well. I'll take a photo when the sun is up and add it here, pop back later to have a look.

What Project Have I Been Working On-
I am making the little woofs some new winter pyjamas, I've had an old but hardly used soft blanket in the car forever and a day and I thought it would be perfect for some soft and warm winter coats. Pippa had a lovely coat which was a clever design, for a very long time and when it was just about ready to fall apart I took a pattern off of it and made them their current coats. Well, those coats are getting a little tatty so I thought it was time for some new ones. While we were up at Maleny we saw a little Dachshund wearing the most gorgeous and practical coat, the brand is Weatherbeeta and this is the version that the little sausage dog was wearing, they are waterproof and would be ideal for when we walk the woofs in the rain, they don't seem to care about getting wet as long as they get their walk in. I will mill it over and see if I can justify spending that much on dog raincoats.

On the Menu This Week-
My favourite dinner this past week was crumbed calamari, sweet potato chips and a simple salad, LH catches, cleans and cooks the squid. I help him to do the flour, egg and panko coating which makes the calamari super crunchy.

From the Camera-
A glamour shot of the compost bin, each week I add a bucket full of fruit and veg peeling and scraps and coffee grounds, I then mix it in thoroughly with this compost turner and always cover it with the shredded paper from the office.

Looking Around the House-
I have been doing a little bit of decluttering each day and I am happy to say there hasn't been to much to donate, my lack of visiting the shops makes a huge difference in what comes into the house.

Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week-
The vacuuming and mopping needs to be done but as we are heading out the door again today, it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Your turn, what has your week been like? Reflect with me a while.

On My Mind
On the Breakfast Plate
What's Growing Well in the Garden
What Project Have I Been Working On
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,

One Year Ago-Easy Roti, Thermomix Style 
Two Years Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday 
Three Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Four Years Ago-No Blog Post Today


“A” is for A Little bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

As regular readers will know I have decided to finally cook my way through my recipe book collection, alphabetically, this is the second book I've re-read from cover to cover and I chose a couple of really lovely recipes to cook from it.

This book is a gem of a recipe book, not only are the recipes easy but the story behind them is so lovely and is the main reason why I bought the book in the first place. One of the authors is Isabella Bliss the winner of Australia's first Junior Masterchef, along with her sister Sofia, their mother Sylvana and their Nonna, Nonna Spina. I used to be a sucker for all thing Masterchef until I wasn't, I loved the show when it first started but as time went on I was unable to relate to the aspiring chefs. I did love the junior version though, such talent in ones so young, still unaffected by fame, it was totally lovely to watch.

The recipes from this book, that caught my eye, were the Prawn Ravioli with Tomato, Rocket and Lemon Sauce and the Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni Crepes, both were amazing, easy and so very delicious. Now when I say easy, they truly were, but you do need time in the kitchen to complete these delicious recipes, so I chose to cook them on the weekend when I have more time to devote to the kitchen.

Prawn Ravioli with Tomato, Rocket and Lemon Sauce

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni Crepes 

When making the ravioli, I got to play with the pasta roller attachment on my Kitchen Aid, I have owned it for a very long time and used to use it regularly to make fettuccini but has sat neglected for way too long. It is fun to play with and gives wonderful results, this little video is of the first roll through on the first gauge, I passed the pasta dough through six times, each time narrowing the gauge, to make really fine pasta. 

Over to you, did you watch the Junior Masterchef series all those years ago? Are you still a fan of the current shows?

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
Four Years Ago-No Blog Post Today

Pumpkin, Tomato and Coconut Curry

Monday, 22 June 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

The inspiration for today's recipe comes from the recipe book "Abundance" by Tania Hubbard, she makes a lovely, simple curry of sweet potato, pea and coriander, which would be delicious just as it is but as usual I couldn't help myself and started changing it and adding to it before I had even started making it.

For starters I only had a small amount of sweet potato (about 200 grams) but I did have a load of pumpkin thanks to our summer garden, I also added a can of coconut cream as that makes a curry I think, not so much in flavour but it thickens the curry nicely and gives it a lovely silky finish. The only three ingredients that I did keep  from the original recipe was the curry powder (this is the one I use, the Special Malay Curry Mix) the fresh tomatoes and the frozen peas and they all worked brilliantly together.

It kind of reminds me of this amazingly easy and super delicious Asian Inspired Chicken Tray Bake, it has the same spice notes, thanks to the beautiful curry powder, the wonderful flavour from the kaffir lime leaves and the sweetness of the peas added right at the end finished this curry off beautifully.

Ingredients for Pumpkin, Tomato and Coconut Curry, clockwise from bottom, centre-1/2 a large onion, finely chopped, 4 garlic cloves, sliced, a thumb sized knob of ginger, peeled and sliced, 200 grams of small tomatoes, halved, 750 grams of pumpkin or a combination of sweet potato and pumpkin, peeled and chopped into roughly 3 cm cubes, 1 tin coconut cream, 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder of choice, or more to taste, can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained, a good handful of coriander, finely chopped, 6 kaffir lime leaves, 1 cup of frozen peas and 1 heaped teaspoon chicken style stock powder (not pictured, I use Massel Brand)

Sauté the onion on medium low heat in a little oil, until translucent then add the ginger and garlic slices, continue to sauté till aromatic 

Add the curry powder and stir till aromatic 

Now add the tomato halves and let soften for a few minutes 

Add pumpkin/sweet potato and chickpeas 

And roll to coat in spices then add the kaffir lime leaves 

Add the coconut cream, chicken stock powder and add enough water to just barely cover 

Poke everything down so that most of the veg is submerged in the gorgeous sauce 

Pop a lid on and let cook away on medium-low heat for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the veg is nice and soft but still holding its shape, add the peas just before serving so they retain their bright green colour 

Sprinkle with coriander if you wish 

And serve with steamed rice and papadums

A quick and easy curry to cook on a week night, that is just perfect for the colder months and the aroma and flavour is just amazing. 

Make it today,

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-Our Big Holiday Plans
Four Years Ago-Hello From Norfolk Island