I apologies for the lateness of the post this week. Unfortunately the need for sleep and a busy schedule has won out and while I have been working on this post for a few days I have only just finished it. I will (as always) try to do better next week.

Things don’t always go as planned but I’ve learned to just roll with it.

Anyway on to this weeks post:

Me – On Being an Adult

A little earlier this year, not long before my birthday, I realised something. I actually felt like an adult. That’s not something I had felt before.

Sure I have been technically an adult for a number of years now but it never really felt like I was old enough to have that sort of responsibility. I’ve always just felt a like I wasn’t yet a grown up.

But that has changed. I’m not sure what’s triggered it but I now consider myself and adult. Is it maybe just that I’ve figured out that being an adult doesn’t mean having your life sorted or having all the  answers. It may be because I recently got my first loan and am now in debt. It may even be because I find myself getting increasing frustrated with young adults who want to be treated like adult but don’t want to act like them. I’ve no Idea but its nice to finally feel like I made it.

And while I haven’t felt particularly adulty in the first part of my adulthood I seem to have been well prepared for it thanks to my wonderful parents. But I find that many of my peers and many of the new adults out there are not. Or at least they don’t feel that they are.

And so it is that this year I am endeavouring to help educate some of the young adults in my community on some of the life skills they will need going into the future. Things they weren’t taught at school (or they have forgotten), Things they weren’t taught at home (or refused to learn) or they just didn’t know they needed to know.

Things like how to budget for moving out of home, how to make some easy and cheap meals, how to do laundry, how to do some basic mends on cloths, where to go for more advice on things I can’t teach them (like taxes) and the really essential stuff like how to put together a balanced fivsies plate.

And I’m hoping to share some (if not all) of these topics here to.

Of course if you have any specific suggestions of things you don’t know (or didn’t know as a young adult) that you wish someone had taught you please let me know so I can try and work them in to a future post.

Lil

This Week its my Five

Favourite Herbs

Herbs are great. They help add flavour to dishes and even look pretty and there is such a variety.

Here are my five favourites.

Coriander

You either love it or you hate it. This one  our all time favourite. B and I have often said that If we could only have one herb for the rest of our lives coriander is it. But it would seem not everyone agrees with us. Coriander goes well with many things but particularly Asian flavours.

Thai Basil

My favourite variety of basil. It has a wonderful aroma and flavour almost bordering on aniseed. It (obviously) goes well in Thai food but you can substitute  the basil in any recipe.

Lavender

Yes it’s a herb. I haven’t used it a lot but I have enjoyed it the few times that I have. I am currently trying to grow my own (though the wet season is not the right time to start) so I can hopefully utilise it more often in my baking and maybe experiment with it in some savoury dishes too.

Lemon Myrtle

A wonderful Australian herb. I love it as tea but its also a fantastic addition to many dishes. My dad makes a fantastic baked chicken and haloumi  with lemon myrtle and its one of my favourite meals.

Rosemary

A very versatile herb as it can be used for savoury or sweet and generally much loved. I love the fragrance of rosemary. It reminds me of the house I grew up in as we had a lovely rosemary bush by the front door. I especially love seeing it used as hedges in random places like wineries and the middle of Adelaide.

So that’s my five favourite herbs? What are yours? Do you love or hate coriander? Have you tried lavender or lemon myrtle?

Lil

Well technically a recipe for my future cousin-in-law.  But more on that later.

B is back!! What a lovely valentines present for him to come home. I made him a cute card. He bought me a super cute (and super soft) toy camel from his travels. I’ve named it Alfred.

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In other news I spent my Saturday baking and was fortunate on of my friends was able to come over and help me eats some of what I made.  Between the two of us we demolished the Pav and while we only had one or two I think it may have been the best batch of brownies I have ever made.

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On Sunday I made a cute variation on the Raspberry Nutella Blondie’s to take to work for morning Tea on Monday. I added red food colouring and cocoa powder to turn them pink and I used a cookie cutter t cut them into hearts. They where quite cute.

So… on to the story behind the recipe. One of my cousins is getting married in March to a lovely lady who loves to cook. So for her kitchen tea we were all asked to send in a recipe rather then a card for her friends to put together in a recipe book.  I struggled to work out what recipe to send.  What recipe could I send that she wouldn’t already have and was worthy of such a gift. I finally settled on my signature dish. A pavlova.

 Pavlova is one of my all time favourite desserts and it became a specialty of mine when I was in high school as it was my favourite thing to procrasti-bake. While I have the base recipe perfected (for me) I do like to change up my toppings so for this recipe I drew my inspiration from valentines day and came up with this Raspberry, Rosewater and Chocolate pavlova.  I hope My cousin and his soon to be wife enjoy it and I hope you do too.

My Raspberry, Rosewater and Chocolate Pavlova

Well technically a recipe for my future cousin-in-law.  But more on that later.

B is back!! What a lovely valentines present for him to come home. He bought me a super cute (and super soft) toy camel. I’ve named it Alfred.

In other news I spent my Saturday baking and was fortunate on of my friends was able to come over and help me eats some of what I made.  Between the two of us we demolished the Pav and while we only had one or two I think it may have been the best batch of brownies I have ever made.

On Sunday I made a cute variation on the Raspberry Nutella Blondie’s to take to work for morning Tea on Monday. I added red food colouring and cocoa powder to turn them pink and I used a cookie cutter t cut them into hearts. They where quite cute.

So… on to the story behind the recipe. One of my cousins is getting married in March to a lovely lady who loves to cook. So for her kitchen tea we were all asked to send in a recipe rather then a card for her friends to put together in a recipe book.  I struggled to work out what recipe to send.  What recipe could I send that she wouldn’t already have and was worthy of such a gift. I finally settled on my signature dish. A pavlova.

 Pavlova is one of my all time favourite desserts and it became a specialty of mine when I was in high school as it was my favourite thing to procrasti-bake. While I have the base recipe perfected (for me) I do like to change up my toppings so for this recipe I drew my inspiration from valentines day and came up with this Raspberry, Rosewater and Chocolate pavlova.  I hope My cousin and his soon to be wife enjoy it and I hope you do too.

My Raspberry, Rosewater and Chocolate Pavlova

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Ingredients:

3 egg whites

150g Castor sugar

2tsp  of vanilla

1 cup Frozen Raspberries

1tbs sugar

150g chocolate

100mls thickened cream

200mls thickened cream

2tsp splash of rosewater

1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg

1 tbs icing sugar

Oven:

 150C

How to:

In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk 3 eggwhites until light and fluffy.

Add in the sugar and turn your mixer speed up. Mix for 10-15 mins or until the whites are shiny and no longer grainy.

Line a baking tray with baking paper (spray with a little oil so the paper doesn’t move). Spread your whites onto the paper and swirl the top with your spatula to give it some texture.

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Place in the oven and bake for an hour-an hour and a half. The outside should end up nice and crispy.

Meanwhile, place the chocolate and 100ml of cream in a double boil until the chocolate melts and mix to combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place the frozen Raspberries in a small saucepan over a low heat and allow to heat through. Once mostly thawed add in the sugar and stir. Continue heating over low heat until warmed through.

Whisk together thickened cream, nutmeg, icing sugar and rosewater until cream is thick.

To serve:

Place the meringue bases on your serving tray/board. Spoon the raspberries evenly over the top of the meringue. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the top then dollop the cream on top.

The Saturday edition 🙂

This week its my five favourite

Snacks

I always have something to snack on around the house or in my desk draw at work and these are my five favourites.

Salt and vinegar chips

I buy the little snack packs. I need extra salt on hot days and chips are my favourite way to eat it. salt and vinegar is my favourite. There also one of the few savoury snacks I keep around.

Apples & Peanut Butter

1 apple and a couple of spoons of peanut butter and I’m happy. I like pink lady apples but any variety you like to eat works. I slice up the apple and dip it in the peanut butter as I go.

Biscuits

The kind changes but I like having some around to go with my tea or coffee. I really like Kingston’s, Gingernuts, Tea Biscuits and on course Tim Tams.

Lollies

I have a BIG sweet tooth so I always have lollies on hand. I especially love gummy bears or jersey caramels.

Sesame Snaps

I love sesame snaps and sometimes have to stop myself from eating the all as soon as I buy more. I love the flavour and the nice crunch. These are definitely a go to when I want a sweet snack.

So that’s my five favourite snacks.  What snacks do you like to keep on hand? Are you more of a savoury or sweet person? Let me kow.

Lil

So as it’s pancake day I thought I’d break from my usual format and go straight into my pancake recipe.

The Basic recipe:

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Makes 6-10

1 cup Self raising flour

1 cup Milk (or milk substitutes like almond milk, soy milk, rice milk etc)

1 egg

Optional: 1/4 cup sugar

Yep that’s it.

Mix your pancake batter together until well combined then scoop 1/4-1/3 of a cup of batter into a frying pan over  medium heat. Cook until the top of the pancake is starting to bubble (and the underside is lightly browned) then flip the pancake. Cook for a further 30-60 seconds or until pan side is brown. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter.

Tip: you will need a good non stick pan or you will need to lightly spray the pan with oil between each pancake.

So that’s my basic pancake recipe and if you just want a great ‘breakfast  for diner’ pancake then go ahead with that recipe and serve with your favourite toppings.

However If you’d prefer a savoury spin here are a few suggestions for some minor changes to give you yummy savoury dinner pancakes.

Veggie pancakes

Makes 6-10

1 serve basic pancake batter (no sugar)

3/4 your fave veggies – My favourites for this are zucchinis or corn kernels but most veggies would go well in this.

Small dice or great your veggie/s then mix through your pancake batter.

Cook as above. Serve with your favourite sauce.

Pancake sandwiches

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Makes 3-6 sandwiches

1 serve basic pancake batter (no sugar)

1/2-1 cup extra milk

Bacon

Grated Cheese

Tomato – sliced

Optional – your favourite spice.

Make your pancake batter a bit thinner with some extra milk.

Cook the pancake batter as above.  Optional: Before you flip the pancake sprinkle a pinch or two  of your favourite spice or spice mix over the top.

Once you have two pancakes put to the side then cook your bacon.

Place one of your pancakes bake in the pan and cover with cheese. Top with bacon then the sliced tomato. Sprinke tomato with salt and pepper. Remove from heat to a plate. Lightly reheat second pancake then place on to of the sliced tomato.

So there is my basic pancake recipe and two savoury twists. The bonus of pancakes for dinner is just make few extra from the basic batter and you have desert ready to go. I hope you enjoy them.

Happy pancake day!

Another week has gone by and is suddenly February.  As usual I can’t believe how fast the year is already passing.

Its been an awfully hot week and this week doesn’t look like it’s going to be any cooler. I managed to get a little burnt  in the 10 minutes I was hanging out the washing yesterday. That definitely didn’t help my motivation for doing the housework.  It did however make for quick drying washing.

I’m looking forward to trying out some new recipes this week as I stocked up the fridge on the weekend though as I’m camping this weekend I possibly won’t get to try all my new ideas. I made a big crock pot of congee yesterday and I think its becoming a fast favourite lazy meal for me. I just need to work on flavouring it up differently. I did make a really yummy stir fry and cocktail for diner last night.

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This weeks craft is something that may not come in handy for everyone but I’ve been wanting to do it for a while. I may or may not have mentioned previously but B and I have a reasonably large collection of books.  So many in fact that we like to refer to our house as the library. I like to be able to recommend and lend books to friends and family so I decided to make them library cards.

Library cards

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Materials:

Index Cards (102x152mm or similar)

Scissors or paper trimmer

Permanent  Markers

Printer

Paper

Laminator

Laminator pouches

Washi Tape

How to:

Firstly cut your index cards down to size. I cut mine to be about the same size as a business card which was 85 mm tall and 50mm wide. I got 3 cards out of one index card.

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Next I wrote the name of my library at the top of the card (short edge being the top) then wrote the recipients name a couple of lines down.

I lined the bottom of each card with a piece of washi tape to give it a bit of decoration then numbered each card. These numbers correspond to a spread sheet where I keep track of books that are on loan.

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I then created a QR code that links to my library database and printed out a whole bunch on a sheet of paper. I cut them out and glued a code to the back of each card.

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I set my laminator to heat and lined up the cards in a laminating pouch making sure to leave a gap for them to seal between each card. I used an A5 sheet but you could used a smaller or larger sheet and adjust the number of cards to suit.

I ran it through the laminator then cut out the cards leaving a 2-3mm laminate boarder on each card.

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So that’s how I made my library cards. You could add more decoration or information to your liking.

So what’s your book collection like? Do you have an extensive library or a few well treasured gems?

Lil