Monday, December 28, 2009


It is raining here in NSW and I couldn't be happier. It has rained for the last 4 days off and on. My garden is getting a much needed soaking. The kids have been playing happily inside with their Christmas presents. The weather is refreshing with a cool breeze each evening - a very welcome respite from the summer heat and humidity.

The vegetables in the raised garden are really taking off. Nothing beats a good down pour to get them growing.
I am picking loads of cucumbers at the moment.
We eat them with salads but I am always after new ways of using them.

So thought I would share some of my favourite things to make with cucumbers

Cucumber and cream cheese Mousse
1 large or 2 small cucumbers
275g cream cheese
2 tbs mint leaves
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 1/2 tsp gelatine
150 ml vegetable stock
Ground pepper
Blend cucumbers, cream cheese, vinegar and mint in a blender until smooth.
Dissolve gelatine in a little of the stock over a low heat until dissolved.
Once cool stir in the remaining stock. Add this to the cream cheese mixture.
Season and blend.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hurs until set.
Serve with cucumber and crackers.
Tzazziki Dip
500g yoghurt cheese
1 large or 2 small cucumbers
2 cloves garlic
tsp salt
Make yoghurt cheese by placing the yoghurt in muslin and let it drain overnight or for a few hours. The whey will be drained off leaving a thicker yoghurt.
Blend cucumbers and squeeze out excess liquid.
Blend garlic and cucumbers with the yoghurt. Season with salt and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Anyone else got some delicious dips or ways of cooking with cucumbers?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The heat has been getting me out in the garden earlier in the morning. While the kids sleep I go out and water and do a quick tidy up.
The insects are still out. They haven't gone for shelter from the harsh sun. It amazes me , the amount of bugs out there. I am always running into spider webs and squealing at the thought of a spider crawling over me. I love them in the garden but not too close and definately not crawling on me. I f I come across spiders in the house they get killed but the ones in the garden I leave.
Noticed something has been eating my bean leaves.

And after a bit of searching found him. Needless to say he ended up squished.
And this bug was in the pool. I fished him out and he is drying in my hand. I am not sure what sort he is but the green is so bright. Superboy has been finding a few of these every now and then and always around the water.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our week

It has gone by so quickly! Thought a quick update would be good just to show I haven't dissapeared completely.

I have been enjoying the garden more than working in it. Plenty of flowers in bloom including lots of sunflowers. I should have plenty of sunflower seeds in a few weeks for my cooking. Thats if I can get to them before the birds do. At the moment we are getting frequent visits from the parrots. They are enjoying eating the seeds from the butterfly flowers.

This photo is a part of the front garden. It is a little overgrown at the moment and like a mini field of flowers. Amongst those flowers I have some herbs growing, silverbeet and squash plants. There is a young mango tree too.

I have just started reading The China Study. From what I have read so far (which isn't very much) it is proving to be a very interesting book and confirming in my mind what I already believe about what we eat affects our health.
I am also reading Cindi O Meara's book Changing Habits, Changing Lives. I am a huge fan of Cindi O'Meara. She advocates eating real food, food that our great, great grandparents would recognize. Real foods that are cooked from real ingredients.
This book is about making changes one at a time. You read the chapter and inplement that change and once you have got that change down pat move onto the next chapter and work on changing that one. Changes include such things as starting the day with breakfast. I have done that one.
Now my day begins with a cup of water with lemon juice, fruit and a boiled egg or a homemade protien shake (complete with fruit, egg, oats etc).
I have been cooking heaps. It is so quicker and cleaner and easier with the thermomix. After an hour and a half yesterday I had made bread, crackers, chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies for lunch boxes, hommus dip and custard.
All made from real ingredients and no additives.
Today I am making pastry for a quiche, sorbet and more bread.

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