Sunday, 31 July 2011

Major Op Shop Bargains

Yesterday saw some major bargains on the op shop front. One of the local oppies is closing down, and we were invited around the back to the 'shed' (boxes and boxes of unsorted donations) and here we struck gold.

More Johnson plates, a couple of English plates and a tea cup.

'Swift Whip. A Patent Product. Made in Australia. Patent Ball Drive.'

French jelly mould, sundae glass and Sylvac dish.

A couple of colanders, 2 mini muffin trays, and a cute painting.

All of the above plus a board game, insulated water bottle and Willow alpine jug (both brand new), spring-form cake pan, solid Anolon spud masher and pizza cutter.. all for the pricely sum of $15...very lucky indeed.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Op Shop Bargains

This weeks finds-
More Johnson plates and a bowl. The cupboards are becoming overrun with them. Not that I'm complaining.

The Avocado Cookbook. I'm keen to give the Chilled Avocado Soup, Avocado Quiche and Meringue Pie a try.

This nutcracker, $2.. it works a treat with those very persistent macadamia nuts.

This nutcracker made its way with us as we walked (and struggled, well I did anyway) up North Brother Mountain. Up the top, we enjoyed lunch and a few freshly cracked maccie nuts, with this little friendly fellow joining us at the table.

With a view like that, the nearly 3km long slog up the mountain was worth it (and upon returning home I realised I had provided lunch for a now very fat leech).

Friday, 22 July 2011

Favourites Friday Recipe

After coming down with a cold this week (which luckily only lasted a couple of days) and with all the delicious homegrown citrus around at the moment and all that Vitamin C awaiting, the research began for recipes.
I spied this one on Gooseberry Jam for Homemade Lemon Syrup and decided to give it a go. And yes it turned out very well indeed and I'm about to make a second batch this arvo.

Homemade Lemon Syrup
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup of lemon juice
Rind, from 1 lemon

Place water, sugar and lemon rind, which has been peeled from the lemon with a vegie peeler, into a saucepan.
Boil for 5 minutes, then add the lemon juice.
Allow to cool, strain and pour into bottles. (I sterilised a couple of glass juice bottles to store the syrup in).
Store in the fridge.

Well I better get back to the kitchen, lemon syrup time and then I've got pies to bake- an apple, apple & berry, and a gramma... That should keep me busy and while they're in the oven I'll relax with the August issue of Country Style that just arrived in the mailbox today. With a beautiful heart cross-stitch cushion on the front, I can't wait to see what other lovelies await inside this issue.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Thrifted Treasures

A couple of days worth of op shopping this week yielded a whole lot of loveliness.
With a 50% off sale at one local op shop, the bargains were a plenty.

This Fire King Jug, down to $1.50

Wooden eggs, with the timber variety marked on each- Celery Top Pine, Myrtle, and Huon Pine (75c). The egg basket was a thrifted gift.

Tea towels

And a Picasso scarf to add to my other one.

Hope all my fellow thrifters had a successful week too.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Cooking up a Storm

Well this week has seen my new cast iron enamel crockpot get a bit of use to break it in. Firstly meat balls, browned initially on the stove stop, then pasta sauce, carrots, beans and mushrooms added and cooked in the oven for a couple of hours, turned out oh so yummy, with the vegies perfectly tender and the sauce nicely thickened. We ate this with cauliflower mash. This was the first time I'd made or eaten this, needless to say it will be on the menu every week now.

Yesterday saw a batch of 3 meat pies made, 2 for the freezer and 1 for our lunch today. Delicious.

And tonight again the crockpot was in use with turkey forequarter and vegies. The forequarter is supposedly one of the tougher parts of the bird, so I was unsure at how this meal would turn out. But the crock pot proved itself yet again in creating a delicious moist piece of turkey and beautiful sweet tender vegies.

I am just making the most of all this cooking and yummy food eating before I start back at Uni in a bit over a week... Another batch of these Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies, these Caramel Hazelnut Chocolate Tarts and another meal to try in the Crock pot of this Slow Roasted Lamb Shanks with Parmesan Mash as recommended by Teresa of Amelie in Wonderland are all planned for the coming week.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Birthday Day

Another year down... I celebrated my 22nd Birthday today and what a lovely day it was.
Treated to a hot home cooked breakfast upon awakening, of fresh eggs from the chookies, the last of the tomatoes and a couple of snags won last night at the meat raffle at the local bowling club.

And I received some beautiful and very thoughtful gifts too. This book, Kitchen Gardens of Australia: Eighteen productive gardens for inspiration and practical advice, by Kate Herd. With amazing photography by Simon Griffiths.

What I found interesting and useful was each of the 18 chapters for each garden beginning with stats including the area of each garden, climate type, soil, average rainfall, water source, method of irrigation and the type of fertiliser and mulch utilised by each gardener. As well as an illustration of the layout of each garden and the location of the different elements.

And how's this for a good idea..An old ladder as a garden trellis.

A huge 28cm cast iron enamel coated casserole pot was another of my favourites. After hearing of a few others boasting of their results; and seeing Tania's post on her one over at Ivy Nest and maybe making a few subtle hints and adding it to my wish list, I received this beauty. It does weigh a tonne, but I can't wait to put it to use; not tonight though after all that cake.

I would love to hear any of your favourite recipes or useful recipe books for making meals in these casserole pots.

Happy Monday all.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Fantastic Finds

This weeks op shopping yielded a variety of finds.

A bag of sewing goodies, including 6 metres of the lace and nearly 2 metres of the floral trim ($3)

This Pyrex dish, with lid which is always a bonus ($3).

More Johnson of Australia plates to add to the growing collection. My fiance is developing a good eye for finding this lovely kitchen ware.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Stylish Suitcases

Well I think I've began another collection. Finding two suitcases in one week must be a sign that its meant to be. These beauties, although requiring a bit of TLC got me exploring ways to display their loveliness and their are so many possibilities.

Craft case

Beautiful table

And these creative market stall displays
And as i type this, FiFi the cat has decided one case is the perfect spot for a bit of afternoon sun baking, providing a perfect little nest.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Treasures and a Mystery

A visit to a newly found op-shop this week resulted in a few treasures at bargain prices.

Johnson of Australia- 8 each of dinner and bread and butter plates ($2).

Pyrex bowl, for 50c how could I not have this little one.

Australian Golden Stamp Book and Austrlain Golden Project Book with gummed stamps. And FiFi, eying off the illustrated feathered creatures.

And a bag of buttons, spools of thread and this mystery item at the front. I'm thinking it's something sewing related, but I havent been able to find out what it is. It feels fairly heavy for its size, the end is fairly pointed, and looks to be made of bone or maybe tusk. Any ideas on what it is would be great.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Favourites Friday

Well the week is nearly over, and quiet a busy and favourite one it's been. A $5 box of apples, and a neighbours overflowing orange tree has seen the juicer getting a workout. The favourite combination is a dozen apples, half a dozen oranges, a lemon and a couple of carrots... delicious fresh juice.

Monday saw a spot of bush walking in the Kattang Nature Reserve, out to Point Perpendicular, and my first sighting of whales swimming by. One rolled over and we saw its massive white underside..What an amazing sight.

A perfectly circular rock pool

Pebble Beach, Dunbogan


After that workout, home we came and I thought a bit of baking was in order. Jasmine's Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie Slice featured on her blog frills & spills and I thought I'd give it a go. This slice turned out very well indeed, looked amazing and tasted even better.

This weekend will see a bit of gardening, a few boxes to drop off to the op-shop (trying hard not to come out with a box full of replace it), and maybe a trip to the movies.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.