Category Archives: Food Glorious Food!!




I know the purest would say you shouldn’t mix Paella’s (seafood and meat..but I like seafood and meat and so does the rest of the family …so apologies purists Smile with tongue out


We all love Paella and so on that basis I bought a Paella pan …like you do….and because I’ve got a horrible ceramic hob at the moment used a small gas hob to cook on which gives a better heat for cooking Paella.

Apologies again but the mixing of the ingredients…. Chicken, Chorizo, Kalamari, fish (I used Hoki), King prawns with just a few peas and a small amount of peppers to give a little flavour and colour (again I know not authentic), saffron (which I’m lucky I was given…I know!!).  

It might not have been authentic but I have to say it was a unanimous decision that it was delicious.


BLACK GARLIC Continued…….

I have been lacking somewhat in the documenting department….but things have still been going on regardless so I’m trying to play catch up.

DSC00460 So the Black Garlic…it’s been a great success and it’s not just me that thinks so Smile

It is delicious…it’s nothing like garlic it has a balsamicy (not sure if that is even a word!), sweet taste. It’s a DSC00465

lovely taste and I think we’re all (and that includes our friends) a little bit addicted. It’s kind of squishy almost like Liquorice …it can be sliced or it can be squashed too. DSC00464

24 bulbs turned into black garlic ……I didn’t buy organic garlic just common o garden garlic…the bags were $3 each. 24 bulbs for $6 total.

24 bulbs of garlic would have cost would have cost me over $200…There is someone selling them for $5 now but that would still be $120.. So from my frugal thinking point of view it’s ticking all the boxes because it’s going to save me in the long run…..not yet though because I went a bought another rice cooker that stays on warm permanently until you switch it off…but it won’t be long until it’s paid its way.  

I’ve got another load in there now…this time 4 bags of garlic …will still need to see how this works out as it’s a new cooker won’t be long though.


Now up until a couple of weeks ago I’d never even heard of black garlic never mind tasted the stuff. A friend and I went to a local farmers market and someone was selling it….it was VERY expensive – well at $9 a bulb of garlic I thought so !!!
So I did what any sensible person would do I bought one LOL!! …and then I came home and we all tried it …it was lovely’s kind of sweet and garlicky…………

………..and then I did the second thing any sensible person who likes living frugally does (because lets face it $9 a bulb isn’t frugal by any stretch of the imagination) and I looked up how to make black garlic and then when I had had my mind blown looked up how to make black garlic at home.

Basically the bumpf said you need to slowly heat the garlic over weeks ….it seems lots of people make black garlic using a rice cooker on the warm cycle……Sooo I bought a second hand rice cooker which had a long warm function on it (24 hours) that I could reset every evening and a couple of bags of cheap garlic (not going to experiment with expensive stuff) and tonight the experiment started…
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So the garlic is all wrapped up in a foil package and in 14 days time I’ll know whether it’s worked or not.

Thursday 14th August 2014

It’s here!!!…It’s here!!!

The Spirooli has arrived …



So everything has been getting Spiroolied (don’t know if that’s a word but if it isn’t it should be!)

Spirooli chips for tea for the small person.



Spirooli Zucchini “pasta” …now it’s of course not the same as actual pasta but it does give the feeling of eating pasta and of course the ability to feel smug that you’ve got rid of a ton load of carbs, which at the moment I’m doing.

Making Butter…..the process….and then onto Spreadable butter….

We make our own butter etc something I’ve said before but I’ve never actually got myself organised and taken pictures of the process before…

I didn’t make butter for years as I thought it would be complicated ….I wish I had known!

DSC04464First you need cream…you can buy it (obviously) from the store or if you use raw milk (as we do)…warm that to between 30/40 deg C (this releases the cream better we think, having tried it without doing it) and then put it through a cream separator…After it gone through the separator then you bottle the milk…you can decide how “skimmed” you want your milk. We go for very little cream in our milk because we want to get as much out of it as possible.

The cream then needs to go in the fridge and sit over night so it can really cold (it seems it works better if you do this and you get more solids out of it…I don’t know if this is true but it’s what we do).


Then to turn the cream into butter it needs to be whisked…and whisked…and whisked. It will increase in volume and will be just like good old whipped cream….keep going….



It will become overwhipped and that voluminous creamy mass will all of a sudden start to fall back down the bowl….keep going….



The cream will start to take on a kind of grainy quality …it’ll become like little round but of solid…keep’s nearly there.

DSCF3018This is the time you need to keep a really close eye on things because all of a sudden the liquids and solids in the cream will start to separate….if you’re not watching and you’re near you will hear the sound change and a sloshing sound…..

If you don’t want your kitchen covered in buttermilk now is the time to slow things down !!

If there is a lot of buttermilk you can get a sieve and drain the buttermilk into a bowl (it’s great in scones or soda bread or other baking projects).

Whisk and drain off the buttermilk…get as much out as you can…you might need to repeat this a couple of times.



The butter will need washing …this will help get as much buttermilk out of the butter as possible….I usually do this a couple of times.

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After this get the butter out of the whisk attachment and you need to pat it to get any more buttermilk out of the butter…you literally pat it and you’ll see the buttermilk coming out…just keep draining it off…in the end it will be small amounts…I use the backs of wooden DSCF3023spoons…and then you have butter!…Salt to taste.



Probably takes 30-45minutes from start to finish.

Spreadable Butter…

I wanted to make my own spreadable butter so that in our hot weather I didn’t have that “ leave the butter in the pantry but don’t use it quickly enough and it’s going to be horrid..but leave it in the fridge and it’s rock hard” scenario.

So I kept some of the butter I made and to the 200g I added a cup of Vegetable Oil (still playing with the quantities so might change)


Into the food processor and blend…looks a bit like mayonnaise DSCF3027DSCF3028

Now it’s in the fridge just waiting to see how it turns out. I reckon though if it works then I’m getting roughly 1400g of Spreadable butter (which is healthier than just butter) as well as buttermilk and the milk for the week for $10 …I reckoned up if I had to buy it all it would cost me just a few cents under $40 so I think that’s pretty good for about an hour and a half’s effort….fits nicely into my frugal thinking Winking smile

Frozen Banana base – Ice Cream

Last week I made ice cream using the frozen banana method….

  • Put some bananas in the freezer
  • Take them out when frozen and peel
  • Chop them up and put them in the food processor – at this time put in any additional fruit / flavour you would like
  • Blitz till smooth and ice cream looking ~ now this can take a wee while and stop starting …you need to keep scraping the mix around as it does block the blades a fair bit but it took in the end about 10 minutes give or take.DSC04729

Well I have to say….I used Blackberries in this one…which I have to say I wouldn’t recommend because of the pips!

It was OK but the banana flavour still came through – fine if you really like bananas ….me I’m not so keen Smile with tongue out…don’t get me wrong I don’t mind them but I was going for a different flavour, the blackberries didn’t quite get there. Needs to be a stronger tasting fruit.

Am thinking I might try it again but with mango or something like that needs a fruit that will take over the banana.
The texture was pretty good though and if I can just get rid if the banana
taste it would be “syn free” ice cream that I can have on my healthy eating.

Another little addition…..

When we picked up the pigs last week we went back up to check on them a little later and we had a surprise addition…she must only have been an hour old!!


It’s not that she was a surprise totally…I was expecting lambs but if I’m honest I couldn’t remember when Who me?


We picked up some pigs last week….they’re not very old but they’re pretty big already.

We made the decision to not breed pigs for a while …it’s hard keeping them long term not the least because you get attached to the sows.

These will be here for a short time before they move to colder climates….but while they’re here they will be loved….and VERY well fed.




Game Pie…..

T came home the other weekend with a few pigeon breasts, a couple of hares…so we thought it was the perfect time to make a raised pie.

We had some wild boar and duck breasts in the freezer so added that to the mix…..

For the pie I had a look on the net and did a bit of a meld of Delia Smiths

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and from this site

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I didn’t have any red wine when I decided to do it…and T was out with the truck so I couldn’t get any (as mine is off the road!!)….so I used some red wine vinegar….and a bit of sugar….and do you know what it was lovely as a marinade !

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So hot water crust..which I had never made before but was relatively easy to make…more a challenge to actually get into the tin (I used a springform cake tin)….it was getting it so that you didn’t have a really chunky bit at the bottom of the tin as it comes up the sides….I still think it was a bit thick right in the bottom but hey it was a first attempt.

The meat I mixed with a good amount of salt and pepper (think it could have had a bit more to be honest), some herbs, cinnamon and ginger.

The cooking time was a bit of a guestimate in fact the whole thing wasn’t an exact science  but I got there in the end…….


….and it tasted nice

Unicorn & Rainbow Birthday cake

Well my interpretation of them anyway….

So you start with a few bits of fondant icing…DSC03472and….




You end up with something like this… version of a Unicorn

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Then because you didn’t tear your hair out enough trying to make the unicorn…you decide you will make hundreds of little flowers and stick them individually on the cake to make the “Rainbow”…yes I did that Flirt male…and it was so relaxing I couldn’t believe it ….no seriously…I lost a few hours just sticking on flowers and it was really relaxing!! (well apart from nearly getting repetitive strain injury from punching out flowers)…I love the gel colours because the colour you get is more “true” if you know what I mean….

So the final cake…


The flowers on the board are to hold the candles…I don’t know why I just don’t find a place on a cake to put candles so I like to think of things to do to put them in on the board.


A view from the top (this was before the other bits and bobs went on)…..


and a sneaky peak around the back …well it’s got to have an interesting bit …it’s so easy to forget the “back” of cake …if there is one….



……….Does a round cake have a back to it?

I did another Unicorn…not the same obviously (can’t have that!!) but if you’d like to have a look……