Wednesday, 24 December 2014

'Tis The Day Before Christmas

and I have a couple of last minute cheat's recipes if you're still cooking. These are definitely not made from scratch but they are quick and easy using the food processor and both are very yummy...

No Bake Cheesecake...I invented a choc-orange version of this oldie from when my children were littlies and this should easily serve 12 ;)

100gms softened butter
almost a full packet of chocolate flavoured(not choc-coated) biscuits

Process the biscuits until fine and then process the butter until you have a moistened crumb that you can press into the bottom of a 10inch springform pan and put in the fridge to firm up.

Wash the processor and start again by creaming the following until smooth and then pouring onto the biscuit crumb base. Allow 5 hours to set, loosen with a knife around the edge and then release from pan...if you don't have a springform pan then line your favourite baking tin with foil so that you can lift it out when set.

250 gms softened chocolate Philadelphia cheese
500 gms softened regular Philly ^^^
one packet of orange jelly crystals dissolved in just 2/3 cup of boiling water
zest and juice of a large orange

You could decorate it with chocolate curls or candied orange slice perhaps but the best thing for me is that this freezes perfectly and is convenient to have on hand.

I had resolved not to make any mince pies this year...too fattening but my resolve wavered and I thought I'll just get a box of Mr Kipling's mince pies from the UK! Not a single box of any kind was left by Monday so I bought a jar of Robertson's fruit mince...these are the flavours of my childhood really but so strongly evoke Christmas for me.
I washed Mum's 60yr old mince pie tin and then decided to make just one large one on the tray instead...kidding myself less pastry = fewer calories!

Empty jar of fruit mince into dish and add a tablespoon or two of sherry or your favourite tipple plus a grated apple or 2 extra tablespoons of dried fruit, stir well.

Wash food processor again and make this easy

375gms plain flour
pinch of salt
180 gms cold butter
1 egg(I used a duck egg)

Process until it looks like breadcrumbs then trickle in very cold water until you have a nice dough. Roll it in a little flour and pop in a plastic bag to rest in the fridge until you are ready...30 minutes will do.
Roll out just over half and place it on your baking tray, spread with the fruit mince and top with remaining pastry. Press edges together, brush with beaten egg and make a few slits in the top for the steam to escape then bake it for around 40 minutes at 190C. Bewdy! It made 16 good sized squares of which 12 remain lol

My dear pumpkin is ripe so has been 'harvested'...the vine grew from kitchen scraps I buried to improve the food is good...we are picking so many beautiful tomatoes too...

In the carport a mother dove sits quietly on her eggs...the symbol of peace indeed...

A Christmas funny

  A Christmas Sweetheart

A Christmas poem

I see a twinkle in your eye.
So this shall be my Christmas star
And I will travel to your heart:
The manger where the real things are.
And I will find a mother there
Who holds you gently to her breast;
A father to protect your peace;
And by these things you shall be blessed.
And you will always be reborn;
And I will always see the star
And make the journey to your heart:
The manger where the real things are.

and from Joe, Twitch and I love and best wishes for a happy, joyous Christmas and may 2015 be your best year ever
thank you for all your comments and support over the year

Friday, 12 December 2014

Val Laird's Free Christmas Patterns

Val Laird lives in Queensland and has a lovely blog filled with her beautifully worked stitching. Chel shared this link at the Down To Earth Forums recently and I just loved the doves...I am going to re-do the wing line on the higher dove as it is too dark. I worked the flowers etc in 3 strands of thread but only used 1 strand of a metallic gold thread to do the blanket stitch joining the two pieces together...I also lightly stuffed mine too...

As I turn 58 years of age today I've had to change the "About Me" here on my blog from mid-50s to late-50s but truthfully I don't feel a bit different :D Here I am yesterday in Perth with a very, very cheeky Father Christmas...

I'd better get on and do some housework I back later

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Easy Slow Cooker Meatballs

Very Easy Slow Cooker Meatballs

I modified a nice recipe yesterday and made these meatballs without having to brown them first

500gm minced pork and beef

2 sliced onions
4-5 whole cloves of garlic
1/2 red capsicum/pepper, chopped
a sprig each of rosemary and thyme or a teaspoon each of the dried herbs

2T tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups of beef stock
1 tin of chopped tomatoes OR 1 1/3 cups of passata(tomato puree)
salt and pepper to taste

Place the vegies on bottom of SC
Roll mince into golf ball sized meatballs and place on vegies
Mix the wet ingredients in a jug and pour over the meatballs

Cook on auto for around 4 hours, stir and serve as preferred. Nom!