Saturday, August 29, 2015

Healthful Toasted Muesli


I know, I know, there are thousands of recipes for toasted muesli (or granola) on the internet. But I've been fiddling around to try and make a healthy, not too oily, but not too dry recipe.


And I've hit on something pretty darn good! There is the base recipe, but then you can add to that according to what you have at the time. This batch was timed to coincide with a visit to a Lebanese nut shop, so we had a lot of extra delights to put in.


Base recipe

5 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg white, lightly beaten (optional)
1/2 cup sultanas

Preheat oven to 170 degrees (C). Mix all dry ingredients in a tray with sides so it doesn't spill. A roasting tray is ideal. Warm the honey until runny and mix in olive oil and vanilla. Pour evenly over dry mix. Mix thoroughly. Now pour over the egg white and mix thoroughly. Place tray in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take out the tray, turn the ingredients and return to the oven. Repeat until the muesli has baked for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in the sultanas.

Add ins (examples of)

1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chopped macadamias
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup pistachios 
1 cup LSA mix
Chopped dried fruit eg. apricots, peach, paw paw, apple, dates, cranberries

Rules for add ins

*For seeds and nuts, add these in at the dry mix stage. 
*For dried fruit add ins, mix in when the muesli has finished baking.

Allow the muesli to cool before placing it in an airtight container. Serve with milk or use as a delicious topping on stewed fruit and yoghurt. Also makes a delightful gift when placed in an attractive jar :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cauliflower muffins


They're not actually muffins, but I don't know what else to call them. They were a happy accident. I was steaming cauliflower with the intention of crumbing and baking. But I had too many things going at once and oversteamed it so it was soft. Wondering what to do, I tried this experiment and it worked! 

Ingredients
1 cauliflower, broken into florets and steamed until fairly soft
2 eggs
3 rashers of bacon, chopped into small pieces
parmesan cheese - the amount varies to taste, but 1/4 to 1/2 cup roughly
Breadcrumbs to top
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (C). Grease a 12 capacity muffin tin with oil or butter.

Steam the cauliflower and mash with a potato masher. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the bacon, cheese, salt and pepper to taste and beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly.

Fill each muffin cavity with the mixture and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place in the oven until golden brown, around 25 - 30 minutes.

Ease each "muffin" out of the tin with a spoon and serve :) They make a great accompaniment to any meal.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Another video tutorial




This video is all about achieving neat edges while weaving, I hope it helps someone out there.


It's a long time since I bought new fabric and Spotlight was having a 30% off sale so I couldn't resist! My eldest daughter has a birthday in a few weeks, so I have plans ;)


This is my current weaving WIP - a merino scarf with a pastel gradient warp and solid grey weft. I started out weaving in plain weave with black yarn but hated the result, so I "unwove" and restarted with the grey and a warp float pattern - so much better! 



Friday, August 14, 2015

Emma


It's hard to believe it's a year since my beautiful niece was born sleeping. I'm not much of a writer but here is my tribute.

Ten perfect fingers, ten perfect toes
Sweet, downy hair
The softest skin,

Dainty and lovely
Heart meltingly beautiful
Eyes gently closed,

Seemingly sleeping
But peacefully gone
She was not to wake in this world,

So sadly missed
Longingly yearned for
Eternally treasured,

Emma

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

3/1 lace on the rigid heddle loom



I was so encouraged by the positive feedback received on my last two videos that I decided to make another! This one is the pattern I'm using for my current tea towel project and includes a handy tip on recording information as you go. Hope you like it!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hand woven hand towel sets


These are what has been keeping my loom busy recently. Quite a lot of work, but worth the trouble!



Each set is woven with Australian cotton and included a hand towel and face washer.


I had the idea of doing gift sets for a while but wasn't sure about the execution. I wanted them to be lofty and luxurious, so I doubled the warp threads for the towels and it worked a treat!







I wove mostly in waffle weave, adding the texture and aesthetic appeal I was hoping for. I have a tutorial for working waffle weave here.  This tutorial is now also on Rigid Heddle Weaving.com


These are a few extra face washers and teapot rests, I just love the colours and textures.

The towel sets are available in my Etsy shop now.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

My first video tutorials!





I've taken the plunge and made a couple of video tutorials. I get so many questions related to the rigid heddle loom, I thought it easier to show rather than tell. Yes, I cringe a little at my own voice and despite my best efforts, I do seem to sound rather "school teacherish" but hopefully the videos will be helpful to someone.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Debt free habits

I love being debt free. I really do. I also love to help and inspire others to become debt free or at least to change their financial situation for the better. 

I have plenty of other posts here filed under frugal living but here are a few more thoughts and recommendations:

Stop spending so much on what you can't see.  
Electricity, gas, and water may be essentials of daily life, but because we don't really see what we're spending until we're hit with the nasty bill, it's easy to let this area slip. Longer showers, leaving the heating or cooling on longer than is necessary, not bothering to make an effort to water save - all these things can end up costing hundreds of dollars more than you need to every year.

Have a plan. 
Write it down. Know what you want your finances to look like and what you need to do to achieve it. Make it realistic and achievable. Then stick to it.

De clutter. 
This is a very valuable activity - not only does it make your home tidier and more spacious, it also shows you how much you spend on what you don't need. Once you have seriously decluttered, make a commitment to not buy rubbish you don't need!

Change your mindset. 
You don't have to give expensive birthday gifts, you don't have to have the best or the latest, you don't need every gadget. If you are not prepared to simply stop buying, at least change the way you buy. Give handmade gifts instead or buy at sales. 



Set yourself apart
You don't have to keep up with anyone or prove yourself through the things you buy. Sure, the guy who drives past in his shiny red Ferrari looks impressive, but he should be pitied, can you imagine the level of his debt? Just because you're a woman doesn't mean you need lots of shoes or handbags or the latest fashion. Set your own standards and forget the rest.

Reality check
The end. You can't take stuff with you when you die. 

You may be gone, but your debt carries on. Who is going to pay off your credit card in the event of your death? How big is your mortgage and who will that fall to when you're gone? You are responsible for your spending but the consequences of your debt can affect others in a major way.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Interview with Platypus Yarns

I'm very excited to have been interviewed by Platypus Yarns! Please hop on over to read the full interview where I talk weaving and fibre related stuff as well as give a few tips for beginners.


And here is a sneak peek for you of what I'm currently working on, I'm going for big texture!