Monday, 19 November 2012

My world in Pictures

The weekend blew past in a wet and stormy blur. Plenty of thunder and lightning, which the kitties and chickens were hiding from and my duckies loved immensely. Despite the unpredictable weather we managed to get a lot done around the house and garden.  I thought I would cheat this week and give you a lot of pictures to look at from our weekend.....easy for me :D

So here goes...
We rebuilt the vegie patch in between storms on Sunday, hard work but totally worth it!

Just a reminder what my ex-battery chickens look like only 6 weeks ago

 We let all the girls out to free range on the weekend, they love to wander all over the yard exploring under the trees and following us around while we work.....

Everyone destroying/helping the mulch under my lemon

Where our girls lay, and sleep at night
The Coop / Palace where everyone lives


Everyone heading home for the evening, after a big day out
Manny and Willis hid from the stormy weather inside safe and sound all weekend.

The next few photo's are progress reports on our trees, we have photographed them, and then in a few years we will be able to remember quite how small they were and were we began with the garden.


                                                            Mystery Citrus (we are usure what it is and are waiting for it to fruit)





White Sapote / Ice Cream Tree

Black Sapote / Chocolate Pudding Tree
Bay Tree

 Everything looks lovely and green after the weekend rain, hopefully it will stay that way for a while.

 I did forget to take a picture of the grapes, and our coffee tree, next week I will try to remember and update this post.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Last Night for Dinner we had Pie

Middle of the week, cooking isn't the most important thing on my mind, however we still want to eat something delish.  The answer was pies!! As always I am still in love with my chest freezer, I think it is one of the best kitchen gadgets I ever bought, it allows me to freeze all leftovers for later yummy meals, and as a consequence I have learnt to cook in bulk to ensure left overs are available.

I though I would just write a quick note on just how EASY it is to make pies, I am sure most of you have done this a billion times like we have.

 Get your pie dishes or ramekins (these are small casserole dishes that have lids) and place them in a baking tray.  The tray is to make it easy to put the pies in and out of a hot oven, but also catches any overflow as the pie cooks, which means a less messy oven to clean later.  Preheat your oven, I usually pre-heat at 200 degrees, then turn it down to 180 degrees when the pies go in.

 I cheat and use frozen pastry sheets, this is meant to be a quick and easy dinner.  So lay them out to soften (defrost) a little while you arrange everything else.  If you are feeling healthier than we were, skip the pastry all together, oil and fill your dishes with the mix, then put some mash potato on top instead.

 I oil the inside of the dishes, you can use butter or spray oil though.  I pour a little into the dish, then wipe it all around with a paper towel, making sure to wipe the top of the rim as well.  This makes it easy to eat the pastry, and also a little easier to clean the dishes later.
 Next defrost your filling, you can use ANY sort of leftovers really, this is left over brisket and roast veg.  But pies are a good way to use up chicken, veg, sausages, bolognase mince you name it, it probably makes a tasty pie.

Once the pastry is soft and pliable, sit in the dish and fold over the top... pat it down in the centre being careful not to split it open. (If you do split it, doesn't really matter, just squish it together, no one will notice)

Now for the tasty bit. Put your leftovers in the centre.
 Add whatever filling you want. I usually add peas, corn and cheese, sometimes broccoli and cauliflower if i have it.  Be creative and add what ever you think might work.  Just use up those leftovers...
  Fold the edges of the pastry from around the edge, over the top, try and make sure it all meets up and there are no (or very little) gaps.
Depending on what you are cooking you can spray some oil on top to make it gold and crispy.  This brisket mix is quite oily anyway, so I know I don't need to add the extra oil.

 I put pepper on top, sometimes parmesan... just for colour and flavour....
 Into the oven at 180 degrees for approximately 20 mins...
 Don't forget to check on them! Then after 20 mins I turn the oven back up to 200 degrees to make the tops go crispy and golden.
 When it looks right, it is cooked!
 Let cool for a minute, then put onto dinner plates to serve, easier to carry that way, plus you don't mess your table if there is spill over.  You can see in this photo there is oil and gravy that has spilt over into the tray, but not into my oven :D
Or if you are like me, photograph it first, hahaha.  Then eat.
Brett is always amused when I 'make my food pleasing to the eye' :P