253/366: the garden archaeologist

Whilst weeding an area to prepare it for some tomatoes, I came across two surprise finds, which made me feel like I was an archaeologist.

The first was a bangle that I had stupidly worn while working in the garden who knows when. I’m sure when I clean it up it will look something like it used to.

The second surprise find was a potato! I have never planted potatoes, although I do compost them, so that is where this one must have come from.

I was delighted with it, and since I had just pruned the rosemary bush, I thought the combination might be nice, and I also added some spring onion from my garden.

Beating up an egg, I added some grated tasty cheese, a little milk, and then sprinkled dry cracker crumbs over it. I always like to utilise leftover items rather than throwing them out. Then, while the oven was on for my carrot cake, I cooked this little potato surprise from the surprise potato, which proved a tasty little snack.

 

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218/366: sandi’s wholemeal carrot and walnut cake

I have a recipe from a 1979 Women’s Weekly magazine for a carrot cake, around the time  they first became popular. In the intervening years I have modified the recipe so many times that now I think I can safely call it my own.

The original recipe called for 3/4 cup of oil, which I reduced to 1/2, then 1/3, until finally, last week I decided it probably didn’t need oil at oil. Now the fat the cake contains is in the walnuts. The addition of the yoghurt and water replace the moisture lost by the omission of oil. It also had one full cup of sugar, which I have halved with no detriment to the yumminess of the cake.

It was common to decorate a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. These days I don’t ice it at all, unless I am making it for a birthday or other celebration.

sandi’s wholemeal carrot and walnut cake

ingredients:

2 cups grated carrot (2 large or 4 small)                                             2 eggs, lightly beaten   1/2 cup sugar                                                                                                       1/3 cup water  1/2 cup low-fat natural yoghurt                                         1/2 cup (50g.) chopped walnuts  1/3 cup (50g.) sultanas                                             1 1/2 cups (175g.) SR wholemeal flour      3 tsp. mixed spice                                                                                                   1/2 tsp. salt

method:

Mix all ingredients together and place in a well-greased pan.  I use an olive oil spray.             Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degrees or 170 degrees in a fan-forced oven, for 35-45 minutes, or until cooked. Test with a cake skewer which should come out clean.                 Leave in the pan for at least ten minutes before turning out onto a cake cooler.

Turn it out too soon and it will break. Although it will still taste good the presentation will be compromised. I like to use the Tupperware Kugelhopf, a silicone mould.

I also discovered that by using a ring tin/pan, you don’t have to worry about the middle being cooked, and it also fits nicely on a handled cake plate. Bon appetit!

Here’s one I prepared earlier (last week).

166/366: coriander quest conquered – the easy way

Months ago, against the advice of a random customer at Bunnings, I purchased and planted coriander seedlings. See 31/366: coriander quest for details. Cutting a short story shorter: they disappeared.

Now I have taken the easy way out. At the supermarket you can buy a bunch of cut coriander. Better still,  available now is basically a little pot of seedlings, which is the option I chose. Dividing them in half, I put some in the kitchen, which have long since gone, while the other section is thriving out in my herb garden.

In USA coriander is known as cilantro. Imagine on a cold winter’s night a red curry soup with various vegetables and noodles, coconut milk and coriander – delicious.

153/366: winter warmer

On a Winter’s day, there is nothing like a hot, tasty snack, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Utilising some silverbeet from my garden, I made up an easy recipe. I love the sense of achievement and satisfaction using your own produce provides.

sandi’s simple silverbeet snack

On a wholegrain wrap, place shredded silverbeet.

You could put some cream cheese underneath, if desired. Then sprinkle with low-fat grated tasty cheese.

Get your grilling machine ready. We affectionately call ours “George”.

Place wraps, folded side down, on baking paper in your machine.

Fold the paper over the top to prevent sticking.

Cook, and they come out browned, crispy, with delicious melted cheese oozing out, but be careful not to burn your mouth.

Plate up with sweet chilli sauce or mayonnaise; both are tasty. Bon appetit!