Saturday, 30 August 2008

Freshening up the bedroom

Over the last week, Terry and I sanded down and painted three sets of drawers and a chair for our bedroom. Our room is very large but because of the shape of the roof and the rafters, there is not much of a wardrobe and most of our clothes are in drawers. Because we've never bought a bedroom suite, the chests were a motley collection: inherited, gifted and bought second hand or new all at different times. Only two match.
The most recent items we've bought are a white dresser with a blanket box on top of two drawers and two white chairs. We liked the lightness the white pieces brought to our room so we decided to refinish some of the older and more tired looking chests with white paint and new handles. We also painted an old chair white, the sole survivor of a dining set our family used up as they grew.

The two taller matching chests of drawers we acquired from my parents about 20-25 years ago when they were redoing their room. I remember helping my dad when he made them about 50 years ago from kitsets so its lovely to have given them a new lease of life.

Friday, 22 August 2008

More gluten free food

I know I've been blogging more about food than about quilting lately, that's because I have not had much time to quilt, but no matter how busy I am we still have to eat. And because the food is better for us if I make it all from scratch, that's mostly what I do.

Terry spent today at a International Plant Propagators Field Trip and I spent most of the day in the kitchen. Tomorrow we are having friends to dinner and Terry will be cooking his 'famous creme brulee' again. So it was decided that the meal would be a French dinner - with me to cook the coq au vin. So I started that today. I also cooked four trays of the gluten free flatbread I make most weeks - that's double that recipe.

I've been looking for a good low carb, high protein muffin. I found this recipe and adapted it as below to test:

Breakfast Muffins


1 cup pumpkin
1 cup apple
3 bananas
4 extra large eggs
1/4 cup oil or butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1 cup soy flour
1 cup raisins


Mix first five ingredients together. In another bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients with dry. Spoon into 18 muffin cups. Bake at 210 deg C for 25 minutes. per muffin: 172 Cal, 10 gm fat (1 gm saturated fat, 3 gm poly, 4 gm mono) 18 gm carbohydrate,
3 gm dietary fibre, 6 gm protein)

Not a light muffin, not a sweet muffin but flavoursome and not too solid. More a carrot cake texture. Would be yummy with cheese if your diet allows. I ate two and froze the rest for future breakfasts.

I did a couple of hours office work this afternoon and then started to wonder about dinner. I fancied something with eggs and maybe chickpeas so i put those two together into google with the word recipe and found this. Again, I adapted it to suit what I have on hand (and can eat) and I've just eaten this yummy salad.

Chickpea & Quinoa Salad with Soft Boiled Egg & Croutons

Serves 2

For the Dressing:
4 tsp olive oil
4 tsp. lemon juice pinch salt freshly ground chilli flakes

For the salad:
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 eggs
1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cup chopped baby spinach
2 spring onion, chopped
2 slices bread made into croutons with 2 tsp butter

First, make the quinoa. Make a big batch so there will be some to put in the fridge for future meals. Put 1 cup quinoa in a pot with 2 cups water. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 min. Turn the heat off and leave for the grain to absorb all the water. Fluff up with a fork. While the quinoa is cooking, boil the eggs. I like them medium hard, not really hard but cook them they way you like them. Spread the butter on the bread and cut into tiny squares. (I used the gf flatbread I made this morning.) Place on a plate and microwave for 2-3 min, checking and stirring after 1.5 min then every 30 sec. When they start to brown stop cooking. Now mash about half of the chickpeas with a big spoon or fork and mix with the remaining chickpeas. Stir in the quinoa. Make the salad dressing by whisking the ingredients together. Add half the sald dressing to the quinoa and chickpeas and stir. Assemble the salad on individual plates. First the baby spinach and spring onion, with the rest of the salad dressing over it. Then the chickpea mixture. Top with a soft boiled egg and sprinkle with croutons.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

More about Quinoa Porridge

Quite a while ago I posted a recipe for Quinoa Porridge cooked in a crockpot (or slow cooker). I still eat a version of that most mornings. Most mornings its there in the crockpot all cooked and warm and yummy. But if I've forgotten or not put it on to cook for some reason the night before, I can still cook a pretty good version in the microwave, provided the mixture has some quick cooking cereal in it. For instance, the mix I am using at the moment has some quick cooking, quinoa cereal in it or sometimes I have quinoa flakes. The microwave method doesn't work if you only have the rice flakes and the whole grains, you need something that will absorb the liquid fairly quickly so that it doesn't boil over.

To make a yummy very nutritious breakfast porridge for two mix: 6 tbsp whole grains (quinoa, brown rice flakes, amaranth) with 2 tbls quick cooking cereal (rice, quinoa), 1 tbsp LSA, 1 tbsp rice bran, some raisins or other dried fruit or nuts with 2 cups liquid (milk, soy milk, water) and cook in covered dish on high for 5 min, then on low for 10 min. Serve with milk, cream, yoghurt, honey, jam, syrup, stewed fruit....

To make this even easier, I make the mix up in large batches and keep it in an airtight container. Then for each person I just measure out 1/3 cup mix and 1 cup liquid.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Finally, some sewing time and a Finish

The last two weekends have been spent with family and during the week I've been busy in the office, even working through my normal sewing day on Wednesday. So when I finally got time to sew today my sewing room seemed like a strange place to be. But I settled down and finished this little piece. I'm very pleased with the result too. You can't see from the photo but it is very closely quilted all over. The quilting on the black and white background is the first time I've tried the fan type of stippling. I toned down the red shadow too - does it need more deepening do you think?

We're expecting Robert and Jennifer to arrive any minute for Sunday night dinner. I'm cooking fish, dipped in egg white and rice bread crumbs and pan fried. I'm also cooking steamed broccolli with spring onions and capsicums and oven baked kumura chips made from Gluten-free Goddess' recipe. Before that we are having cheese, rice crackers and pickles with beetroot crisps. And what is for dessert after this feast? Well, I might have to let Terry blog about that on his blog, after all, he is making the dessert - and its wonderful. I know because we had a helping of the practise run for breakfast!