Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Orange and Honey Salad Dressing

I waitressed at a Restaurant on a wine farm while I was studying, this was the salad dressing they made and served...by the bucket load...it was so popular...

You can make the quantities you need, this is what I used...it does keep in the fridge...

5 Oranges - squeezed
2 Tsp Garlic - crushed
3 - 4 Tblsp Honey  
(depending on how sweet you like your dressing)
Herbs - optional
(I used some fresh lemon thyme and oregano)
Salt and black pepper

Blend all together well in a food processor.

Drizzle or pour over you salad...

Art Class - Edgar Degas - Two

Well I have to say a big well done to my art boys...what STARS...
once again I sprang a ballerina art lesson onto them and they embraced it and did SO well.
This was a really fun experience and a good lesson in sculpture...
We first warmed up with some exercises on using soft or chalk pastels...I gave each artist an Edgar Degas painting to work from, with a little cardboard window or viewer, we placed it over a section of the painting and they had to try copy that portion of painting, trying to get the texture and colours similar to Degas.
I gave them each an ear bud or 2 to use as a tool and instructed them to use one finger as another tool. Chalk pastels can be messy and can become muddy very quickly, they were also instructed not to blow...ooh this was a huge temptation...
and one guy asked me " ah can't we just blow once?"....

We watched a couple of YouTube clips - Edgar Degas and Getting to know Degas...there are quite a few lovely ones to watch, the idea being to familiarise the students with as many of the artists works as possible.
These classes are not to create artists but to instill a love and knowledge of art and the great Masters by looking and coping their works...

We then began with our Degas project for the morning...creating The little Fourteen-year-old dancer out of piper cleaners and tin foil...
They made a figure shape from pipe cleaners, then layer upon layer upon layer of tin foil to create the dancer...complete with foil tutu...
aren't they great?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chickpea Burgers

These are so delicious, we had them with a huge green salad, homemade Tzatiki and some oven baked potato wedges...
Give them a try...

You will need:

1 tin chickpeas - drained
2 carrots - grated
3 baby marrows - grated
3 spring onions - chopped
2 - 3 Tblsp fresh parsley - chopped
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander 
black pepper
3 Tblsp flour (and extra flour for dusting)
Canola oil for frying

Drain the chickpeas well and pulse in a food processor to chop - I used a handheld blender and mashed them quite well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix till well combined.
Gently form the mixture into patties and roll/pat3 in flour.
Fry for about 3 - 5 minutes, or until crispy and heated through.

cucumber - grated (I used about a 1/3 of a cucumber)
greek yogurt
pinch or 2 of salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp crushed garlic

Enjoy with a salad or on a crispy roll.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fun Happy Birthday Chocolate Cake

It was my big sister's birthday recently...I baked her a Happy Birthday Cake to share with family and friends...along with her delicious scones and Lemon loaf baked by mom...will post that recipe soon...

I used the easy Hot Milk Sponge recipe for this cake,  
made a butter icing, which I heated in the microwave...makes it kinda fudgey and pourable..
.then went to town with smarties, speckled eggs, silver balls, choc buttons etc...
yum yum...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Art Class - Edgar Degas - One

I home school my children, one of the blessings of this, is being able to share resources and skills. I have started a small art appreciation class with a couple of my 
knight's good buddies (grades 1 - 3).
 We meet every second week and study the great Masters. 

This term we are studying Edgar Degas.
Which has been interesting as he is famous for his beautiful works of ballerina's...and as I mentioned it is an all boy class... :-)
These boys have been so impressive, we have had some great chats about girls and future wives...what a blessing this is to be able to see these guys learning and blossoming in their homes...
I started out by giving them each an artwork to study...they then had to 'teach' the class about the work, what they saw, colours, moods, how it made them feel etc...

I gave them a brief history of Degas's life.
We did some blind contour drawing exercises to get them looking and thinking...
They then had to study the object I gave them and sketch it quickly.
Because it is a class of boys who love to move, we then moved onto quick sketches of movement - gesture drawings. They each had a turn to stand on a chair and take on a pose, 
the others had to draw them...

File:Edgar Degas - Rehearsal on Stage.jpg

Then onto our Degas project for the morning...inspired by  
The Ballet Rehearsal on Stage 1874 Oil on canvas.
We used oil pastels, pastel paper and white cupcake holders as tutus. 
They first drew their ballerina's, coloured them and cut them out.
Then created a stage...some added audience, some added bright lights and some added coloured lights...
We then stuck the dancers on with sticky foam adhesives to create a 3D effect...

 Will you take a look at the gorgeous end products...
Well done boys...

 (lovely idea taken from here)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rainbow Cake...

 Made this fun cake for cute sister's First Birthday...What fun...
 Once again, it is the standard cake recipe, cocoa left out, divided into 6 bowls and some gel food colouring added - really easy. 
One bright little guy told me I had the colours mixed up...yip he was right...should have been red, orange, yellow...what a sweetie...

For the icing I used wooden spoon white margarine, and the flowers are plastic icing...I had a crash course with my mom in law, who has been creating beautiful cakes for years...

Give this a try...the WOW when you cut into it is amazing...

cute sister's 2nd Birthday Cake...

Just thought I would post some pictures for inspiration...made with a simple cake recipe...a BIG box of smarties and quite a few kit kats...

A happy day it was...
(in May!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chicken and Baby Spinach Lasagne

 So I made this delicious dish and was going to post the recipe when I realised that actually I had no idea how much of what I had used...you see I cook like that...a'la my mom - a great cook!!...we just pour in milk and stop when it looks enough - a chunk of butter...yes seems enough...a sprinkle of this and pinch of that...

 So I remade it tonight for family coming for dinner and took the time...
 to count and measure everything...
     So here goes...

You will need:
1 small onion - finely chopped
3 large carrots - peeled and finely chopped
4 free range skinless chicken breast - sliced
  4 spring onions - sliced
  1 Punnet of mushrooms - sliced (never used any last time!)
  1 cup of corn
  1 tin of chopped tomatoes
a bag of baby spinach leaves
  Tomato sauce
 Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of white wine
1 box lasagne sheets

750ml full cream milk
80 - 100 grams butter
150 grams cheese - grated
2 - 3 heaped Tblspoons cornflour
salt and pepper to taste
(half tsp of mustard if you have)
extra cheese for sprinkling on the top

Place all the ingredients into a large pot - except the lasagne sheets and spinach.
Add a cup of water or so, the white wine, and about 4 Tablespoons of tomato sauce or half a small tin of tomato paste - I prefer tomato sauce as it is not as strong as the paste.
Bring to the boil, then turn down and let it simmer until nicely cooked. 
About half an hour or so, frequently giving it a stir.
It should look nice and saucy by now.
Wash the baby spinach leaves well, place in a colander and pour a kettle of boiling water over it - just to wilt it. Set aside.
Now make the cheese sauce. In a pot bring the milk and butter, salt and pepper to boil.
In a bowl add the cornflour and mix into a smooth paste with some water.
Once the milk is boiling add the cornflour to thicken and whisk well.
Add the grated cheese - turn down the heat and allow to thicken and melt nicely.
Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
If you have some mustard, add a little, it always gives cheese sauce a lovely flavour.

Now start to assemble the dish - add a layer of your tomato, veg and chicken sauce to the base of the oven dish. Add a layer of spinach leaves, then a layer of pasta sheets...continue to layer until all finished. Top with the cheese sauce and sprinkle with a little more grated cheese.
Place in the preheated oven at 180 degrees clecuis for approx 30 - 40 minutes.
Take out and allow to stand for a few minutes before serving with 
a big bowl of green salad and fresh bread...

Crunchy Oaty Peanut Butter Biscuits

My mom-in-law gave me some of her biscuits recipes to try...as you see by past posts, 
we bake a lot of biscuits in this household...so today we tried a new recipe...
these are yummy and as we have named them...crunchy and oaty...
give them a try...

Thanks Mom!

You will need:
250 grams butter - softened
6 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups popped rice
2 cups coconut
2 cups flour
2 cups oats
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarb

Place the butter, peanut butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat for a few minutes until combined - add the eggs and vanilla essence and beat until light in colour and creamy.
Sift in the flour and bicarb.
Add the oats, coconut, popped rice and salt.
Using a wooden spoon, combine the ingredients well.
Drop teaspoon size balls onto a baking tray, press down lightly and bake for approx 
10 - 15 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius...


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Baby Marrow and Tomato baked RIsotto

Another lovely baked Risotto, which is quick and easy and very delicious....

You will need:
2 Tblspoons olive oil
1 onion - finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed garlic
180g (1cup) Arborio rice
500ml (2 cups) chicken stock or water
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
6 baby marrows (zucchini) - finely sliced
100g freshly grated paremesan (approx) 
Ground black pepper
1 Tblspoons chopped parsley
Shavings of Parmesan 

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Place olive oil, garlic, chopped onions and salt into a pan, cook until onions are soft and translucent.
Add the arborio rice and stir fry for about a minute, until the rice is nicely coated. Add stock or water and chopped tomatoes. Bring to simmering point.
Place in an oven container - add baby marrows and grated Parmesan. Combine all ingredients.
Sprinkle with Parmesan shavings, parsley and ground pepper.
Bake for approx 30 minutes or until rice is cooked.

Enjoy with avocado pear and a big green salad...