food, health

Cooking Tips – Honey

If you enjoy the flavour of honey and want a snack food that is healthy, this recipe for Honey and Oat Cookies, (Biscuits in Australia), may fit the bill. Or perhaps Quinoa Salad with its Honey and Lemon dressing is more your preference. Measuring honey leaves for one sticky clean up. Is there an easier way?

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

Measuring Honey or Syrup

To prevent a sticky measuring cup or spoon when cooking with honey, oil the measuring cup with a thin smear of cooking oil and rinse in hot water before using.

You won’t be left with a sticky cup or measuring spoon to wash!

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biscuits next to cup of coffee
blogging, food, health, recipe

Home made Honey and Oat Cookie Recipe

Honey has been on my mind lately, interviewing as I was, an expert on Beekeeping in my job as a reporter for a community magazine.

I can now tell you loads about the complexities of a bee colony, what threats they face, how they are heavily regulated by themselves and the bees and the process of making honey.

Whilst beekeeping can turn into an obsession, I am more obsessed with honey and its use as food. I sourced a wonderfully tasty Immune boosted raw Honey from the Beekeeper himself. This honey has all sorts of health benefits as the bees graze from a wide variety of food sources.

Apart from having one teaspoon of this delicious food from the Gods, each day, I made some Honey and Oat Biscuits, (or Honey and Oat Cookies if you are American), using a favourite recipe of mine, that I will share here:

Honey and Oat Cookies (Biscuits) Recipe

  • 1 cup Self Raising Flour, (or all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons Baking powder)
  • 3 tablespoons custard powder
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) or softened butter
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup wheatgerm or bran

Method

  1. Blitz the flour and custard powder
  2. Add sugar and oats and blitz again
  3. Add butter through the chute as processing til blended
  4. Add honey and process till well combined
  5. Roll teaspoonfuls of the mix into balls and toss lightly in the wheatgerm/bran
  6. Place on baking tray and flatten lightly with the back of a fork
  7. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes in a moderate over 180 degrees C (350 F)
  8. Allow to cool on tray

Makes about 15- 18 cookies

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food, recipe

Lemon Cake

This is a recipe published by the Australian Women’s Weekly Magazine some years back. In my and my family’s opinion, this is one of the best lemon cake recipes around. Perfect to have with a cuppa.

Australian Women’s Weekly Lemon Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (75g) plain flour
  • ½ cup* (125ml) milk – *fill to within 1/4 inch of the brim of the cup measure, with milk, then top up to the brim with lemon juice
  • Cinnamon and walnuts to sprinkle on top (optional)

Topping

  • ½ cup (125ml) lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (55g) caster sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to moderate (180°/160°C fan-forced). Grease a deep 20cm round or large loaf pan, then line the base with baking paper.
  2. Beat the butter, rind and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between additions.
  4. Stir in the sifted flours in two batches with the milk.
  5. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
  6. Sprinkle cinnamon and a handful of walnuts on top of the mix.
  7. Bake in a moderate oven for about 35- 45 minutes or until the cake is cooked when tested with a skewer.

The topping is optional as the cake is sweet enough without, but if you wish to make it here it is:

  • Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a jug; stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour the topping over the hot cake
  • Allow cake to stand for 15 minutes before turning the cake onto a wire rack to cool.

This cake is suitable to freeze but not suitable to cook in the microwave.

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Chocolate Cake with Zucchini Squash

At the Home by the Sea, I am always looking to incorporate more vegetables in our diet.

If you have read this blog before you might be aware of my penchant for sweet treats. Especially those with brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon, such as the Danish Spice Cake, or Walnut Streusal Cake.

Fellow blogger Sandy just had to go and post a delicious recipe of Chocolate and Zucchini cake with just those aforementioned ingredients that I love so much.

Clear the hallway! I said when I read the post.

“I am headed for the kitchen.” No sooner had I read the post then the cake was in the mixing bowl.

Here is the result:

Sandy’s Chocolate and Zucchini Cake

zucchini chocolate cake with walnuts

Health Benefits of Zucchini or Squash to your Diet

Zucchini is low in calories, fat, and sugar and is a great source of antioxidants and Folate. It also contains Vitamins (A, E and C) that improve skin integrity, alleviate puffiness, build collagen and fight damage from free radicals. So Zucchini make us look younger!

Recipe

I reduced the zucchini – I use 2- 3 zucchini amounting to about 500 ml shredded – squeezed it out a little then added a 2- 3 tablespoons of extra flour to Sandy’s recipe.

Find the Full recipe at Sandy’s blog post.

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building

Edamame and Avocado Smash on Beetroot Hommus

Ingredients:

  • 1 Slice Sourdough or Rye bread toasted
  • 1/2 small can of cooked Edamame beans
  • 1/2 ripe Avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of Beetroot hommus
  • Spinach leaves and Cracked Pepper to garnish
https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/exploring-the-street-food-of-phnom-penh/https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/exploring-the-street-food-of-phnom-penh/
food, health

Hot Crab Dip or Cold Crab Dip

I have had this small tin of crab meat in my pantry for (mumble, mumble) quite some time now. I really did not know what I was going to use it for.

I think it was originally destined for a party, hanging out with other Swedish sandwich cake ingredients, but things did not work out between them, and so the crab meat, was left on the shelf… literally!

Image
Crab Dip

Inspiration hit me one night when the Moth aka hubby and I were on our own, no family to cook for and decided on a light meal to end the week. Surfing the net always provides inspiration and along the way I found a recipe for Hot Crab Dip.

As one always does, there were adjustments I just had to make, serving it cold, and adding some extra vegetables for crunch. As I like fresh and crunchy celery, cucumber and capsicum, I chopped these up and added them in. The dish has some added Vitamin C and fibre this way.

But credit goes to Will Cook for Smiles for the essence of the recipe. She baked hers in the oven, whilst I often prefer my seafood cold, so I didn’t. It is totally agreeable either way.

It is just your own preference.

Here is what I mixed to make this superb light meal/appetizer/dip/wine & cheese accompaniment.

Crab Dip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 130 g tinned Crabmeat
  • 40g spreadable Cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup Sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 stalks of Spring onion, finely chopped and diced.
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese, to mix in
  • 1/4 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese, for topping
  • Salt & fresh cracked Pepper

Optional Extras if serving it cold:

  • 1/2 medium Yellow and Green Capsicum, chopped & diced.
  • 1/2 small Lebanese Cucumber, chopped & diced.
  • Celery – 1 stalk – only if you like it very crunchy

Method for Serving Cold Crab Dip

Mix all ingredients together. Serve with crackers, fresh bread or baguette.

To Serve Crab Dip Hot:

  • Preheat the oven to 170 degree celsius or 340 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Combine all the ingredients, top with the second 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 20 minutes
  • Serve with crusty sourdough bread or crackers of your choice.

It was hard to stop nibbling this more-ish mix with my water crackers!

Next time I’s serve it hot with some fresh salad and a secondary dish.

Enjoy.

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environment

Kayaking and Visiting Lake Kurwongbah

Kayak on shores of Lake kurwongbah australia
Paddling a kayak is a relaxing way to exercise

We’ve had a family member’s kayak on loan for a while, but rarely taken it out because you know, life is mostly busy. There is always places to go, people to see, things to do, so kayaking was left on the back burner.

Finally a day arrives when we are free and the weather conditions are not right. I am too old to be paddling a kayak in gusty winds, where endurance and stamina are fundamentally necessary to get you back to shore! I don’t want the helicopter search and rescue to have to save me!

Last week, the weather was excellent.

Early morning, we loaded the kayak on the roof racks, with some difficulty and set off to Kayak on Lake Kurwongbah, in nearby Kallangur!

Lake Kurwongbah

Lake Kurwongbah is a freshwater lake that supplies water to the Northern suburbs of Greater Brisbane. It was initially constructed to supply water to a paper mill in the 1950s.

Water skiing and paddle craft are permitted on the lake. Fishing, although restricted to paddle craft was introduced several years ago as part of the program to reduce a resident population of Tilapia, an introduced noxious pest fish that is considered detrimental to our native fisheries.

Close to the shores of the lake, the presence of Waterweed and Water Lillies meant my paddle frequently got entangled around my paddle so I wondered whether this indicated there might be a nutrient run-off issue into the lake; fertiliser perhaps from surrounding suburban areas?

Fun Fact about Lake Kurwongbah

The naming of Lake Kurwongbah was the subject of a newspaper competition in 1958. The winning entry was Kurwongbah which is the Indigenous name for Sideling Creek; Kurwongbah means “black duck”.

http://prfma.com.au/lakes/lake-kurwongbah/

Picnic Spots at Lake Kurwongbah

The area is very popular on weekends and holidays as a picnic spot. There are shelters and electric barbecues. Parking is limited within the grounds, but there are plenty of extra spots on the main roads accessing the area.

people sitting under Picnic shelter having lunch at lake kurwongbah australia
Popular for a picnic lunch

Fish Stocks at Lake Kurwongbah

Since 2008, Lake Kurwongbah has been stocked with native fish and the following species might be found there:

• Australian Bass
• Yellow Belly (Golden Perch)
• Mary River Cod
• Snub Nose Gar
• Saratoga

Redclaw yabbies have been introduced and are not native to the area and should not be re-released if caught.

I may be getting too old to hoist the kayak on the SUV roof racks but the promise of Redclaw is tempting. Red Claw are a bit like a large prawn or scampi in flavour. This makes me want to get a crab pot and see if I can snag some!

Until next time, have a wonderful week.

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