We can't settle on a name though. Bruce, Roger, Rooser, Snowy, Cocky. Any suggestions?
Oops! What happened to August? I've been a bit distracted of late.
I wanted to show you this beautiful house I found here. I just love the white walls, gorgeous big windows, sunny rooms and lovely gardens. But my favourite is the kitchen. Look at all those fantastic cupboards!
We're on school holidays now. I'm inspired by Pip's nostalgic post and we're off to a beachside shack where we will be eating lots of delicious food and hanging out on the sand. Can. Not. Wait.
Maybe you'll have moved in by the time we get back.
Remember we ripped out half our kitchen a while back? Well there's been not much progress since. We still have no new kitchen and have been cooking in half a kitchen with a plug in hot plate for too long now. But gentle reader, I tell you we're close to finishing the finish line. So, so close.
I'm putting out in the blogosphere that the kitchen shall be ready in six weeks. Yes it will. We're putting it together on a wing and a prayer. Here's the plan.
I absolutely love this kitchen, from here. But the oven, butler sink and cabinetry are a snip out of our budget. What I will take is the layout of a kitchen running along one wall, the subway tiles with charcoal grout and the white painted floor (that we have already!)
Oh the apple of my eye. After much research, deliberation and shopping around, we've almost settled on one of these lovely Ilve cookers.
Unfitted stainless steel benches and shelves from here. We like the commercial benches, not only because they're cheaper than a flat-pak from the local hardware, but also in our eyes they look better and last far longer. And even I can put them together. (pic)
We'll be getting these hospital taps from here, I like the institutional stylin' and again so very durable.
This week the builder is coming to seal up an exterior door so we will have the wall ready to go. The sparky has already been to move some switches. Once the oven arrives, we'll call in the gas fitter. Then we can rip out what's left of the old kitchen and install the new sink. Hopefully (ahem) a small job for the plumber. Easy peasy. Then it's simply tile the back wall. Not sure if I'll do that myself. My neighbour J has just tiled two bathrooms and said she'd so me how. I'll give it a go.
Oh a new kitchen. Can't wait. And then yes, we'll be cookin' with the proverbial gas. Hooray!
Sometimes you worry about your kids meeting "developmental benchmarks." Hugo's always been a late bloomer, late to walk, late to talk, and until now, never shown much interest in drawing.
According to most development charts, children at age 4 should have been drawing stick figures since 3 and by 4, starting to form letters and numbers. Yikes! Here's Hugo recent drawing of a beach. Beautiful yes, but no stick figures or letters here. Should I be worried?
Lucky Hugo attends a school system where this age is about exploring other things about the world instead of knuckling down and learning to write. I'm glad I don't have to force him to do something he's not ready to do. But I do wonder.
And then I look at this Lego masterpiece and know I have nothing to worry about. Hugo can knock one of these up in a few minutes. Without help or directions, each side perfectly matched. All details correct. I am impressed.
Faith restored. We don't have to worry. The kid's alright.
Amaranth, quinoa, coconut, buckwheat, spelt. Doing so much baking I've been trying to incorporate different grains into the cookery mix. Not only to add a different flavour dimension but to up the nutritional stakes. I figured this book was a good investment as a guide to the myriad of grains available. Written by a pastry chef with chapters on twelve different grains it's an in depth source of baking "healthy" treats for the peeps.
So far, my favourite recipe is the for granola bars. Totally delicious. Really chewy. I'm afraid not too many make it to the lunch box. I've played around slightly with the recipe, made it dairy free and used ingredients that I have on hand. I like to mix it up a bit you know. The original ingredients are in brackets.
Granola Bars from Good To The Grain - Kim Boyce.
120 g melted coconut oil (butter)
2 cups rolled oats (I used a combination of oats, rye and barley flakes)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup cranberries (raisins)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon treacle or you could use golden syrup (molasses)
1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 180. Generously grease a 9 x 9 inch baking tin
2. Melt the coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pot that will hold 2 cups of oats with ample room for stirring. Adjust the flame to medium and stir the oats for about 6 minutes. The oats need to be about two shades darker than they are raw; keep a few raw oats on the counter next to you as a reference point.
3. Pour the toasted oats into a large bowl. Wipe out the pot and set it aside to use again for the syrup. Ad 1/2 cup flaxseed meal and the cinnamon to the bowl.
4. Toss the cranberries with the remaining flaxseed meal and chop finely (tossing the two together stops the cranberries from sticking to your knife). Add to the oat mixture.
5. To make the syrup measure the honey, sugar, treacle and salt into the reserved pot. Place it over a medium flame to combine and cook the syrup until evenly boiling, about six minutes. Resist the temptation to to remove it early - boiling the syrup gives these granola bars real chew.
6. Pour the syrup over the oats making sure you use a spatula to scrape every last bit out. Then use the spatula to coat every flake with syrup. This means going over and over, tossing and scraping the oats together. Scrape the granola mixture into the prepared pan.
7. To form the bars, butter your hands and press the oats firmly and evenly into the pan.
8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. the outer edge of the granola bars should be darker than the rest and the bars should have a beautiful sheen. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Cut the contents of the pan into sixteen bars. Remove the bars from the pan and let cool before eating.
9. They can be eaten the day they are made or kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days (apparently).