Give Your Body a Treat! Try a 5 Minute Daily De-tox

This mini detox has become a ritual for me on rising and is also another reason why I love the humble lemon so dearly.

Junkfood, alcohol, processed foods and overindulgence can damage the delicate cells of the digestive system and lead to digestive problems. Giving your body a daily flush with clean water and lemon juice will help prevent and reduce this damage.

On rising and before you eat or drink anything else – just pour yourself a BIG glass of filtered water (around 375ml) and add the juice of 1/4 lemon. Drink the water as quickly as is comfortable for you. Repeat. Yes, do the whole fabulous process again… Voila!

The Versatile Lemon – Awesome!

The water helps to cleanse the liver and kidneys, re-hydrates you after a big night of snoozing (and possibly boozing??), and the lemon aids digestion, is high in vitamin C and keeps you regular!

Deter Ants – The Natural Way

Every Summer we have an ant problem. Little black ants are busily building nests outside in our sandy soil. It’s inevitable that some of these cheeky little ants make their way to garbage bins and the inside of our house looking for food. I don’t like using chemical ant insecticide, so I’ve been researching some environmentally friendly options.

Here are a couple of environmentally friendly methods to deter them:

  • Chalk – draw a line of chalk in the ants path and according to research, ants won’t cross it. If only the rest of life was that easy to sort out!
  • Sprinkle Cayenne pepper in their path
  • Sprinkle black pepper in their path – ant really don’t like pepper!
  • Sprinkle ground cinnamon at the point you think they are entering the house.
  • Sprinkle catnip in their path
  • Make a simple ant deterrent spray…

Ingredients:

2/3 cup water

1/2 cup white vinegar

2tbsp environmentally friendly dish-washing liquid

Method:

1. Combine water, vinegar and detergent and mix well.

2. Pour into spray bottle.

3. Spray where ants are travelling.

This Guy Should Think Twice Before He Uses Pepper As A Deterrent...

Rice Pudding Recipe

As I buy raw milk and it only comes in a 2L bottle, I always seem to have a lot of milk left at the end of the week, nearing the use by date. I really don’t like wasting things so… my solution is simple – Rice Pudding! Rice pudding is great warm or cold and lasts for several days in the fridge. You can have it for dessert, a snack or even breakfast!

Ingredients:

1L milk

1/2 cup short grain white rice

1/2 cup Rapadura sugar – This sugar will make the mixture look and taste a little caramel.  If you like a traditional colour and flavour use white sugar or raw sugar.

1 dspn real vanilla essence (stronger than imitation and much yummier!) or 1 vanilla bean pod

1 x 8cm cinnamon stick

2 cloves

6 cardamom pods

1 tsp grated nutmeg

rind of 1/2 lemon

4 egg yolks

Method:

1. Place all ingredients except egg yolks in a heavy based saucepan and heat slowly until just boiling.

2. Turn off heat and allow to cool.

3. Remove vanilla pod (if you are using one), cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves and lemon rind.

4. Stir egg yolks until smooth and add to cooled rice mixture.

5. Bake in oven @ 160 deg C for approximately 1hr or until set

Cooking Makes Me Happy!

Save Energy By Cleaning Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan Regularly

Bathroom exhaust fans fill with lint quickly. Cleaning your bathroom exhaust fan regularly is a great little energy saving tip.  It keeps the exhaust fan running efficiently which saves you money and keeps your bathroom free of moist steamy air which encourages mold to grow.

1.To clean your exhaust fan, remove the cover and take the filter down.

2. Brush the fluff from the filter and soak the filter and cover in warm soapy water.

3. Give the cover and filter a brush over with an old toothbrush or similar, rinse and then dry.

4. Put back together once completely dry.

Jane Mansfield's Bathroom!

Jane’s exhaust fan would have been exhausted! 😉

Shortbread Recipe

This is my most favourite Christmas recipe EVER! I have been making this recipe for years and it’s the best shortbread I have ever tasted. It’s so buttery and creamy – a real melt-in-your-mouth treat! I found it in my Mum’s Sunbeam Mixmaster Cookbook from 1961! Vintage Gold!

Ingredients:

7 oz/ 200g butter

2 1/4 cups or 300g plain flour

1/2 cup or 65g corn flour or rice flour or potato starch

1/2 cup or 65g icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Method:

1. Beat butter and vanilla until soft on low speed.

2. Add icing sugar gradually on low speed.

3. Increase speed and beat until light and creamy.

4. Fold in sifted flours on low speed.

5. Turn onto lightly floured board and roll out to 5mm thick (1/4″)

6. Cut with cookie cutters or cut into strips

7. Place on greased tray

8. Bake in barely moderate oven for 15-20 mins or until very light golden.

9. Cool and decorate.

My favourite addition to these gorgeous Shortbreads is dark chocolate. I have made them with a heart shaped cookie cutter before and dipped one half of the heart in melted chocolate, let them set (if you are in summer like we are here in Australia, you might need to pop them into the fridge to set) and yum yum in my tum! Delicious, easy and great Christmas presents!

Sunbeam Mixmaster - You ROCK!

Remove Oil And Grease Stains From Your Clothes

Removing oil and greasy marks from clothes can be really tough sometimes! I’ve had great success using this simple method – and the best part is, you already have the product in your kitchen!

Simply rub the oil or grease stain all over with a thin film of environmentally friendly dish-washing liquid and wash in the washing machine as normal.

If you have some really long-term tough stains, try rubbing the stain with eucalyptus oil first and leave it overnight. In the morning, rub the stain with dish-washing liquid and wash as normal in your washing machine.

**If you have a heavily stained garment and you need to use a substantial amount of dish-washing liquid, you will need to reduce the amount of washing powder you are using in your washing machine.

My Aprons Come Out Sooo Clean!

Gingerbread Men Recipe

This is one of my favourite Gingerbread recipes and it’s dead easy! I found this recipe a while ago and I’ve played with it a little to make it my own. It’s perfect for letting little ones help in the kitchen. Mr D loves to roll out the dough and push the biscuit cutters into it to make shapes. We usually make a few men and some other shapes as well. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars” are always a favourite here! Trying to stop Mr D from eating the mixture before it’s cooked can be a challenge sometimes! 😉

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup, firmly packed rapadura sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 125ml or 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 375g or 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice*
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • Plain flour, to dust

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
  3. Use an electric beater on a high speed to cream the butter and sugar until pale – this takes approximately 5 mins depending how soft your butter is.
  4. Add the golden syrup and egg yolk and beat until well combined.
  5. Add the flour, ginger, mixed spice and bicarb soda on the lowest speed.
  6. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  7. Press dough into a disc and cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  9. Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick.
  10. Use a gingerbread man cutter (or any shaped biscuit cutter you fancy) to cut out shapes.
  11. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.
  12. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown.
  13. Place to a rack to cool.
  14. Decorate as desired.

* I grind my own mixed spice using the following fresh spices:

1 to 2 cloves

6 pimento allspice

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2cm cinnamon stick

Place the spices into a mortar and pestle to grind by hand, or a coffee grinder if you have one. You’ll end up with a wonderfully pungent mixed spice. This makes approximately 2 tablespoons. Store in a screw top jar.

Undecorated Gingerbread By Mr D

Down Home Air Freshener…

Give your house the smell of home-baked goodies without all the time it takes to bake!

This is a great “Christmassy” aroma for this time of year too.

Sprinkle a little cinnamon on a small sheet of foil and place in a hot oven with the door open. Heat for around 15-20 minutes, longer if necessary.

I like to call this technique the “Fake Bake”

De-stress With A Fake-Bake

Thank Heavens A Settlement Has Been Reached!

A few weeks ago I shared my feelings about the property settlement I had been trying to achieve with my not-so-interested Ex (and father of my son).

It’s an enormous relief to be able to share the news of a result!

We went to mediation yesterday. I felt quite a lot of anxiety about coming face to face with my Ex to negotiate him giving me my money back.  He has not wanted to give me a cent! Unexpectedly, we were able to reach an agreement reasonably quickly and with minimal angst. I can’t express the calmness and solace I now feel in the knowledge that the fight and the wait (it felt like an eternity) was worth it. It’s over!

Thank you lovely lawyer – you cost a bomb but now I know you were worth it!

It’s a beautiful day here on the East Coast. I’m taking Mr D to the beach. Later, we’ll make a Christmas cake. Life was good, but life just got a whole lot better! It will be a truly Merry Christmas for us this year!

Merewether Beach Image Courtesy Of "Newcastle AU"

MegsX