discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Friday, 31 July 2015

photo a day challenge - week 31 2015

Do you ever get overwhelmed with all that is around us on social media and the internet?  Breathtakingly beautiful photography, recipes, ideas, opinions, likes, followers, friends, (I could go on....) I know I do. Don't get me wrong, I'm the first to admit to being on and using social media but it often leaves me, especially when it comes to posting on my blog, with the dickhead feeling.  My dear friends will totally understand this phrase as we all use it at different times, so excuse the crassness but it's just the word that sums it up for us.  Once you get the dickhead feeling, it's hard to come back.  For example, one dear friend, once broke up with a boyfriend because he gave her the dickhead feeling.  I often think when I'm about to write a post "who cares, it's all been said and captured much better than you can do it" and so I don't write or post.  Please don't give me sympathy, I'm not chasing that, I'm really just trying to get over the dickhead feeling and remember why I do my blog.  It is for me when it all boils down to it and such a great positive outlet that it's worth me doing, I just have to be reminded, that's all :)

So, to help get my blogging groove back, I'm diving into the a photo a day challenge #fmsphotoaday .  I did do these challenges last year, although they were for a month.  This year they are for a week.  The thing I love most about this particular challenge is that it makes you be accidentally and easily mindful. 
When you are looking around in your daily life for 'that' photo, you can't not get down and dirty with the moment - pretty cool hey!

Here is my week (I'm early I know :) but I'm away over the weekend)

Monday 27: clouds
This was one of those photos that you take but don't realise what you have taken until you get home and have a look.  I was just snapping the bats asleep in the trees at our local gardens and was pretty chuffed to get one with the bat in flight.

Tuesday 28: looking in
mmmm sour dough toast about to be smothered in lashings of butter and vegiemite - be still my beating heart.

Wednesday 29: looking out
In the hen house.

Thursday 30: trash(ed)
Oh this made me laugh and cry all at once....all week I had been wracking my brain to think what I could take a photo of for the word 'trash'.  There was no way I was sharing my garbage bin!! And then, this happened....perfect really.

Friday 31: I brought it!
One step closer to my new kitchen - my new DOUBLE sink!!!!

Saturday 1: fiction
Can you pick the fiction and the non-fiction?

Sunday 2: a little moment
a wonderful cold but sunny winters day spent at the gardens...this was a last minute shot as my little lady was running to get into the roots of that giant fig tree.  Precious memories captured, I love it.

Ciao, Jan x

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Miso roasted cauliflower

I was looking through all my photos yesterday, in anticipation of the up coming In my kitchen series, when it dawned on me that I'd better do some seperate posts otherwise my next installment would be too long.
I'm not one for following trends but I have fallen head over heels for this miso coated cauliflower.  I know, the Japanese have been slapping it on everything for centuries but any wonder!  It is salty and tangy and perfect with this cauliflower and another excuse to have the oven in during this bitterly cold winter I'm in the middle of.
I'm using Shiro Miso paste and all you need is around a tablespoon of it, mixed with a dash or 2 of boiling water to loosen the miso up, a pinch of chilli flakes (optional), cracked pepper and if like me you like to hide chia seeds in everything, a sprinkle of them too.  Cut up a 1/4 of a cauliflower into flowerettes and coat well by tossing in a bowl.  Place on a baking tray with baking paper into an oven preheated to 180c for around 20 minutes.
I had it with left over roasted vegetables from the night before (pumpkin and sweet potato), reheated and paired with rocket, feta, walnuts and a spritz of lemon....miso love it!!

Ciao, Jan x

Sunday, 5 July 2015

In my kitchen July 2015

It's July...only 5 months til Christmas can you believe it!!  We are in the full swing of winter here and my oh my it has been brisk.  Perfect weather for the oven and I've been bitten hard by the sour dough bug this past month, so get ready for lots of bread!  I'm hooking up with 
Celia from Fig Jam and Lime cordial along with hundreds of other food obsessed bloggers from around the world.  If you love to see what's in other peoples kitchens, pop over to Celia's blog and get stalking!
I'll have to apologise for the exposure of some of the picutres - firstly I had to resell my new camera as it just didn't do what I hoped (rookie error!!) so it's back to my phone and secondly it's so dim in my kitchen and it gets dark so early :( but anyway,
 grab a cuppa or a wine and settle in cause here we go.....
I'll admit, I've been crocheting over blogging due to a few orders for my 
granny stripe blanket.  I'm halfway through this one now and am loving it just as much as the first one.  
In my kitchen has been a steady stream of Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips.  
In my kithchen, I've been crushing on this coconut yoghurt - delicious!
In my kitchen has been lots of cos and mint - I had it this day with fried rice, a dry fried egg and wrapped it up in the cos - yummy healthy lunch.  I've been trying to increase my leafy greens and fresh vegetable intake.
In my kitchen has been lots of soup for lunch too, especially this prawn chowder  - I blanch a mix  of freshly picked beetroot leaves, kolrabi leaves, kale and spinach to top this off as a vitamin power house.  I sometimes also add a poached egg to my soups to give it that extra protein hit and they add a natural creaminess to them if you keep the yolk runny.

In my kitchen has been lots of sourdough and changes to my sour dough.  This starter above is from a dear friends which must be around 15 years old now.  I did experiment with this starter some time ago which you can read about here but to be honest, I didn't quite gel with the length of time needed to get to the final product and I killed her.  This is a new one that I hope to keep going alot longer.  There seemed to be so many steps and seeing as I'm an instinctive baker rather than a chronic step follower ( such a rebel :) ) 
I searched for a way that would be more a kin to my favourite no knead bread
I did lots and lots and lots of reading online but finally found what I was looking for.
Enter my new 100% hydration starter that contains the original starter.  
Isn't she beautiful!  
I just naturally feel like it's more 'alive' and gets quite bubbly when left in the fridge.  Basically it's 100gm starter, 100gm water(weigh on scales) , 100g flour.  I feed her once a week, and/or the day before I want to bake a loaf or two.  I can do it all the night/afternoon before and bake it the next morning - perfect!
Here are some of the useful blogs I used to get to where I am now.  
Celia's overnight sour dough - this is the recipe I now use - I do halve it sometimes to just make one loaf.
Johanna's take on Celia's overnight sour dough - Johanna has lots of helpful tips and things she has discovered on her sour dough and bread learning curve.  Thanks for all your work Johanna.
Celia's bread section on her blog - this has been a great find.  Celia is very passionate about her bread making and has taken the time to document lots of different types.  Thank you Celia for taking the time to explain this mystery in wonderful terms and taking the fear out of it and for feeding my passion!
I fed my new starter a few times over the course of 5 days.  I did want to make 2 loaves so I needed to double my starter.  To do this you need to start a few days before baking. I took off 150g of starter (discard the rest) and added the same amounts of water and flour(150g). I left it out on the bench for 4-5 hours in a warm spot, then that night I took off 300g starter (discard the could use it to make another starter to give to a friend or bake with it) and added the same amounts of water and flour (300gm of each).  I then popped her into the fridge.  

The following day after lunch I then started Celia's recipe:

300g starter (it should be bubbly)
570g water (I used filtered or from the kettle)
18g salt
1kg flour
Mix together and leave out for 30 minutes.  Knead for a minute or 2 and then pop on the bench til the morning.
 I used Wallaby bakers flour (I've also had great success with the Laucke crusty white bread pre-mix Mr. GW accidentally brought but it has the salt in it.  
I ideally wouldn't want to use this as my go to flour as it has 
other preservatives in it)  Don't forget to take off 100g starter to keep :)
Above is the bread that resulted - not bad but not great.  5 days later I started again...but with much better results
This is the dough after it has been out on the bench over night.
Very gently tip the dough onto a floured surface and cut in half.  Lightly dust with flour and lightly shape, if at all actually as you want to keep all that air in there.  Your oven should be on as high as it can go and put camp oven or casserole dish to heat up for at least 15 minutes.  Make sure you have a piece of greaseproof baking paper on the bottom of your vessel.
Taking care to take the camp oven out of the oven, gently place your dough in and snip the top with sharp kitchen scissors or a razor and whack the lid on.  After 30 minutes take the lid off and turn your oven down to 180c.
And this is what you should have 30 minutes later.

These loaves where fantastic.  I think the main difference between this lot and the first ones is that the starter has had more feeds and time to settle in.  I was also gentler and didn't knead/shape this batch.  I can't tell you how happy this makes me.  I really have a big passion for bread baking now and never get tired of the loaves coming out of the oven.  I never thought I'd get such pleasure from something I though would be so hard and I'd never be able to do.  Just goes to show you where having a go and not worrying about the failures can lead you.

So that's me for this month.  
Thanks for taking the time to stop by, your comments are greatly loved and appreciated.  I'm now off to see what's happening in everyone else's kitchen this month.

Ciao, Jan x
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