Trevor’s Hydroponics

Judies grandfather, Trevor Morgan, sadly passed away recently so I wanted to post this tribute to him with some photos of his wonderful and brilliantly constructed home hydroponics system.

I was really grateful to have had the chance to meet Trevor several times and really hit it off with a kindred creative spirit. Trev, you will be dearly missed.

If anyone is interest in purchasing this system please contact me and I will pass your offers on to Trevor’s widow.

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YSHS Aquaponics

Yeppoon State High School has been branching into the field of aquaponics and is teaching students about this budding area of agriculture with an interesting program in the school that integrates hydroponics into their existing aquaculture system.

The entire system is housed under cover with artificial lighting so that all the elements can be controlled for the students to experiment with. YSHS staff Charlie and Tamara have been working on building a number of different hydroponic systems that students can use to learn about the pros and cons of different Hydroponic and Aquaponic growing techniques and the results that the kids have come up with have been outstanding.

The plant production is tied back into the aquaculture system with Barramundi and red claw generating the nutrients the run the system.

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I Love my Electric Bike!

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I bought my Aseako electric bike a few months ago and absolutely love it. It is very solidly constructed and wasn’t particularly difficult to assemble and get ready to ride. The European model E-bikes were really tempting but started out at more then twice the price of the Aseako which was out of my price range.

The green tyres were not the standard ones that come with the bike. Two weeks after getting it I blew the rear tyre which really annoyed me as it had only been used for a short time and it had only been ridden on sealed roads. Changing the rear wheel on a heavy E-bike on the side of the road is difficult and unappealing and was a bit of an issue if I planned to use this as my second vehicle and main form of transport. I ordered some Tannus tubeless tyres and got them fitted at Giant Cycles in Rockhampton and am really happy with them. The tyres are a very tough polymer that are solid filled and are perfectly satisfactory for urban street use. If feels great to know I can go on a long ride and not have to worry about getting home after a blowout.

The bike is powered by a 200 watt motor connected to the peddle crank and the battery gives the bike enough power for around 20 km with a 90kg rider. The battery itself is quite light and can be unlocked and removed from the back frame for charging. The torque does tend to fall away as the battery gets closer to empty so I usually put it onto the charger at the end of each day.

The E-Bike laws have changed since I got this bike so they don’t sell a version with a manual throttle anymore. The Law now allows 250 watt motors to be used but not with throttle controls. Instead bikes must be fitted with a pedelec controller which applies the power in proportion the the speed that you peddle. I always turn the pedelec controller off when riding my bike as I consider it to be dangerous. I have found that you can often forget that you have it switched on and find that when starting from a stationary position it can kick in and give you unexpected forward momentum. I can just imaging getting thrown under a bus with this type of miscalculation so I stick to the throttle.

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The council has been putting in a fantastic bike path that runs along the old railway line starting near the old railway station in Yeppoon and going past my place and up past the golf course. When it is finished it is going to make it really easy to commute into Yeppoon by bike.

Miscellaneous Projects

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The Bok Choi plants have grown so much faster then the other greens and are getting to the point where they are ready to harvest. This is were I usually lose everything to cabbage moths but this time I have started spraying with DIPEL at the first sign on infestation.

I went out to check the plants this afternoon and there was a cloud of moths flapping around the greens but there was still only one plant showing signs of damage. This was the one I first found that told me it was time to bring out the spray.

 

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You can see the web that forms in the heart of the plant which is the first sign you get that a massive infestation is about to break out. I will put some spray on the next few days to try and fend off the plague.

 

 

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I have started up the incubator again and am going to begin hatching out chickens on a much larger scale then before. I am not allowed to have a rooster in my zoning but am lucky enough to have a friend who will sell the fertilized eggs to me for the same price as unfertilized ones. It took a fair bit of tweaking to get the incubator to the exact temperature but now that it is set correctly it seems fairly stable.

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The incubator didn’t cost much but is a US model so I have plugged it into a 120 volt inverter which is running of a computer power supply. If you are using a PC’s power supply you just have to remember that the red wires are 5 volts, the Yellow wires are 12 volts and the green wire needs to be crossed with the black wire to turn it on.

I picked up a Swiss Brown mushroom kit as I want to work out how to culture my own mushrooms. There is some information on the Milkwood Permaculture site about doing this from scratch but you first need to get hold of fresh mushroom spawn so a mushroom kit seemed to be a good way to get started.

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Judie and Greg are getting married!!

I am so happy to be able to announce that Judie and I were engaged on the 12th of July and are planning to have a December wedding. Judie has been such an inspiration to me and I am looking forward to spending my life with my beautiful, caring and kind hearted sweetheart!

We all scream for ice-cream

Honey’s friend was telling me how much she liked TM ice-cream. Thinking back to the recipe for “Ice-cream” on the sorbet page of the EDC book I secretly thought she was absolutely crazy (it was blended frozen milk with egg white and sugar) but politely told her it was not one of my favourite dishes.
While searching the web for TM custard recipes (yeah I can never find my EDC book) I made a startling discovery; most of the ice-cream recipes involve starting with a custard type mixture. Most involve egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar but one that I tried used whole eggs- great as I have an aversion to separating eggs and usually just make something else.
This recipe can be concluded with an ice-cream maker or by wizzing frozen custard mixture. As it made IMG_0261slightly more custard than my ICM could handle at one time I went with half in the ICM and half in the TM. On the web there was people complaining about the TM being used as an ice-cream maker and I can tell you my expectations of number 2 were not high. But I popped the remainder of the custard in the freezer, I was surprised the next day when I thought I would need to par-thaw it to wiz it (I had fallen asleep waiting the night before) it was frozen and firm but not rock hard. I cubed it and wizzed it.
My first batch of ice-cream was vanilla flavoured and Honey and I loved it. The TM version was quite nice but the ice particles were slightly bigger. Tested on my nephew and his niece and nephew- they loved it. I tested the ICM version on my niece and she loved it too.
This time I made a caramel version by omitting the Vanilla extract and changing the raw sugar to brown sugar. I put the second lot of custard in the ICM straight after the first lot. It did not go quite as thick but popped it in the same container in the freezer and stirred them about every 20 mins till it was the desired consistency. This made for small ice crystals and Honey and our independent taster also gave it a score of delicious. Tonight I crushed a crunchie and popped it on top. Yum it was like being at Cold Rock.
Judie




The taming of the Kogan - Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff
Davo has a middle name… Tyson, he keeps biting me. Tonight I made beef stroganoff Kogan style. The end result was pretty delicious. Says not just Honey but also an independent taste-tester. Recipe here

MyCook instructions

1. Place EVOO into jar and set 120c, 1 min, sauté. (If using butter cook on 100c)
2. Place the quartered onion into the jar. Set timer 120c, 5 min, sauté (if using butter 100c 4 mins)
3. Place remaining ingredients, except parsley into TM bowl and cook 120c, 15 min, sauté
4. Garnish with parsley and serve with fettuccine (Recipe here) for DF and mashed potatoes for EF option.

Other Thermo-machine instructions

1. If using GSM machine, pop in blunt blades. Place the onion into the jug and chop for 5 seconds, speed 7.
2. Add butter and cook for 2 minutes, 100°C, speed 1.
3. Place remaining ingredients, except parsley into jug and cook for 20 minutes, 100°C, Speed 1 or 2
4. Garnish with parsley and serve with fettuccine (Recipe Here) for DF and mashed potatoes for EF option.

Mashed Potatoes

Honey is not a fan of TM mashed potatoes... I know right - grounds for divorce. So we end up doing them the old fashioned way. I even had to go buy a potato masher. So as penance he is the resident potato-masher. 

So in my attempts to get him to "like" TM mash I tried the Skinnymixers steamed mash (but do you think I could find it) when I am adding to this blog post?

Basically... peel and cube your potato (use one species of potato as they cook at different rates). Pop them on the Steaming trays with enough room to allow the steam through.

Add water to your machine's jug and steam for 15 minutes till soft.

Remove potatoes from steaming trays and pop the water into a cup.

Add potatoes to jug with some home-made mayo or a Dairy Free butter, salt and pepper to taste and wizz till smooth. Speed 5 to 7 is good.

Results for Kogan's performance...

So I tried making the “One bowl” style that I usually make which is weighing the mushrooms in the jug first (unless I forget then I put them in the steam basket on the TM lid) they weighed fine but stuck when I needed to remove the mushrooms to sauté the onions. The blade did not want to release his fungi prisoners and bit me during my attempts to help them to escape.
There are two possible styles of cooking for compensating for the lack of a reverse in the knock offs. One is to use the butterfly on the slowest setting and the other is to just put the setting on slow. If I had a Bellini we could switch out the blade for a blunt blade and continue cooking (now I have a Bellini, I know you can do the whole thing with the blunt blade) and I doubt "not using a blade cover on the Kogan" method will work for another family favourite of Riostto. It is tricky to attach and I have read that someone had theirs come off and the blades chopped it up and it was expensive to replace. So I was going to go with the slow speed forward tonight. Result very tasty Beef Stroganoff some of the mushrooms were chopped in half by the blade which made for a slightly lesser mark in presentation. Biting me made for a lower mark in ease of operation. Overall exceeds expectations +.
Burn marks again on the Kogan tonight when it was finished cooking, I have the dishwasher sorting that out as we speak. I have since found that heating water for about 10 minutes with bicarb soda in the Kogan jug is the most effective way to remove bun marks. They just wipe off.

Judie



Wicking Bed Winter Greens

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I got the first lot of winter greens into the wicking beds. These are mostly a mix of Asian greens like Choy Sum and Bok Choy and Evergreen Bunching Shallots. Next year I will start the first seedlings a lot earlier as they grow pretty well as soon as the really hot weather is finished. I will start a new lot of seedlings every two weeks to be ready to take over from the maturing ones.
I have 4 six square meter raised wicking beds now but only one of them has been fibre glassed on the inside so the others rely on a plastic liner which I have found to be unsatisfactory for this purpose. I still have a large quantity of Fibreglass matting and will get to work soon to seal another one of the beds. I have found that once the raised trampoline beds are fibre glassed then there is very little maintenance needed in looking after them and they can grow out as many vegies as you would get in a much larger area if you were just planting seedlings straight into the soil.
The biggest problem that I have had in the past has always been with the cabbage moth caterpillars which don’t  just take one or two of the plants but all of them in one foul swoop. This year I am ready however with a combination of pest netting and Dipel spraying to keep the bugs at bay. Dipel is considered an organic treatment and doesn’t harm other creatures including non target insects. It is a trademarked name for the BT bacteria which gets into the stomach of the young caterpillars and causes them to stop eating.
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Holiday Yard Work

I had some time over the holidays to get stuck into a few projects that have been really neglected for some time. The first thing that I have been meaning to do was to weed out the corn growing hydroponic area that had become terribly over grown and covered in strangler vines. I weeded out the beds and pulled out the stranglers and have started to barrow in loads of free woodchip mulch that Ergon has left in mountains at the Farnborough State School. I will post some more pictures once I have finished rejuvenating the site.

The three fibreglass beds were purchased second hand from a guy in Gladstone and the area that I have put them in could comfortably handle another 7 so I would love to expand this sometime in the future. The three beds that are currently in produce around 150 cobbs of corn with every grow out. Most of this excess gets frozen but I have been thinking that if we can grow enough then it might be worth starting to make our own corn bread.

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I have been doing a lot of fencing lately to try to get rid of the problem of “Couch Eggs” where we would wake up every morning to find that we only needed to walk as far as the lounge room to collect our breakfast eggs. We also have the dream of getting a milking goat and a couple of Pygmy goats to keep it company but this can’t happen until the fencing is completed in all the areas to stop the goats from getting into the fruit trees (or the furniture).

IMG_0255The chook pen has been getting a facelift to make it more robust and sheltered and also to allow the chooks to come and go but keep the goats in their own area.

The chook run is totally packed with fruit trees. I am happy with they way it has filled in as I wanted to provide protection to the chickens from the hawks that circle our yard and also create some additional forage for the chickens when they get locked away.

 

The patio is being fenced off as well to keep the animals out and I am planning to take advantage of the northerly facing rear side of the fence to create a pest free greenhouse for growing tomatoes as all previous attempts to grow large tomatoes varieties and Capsicum in the warmer weather had to be surrendered to the fruit flies and other pests.

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The rear side of the fence is the perfect spot to build a frame and then stretch bug netting over. This area is going to be used for bathtub wicking beds which should fit neatly along the fence line.

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Greg

Dealing with ant nests

Denis sent in this tip for getting rid of troublesome ant nests that he tried successfully.

Around the holes of the ants nest Denis sprinkled a thick layer of Diatomaceous Earth and three days later all of the ants were gone.

 

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Enter the Kogan (looking to buy a Thermoblender?)

Honey bought a Kogan thermoblend for us to test-drive. Initially I was excited that I could get it in 2 days and it had 5 yrs warranty. However 2 days after ordering the TB Kogan emailed me saying it was on the way. It turned up 4 working days after the email.
We had mentioned to a relative that we were getting a Kogan she laughed and said it sounded like Bogan… she also wondered why I would want a TB when I have a TM, I said it would be handy and I could blog about it.  So we christened our bogan “Davo” honey insisted we christen Thermie a good German name like Klaus, to reflect his country of origin. Being a fan of the Vampire Diaries I agreed to name my TM after the evil half-breed. So Klaus Von Thermister it is.
It was a tough decision as to which knock-off to try first. I had downloaded the Choice Magazine comparison of the Chef, Bellini and Mix. I had also wasted hours of my life reading an opinions page between the Chef and the Mix. I recommend taking a look at it if you are trying to decide but there is this sarcastic little man that I think you should just skip over. But your choice…. A writer called Stacelee was very helpful, she owns a chef, mix and a more expensive multi-purpose machine and has outlined the pros and cons of each machine and does a lot of cooking.

From reading the opinions people have mentioned that knock-offs tend to “smell” and I was expecting something akin to running out of the room choking. In-fact honey and I had to get very close to Davo to smell anything which was like (according to Honey) a lubricant-grease on the gears of new equipment. It was not over-powering at all.

Yoghurt
So first thing we made with Davo was Yogurt. I nearly had a heart-attack when the degrees mode skipped from 30 to 40 in one go. Considering I had used 37 in my recipes. A quick scan of the internet and I found that you can put the stage 2 mixing on 30c. Being slightly less warm on a freezing night made it more difficult to set. I ended up adding a heat-pack to the esky the next morning and the probiotics did their work.
2 more things you need to bring with you when making yogurt in the Blend is a thermometer and a set of kitchen scales. The Blend did seem to have trouble getting the milk to the 80c mark. I had to put it on for extra time. Next time I shall try it at 90c. The Mix tells you what temp range you are in the Blend merely tells you what temp you are aiming for. It is possible I am doing something wrong though.

Custard
Last night I made custard. I was out of corn-flour and had to substitute in plain GF flour but should have used more as it was still quite runny. It may also have benefited from going higher in degrees or even a little longer as the flour had not quite dissolved properly. But Honey liked it… he is always very appreciative of my cooking.

Dough
Today I tried to make bread-dough for a pizza. I made a ¼ loaf and was very impressed. The Blend milled like a pro and I used the dough button. It came out pretty much the same as my dough from the Mix does when making a ¼ loaf.
Davo is slightly quieter as he goes about his business than Klaus though I was not looking forward to having to clean the lid. It had waves on it. I found them however to be invaluable in keeping the machine from “spitting” so much. It was quite fun to watch the tornado in my kitchen appliance. Recipe here

The Nasty
Davo has “bitten me” a few times but Klaus seems easier to clean “injury free”. The bottom of the jug is slightly wider on the Mix. There is the saying that good mums let you lick the beaters, great mum’s turn them off first”. I had to trouble giving my TM jug and a spatula to Honey’s nephew (yr 8) to clean the cake dough we made out (with a warning to watch the blades). I could never do this with Davo; the blades are just too sharp.

Custard
After making the custard there was the problem that most Chef/Blend etc owners complain of… bits of milk burnt to the jug. I must admit when I first had Klaus cleaning the jug after a cappuccino, custard and yogurt making session was not particularly fun either but the milk sticking to the bottom of the jug thing rarely is a problem these days. I hope Davo will grow out of this problem too.

Cleaning
Too tired to clean the jug last night, I soaked it overnight, gave it a light scrub this morning and popped it in the dishwasher; assuming they meant dishwasher rather than washing machine in the Kogan manual for thermoblends. It turns out I assumed correctly, the jug came out sparkling clean aside from a bit of muck about the size of a finger print which wiped off with a clean chux. I must admit that the Bellini and the blend were more impressive to me than the chef (to try first) as they are dishwasher safe.
We mainly chose the Kogan as it was on special and we thought it too good to pass up.
I give the Kogan an Exceeds Expectations+/Outstanding- overall, it has value for money, does a pretty good job on most of the recipes I have tried. You do need a scale and some recipes require a thermometer too, but it is a very handy appliance to have. Obviously the risotto is one I am putting off due to the blade-covers… but I would love to hear from other Kogan owners how they go with the covers. I didn’t get to meet any alternate mixer owners in person until I was one.
One day I would love to meet a Belini in person and have a play. I like the look of the machine and the fact that you can steam and cook at the same time is a huge time-saving bonus, for larger families. It did not effect me much that I could not use my steamer as I rarely use my TMX varoma for steaming purposes.
Judie

Updates:

Honey believed that last line, I am not sure if that says more about his faith in my honesty or the appetite of his cats. Should have eaten his share… he said that he “prefers my goats milk custard”.
So the almond “meal” left over did go very nicely into a very quick cake I added some GF flour, sugar, egg and popped it in the microwave. It was nice but obviously if I had the time to bake it in the oven it would have been even better. I would extrapolate that from this you could substitute the wet meal for the regular dry meal. It can be a hassle if the measure in the recipe is given in grams and maybe back off the liquid slightly.
 
The Jala organic yogurt worked for making yogurt it was not as sour as the Coles brand yogurt which was very tough on the tastebuds. However it was nice in a vegetarian stroganoff and in oj-yogurt shakes.
 
I finally tested the goat’s milk yogurt made with probiotics I ordered from http://www.greenlivingaustralia.com.au it was by far the best yogurt made with goat’s milk. It was smooth, creamy and did not have that “goaty” aftertaste. Hence I have kept quite a few scoops of yogurt from that batch to make some more “one-day”. I discovered that mixing honey through the Greek yogurt is delicious. With this lot, I should have strained it for a little longer as it tends to go runny when you do this.
 
In the meantime I will be reverting back to cow’s milk for my yogurt needs. Till the kids arrive cow’s milk is more viable for my wallet.
Oh btw did anyone else notice that the Kogan is on sale this week for $200?
http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/thermoblend-all-one-food-processor-cooker/?gclid=CNu16I-D77cCFaRKpgodiQ8A2Q I have not met one in person, but if you are looking to save money, eat healthy and have “champagne taste on a lemonade wage “as my old co-worker used to say… this may be a good time to try a knock-off.
 
Judie 

Almond Milk Custard

Day 2, most of the water had drained down and when stirred looked like milk with a brownish tinge. I gave the bag full of the crushed almond mixture a squeeze; it would have been easier with something larger than a chux as bits of the paste like substance kept popping out into the almond milk. I had to rescue the blobs with a spoon. I’m not sure I will go to the bother of drying the paste to make almond-meal I will see if it works wet in something tomorrow. It seems like a bit of a waste of electricity to dry it in the oven.
With the problems I had yesterday I ended up with 400 mL of almond milk. With most of the almond meal strained out, the milk was much smoother and made a much better custard. I used a half recipe of custard and put the rest of the milk into some tiny plastic containers. Carrying them past teenagers to my friend, I was asked if I had shots in there… Ms T was very happy to receive her little treats and told me of this coconut ice cream that she had tried at the health food shop. I listened politely but really was not convinced (after all soy was not that great)… but I tried some and was surprised. Now I am busy looking for Coconut ice cream recipes on the internet and plan to shake the dust off my ice cream maker (actually it has never been out of its box)…
Honey if you are reading this and wondering where is your sample… unfortunately your favourite cat was hungry… I couldn't stop him in time. So sorry.
Judie

Almond Milk

Today I tried making my own almond milk, intending to see whether Honey who cannot do much cow’s milk liked almond milk and if my friend who can do almonds but found she could not do the bought stuff could tolerate it made fresh in the Thermomix.
 
I used Matt Stone’s recipe http://www.thermomix.com.au/what-is-thermomix/videos.aspx I tasted some, it was a bit grittier than I remembered almond milk being and had already decided to make custard from it not rice pudding… I checked the website
 
500g milk, 2 eggs, 30g wheat free cornflour, 50g brown sugar (website says 100g, I like to halve it) 90c speed 4, 7 minutes… delicious!
 
The food was in Thermie cooking when I realised I had not strained out the almond meal. Honey… if you are reading this- the pictures are just for show, you won’t find the green mug full of custard, I tossed it… now skip to next paragraph (I tossed it down my hatch).
 
The rest of the almond milk is draining in the fridge… I’m too lazy to stand there squeezing it all out when gravity will do a better job if I can wait a while. I am interested in seeing what I can do with the left-over almond meal.
 
Judie 

More Yogurt

So I guess you have been wondering how the yogurt turned out?
 
We borrowed an esky and it made yogurt making much more convenient. I could put the ingredients into the Thermomix and snuggle up with a book then pop the yogurt mix into the thermo-server wrapped in towels and popped into the esky… toddle off to bed and there would be yogurt waiting for me the next morning. I would then chill and strain it and use the Greek yogurt for many things.
 
IMG_0181Bornhoffen is the next yogurt we tried. It has made a sourer yogurt that is very light on the “goaty” taste. It tastes goaty in your mouth but not when you have swallowed the food. It goes well in OJ shakes too, no “goaty “  flavour at all. Last night I used the Greek yogurt made on goat’s milk as a substitute for sour cream in beef stroganoff; it was once again delicious, and worked well as a substitute.
 
Honey liked 2nd goats yogurt with almonds and honey, we will try it with the 3rd this week. I think there will be a better contrast between the sharp flavour of the 3rd goat’s yogurt and the sweet honey.
IMG_0182I strained the remaining Bornhoffen yogurt, intending to make it “Greek Style” yogurt, but left it straining in the fridge for too long, hence when I remembered it at the end of the next day I had yogurt-cheese. So it did not get wasted, I decided to test the theory that it could replace Philly cheese in dips. It worked so Honey took some to work today to share with his friends and I am taking some to work tomorrow for our staff meeting. 1 kg with about a cup set aside for starting yogurt (I froze a couple of ¼ cups) made just over 400g of yogurt cheese and a glass of whey.
 
Having whey in the bread dough instead of water meant that I needed to make sure I put the cuts in the top of the loaves before cooking. It stopped them from cracking too much. Still made great pizza and even the cracked bread was still delicious. The slices on the top of tIMG_0183he mini loaf helped me to slice the bread more thinly this time round.
 
The dog loved the goats whey, there was one site saying it was good for all animals then after I gave him some and he gobbeled it down, I read another site saying not to give it to dogs, give it to your cats. The cats were not interested at first; I placed it beside their dry food. Then Honey’s flatmate cleaned their bowl… I’m not sure he realised it was “precious”. We have not tested it on plants yet, as Honey uses an aquaponics system to grow things.
 
We love yogurt-cheese as a substitute for butter, so I sliced and froze a lot of our butter to keep it from going off. Someday soon, however I am keen to try making my own butter and buttermilk from organic cream. Apparently you can save money if you can get it in the 2L bottles compared to buying a small block of organic butter from the supermarket.
 
I have some of yogurt 4 going in the Thermomix as we speak. This time I am using Coles brand natural yogurt. It was the 3rd most expensive to buy outright on the day I purchased starter yogurts. The yogurt is creamy in texture, thick, at least as sour as the Pauls yogurt and slightly powdery. 
 
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My Yogurt Adventure

It all started with way more left-over milk than we could drink. I noticed on the internet a way I could make 2L of yoghurt at a time, which was much more convenient than using the 1L method in the “everyday cook book”.
 
This made use of my Thermo-server which was much more convenient to use than the yogurt maker.
I separated some of the yoghurt out when it had IMG_0173_thumb1reached “Greek-Style” consistency. I used it to make beef stroganoff and guacamole. I try to use Greek-Style yoghurt whenever I can in lieu of sour-cream. Honey loved it. I also popped some on a plate and drizzled honey and almonds over it for dessert and Honey enjoyed that too.
 
I also made yogurt cheese which we used on toast with salami, tomatoes and olives and I added Italian herbs to make a cracker dip.  
 
This got me thinking…
Maybe I should try this with goat’s milk. Honey wants to get some goats “one-day”. We wanted to see if we even like goat’s products. From what I red on the internet you could not do goats yoghurt from pasteurised milk. I had made it from the Every-day cook book recipe, which called for adding powdered milk but was not sure how it would go without it.
 
IMG_0171_thumbThe friend I mentioned in the yeast-free bread, cannot do cow’s milk either; I wanted to see if I could make a yoghurt she could eat. I plan on using a “granddaughter” yogurt to begin the yogurt I make for her.
 
Expense wise, you are much better sticking to cow’s milk unless you know someone with a goat.
 
The first batch I made, I used the only natural yogurt that I thought existed in CQ- Pauls brand. The yogurt was ok, but I could never eat it straight. Honey loved it in guacamole- I had to add more seasoning to disguise the “goaty after-taste”.
IMG_0176_thumb1I did find that I enjoyed the yogurt,  if I added it to Greek-style breakfast yogurt and washed away the taste in my mouth or used it in juice shakes.
 
The goat’s milk made more whey than the cow’s milk and consequently there was less yogurt and less yogurt-cheese.
I noticed when I was shopping, 3 other brands that I could try too… so I will try them and blog about the results.
Yogurt 2 made a much pleasant tasting yogurt. It was only available in low fat, when compared to the Pauls yogurt; it was less sour and had a slightly powdery texture and was lacking in creaminess.
IMG_0174_thumb1I used some as a starter, froze some more in case I needed a starter again for the future and drained the rest and ate it with my breakfast yogurt.
 
In case the yogurt did not turn out, I made custard from goat’s milk in the Thermomix. Some for Honey, some for my friend. I was not keen to try it, but tasted the spatula… Mmm this is delicious- and later Honey and my friend agreed.
 
 
 
Ways to use Whey
IMG_0170_thumbAll this yogurt making has made more whey than I know what to do with. I have tried it successfully in making yeast-free bread and as we speak I am proving some regular artisan dough.
 
I also tried it in pancakes- last time I made a yummy treat during the day (Fake KFC) Honey read my blog and asked where his was… so Honey if you are reading this your pancake is in the fridge.
 
I usually use yogurt in my pancakes, and when I make them for my family they like them as much as I do.IMG_0180_thumb Honey is not convinced I make good pancakes because the one time I made pancakes for him some “helpful” person at my place had put salt beside the sugar, I was too tired to realise before I put the little grains into the Thermomix “hey this is white!!!” I always buy raw sugar and use pink salt in my cooking. The unhealthy white stuff is purely for first-aid purposes. I tried to get as much of it out as I could but you know salt… less is more I had more so it was way less… kudos to Honey for eating one. 
 
Judie

Yeast Free Bread

I have a friend who is allergic to many things and I wanted to make her some bread to try. I found she not only could not have gluten but yeast and honey too. I wanted to try making the bread but was a little concerned at how it would turn out. The yummiest Gluten Free bread recipe is here
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On checking the Quirky Cooking website, Jo said that you could try baking powder but she had never tried it with this recipe. I decided to give it a go, telling my friend that I would try it first and find some chooks if I didn’t like it.
I used a ¼ recipe- which was nice as I could use Thermie to knead it. I then halved the dough to make two even balls and popped them out to rise. I gave it about 40 minutes to rise and then 40 minutes in the oven. I was making spaghetti bolognaise for Honey and his work-mate (just in case they hated the bread).
When they were cooked you will see from the picture that one loaf of bread is much more cracked than the other. The boys got the cracked loaf, which was perfect as a pull-apart damper type bread (they did not have any knives in the office). The other loaf was better for making slices, which delighted my friend.
I wanted to put the yeast free bread to a few more tests so made some again, 1 big loaf and some small rolls. I also tried some whey instead of water, but forgot to add the xanthum gum.
Compared to the yeast bread that I was used to, I found the bread crumbled more easily, this may have been because the xanthum gum was left out. I froze a bun and microwaved it the next day, it was perfect and did not need to be toasted.
Imagine my surprise this week when I was making a snack and popped out one of the rice bread buns defrosted ready to toast and found it to be perfect without needing the toaster. I was keen to see if the yeast free bread could cut it too.

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Oh just so you know… how did I get the whey to the right temperature- warmish? I popped it in the Thermomix for a few minutes on 37c. When the 37 light stopped flashing I began to add the other liquid ingredients such as eggs, honey and oil. Even though it was a very wet day not at all conducive to proving dough, it still felt warm when I popped the dough into the fridge.
Judie 

Honey bought me some Sorghum

I am very excited to tell you that we have sorghum. So I can finally taste the bread as it was originally intended... Recipe here. It was a dilemma as to which sorghum to buy as there is white and red available at Lola’s wheat free world. So we ordered some of each. It was very exciting to see it on the door-step. In fact, Lola’s package arrived before our brown-basmati rice which we ordered a few days earlier… maybe today it will come.
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Kitchen malfunctions:
IMG_0154IMG_0155You will notice I have a different bowl today; yes I took cake in my “Bread bowl” to work and forgot to bring it back. Honey’s Mum makes fantastic pottery bowls though- but this one is slightly on the small size, for what I need it to do. Shoulda woulda coulda made a smaller batch but chose not to.
I have half the amount of xamtham gum that is required, with my success of going without it in the last recipe; I decided to try my luck...
So I have not blogged in a few days, but this is to catch you up.
Thursday I missed toasted focaccia rolls, so I attempted to make one with the focaccia I made earlier in the week. I put left-over things from the fridge such as ricotta, salami, prosciutto, bacon and olives with a bit of salad. Toasted in the sandwich press- result delicious. 
Friday GF “KFC” was calling me, I milled some Tuscan seasoning, paprika, Italian herbs and casian pepper in the Thermomix. Then I added about a teaspoon to a few table spoons of bread crumbs.
IMG_0146Rolled the chicken pieces (I used wings cut into 3 parts and tossed the tips to the cats) in corn flour, then dipped in egg and rolled in the crumbs. I was hungry so was not waiting for the oven to cook them. I fried them up in a frying pan on the stove.
The white bread-crumbs were easy bakers GF bread, frozen and crumbed. The brown bread crumbs used were from the first batch of bread I made with chia to replace the sorghum.  
 
IMG_0148The brown crumbs “behaved” more the way I wanted them to, but it’s been a while since I have fried chicken and I am more than a little out of practise. They tasted “healthier” and I did not add spice to that one piece. The white crumbs fell off but were slightly sweeter in flavour. I think they would have fared better in the oven. There are other recipes out there for GF “KFC” which use flour I intend trying them “one day”, but it was nice to have a chicken “fix”. I chose wings as they are cheap and if I messed it up well it would not hurt my wallet as much.
So on the weekend it was Honey’s birthday. We had a party and we had another GF party member coming. I made burger buns for us. As the buckwheat recipe had a softer crust I decided to try it out.
IMG_0149I bought little cake tins but found I probably did not need them as the dough has the ability to be shaped as the cob loaf does. But I had bought the tins so I was testing them…
I used baking paper on 2 lots and just some oil on the other 2 lots. I found the baking paper to be superfluous. The bread once again came right away from the sides of the baking dish.
IMG_0152The buns did not break as I was eating. I think they could have been a little thinner as they were perhaps a little chewy. Also the bread was the same colour as the cooked steak which made them appear a tiny bit boring to look at but the taste was great. 
I also had one the next day and it was also fine and did not need to be toasted.
IMG_0156Party day I was never more thankful to be a  Thermomix owner. I cooked regular spaghetti bolognaise sauce (chopped everything in Thermie) and dumped it in the slow cooker. I like to make about double the sauce at t a time and it does not all fit in the Thermomix at once… no worries I had plenty more work for “him” to do … I also prefer the texture that the slow cooker gives the bolognaise sauce.
I found a fantastic recipe for lentil bolognaise here but did not have time to be standing by a stove for 20 minutes. I added a few essential bolognaise veggies such as mushrooms and capsicum, extra canned tomatoes set the timer and let Thermie do the rest while I fixed up some other pre-party jobs.
IMG_0153I also used Italian herbs and Tuscan seasoning in leiu of oregano.
Let me tell you I was surprised at how good they tasted, Honey liked them too. I was also pleasantly surprised at how much cheaper they are to make than beef bolognaise sauce and how much easier to clean the TM bowl was. Definitely will be using it again and is very well suited to being a recipe for “a meal in a hurry”.
IMG_0145I cleaned the TM bowl and made French onion dip, garlic and herb dip, then looked for the sweet chilli sauce to top the last cream cheese with (I was sure I had some in the fridge). Turns out I didn’t. What I did have was a red capsicum, coriander, parsley and some dried herbs. I zapped the capsicum in the thermomix, then zapped the fresh herbs, added some Italian herbs mix and Tuscan seasoning, whipped in the cream cheese… and I had people asking for the recipe.
Judie

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