Sunday, August 28, 2011

Citrus Cleaner & Springs New Buds

There have been so many of you that have e-mailed to say that you have started your own jar of citrus cleaner.  I am so pleased that you are all willing to give it a go.  Mine has been brewing for 2 weeks so it is time to get it ready to use.  Remove all of the peel from the jar.  Can you see the citrus oil in the picture above?  And the smell is delicious !!

The peel has a kind of grey look to it once it is removed.  Just put it in your compost or throw it away.

Next decant it into a spray bottle.  I couldn't find a funnel so made one from a soft drink bottle.

Make a nice label for it and then it is ready to use. 

Saturday mornings is my big bathroom clean day.  The sprays I usually use always give me a headache because they are being used in such a confined space.  I sprayed everything down with the citrus spray including the glass in the shower which always has soap build up.  Next I used a wet cloth to clean all of the areas.

And voila - Look at that shine !!  The glass also came up wonderfully !  No soap scum....  To say that I am impressed is an understatement.  Everything smelt lovely and fresh and had a lovely sparkle.  I have no idea how long this brew will keep but I only have enough left for another big major clean so I will start off a new brew this week.

I have been very concious of wasteage lately and on Thursday night the fruit in the basket was looking a bit tired (Friday's are shopping days in this house).  All I had left was apples and pears so I peeled them and diced them all up and put them in a pot with a little water and sugar to stew.

I kept all of the peels and cores for the hens - They love peelings.

It is a lovely feeling to use up all that you have.

Half of the stew mix was used in the belly of a Berry & Apple (a Pear) Slice.

I always keep frozen berries in the freezer to add to cakes and desserts.

This is the first time that I have made this particular slice.

And it was heavenly.  I will be sharing the recipe in my next newsletter so if you haven't signed up for it you can do so at the top right corner of my blog.  It's free.

 The remainder of the stew mix was used in a fruit crumble with some frozen berries.

 Very simple to make but delicious !!

And even nicer served with a scoop of icecream.  We were lucky enough to have enough for 2 nights of desserts.

And here is the fruit basket this week - I wonder what I will have left to play with this week?  Do you have any great ideas for left over fruit?

My garden is currently bursting with spring colour.

So what is a girl to do but pick some for some sweet spring fragrance in the house.

In my next blog post I will show you all of my August finishes and will write up my September list.  Did you have a very productive month? 

I am off now to sew and get some more finished.

Hugs - Fee XX

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Natural Cleaning and My Little Secret .......................

I think we would all prefer to use less chemicals in our homes.  A blogging friend recently told me about this wonderful citrus cleaner that she uses in her home.  It is so easy to make so I thought that I would give it a go.

You need some citrus peel, white vinegar, water, a jar and a bit of scrap fabric to pretty up the jar.

Cut the peel up into medium sized chunks.

Place into the bottom of the jar.

1/2 fill with white vinegar and then fill to the top with water.  Place onto a window sill for around 2 weeks and let the vinegar and citrus peel work it's magic.  I'll be back to show you the next step soon.....  Mine is almost ready to use.

Don't waste your oranges either.  I chose to juice mine using my lovely Robert Gordon Juicer.

It is one of my favourite pieces of Robert Gordon although it is probably the plainest :)

You truly can't beat freshly squeezed orange juice

And now my little secret.  The wonderful people at Accuquilt are giving me a Go! Baby to play with and also another one to give away to one of my lucky readers.  Isn't that wonderful?  Stay tuned for the give away in the next week or so. 

Hugs - Fee XX

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Quick & Easy Meal - Chicken Vol-Au-Vents

We all seem to be time poor these days and often resort to something quick and easy for dinner sometimes.  This doesn't mean that it has to be takeaway.  Here is a quick and easy recipe for Chicken Curry which can be served with boiled rice, Put into Vol-Au-Vent Cases or made into little pies.  The choice is yours.

This time I decided on Vol-Au-Vent cases.  I am a "specials" shopper and when something comes on special that I use, I usually stock up.  Coles often have their own brand large vol-au-vent cases (1 is ample if served with vegies) so they were already in the pantry.

When I make chicken curry like this I tend to make a double batch.  But here are the ingredients for a single batch which will fill 8 vol-au-vent cases :-

750g Chicken Breast - Diced Small
1 Medium Sized Onion
1 1/2 Cups Mixed Vegetables
2 1/2 Teaspoons of Keens Curry Powder
1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup

Dice the onion and pan fry with a dash of olive oil and the diced chicken breast until brown.  Add the rest of the ingredients.

And simmer for 10 - 15 minutes

Fill the cases and sprinkle a little cheese on top.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes and Hey Presto !!  Dinner is served.

And because I made a double batch I now have some to freeze for an even easier dinner somewhere down the track.

I hope you decide to give this hearty recipe a try - It is a firm favourite in our home.  Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are in the world.

I will be back next time to let you in on a little secret I am keeping.

Hugs - Fee XX

Monday, August 15, 2011

Do you live in Western Australia

Do you live in Western Australia?  Do you have room in your heart and home for a rescue cat in need of a home? 

The lovely Pamela over HERE has just assisted a major cattery rescue and there are lots of British Shorthair cats requiring loving homes.  It disgusts me that these animals have been treated this way thankgoodness for Pamela and her merry band of helpers at SAFE.  If you can....  please help.

Hugs - Fee XX

A Tutorial, Candles, Making Croutons + A Decison

I love candles.  I love the warm glow they give and I love the smell the scented ones leave.  Last night while preparing dinner I turned off all of the lights except for the kitchen light (so I could cook - LOL) and lit some candles.  In the coming weeks I will be making some candles, just as soon as my supplies arrive.  I will take lots of photographs so that you can make them along with me.

I have blogged once before about the ease of making croutons at home.  Last night I had some stale foccacia's and decided to replenish my crouton stockpile.  I just cut them all up into small cubes placed on baking paper on an oven tray and sprayed them with olive oil.

And baked in a moderate oven until they have dried out and are crisp and golden.

Once they have cooled place them in an air tight container for future use in soups and salads etc.  They are delicious and is a much better way to use stale bread rather than throw it out.

You would all know by now that I am kitty crazy.  I adore my feline babies and have much fun playing with them.  It always amuses me the things that they will play with. 

I have for quite awhile made little toys which I often donate to cat organisations.  I thought that you might like to make some too?  The first ones I call Kitty Twirls.  You need pipe cleaners and little jingle bells (not to small).

Thread a jingle bell onto a pipe cleaner and centre it.  Bend over the ends so that they are not sharp.

Next wrap the bell and pipe cleaner around a pencil to give it a spiral shape.

Remove the pencil and Voila !!  A Kitty Twirl Toy.

They are such fun to make and the cats will adore them.  My fridge has a lovely collection under it.

I also recycle the plastic rings on the top of plastic jars and milk bottles.  They are easily removed in 1 piece.

First wrap a pipe cleaner around the ring leaving a gap for another colour.  Make a loop at the top if you wish to hang it later.

A cute little kitty wreath from a milk ring.

The larger rings will take 3 to 4 pipe cleaners.

But are heaps of fun to play with - Want to see how much fun?

Dreamer gives it a tap to see if it moves........

Jack gets in on the action......

Oops I think they fell off.....

Which way did they go ?

Down there Jack.......

Okay I'll go get it shall I?  They play with them for ages.  Give them a go they are cheap to make and will provide hours of fun for your kitty cat.

I have been thinking for awhile that I might like to buy a little hot house.  Do you have one?  Any tips on what I should be looking for?  We live in quite a cold area in winter so I would be able to grow a few different things all year round.  What do you think?  All help gratefully received.

Hugs - Fee XX