Sunday, 30 March 2014

Very tasty banana blueberry buckwheat bread/cake

Finally, I got together a recipe for a cake made with 100% buckwheat flour and no sugar. It is moist but soft and airy. Not a dense bric like most of its kind.
From my search on internet, all recipes I've found call for half amount (or less) of buckwheat flour and some sort of other gluten free variety. Or if it's all buckwheat, it is quite bitter, more savory or needs sugar added in quite a quantity.
This cake I fed to my fussy eaters as a main meal. You can easily pass it for one.
*EGGS.
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods money can buy - they are a natural source of many nutrients including high quality protein, vitamins and mindeals.
Eggs are naturally rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium and iodine. They also contain vitamin A and a number of other B vitamins including folate, biotin, pantothenic acid and choline, and essential minerals and trace elements, including phosphorus.

*BLACK TREACLE
100gr of black treacle has 100% of your DVA of Iron. It is also high in calcium 50% of DVA, Magnesium and Potassium.

* BUCKWHEAT flour
1. Good source of high-quality, easily digestible proteins. This makes it an excellent meat substitute. High protein buckwheat flour is being studied for possible use in foods to reduce plasma cholesterol, body fat, and cholesterol gallstones.
2.  Fat alternative. Buckwheat starch can also act as a fat alternative in processed foods.
3. May help diabetes.
New evidence has found that buckwheat may be helpful in the management of diabetes according to Canadian researchers in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
With a glycemic index of 54, it lowers blood sugars more slowly than rice or wheat products.
4. Great for the digestion.
5.Buckwheat contains no gluten and is not a grain. It is therefore great for celiacs and those on grain free and gluten sensitive diets.
And many many more.
*FLAXSEED
Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.
*BANANA AND BLUEBERRY
If you don't know, just Google.
 
So here it comes:
5 over rippend bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup of Apple butter click for the recipe or use apple sauce.
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tbsp of Stevia
1 tbsp of Lyle's Black Treacle (or molasses)
Juice of one lime
2 cups of Buckwheat flour
2 tbsp of ground Flaxseed
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1to 2 cups of blueberries
1 tbsp of cinnamon IF using applesauce instead of Apple butter.

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350c or gas mark 6 (just a guide).
Mash bananas with a juice of one lime. Add bitten eggs, vanilla, apple butter, milk, treacle, stevia and beat all together for a couple of minutes. Then slowly add flour, flaxseed, salt, baking soda and powder, and cinnamon if using.
Once all beaten together, fold in blueberries.
Cake or loaf tin, grease with butter or put in baking paper to prevent sticking. Pour the mixture in and put in an oven for 45-50 minutes, check with a toothpick or knife if it's ready. You know when you stab it, the cake, nothing should be stuck to the toothpick.
I did sprinkle it with icing sugar this time for kids :)
Enjoy! And please come back to tell me if you liked it :)

Unsweetened Apple Butter YUM!

First, a bit of a story :) Last summer, when I went to Las Vegas, a friend took me for a road trip with camping to El Dorado County Wine region. We camped with Adventure Connection in Coloma, California. They provided two great days of wine-tasting and rafting!On the first morning we got together, talked about our day and departed for the El Dorado County Wine region. We visited 2-3 wineries and then stopped to enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch. 

After lunch we visited another 2-3 wineries and Jack Russell Farm Brewery, where I have been taught a super funny game (especially after all the wine and beer tasting and with really great company;) called Cornhole. 
Playing cornhole game
















Jack Russell Brewery  
At the end of the day we headed back to camp for a delicious Barbecue dinner. We have returned to camp with time to enjoy the peace of the river over dinner.
Not dinner but breakfast, still the same beautiful view :)
The next day, after a delicious breakfast, we shuttled to the top of the river for exciting rapids, which included Meatgrinder, Triple Threat and the infamous Troublemaker. I have even summoned the courage to get out of the boat and swim through one of the rapids! Our trip concluded with a big barbecue lunch back at camp.
So, during that first day, one of the wine tasting stops was at the little market like shop called Apple Barn located alongside Carson Road. There were two kinds of wine I have fallen in love with. They tasted so gorgeous! One was Kandi Apple and the other was Apple-Blackberry. I have also spotted an Apple butter amongst huge variety of jars. I have heard about apple butter form movies, internet and so on but have never tasted one. So out of curiosity I bought a jar of unsweetened apple butter and brought it home to London. We LOVED IT! My older daughter finished it in one day... and was asking for more and it is not widely available here in UK... And thats how I decided to attempt to make it myself. I have searched on line for recipes, bought apples, found the over ripened dessert variety on clearance so they cost me almost nothing. And voilà! My kid can't have enough, I make a few jars at a time but they don't last long. Eaten up very quickly :))
So here is what I do: 
I do not have exact measures, never do. Always to taste. Each time you make apple butter, it will taste a bit different depending on the apples you use. The sweeter apples are, sweeter your butter will be.  
 Best buy your apples on farmer markets, where you can taste the apples before you buy. If the apples are bland so will be your butter. 
25-30 apples (depends on how concentrated you want it to be and how long you cook, it makes up to 8 pints of butter).
I start with 1tsp of:
Cinnamon(can use sticks), Ground ginger, Ground Cloves, Ground Cardamom, All spice, Vanilla (in any form you like).
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar as a preservative.
Core and slice apples and put them in the pan as you go. I love using my Ikea apple slicer . It cuts the prep time in more then half.
When it's full put on  low for about 2 hours (as they cook down add the rest of the apples if all didn't fit in in the beginning), stirring occasionally. After 2-3 hours, when apples are soft, I add spices and vinegar. As you see from the pic, I add at least 1 tbsp. of cinnamon, it's great metabolism booster(if you're dieting ;).
OMG The smell in the house is amazing! Who needs air fresheners? After I add spices and vinegar, I cook for another 2-3 hours, until the apple's skins are absolutely soft, and juice is reduced. Again, the time depends on apples, how juicy are they. Just stir and use your judgement. (some recipes call for 10 to 24 hours for cooking!) When you think they are about ready, I use hand blender to blend. I put the arm of the blender straight into the pan and blitz until smooth, just don't forget to take vanilla and cinnamon sticks OUT! Taste and add more spices I think it needs, maybe more cinnamon and cloves. If apples were too sour, and the butter tastes too zingy, I sweeten it with apple and pear spread(highly concentrated no sugar added). That's the one I use. 


But once it is blended, be very careful, it gets stuck to the bottom very very easy. So finish cooking to the consistency you like and don't forget to stir. Once it cools down, it gets thicker. Put in jars. For long shelf period use waterbath canning or similar.
We eat it with bread, crackers, smother cakes with it, use it instead of Apple sauce in baking recipes... By dressing up a jar, it can serve as a very yummy and pretty present.
Enjoy and tell me how it went :) If you liked it or not, if you tweaked the recipe to improve :)



Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Valentine frames and borders craft sale

Hi crafters!
I have a few vintage high quality images for photocopying and scanning, reduce or enlarge them to suit your needs. Digital form enables you to use them for any computer project over and over again. Perfect for paper crafting, cards, decoupage, collage,wood transfers, scrap-booking, and fabric transfers.



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Thursday, 16 January 2014

How to tell a child how babies are made

  One of my friend's preschool daughter started a conversation about where did she come from.
  It is very interesting question, and  perhaps the expression “talking about the birds and the bees”  represents the most common version of our attempts to do this with some degree of biological accuracy. The jokes and devious explanations used by some parents also acknowledge our discomfort in dealing with the subject.
  I will share my experience.
  Lets start with, my oldest was present at the birth of her sister, she was 22 months old at the time. She was in control of where she wanted to be, what she wanted to see and so on. At one point she took my mom by her hand and went to another room to play and came back when the baby was out.
  At around 4-5 years old she started asking question about how did she got there, inside the tummy. As I am a fan of natural home births, she knew about how the baby grows inside mommy, how it comes out. You can find very beautiful videos on Youtube. And she liked to watch them with me. 
    So when it came to finding an answer of HOW did they got INSIDE,  was the difficult part.
    I have found very good article, that I liked on Babycenter. It says:...Ask, then tell.Make sure you understand what your child is really asking. Linda Eyre, co-author of How to Talk With Your Child About Sex, tells a story about a boy who asked his mother where he came from. Thinking he wanted to know about the facts of life, she sat down with him and told him everything. Then the boy told her that he was just wondering where they lived before they moved into their new house.
To avoid a misunderstanding, respond to your child's questions by asking: "What do you think?" Many young children spin elaborate fantasies about how babies are created. First get a handle on what your child is thinking. Then you can use that as a launching point for a more helpful discussion.
"How does a baby get in there?" A sweet and simple explanation should satisfy most young children. You can say something as simple as, "The daddy gave love to the mommy and together they made a baby." Or "Babies are made when two adults love each other so much that they're able to create a baby inside the mommy."
If your child wants more detail, you can tell her that a sperm from the daddy joins an egg from the mommy and together they grow into a baby....
 I will also add, that in some cases it might be OK to say more, for example: an honest one that doesn't try to offer a college course in human reproduction in one session. Tell the child that, in a sheltered place inside their bodies, mothers carry a large number of tiny eggs (without shells) and that these eggs drop down into a space in their bodies called a womb or uterus about once a month. Those eggs can’t become babies until the father puts into one a special substance called sperm that comes out of his penis. When this happens, we say that this special egg is fertilized. It attaches itself to the mother’s womb and grows there for about 9 months.


Some children will get bored with these answers and will leave you alone. But ofcourse there could be children who are more inquisitive and will create more questions. In that case, GOOGLE to the rescue :DDDD
You can read more questions and answers, advice on haw to  here at Babycenter. com  Please share your experience, what would you say in comments below. I'm sure there are plenty of funny stories out there! :)  The old story about the little boy who asked his father where he came from, got a long lecture on reproduction and sex, then said, “Thanks, Dad. But Jim said he came from Buffalo and I just wanted to know where I came from.”