Archive for the ‘Home Sweet Home’ Category
Women’s weekly are always the best for reliable recipes. Their Feb spread- “Best in Class” has some really easy creations to please little people. We love seeing our patty pans put to a more savoury use – shown here with Cornbread. Photography by John Paul Urizar and styling by Michele Cranston.
Makes 8 Prep and cook time 45 min
1 cup (150g) instant polenta
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small (150g) green capsicum, copped finely
2 corn cobs, kernels removed
2 green onions (green shallots), sliced finely
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup (250ml) milk
1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
8 cherry boconccini
1. Preheat oven to 180c (160c fan forced). Line eight holes of a 12 hole (80ml) muffin pan with paper cases.
2. Combine the polenta, flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl. Add the capsicum, corn, green onions and parsley; mix well. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and olive oil, then stir the liquid into the dry ingredients. Mix well, then spoon the batter into the paper cases. Place a bocconcini in the centre of each muffin.
4. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan. Store Cornbread in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.
We love collecting kitchen tips. It doesn’t take much research to find hundreds of handy, interesting, space-saving and time-saving ideas. And everyone has a good tip or two or three, which we hope to collect and present the best of them here.
If you have a handy hint or a safety idea or any other kitchen innovation, share it with our readers by clicking on the Comments tag below right. We’d love to hear from you!
Cast iron kitchen utensils can outlive us all if treated correctly. This involves basically two things: always season them correctly, and never wash them in soap. Cast iron is interesting in that has pores, and minuscule bits of food can get trapped in those pores, making the utensil’s surface sticky. Seasoning fills the pores with tiny amounts of fat, which has the same effect as a non-stick coating. Correct seasoning of cast iron starts with a rinsing and thorough drying. Now grease the inside of the pan well with a solid shortening. Place the utensil upside down on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for an hour at 175°F (350°F). If you intend cooking with acidic foods (such as tomato sauces), it will pay to repeat this process three or four times first. Also repeat the process periodically through the pan’s life. If you do, that life will be a long one. Always wash with water, a damp cloth and, if necessary, a brush or salt (as an abrasive). Always dry thoroughly.
This is always a concern. What if you miss a bit and the kids run through the kitchen in bare feet? What if you miss a bit and you walk through the kitchen in bare feet! While the big bits of broken glass are easy to pick up, the rest is a problem. A dustpan and brush is obviously the next best step, but it can always move rather than gather small pieces. One thing will, with patience, get everything — a slice of bread.
Talking of glass, a glass kettle comes up like new when you boil water and a teaspoon of boracic acid.
Tea and coffee cup stains
The world can never be quite right if your favourite tea cup or coffee mug is stained. But stains are inevitable and, once there, they can resist the hottest of water and hardest of scrubbing. Here’s a trick: clean with a damp toothbrush dipped in salt.
It is almost, at times, as if stainless steel rebels against its name. When your stainless steel gets that stained look, one thing restores it to its sparkling best better than anything — a damp cloth soaked in vinegar.
We love collecting kitchen tips. It started, oddly, with a discussion about colanders, about which alone there is a world of handy uses. If you haven’t seen our list, look here and be prepared to be surprised at how many things you can do with a colander!
Kitchen tips, however, are a much bigger world. Everyone has a good tip or two or three, and it doesn’t take much research to find hundreds of handy, interesting, space-saving and time-saving ideas.
So, starting tomorrow, we’re going to present some of the best for you. We’ll keep researching, and periodically present more tips.
Most of all, however, we’d love to hear from you. If you have a handy hint or a safety idea or any other kitchen innovation, share it with our readers by clicking on the Comment button below. We’d love to hear from you!
There is something about a colander which is comfortable. It is one of those things, like a mouse trap, which has been around forever and which nobody has found a way to improve. They may be available in more colours today, but the function of a colander in a kitchen is essentially the same now as it has been for hundreds of years.
The word colander came into use between about 1400 and 1450, and is an adaptation of the Middle English word colyndore. That in turn traces its roots to the Latin colum, which means sieve.
One of the fun things about colanders is that they have many more uses than most people realise. We have done some research and compiled a list of all the useful things you can do with a colander. If you know of any more, please leave a comment and we’d be delighted to add it to the list, giving you credit of course for the idea.
Splatter stopper. Invert a colander over frying foods. It lets the heat out, but stops most of the grease or oil splatter.
Pasta bowl warmer. Most people warm their serving dishes in or under the oven, or in the microwave. If you are serving pasta, save energy by putting the colander inside the pasta serving bowl before draining the pasta. Now the hot water, instead of being wasted, gets the bowl ready for dinner.
Vegetable steamer. For when your daughter borrowed your steamer saucepan.
Instant garden. The shape of a colander — short and wide — lends itself to displaying flowers as it allows them to spread out.
Fruit storage. Fruit stays fresh longer if air can circulate all around. This is especially true for berries. Keep them in a colander instead of a regular container, and they will last longer.
Saucepan lid storer. Start with the smallest at the bottom …
Rubber duck collector. If you have youngsters, bath time always results in a floating menagerie. Just how many rubber ducks and other toys can a kid have! A colander makes a perfect scoop for bath toys. Round them, give them a shake, and store them in the colander for ultimate ease.
Toy. Instead of making it sit around until bath time is over, let the colander join the fun. Watching water drain through the holes can amuse a child for a long time. It can be just as much fun in a sand pit.
Bathroom accessory holder. Perfect for storing sponges, loofahs etc, allowing them to drain and dry more easily.
Lego sorter. Good for storing Lego because you can find pieces more easily through the holes.
Camp shower. We thought of this one ourselves. It would take a handy person to rig a hose, but the colander holes should create a pleasant spread of water.
Picnic accessory. Keep flies away by turning a colander upside down and placing it over the food.
Wind chime. All good things must come to an end, and sometimes a colander needs to be retired. But don’t throw it out. Those holes make it easy to tie on other old utensils, spoons , tin mugs, etc. Hang it on the back verandah for a charmingly different wind chime.
Lamp shade. Simply turn a colander upside down for an eye-catching lamp shade. Warning: metal ones can get hot!
Display. Fill a colander with pine cones for a cosy table centrepiece. Fill one with Christmas lights for a jolly Christmas display. Fill one with chocolates for … hey, where did they go?
Brainwave sensor helmet. We’re not certain how you construct one of these out of a colander, but we know it’s possible because they did it in the film Ghostbusters!
Lie detector. Bit fanciful this one; possibly from an old film. You need a photocopier as well, pre-loaded with a sheet of paper featuring the word LIE. Bring the suspect into the “Lie Detector Room”, place the colander on his head, and every time you suspect he’s telling a lie, push the photocopier start button. Ding! Out pops a LIE report. Not something, perhaps, you will find use for on a daily basis.
Sources: diylife.com, Family Fun magazine, instructables.com, Craftzine, containergardening.about.com, unclutterer.com
Nostalgia (n.): Sentimental yearning for a period of the past; homesickness; a feeling you may get when you walk into a Robert Gordon Australia store.
Robert Gordon Australia retail outlets evoke many reactions — most of which come with a broad smile — but today we would like to talk particularly about nostalgia.
It can be a bitter-sweet feeling, but the kind of nostalgia the products in our displays evoke are all sweet and no bitter. People look at many of our items and instantly see their mother’s kitchen, their grandmother’s cakes — another, younger time when, surely, the kitchen was a more family-oriented, more fun place, and food tasted better because of it.
These items are, of course, shiny and new, featuring glossy finishes and the latest, high-tech manufacturing standards. But those lovely ladles and pots and colanders and cake plates and entire dinner sets can be nevertheless from another time.
A healthy dose of nostalgia. It comes at no extra charge when you visit a Robert Gordon shop.