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Food, general thoughts, food…


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Baked Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries

It’s been a long while since I posted. Time is seemingly flying passed at an accelerated rate these days and finding the time to fit everything in is just not happening easily.

First of all a new grocers opened up near where I live. This changed my life. Access to good quality, cheap produce is something that has been a serious problem for me for quite a while. Produce was available but it was in no way near the quality that I craved mainly because things were never ripe as opposed to the opposite. So I changed my diet. I decided that with summer upon us here it was time to start eating healthier and lighter. I was worried that this would leave me no meals to write about because who wants to read about someone’s ‘diet’. But it isn’t like that at all, I am not pushing healthy eating or being a preachy weight loss fanatic, I just needed something less stodgy now that the hot weather is here so pretty much my carbs have taken a hike and vegies, meats, cheeses and dairy have come to stay for a while. Frankly, right at the moment, in 44C heat, I don’t miss my cakes and biscuits at all, the bread I miss a bit but I am actually loving my food and eating truckloads of it. I am ALWAYS hungry. The amount of times I trek to the grocers, I should have shares in the place.

Since this happened I have also been overseas, had two Christmases and celebrated the New Year. I also had a couple of weeks off over the holiday season, the same as a lot of other people. Enough to feel refreshed and relaxed now that I am back in the office and just enough to begin to think how nice it would be to not have to go back at all.

Another Jimmy’s steak came out of the bottom of the deep freeze the other day and was delightfully barbequed by my husband. I knocked up a batch of sweet potato fries to go with, simple yet fabulous.

Baked Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 5mm strips
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Combine oil, spices and potatoes in a large bowl; toss well.
Arrange potato strips in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 200 degrees for 30 minutes or until edges are crisp.

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Pumpkin Rice Quiche

I  had some pumpkin and some sweet potatoes that were near their use by date (even a little past it if the truth be told) but with careful peeling and chopping I was able to salvage 3 cups of mash at the end of the day. You have seen the muffins, now behold the quiche! This is a great way to use up left over rice (and pumpkin/sweet potato). I still have 1 cup of mash left….watch this space 🙂

Pumpkin Rice Quiche
Serves 6

2 cups cooked rice
2 eggs
3/4 cup cheese
2 Tbls chopped parsley
1 Tbls oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bacon rashers, chopped
1 cup cold, cooked, mashed pumpkin (I used a combination of pumpkin and sweet potato)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 Tbls chopped thyme

Preheat oven to 190C.
Grease a 23cm pie dish. Combine rice, eggs, cheese and parsley. Press into base and sides
Of prepared dish. Place on oven tray. Cook for 20mins. Cool
Reduce oven to 180C.
Heat oil and add onion, bacon and garlic, cook until onion is soft. Cool.
Combine onion, pumpkin, eggs, milk, cheese and thyme. Pour into crust.
Cook for 45 mins.


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A little sweetness

Because of the following kinds of people, I felt the need to make something sweet. That and the fact that I had leftover pumpkin/sweet potato mash calling me from the refrigerator.

I know I am not alone in noticing this, and I can’t be alone in finding it very disturbing but the immediate escalation of nastiness in internet discussions is shocking to me. Is it the lack of face to face confrontation that makes people fly off the handle in ways they would never do normally or are there just those people out there that have little to no self-control and I have just been fortunate enough never to meet them? Silly things like you-tube videos and meme websites or more serious things like immigration debates on twitter, it doesn’t matter the forum, these people just lose it immediately and start throwing around words that decent people just don’t use in company.

It always seems to go thus:
Person 1: Here is my opinion, it may be ill considered and lack fore thought, but I am entitled to it.
Person 2: You are a stupid, ugly, fat $&*@%
Things degenerate from there, sometimes a thinking individual wades in trying to calm things down, in which case they cop a mouthful of abuse also, and it can go on for an age.

If these people are really so quick to anger and so unable to control their impulses I just hope to heaven that I never come across them by accidentally merging into traffic in a way that offends them. I may end up as a hood ornament or worse yet, a statistic. How do these people live day to day in the real world without getting the stuffing beaten out of them on a regular basis? Or are they able to relegate their lack of control to the computer room and act like a thinking part of normal society when they are in public?

I used to have a story book as a child with a picture of a troll inside, it was an ugly, mean, dirty, misshapen looking creature that was described as having little in the way of redeeming virtues. Not so surprising that this word has now been used to describe the type of person I am talking about here.

After being exposed to things like trolls we all need a little sweetness in our lives. Have a muffin…

Pumpkin Muffins

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed pumpkin (I used a combination of pumpkin and sweet potato)
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream (I used Greek yoghurt)
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 190C.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Make a well in centre of mixture. Combine pumpkin and next 6 ingredients (pumpkin through egg); add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon the batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
Combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and brown sugar; sprinkle over muffins.
Bake at 190C for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in centre.
Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.