Thursday, September 20, 2012

New York Bagels

Bagels are definately a favourite treat of mine but they are so darn expensive. When I eat them I feel empowered as if I'm in New York walking fast.  
so many toppings.
so many combo's.
a decidophobic's worst breakfast.
So to make bagels more accessible to the everyday non Brooklyn'r I have discovered a recipe that takes not too much time and not too much prep. And barely even touches the wallet.

2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 ½ cups of warm water
3 ½ cups (500g) of bread flour or high gluten flour (will need extra for kneading)
1 ½ teaspoons of salt


1 egg
poppy,pumpkin or sesame seeds for topping

In ½ cup of the warm water, add the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes.
Then add the remaining cup of water and stir to dissolve

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture.
Mix into a moist and firm dough.

On a floured countertop knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Continually working in more flour.

Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough  in it to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel or gladrap. Let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes
Dvide the dough into 8 pieces, and gently form into balls. (try not to push the air out)

Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Allow to rest for 10 mins while you preheat oven to 220'C

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Lower the bagels into the water (as many that will fit) and allow 1 min on each side, or longer if you like them chewier.

Place them back on the tray to give them an egg wash and cover with toppings, Or plain flour is fine.
Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown

Toast and generously coat in cream cheese and your favourite topping. Good.

Alice x

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

spring preparation

It is said that this is busiest time of the year for a gardener. At this time, greenies, and garden enthusiasts everywhere are busy turning over soil, planting seeds on their windowsills and clearing out the last years crops debris. Being a novice, I didn't want to start my seasons planting debut on a backfoot. Since spring has arrived, We have been fulfilling our daily quota of garden activities. Seeds have been planted, our overgrown vegepatch has been de-weeded and turned in a team effort and the glasshouse cleaned. Now comes the waiting and watering game.

Our vege patch will 'hopefully' produce tomato's, capsicum, beans, courgette, basil, coriander, rocket, mesculin and iceburg lettuces, broccoli and pumpkins.I can only dream of the mean summer salads sprouting out of the dirt.



I have really enjoyed what comes alongside the gardening, working and laughing together, cups of tea out in the sun, dirt under the fingernails and entertaining chats with neighbours over the fence.

Gar. Gardening Inspiration.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Ladies

The sad reality of battery farming has really struck something in me more recently when I see the entertainment and personalities coming out of our ‘ladies of the garden’. In New Zealand 90 per cent of the one billion eggs consumed here are coming from chickens confined to a space of an A4 piece of paper. So if your looking to make a change why not turn your backyard into a freeroaming space for some feathery friends.

Chicken keeping in an urban setting can be a risky business. Possibilities of a torn up garden or an escapee being shredded by the local cat are a few. Despite this, the benefits definately outweigh any dangers or costs involved. There is nothing better than the fresh egg’s you find each morning knowing they’ve come from a happy chook. And ours are HUGE.

Google seems to be my ultimate source on all things chicken keeping however the odd chat to a friend and your bound to find some pals with prior chicken keeping knowledge. Some interesting things I’ve picked up during my investigating is their cannibalistic nature, their amazing flight capacity and the nutritional differences between battery and freeranger’s. These once omega 3 rich wanderers were originally a highly nutritional portion of protein. Low in fat, high in omega 3 and complex proteins. But due to the new methods of chicken farming, these chooks with lack of fresh air, space and foraging can’t develop any of the muscles to store any thing of use so just store alot more fat.

I'm excited to whistle up some recipe's with their gigantic produce, but am having to practise my patience as the 'girls' are still adjusting to their new home and only popping a few eggs out everynow and again.

Some pictures of the new ladies of the garden, Jethro, Cleopatra, Stu-dini, Seth and Chardonnay.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What we sow

In this journey I hope to inspire and explore the true cost of naturally sourcing foods and the beauty it can produce on our plates.
A bare backyard with minimal tools and funds.
All that's needed.