My family likes to catch up before Christmas because everyone is so busy & there are so many people to see. Each year we take it in turns to host & everyone brings something to pitch in. We usually just have a BBQ, which makes it pretty stress-free. This year I volunteered to bring some meat, hamburgers & sausages.
From the window, I could see many large lemons hanging over the fence. So I asked my cousin If I could take a few home with me. She offered a bag for me to collect them in but I decided that I didn’t need one.
I squeezed past the water tanks & plants while walking through spider webs to the lemon tree. I couldn’t believe the size of them! They were the biggest lemons that I had ever seen. You certainly don’t get any that big at the supermarket! After pulling a few from the tree I realised that I would most certainly need a bag. Back through the spider webs & past the water tanks than back again with a bag. This time my aunt & my mum decided to join me.
I filled a whole grocery bag with lemons. It was easily 5kg! One last trek through the spider webs, I gave the bag to my little cousin to carry inside. He was impressed by my collection.
My mum suggested that they would probably have quite thick skin but that didn’t bother me. I was more amazed by the amount of juice I got from them. Although I shouldn’t have been so surprised based on their size!
After a little bit of trial & error, I found that a ratio of 1:1:3 of lemon juice, sugar & water works quite well for my tastebuds.
Juice the lemons
Add 1/2 cup of sugar to 250ml of boiling water, stir to dissolve the sugar
Allow the sugar water mixture to cool
Combine lemon juice, sugar water and water in a pitcher
Serve with ice & lemon slices if desired
We often have an excess of fruit at work from the weekly delivery. At the end of the week we are encouraged to take home any fruit that is still in the fruit basket.The common leftovers are mandarin, apple, pear, orange with the occasional banana. It really depends on what fruits are in season as to how many that we get, also determining what’s leftover.
I love having a variety of fruit to choose from. It means I don’t have to worry about remembering to bring snacks to work. Because of this, I often eat 2-3 pieces of fruit when I’m in the office. The other obvious benefit is I get my recommended daily serves of fruit.
I decided to put the leftover oranges to good use, making Orange Marmalade. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make!
If I have a choice between jam or marmalade for my morning toast, marmalade wins every time! It was rare that we had marmalade in the cupboard growing up, so I take advantage of it whenever I can. It will probably be on my toast every morning until the jar is empty!
As it’s the end of the year I needed to come up with something to give to my daughter’s childcare educators. I know they don’t expect anything but I just want to show my appreciation for helping my daughter to learn & develop so many new skills. And homemade food gifts are especially well received.
Juice the oranges.
Combine water, sugar and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then let simmer for 40-60 minutes.
To test if the Marmalade is ready, dollop some Marmalade on a plate & let cool in the fridge for 5 minutes. If the Marmalade goes crinkly when touched, it is ready
I was lucky enough to be in North America in November where I sampled many Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
There aren’t many Starbucks stores in Australia & I’m quite sure they don’t sell any of the wonderful seasonal American treats. Lucky for me, once I had tried a Pumpkin Spice Latte I had an idea of how I could replicate it at home.
For m, a Pumpkin Spice Latte tastes like a chai latte crossed with a strong coffee. And I mean strong. There is no hint of pumpkin, as with many pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavoured treats. The spices generally used are cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves.
I was so pleased to find the Aldi make Chai Latte pods. I think they were the first brand in Australia to offer them. Many other brands have jumped on the Chai latte pod band-wagon since but I am yet to try any.
*You will need a milk frother & a coffee pod machine that fits Chai Latte pods
1 chai latte pod
1 coffee pod
sweetener (if desired)
This is best made in a large mug, unless you compromise with a lot less milk than normal. You could pair your pumpkin spice latte with homemade marmalade on toast for breakfast.
Since Melbourne is known as the coffee snob city of Australia, I have been able to order a “Pumpkin Spice Latte” at many coffee shops. I just ask for a large chai latte with a shot of espresso.
After a recent trip to America, my brother was also kind enough to bring me back a few instant sachets. This meant I was able to relive the exact flavour a few more times!
This is a great dinner for two when there isn’t much food in the pantry. These pasta side dishes generally serve 4 people as a side but also make a great dinner for 2 when you add a few extras. This time I added 1 copped carrot, roughly 1/4 cup of peas & 1 small tin of tuna. The idea of adding the extra items is to make more of a nutritionally balanced meal, plus add some more volume to fill you up.
Optional add ins:
Nutrition Information (based on the brands I used)
kJ – 2,107 F – 21 C – 65 P – 15