Christmas Stollen Quick And Easy

Crumbly, moist and delicious. Exactly as it should be. There are many recipes for the traditional German Christmas stollen depends on the region it comes from and some of them require you to store the stollen for many weeks before you can try it. This recipe is for impatient people like me with little time for baking. Try it and you will love it! 

Christmas Stollen Quick And Easy

Set the oven on 250°C on upper and lower heat.

Ingredients:

  • 500g wholemeal
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1tsp rum flavor
  • 1/2 (half)tsp almond flavor
  • 1 fresh and clean lime or lemon cut into smallest pieces including skin!
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g whole almond meal (fresh grind are the best)
  • 175g raw sugar
  • 175g warm (soft) butter
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  • 1/2 (half) tsp vanilla flavor
  • 250g quark (I always take cottage cheese and blend it smooth)
  • 250g raisins or sultanas
  • 1tsp orange zest
Combine all ingredients into nice and smooth dough. Cut in half and form two nice loafs. Please on a baking paper on baking tray or into two baking forms. Turn the oven temperature down to 170°C and bake for about 60 minutes. Take out of the oven when ready, coat immediately with 50g melted butter and thick layer of pure icing sugar on top. Leave on the kitchen bench until cold, then wrap in an aluminum foil and leave over night. Enjoy!



Growing Armenian Cucumber And How They Taste

Also known as 'Yard Long Cucumber'.  Light-green, ribbed, cylindrical fruit 20-60cm.  Thin, soft skin, so no need for peeling.  Best results when grown on trellis. Armenian cucumber plants prefer to grow in full sun for most of the day. The fruit is most flavorful when it is 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm) long. Grows quickly.  This cucumber is actually a melon, but is grown & eaten like a cucumber.
It is the very first time for me to grow and taste the Armenian Cucumber. I am very amazed with this plant and I will add it to my list of regularly grown annuals in our food forest.

Sauerpawpaw NOT Sauerkraut Part 2 of 2 - Fermenting Green Pawpaw Papaya ...



Easy to prepare, delicious and super healthy. For the first part, check this link: https://youtu.be/BJHwSw1UUl8



Clean your hands and nails before you start to do it. I better say it here at the beginning :)

Sauerpawpaw Fermented Pawpaw Papaya The Recipe:



1. Green pawpaw or papaya, skinned, cleaned and shredded on the largest holes of your shredder
2. Salt, 1 flat tablespoon per 1 kg shredded pawpaw
3. Garlic, cleaned and chopped or shredded on the smallest holes of your shredder.

Mix shredded pawpaw with salt and garlic in a large plastic bowl while pressing and squeezing it with each move with your hands. Press to the bottom of the bowl and leave covered for about 30 minutes. Move and press it into a fermenting jar firmly so the entire juice stays on top of the jar. You should have enough juice to cover the shredded pawpaw in the jar. If not, boil one cup of water with one teaspoon of jar, cool down and add to the jar.

Important: No pawpaw pieces should float on top. All your fermenting veggies should always be kept under the juice so they have no air contact.The best is to cover the pawpaw with some clean cabbage or kale leaves. I have once kept it under the fluid with some celery sticks. it works as well!

Let it ferment until ready. It takes about 10-14 days. Keep in fridge from then. Enjoy!


DIY The Best Natural Organic Fertilizer And How To Use It

Once you started to use this fertilizer, you will be amazed about the result! Especially if you don't have the best and richest soil or you just started with growing veggies, this simple and natural fertilizer will help you to grow the best, strong and healthy veggies.

Tips:
  1. Important! Never put any manure on top of the soil. The manure, especially if not composted long enough, may contain bacteria and pathogens that are harmful to humans, such as salmonella and E. coli. If you put the manure on top of the soil, your plants and produce may get contaminated and you may get sick. The roots need it, not the top of the plant.
  2. The tub where you prepare your fertilizer needs to be water tight so no water can get in or out.
  3. Place the tub in a far corner of your garden where you usually don't sit. It might smell at the beginning if the lid is not 100% air-tight.
  4. Once you start use this fertilizer, you will be amazed about the result.

How To Build An Instant Basic Raised Veggie Patch or Garden Bed

Basic, simple and you can plant your veggies straight away! This raised veggie patch is what I have already done many times and its working great!


How To Build A Simple Mesh Greenhouse


This video shows how we have built our mesh greenhouse from scratch. To build it, we have used the following materials:
5 slippers 3m x 250mm x 50mm (for the veggie patch walls/edges inside the greenhouse
22 pcs size 4.80m x 70mm x 35mm (for the frames)
12 pcs size 4.8m x 100mm x 12mm (for the veggie patch walls/edges attached to the frame and outside where these two different nets meet.
The net is a High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). HDPE is used to make bottles for fruit juice, milk, water and kitchen cleansing products, 50 mesh 80 GSM so totally save for growing veggies. If you are in Australia, you can contact me if you want to buy this mesh.

Young Food Forest Coming Back After Frost In Subtropical Australia

Green Pawpaw Pickles

Delicious snack, great as a side dish or on a sandwich. Very healthy as an entree. This pickles should are simply something super special. Try it and you will love it straight away :) I will make a video soon of all the steps how I do it but in the meantime, here is the recipe :)

Green Pawpaw Pickles
  • 2 kg green pawpaw, cleaned and grated on the largest holes of the grater
  • 1/4 cup salt 
1. Combine, cover the bowl and leave in the fridge over night. 
2. On the next day, place in a cheese cloth or clean tea towel, rinse under clean water and squeeze to get as much fluid out as possible and move back into large bowl. Spread 2 tbsp whole pepper and put aside. 

3. Bring to boil 3 cups of vinegar with 1.5 tsp salt and 1.5 cups raw sugar. Put aside.
4. Clean, grate and add to the prepared pawpaw:
  • 2 carrots
  • 2-3 large fresh turmeric fingers
  • 1 ginger knob
  • 1 capsicum (optional)
and
  • 2 large onions, red or white, cut thinly lengthwise
  • 10 cloves garlic, cut into slices
  • chilies (I leave the amount of chilies up to you), cut into thin strips 
5.  Combine all ingredients except the vinegar brine. 
6.  Move the veggie mix into clean and sterilized jars
7. Pour in the cool vinegar brine and seal the jars.
8. Leave in a fridge for at least 5 days before serving.
9. Enjoy!

You can keep it in fridge up to 2 months.
ENJOY!

If you want to see how I sterilize the jars, see this video here:






Potato Rosti Pancakes With Mushrooms On Fire Step By Step



Potato Rosti Pancakes With Mushrooms Recipe

For the potato rosti or pancakes you need:

Grated potatoes, one onion, couple of eggs, salt, pepper. Combine all together and set aside for later.

For the mushroom sauce you need:

butter, onion, mushrooms, soy sauce, paprika powder, salt, pepper, pure sour cream (the pure sour cream without any gelatin and co. in it is the best, btw it is the cheapest one at our supermarket), some fresh parsley

Watch the video how its done and enjoy!

Cherry Tomatoes From A Store NOT For Me Anymore

It is pretty sad that we cannot trust the supermarkets or the growers of the food we buy in the shops....

Frost Damage In Subtropical Food Forest And Free Mulch




Winter and few frosty nights in our subtropical food forest here in QLD Australia. This is the result now... Cannot wait for the recovery which will hopefully happen very soon! Meanwhile, making the best out of it.

How To Propagate Fruit Trees Marcotting Tutorial



It is at my friend's place. Maria is showing how to propagate trees through marcotting. You can do it with pretty much any tree you want to propagate. Thank you very much Maria for showing us how you do it :)

Pineapple Orange Marmalade

Pineapple Orange Marmalade

  • 800g pineapple - peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 400g oranges including skin - cleaned and cut into small pieces
  • 800g raw sugar
  • 2 limes or lemons - only the juice

Cook on a low heat for about one hour or until the mix looks translucent and sticky. I usually use a stick mixer just before the end of the cooking time to smooth it up but this is optional.



20 Years Orchard Food Forest Grown From Seeds

It is an orchard and bamboo paradise! I was visiting my friend in Childers QLD which is 30kms away from our place and took the chance to make a video of her beautiful place. I hope to visit her in Spring or Summer again when the trees are flowering and have fruits. Enjoy the tour! Maria also showed me how to marcot fruit trees. I will add this video soon!

Rosella Jam Recipe Quick And Delicious

Rosella is an amazing plant. You can eat the leaves, the calyx are great for tea, jam or to add into dishes. After trying few different recipes how to do Rosella Jam, I have found my own way to make it simple, quick, easy and delicious. There is no need to cook the seedpods to add some pectin into your jam. The calyx got more than enough of it as well.
Ewa's Rosella Jam
Remove the seedpods from the Rosella calyx. You can cut or blend the calyx into small pieces if you like but I like my jam with some bigger chunks in it.
Take 1 1/2 cups of raw sugar, 1/2 cup of water and juice from one lemon per 4 cups of fresh Rosella calyx. Cook it on low heat until reduced to your liking :) Check the consistency on a cold plate after 15 minutes of cooking. Most of the time I'm having about 6 cups of fresh Rosellas to cook and the jam is ready to fill into the glasses about that time. 
And here the video how I do it:
Tips:
  • The best way for me to sterilize the glasses and lids is to rinse them with boiling water after cleaning them.




Spicy Curry Recipe

I have cooked this curry dish few times, always with different kind of meat like beef, kangaroo, lamb and chicken. Always delicious! I like to cook curry dishes in the cast-iron pots but you can also cook it in a slow cooker. As you can see on this photo below, you can also cook curry over the fire! :)

Spicy Curry Recipe
  • About 2tbs butter
  • 2-3 onions, diced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or 1-2tsp of ginger powder
  • 1 piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated or 2tsp of turmeric powder
  • some fresh minced chili or chili powder to taste
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 2tsp ground coriander
  • 2-3tsp paprika powder
  • About 1kg beef topside or rump steak cubed
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 (half)tsp of grated lemon or lime skin
  • 1 parsnip (optional)
  • 1-2 celery sticks (optional), diced
  • 2-3 curry leaves
  • 350-400ml can coconut milk
  • salt, pepper
  • 2-3tbs of sour cream
  • some spinach leaves (optional) 
  • fresh coriander, parsley or dill to serve fresh with the dish
Melt butter on medium heat, add onions. Cook for a couple of minutes until the onion becomes translucent and start to smell nicely. Add garlic and all spices and cook for about 4-5 minutes while stirring until the spices start to release their beautiful flavor.
Add the meat and all veggies, stir through and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in between. Add coconut milk, curry leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to very low and simmer until the meat is tender for about 2-3 hours or longer if you cook it in a slow cooker. Mix the sour cream with little bit of water and stir in just before the end of cooking time together with spinach leaves.
Serve with rice.


Compost Corner How to Build It And Why

We have three different places where we put our garden greens, kitchen scrapes, old leaves ad so on. The first place is the chicken coop where all the kitchen scraps go. The second is our worm farm which we have built from an old fridge. It works great and apart from the compost, we are also getting the worm juice. The third one is the compost corner. Very easy ti build. I have done it myself without Seb's help and it works great! Hope you like this video :) Any comments are always very welcome! xx

How To Grow And Use Rosella Hibiscus Sabdariffa

Rosella Hibiscus Sabdariffa, easy to grow, healthy and delicious :) Hope you like my video xx

and here the Rosella Jam recipe:
Rosella Jam Recipe

The Quickest And Best Banana And Lime Jam Recipe

Very easy and quick. This banana and lime jam will bring you lots of enjoyment at the breakfast table :)





Banana And Lime Jam Recipe



  • 3 whole limes, skin included, cut into tiny pieces
  • 12 middle size bananas, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups of raw sugar
  • 1 cup of water
Add water to the sugar, mix it through. Melt the sugar on low/medium heat steering in between so it does not burn on. Add the limes and bananas and simmer on low heat until ready stirring in between. You can blitz it or mash it with potato masher.
Fill into the prepared jars and close immediately. Keep in the pantry for up to 6 months.
Enjoy!

How To Sterilize Jars Quick And Easy

This is the best way to sterilize jars. I am doing it for years and never have any issues with my preserves keeping them for months. That is why it was important for me to share it with you as it will safe you lots of time.

Pumpkin Blossom Flower Fritters Two Ways

I have noticed that our pumpkin plant is giving us lots of male flowers during the summer time so I collected some for our lunch today. I can imagine that there are plenty of recipes already how to cook them, but this is how I do it.

Pumpkin Blossom Flower Fritters Quick And Easy

For about 16 pumpkin flowers you need:

Version one, nutritious, not crispy. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or as entree:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • some beer or sparkling water
Mix the eggs and baking soda with a fork until fluffy. Add some flour and beer/water little by little while whisking until the batter texture is smooth and not too runny. You can always add some more flour or beer/water until you are happy.
Heat olive oil or any other oil to your liking on a medium heat. Dip the flowers one at a time in the batter and cook in batches in the hot oil from both sides until light gold. Put on a paper towel so the excess oil can soak in. Sprinkle with some salt and enjoy while still hot with some soy sauce, aioli or sweet chili sauce.

Version two, crispy. Perfect as a side dish or for vegans:
  • 1/2 cup of wholemeal flour
  • some beer or sparkling water
Mix flour and beer/water little by little while whisking until the batter texture is smooth and not too runny. You can always add some more flour or beer/water until you are happy.

Heat olive oil or any other oil to your liking on a medium heat. Dip the flowers one at a time in the batter and cook in batches in the hot oil from both sides until light gold. Put on a paper towel so the excess oil can soak in. Sprinkle with some salt and enjoy while still hot with some soy sauce, aioli or sweet chili sauce.



Spicy Lime Pickle With Ginger And Turmeric

Our lime tree is full of limes so I made some spicy lime pickles. It turned out really good so sharing it here today. I would never think that it can be such a great addition into our Asian cooking, slow cooking, marinating and other dishes. We have also tried on a sandwich and it was great as well! 
Spicy Lime Pickle Quick And Easy
  • 16 limes cut into small equal pieces like each lime into 8 pieces
  • 2 large table spoons salt
Mix together in a glass bowl, cover with cling wrap and put into the fridge for two days. Stir 2-3 times per day.
On the third day:

Clean and sterilize the jars. I always clean them, rinsing afterwards with boiling water and drying on a clean towel. It is also good to prepare all the ingredients as follows before you start so everything goes quick and smooth:
Step 1. Grate or chop finely: 
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 5cm piece of ginger
  • 5cm piece of turmeric
  • 1 fresh chili or more depends on how you like it
Step 2. Mix together or ground together in a mortar:
  • 1tsp chili powder
  • 1tbs sweet paprika
  • 5 black pepper seeds
  • 4tsp coriander
  • 4tsp cumin
  • 3-4 allspice seeds
Step 3. The last you need is:
  • some olive oil
  • 4tbs yellow or black mustard seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 brown sugar
  • 6tbs apple cider vinegar or 4tbs white vinegar
Heat the oil in a large pot on a medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cook only until they start to pop. Add garlic mixture from step 1. and spice mixture from step 2. Cook while stirring for about 20 seconds to release the flavors. Add the limes including all the juices from the bowl. Add water, sugar, and vinegar and simmer all together until the mixture is thick and the lime skin is soft. You know that the lime skin is soft when you can cut it with a spoon easily.
Fill into jars, close immediately. Store in the pantry for up to 6 months or in a fridge after you opened the glass for up to one month. You lime pickle is ready to enjoy after about one week when the flavours developed and the bitterness disappeared. 
You can
  • eat it as it is on a sandwich or in salad
  • add to your slow cooker disches
  • add to soups or pasta souce
  • marinate meat with it
  • add to your all wok and Asian dishes
And here the video how I did it :) Hope you like it.

Easy To Grow And Collect Tea In Your Food Forest Backyard Garden Balcony

Why would you go and buy tea if it grows so easily in your backyard? All of these plants grow very easy in our subtropical climate where I live :) I'm sure all of them will grow in most of the climates especially during the summer. Hope you enjoy this video :)



Grow And Enjoy! Your Own Tea! 
Are you adventurous enough to drink more than just one sort of tea? If so, why don't you grow your own herbal teas yet? It is healthy, delicious and it grows just at the reach of your hand! The collection in this photo are only few of the wide range you can grow in our beautiful climate of the Fraser Coast.
Growing herbs and plants for tea is a permanent component of our food forest and not only a part of our sustainable living choices but also lots of fun having such a diversity in the cupboard. And look at the colours the nature is offering to us! All of them are either perennials or self-seeding plants and are all grown naturally without any chemicals. They need to be planted once and then the only work I have from then is the harvest. They are all happy to have their own place in the food forest and just waiting to be harvested any time of the year. I take my basket, cut what I like and let it dry in a safe place like a netting bag on the patio, in our pantry or in a dehydrator depends on the weather conditions. All of the plants I grow and use for tea have multiple uses in the kitchen and we also use them fresh harvested in the every day cooking. It is definitely worth growing it for the little care they require. The names of the plants used for tea you see in the photo are:
Lemon Grass / Cymbopogan citratus
Cranberry Hibiscus / Hibiscus acetosellas
Butterfly Pea / Clitoria ternatea (the purple and the blue one, with and without lemon juice)
Rosella / Hibiscus sabdariffa
Lemon Verbena / Aloysia citrodora
Lemon Balm / Melissa officinalis
Elderberry-flower /  Sambucus
Mulberry Leaf  / Morus Nigra
All of them are so pretty that you can grow them at your front yard! The home grown herbal tea makes a beautiful gift for family and friends. It is also a great opportunity to involve kids in the "tea garden" and show them how easy and rewarding it is!
Few tips:
The best harvesting time is the morning after the dew has evaporated
Collect only healthy looking leaves or flowers
You can make tea from fresh herbs but the dried leaves and flowers give more flavor
The perfect temperature for drying herbs is 35 degrees Celsius
The tea is ready for storage when the leaves are dry and crackly

Gardening tip for beginners: The better the soil the better the plant. There are many ways to enrich the soil naturally without using chemical fertilizer. More about it in the next issue.
Yours... Ewa