Orange Liqueur

I love Cointreau, unfortunately it has got very expensive so I really can’t afford that little treat! I have now found a recipe and have made my own orange liqueur. A very simple recipe that uses a supermarket vodka, orange zest, sugar and water. I worked out it costs half the price of the original.

I saved the oranges for marmalade (or you could juice them)

It only takes a few days to make but you are advised to leave it to mature for a few weeks. (if you can) 🙂

Garden Forage Soup

A good idea for using up bits and pieces and leftovers is soup. If something has gone a bit ugly or shriveled in your fridge, use them in Soup.  I sometimes have a little forage in the garden out of season too because you do occasionally find something to add to your soup out there too!

I had the end of a bag of potatoes, a bit of rubbery broccoli and a sad leek in the fridge. I when outside and gathered some thyme, some baby leaves of spinach that was tucked away and some bitter cress that had taken over one of my herb pots.

garden-forage-1

This is what bitter cress looks like close up, it comes up like a weed and it tastes like cress!

garden-forage-2

My very sad leek needed some layers peeled off but it was fine.

garden-forage-3

Don’t just throw away this end that you cut off….

garden-forage-4

…peel and trim a little and you get this, chop it up with the rest!

garden-forage-5

I just use half an organic stock cube to help the flavor, these ones are good, they are not too salty.

garden-forage-6

All in the pan with some seasoning to cook for twenty or so minutes.

garden-forage-7

Whiz up in a blender and serve! Very cheap, yummy and nutritious 🙂

garden-forage-8

Peppers

Here’s a long awaited update from the green house.

These are red sweet peppers from bought seed.  I don’t want to speak too soon but I think they are doing alright.

peppers 1

These are chilli peppers I got free from a magazine. ‘Demon Red’ There were only five seeds and I have three healthy plants from them. By the sound of their name, they are gonna be hot!

peppers 2

These are ‘Scotch Bonnet’ chillies, from my own saved seed. They are looking good. If you look carefully you can see little buds forming on the top of the plants 🙂

peppers 3

These are common red chillies, medium heat, from my own saved seed. I dried some of these before and they keep well.

peppers 4

Can’t wait until they start turning red. I must look after them carefully now so as not to loose the fruit!:-)

Banana Pancakes

Well there’s been a lot happening at Simple Life HQ, so much so it has kept me away from you.

We’ve had some hot weather the last week or so here and though I love bananas I can’t eat them fast enough. When it’s hot you need some recipes using the ones which have become very ripe! I generally google around for ideas and then make something completely different or inspired be what I’ve seen.

So banana pancakes! I just used the basic batter recipe that I use for just about everything 2 oz flour (I like to use gram flour) 2 eggs and as much milk I need to get it to the consistency I want.  (recipe for two people) and then just added half a ripe banana mashed up.

Then I sliced the rest of the banana up and layered them with the pancakes, yogurt and runny honey.

Yum!

Pancakes 1 Pancakes 2
It was delicious.

Using gram flour makes it very light and I use sheep’s yogurt which is very light too and all very good for you 🙂

Preserving furniture

We had a brief few days of sunshine recently so I decided I start painting the garden furniture, as you can see, this is long over due!

Furniture 1
I think the pink works 🙂
Furniture 2
This chair was here when we moved in 11 years ago.Furniture 3
It looks great now!
Furniture 5
I also started painting the shed, I mended the windows and everything (I had to show the close up for that) 🙂
Furniture 4
Now I’ve just got to wait for another spell of good weather!