Author

Simone

garden, In The Garden, Veggie garden

In The Garden… There’s a lot happening!

My garden has burst into action over the past two weeks. Plants are flowering, and there is an abundance of new growth.

The zucchini has started to grow. I am very excited as I haven’t had much luck with growing zucchini. This plant is growing in my new veggie garden.

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The beetroot is flourishing.

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The strawberries are flowering. I bought them a couple of weeks ago, and they are still in their little pots. I think I better replant them soon. Some of the plants even have strawberries starting to form.

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The pea pods are expanding with juicy peas growing inside.

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The loganberry plant that I planted last year has started to flower. I can’t wait to see how they grow.

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The apricot tree has fruit already forming. I think it’s starting quite early this year.

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The peach tree is not too far behind with fruit either. Not as big as the apricots though.

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I have decided to do the In The Garden post every second Friday of the month. I was finding that every week I didn’t have a lot of new things to share. And maybe it gives you a chance to join in too.

You are more than welcome to share your garden or someone else’s. It could be the garden down the road or the park that you have in your town. You don’t have to have a veggie garden. It could be plants that are flowering or trees that are growing. It could be planted in the ground, containers or bins.

I would love to see what you have in any garden. All you need to do to join is add your link at the end of this post, and we can pop on over and have a look.

You can now join in with me via Instagram. You can just share your garden photos and tag using #_inthegarden_

Happy gardening and enjoy your weekend x

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Baking, Chocolate, Product reviews, Recipes

Rocky Road

Hey everyone!

Do you remember from yesterday in my Well Naturally post I said that I would be sharing with you today a yummy recipe? Well, along with the Well Naturally No Sugar Added chocolate family blocks that we got to taste test, there was a packet of No Sugar Added Dark Chocolate Melts.

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And there was a little leaflet with some very yummy recipes.

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What recipe should I choose? Hmmm??

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ROCKY ROAD!! Delicious chocolatey, nutty, marshmallowy rocky road!

Rocky Road
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweet treat
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 200gms Well Naturally No Sugar Added Dark Chocolate Melts
  • 45 gms marshmallows, roughly chopped
  • 50 gms dried cranberries
  • 50 gms macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Line a small square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. I used the microwave method to melt the chocolate. Melt in a microwave container and microwave for periods of 30 seconds on 50% power until it is almost melted. Make sure you stir the chocolate after each 30 seconds. Be careful not to overdo it, so remove the chocolate when it's mostly melted and stir to melt the rest.
  3. Add all of the other ingredients and stir until it's all combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and place it aside to let it set or you can place it in the fridge to set for 20 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

Place chocolate melts in a microwave safe bowl

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Melt on 50% power in 30 second bursts

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I weighed all of my ingredients:

45 gms of marshmallows

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50 gms dried cranberries

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50 gms macadamias

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All the ingredients ready to be covered in delicious dark chocolate

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Place them all in to the chocolate

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And stir until they are all covered and ready to put in the baking tin (not shown)

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All ready to eat, yummy Rocky Road

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I love using dark chocolate for making rocky road. And now having found the Well Naturally No Sugar Added Dark Chocolate melts that means I can make rocky road more often and eat loads more!  I like knowing that in some of the baking that I do there is less sugar in the ingredients. I try to reduce the sugar content in most of my recipes when I can. I think it is better for you and better for the kids.

Now I know there is another recipe that I can use these yummy Well Naturally No Sugar Added Dark Chocolate melts. My Cranberry Cashew Clusters! The melts will be perfect for these choccie treats.

What is your favourite recipe that uses chocolate melts?

Don’t forget I am giving away 2 x Well Naturally No Sugar Added Chocolate packs worth $35 each. You can head over to here to enter the competition.

Enjoy some choccie goodness!

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Chocolate, Product reviews

Well Naturally Chocolate Review And A Giveaway!

Mmmm, chocolate! I love chocolate.

Well, our whole family loves chocolate. Our cupboard always has a handful of chocolate in it somewhere.

We don’t eat too much though as don’t forget it’s better for you in moderation. So you can imagine I was very excited when I was asked to do a product talk on Well Naturally No Sugar Added chocolate. I went YAY!! Chocolate, we love and with no added sugar even better, right!

The Well Naturally No Sugar Added range is made without any added sugar. There are no artificial sweeteners or “secret sugars” like agave syrup or fruit concentrates. Instead, they use Stevia to sweeten their products. Stevia is a natural, plant-based sweetener that is around 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia has no calories and no impact on blood sugar levels.

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We received our lovely bag of goodies and couldn’t wait to get stuck into it all.

I rallied around all of my taste testers and sat them down at the table to try a piece from each block of chocolate. I was wondering how we would go eating a chocolate with no added sugar in it, but the kids were all ready to give it a go.

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So after everyone indulged, here is the verdict:

Milk Chocolate fruit and nut: everyone loved! Nice amount of fruit and nuts and a nice creamy taste.

Milk Chocolate creamy milk: the 6, 9 and 11 yr old enjoyed eating this. The 16 yr old didn’t enjoy it as much as the fruit and nut. Hubby and I weren’t too keen on it either. It was still a creamy chocolate but not a favourite.

Dark Chocolate acai: the 6 yr old didn’t like this as she doesn’t like dark chocolate as much as milk. The 9 and 11 yr old enjoyed this and said it was very nice. Hubby wasn’t too keen on it either. I loved it. I could have eaten the whole block. I love dark chocolate. It was nice and smooth. A great dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate mint crisp: I didn’t try this one as I am not much of a mint fan. Everyone else enjoyed it though and said that it was nice and minty.

Dark Chocolate rich dark: The kids didn’t like this one as much as the others. I think they like dark chocolate when it has something in it such as the bits of mint crisp! Hubby and I liked this chocolate. It was nice and smooth. There was no after-taste left in your mouth that I know some dark chocolates can leave a residue.

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After eating and trying the Well Naturally No Sugar Added Chocolate range, we were all quite surprised that it was still a great tasting chocolate. It’s nice to know that you can still enjoy a yummy chocolate snack without all of that added sugar.

Did you know that some Australians are consuming far more sugar than is necessary? It’s in the fruit juice that we have for breakfast, our pasta sauce at lunch, and sometimes in our sweet afternoon treat. Well Naturallys mission is to help consumers reduce their sugar intake, thereby increasing their overall health and wellbeing, whilst still being able to indulge in their favourite snack.

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Well Naturally products are available in Woolworths, Coles, independent grocers, health food stores and good pharmacies nationwide.

For more information, please visit www.wellnaturally.com.au

You can also check out this website: www.vitalitybrands.com/well-naturally

And just to make the chocolate even more desirable to indulge. I was given a packet of Well Naturally No Sugar Added Dark Chocolate Melts. Will there be a recipe do I hear you say?

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Why yes of course! But I will share that with you tomorrow as I have something special to tell you.

This competition has closed.

Well Naturally is generously giving two of my readers a chance to win a Well Naturally Pack of choccie goodness worth $35 each. All you need to do is answer this question:

“What Well Naturally No Sugar Added family block of chocolate would you like to indulge in and why?”

Leave your answer in the comment section below by Midnight on Wednesday 29th October 2014 for your chance to win.

Winners will be contacted by email after the closing date. This giveaway is open to Australian Residents Only.

Good luck!

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Chocolate, Product reviews

Giveaway coming soon!

I just wanted to let you all know that there will be a yummy chocolate giveaway featuring on my blog very soon. I have received some chocolate from Well Naturally to do a product review, and we are currently taste testing every packet! There will be a recipe as well which includes their lovely dark chocolate melts. I have two Well Naturally packs worth $35 each to giveaway! (Australian residents only). So make sure you keep a look out next week. Here’s a little sneak peek…

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Baking, Breakfast, Kids, Recipes

French Toast Bites

I think these French Toast Bites have to be one of my favourite breakfasts at the moment. They are simple to make and just use a few ingredients. I used a loaf of home-made bread that I had baked the day before. I cut it into nice thick slices and then into bite size pieces. You cover them in an egg and milk mix then brown in a frying pan. Once cooked they get covered in a sugar and cinnamon mix. The first two bites didn’t make it to the plate as I had to test them!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
French Toast Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • A loaf of bread ( I used my day old home-made bread. I cut about 4 thick slices then cut them into bite size pieces)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup of milk
  • 1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
  • Cinnamon and sugar mix
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup sugar
Instructions
  1. Slice your bread into 1 - 1.5 inch slices. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and ¼ cup of milk until combined. The mixture should be of a thick consistency. Pour in a shallow dish or plate, whichever is easiest for you.
  3. On another plate, mix together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
  4. Soak the bread slices in the mixture for about 2 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a frying pan. Place however many slices of bread that fit the pan and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Melt more butter in skillet pan for the next batch, if needed.
  5. Once each French bite is cooked, you can then transfer to the sugar mix and coat until covered. Then place onto a serving plate.
  6. Serve immediately with butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, and/or fruit.
Notes
This recipe was adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

The kids had maple syrup and icing sugar on theirs while I added some fruit to mine. After everyone had finished breakfast, there were a few left, so I just left them out on a plate and every time we went by the plate one of us grabbed another one. They were very nice just on their own without any toppings.

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I am going to be making these again soon, and I will take some more photos to show you how easy they are to prepare. I was short of photos for this yummy recipe as the school holidays was full of sleep ins and late breakfasts. The kids were very hungry the day these were made, and they asked “do you have to take photos, we are hungry!”

Happy baking!

What is your favourite breakfast at the moment?

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garden, In The Garden, Veggie garden

In The Garden… A New Veggie Patch

I have a new veggie patch! I wanted to find another area in our backyard to grow some more veggies. When we first moved into our house, we had set up a little garden down a side area. It did work for a while, but the plants weren’t getting enough sun. They needed to be high up to reach the suns rays. We let it go and stopped planting anything around the side and ended up getting three wooden crates. They are placed in the middle of the backyard and do well. But I needed more space. So I asked hubby could we try and get a garden bed for around the side. We found one at Bunnings that was a good shape and was tall enough for the sun to shine those important rays for the veggies to grow.

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I bought the net covering separately. It keeps out nasty bugs and also provides protection from the heat of the sun. It still allows the plants to get sunshine but lessens the harshness.

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This good little bug was hanging around the outside of the net.

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The fruit trees are covered in blossoms.

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The wild strawberries have started flowering.

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I also added a nice three-piece outdoor setting around the side so I can hide from the kids. No, only joking! I wanted to pretty up the area and make it more usable. It is a lovely shaded spot in the afternoon, and it would be a perfect place to sit in the summer.

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Every second Friday I would like to share with you an In The Garden post. You can join in too, and you are more than welcome to share your garden or someone else’s. It could be the garden down the road or the park that you have in your town. You don’t have to have a veggie garden. It could be plants that are flowering or trees that are growing. It could be planted in the ground, containers or bins.

I would love to see what you have in any garden. All you need to do to join is add your link at the end of this post, and we can pop on over and have a look.

You can now join in with me via Instagram. You can just share your garden photos and tag using #_inthegarden_

Happy gardening and enjoy your weekend x

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Breakfast, Kids, Recipes

Pancakes

My kids love pancakes. If they could, they would have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A while ago when it was Pancake Tuesday, I made pancakes for dinner, and we had all the trimmings. The kids thought that was ace and have since requested when can we have that again!

I am always on the look out for a yummy pancake recipe. I have tried a few and have even tried putting together my own recipe. I know when the pancakes haven’t turned out as the kids will tell me that they weren’t that good, or they were better than the last pancakes I made. They are very good at telling me yay or nay. I have my own taste testers!

I came upon this recipe while looking on Pinterest and decided to give this one a go. Well, the pancakes turned out great. They were fluffy and soft. They rose quite well and tasted really good. We like our pancakes fluffy and to have a bit of height. The kids said that these were the best pancakes that I have made so far.

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4.0 from 1 reviews
Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl and mix well to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and milk together with a whisk. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix until combined but do not overmix.
  3. Then slowly pour in the melted butter and gently mix in.
  4. The batter should still have lumps.
  5. Heat a pan over medium-low heat and add ⅓ cup batter. Cook pancake 2-3 minutes on first side, until edges look slightly dry and bubbles begin to form on top. Flip the pancake and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Serve with maple syrup, some fresh fruit or whatever you fancy!
Notes
This recipe was adapted from Love Grows Wild

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Do you have a favourite pancake recipe that you use? 

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