Yum, yum, finger buns!

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When I was a kid, one of my favourite things to buy from the school canteen (or the “tuckie” as we used to call it) was a sticky, sweet, pink-iced finger bun. Back then, they were about 20 cents, which is a lot of money when you are six!

We have recently discovered one of those old-school, no-frills bakeries, selling all the treats that remind me of my childhood:- meringues, custard tarts, vanilla slices and….fingerbuns! At $1.80 each, the cost adds up when buying 3 at a time, so I thought I would give them a go myself.

I found this recipe in my daughter’s Frankie magazine, and made a couple of changes. They are pretty simple to make. The trickiest part is the kneading, which is both soothing and a workout! I’m glad I got a couple of photos, as they did not last long.

Ingredients

For the dough

150ml whole milk

2 1/3 cups plain flour

2 tbsp caster sugar

3/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp dried yeast

1 tsp bread improver (heaped)

2 tbsp soft butter

1 egg, lightly beaten

For the icing

2 cups icing sugar, sifted

2 tbsp milk

Tiny drop of pink food colouring

Method

Heat the milk in the microwave until lukewarm (about 30 secs)

Stir together flour, caster sugar, salt, yeast and bread improver in a large bowl. Add the warmed milk, butter and egg, and stir to make a soft, sticky dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is springy and elastic. Place into a clean, lightly greased large bowl, and cover with a clean tea-towel. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This takes about an hour.

Turn the oven to 200 degrees celcius and line a tray with baking paper.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a long, fat cigar shape. Put the shaped rolls on the prepared tray, leaving about two finger spaces between them. Cover loosely with the clean tea towel and let rise for another 15 minutes, then bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove to a rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, add the milk and food colouring gradually to the icing sugar, until it forms a thick, smooth, glossy paste. Spread a generous amount on each bun. At this point, you can also sprinkle the buns with desiccated coconut or 100s and 1000s. Leave to set. (You may need to stand guard and swat away little fingers, as I did)

Makes 12 finger buns.

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Bits and Pieces

chives

My mum divided her chives up and sent me home with a nice clump.

These will be lovely stirred through mashed potato.

choc chip biscuits

Choc chip biscuits making the house smell yummy for when my kids get home from school. I used this recipe.

eggshells

Egg shells sprinkled around my seedlings to keep those pesky snails away.

It’s the gardening equivalent of broken glass on the top of a brick wall to keep intruders out.

oranges

Oranges were on special this week, which is great as I’m trying to keep everyone’s Vitamin C intake up.orange bag

And I used the bag from the oranges as a scourer for the porridge pot.

Works a treat.

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Finally we have sunshine, so I’ve been washing anything that’s not tied down.

sewing basket

I need to sew these pretty flowers on to my daughters ballet costume.

Lucky I have a huge selection of cotton!

teapot flower

A few holes drilled into the bottom of  an old teapot have saved it from becoming landfill. Carmella, who writes the blog Assortment, has been talking about making do with what you have. Her words are always inspiring.

Have a lovely weekend. xx

Avoiding Food Waste

brownie

Did you know that the average New South Wales household throws away $1036 worth of edible food each year? (abc.net.au) That is like taking $20 out of your purse each week and throwing it in the bin.

I hate wasting food and try my best to avoid it, but every so often I end up with a container of something dodgy lurking in the back of the fridge that needs to be thrown away. Or a smell from the food cupboard that turns out to be a wet, mushy, very old potato. Bleugh!

These are some of the ways I minimise food waste:-

  • keep leftovers visible by using see through containers
  • have a designated spot in the fridge for leftovers
  • keep the fridge organised so that food doesn’t get ‘lost’
  • have a meal plan so I don’t buy more than I need
  • use the freezer. Even if it is a single portion of food, or I think I may be using something in the next few days, freezing food ensures that it won’t go off if I forget about it or change my mind.

bananabreadSome of the ways I avoided wasting food last week:-

  • made ice blocks using coke that had gone flat.
  • baked a banana bread (in the picture above) using bananas that had gone brown. I put my brown bananas in the freezer and save them for baking.
  • I bought two bags of onions because they were $1 kilo. I chopped them up using the blender, then spooned them into ziplock bags (1 onion per bag) and put them in the freezer so that they will keep for a long time.
  • We had a leftovers for dinner on Sunday night (see below). I set it out like a buffet, and told the kids they could choose what they wanted. They thought that this was the best dinner ever!
    buffetDo you have any tips for avoiding food wastage?

What’s for dinner?…..ask the menu board!

Are you the type of person who plans your meals a month in advance? Or do you find yourself at five o’clock standing in the kitchen wondering what on earth you can put together for dinner?   I tend to have phases of extreme organisation, which are then followed by weeks of unplanned mayhem. I think my problem so far has been the lack of an easy, simple meal-planning system. WELL…..until now, that is!

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This menu board has been an absolute sanity-saver for me. It took me about an hour to put together, and has saved me many hours since then. I used a cork board which I happened to have already mounted behind the kitchen door, and covered it with four sheets of pretty scrapbooking paper.

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The laminated menu cards sit in their little box (a recycled couscous carton) until it is their turn to be displayed on the board.

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Wooden pegs hot-glued onto the side of the corkboard hold the cards perfectly.

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On the back of each card, I have listed the ingredients needed for each meal, which makes writing my shopping list a breeze.

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As I shop weekly, this layout suits me perfectly. However, you could vary the number of pegs according to how far ahead you wish to plan.

The cards are an easy way of keeping all my regular meal ideas in the one place. As I remember past favourites, or discover new ones, I just make up a new card. They are also a good way of getting the family involved in planning the dinners for the week.

Do you use a meal planner? Or do you decide on the run? What is your family’s favourite dinner? My kids always request burritos!!