Me Made May

Its nearly May , which means that I will turn another year wiser and for the first year I’ve signed up to participate in Me Made May challenge created by the wonderful Zoe , head over here to check it out for yourself.

Being friends with Zoe is very inspiring and motivational to wear handmade , as I see the amazing clothes and sense of personal style that brings  with wearing handmade. I am very guilty of reaching for jeans and t-shirt almost everyday and May is where that will stop…. well not altogether but I will wear more of my own clothes.

My pledge is to  finish a project I started almost 3 years ago before I had my second child , alterations are needed as my body shape has most definitely changed.  I also have a few other handmade dresses that I’d like to alter to fit better.  One thing I always said I would do and haven’t is make clothing items for my kids, shamefully the most that ever amounted to was some winter hats. So I plan on making each child at least one item to wear.

I plan on blogging about this and documenting on my Instagram with the #MMMay18.

Watch this space or join me in challenging yourself.

Zx

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Oat Milk

For a while now I wanted to make some milk alternatives so I decided to start with oat milk. Mainly because I had oats in the cupboard. So, for the ingredients you start with

Oats

I just used standard oats from the local supermarket , but I have seen recipes using jumbo and steel cut oats, I’m not really sure if they would produce any different results.

To soak or not to soak

I then soaked my oats for 5 minutes. Some recipes call for a soak overnight and some not at all. I had seen recommendations that unless your using a high speed , powerful blender , they combine better when they have been soaked for a time. As I was using a stick blender and I am impatient I chose to soak for 5 minutes.

Water

This is a matter of personal preference I have seen standard recipes use between 750ml to 950ml. The less water the more creamier it will be. I started off with 750ml and adjusted from there and ended up with roughly 850ml , I was happy with the consistency at 750ml I wanted more in volume so added more water.

Flavouring

You can keep the oat milk as is. I tried this and it’s pleasant enough. I did decide to sweeten with a tablespoon of maple syrup. You can use dates , this is one I wanted to try but realised I didn’t have any dates . I have also seen agave ,cocoa powder or fruit. All sound delicious and can’t wait to try these.

Blend

As mentioned I used a stick blender , but of course you can use any blender you have . I think the more powerful one you have perhaps the smoother you be able to get it ;However, saying that my stick blender did a great job.

Strain

There are so many different ways to get a great strain . Muslin, nut milk bag, strainer or as I used my French press . I honestly found this to be great because I blended in the French press and then plunged, it gave a great result . I may however try Muslin / cheesecloth next time to see the difference in results.

After straining I popped in a cleaned out pasata bottle and this will keep in the fridge for then next 5 days.

I made myself a lovely coffee with the milk and it tasted great , this will become a regular part of my routine I’m sure.

I am hoping to make this a regular feature on the blog called ‘Monday Makes’ . Let me know if you have any recommendations be it food, drink or anything that helps me be less plastic.

Thanks for reading

Zx

I adapted from this recipe on The Minimalist Baker.

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Handmade Crackers

My kids are crazy for crackers, they will have them with cheese, just butter, peanut butter ….. the list goes on.  Well on this zero waste journey of ours, I haven’t been able to find anything suitable, all the crackers in the supermarkets are laden with plastic packaging.  So admittedly I have been buying store brought crackers to satisfy my rabid animals kids appetite.

 

So, my search online began and there are sooooo many recipes out there. Choices with different toppings, poppy seed, cheese, fennel.  I chose to stick with a plain cracker and adapted this recipe.  Nice simple cracker perfect for my first attempt, they were so easy I was surprised I hadn’t made them before.  Firstly, the ingredients list was the most important, I had all the necessary components in my cupboard.  There was no way I was going out, it was -3C and being by the sea it makes it feels colder I’m sure, then you throw in to the mix three kids under five with a double pram and icy roads, no way.

 

These crackers mixed up easy, although the recipe called for a food processer I did everything by hand, with my trusty wooden spoon.  You just form into a dough, roll the dough really thin, I found it quite easy at first to roll nice and thin at first but towards the end when your using the off cuts and rerolling the dough becomes tougher and harder to roll thin, I think that’s something to do with the gluten???? , I vaguely remember Paul Hollywood say something to that effect.  Cut in to your desired shape, I chose to do a variety of shapes small fluted ones, hearts and bigger rounds.  One step that you mustn’t forget is pricking several times before they go in the oven, this ensures they stay flat.

 

When these lovely crackers come out of the oven the recipe states to brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt.  I don’t have a pastry brush, but attempted so drizzle and rub with my hands, it was harder than I thought and after a few scorched fingers I thought ‘oh wouldn’t it be lovely to have some plain crackers’ safe to say they still taste nice, and will be perfect with cheese, these also got the seal of approval from my brood who were trying to pinch them whilst they were cooling on the rack.  I just popped these in a jar I had from Poundland for easy storage in the cupboard.

 

Homemade Crackers

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: About 70 crackers

 

Ingredients:

2 cups Plain flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup cold water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

coarsely ground sea salt, for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Place flour, baking powder, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt in the bowl and mix well.
  3. Add butter and combine using fingers until all incorporated.
  4. Mix in the oil.
  5. Incorperate the water slowly and mix until the dough begins to form a ball.
  6. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough as thin as possible.
  8. Cut the dough into your desired shapes with a cutter, or cut squares with a knife
  9. and arrange on a baking sheet lined
  10. Gather scraps of dough and re-roll until all dough is used.
  11. Using a toothpick, prick several holes in each cracker. (Don’t skip this step- you will not have nice, flat crackers if you don’t.)
  12. Bake 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  13. Remove from oven, brush the tops with melted butter, and immediately sprinkle with coarsely ground sea salt. (If you don’t sprinkle the salt on the melted butter right away, it won’t stick.)
  14. Remove from baking sheets and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from www.kitchenjoyblog.com

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