Monday, January 11, 2010

Homemade dishwasher powder (no nasties)

The other night, we ran out of dishwasher tablets. Eeep! I really didn't want to make a special shopping trip for them because I knew I'd end up buying other things, even if only something my three-year-old wanted.

So I did a web search and looked in my pantry and worked with what I had. I mixed together:

1 tbsp citric acid (I originally started keeping this in my pantry when I did the FAILSAFE diet, but as someone without a citrus tree in my backyard, it sure comes in handy)
1 tbsp iodised cooking salt
1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda

I used about half a tablespoon of that mix in the dishwasher. I've used it for three nights and the dishes are CLEAN (and not salty). I use vinegar in the rinse aid compartment, always have done.

I don't think I'd mix up a big quantity of this, as it's already starting to clump in the container. Nor do I think I'd use it every night - most reviews of homemade dishwasher powder I've seen claim it works for a while and then a cloudy residue forms on the dishes. But I might start alternating it with the expensive eco-friendlier tablets I normally use, and it's DEFINITELY good stuff to have on hand in a pinch. Otherwise I'd have had to hand-wash the dishes until I got to the shops. Shock, horror! (Seriously, I hate doing dishes.)

Vintage Ad #599: Surf, The Dishwashing Sensation!

Photo licenced under Creative Commons, taken by jbcurio

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Carrot, orange and date loaf (Thermomix)

From the original recipe here. I tried this at a Jamaica Blue cafe the other week and it was delicious, so I came home, searched for the recipe and tried it in the Thermomix. Then tweaked it a little.

Carrot, orange and date loaf


100g wholemeal spelt flour
180g plain (all-purpose) flour
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120g raw sugar
4 eggs
1 orange
70g canola oil
130g plain unsweetened yogurt (mine was home-made in the Thermomix)
1tsp ground cinnamon
280g carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks (that was 4 carrots for me)
100g dates


1. Preheat oven to 180C (170C fan-forced) and lightly grease a loaf tin.
2. Grate carrots for 5 seconds on speed 5. Set aside.
3. Chop dates for 5 seconds on speed 7. Add to carrot.
4. Peel orange and grate the peel (minus pith if possible!) for 8 seconds on speed 7. Add to carrot and dates.
5. Quarter the orange, removing remaining pith. Juice for 20 seconds on speed 8. Pour into a cup.
6. Add remaining ingredients and orange juice to TMX bowl, mix for 20 seconds on speed 5.
7. Add carrots, dates and orange zest. Mix for 20 seconds in REVERSE on speed 4.
8. Pour into prepared tin and bake for about 45-60 minutes until cooked through. It will still appear a little moist on the skewer, I tend to listen to it, if you can hear it bubbling it's not finished yet. Cool for 10 minutes in tin before turning out onto a wire rack.

Tip: Don't worry about cleaning the Thermomix bowl out in between steps, scrape it down as much as you can and leave it at that - it's all going in together.

Friday, January 1, 2010

12 challenges in 2010

Carolyn over at My Favourite came up with this one. January's challenge is something for myself. We're moving in a month, so this WILL be a challenge as the sewing room is kind of buried right now. BUT I really need some new pyjama pants so I'll give it a go early in the month before I pack my stash away.

On a totally unrelated note, last month I bought a Thermomix. I love, love, LOVE it, and hopefully I will post some recipes I've converted for it, soon.

The colour blue - a themed post

Why not? Emma over at My House Smells Like Vanilla came up with this (the "Joyous Blogger" refers to the homebirth site/forum Joyous Birth. The colour blue ...

(I know there's a typo in the button! It should read Jan '10. ;))

So I present, five random things that 'the colour blue' brings to mind.

1. The ocean. I live in Perth, we have gorgeous beaches lapped at by the Indian Ocean. Despite that, I'm really not a beach kind of person. Too sandy, too much sunburn for my weak British skin. It sure does *look* beautiful, though.

2. The song 'Tangled Up in Blue', which is a Bob Dylan song, but is covered by Aussie band The Whitlams on one of their albums. The Whitlams are my favourite band, and I love their version. My partner's a music buff and laughs at me because I'll know the cover versions of songs and not the original (sometimes not even realise they're covers!)

3. Feeling blue. Hmm, doing a bit too much of that lately.

4. Cookie Monster. Told you it was a random list.

5. Blueberries, which of course, aren't really blue. I always thought they should be called purpleberries. Yum. Now I'm thinking I should have bought the punnet of blueberries I decided against at the markets today.