Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Three Tick Saturday

Today has featured Ikea, an exciting supermarket trip, and baking. I ask you, what more can one hope for?

I'm sure that you're just as excited as I am about these mundane events small adventures in my day, and so I thought I would take us through each in turn. There is a recipe at the end, I promise!

Ikea

I love Ikea. I know it has mass-produced, neutral, and at times bland products. But the displays, the mini rooms and houses, the clever storage options, and the many, many possibilities for re-arranging and re-organising in your own home make it one of my favourite stores to visit.

Mr Bite does not feel entirely the same way. I am thus grateful that we got a visit in this morning, en route to other errands.

It wasn't a big trip. I wanted new bowls...


And some more glass storage jars (which, when empty, are very hard to photograph!)...


I also wanted to look at options for shelves or racks for our kitchen, on which to place said glass jars and/or spice jars. Our pantry is just not big enough.

I have gathered ideas and now need to come up with some specifics, before I make the associated purchases. I foresee some fun ahead with this task!

Supermarket excitement

In truth, supermarket visits are almost always a little exciting (to me at any rate). This one was particularly so, because we visited a store we rarely go to. It's a Super Progressive IGA, instead of the Coles or Woolworths that we usually frequent, and it stocks a lot of products that Coles and Woolworths don't.

For example, I found my favourite Ryvita variety...




And something that I have never before seen in Australia...


I know it is possible in theory to make pumpkin pie or pumpkin desserts with proper, steamed and mashed pumpkin. The thing is, though, that I never do. I am thus very, very excited about this tin.

We also managed to buy quite a lot of other semi-rare (to us) products, which resulted in our final bill being twice what it usually is. I've now decided that we'll have to ration these sorts of supermarket trips to a few times a year.

Baking

It probably goes without saying that this is always (or almost always) fun. I was particularly impressed with today's product though, because it seemed rather too good to be true. One of the recipes I copied down when at my parent's was an apricot and sultana loaf from Rosemary Stanton's Healthy Cooking cookbook.

It has no added fat, no added sugar, and is a loaf rather than 'true' bread (it's not yeasted). It seemed too simple to be possible, but it actually worked incredibly well.


Other than the fruit, the ingredients are self-raising wholemeal flour, baking soda, and soy milk:

Apricot and sultana loaf
Adapted from Rosemary Stanton's Healthy Cooking
Makes 1 loaf tin, 10 - 20 slices (10 large, 20 small)

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 3/4 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 1 3/4 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Instructions:
  1. Soak the dried fruit in the soy milk for approximately 1 hour.
  2. When the fruit has soaked sufficiently, preheat the oven to 180'C and grease or line a loaf tin.
  3. Combine the fruit / soy milk mixture with the flour and baking soda; stir to combine.
  4. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Wait until cool before slicing.




The loaf is dense without being too filling, and just sweet enough from the dried fruit. The fruit also keeps the centre moist, which I was concerned about given the lack of oil or oil substitute. I think I shall be making it again, and probably with different dried fruit ingredients too.

For a small / half slice


Do you share my enjoyment of Ikea, supermarkets, or fruit loaf? Or have you had an enjoyable Saturday yourself?

32 comments:

  1. I'm not used to seeing "Energy in kJ"... we use kCal over here. And i am very excited for your pumpkin find... there are SO many good things you can do with it!

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  2. I love the way packaging is different in different countries, visions of marketeers saying no that ryvita pack is too English or too Australian, we'll have to change it.... I haven't been to Ikea for a while, but I always buy too many kitchen things when I do go, so it's safer to stay away. And your loaf looks like something I should be baking with its lack of oil... I just pulled a batch of brioche out of the oven, special request from my nephew, and the butter content is scary... apricot and sultanas are B's favourite dried fruits so I am going to give your recipe a go this week :D

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  3. I go hot and cold on ikea - some days I love it and other days I hate it - last time I was there it was with Sylvia and let me tell you it makes it hard to drag a kid through all the temptation.

    I am both excited and saddened by seeing pumpkin puree in the shops here - it is so easy to mash up some pumpkin but I get comments about my pumpkin baking saying it sounds different than in a tin that I keep meaning to try and tin just for research

    Baking is just all excitment esp when it is dried apricots and simplicity - that loaf sounds amazing and will go on my bookmarks if I ever get them sorted

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  4. Yum, that loaf looks wonderful. The perfect snack. Loving the load up fruit in there- yummo.
    Local IGA's can be wonderful too. I love it when you find a local one that mostly stocks local produce- saying that doesn't happen that often. Those ryvitas sound good!

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  5. If I was crass, I'd say that I just piddled a little with excitement. But I'm not, so I won't. WHERE OH WHERE DID YOU FIND THE PUMPKIN?!?! I've only ever found it on the USA Foods website, where it's far too expensive to justify!

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  6. I've still never been to Ikea! Congrats on the pumpkin find.. that's huge!

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  7. Australia actually uses both, most of the time, but I think kJ wins out when only one is stated (as per the program I used for the above!). I can't wait to actually use the pumpkin!

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  8. It makes me smile too, especially when the product inside the packaging is essentially the same :)

    I hope you like the loaf if you try it! It is very easy.

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  9. Ooh, with a child I imagine it would be a nightmare. I have enough trouble getting myself out of the store without excessive playing / purchasing!

    Perhaps I can justify my pumpkin tin in the name of research? :P I do wish I was more organised in cooking and mashing pumpkin the proper way, but I so rarely do.

    Your bookmarks sound a bit like mine - completely disorganised - but I hope you enjoy this if you do get to it. I'm still planning to try the fruit loaf you posted about during the week too.

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  10. The loaf is definitely a high percentage fruit :) I am sometimes amazed at how much is available in the smaller IGAs - we have surprisingly few close to us (by close I mean walking distance, rather than not close at all) so I visit them only sometimes. I should make more of an effort though I think.

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  11. When it's in the name of excitement (and pumpkin excitement at that) I would forgive any crassness :D I'm glad you share my joy!

    It was in the 'foreign' foods section at a Progressive Supa IGA, which equates to a very, very large one. It was still quite expensive - I just checked the USA website and it's actually the same price! - but no postage and too hard to resist when it was right in front of me :P

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  12. Thanks :) And I'm amazed at your Ikea state of affairs! I wonder what you'll think of it if you do ever go? I grew up loving it the child-friendly aspects (a play room, lots of interactive displays and toys) so am perhaps conditioned to do so as an adult too.

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  13. I LOVE Ikea. I don't make it there very often but I do love the place :) When it's empty-ish anyway first thing on a weekday morning!

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  14. I wouldn't be able to resist either. Somehow I doubt any of Canberra's tiny IGAs will help me out with this! :(

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  15. Alexis @ hummusapienOctober 3, 2011 at 3:22 AM

    I've never heard of sultanas! But I LOOOOVE your pumpking picture :) I'm currently obsessed with pumpking protein smoothies.

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  16. I love IKEA too, but I'm always relieved to get out of there after a visit - my head spins if in there for too long!

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  17. Yes, it is improved by fewer people! Sadly I'm usually there with the crowds, but going on grand final day helped last weekend :)

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  18. I think sultanas are raisins in America...one of those oddities of cross-country food differences!

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  19. Hehehe, it is a bit like that.

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  20. I had a very enjoyable Saturday which involved doing very little (well I did do some gardening in my dress) then going to a cocktail party!

    I've never been to IKEA. I know, I must be the last person left on the planet. I'm sure it will be a wonderful experience when I do get there though.

    I can't say I"m familiar with canned pumpkin but I do share your love of supermarkets which offer something a bit different. The IGAs often do because I think the local owner picks what they stock so they can stock things that suit the area. My Aunt lives in a very Italian area in Sydney and her IGA has the best Italian deli you can imagine.

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  21. Gardening in your dress - that line made me smile :)

    I think you're right about IGAs. I only wish I'd caught on sooner! I'm going to have to explore all those I've not yet been to, in case there's some magical product I've been missing out on!

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  22. Ah! This may actually help get me over my aversion to doing it! Wonderful suggestion - you're being most helpful today :)

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  23. USA Foods... I know it well ;) It's where I get my vegan white chocolate and dark chocolate peanut butters :D

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  24. I have seen tinned pumpkin in david jones in Melbourne if you are visiting Hannah. There is also an American food shop in Melbourne but I have never been there

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  25. I find it much easier to mash pumpkin if I cook it in the microwave (if you have one) - you don't even need any water to do this because there is so much water in pumpkin

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