Summer Snacks

Yesterday I made some snack bars from neglected cereals and nuts in the pantry. I’m the first to admit I am a serial cereal hoarderĀ – I decide one day ‘Ooh I’m going to be healthy and start eating cereal!’, but this mindset is short-lived and often the cereal is left neglected in a Tupperware container in the pantry. It was time to make use of the neglected cereals, it was their time to shine! Here’s my take on how to make them, I completely winged it so excuse the vagueness, although that’s part of the beauty of this recipe, you can use what ever you want. It’s a fantastic way to use up the ingredients taking up space in your pantry, and gives you a healthier option than snacking on chips and chocolates (that’s what I do at least!).
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Ok so here goes…

INGREDIENTS

Like I said though, this recipe will work with so many different combinations and all measurements are approximate. Try it out yourself mix it up a bit and let us know how you go. Our batch made approximately 16 bars and one cup of crumbles we used as granola in yogurt.

    • 4 cups of Cereal – you can use a mixture of different types, or just one depending on what you have in your pantry
    • 1/2 cup of chocolate buttons
    • 3 tablespoons of honey
    • a pinch of salt
    • 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts
    • 1/4 cup of peanuts
    • 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
    • 1/2 cup of raisins or sultanas

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Some of our ingredients

METHOD

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
    2. Line oven tray with baking paper (I’s say have the baking tray at least 6cms deep… ours was about the size of an A4 piece of paper)
    3. I put all the ingredients inside a mixing bowl except the honey and salt
    4. Then I got a small pot and put the honey in with the salt and heated on the stove top until runny
    5. Drizzle honey mixture on the dry mix and stir through – The honey binds the ingredients together. If you feel there isn’t enough feel free to add some more.

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    1. Pour the mixture into the backing tray and spread out evenly
    2. Get another sheet of baking paper and place over the top of the mixture. Use your hands to push down on the mixture which will make it nice and compacted and avoid them crumbling.

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The mixture compacted in baking tray

  1. Place tray in oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes for chewy bars and 25 minutes for crunchy bars
  2. Take tray out and immediately place in fridge for 10 minutes
  3. Take tray out and cut the bars into rectangles or squares using a pizza cutter
  4. Place tray back into fridge for an hour or so
  5. Remove tray from fridge and lift mixture out using the baking paper
  6. The bars should be able to snap apart along the lines you cut earlier
  7. Place in Tupperware container in fridge or pantry
  8. Any crumbles made can be used as granola to have with yogurt. Yum!

Hope you enjoyed our recipe! Do you have any low-cost healthy snack ideas? Snack bars in the supermarket can work out to be over a dollar each in some cases, this was much more cost effective and soo yummy! If you try this out please don’t hesitate to let us know how you go šŸ™‚

Little Pop xxx

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Day five: gift ideas we love

Gifts In a Jar!

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We have saved up heapsĀ of jars since starting BNN so when I came across someĀ jar related gift inspirationĀ on PinterestĀ I thought I’d share a few of my favouritesĀ šŸ™‚

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Mason Jar Pin Cushion

These are great for all craft lovers. The pin cushion on top can be any colour you fancy and thenĀ you can fill the jar with whatever you like, buttons, thread, decals… it’s completely up to yourself!

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Cake-in-a-Jar

There are so many cool cake-in-a-jar recipes in the above link. The best thing about having cake-in-a jar is it comes with it’s very own to-go container, so if you can’t quiteĀ finish it you can always put the lid on and save it for later!Ā Omnomnom šŸ˜›

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Terranium in a Jar

Well I just love terraniums, I think it’s because it allows me to bring a little bit of (low maintenance) nature inside with me. It’s like having your very own pint sized ecosystem to look at whenever you want. They are also really cool to have on your desk (did someone sayĀ work kris-kringle idea?!). I think you’ll find terraniumsĀ make good gift as they are so low maintenance, very nice to look at and will suit most home decor themes.

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Glow in the Dark Firefly Jars

These look gorgeous and they are super easy to do, you literally just dot glow in the dark paint on the insides of the jars and leave to dry! Some other tutorials sugest using the inside of a glowstick, but it’s up to you which method you prefer. I can imagine them looking nice in the garden lining a pathway, or as a cute nightlight for childrens rooms… what do you think?

Little Pop xx

Day one: gifts ideas we love

I thought about writing one post with all my non-gift gift ideas, but I think instead I’m going to spread them out and include one on each post leading up to Christmas.

First up: home made Jams

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I’m a huge fan of jams, if you haven’t yet ventured into jam making before it might take you one or two goes to nail it but I’ve always found it’s good to have the ‘test’ jams as it gives me an excuse to keep them as a little gift to myself šŸ™‚

Last year I made a tomato and chilli jam which I gave to my Dad, I got great feedback on this as it tasted so good.

When preserved properly jamsĀ  are able to be kept for around 6 monthes which really gave him time to enjoy it and not have to rush through trying and finish it before it goes bad.

The best part of this though was that it was a very cost effective gift. I purchased my jars from a local op-shop and they were going for something like 50c a jar (it’s best of you can get the jars that have the little pop up seal on the lid so then you know when it’s airtight. An even better way of accumulating jars is to save your old ones to use (unfortunately we were not so forward thinking at the time).

The best way to tell if your jam is of the right consistancy is to place a plate in the freezer before you start cooking the jam and periodically put a slither of jam on this leave it for 30 seconds or so and then give it a little poke. If it’s still runny then you know it isn’t quite ready, when it’s sort of sticky (normal jam consistancy) then congratulations it’s time to start canning! This may take a bit of time so have a patient mindset going into this.

Also if your going to be making jams try and get your hands on some Jamsetta, you can normally find this in theĀ  supermarket around where the gelatine is kept. It helps make the process a lot faster and easier for us ammeter jam makers šŸ˜‰

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When sterilizing your cans place them in a pot of water and bring it to the boil, periodically check to see if the lids have popped in. Once they have it’s time to put them in the fridge and allow the jam to set overnight before labelling. Then all that’s left is to kick your feet up and wait for Christmas day to arrive šŸ™‚

I hope this has given some inspiration.

If you want some extra tips taste.com has a nice little list.

Also Google as always has many ideas and recipes for jam recipes.

If you’ve got a good jam recipe or story we’d love to hear it!

Little Pop xx

Ways we have been filling our free time now that we’re not shopping

Since we are not buying new thinga anymore we have a lot more time on our hands. We thought it was about time to share some of our latest projects and hobbies we have developed recently.

Big Pop has been cooking up a storm! She has made some delicious meals for her and little pop to freeze and have for dinner šŸ™‚
She has made Chow Mien, yummy slow cooked stews, soups and even cheesecake! All made with lovely local ingredients. Hopefully when our veggie garden is ready to be harvested we can include some of our own produce in the food!

She also made a football themed quilt out of old family scarves we have collected over the years. This was given to some of the family’s most devoted footy supporters for cold nights watching the Saints play… (Hopefully it will also give them some much needed luck for the rest of the season!)

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Little Pop has been fairly busy with exams but has found time to start finishing off some old crafting projects she started such as cross stitch, quilts, scarves… (This list could go on forever!)

Little pop also found an old wooden pallet on hard rubbish and salvaged it for what is so far an unknown project. We’re thinking it would make a nice lettuce planter… Maybe something like this…

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We have both been reading vigorously (which isn’t something new) but are starting to run out of matierial so are beginning to wonder whether it is better to use the kindle to download ebooks or just buy secondhand hard copies of the books we want.

There are many recycling related Facebook pages we have both been following such as:

Hard Rubbish Melbourne – A group for those who aren’t afraid of a good scavenge, it has a list in the files
Section outlining all the hard rubbish collection dates for each council area.

Recycle in Eastern Suburbs Melbourne – a more localised version of the above group.

Frugally Sustainable has many great ideas for making everyday products and saving money!

And

Upcycled Vintage which is a great blog written by a woman in Adelaide who does up old furniture, she even does custom orders if you’re really interested!

Also – not a Facebook group but equally wonderful is a building demolition team who claim to salvage 98% of the buildings they pull down and then sell them to the public! http://pacedemolitions.com.au/ and http://www.salvagebazaar.com.au/ is a similar online marketplace for surplus and secondhand building matierials šŸ™‚

We’ve also had some success with our vegetable garden we planted not too long ago, but I will save that story for another time šŸ™‚