Sunday, February 17, 2013

Frugal Banana Fritters

There has been an unexpected bonus to having to learn to adapt to my new grocery budget...the rediscovery of long lost recipes from my own childhood. One of these is fritters.

Lately I have rediscovered vegetable fritters, corn fitters and now banana fritters. Just the idea of a simple, warm, soft fritter automatically evokes a feeling of comfort in me. There's only one fritter from my childhood that I am not keen to revisit and that's lambs brain fritters. Ewww. I am just not that hungry yet! Haha.

Today's banana fritters were born from the necessity to whip up something healthy, filling and loved by all 3 kids without eggs, sugar or anything fancy like condensed milk. I also didn't want to be turning the oven on for one thing. Thanks goodness for Pinterest!

I made little bite sized ones because I was aiming for a nibble sized fritter. I also envisioned them sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar too but the 'test run' had the kids saying they were better without..I never saw that coming!

Here's the recipe for the fritters, I adapted it from a few I found on line.

4 medium mashed bananas
10 TBLSP Flour ( I used white but it could easily be gluten free or another alternative)
3 TBLSP cold water
1 tsp baking soda

Combine wet then dry until you have a pikelet like batter.
Drop a tablespoon size dollop of batter into hot oil and shallow fry until lightly browned.

I used canola oil but I think they would have been crisper if fried them in butter, will try that next time!

May your nest be blessed,

The Mistake Cake

Turning a whoopsie into a whoopee!

Occasionally it happens to all of us I am sure, the cake the just doesn't cook the way you want it too. Thankfully all things can be made good with custard and jam :)

I made this as if it was a bread and butter pudding but instead of egg I added custard powder (my kids find it too eggy and don't like b & b pudding.)  I finely cubed and crumbled my cake (actually it was supposed to be a cinnamon loaf)  into a casserole dish then baked it in my milk mixture with a little sugar added. The sugar wouldn't be needed if your cake was sweet though. My original loaf was more bread like than cake. Once it had cooked (set) I spread the last of a jar of jam (about 3 tbsp) over the hot pudding and left it to melt /glaze while we ate dinner.

Although served as pudding tonight the left overs will make a welcome, filling breakfast in the morning. Much better than plain ol' toast and jam!

No-one need ever know it was a mistake cake (or how close to bread and butter pudding this actually is!) Full tummys, happy kids, happy me!

May your nest be blessed,

Friday, February 15, 2013

Homemade Donut/Doughnut

I have been fascinated with bread making lately having only just got the hang of it. No doubt my family will be pleased as I've turned out several heavy, scone like loaves and buns in my efforts to make bread!
Yesterday I turned another new page and made baked donuts. The round kind with a hole in the middle.
You can of course cook both the ring and the piece punched out when making the hole.
The 'holes' were dipped in melted butter and then in a little sugar and cinnamon  an instant hit! I froze a few of the rings to test how they would freeze/defrost so watch this space:)
Several things surprised me about donut making.
  1. They're cheap to make as you control the topping. No one said you must dunk in melted chocolate and serve with cream. That would be divine though!
  2. They're healthy...ish. Only 1/3 c sugar in the actual batter and when baked very little fat. Again, no one said a donut is only a donut when served with chocolate and cream!
  3. No special equipment required. I made mine using a baking tray (not a donut tin) and as I chose a dough I could roll I was able to cut out my circles using a round container and medicine cup.
I know this post would be more interesting with a mouth watering photo but I baked in the evening and the light was not the best for photos...except for the few that I froze there a none of the batch left!
I can however link you to the recipe and the authors scrummy photos!

Happy thrifty Thursday and sweet Saturday everyone!

May your nest be blessed

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bear Grylls and Pythagoras Theorem

Pythagoras is famous for proving that once you know the two sides of a right angle triangle you can work out the length of the 3rd side.
Pythagoras used fancy words like hypotenuse and mentioned squared numbers and roots a lot.
Pythagoras was indeed a very clever mathematician.

What does this all have to do with Bear Grylls and how does the theorem have any relevance to real life?

Below is a short example of how I taught my 13 year old son today. We were focusing on squared numbers (a number x by itself) and on squared roots (the number that can be multiplied by itself.)
For example 5 squared is 5x5 5x5=25 and the squared root of 25 is 5.

Scenario: You are Bear and you are in a hurry to escape the dangerous forest floor. The only suitable tree around is covered in slippery, wet moss and has no low limbs.
You need to climb this tree but don't want to risk scaling it and slipping. Thankfully you have your vine rope and a fallen tree nearby. 

The ground near the tree is covered in tree roots and is very uneven. You will need to stand 30m away from it's base. The lowest branch is 50m up the tree. You measure your fallen tree and find it is 59m long. But is is enough?
 To find out....
Square the distance from you to the tree (30m) 30sqd = 900
Square the distance from the base of the tree to the lowest branch (50m) 50sqd is 2500.
Add the 2 numbers together. 2500 +900 = 3400.
Find the square root 3400. Sq r of 3400 = 58.3
Your fallen tree is 59m, the length you need it to be is at least 58.3m so your trunk is long enough!

Pythagoras said the  2 known sides added together (3400) will be the same as the longest side squared (58.3 x 58.3) 58.3sqd  = 3398.  3398 rounded to the nearest whole number is 3400!

Personally, I am not keen on math and it's definitely not my strong point. What I do have is a strong interest in teaching my children and a strong belief that anything can be taught in a relevant and interesting way. When looking online for real life application of squared roots I found an example similar to mine but using a cat stuck up a flag pole. My son has aspergers and wasn't to fussed about the cat, making the cat/flag pole situation a bad example! Bear Grylls though is a hero and that's a different thing all together!

Total cost of this lesson: Nothing! Now that's thrifty :)

May your nest be blessed,