simple cook

Fast and easy home bread cooked in slow cooker

We eat bread, 1-2 breads weekly. The price for a good bread in Brussels is around 2 euro each, so more than 100 euro every year (without to calculate time to go and buy).
So, on my way to reduce the garbage and the money spend and to increase the quality of our health, I added the bread homemade. I tried several recipes, and this is
faaar way the simplest (not the tastiest but we want healthy and fast, so common) .

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Ingredients for a bread on slow cooker:

 

1 cup of water
2,5 cups of wheat flour (simple one, not self-raise, I buy from a local farm as all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon of yeast (fresh one is ok, but the dry one is ok too)
1 teaspoon of salt
several spoons of wheat bran (3-4 spoons I use, more are going to have a too dark color and to be refused by my family 😀 )
Everything at the kitchen temperature.
In a recipient I mixed well the water, salt and yeast, with a spoon, until is dissolved (20-30seconds). Add the flour and the wheat bran and mix with the spoon for 2-3 minutes, until everything seems to be well mixed.
If is still a little liquid (the dough should stay well fixed on the recipient and difficult to mix with the spoon) , add 4-5 spoons of flour and mix 1-2 minutes more.
Put in a warm place for minimum 30 minutes but maximum 1 hour, covered.
After an hour set the slowcooker to HIGH temperature for 2hours, and line the slowcooker with cooking (parchment) paper inside (mandatory, over wise I cannot got out the bread outside :D, the paper should cover the walls too ) and add inside the dough and bring the paper from the walls closer to the bread.
Put the lead and wait for 2 hours- the bread is cooking slowly, grow as the yeast activate, expand and cover all the back of the slowcooker, brown on the back but not on the top.

For diversity:
-I replaced 2 spoons of water with 2 spoons of oil
-add dry herbs

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small remarks:
-is not crisped up the crust, and the color is pale.
-is not high
-is not easy to cut
but is so tasty and easy to do (no knead, no hands dirty, no table to wash, no flour everywhere, just put water in the recipient until next day) and best fresh bread sugar free can find with 5 minutes effort. Think I just need more minutes to dress up to go to buy a bread 😀 😀 😀

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compost

Why to do compost

I am happy to end the forth year of composting on the balcony. No worms added by me (but the nature brought 2 types), so only the summer Belgium warm and humidity are enough to transform my waste in soil and food.

 

If is possible ot the homeopathic level as I do, it is possible to do it on the high size. So they do it: in Costa Rica, 17 years ago, 12,000 tons of orange peels where thrown away where was a forest cut.  The result is breathtaking: orange is the new green. Thanks to the compost generated, without the help of any human, there is a new forest there. Princeton university wrote a wonderful article on it and of course I cannot miss it.

 

And me that I avoid to put the orange peels in my compost scared by the change of the acidity… I will add now, not in big quantities as we are consuming, and I will cut first in small pieces.

 

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Think twice before by another cloth

Think twice before by another cloth

 

My clothes are limited now. I was not like this all my life, you know,  but since I start to lose too much time in the morning to answer to the question “What To Dress Today”, I changed my habits. I have one jeans and a second will come only when the first is too broken, I have 5 t shirts and next will come only one is leaving because is too used etc. Now I can dress in 3 minutes in the morning  because I wash everything in the weekend and I have it clean and dry and ready.

There is another reason to ask you to think about this: all the extra clothes are worked by very poor paid people. Just answer to the next questions:
Do I need a cheap cloth just for stay there?
Do I need some polluting because I bought it compulsive?

I am really affected to read news like this: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/zara-istanbul-unpaid-workers-inditex-bravo-clothing-tags-notes-a8037256.html
where workers are not paid (and their salaries are just the minimum wage salary).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DIY – makeup cleansing cotton pads

I try to make as many reusable products as I can. I was just impressed to find the idea to replace the daily consumption of cotton round pads with  reusable alternative in fabric.

I know the cotton rounds have many uses (makeup removal, applying or alcohol to the skin, nail polish removal, applying cream, cleaning little noses or ears, etc) but I use now only for face.

And are simple to make and are a nice beginner’s project when learning to sew. I used two pieces of scrap fabric for each round. I tried with: flannel cotton, flannel 100% polyester, velour cotton 100%, velour cotton 80%, polar fabric, some from cotton as from towel (100% cotton).  All are ok, some perfect for makeup, some for liquid products, some perfect for scrubbing etc. I drew a round with a glass (or a square with a line) , cut, and sew at the sewing machine with an overcast sew step (for the square, I did 2 sews: first interior, turn on, and extra sew).
Dimensions: rounds = 8-10 cm diameters. Square at 11 cm. You decide!

The wash is washing even the waterproof products (ok, sometimes they are leaving at second wash). Just to not forget to add to the washing machine…

Just don’t forget  if you use for removing nail polish, they are definitely going to get stained. But I don’t care, they’re  easy to make so I can have 2 just for these and I use the ugly ones for nail polish removal.

Edit: if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can crochet some.

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Lemon extract homemade

I still have some vodka in the kitchen so I want to use it (my husband knows 😀 ). So, another extract that I am using for my cakes and cookies is the lemon one.  All these years I bought it from supermarket in small recipients. Boxes, plastic everywhere, and to be honest: expensive.
A common way to use it homemade was to peel the skin of the lemon and add it a jar with sugar. This time I want to do it differently:

Lemon extract homemade recipe

 

Ingredients:
-2 lemon zests, bio (not with wax outside), peeled verry thin (the white part is not so good)
-a jar (reused, of course 😀 )
– vodka ( a ‘souvenir’ from the last trip in Poland )
Steps: I peeled very thin the lemons, add the zest in the jar and put vodka just to cover everything. I need to wait for 1-2 months, probably I will add some extra zest with nest lemons and that’s it. After 2 months I will strain out the extract.

 

 

Price calculus:
– around 2 euro from the supermarket
– homemade I reuse the peel of a lemon (garbage), reused a jar (garbage) and used around 100ml vodka (bought from Poland as souvenir, price was around 5-8 euro one of most expensive one, yep, good prices for quality vodka) – so finally price for homemade is around 1 euro around 200ml, 3 minutes  work, and the quantity and satisfaction are priceless.

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