Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Irish Cupcakes

Okay these aren't your average cupcakes. To be honest they're not cupcakes at all - but I'd spent too long calling them "those potato pastry bacon things" and decided they needed a better name.

I can't claim credit for these - they were originally introduced to me from my pal Sandra - and they're amazingly simple and extraordinarily delicious.

Irish Cupcakes

Frozen puff pastry
6 potatoes
1 tub of cream cheese
4 strips of bacon

Okay to get started you grab some frozen puff pastry, let it thaw out a little and slice each sheet into nine squares. Push the squares into greased muffin trays.

Then, in a saucepan, make some mashed potato. Add in the cream cheese and the butter (obviously the more you add, the more delicious but less healthy they become). Add salt and pepper to taste and spoon the potato mash into the pasty cups.

Sprinkle the cups with chopped up chives and add a small strip of bacon to each one. Then pop them in a 170 degree oven until they get crispy and golden.

They're perfect for picnics or parties where you need to bring along some finger food. 

I guarantee that at least three people will ask you for the recipe.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Doing Things The Hard Way (ie Raised Veggie Garden Borders)

Do you ever feel like you end up doing everything the hard way? First you do it the quick way and then you do it another way and then you do it the right way?

In this instance I'm talking about our veggie garden. I've put in a lot of work over the past two years planting out different varieties, building up the soil, endlessly weeding and defending it all against the constant threat of possum decimation.

And it's been great - but I'm about to start it all again from scratch.

Despite always knowing that raised beds are popular for a good reason - we've ploughed on with our ground level patch. Until two weeks ago when Mr Tchotchke decided it was high time we not only properly edged but also raised our little patch, and not one to do things by halves, I decided we should probably carry the edging along my rose bushes, fruit trees, and another little garden bed too just for good measure.

So after careful measuring, plotting, planning and purchasing... Mr T went ahead and did all the hard work.

Doesn't it look great?

I gotta say, I'm so proud of him... for someone with zero construction experience he's done pretty damn well.

After searching for soil suppliers on a few gardening websites I somehow got sidetracked into reading a debate on whether it's safe to use treated pine sleeper on veggie gardens - and of course got totally nerve-wracked on the whole issue. (the above sleepers are treated pine).

So my next job is to line the inside of the sleepers with builders plastic, and then shift the frangipani tree, rip out the remaining plants (maybe the banana tree too?) and then fill the whole thing up with new soil and compost.

Easy huh? (I kinda wish we'd done it this way from the start.)
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