Treen Clean your Stainless Steel Appliances

Yes, that’s right, let’s Treen clean your stainless steel appliances. In our kitchen we have a stainless steel dishwasher and parts of the oven door (not the glass obviously!).  These stainless steel appliances end up covered in finger prints and other marks with day-to-day use.  I always try to clean them by wiping with soap and water.  This leaves streaks!  I then end up with wet looking marks on the stainless steel. It doesn’t look good.

Marks on dishwasher

More marks on dishwasher

Dishwasher with marks

Time to do something about this and make my appliances clean and streak free.  Time to give them a “Treen Clean”! I didn’t want to have to purchase a special cleaning product just for this purpose though.  No way. How can I achieve beautiful results using something I have in my pantry all the time?

The research process has taken me quite some time.  There had to be a good solution out there.

Yes, there is!! Here’s where I found it.

It was very difficult to get decent photos for you that show the marks and then the difference once cleaned.  I hope you can tell how shiny and sparkly the dishwasher looked at the end.  In real life there was a dramatic difference.

Shiny dishwasher

Clean & shiny dishwasher

Streak free dishwasher

Here’s What You Do

Get out your bottle of Olive Oil.  I just had the regular kind, but I’m pretty sure you could use Virgin or Extra Virgin Olive Oil too.

Now get out your paper towel.  Rip off two sheets (one would do the trick but the extra thickness is my preference).

Dab some olive oil onto the paper towel.

Now wipe the stainless steel appliance and rub the patches that have the worst marks.  Go over the entire area rubbing with the olive oil on paper towel. Now you are done! Your stainless steel appliance should be clean and shiny.

Olive oil & paper towel

This only took me about one minute to do my dishwasher door. It has come up beautifully.

I really recommend you try this method of shining your stainless steel appliances.  Give them a Treen Clean today!

Trina xx

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Caramel Tart

You will not be able to resist this Caramel Tart.  Your family and friends will devour this and be amazed that it doesn’t have sweetened condensed milk in it (not that there’s anything wrong with sweetened condensed milk!). This caramel tart is so gooey and caramelly that you will want to make it all the time.

Caramel tart

For the pie crust I used a Martha Stewart recipe from over here.  It is an ultra-simple recipe that uses the food processor.  This dough whizzes up in no time and makes enough for either a pie base + lid or two bases.  I made this recipe, divided the dough in half, used one half and wrapped up the other one and threw it in the freezer for another day when I want to make this tart or something similar. It’s a lovely flaky crust.  I have got this recipe on hand as my go-to tart shell.

While the pie crust was baking, I made the caramel filling.  This comes together very quickly in a saucepan on the stove.  It’s kind of like a custard but once it thickens up it goes incredibly caramelly. When the pie crust came out of the oven, I let it cool for a few minutes, then poured in the filling.  It set quickly at room temperature.  I put it in the fridge once it was cool enough and it was chilled and ready to devour by dessert time.

Caramel Tart

Caramel Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-cooked pie crust (I use the Martha Stewart recipe linked above)
  • 385ml tin evaporated milk
  • 2 Tbsp custard powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp white vinegar

Instructions

  1. Bake pie crust according to recipe in link above.
  2. In a saucepan, blend a little of the milk with the custard powder to make a smooth paste.
  3. Add remaining milk and ingredients. Whisk to combine.
  4. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly over a medium heat.
  5. Once mixture has boiled and thickened, pour into pie shell.
  6. Chill.
  7. Serve with cream.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/caramel-tart/

If you like to get fancy, you could pipe whipped cream around the edges and it would look super impressive at your next family gathering.  Otherwise just serve with a little jug of pouring cream on the side for people to add according to their taste.

I hope you try this yummy dessert. It tastes a bit like Jersey Caramel lollies (that’s what the kids said)….and they are right.

Trina xx

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Curried Lentil Lasagne

This week’s Meatless Monday treat was Curried Lentil Lasagne.  I found a recipe over here and modified it to suit the ingredients in my fridge and made it my way. The result was delicious so the recipe written below is what I did. I just had to share it with you.

I have a strange relationship with lentils.  I like putting them in our meals because they are very nourishing, they fill out a meal and are perfect for the cooler months. However, I really don’t like the way they taste!  I know that doesn’t make any sense at all.  I only put them in recipes where I can disguise them from myself.  If I taste the end product and can’t tell that they are in there, tasting overly “lentilish”, then I have a winner on my hands and I will probably file the recipe in the “would make again” pile.

Curried Lentil Lasagne in dish

This recipe surprised me.  It was pretty quick to put together and I was expecting it to taste lentilish, but it didn’t. I could see the lentils in there, but it just tasted like lasagne.  Definitely keeping this recipe then. The kids liked this recipe, even declaring that it tasted a lot like normal meat lasagne. Wow!!

Curried Lentil Lasagne

Curried Lentil Lasagne

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 2 brocolli stems, chopped
  • 2 tsp Massaman curry paste
  • 1 carrot, grated finely
  • 1 zucchini, grated coarsely
  • 400g can brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 425g diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • pinch salt
  • lasagne sheets
    SAUCE!
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp Plain flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup cheese, grated
  • + 1/2 cup cheese extra, grated for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C.
  2. Heat oil in saucepan. Add onion, capsicum and brocolli stems and cook until softened.
  3. Add curry paste and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add carrot, zucchini, lentils, tomatoes, tomato paste and salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.
    To make the sauce
  1. Add flour to melted butter, mix thoroughly. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds.
  2. Gradually add milk and then microwave for 5 minutes, whisking every minute or so, until sauce boils and thickens.
  3. Add cheese, then microwave for 1 minute further.
    Time to assemble:
  1. In a lasagne dish, place a small amount of lentil mixure over the bottom (this stops the lasagne sheets from sticking to the bottom).
  2. Now layer lasagne sheets, then spread with lentil sauce, then white sauce. Repeat layers, ending with the white sauce.
  3. Top with extra grated cheese.
  4. Bake lasagne for 40 minutes or until cooked and cheese is golden brown.

Notes

Serve with a fresh salad and/or garlic bread.

http://trinamichellehouse.com/curried-lentil-lasagne/

The white sauce in this recipe was super easy to make in the microwave.  I have always, always made my white sauce in a saucepan on the stovetop, but the microwave method worked brilliantly.  I am a changed woman. You probably always do yours in the microwave, sometimes I’m a bit slow in discovering these things (like my post last week about the perfect microwave poached egg!).

Hot Tip

You can make this curried lentil lasagne up to the stage of just before putting it in the oven.  Put cling film over it and pop it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it.  Cooking time will be a bit longer because it will start off cold, but you can make it ahead of time and cook it when it suits you.

Anyway, give this one a try for your next vegetarian lunch or dinner. Let me know if you can taste your lentils!

Trina xx

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Perfect microwave poached egg

I’ve always wondered about how to make the perfect microwave poached egg.  Every time I try to cook an egg in the microwave it explodes.  I’ve bought all sorts of gadgets over the years that promised the perfect microwave poached egg, but I still had to wipe exploded egg from the inside of my microwave.  (Grrrr!)  I have been on a mission.

After quite a lot of research and experimentation, I discovered the method to achieve the perfect microwave poached egg, and of course I’m going to share it with you!  This is going to blow your mind. It’s so quick and easy to do, you will wonder why we haven’t all been doing it this way for years.

You’ll have to excuse my photography in this post because time was of the essence.  If I played around trying to get the perfect photo of my poached egg, I risked it being overcooked and there’s nothing worse than a hard cooked yolk.  It’s got to be just right.  The white cooked – just, and the yolk that holds together until it’s safe and sound on that piece of toast and I slice into it, revealing golden, runny deliciousness. And also, I was so hungry, I just couldn’t wait to eat it.

So here’s what you do:

Firstly, assemble all your bits and pieces.  This ensures you are not wasting precious time with your head in the pantry and overcooking your egg (unless you like it that way).

You will need:

  • a small bowl
  • boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • plate that fits the top of the bowl to act as a lid (or cling wrap)
  • your egg
  • toast ready to go (I like mine with sliced cheese or avocado on it – today I’m having cheese)
  • slotted spoon

Poached egg equipment

Once the water has boiled, pour it into your bowl until it fills up about halfway.

The egg starts cooking once it hits the boiling water so keep moving. Don’t dilly dally.

Then add the vinegar.

Crack the egg and slide it gently into the water.

Raw egg in boiling water + vinegar

Place the plate (lid) onto the bowl.

Raw egg in boiling water + vinegar. LId on.

Put the bowl in the microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. (Note: Microwave times may vary.)

Remove the bowl from the microwave immediately and take off the lid. The egg will look cooked.

Poached egg in bowl

Gently scoop out the egg using your slotted spoon, pausing to drain the water off.

Place the egg on your previously prepared toast.

Cut into the egg (golden, runny deliciousness moment) and add salt if you like.

Perfect microwave poached egg on toast

How good is that!!??

You’ve got to try this.  I can’t believe how simple and quick this is and how well it works.

The egg doesn’t explode in the microwave because the water is heated up before the egg. It’s genius.

Note:

You don’t have to add the vinegar if it’s not on hand. The vinegar is supposed to keep the egg from spreading out too much so that it stays in a compact shape, but this method still works fine without it.

Let me know if your breakfast situation just got quicker and easier. With no saucepan or weird microwave gadgets to wash, you’ve now got more time to enjoy your egg.

Trina xx

 

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Tamarillo Chutney

Tamarillo chutney is something I’ve never made before and never eaten before. A friend of mine has a friend who has a thriving tamarillo tree at home.  This tree is in it’s prime producing stage of life and has grown an abundance of tamarillos this year.  She gave lots of tamarillos to my friend, who then kindly shared some with me!

These little fellas have beautiful shiny reddish skin and edible seeds inside (similar to passionfruit or kiwi fruit).  Fresh, ripe tamarillos are quite tart in flavour but give a good punch of taste to salads. (They are the kind of exotic fruit I would expect Jamie Oliver to use and act as though we all have them in our fruit bowls at home – they are a bit unusual but if you have a tree at home then you might like to give this recipe a go.)

I decided to make a batch of chutney with my precious collection of tamarillos.  I adapted my recipe from over here.

The recipe that I used for Tamarillo Chutney was very simple and I adapted it to use ingredients that I already had in my pantry. I prepared it as I was preparing our family dinner one night this week and let it bubble away on the stove while we ate.  When we had finished our meal, the tamarillo chutney was done and ready to “jar up”.

Tamarillo Chutney

Yield: 3 cups of chutney

Tamarillo Chutney

Ingredients

  • Approx 12 tamarillos
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cups sultanas
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Cut a small cross into the skin on the base of each tamarillo.
  2. Place tamarillos in a saucepan or bowl and cover with boiling water.
  3. Allow to stand for a few minutes until the skins at the cut cross begins to peel.
  4. Drain and peel tamarillos once cool enough to handle.
  5. Roughly chop tamarillos.
  6. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  7. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for a few minutes until onion is soft.
  8. Add tamarillo, sugar, vinegar, sultanas, allspice and cinnamon. Stir until well combined and sugar dissolves.
  9. Bring to the boil.
  10. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until thickened and colour has deepened.
  11. Remove from heat and spoon chutney into hot, sterilised jars.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/tamarillo-chutney/

Here are the tamarillos before and after peeling.

Tamarillos, some peeled

Now they are all peeled. Not very pretty, I know.

Peeled tamarillos

Here they are all chopped up.

Chopped tamarillos

Into the pot with the other ingredients.

Tamarillos in pot

20 minutes later…….Now the colour has deepened and it is ready to go into hot, sterilised jars.

Tamarillo chutney cooked

The finished product!

Tamarillo chutney

What will we do with it now?

Tamarillo chutney is delicious with cheese and crackers. It also adds beautiful flavour to meat dishes (but I don’t think we’ll have trouble using it up!).  It’s super yummy and won’t last long in our house. Do you have tamarillos at your house?

Trina xx

PS  I filled two jars, so my friend who gave me the tamarillos is getting a jar of my chutney.  I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing the tamarillos back with her again in a different form!

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