Eating In – Pizzas

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I made a batch of gluten-free pizza bases on the weekend and tonight we are having pizza for dinner.

Here are the partly cooked bases thawed and ready to add the topping.  I find that pre-cooking these for about 8 minutes makes them much easier to handle when assembling the pizzas.

001The dough recipe I use comes from this recipe book.

006If you are looking for good gluten-free recipes I would recommend that you look for it in your local library or you can buy it here.  The updated version has a different cover.

Otherwise just make or buy your favourite bases.

I assembled all of the toppings.

002The ice-cube tray contains frozen basil and you can read about how I prepared it in this previous post.

Once the basil had thawed, I mixed it with a small amount of tomato and spread the mixture on the bases.

003Then the rest of the toppings………

004Pumpkin slices roasted with balsamic vinegar, shredded baby spinach, diced salami, sliced olives, strips of red capsicum and topped off with some grated cheese.  I use low fat cheddar with a bit of strong cheese like partmesan to give a bit of added flavour.

005This is the pizza maker which we use and it takes about 5-6 minutes to cook the pizza to perfection.

008One quarter had disappeared before I had time to grab my camera!

The toppings are never exactly the same.  It just depends on what we have.  This is the first time I have used the basil mixture for the base.  I usually just use a tomato mixture and a sprinkle of mixed herbs.  I have also been known to use mango chutney spread on the base.  The only thing limiting you is your imagination.

Progress in The Patch


Our vegetable garden area  has been a work in progress for several years and continues to be so.  However, I feel as though we have taken a giant leap forward today.

We had a load of soil delivered yesterday.

2015-03-28 01This was the view of the area yesterday.

2015-03-28 02The three beds in the foreground have been established for some time and the top one currently has lettuce and bok choy and the bottom one has beans and bok choy while the middle one is empty after having cleared out the remnants of tomato and cucumber plants.  This bed needs topping up with additional soil.  In the background towards the chicken coop is a clump of sweet potato growing in a small cut-down rainwater tank.  Of course, it has overflowed and is growing across the ground towards the fence.

The lower two beds in the background have a small amount of leaf litter and mulch but are yet to be used.  At the top of the second row is the sixth raised bed partially built.  We still need to finish cutting the iron to size and attach the sides.

We started early today and moved the soil to fill the completed beds.  This is all that was left this afternoon when we had finished.

2015-03-28 03Then it was time to add the sides to the final bed.  Remember the sweet potato I pointed out in the earlier photo?  We dug it all up and harvested a bucketful of decent sized sweet potatoes.  There were lots of small ones but we have sacrificed them for the long-term plan.  I planted several pieces of vine that had significant root growth as well as numerous potatoes that were shooting.  These all went into the bottom bed.  The remainder of the soil from where the sweet potatoes were growing went into the base of the last bed.  We then salvaged several wheelbarrow loads of leaf mulch from behind the rainwater tank and finally added the garden soil.

2015-03-28 04Here are the 6 raised beds filled with soil and I have planted some cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale seedlings that we bought last weekend.  There is still plenty of space so I am planning to plant some seeds as well.

The other thing I did today was to trim and tidy up the basil which has gone completely rampant.  I even found some new plants so I potted some and planted others in the garden bed.  I have tied the clumps of basil up to the fence to stop them spreading all over the ground.  The basil are in the foreground of the photo below.

2015-03-28 05Tomorrow, I am hoping to dig another garden bed along the fenceline as it heads towards the front of our property.  The plan is to plant flowers in that bed.  I have bought sweet pea seeds and intend to grow them using the fence as a trellis. but more about that another day.

Basil Day


Six months ago, while we were overseas, our housesitters bought a small pot of basil as it was actually cheaper than buying a bunch of basil.  When we arrived home I planted it in the ground.  It is now doing its best to take over the garden!!

I took this photo yesterday morning.  The rain had finally stopped and the sun was shining.  You can see the ‘lake’ in the background.

2015-02-23 01I knew it was collapsing everywhere so I had intended to cut it right back and use as much of the leaves as possible.  When I got closer I discovered that the bees were loving the flowers so I could not destroy their fun so I have left the flowers and just picked lots of leaves.  Mind you, it is hardly noticeable where I picked them from.

I could afford to be picky so I chose only the best leaves and rinsed them thoroughly.

2015-02-23 02Then spun them in the salad spinner.  As an aside, I only bought this quite recently as I had never really seen the need for one.  After seeing my sister use hers, I realised that a salad spinner could be quite handy and I was delighted to find one at Aldi soon after.  It cost the princely sum of $6.99.

2015-02-23 03Next step was to chop the basil in the food processor.

2015-02-23 04I had about 2/3 can of chopped tomatoes in the fridge so that was added to the mix.

2015-02-23 05Then I used a small spoon to fill ice-cube trays with the basil and tomato mixture.

2015-02-23 06Finally, I double-bagged the trays in re-used bread bags and sealed them tightly before putting them in the freezer.  The basil blocks will be useful for when there is no basil growing.


The Garden Grows

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After being away for six weeks, the vegetable garden was in need of some attention.

I cleared out the remains of the broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower which had been harvested while we were away.  There are now corn, lettuce, radish and cucumber seeds planted in the spaces available.

The area inside the fence that I had earmarked for a herb garden is now sporting a couple of very healthy  parsley plants as well as several basil seedlings.  I planted these on the weekend as they were kindly left for us by the house sitters.  They commented that it was cheaper to buy a pot of seedlings than a bunch of parsley or basil.


I have previously shown you here the netting that we bought at the Garden Show and we intended to ask the house sitters to put it on the peach tree as I felt it would need to be done while we were away.  That did not happen so now all of our small, green peaches are enclosed.  If this is successful, in a few months we will be harvesting luscious peaches that have not been stung by fruit fly. I can only hope!


Before we went away we planted the asparagus and rhubarb in styrofoam boxes until I could prepare the areas where we wanted to plant them.  On the weekend we dug a trench and set the concrete blocks into the ground to form a border for the rhubarb.  I hope to plant some flowers in the small soil-filled pockets of the blocks.

I hope to prepare the bed for the asparagus in the coming weeks.


We have a long weekend coming up and I am hoping to get some more done in the garden.