HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN TEA BAG…

11 TIPS ON USING EGGS IN YOUR BAKING…

1. If you add a beaten egg slowly to your batter mix it prevents the batter from becoming too stiff.

2. Always use eggs at room temperature when baking with them.

3. Eggs will whip more easily if left for 10 minutes in cold water before breaking.

4. Place the egg in a bowl of water, if it sinks and lies on its side, it’s fresh. If it sinks and stands large-end up, it’s on the turn so use within a couple of days. If it floats, bin it, as it’s gone off.

5. If you weigh four whole eggs in their shells, then whatever the weight is, that’s how much each of flour, sugar and butter you should add. This will ensure an delicious cake every time.

6. If you’re making soft meringue for a pie topping, say, for our Classic Lemon Meringue Pie, add a teaspoon of cornflour to your sugar. It’ll aid in absorbing any extra water the sugar will attract.

7. To make sure the essence you use adds flavour to the whole cake, mix it into the egg before adding the egg to the mixture.

8. Eggs will stay fresher longer if you store them pointed end down.

9. If you forgot to get your eggs out for baking then just pop them into a bowl and cover with hot water. Take them out after a couple of minutes and use for baking as normal.

10. To separate eggs for baking, tap the shell against the side of a mixing bowl to crack, then break open, letting the white run out into the bowl and holding the yolk in one half of shell. Tip the yolk backwards and forwards from shell to shell to let all the white run into the bowl.

11. When you’re making sponge cakes, beat the eggs together in a jug and add to the butter and sugar mixture gradually, whisking well between additions. If the mixture looks like it’s going to curdle, add a spoonful of the weighed flour and beat again until smooth.

10 OLD FASHIONED HOUSEHOLD CLEANING TIPS…

With us all spending so much more time at home at the moment I though a post on some of the old fashioned type of cleaning tips might come in handy. So here are

  1. To remove a scratch from a table, crack open a walnut and rub it along the scratch. Walnuts contain a natural resin which will conceal the scratch.

2. To get rid of ink stains from furniture soak a piece of cotton wool in water and cover the stain with it. That will then draw the mark out and into the cotton wool.

3. When defrosting a freezer, keep frozen food cold by wrapping it in several layers of newspaper.

4. Clean your microwave by placing half a lemon in water and setting it to boil.

5. To unblock a blocked sink tip a handful of bicarbonate of soda followed by a cup of vinegar straight down the plug. After a couple of hours, pour down a kettle of boiling water.

6. Spray nice smelling furniture polish behind the radiator to leave the room smelling clean and polished.

7. To clean your computer keys use a cotton bud and the same to clean the ball of a computer mouse.

8. Add a shot of vodka or lemonade to the water in your vases as this will keep your flowers fresh for longer.

9. To banish mildew from grout In a spray bottle, dilute one cup of white vinegar with three cups of water. A spray of this now and again will prevent mildew from forming.

10. To remove limescale from your kettle.  In a spray bottle, dilute one cup of white vinegar with three cups of water. A spray of this now and again will prevent mildew from forming.

Failing all these then buy the best book on the subject ‘Hinch Yourself Happy: All the Best Cleaning Tips to Shine Your Sink And Soothe Your Soul by Mrs Hinch, (£6.49) Amazon

SOME OF THE BEST HOUSEHOLD TIPS…

To remove a scratch from a table, crack open a walnut and rub it along the scratch . Walnuts contain a natural resin which will conceil the scratch.

To get rid of ink stains from furniture soak a piece of cotton wool in water and cover the stain with it. That will then draw the mark out and into the cotton wool.

When defrosting a freezer, keep frozen food cold by wrappong it in several layers of newspaper.

Clean your microwave by placing half a lemon in water and setting it to boil.

To unblock a blocked sink tip a handful of bicarnonate of soda followed by a cup of vinegar straight down the plug. After a couple of hours, pour down a kettle of boiling water.

Spray nice smelling furniture polish behind the radiator to leave the room smelling clean and polished.

To clean your computer keys use a cotton bud and the same to clean the ball of a computer mouse.

Add a shot of vodka or lemonade to the water in your vases as this will keep your flowers fresh for longer.

FOUR OF THE BEST TEAS TO HELP YOU SLEEP…

According to an article on Step to Health, six of the best teas to drink to help you sleep well are –

1.   Chamomile and Tila – Tila is known for being a natural sedative which is highly recommended for relaxation and for relieving tension.I think we all know about how relaxing and calming Chamomile is.

2.  Lemon Balm – has an acidic aroma. Using its flowers and leaves to make teas helps one get a deep sleep.

3.  Mint Tea –  it contains anti-inflammatories and sedatives, and is a great way to get a better night’s sleep.

4.  Passion Flower and Valerian – Passion flowers contain natural anxiolytics and acts as a natural tranquilizer and Valerian is one of the best known natural sedatives. Although its taste is not very pleasant, it induces sleep and reduces nervousness.

 

8 GREAT TIPS ON BAKING PASTRY…

For the flakiest upper pie crust, brush the top lightly with cold water before baking.

To avoid your pie crust from becoming too soggy, sprinkle it with equal parts of sugar and flour before adding filling.

If you haven’t got a pastry cutter for your pies then improvise with an aerosol lid instead.

To stop pastry sticking to your rolling pin, put the pin in the freezer or fridge so that it’s cold before you use it.

Buy a Silicon Pastry Brush – non stick and heat resistant to 315C so you can baste with hot oils.

A common mistake when rolling out pastry is to change the direction of the pin rather than the pastry which then encourages the pastry to stick. To prevent this, give the pastry a quarter turn every few seconds while rolling with the pin in the same position and lightly dust the surface frequently with flour.

A back pain baking tip – to avoid hurting your back, don’t turn your body at an angle when rolling pastry. Turn the pastry around instead.

Always let pie pastry dry throughout before adding filling as it will prevent it from seeping while cooking.

SOME FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT TEA YOU MAY NOT KNOW…

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In the 400-600’s demand for tea being used as a medicinal drink rose in China.

Tea in Japan during this period was rare and expensive, and enjoyed most by high priests and the aristocracy.

During 648-749 a Japanese monk ‘Gyoki’ planted the first tea bushes in 49 Buddhist temple gardens.

Tieguanyin Tea

Buddhism and tea devotion spread and the Japanese Buddhist Saint and Priest ‘Saicho’ and monk ‘Kubo Daishi’, brought tea seeds and cultivation and manufacturing tips back from China and planted them in the gardens in Japanese temples.

Tea is first mentioned in the ancient texts as an offering. In the Buddhist scriptures it is often spoken as an offering made to the Buddha.

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THE #MINIMALIST CLEANING METHOD…

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I just couldn’t resist downloading this book,The Minimalist Cleaning Method
I mean I am sure we are ALL house proud (defo me) but anything that would do it quicker is a must for me. This book is brilliant it has lists on minimalist cleaning supplies, how to protect your home from dirt and cleaning recipes for all the the following –

Spray cleaners
Bucket cleaners
Furniture polish
Powdered cleansers
Liquid soaps
Drain cleaners
Toilet bowl cleaners
Air fresheners
Laundry supplies
Dishwashing liquid
Personal care recipes
Insect control solutions

If you are tired of the old inefficient, expensive ways of cleaning then, The Minimalist Cleaning Method contains the answers you have been looking for.

After my daughter moved recently the shower screen was always difficult to keep clean (hard water problem etc) until I used one of the cleaning recipes on here and now it looks just like new.

#THE GREAT INTERIOR DESIGN CHALLENGE…

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I’m just loving this year’s ‘Great Interior Design Challenge’,  Tom Dyckhoff, architecture and design critic for The Times, presents this 12-part BBC Two series, which puts 24 of Britain’s keenest amateur interior designers to the test.

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Throughout the series, brave homeowners give over their bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, hallways, and studies to put them all to the test. Each episode will follow the wannabe designer’s trials and tribulations as they source materials, select products and try to find everything they need to make their room look great while staying in budget.

The series travels across the country, from Dorset to Liverpool, and through the ages, from Georgian terraces to Art Deco cul-de-sacs, to introduce a new street and house design in each episode so viewers can learn about their history and how they have affected the architecture of the homes there. The show is also be packed full of handy tips and guides for keen home decorators everywhere. I’ve already put a couple of tips into fruition.

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