Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Crunchies


Try this sweet treat for school lunchboxes or afternoon tea at work.

Ingredients:
310ml flour
310ml breakfast oats
310ml coconut
185ml sugar
20ml syrup
125ml butter or margarine
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
45–60ml boiling water

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC.
2. Combine the dry ingredients.
3. Melt the syrup and butter together. Combine the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter mixture. Mix together with the dry ingredients.
4. Press the mixture into a 20cm x 20cm square tin and bake for 20 minutes. Gently press down the sides if they start to rise too much.
5. When light brown, remove from the oven and cut into squares. Switch off the oven.
6. Return the crunchies to the oven for about 10 minutes to dry out.
7. Allow to cool before removing from the tin.

Makes about 12 crunchies

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Spring 2014 issue


The Spring 2014 issue of Family Club will be arriving on your doorstep soon. We love this issue because it is jam packed with amazing articles such as knowing your child maintenance rights, how to boost your confidence and the baby advice you can ignore. Plus, our cover star is the beautiful Pearl Thusi and we have six divine pasta recipes your family will love – ideal for easy weeknight cooking!

And be sure to check out our new Superdraw winners, Competition winners and some more Family Club benefit winners.

So take some time out to browse through your latest issue and and if you haven't already, pop into your nearest Lewis, Best Home and Electric or My Home store to sign up for all the amazing Family Club benefits.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Sweetcorn fritters


Make them as a tasty snack for the kids, a party platter or serve for supper with a delicious salad.

Ingredients:
1 cup self-raising flour
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
½ cup soda water
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups sweet corn
2 spring onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
½ cup feta cheese
Oil (for shallow frying)

Method:
1. Mix flour, eggs, salt, soda water and pepper until smooth.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
3. Whilst the mixture is standing, heat oil in a large frying pan.
4. Cook spoonfuls in the hot oil until golden brown and then place cooked fritters on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

4 essential health tests



When we're adults we become responsible for our own health, how many of us have these “essential” health tests?

Cholesterol

Heart disease can strike young people, both male and female, and one of the most effective ways of preventing a heart attack is by having regular cholesterol tests. Experts advise that people over the age of 20 should have their blood cholesterol level tested every five years, and those with any risk factors, men over 35 and women over 45, be tested annually.

The good news is that a change in lifestyle is all it takes to put things right. For example: cutting out cigarettes completely, cutting down on alcohol, eating properly and exercising around three times a week.

Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can affect you later in life in comparison to Type 1 diabetes, which you’re either born with, or which generally starts in early childhood. Type 2 diabetes is labeled as a lifestyle disease because it is often the result of being overweight and not getting enough exercise. It means that your body cannot use insulin properly and a simple blood sugar level test will initially determine whether someone has this disease.

Why is this called a “lifestyle” disease? The cause of Type 2 diabetes is bad eating habits, carrying too much weight and a lack of exercise – which if coupled with smoking and drinking, can have disastrous results. The good news is that if it’s detected early enough and patients listen to their doctors and manage the illness, they can lead fairly normal lives, even reversing the condition in some cases.

Breast cancer
How many of us do regular self-examinations to check our breasts for lumps? If you find even the smallest lump you should see your doctor immediately, but because breast cancer can take years to develop and there are no symptoms early on, experts feel that women should have a screening mammogram every year once they’re over 40. Research says that there are between 17 and 44 per cent fewer deaths from breast cancer among women in their forties who’ve had a mammogram. Find out a bit more about breast cancer.

Prostate cancer

Whereas breast cancer can affect both men and women, prostate cancer can only affect men, as it affects the prostate gland, which only men have. With statistics such as one in eight men between the ages of 60 and 80 years suffering from the disease, regular tests when you're over 50 are essential. An initial blood test will show if there’s a family history and your first test should be at 40 years. An early diagnosis here literally saves lives, as this is one of the most curable forms of cancer.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Butternut risotto


Risotto is quite an expensive rice to buy, but it goes far as you only need a little to make a decent sized meal. So give this tasty butternut risotto a try and experiment with some other risotto dishes like this easy tomato risotto.

Ingredients:
400g butternut squash
2l vegetable stock
2½ tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
350g risotto rice
6 sage leaves, finely chopped (optional)
Handful parsley (optional)

Method:
1. Halve the butternut lengthways, then scoop out the seeds.
2. Peel, then cut the flesh into about 2.5cm pieces.
3. Pour the stock into a pan, then bring to a gentle simmer.
4. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a heavy, wide pan. Add the onion, garlic, herbs and squash, then gently fry for about 10 minutes until the squash is almost tender. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick or burn.
5. With the heat on medium, tip the rice into the squash. Keep stirring for three to four minutes to toast it without colouring.
6. Start to add the hot stock – this process should take 18-20 minutes. Stir in one and a half ladles and adjust the heat so it simmers. Keep stirring and scraping down the sides. Once the first lot of stock has been absorbed, add another ladle, continuing to stir to keep the risotto creamy. Continue adding and stirring in a ladle of stock as each previous one is absorbed (it’s ready for more when you drag the spoon across the bottom of the pan and it leaves a clear line).
7. As the last of the stock goes in (keep a little back) check if the rice is ready – it should be soft with a bit of chew in the middle ­– and the consistency fluid.
8. Take the pan off the heat. Add a splash of the stock to keep the risotto moist, scatter over the parsley. With the lid on, let the risotto sit for three to four minutes to rest.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Are you stressed out?


Stress affects each of us in one way or another and it is your body’s reaction to anything that it perceives to be emotionally disturbing or threatening. Your heart rate increases and your blood pressure goes up, as well as your respiration and pulse rates. Stress can be divided into two categories – good stress and bad stress. Good stress helps you focus, making it easier for you to achieve your goals. Negative stress, on the other hand, can get so severe that people “burn out” as a result, and lose the ability to function normally.

Some signs that you might be stressed out include:
• A lack of happiness, enthusiasm and spontaneity
• Unusual intolerance of people and irritability
• Angry outbursts
• Difficulty concentrating and the inability to make even minor decisions
• Increased use of substances such as alcohol and/or drugs (including prescription drugs)
• Restlessness
• Loss of efficiency at work or school (yes, even children can become stressed out)
• A preoccupation with negative thoughts
• Frequent illness and slow recovery
• Nightmares and persistent disturbing dreams
• Psychosomatic illness, such as an unexplained rash
• Withdrawal from friends and social situations

Some big causes of stress are:
• Death of a spouse or loved one
• Divorce or marriage troubles
• Personal injury or illness or health issues with a loved one
• Marriage
• Being fired or changing your line of work
• Retirement
• Pregnancy
• Sexual difficulties
• Mortgage or loan for a major purpose

Things that can help:
• Meditation • Yoga • Massage • Music • Asking for help • Keeping a journal • Laughing • Having a healthy breakfast • Exercise

Things that can make it worse:

• Smoking • Caffeine • Sugar • Alcohol • Drugs   

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Baked potato with sausage and beans


Beans are rich in vitamins and minerals, are a low cost source of protein and can be very versatile. Make a three-bean salad, toss your favourite beans into a stew or pot of chilli con carne or simple enjoy good old baked beans on toast. We love this tasty and simple dish using baked beans in tomato sauce.

Ingredients:
6 large potatoes
2 tins baked beans
8 pork sausages

Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC. Rub the potatoes with oil – prick with a sharp knife all over and place on a baking tray. Sprinkle generously with salt. Bake for an hour.
2. Grill the pork sausages and heat up the baked beans on the stove top.
3. Serve the potatoes on a bed of baked beans with a knob of butter and a sausage or two.
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