Thursday, 21 September 2017

Caprese pizza

This home-made pizza dough with simple, rustic toppings will beat any takeaway, any day.

Dough ingredients:
1½ cups warm water
2 tsp/1 sachet dried yeast
Pinch of caster sugar
4 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing

Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for five minutes or until foamy.
2. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture and oil. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until the mixture is combined. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.
3. Brush a bowl lightly with oil. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in the prepared bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes or until dough doubles in size.
4. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin according to your desired size.
5. Spread tomato paste over the top of the dough and layer with a mixture of cheeses and sliced tomatoes. You can also add some basil pesto.
6. Grill in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
7. Top with fresh basil and freshly ground pepper.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

10 simple ways to give back

There are really easy ways that you can help in your community. Get the rest of the family involved and make it a family affair.

1. Visit sick children in hospital.
2. Volunteer at an animal shelter.
3. Give away old toys.
4. Donate clothes.
5. Make a meal for a local school.
6. Use your skills and talents by coaching or teaching.
7. Collect food for donation.
8. Donate blood.
9. Clean up your neighbourhood.
10. Just ask around at your local church, school or hospital to find out what is needed in the community.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Lemon meringue pie

Who doesn't love a slice of lemon meringue pie? Here's a really simple recipe to try at home.

20 Marie biscuits
125g margarine
2 eggs, separated
½ cup lemon juice
1 can condensed milk
2 tbsp castor sugar
Lime zest to garnish (optional)

Break Marie biscuits into crumbs and mix with margarine. Press into a greased pie dish.
2. Mix together egg yolks, lemon juice and condensed milk and pour over Marie biscuits.
3. Beat together egg whites and castor sugar to meringue stage. Put on top of lemon mixture and brown in the oven. Sprinkle some lime zest over the top to finish it off.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

How to teach your child the difference between needs and wants

Here are some guidelines as you try to teach your child the difference between wants and needs:

• Understand that your child needs your attention more than they need material things.
• Take a moment to reflect on your own relationship with wants and needs.
• Consider if meeting your child’s wants are not also fulfilling your needs.
• Allow your child to learn valuable life lessons by taking the more difficult route of saying no, not now or only after you have worked for it.
• For younger children. Take a blank page draw a line down the middle and on the top of each column write wants and needs. Then allow your child to page through magazines cutting out pictures that they feel fit under each column. Use the time to discuss the difference with them.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Cauliflower soup

Try this delicious budget soup recipe served with fresh bread – it's the perfect weeknight meal.

Knob of butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1 potato peeled and cut into chunks
700ml vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
400ml milk
100g mature cheddar, diced

Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until softened, about five minutes.
2. Add the cauliflower, potato, stock, milk and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes until the cauliflower is soft and the potato is very soft.
3. Use a blender or crush with a potato masher until you get a creamy, thick soup. Top up with more milk to thin a little if you prefer. When ready to serve, warm through, ladle into mugs or bowls, top with the cheese pieces, then stir through before eating.

You can make this recipe up to two days in advance, cool, cover and leave in the fridge until needed, or freeze for up to one month.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

How to keep your eyes healthy

Your eyesight is one of your body’s greatest gifts. Follow these tips and look after your eyes.

Wear sunglasses
Protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) light, by wearing sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection. Good sunglasses will delay the development of cataracts and prevent damage.

Watch what you eat
Load your diet with good food, and let your eyes feast on beneficial nutrients like Vitamins C and E, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.

Wear goggles
Invest in protective eyewear when you’re doing DIY jobs around the house. Dust or loose splinters could cause serious – and seriously unnecessary – damage.

Watch what you drink
Drinking in moderation is strongly advised to maintain good overall health. The three factors of poor diet, smoking and alcohol abuse can lead to a toxic, progressive optic neuropathy (optic atrophy) which can cause visual impairment and damage to the optic nerve cells. This damage leaves colours appearing washed in the affected eye, or in severe cases, a loss of vision.

Don’t smoke
Smoking has been linked to eye diseases like AMD – and some studies have shown that smokers are at a higher risk of developing cataracts.

Staying active will improve your body’s blood circulation, delivering oxygen to your eyes and clearing them of dangerous toxins.

Keep your body active, but remember to rest your eyes – and take regular breaks from staring at screens!

Act early
Serious eye conditions like AMD and glaucoma can be successfully treated if they’re detected and treated early – or, if they’re left untreated for too long, they could lead to blindness. Get your eyes tested at least once every two years.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Home-made cheese and tomato pizza

It has been a long week. Doesn't a movie and some home-made pizza sound like the perfect way to unwind with the kids? This pizza is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make... depending on what toppings you choose. But sometimes a simple cheese and tomato pizza really hits the spot.


3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 sachet dried yeast
1 cup warm water (check as you go, it mustn't be too runny, but not too dry)

1 can tomato and onion mix
1 tsp each of oreganum, marjoram and thyme
Slices of tomato
Grated cheddar cheese

1. Mix all the ingredients for the dough together in a bowl. Keep it warm to rise for half an hour to an hour.
2. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
3. Spray a baking tray with Spray 'n Cook, then press dough into baking tray.
4. Mix tomato and onion mix, oreganum, marjoram and thyme together and spread over the dough.
5. Add slices of tomato or a topping of your choice and cover with grated cheese.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, cut into squares and serve.
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