Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Three Tick Saturday

Today has featured Ikea, an exciting supermarket trip, and baking. I ask you, what more can one hope for?

I'm sure that you're just as excited as I am about these mundane events small adventures in my day, and so I thought I would take us through each in turn. There is a recipe at the end, I promise!


I love Ikea. I know it has mass-produced, neutral, and at times bland products. But the displays, the mini rooms and houses, the clever storage options, and the many, many possibilities for re-arranging and re-organising in your own home make it one of my favourite stores to visit.

Mr Bite does not feel entirely the same way. I am thus grateful that we got a visit in this morning, en route to other errands.

It wasn't a big trip. I wanted new bowls...

And some more glass storage jars (which, when empty, are very hard to photograph!)...

I also wanted to look at options for shelves or racks for our kitchen, on which to place said glass jars and/or spice jars. Our pantry is just not big enough.

I have gathered ideas and now need to come up with some specifics, before I make the associated purchases. I foresee some fun ahead with this task!

Supermarket excitement

In truth, supermarket visits are almost always a little exciting (to me at any rate). This one was particularly so, because we visited a store we rarely go to. It's a Super Progressive IGA, instead of the Coles or Woolworths that we usually frequent, and it stocks a lot of products that Coles and Woolworths don't.

For example, I found my favourite Ryvita variety...

And something that I have never before seen in Australia...

I know it is possible in theory to make pumpkin pie or pumpkin desserts with proper, steamed and mashed pumpkin. The thing is, though, that I never do. I am thus very, very excited about this tin.

We also managed to buy quite a lot of other semi-rare (to us) products, which resulted in our final bill being twice what it usually is. I've now decided that we'll have to ration these sorts of supermarket trips to a few times a year.


It probably goes without saying that this is always (or almost always) fun. I was particularly impressed with today's product though, because it seemed rather too good to be true. One of the recipes I copied down when at my parent's was an apricot and sultana loaf from Rosemary Stanton's Healthy Cooking cookbook.

It has no added fat, no added sugar, and is a loaf rather than 'true' bread (it's not yeasted). It seemed too simple to be possible, but it actually worked incredibly well.

Other than the fruit, the ingredients are self-raising wholemeal flour, baking soda, and soy milk:

Apricot and sultana loaf
Adapted from Rosemary Stanton's Healthy Cooking
Makes 1 loaf tin, 10 - 20 slices (10 large, 20 small)

  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 3/4 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 1 3/4 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

  1. Soak the dried fruit in the soy milk for approximately 1 hour.
  2. When the fruit has soaked sufficiently, preheat the oven to 180'C and grease or line a loaf tin.
  3. Combine the fruit / soy milk mixture with the flour and baking soda; stir to combine.
  4. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Wait until cool before slicing.

The loaf is dense without being too filling, and just sweet enough from the dried fruit. The fruit also keeps the centre moist, which I was concerned about given the lack of oil or oil substitute. I think I shall be making it again, and probably with different dried fruit ingredients too.

For a small / half slice

Do you share my enjoyment of Ikea, supermarkets, or fruit loaf? Or have you had an enjoyable Saturday yourself?


  1. I'm not used to seeing "Energy in kJ"... we use kCal over here. And i am very excited for your pumpkin find... there are SO many good things you can do with it!

  2. I love the way packaging is different in different countries, visions of marketeers saying no that ryvita pack is too English or too Australian, we'll have to change it.... I haven't been to Ikea for a while, but I always buy too many kitchen things when I do go, so it's safer to stay away. And your loaf looks like something I should be baking with its lack of oil... I just pulled a batch of brioche out of the oven, special request from my nephew, and the butter content is scary... apricot and sultanas are B's favourite dried fruits so I am going to give your recipe a go this week :D

  3. I go hot and cold on ikea - some days I love it and other days I hate it - last time I was there it was with Sylvia and let me tell you it makes it hard to drag a kid through all the temptation.

    I am both excited and saddened by seeing pumpkin puree in the shops here - it is so easy to mash up some pumpkin but I get comments about my pumpkin baking saying it sounds different than in a tin that I keep meaning to try and tin just for research

    Baking is just all excitment esp when it is dried apricots and simplicity - that loaf sounds amazing and will go on my bookmarks if I ever get them sorted

  4. Yum, that loaf looks wonderful. The perfect snack. Loving the load up fruit in there- yummo.
    Local IGA's can be wonderful too. I love it when you find a local one that mostly stocks local produce- saying that doesn't happen that often. Those ryvitas sound good!

  5. If I was crass, I'd say that I just piddled a little with excitement. But I'm not, so I won't. WHERE OH WHERE DID YOU FIND THE PUMPKIN?!?! I've only ever found it on the USA Foods website, where it's far too expensive to justify!

  6. I've still never been to Ikea! Congrats on the pumpkin find.. that's huge!

  7. Australia actually uses both, most of the time, but I think kJ wins out when only one is stated (as per the program I used for the above!). I can't wait to actually use the pumpkin!

  8. It makes me smile too, especially when the product inside the packaging is essentially the same :)

    I hope you like the loaf if you try it! It is very easy.

  9. Ooh, with a child I imagine it would be a nightmare. I have enough trouble getting myself out of the store without excessive playing / purchasing!

    Perhaps I can justify my pumpkin tin in the name of research? :P I do wish I was more organised in cooking and mashing pumpkin the proper way, but I so rarely do.

    Your bookmarks sound a bit like mine - completely disorganised - but I hope you enjoy this if you do get to it. I'm still planning to try the fruit loaf you posted about during the week too.

  10. The loaf is definitely a high percentage fruit :) I am sometimes amazed at how much is available in the smaller IGAs - we have surprisingly few close to us (by close I mean walking distance, rather than not close at all) so I visit them only sometimes. I should make more of an effort though I think.

  11. When it's in the name of excitement (and pumpkin excitement at that) I would forgive any crassness :D I'm glad you share my joy!

    It was in the 'foreign' foods section at a Progressive Supa IGA, which equates to a very, very large one. It was still quite expensive - I just checked the USA website and it's actually the same price! - but no postage and too hard to resist when it was right in front of me :P

  12. Thanks :) And I'm amazed at your Ikea state of affairs! I wonder what you'll think of it if you do ever go? I grew up loving it the child-friendly aspects (a play room, lots of interactive displays and toys) so am perhaps conditioned to do so as an adult too.

  13. I LOVE Ikea. I don't make it there very often but I do love the place :) When it's empty-ish anyway first thing on a weekday morning!

  14. I wouldn't be able to resist either. Somehow I doubt any of Canberra's tiny IGAs will help me out with this! :(

  15. Alexis @ hummusapienOctober 3, 2011 at 3:22 AM

    I've never heard of sultanas! But I LOOOOVE your pumpking picture :) I'm currently obsessed with pumpking protein smoothies.

  16. I love IKEA too, but I'm always relieved to get out of there after a visit - my head spins if in there for too long!

  17. Yes, it is improved by fewer people! Sadly I'm usually there with the crowds, but going on grand final day helped last weekend :)

  18. I think sultanas are raisins in of those oddities of cross-country food differences!

  19. Hehehe, it is a bit like that.

  20. I had a very enjoyable Saturday which involved doing very little (well I did do some gardening in my dress) then going to a cocktail party!

    I've never been to IKEA. I know, I must be the last person left on the planet. I'm sure it will be a wonderful experience when I do get there though.

    I can't say I"m familiar with canned pumpkin but I do share your love of supermarkets which offer something a bit different. The IGAs often do because I think the local owner picks what they stock so they can stock things that suit the area. My Aunt lives in a very Italian area in Sydney and her IGA has the best Italian deli you can imagine.

  21. Gardening in your dress - that line made me smile :)

    I think you're right about IGAs. I only wish I'd caught on sooner! I'm going to have to explore all those I've not yet been to, in case there's some magical product I've been missing out on!

  22. Ah! This may actually help get me over my aversion to doing it! Wonderful suggestion - you're being most helpful today :)

  23. USA Foods... I know it well ;) It's where I get my vegan white chocolate and dark chocolate peanut butters :D

  24. I have seen tinned pumpkin in david jones in Melbourne if you are visiting Hannah. There is also an American food shop in Melbourne but I have never been there

  25. I find it much easier to mash pumpkin if I cook it in the microwave (if you have one) - you don't even need any water to do this because there is so much water in pumpkin

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