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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Day Twenty Eight

Hello friends! Welcome to the second last day of my official no palm oil challenge! I would say that I could almost see the finish line, but to be honest with you, I’m not feeling like I’m going to be hitting the wall anytime soon ( that’s what they call it still, yeah? I’m terrible at sports).

I’d like to say a another quick Thankyou to Lesley Carter for all her likes on my various diary posts, and to Milk Relief Soap for the nice comment you left on Day Twenty Five! Thankyou so much! I’m very impressed with your product and all the information on your site! People, you should definitely check it out, and get yourself some awesome palm oil free soap while you’re there!

Breakfast: Organic white tea with vanilla

Lunch: Two of my gourmet PB and J sandwiches. Mmmm

Dinner: Amazing homemade Kangaroo burgers with mushrooms, onion, bacon, egg and baby spinach. Last night, Kyle, his workmate Dan and I went to see Busby Marou at the Corner Hotel, and Dan was ever so nice as to invite us back to his place for dinner! Roo burgers and red wine were the perfect pre cursor to an amazing gig (seriously, If you get a chance to see these guys play, do it! It’s worth it for the uke shredding alone).

Day Twenty Seven

Hello friends! Before we begin with today’s feedings, I would like to share with you a couple of things happening on the conservation front that might make you smile!

First of all, a healthy baby Sumatran Rhinoceros calf has been born at the Sumatran Rhino sanctuary in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park, the first one in the institutions history! There are less than 200 of these beautiful creatures left in the wild, with the most prevalent causes of death being poaching and habitat lost (for palm oil plantations, no less!!!) So this new birth is so exciting! It’s seriously made my day! You can check out the full article about this little guy at Zoo Borns, and I dare you to try not get all gooey eyed over the pictures of him, cos he’s seriously adorable.

Also, the World Wildlife Fund has begun what they like to refer to as a twitterstorm, in which they tweet about a particular issue and encourage others to do the same to gain awareness and rally support. This time it’s for the tigers; with the hashtag ‘text4tigers’, WWF are encouraging people living in the US to text Tigers to 20222, to donate $10 to help save them from an almost inevitable fate of extiction. Click here to find out more, or if you’re like me and live overseas, you can donate online! Tigers, especially in areas of South East Asia (where a lot of the land is being used for palm oil plantations), are in huge danger of extinction, due to loss of habitat, isolation, poaching and conflict with humans. So please, instead of buying those two packets of Tim Tams, or even those blocks of Green and Blacks, maybe you could lend these guys a hand? Leave me a comment if you do, and I’ll be happy to shamelessly plug any blogs or projects you’re working on!

Ok, I think that’s it! Onwards to breakfast!

Breakfast: Vegemite toast, which real butter, that Kyle microwaved for me because I can’t have his table spread. Naww.

Lunch: Today was so busy! All I managed to chow down were two Caramello Koalas from the tea room *sigh* At least Cadbury uses sustainable palm oil!

Dinner: Thankfully, my dinner was a lot healthier! Hokkien stirfry with chicken, snowpeas, onion and capsicum.

Dessert: Some of my Kick Ass Palm Oil Free Caramel Slice.

Day Twenty Six

Good morning lovely people! I’m on my way to work, and I thought I would use the time usually wasted on my commute to write you a post on my mobile device! Hooray! Wish I had figured out this earlier.

Breakfast: Toast with my Regimental Blackberry and Rasberry Conserve and regular ol tea. I wonder if you can buy cases on condiments.

Lunch: Regimental Blackberry and Raspberry Conserve and Sanitarium Natural Peanut Butter Sandwich. That’s right, I just took PB & J to the next level! Mmmmm

Dinner: In other news, we won trivia this week! Yay! And one of our members got to take home the highly coveted Jesus lamp (if you know anything about Rochester Trivia, that’s a big deal). I decided to deviate from the Nacho vein this week, and tried the calamari instead; I’ll be honest, it wasn’t to the standards of my Nacho parma, but it was still pretty yummy! And of course there was beer involved, and even some red wine in celebration of our almost victory (we tied for first with two other teams, but I still think it’s worth mentioning).

Bake Off: Caramel Crowns vs Caramel Slice

Welcome to my second bake off! I’m sorry there haven’t been more of these over the month, but I promise that there will be many more to come! This week, I’ve decided to try and find an alternative to another beloved sweet treat, The Caramel Crown. It doesn’t seem that long ago, that I was living out of home, almost flat broke and standing at the register of my local IGA with one serving of mei goreng, a bag of peanuts and a packet of Caramel Crowns that I had chosen for my lunch. And dinner. I know, I know, I’m surprised I’m here at all.

Those days are all but gone, and yet I still can’t help but think, no, long for them if I’m ever in an IGA, or even in the biscuit isle of Coles (which I’m not allowing myself to visit anymore because it just makes me sad). So, in order to curb this craving, I went in search of a suitable replacement. And it didn’t take me long to find something I liked (and could cook!)!

This recipe for Caramel Slice comes from the lovely Humble Habit! Once you’ve finished reading this, and making your own caramel slice, you should go and check it out!

I’ve made Caramel Slice a number of times before, but I’ve always used crushed Marie Biscuits for the base. However, although delicious, they do contain palm oil, so I had to find another, more suitable base recipe! I love that this one uses desicated coconut as the crunchy element.
Also, this recipe is actually for salted caramel slice, but I decided to leave the salt out, so I could make a proper comparrison to the Caramel Crowns. If you would like to make the original with salt, you can check out the original recipe here.

Ingrediants

Base
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 desiccated coconut
125g butter melted
Filling
400g can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp golden syrup (we didn’t have any golden syrup, so I used honey instead, which worked well, but I’d really like to try it again with the syrup)
60g butter melted.
Topping
200g good quality plain chocolate (I used Lindt 70% cocoa Dark Chocolate
To Make The Base
Preheat oven to 180 deg c. Line a 3 cm deep, 28x 18cm (base) lamington pan.
Combine all base ingredients in a bowl.
Mix well.
Press into prepared lamington pan.
Bake for 15 to 20 min, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
To Make the Filling
Melt the butter slightly in a pan over a low heat for 2 minutes.
Add the condensed milk and golden syrup. whisk the mixture well till butter is thoroughly incorporated.
Cook for 8 minutes stirring constantly, until thickened and light golden in colour( never take your eyes off it, it will burn very easily. Mine turned out to be very light, but I think that’s because I used honey.)
Pour over the cooled base.
Topping
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwavable bowl.
Microwave for 1 min 45 sec on high, or until fully melted. Leave to cool slightly, then pour over the caramel.
Refrigerate to set. Cut into squares to serve.
The verdict: They don’t look as pretty as the caramel crowns, but taste wise, this slice is pretty gosh darn good. And the best part is, I can cut as big a piece as I want, and the only thing it’s going harm is my hips and posterior! Winner!

Day Twenty Five

Hello Friends! Today I completed the second sweet treat in my replacing Arnotts biscuits with palm oil free alternatives! This week I’ve chosen …drumroll please… Caramel Slice! The full post will be up very soon, but until then, let me just say that they ain’t pretty, but they certainly make up for that taste wise!

Breakfast: Toast with my Regimental conserve, and Organic White Tea. They’re my new Sanatarium All Natural Peanut Butter

Lunch: Potato and Leek Soup. Today was a perfect day for soup, just as it was a perfect day for staying inside and organising my iTunes and catching up on blogging/ episodes of Girls.

Snacks: What I’ve very Humbly named Tegan’s Kick Ass Palm Oil Free Caramel Slice. Yeah.

Dinner: Pork Fritters and Potato Gems (or Tater Tots for all my American reader friends).

Day Twenty Four

Hello friends! Before I start on today’s diary, I want to give an honorable mention to the lovely Peter Tehan, the Commanding Officer of the Regimental Condiment Company, for leaving me such a lovely comment on my post about Leo’s, which featured their amazing Raspberry and Blackberry Conserve! I seriously cannot get enough of this stuff, it’s so gosh darn delicious. You should check out all the great things they’re doing over at their website, and see where you can get your hands on the fruits of their local labour!

Breakfast: I stayed at the boyfriends house last night, and thus, I was many kilometers away from my dear conserve. Oh cruel world! Why must you taunt me with what could have been?
Anyway, I decided to choose sleep over breakfast, which I think is fair, especially since I had to work on a Sunday!!

Lunch: It wasn’t all bad though, because after work, I got to meet up for coffee and a late lunch with dear Brogan and Corry, a friend of ours from New Zealand who we met whilst traveling in South America! It was great to see him again, and I’m very much looking forward to having some more adventures with him, Brogs, and his lovely girlfriend Gabs now that he’s living in Melbourne. Yay!
I met them at Cafe No. 5 on Degraves, a very cute and cozy nook of a cafe nestled in, well, lots more cafes! I was ravenous by this time, and demolished a plate of French Toast, complete with a side of bacon, all of which I smothered with maple syrup. Again, I feel as though I can justify this because I had to work on a Sunday.

Dinner: Roast Pork and Vegetables. I’ve said it once, and I’ll probably say it forever; no one makes a Sunday Roast quite like my mother.

Day Twenty Three and some more reflections.

Hello Friends. I would like to share with you some more reflections on this past month, now that it is drawing to a close; with work quieting down during the winter months, it has given me a lot of time to think and contemplate. Once again, if this isn’t your thing, please skip down until you see what I had for Breakfast. I bet you can guess what it is!

One of the many things this challenge has made me realise is that I am completely unaware of my own capabilities. The desire to live a cleaner, greener lifestyle has always been there, hiding in the darker corners of my brain, but I guess I’ve never really believed in myself enough to put them into practice. I guess I’m still holding onto a lot of fear; fear of what people will think, fear of what I might have to give up, and most of all fear that I might fail. I suppose I’m finding it harder to make the transition because I didn’t grow up around particularly eco centric people or an eco centric household. I don’t hold any of this against my family, not at all, I guess it’s just meant that I have to fend for myself in terms of gathering information and making my own changes; I’ve had to force the idea into the forefront of my mind.

I’ve been trying to do this for a good year now, and yet not of eco practices I’ve taken on have stuck. Finally, I know why! It’s because I was trying to take on too many things at once; I tried to cut out palm oil and all products that test on animals, to only by ethical cosmetics and fair trade coffee and clothes that don’t violate human rights or harm the environment. I know now that for me, becoming a fully fledged ethical consumer is going to take time if I want everything to stick, because I’m going to have to re learn all my old habits.

Giving up palm oil was difficult at first, but over the past couple of weeks it has become easier, so much so that I found the limit I thought I had reached could be stretched even further, given more patience and time.

From this, I guess you could say that I’ve formed my own little philosophy on become an ethical consumer; I sure do admire the people who can drop everything unethical just like that, but that’s not me. So this is what I believe: Don’t let the idea of not being able to do everything you want to scare you away from doing what you can. Spend some time at the edges of those limits you set yourself, and then see if you can push past them. You never know what you’re capable of, until you try.

Breakfast: Organic white tea with vanilla

Lunch: Hot Chocolate and a Raspberry Muffin. The line at the Thai Kiosk was too long for my half hour lunch break 😦

Dinner: Today was another of those ‘you have to do all this and be here and you only have this much time to do it’ days. Thus, I had to wolf down a simple meal of pasta and parmesan cheese whilst changing from work clothes to party clothes and packing more work clothes for tomorrow and doing my hair and finding my shoes and  *collapse*

Dessert: Lick Pier Alcoholic Ginger Beer (my most favourite drink) and assorted housewarming party snacks. Sadly, no chips for me, but they did have little Lindt Chocolate Squares, and some delicious homemade brownies. And I got to play with a kitten