Butter – Home-made!

Ever wanted to try your hand at making your own homemade butter?
Below’s a ten minute (approx – temperature/weather affected) receipe.

Utensils & Ingredient/s:
* glass jar with a lid
* heavy cream (35% whipping cream)

Optional:
* Herbs (thyme, lemon zest, pepper, truffle, cacao, …) for a custom flavoured butter.
* A few clean glass marbles

Instructions:
Half-fill your jar with cream (if you’re using the optional marbles pop them into the jar too)
Put the lid on the jar tightly and SHAKE IT!

What you will notice:
The liquid will thicken, and you won’t hear liquid sloshing around as much then after a few more minutes, you’ll hear liquid sloshing around in the jar again. This will be the buttermilk separating from the butter.  Continue to shake the jar for another minute or so, so that the butter becomes a solid mass.

Pour off the buttermilk and scoop the butter out of the jar compacting it… remember to remove the marbles if you used any.
Rinse the butter under cold water, kneading it slightly as you rinse. 

Note:
Homemade butter without preservatives should keep well for a few days in the fridge.

Now you can use your buttermilk and your homemade butter for baking, scones, sandwiches, etc! 🙂

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15 year old… younger self

Being at the age you are, doing what you’ve done, having experienced all you have… what would you say to your 15 year old, younger, self?

Some words c/o News.com.au and In Style magazine (happy 15th In Style magazine!) by some stars:-

MIRANDA KERR:
“If I could say something to my younger self it would be, ‘It’s all [part of] an evolution. It doesn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative, it’s an evolution. Understand what the end goal. Life is about enjoying yourself and trying to make the most of moments. It’s nothing to get too serious about….
I feel like sometimes you can get too serious. Then it loses the fun and you have to wonder, ‘Well, what am I doing this all for?’”

ISABELLE LUCAS:
“What would I say to my 15-year-old self? I would sit her down and remind her that it’s really okay to be yourself; in fact, it’s wonderful. We try to conform to fit someone else’s view but it’s your life—and you never know what’s around the bend.
It takes courage and vulnerability to be that true with yourself and with others.”

What would you say to your younger self? What recommendations would you give about life, love, work, family, friends…?

Hair

The good and bad of having loooong hair:
– Leaving your hair out to cover you like a cape because it’s cold.
– The frustration of leaving your house without a hair tie.
– Using your hair as a fan (and it working!).
– Your hair getting caught in EVERYTHING! 
– The ridiculous experience that washing your hair becomes. Along with the volume of shampoo and conditioner you go through.
But then in summer your wet hair is like a portable air con.
– Feeling like you’ll strangle yourself as you toss and turn at night.
– Sitting or leaning on your own hair, or realizing someone else has as you get up.
– Wondering how you’re not bald, considering the amount of hair you lose. And finding your hair everywhere!
– Wearing a beautiful dress with an open back… that no-one ends up seeing because you left your hair down.
– The number of hairstyles you can have! You can curl your hair and it’s still realllly looong.
But the time it takes to style your hair… the amount of hairspray and gel, as well as the ache in your arms as when do is questionable.   
– Typically tying your hair because it’s just easier. Have you ridden a motorcycle with untied long hair? The knots afterwards are nothing like what is portrayed in the movies.

… long hair is a blessing, a fashion choice, and a daily ‘uh-oh’, which is another reason why I’m doing the Leukemia Foundation’s 2015 Shave for a Cure. My long hair will be shaved off and donated to be made into a wig.
If you could donate in support of this cause, it’d be greatly appreciated! Link below:
The Leukeamia Foundation’s 2015 Worlds Greatest Shave

xx
KJ

P.S. here’s my hair (promo shot because I’m brave for doing the shave) taken not long ago:

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H2O

Did you know that dehydration actually sets in just before you start feeling thirsty?

Sipping water throughout the day is the best way to handle it.

Adverse effects from not drinking enough water include digestive, skin, bladder and kidney problems, fatigue, and even headaches.

Drinking fluids like sweetened juices, soda or tea won’t hydrate you as well as water does. To deal with the excess sugar and salt you are taking in, your body uses immense amounts of water to clean it out from your system.

Drinking water regularly speeds up your metabolism and makes you feel more ‘full’. You will eat less once you start drinking more!
It’s the safest and healthiest way to lose weight.

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Long Weekend and Noise

As it’s a long weekend here in Oz, we find it quite fitting to post up something about neighborhood noise and legalities…

Power tools, parties and overly excited pooches – neighbourhoods can be noisy places. Every neighbourhood is subject to certain local council rules and regulations regarding noise that can help you decide when to throw a party or complain about the one next door!

1. Music
If it’s played at the right times, loud music can be a joy. Other times, it can be a headache, keeping people awake and causing unnecessary tension. The following restrictions determine when it is not permitted for loud music to be audible from any habitable room on a neighbour’s property.

NSW: Music is prohibited between midnight and 8am on Friday, Saturday and any day preceding a public holiday. It’s restricted from 10pm to 8am on any other day.

ACT: In residential areas of the ACT, noise can’t exceed 45 dB between 7am and 10pm or 35 dB between 10pm and 7am.

Qld: There is no time-based noise restriction. Instead, excessive noise can be reported at any time of day.

Vic: Loud music must be switched off between 10pm and 7am Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, the curfew is 11pm. Music is restricted before 9am and after 11pm on Saturdays, and before 9am and after 10pm on Sundays.

SA: Noise complaints are subjectively assessed and not governed by time-based restrictions. In general, music should not exceed the volume of ordinary background noise by more than 8 dB.

Tas: Loud music is permissible from 7am to 10pm between Monday and Thursday, and from 7am to midnight on Friday. It may be played from 9am to midnight on Saturdays. On Sundays, it is unrestricted between 10am and 10pm.

WA: The definition of ‘excessive noise’ is left to the police. In general, music shouldn’t be audible within habitable rooms of a neighbour’s house between 7pm and 7am Monday to Saturday, or 7pm and 9am on a Sunday
NT: Residents are advised to restrict noisy music to between 7pm and 7am Monday to Saturday, and 9am and 6pm on Sundays or public holidays.

2. Pets
A dog that barks all night can quickly go from ‘man’s best friend’ to ‘sleep’s worst enemy’. Read on to learn your state’s laws concerning your, or others’, noisy pets.

NSW: There are no defined times when a barking dog is not permitted. Instead, you can contact a community justice centre or, if the noise persists, issue your neighbour with a nuisance order.

ACT: The ACT Government encourages residents to communicate with their neighbours if a noisy animal is causing frustration. If the issue remains unresolved, you can submit an Animal Nuisance Complaint Form to Domestic Animal Services.

Qld: If speaking to the dog’s owner doesn’t work, you are advised to contact your local council for further assistance. The council may issue the dog’s owner with an abatement notice or fine.

Vic: Complaints about noisy dogs can be directed to the relevant local council, which can, if deemed appropriate, fine the animal’s owner or instruct them to abate the barking.

SA: Each local council has an Animal Management Office to which any complaints about noisy animals should be directed for evaluation and follow-up.

Tas: Aggravated residents are expected to communicate their grievances to the animal’s owner and work towards a mutually satisfactory outcome. If this fails, the matter can, for a fee, be referred to the relevant local council.

WA: The Dog Act empowers local governments to take action if valid complaints are received about an excessively noisy dog. Owners may be served with a six-month noise abatement notice or, if the problem persists, fined up to $5000.

NT: Community justice centres are the first port of call for those driven to despair by a noisy dog. If the issue remains unresolved, the local council may get involved and serve the dog’s owner with an abatement notice.

3. Power tools
Power tools such as lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and electric drills and saws are much more efficient than their manual counterparts – but they’re also much louder. If you’re planning to renovate your home, build some furniture or tidy the garden, you should know your relevant noise restrictions.

NSW: Use of power tools is prohibited between 8pm and 7am on weekdays and Saturdays. On Sundays, they are not impermissible before 8am and after 8pm.

ACT: Power tools are governed by the same laws that cover loud music (see above).

Qld: Power tools mustn’t be clearly audible between 7pm and 7am Monday to Saturday, or 7pm and 8am on Sundays and public holidays.

Vic: Residents mustn’t use power tools before 7am or after 8pm from Monday to Friday. On weekends and public holidays, usage must be limited to after 9am and before 8pm.

SA: South Australia’s noise policy stipulates that power tools can only be used between 9am and 8pm on a Sunday, or 8am and 8pm on any other day.

Tas: Use of power tools is limited to between 7am and 6pm on weekdays, 9am and 6pm on Saturdays, and 10am and 6pm on Sundays and public holidays.

WA: Hand-held power tools can only be used for up to two hours each day. Furthermore, usage is restricted to between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am and 7pm on Sundays and public holidays.

NT: Power tools are governed by the same laws that cover loud music (see above).

4. Vehicles
Be it a ride-on lawnmower or a Lamborghini, if it has an engine, the chances are its owner will rev it with gusto. By obeying the following laws, you can enjoy driving your new toy without driving your neighbours insane.

NSW: Excessive vehicular noise is prohibited between 8pm and 8am on weekends, and 8pm and 7am on weekdays.

ACT: In Canberra, noise restrictions change depending upon the residential zone in which you live. For further information, check the government’s Noise ACT website.

Qld: There are no specific time-based laws governing vehicular noise. Instead, complaints are to be directed to the police, who will use their discretion to address the issue.

Vic: Unless it is entering or leaving premises, a vehicle must remain quiet before 7am and after 8pm on weekdays, and before 9am and after 8pm on weekends and public holidays.

SA: As in Queensland, the police are authorised to perform subjective noise assessments of offending vehicles.

Tas: Complaints about excessively noisy vehicles are to be directed to the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources by calling 1300 135 513.

WA: Vehicular noise laws are determined by local governments so check with your local council. Complaints may also be made to the police.

NT: Owners of noisy vehicles should abide by the same restrictions governing loud music (see above).
It might be true that ‘good fences make good neighbours’ – but the same could be said of good noise restrictions. By familiarising yourself with local noise regulations, you can relax in your own home and ensure your neighbours can too!

Remember: anytime you think someone’s annoying you with noise think about when you might need some leniency…

c/o J Carr

New Years Eve!! :D

J.A.P Cupcakes would like to shout out a huge “Thank you” for all your support in 2014. It’s been another interesting year full of triumphs and tribulations, happiness, joy and laughter.

It’s New Years Eve once again and we bid another year adieu.

Before we pop the champagne and celebrate the New Year, don’t forget to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by. To  remember both our triumphs and  our missteps, our promises made and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures or closed ourselves down due to fear. That is what New Years is all about- giving and getting, another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more, to try harder; for new beginnings, letting go of old, welcoming new possibilities. To stop worrying about the what if’s and start embracing what could be, what would be if we gave it a chance. So when that stroke of midnight comes, and 2014 comes to a final close, let’s make a resolution to be nice to each other, kind to each other, to our families, friends, acquaintances; the random people on the street, animals and all things in this great world around us. We are blessed. We should never take what we have for granted. But in saying that, we should try our best to be nice not for just one moment in time, but all year long.

Time flies by, people come and go. We win some, we lose some. Celebrate and be happy. Share love, give hope, forgive, allow for second chances, fresh starts and new beginnings.

xx

J.A.P Cupcakes

Gluten

Gluten refers to the proteins found in wheat endosperm (a type of tissue produced in seeds that’s ground to make flour); and is actually composed of two different proteins: gliadin (a prolamin protein) and glutenin (a glutelin protein). Gluten is responsible for the elastic texture of dough, helping it rise and keep its shape, and often gives the final product a chewy texture. Gluten is used in cosmetics, hair products, and other dermatological preparations.

Did you know: Gluten, especially wheat gluten, is often the basis for imitation meats resembling beef, chicken, duck, fish, and pork?

Though gluten is mostly defined as being specific to wheat, gluten is often said to be part of other cereal grains, e.g. rye, barley and various crossbreeds, because these grains also contain protein composites made from prolamins and glutelins.

Is gluten bad?

Gluten isn’t bad, but some people are gluten-intolerant, meaning their bodies produce an abnormal immune response when it breaks down gluten from wheat and related grains during digestion.

The most well-known form of gluten intolerance is celiac disease.
When someone with celiac disease consumes gluten, it triggers an immune response that damages their intestines, preventing them from absorbing vital nutrients.

There is another potential form of intolerance called nonceliac gluten sensitivity.
After consuming gluten, patients with gluten sensitivity may experience celiac disease symptoms, such as diarrhea, fatigue and joint pain, but don’t appear to have damaged intestines.

In cases of gluten intolerance, doctors typically recommend a gluten-free diet, where the individual is to avoid eating any foods and ingredients that contain gluten, e.g. bread, beer, french fries, pasta, salad dressing, soy sauce and even some soups – or unless otherwise marked as “gluten-free”.

Did you know: higher gluten levels are associated with higher amounts of overall protein in a food product?

Good Eating – Food Tips

If you’re just starting out, just weaning yourself off the quick meals and fast food diet and way of life. Here are some, no fuss food tips for you:

1. Ditch the pre-prepared food boxes and packages.

2. Give up that low fat / low sugar mentality.

3. Learn to read labels.

4. Remember all things are best in moderation!

5. Shop for fresh fruits and vegetables – the freezer can be your friend if you’re ‘time poor’.

6. Apply the KISS principle when cooking.

7. Increase your daily water intake.

8. Develop a repertoire of fast, easy, simple meal receipes.

And finally, share with friends and family – not only articles and receipes, but also by preparing wholesome meals for your get-togethers.