Saturday, 28 December 2013

Chelsea Winter Gluten Free Chocolate Cheesecake

One of my favourite things about Christmas is all the delicious food that you get to make. I have a sweet tooth so I'm always drawn to desserts and treats! Because of this, I usually get the task of making dessert for Christmas day, so I begin trawling through Pinterest for recipes and inspiration! (Seriously what did we do before we had Pinterest??!!) 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Triple Berry Blondie (Brownie)

Here's an easy recipe when you want something sweet for an afternoon tea or dessert, but don't want to go to the effort of making a cake. 

This recipe I made up as an adaption from the Edmonds Illustrated Cookbook. If you love the regular Edmonds book, then you really need this one! 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Super Easy White Chocolate Russian Fudge

When I was growing up, my sister and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen. We pretty much only ever made cakes and sweets! One of our favourite "sweets" to make was Russian Fudge. We used a recipe from the Rally Cookbook which you had to boil for 30 minutes until it was ready to beat and set. Usually when you're making sweets you want to make and eat as soon as possible! Although the waiting does make it taste sweeter don't you think?!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Mini Sweet Pecan Pies

This is one of those recipes that I've had for aaaaages but never done because I thought it would be too hard or fiddly. I got the recipe from a colleague at work who is a brilliant cook and baker, and whips up all kinds of things at the drop of a hat. She sometimes makes these for special morning teas at work and we all "ooh" and "ahh" about them because they look so fancy and special. They also taste delicious and are the perfect type of thing when you want "just a mouthful". So now I have discovered that they are deceptively simple!
The only ingredient I needed to buy was the Pecan Nuts. I already had some frozen sweet short pastry (yes I know, a cooks cheat), and everything else is pantry staples. 
You could make your own pastry, it's included in the recipe, and it looks pretty easy too. 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Things I'm Loving : New Plymouth

This is my first time doing things I'm loving, inspired by Meghan! This past weekend we spent a few days in my hometown New Plymouth. We don't get up there very often and sometimes I forget that it is actually a neat little city. So here are a few of my pics from the three days we spent there. 

Firstly I am loving Brooklands Zoo! It is a free (yes FREE) Zoo in New Plymouth open 7 days a week. They have all kinds of animals from monkeys to meerkats and a few obligatory farm animals too. There is also a pretty neat playground to play on as well. It's a pretty amazing facility totally maintained by the council and to a very high standard also. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Midweek Meal: Chinese Chow Mein Rice

I would like to preempt this post by saying that 1. I am definitely not a food photographer (I took all these pics on my phone while I was cooking!) and 2. I realise this is probably the furtherest recipe away you can get for an authentic Chow Mein, but this is the name I made up, so I'm going with it!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie

It's really not the right season over here in New Zealand to be making desserts like Pumpkin Pie. Our weather is warming up, and you're more likely to be indulging in strawberries and ice cream! BUT I can assure you, once you've had this pie, you will change your mind! It has a beautiful sweet, velvety texture, and it's hard to stop at one slice!
I got the recipe from an old work colleague who used to make it every time we had a pot luck meal. I actually hadn't had it before then, it always seems a bit confusing to make a sweet dish from a vegetable! So the thought of it might put some people off. If I had the choice of apple pie or pumpkin pie, I might actually choose the pumpkin option! 
This is really a very sweet, decadent dessert that can be eaten warm or cold, alone or with cream, ice cream or yoghurt. 
It's definitely worth a try, and if I have any Northern Hemisphere readers, here's an easy recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

DIY: Upcycled Necklace

Here is a SUPER easy project you can do with any jewellery that needs freshening up. It literally took me 15 minutes from start to finish!

Before I had my son, I wore a lot of jewellery and especially necklaces. If you are a mother, you will know necklaces + baby = chaos! So up until fairly recently I haven't been wearing a lot of my stash! I also used to wear a lot of different necklaces at work, but once we switched to a uniform, I couldn't really wear them anymore. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

What I've been up to! Making, Baking and Creating!

Last week I was SUPER busy! We had a short week because of the holiday on Monday for Labour Day. This doesn't really affect me given that I don't work on a Monday! But it was nice to have my husband at home with us. So I didn't get much done that day as a result, being in weekend mode for an extra day!

(The view from my deck, last friday night)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Ninja Cookie Drop: Double Dark Chocolate Cookies with Hazelnuts and Sea Salt

This past weekend I participated in what is known as "The Sisterhood Ninja Bake 2013". This is where a group of women all over the country, secretly bake and drop off homemade goodies to hundreds of others. The idea behind this is to brighten someone's day, bring them a little joy if they are going through a hard time, or just to let them know someone out there cares. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Spiced Apple Cake Slice

Today was a bit of a lazy day. My son was up in the night so I was feeling really tired, I had zero motivation to take him anywhere (bad mothering I know!) and I felt like baking something tasty but easy. 

I always think if you are baking something with a fruit or vegetable in it, that instantly makes it healthy, right?! For example carrot cake, banana bread and this beautiful spiced apple cake! 
A dear friend gave me this recipe years ago, but I'm sure I only made it for the first time this year! I couldn't even really remember what it was meant to look or taste like, but I knew I liked it when she baked it! I really like anything that has cinnamon in it- blueberry muffins, cinnamon scrolls, carrot cake, pumpkin pie (ooh remind me to blog a recipe for that!)

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Children's Book Review: "You..." by Emma Dodd.

One of my little boy's favourite things to do is read books. He is a avid book reader and his book shelf is rapidly filling up with all kinds of stories. I used to read him a lot of basic board books, and now he is becoming more interested in picture books that have a longer story. Some of our favourite are the Spot series, Maisy, Hairy McClary and anything that has lots of flaps to open and shut. 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Rainbow Layer Birthday Cake

I have been a little busy the last couple of weeks planning for my son's 2nd birthday party. We held it this past weekend at a local kindergarten. The theme was The Wiggles- basically bright colours, and an excuse for my little one to get dressed up. I didn't want anything to hard or fussy, so decided to go for a simple but effective layer cake in the Wiggles colours. 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone has a favourite chocolate chip biscuit recipe. (FYI: Biscuit is what us Kiwi's call cookies!) It might be a family secret, or favourite tried- and true recipe from a favourite cookbook like the trusty old Edmonds or another familiar baker. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Finished projects....August: Hats

Thought I would update with some of those things that I started in August , and have now completed. I already posted about the baby booties, so have made just the 2 pairs of those. I have bought some gorgeous multi-coloured wool to use but now I love doing the hats so much I might use it for that instead!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Michael Jones Chocolate Celebration Cake

We don't have many traditions in my family but this cake certainly seems to be becoming one! I have been using this recipe for around 10 years now. It is my go-to cake for birthdays and special occasions. I get a lot of comments about how delicious it is. It's a very dense, chocolatey cake, perfect for a celebration. it bakes up well in a large tin, I often use a 27cm tin and it still rises up nice and high, so will easily serve 10+ people. I usually do a plain chocolate icing with or without extra decoration, but the original recipe calls for a decadent cream and chocolate bar topping! Obviously I have to give credit to Michael Jones for the recipe, but you should also feel privileged to be getting it, as it is almost a family secret! 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Easy Baby Booties Pattern

After mastering the scarf (see here and here), I decided to branch out and try something else. I went to my local Spotlight store with every intention of getting the materials to try crochet, when I came across this pattern for One Piece Baby Booties. It was labelled "easy" so I thought I would give them a go.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

What I'm Making...August

I'd like to do a monthly post updating you on what I'm currently making, baking or creating!
So here goes for August:

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Muffins are an absolute staple in our household. I've found they are about the only thing I can guarantee my toddler will eat on any given day! My mum used to bake muffins a lot too, and the Alison Holst Marvellous Muffins cookbook was the go to for recipes. 

My son's favourite are the Double Chocolate Muffins. We always have a supply of these in the freezer. I make mine in mini muffin tins and can get 3 or 4 dozen from the recipe- depending on how generous I'm feeling! Maybe not the healthiest option but delicious all the same!

Coral Infinity Scarf

After making the first Infinity Scarf (link here), I was kinda hooked and really wanted to do another one. I'd seen a few patterns on Ravelry and in particular this SUPER cool chunky "cowl". (I get really confused between the terms snood, cowl and infinity scarf, to me they all mean a circular scarf!) but after reading the pattern and sort of having a go, I was very put off by the need to use circular knitting needles. It's one of my knitting goals to be able to knit "in the round", so I can knit hats. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I dress my son in all kinds of crazy hats, so I'd really love to be able to make my own.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Lemon Meringue Slice

I found this recipe back when I was on maternity leave and watched Good Morning everyday on TV! I put it on my Pinterest and thought I'd make it if an occasion presented itself. Then my cousin made a comment that it was really easy AND delicious so I'd thought I would give it a go. If you like things that are a combination of flavours and textures, then you will love this! A nice fluffy meringue top, a smooth creamy lemon centre and a crunchy biscuit base. Also, it's waaaay easier than making a Lemon Meringue Pie, yet essentially tastes the same!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Beginner Knits: Infinity Scarf Pattern

Last year sometime I saw an advert on TV for a series called "The Art of Knitting". You could buy a magazine which came with instructions, a pair of knitting needles and some wool to start you off. The idea was that each week a new magazine came out and each week you complete a knitted square which by the end of the series could be sewn together to make a blanket. I decided to give it a go as I had previously done some knitting as a child but never took it up seriously as my mum lost patience teaching me (mostly due to the fact that I am left-handed and couldn't get the hang of doing everything backwards). Anyway, I am lucky enough to work with some very talented crafty people at my work, so they said they would steer me in the right direction. 

The first one...and a recipe for Banana Bread

Welcome! To my first post...I don't really know what to write! Maybe just that I've arrived...or been sucked into exposing my life for the world to see! The main purpose of writing this is really so I can share with other people things that I enjoy doing. I will mostly be posting about recipes that I have tried and made, crafty things I have creating (which at the moment is anything knitted), products I like and books I'm reading. 
So I guess this is it so here goes!