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Showing posts from November, 2012

Sorbet - Annabel Langbein style

Well I decided to try making Annabel Langbein's sorbet that was on her current TV programme "The Free Range Cook, Simple Pleasures". It is so much easier to make than normal sorbet where you have to make a sugar syrup. But it left it a lot grittier and the berries have little pip bits that gave it a sort of crunch. It is nice, it is super easy and also is egg, gluten, fat and dairy free. But the boys did not like it. So I also made some real fruit icecream for them. Putting them both together in the same dish worked well as the smooth icecream meant the crunchy sorbet was not overpowering.


Annabel Langbein Berry Sorbet
I did 1/2 recipe and that was a lot.
500g frozen berries into the food processor, add 1 cup castor (or superfine) sugar and 1 tablespoon of alcohol (I used creme de cassis from Barkers). Process till smooth (this took a wee while) Put in the freezer for at least two hours before serving.

My real fruit icecream
Put frozen berries into foodprocesser, add icin…

Crisis Averted

My gorgeous husband has spent hours resolving the loss of this blog. He got it back!!! I had resigned myself to a new life without blogger. Think of all the housework I could do, think of all the gardening!! But no I am saved from a life of drudgery and can now be a internet freak again.

Isn't he gorgeous!!

To celebrate we had a yummy dessert (well that was my excuse, it was actually a failed lot of mini pavlova). I put layers of Chantilly cream, strawberries from the garden and disastrous pavlova into gorgeous glasses. A sort of Eton Mess.

An awesome baby shower

I have just come home from a fantastic baby shower for my cousin Alison. It was held at The Make Cafe in Riccarton, Christchurch. Wow did they pull out all the stops. Decorated beautifully with so many things I just cannot mention them all. Then as an activity we all made a bib. They supplied bibs and material and a cutter and we cut out various pattern, used vliesofix to iron them on and if you felt like it there was thread etc to stitch something.
Gorgeous china and three pots of different tea, coffee, slices........ What a great way to celebrate.


I scooter-ed 10km!!

We were in Dunedin for the weekend staying with my sister. The Dunedin City Council have slowly been making a bike, walk, run path around the harbour from the city out towards Port Chalmers. This path is at the bottom of the hill where my sister lives.

Aaron was going to run it, the boys had scooters to scoot along and so Warren (my brother in law) found an old scooter in their garage for me to use.

To start with Aaron's first comment was "you are not wearing that scooting are you?" Sorry what is the problem, I had a merino jersey over the top of a cotton shirt and 3/4 length jeans with sneakers. "It's gingham" - what? Then I asked what did he think I should wear, a skirt? "Shorts". What! in public! is he nuts?!

So off we go. Oh my goodness. Each way turned out to be 4km not 5km (whew). I had to keep changing legs as my gluteous maximus were getting very sore!! Aaron then started pushing me up the hills (what a gorgeous macho man). Then the scoote…

Super Easy Rhubarb Dessert

This dessert is sooo simple and easy. Tasty tasty and healthy. Egg, Dairy, Gluten, Fat free (fantastic for you Kerryn).

If you want you can make some nut brittle and sprinkle on top. Or this is gorgeous for breakfast with some homemade muesli sprinked on and a bit of Greek Yogurt (so long as you can eat dairy!)

Recreating a Regency Jacket

On the weekend we had planned to try a second attempt at going to the Victorian Festival in Oamaru.
This time was highly sucessful - but more about that on another post.

The forecast was for 12oC and it was only that!! I was very worried that my dress was made as Regency Ball dress for Aaron's 25th birthday and that I would be cold. Which would definitely have happened.

So talking about this on Saturday Aaron suggested that I go to Save Mart in Dunedin (as we were staying in Dunedin with my sister Ruth) and have a look for something there. I needed to make a Regency style short jacket to go with my dress.

Well right away I spotted a Stax size 12 tweed jacket that I knew I could turn into something for only $6.99.

It is a long time since I used a needle and thread rather than sewing machine but out came thread and a needle. I altered the sleeve bottom to be tighter. I cut the back right up to my dress hem and made the front a bit pointed ( a little bit like Lydia's jacket in P…

Completed in the Nick of time

Why I only manage to finish things at the last possible moment I do not know. But back here I had the silk all washed, then I cut it out. Last weekend I sewed the vests and prepped the bow ties but somehow it took till today to do the finishing. Putting on the buttons and then finishing the ties.

But the result looks great. They both have fully reverseable waistcoats in Thai silk. One side is plain - Jakob has a gorgeous blue and Eli the deep crimson you see, the other side is patterned. Jakob has the stripe and Eli has a multi check. They both ordered lots of bow ties. So I sewed them three each for a choice.

You will see more photos next week once we have been to our Victorian Weekend.

Posted to some parties here

Spicy Fruit Bagels

The boys and I watched "Rachel Allen Bake" on the weekend and she did bagels. When the boys were little I used to make spicy fruit bagels quite a lot as they liked them toasted with homemade jam on them for breakfast.

Why is it that we forget some of the great things we used to do? So all inspired today I thought I would do bagels for afternoon tea. I think I over rose them a bit - they really puffed up when boiling. I forgot how easy they are when you have a breadmaker. The boys are scoffing through them as I write this.

My recipe has no dairy, no saturated fat at all (great for you Kerryn - hot with some homemade jam on them) no egg (I specifically do not egg wash them so that they can be no egg.) Though if you do egg wash them they do go glossy and lovely on top.




It must be summer

This is the earliest we have had strawberries every. Enough for dessert. We are having these gorgeous red strawberries with homemade Feijoa and Ginger ice-cream ( just added homemade jam to the recipe here).

The strawberries are in the new garden bed that I dug and built this winter and I have gone back to being traditional for planting. I used black weed mat and it certainly not only represses weeds but the soil under is so warm.

Yum Yum in our tum.

Blackcurrant Jam and Dairy Free Banana Cake

I have half a cow coming off the farm in the next few weeks so need to empty the freezer. Last year my blackcurrants were so prolific that I still had three containers of them in the freezer when I looked today. As we used the last blackcurrant jam on Friday, I figured that was what I would do with them.

For those of you with lot of blackcurrants what we normally do is free flow freeze (try saying that fast!) them and I use them instead of blueberries when making the blueberry muffin recipe. They are tarter and stronger in taste and we all love it.

Anyway this Jam recipe is a conglomeration of years of trying and a lovely Victorian Jam and Preserve book that my gorgeous friend Marie Pearce gave me as a wedding present (Hi Marie - still haven't finished making your birthday present, am working on those screens).

Rather than type the recipe out I have taken a photo of it. You should be able to read it ok. I use a higher portion of fruit to sugar than most recipes. I also don't …

The Dude and I

Aaron is away at the Cold Play concert in Auckland. Jakob is staying over at his friends for the night. So it is just me and the Dude.

There has just been the two of us since 5pm last night. The Dude has been very happy as he has gotten to XBox all by himself without his older brother interfering. I had a bath and read my book as I was exhausted. We had been up since 6am doing a garage sale to get rid of all the stuff that Aaron told me I had to. (that was after a night where I was up twice to the Dude as he was having bad dreams) When I got up in the morning yesterday I could not find the Dude - he was in his older brothers' bed sleeping with him. Apparently he had another set of bad dreams that I had not heard and had climbed into bed with Jakob.

Then at 2pm we went to my nephews 5th birthday party. Out at Castle Park - so lots of kids running around, flying fox, petting animals etc in the sun. So last night I actually went to sleep when the Dude did as I had a lot to catch up. …

Lawnmower graveyard

It has been one of those days. The Lawnmower is dead (well actually it is not but it sure is smokin'!!).
Aaron went for a run at 8.15pm just as I was tucking the kids into bed. I have been procrastinating all day about mowing the lawn (if I am real, it has probably been a week) so I gave myself a pep talk and told myself not to be so lazy.

Out comes the lawnmower and I am doubting the wisdom of this as it is getting dark. I mow the strip across the road and as I am coming back into the section I notice that the mower is smoking. A short check confirms that black oil is pouring out of the top of the head, down the side and onto the deck bit.

Now any normal person who works in Health and Safety would eliminate the hazard by stopping the task until either a new mower is purchased, or you hire someone else with their mower. But no - I think - "How fast can I get this lawn mowed? Can I do it before it explodes?:" Following that very bad Health and Safety thought I go for the …

I could not resist

You would think that I did not already have enough to do. I have a garage sale to organise for next weekend (yes I have decided that Aaron telling me to clear out does mean a big garage sale - my sister Anna is joining me with heaps of stuff), at least three waistcoats and goodness knows how many bow ties to make from the silk here.

I was ironing the silk tonight and got sidetracked. I could not remember which colours Jakob had chosen so I could not cut the patterns out. So I just kept ironing. This pile will become another 100% recycled quilt. This time a flannelette one. It will be half square triangles like the quilt I made for Alex, but in girly colours. This one is destined for the caravan for Aaron and I.

I had the pieces cut out, now they are ironed and ready to go. (I will need to cut more white, but hey why do that when I can do the fun sewing thing). Instead of marking my diagonal lines, when I have big squares, I just iron them and the iron mark works as the stitching guid…

My day

Today we were going to have a family trip to Orana Park. But we woke to wet weather. So coffee and croissants were delivered to me in bed for breakfast (Yum and thank you Aaron). Then I set about doing another of the tasks that I had been procrastinating about - Cleaning the caravan out. Somehow stuff accumulates. So every cupboard and space has been gone through.

We now have a tidy caravan and we no longer have 17 towels!! (slightly excessive). I have pulled down the last lot of curtains to fix as I fixed all the front ones last year. Apart from that the food needs to be stocked up a bit and we are set to rock and roll.

The reason for this is that at Xmas time all of my family are getting together for my sisters wedding and then we are all camping for Xmas and New Year. So we have a few extra chairs in, a few more bits of cutlery, plates etc. Looking forward to it.

I am really pleased with the garden at the moment. Thank goodness we did not get the snow that was down south. My peas,…

What's on my washing line and sewing table

Piles and piles of gorgeous Thai silk. I bought this silk when I was 20 and went overseas. On a Singapore stopover I could not resist all the silk and at amazingly cheap prices (well at that time compared to NZ they were).

These materials have been in storage since then (yes I kid you not - 24 years!!!!). As you know from my previous blog posts we are going to try to get to the Victorian Festival in Oamaru in a couple of weeks. I have an Edwardian dress I made for Aaron's 25th birthday party. But the boys and Aaron need something. I was going to make them vests and bow ties for my sisters upcoming wedding anyway. So I am now doing it a bit earlier.

I had kept these in storage, as from memory I thought I only bought a metre of each and that is not really enough to do anything particular with. BUT wouldn't you know it - I actually bought decent amounts. Some are 1.5 metres and some are 2 metres. Oh my but I might need to do a skirt for me for some occasion.



So over the next two w…