Friday, January 31, 2014

Yummmm - Homemade Hokey Pokey Icecream


Yesterday being the last day of the school holidays we did a bit of baking. I decided to make some Hokey Pokey (honeycomb) using the Edmonds recipe. It turned out really well but I obviously did not get it to a set enough point first so it was soft for a long long time.
homemade hokey pokey icecream
Hmm - best use - add it to icecream. So today I made some of my icecream (see the 5 minute recipe here) and once it was mixed I added chunks of the Hokey Pokey. Let me tell you it was delicious.

Cheaper than shop bought, less sugar, used our chooks eggs, no additives or preservatives. I thought I had taken a photo of it served up but I forgot.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What is in my Trug today?

What is in my Trug today
A String of garlic I plaited after drying for a few days, butter beans,
french green beans, baby carrots and Jersey Benne potatoes.
I picked all these delicious things from the garden intending to make a Salad Nicoise as I had some fresh salmon. Then Aaron rang to say he was late so the dinner kept the same ingredients but swapped out the salmon for chickpeas and berlotti beans (for me) and sausage for the boys.

The tomatoes were hiding underneath
They became my standby curry. I made a vegetarian version and a meat version so we could have what we wanted.

Standard Curry recipe.
This recipe comes from a lovely Indian lady I worked with in 2008. It was her family's go to curry recipe and she made it for us all on her last day at work.
1 medium onion chopped
2 fresh green chilli (optional and can be substituted with capsicum if you do not like hot)
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1tsp ground tumeric
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground coriander
2tsp chilli powder (depending on how hot you like it - I use curry powder instead )
1tsp crushed ginger
1tsp crushed garlic
60nl oil
salt to taste
2 potatoes - cooked and cut up into bit sizes
1 cup peas ( or as much vege as you want to add - I add about 4 cups veges)
500g meat (diced chicken, lamb or beef) or beans as you choose

Put oil in large pot followed by oinions and chilli/ capsicum on medium heat. Stir occasionally - do not brown the onions just sweat them. Add ginger, ginger and all the ground spices.Leave to cook for about a minute and then add the tomato. Stir well and add the meat (or beans) - raise the heat. Once meat is cooked add the potatoes and any vegetables. Add a cup of vege stock or the water from cooking the potatoes and allow all to simmer until cooked and ready. Serve on rice.

Tip - I buy chick peas in bulk and cook them all at once in a huge pot. Then I put them into meal sizes zip lock bags and freeze. Anytime I want them I can just pull them out of the freezer. 6 meals cost me $5 versus one tin of cooked chick peas at $2.89 per tin!

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Another thing crossed off my list

Now all covered 
Little boy material - gone.

Well it has been over two years since I redecorated Eli's bedroom and I have finally recovered the squab on his side table. He chose the fabric a long time ago as it is NZ themed and looks like the All Blacks material. He decided on a red piping. I used the zip from the previous squab cover.

So he has finally purged all the little boy stuff from his bedroom.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Craft completions while camping

Over the Summer while we have been away I have been getting on with either finishing or starting various hand work projects.
Bible memory verses
I finished all the stitching blocks that I am going to do for a quilt that displays some of the kids Bible memory verses from school from last year. Yay, now onto the patchwork to put it all together. 
I started an applique using Asian woven fabrics  - eventually it will be the front of a  messenger style bag for me. 
I finished the hand piecing of these stretched look hexagons that I showed you when I started - here. I made a block big enough to make a new wallet and another little block to hold all my loyalty cards.

As you can see I am currently enjoying using my collection of Asian woven fabrics. So different to the normal American quilting cottons and such gorgeous textures.

I really enjoyed the hand stitching. Lately I have found myself reverting back to hand stitching things. I guess as the kids become older it is easier to do work by hand. 

I link to these places - I will be definitely linking this up to Finish it up Friday and WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wow look what I found on my doorstep.

This parcel created super excitement at our house this morning. A big box was delivered and we could not understand why. The boys opened it and I had won a competition with NZ Gardener and Tui Garden products. Wow a real trug and excellent fertilizers for the garden. I am thrilled.

A bit bonkers

Well last night we got home from another 8 days away camping. This time the weather was good and the swimming was great. Yay, I have had a summer holiday.

Anyway, we got home at 5.35pm and by 6.10pm I was baking. I felt bonkers!!! (hence the title) as there was washing all over the floor, unpacking to do, gardens to look at but no- I baked. All because before we left I forgot to put the bananas in the freezer for later use. So on the bench were five very brown bananas. Though once peeled they were just over ripe inside, where I had expected brown.

So I made a double batch banana cake that is yum! I used the Edmonds recipe but don't bake it as long as their baking time makes the cake come out a bit dry.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A few snapshots from today

I have been working on a few things, but often forgetting to take photos. Today both the boys had friends for a sleepover tonight.
I did some baking -Belgium slice.

Made some yummy club sandwiches for lunch.
I have been working on this. Using Taupe fabric from Asia I am making myself a new wallet. My old one is worn. I had cut out the stretched hexagons in order to take this hand stitching away on holiday. But while the boys were all swimming I started on this. I got the idea from Svetlana over at S.O.T.A.K. I had never seen the hexies stretched like that and immediately made two different template sizes and started on this long awaited project.

The boys made some huts on the deck

The younger ones did a bit of this
The older ones did a bit of this. Both lots of boys thought they should have done a bit more of the gaming. But hey!!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday and other links here

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I declared today a sewing day

And then I promptly did everything but sew.

I changed the beds, did four loads of washing and hung it out, checked the chickens, gardened for an hour, did some grocery shopping, baked a cake, heated leftovers for dinner...... and then finally I sewed.

I did not attack any of my many many uncompleted projects. But I did start and FINISH a project. I made a pile of pillowcases for the pillows in the caravan.
sewing for the home

Now this might seem like a daft sewing project but I like 100% cotton, crisp and cool pillowcase to lay my cheek on at night. The caravan gets the rejects - the old towels, the grotty old pillowcases etc and I was sick of yucky polycotton that does not stay cool at night.

I had a fat quarter of the cool retro car and caravan material, the boys immediately tried to commandeer those ones. Then I used another camping themed material.

The main body of the pillowcase was a queen sized valance I purchased from the Op Shop (Charity Shop) for $3. It is a really good brand and 100% cotton.
The total cost of each pillowcase ending out to be about $2.00 each. My kind of price!!

The retro car and caravan material

The other camping themed material

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Dairy Free Zucchini Cake

The boys are going to their grandparents tomorrow while I work. The grandparents are going to be very busy as they also have my other 1&3 year old nephew and niece with them.

So to try and be of some assistance I decided to have the boys take a cake. My nephew and niece have been very dairy intolerant and although they are getting better I still omit dairy when I can.

The zucchini's are starting to really produce so instead of using apples I used zucchini. My spiced apple cake recipe is here - just replace the grated apple with 3-4 grated normal size zucchini.

Needless to say it is not going to the grandparents in one piece as everyone here has already had a slice!!!

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

My favourite anytime snack

This is great for breakfast, gorgeous for morning tea, makes a good lunch and if you are peckish at three.... well....
Walk to the glasshouse, take a deep breath and smell the earthy growing scent. Look at the glorious produce, pick the biggest ripest beefsteak tomato that you can then walk back to the kitchen.
Toast a piece of wheatmeal or wholemeal fresh bread. Put a 1cm slice in the middle and use as much cracked pepper and salt as you like. Eat, Savour and Enjoy. (In my aim to be a bit healthier I did not use any butter on the toast and it is still awesomely delicious).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Scrappy Triangle Cushions - Done

 Before Christmas I posted my slow but steady progress on some cushion covers. I had made heaps of scrappy triangles and it was time to use them.

Last night I got the chance to finish them. Aaron and his brother went for a run and then watched a movie, so I got stuck into getting the backing of the cushions and zips inserted etc. Poor wee Jakob had problems sleeping so in between tending to him these got slowly completed. I managed to pack my machine up at about 11.15pm. (We all ended up sleeping in this morning - it made me over an hour late for work - but that was my schedule not one set by my every forgiving boss - aka brother in law).

The quilting on the smaller cushion
I am pleased with these cushions - Jakob being awake still at 10.30pm took the small finished one back to his room. I think I will keep the big one for my bed as I am seriously into sitting up in bed reading, relaxing and drinking coffee in the morning.
The bigger cushion I quilted as diamonds. I prefer this.
So I still have triangles left to use AND I have created another project for myself as I think some of our big European pillows on our bed need nice quilted covers etc etc etc!!!
The back of the cushions.
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dansey's Pass

Kyeburg diggings at Danseys Pass
 One of the day trips that we did was to go over the Danseys Pass and back. We left the campground (Danseys Pass Holiday Park) and headed into the blue yonder (or rather grey and misty yonder). Over the Pass we went in our two wheel drive vehicle only to find that it is a four wheel drive road only. But we made it OK. It is not a road for the fainthearted and we did consider going the long way back (172km via Oamaru) rather than do the road again. But going back was OK as the day had been dry so it was easier than when damp in the morning. 
The boys graffiti on the car
The New Hotel (rather old actually but newer than the ruins!
Ruins of an old hotel by the "new" hotel
An old mining hotel
 Once we got to Nasby the weather improved and we did an 8km walk along an old goldmining water race. We played Poo Sticks most of the way and I won!!!

Th goldmining water race
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Monday, January 6, 2014

Lots of time to stitch

We have come home from 9 days in Central Otago on holiday over the New Year. Now that is one place where heat and sunshine are guaranteed right. Well you would be wrong. We did get some warm days and some sun but we also had a lot of rain. Which meant the river kept going up and then making it either too cold or too swift for swimming.
Back stitch
 So I got quite a lot of time to stitch. I have been working on these stitcheries which are some of the memory verses that the boys had to learn at school this year. I decided to stitch some of the ones that struck a cord with me and then turn them into a quilt. Not sure yet whether I will use the quilt for fundraising if the school has something that the kids need to raise money for, or whether to give it to the boys. As it is no where near finished it is not something I need to dwell on at the moment.
The boys and Aaron did a lot of this.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Barry's Brilliant Beetroot

Today I have made my cousin-in-law beetroot recipe. It is so quick and easy and tastes yummy. I don't seem to be able to grow beetroot - I try every year and just don't get roots - sigh. So resorted to buying some. So beetroot with a roast vege and feta salad. (Yet another cousins recipe - Yes I have stacks of cousins which makes sense as my mother was from a family of 10!!).

Pickled Beetroot

Preparation time: more than 30 minutes

4 large beetroot
¾ cup water
1½ cups white vinegar or ¾ cup apple cider vinegar with ¾ cup malt vinigar
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Wash beetroot thoroughly and cook in water until tender.
2. Cool and remove skin. (either by hand or use a knife)
3. Cut beetroot into slices or julienne strips.
4. Place all other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
5. Simmer for 5 minutes and then strain.
6. Pack beetroot into hot sterilised jars and top up with vinegar mixture.

7. Seal and store in a cool place.

This can be eaten on the day you make it, unlike some recipes that are better if left to mature. So no bottling for me - straight into my tupperware drain and serve!!!

Great walking and amazing milestones.

Well two years from my operation I'm finally feeling fitter and more able. As a family we walked into the Hope/ Kiwi halfway hut and o...