Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hits and Misses

It’s been an interesting week or so. A few good things, a few more not so great things. I won’t dwell on the bad stuff (except for a heavy cold I currently have – splutter, sniff, sniff seems to be my day at the moment), but I have been enjoying this early spring weather and have made the most of it out in the garden the last few days. Spring has just blown a gentle wave over the garden and there is so much new life – really quite magical. I can sit out there for hours and enjoy the sweet smells and the prettiness (well, as long as the children let me sit!).

The Vege garden in looking in great shape, Fennel, Kale, crazy cabbages that never "cabbaged" but just grew huge, and the biggest abundance of Broccoli EVER. We are eating it with every meal (no lie). Any Broccoli recipes gladly welcomed.

The spring bulbs are just stunning. One I am loving in my little Peony Tulip (the Peony is my favourite flower but unfortunately I can’t grow them in this warmer part of NZ – I used to have success further South in NZ) so this is a little pretend Peony.

I have loads and loads of seedlings growing as well, my sweet peas and coriander are ready to harden off out, and I'm bound to have a heap more ready shortly. Better make some spaces in the garden for all of these delights!                                              

Baking has been definitely full of hits and misses this week. I've made some fabulous biscuits.....

And some I’d rather never try again. I didn't photograph those ones though..... Even the girls won’t eat them (chooks didn’t mind though).

I have a great recipe book from the library “The Aunt Daisy Baking Book”  which has some great old fashioned recipes. Aunt Daisy was a NZ radio host back in the 1930s, well known for her handy home hints (Aunt Daisy's home hints) and Baking secrets.  Her recipes are interesting though. Most of her techniques assumed that baking was second nature to all with instructions such as “Bake in the usual way”, and never stated oven temperatures. This book has been adapted to fit more a more modern style of baking.  The Afghan Biscuits were the best I have ever made (although the recipe only made a very small batch – obviously they were more rationed back in the 30’s than we are with baked goods now.

170g butter
85g Sugar
170g Flour
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon Cocoa
60g Cornflakes
Cream butter and sugar. Add dry ingredients. Roll into small balls (heaped teaspoon sized amounts) and cook on a cold oven tray in a moderate over (180C) for about 15 minutes.

I also have a new lush early evening weekend treat drink. “Tangelo Gin & Tonic” that I found here. Divine!!

And the blanket – it’s been decided by daughter number one that daughter number two will have it (as she wants more “blues” in her colours – is coming along nicely. And I’m sewing in the ends as I go now. Much better!
Have a wonderful week xxx Kylie

P.S if you are quick you can enter a fabulous giveaway on my my very dear friends blog whydidntanyonetellme

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another year goes by

It's my littlest girl's 4th birthday today, where has that time gone? Next birthday she will be a big school girl! We just had a teeny-tiny party with a couple of her little "boyfriends", some friends and us.

Numberjacks "4" cake

I'm linking up here with my friend Bec's blog as she has the most lovely idea of posting Make-Bake-Grow Sundays. I love this concept to really show off creations made during the week.


With the little one's birthday I've done a heap of "making" for that, including more of my Sweet and Spicy Macadamia nuts, and I've been doing more on my giant granny blanket.


Birthday cake of course, see above. Green icing as requested by the birthday girl (I don't have very "girly girls" ).

Now I can't take the credit for these - but they are really really cute. My Mother-in-Law arrived with these for the party today - Tidy Teddy racers. Mini Moro (you could use Mars bars) bars with pebble wheels and tiny teddy drivers. Luckily there are a couple left over for us now that the children are in bed. I'll be making these for sure for future parties.


I haven't planted anymore since my last seedling post, but I love these Fragrant Stock that I picked today from the garden for the birthday table. They are abundant in one little part of my garden currently so I didn't mind cutting a few stems (I usually prefer flowers to stay in the garden, not in a vase - I love seeing them all when I look out the windows). My plan for next year is to plant a cut flower garden in an area that I don't see so much (we have a huge expanse of gardens) so I don't mind cutting them so much.

I thought I might add another category of my own. "DO". We can be a little guilty in this family of not going out of our way to do different things - we get a bit caught up with routine and what needs to be done. So we are trying to make more of an effort to get out and do fun things.

We took the girls into the farmers market, for a hot drink after and then a play at the cool park at the Town Basin. Spider girl loves to climb (as opposed to her vertigo suffering mother!) so here she is up the frame. Makes my stomach churn just looking at her up there. I'm terrible with heights. She did get right to the top but I didn't have the camera out then.

Have a wonderful week xxxxx Kylie

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kiss me over the garden gate

My girls are in love with the name of this gorgeous Heirloom annual, so the seeds are in the fridge chilling for a couple of weeks before I plant them.

I've had some seeds arrive that I ordered online to get my Spring seed planting a kick start. I'd saved a fair few seeds from the garden last summer as well so I should be pretty set.

I've planted some in seedling trays but I really need just slightly warmer evenings before I tackle the rest of the seeds.

I've gone for a very electic mix of seeds - from Vegetables (Celeriac, Rainbow Carrots), to medicinal herbs (Motherwort), flowers and and Bee attracting plants (Bergamot), and many more that I haven't listed.

I was reading littlewoollie's  blog yesterday and she was talking about her chickens laying very odd sized eggs - I'm having the same thing with ours. One of out older hens laid an egg the size of a quail's the other day. It was very odd inside (possibly she's getting a bit old to lay now??) The girls thought it was pretty funny though. We've had a couple of bigger than usual ones as well.

Mmmmm the Chicken, Leek and Mushroom pies I made for lunch earlier this week were divine - will be making those again for sure. Amazing what you can throw together when you think you have nothing left in the cupboard or fridge.
Anyway, a certain Rugby World Cup has been taking over our wee nation this last week or so. The hubby is a huge rugby fan so my girls have been right into it as well. I made them All Black cupcakes to kick off the action last week - they were a bit of a rushed job but the girls loved them.

We went to a game here in our little city the other night - Canada vs Tonga. We have no affiliation to either team but everyone was loving supporting both teams and we were all dressed in red. My lovely friend Leah (from whydidntanyonetellme ) sent me a photo that she had taken of us on TV and I was actually sending her a text message at the very time I was on TV.  Here is another photo of just me that shows how crazy I looked that day!!  Such fun!

Must go and get dinner on for the kidlets and us now - yay it's the weekend. Time to get some baking done (it's the little ones 4th birthday on Sunday, I really need to get the party food organised) and I'll try and get the crochet hook back out!

Bye for now  Kylie x

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Check this one out

A lovely blog that I follow (Little Woollie) is having the cutest crochet cushion giveaway - I've left her a comment in the hopes of winning, maybe you'd like the chance to win it as well?

little woollie: A little Ta Dah and a Thank You Give Away....:

Don't you just love the colourful summertime colours!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


We have a tap dancing lamb. Seriously she likes nothing better than to come a dance on the deck. It's pretty funny! (I tried to upload a video but it seems the file is too large, so you will have to imagine her dancing and jumping around- pretty cute!)

The last two weekends have been really busy with a family birthday party complete with a South African Potje (first time I'd tried that - yum!!), playdates, garden work and refereeing bickering children ;) I've been busy making some yummy recipes the last few days too.  We have a fair few Avocados so I've busy creating new recipes for using them up.

My latest one,Creamy Avocado Mousse with Sweet Chilli Syrup is pretty yummy!

Another thing I've been making a fair bit of is Chocolate dipped Macadamia Nuts (oh so divine!!)

I have a new household cleaner recipe as well. It is amazing! It's from one of my favourite household books "A Home Companion" by Wendyl Nissen.

Peppermint Paste
1 cup baking soda
1 tbsp cream of tartar
10 ml liquid castile soap (She recommends Dr Bonners Castile Soap which you can buy directly from her website or places like Bin Inn)
5 ml water
1ml peppermint essential oil
1. In a bowl mix together baking soda with the cream of tartar.
2. In a small jug mix liquid castile soap and water. Slowly pour into the powders and mix with a fork until you have a paste. Add more water if you need to. (I actually left out the castile soap as I had none and it worked perfectly well, in fact I don't know if I would add it as it's great without it!)
3.  Add peppermint essential oil and stir to combine.
4. Store in an airtight container and use to clean kitchen and bathroom sinks, baths and toilets.

Do you remember the tea towels I bought the other day? Well here's the first cushion I made out of one - that will look so cute in the caravan.

Busy too doing a little hooky goodness (a giant Granny blanket for one of the girls - which one hmmmm they both have their eyes on it - think I will need to make two).

I'm not sure why these colours look screwy - the peach is actually a pink and the grey/brown below it is really lilac! Odd..

Night all, I'm off to watch a little trash TV since hubby is working - I have the remote all to myself!

K xxx