Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Sleepy moving

Well my little boy has 2 teeth now and the sleepless nights continue. He wakes 2-3 times a night and thinks it's morning and starts singing and moving round the cot waiting to be picked up. Usually a brief resettling does the trick thankfully and later in the morning sometimes a bottle is needed. But i can't convince him to go back to sleep anytime from 5-7am. I know for many out there this would be when you start your day but trust me this is not a house of morning people and previously my bubba obliged and slept till 7-8.30am ish. I'm hoping its just a passing phase but if it's not it will be time for me to learn to become a morning person. Little man is totally worth it but a sleep in now and then would be nice. Anyway enough of the pity party, when i have sleepy days and feel a bit lethargic i like to stay home and potter around. The key to making it through the day is to keep moving so that's what i did. I started the morning by reading this weeks wholefood course notes and recipes. Another yummy round of meals lays ahead. So i thought i'd try out the everyday bread recipe. It's a bit different to my usual recipe, it has a bit of kneading but not much and the result was much lighter and softer. I think i'm onto a winner with this one.

Soft and flavoursome it was yummy for lunch with a spread of hummus. After that i moved onto making some passata which is something i've been meaning to do for ages with our abundant tomato crop. First to pick the tomatoes.

Excuse the grass from where a few hit the ground on the way in as i was running from the rain. Then to find some trusty instructions on how to proceed. A quick search turned up a great tutorial by Christine at slow living essentials. So onward to bottle boiling and tomato simmering.

Then some serious elbow grease to press the tomatoes through a sieve.

Then onward to complete the bottling and admire my handiwork. I know i'm not the only one who enjoys staring longingly at fresh preserves.

Ah glorious red jars. Now to work out what to use them in..... hmmm soups, stews? I know i'll come up with something.
Take care people xx

Monday, 27 February 2012

Tea dealer

It's official i have a dealer, but its the kind of dealer that confirms my status as a 30 something, crochet loving nana in training rather than a rebellious party animal. I have a tea dealer. No she doesn't just sell tea she is a connisseur of all things tea. I knew this from my first discussion with her where she asked which region of tea did i like, what time of day would said tea be drunk and went on to discuss notes, fragrances, and flushes. I thought i knew tea, turns out i don't. I'm a newbie to the world of talking about tea like you do wine but i can't have it said i won't rise to a challenge. So welcome to the newest babies of my tea collection a sampler pack of darjeeling teas from different flushes, a floral earl grey and a English breakfast tea. All babies are being treating with tender loving care and brewed to perfection.

Fresh, slightly smoky with a full bodied, robust flavour (see! rising to the challenge) it was a nice cup of tea but different to what i'm used to. I think i need a few more cups to make up my mind about this one. It seems to get better as i drink it and being organic and fair trade it's light on the conscience too.

Served with a side of dried strawberries, almonds and a piece of rose chocolate tonight for a comforting, luxurious end to the day. Take care people xx

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Summer breeze

Finally a crafty post! Not the one i intended but crafts none the less! This is a sampler quilt i started working on well, honestly about 2 years ago, maybe more. Its one of those UFO's that has been hanging around looking at me and maybe me feel slightly guilty every time i opened the cupboard and saw it. But no more! Now it is adorning my couch. It probably will find another home at some point but with all new projects i just like to look at them for awhile before they may there way to their final home.

 Don't the colours just feel like summer? light, airy, bright and happy, i'm loving it right now and it's nice to have another project completed.And just to share what was happening on the food front today (hmmm starting to notice my obsession with talking about food! hehe i know i'm not alone on this!) i had a lovely slice of oat and apple breakfast cake and finished the day with some sweet and crunchy homegrown sweetcorn.

Breakfast cake is an awesome concept, i mean how can a cake made to be eaten at breakfast be bad? Its more wholesome and filling than a usual cake but has deliciously delicate spices and chunks of juicy apple, just perfect, although in truth it has turned into a breakfast, lunch and dinner cake. Hehe yummy

Good day.
Take care people. xx

Thursday, 23 February 2012


This week i have really had the feeling that autumn is on it's way. We had a few terribly hot days followed by heavy rain today. Even when the weather is a bit all over the place i still enjoy the variety living in the New Zealand climate brings. While it was raining today i was thinking longingly about wet cold days tucked up inside with a warm roaring fire watching the rain through the windows. So in the past few weeks with autumn coming upon us i've started packing things away for winter. Preserving carrys on with tomatoes on the agenda this week. But today was time to pack away some herbs i've had drying for winter cooking and infusions.

Thyme, Sage and Calendula were packed into jars and into the newly tidied pantry. Sage and Thyme are good for cooking, but Calendula and Sage are also good for infusions. I love Sage infusions for a sore throat they are nothing short of magic. There is still a lot more drying to do so i'll be out with the baskets on the next fine day to do a bit more picking so i can squirrel plenty away for winter. Are you doing any preparing for winter? Until tomorrow, Take care people xx

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pantry expedition

Today i went on a journey to the depths of the pantry, thankfully it wasn't as terrible as anticipated. I still have a deep seated fear of the pantry after the exploding grapejuice incident of 2011. Note to self don't store home squeezed grape juice in pantry for extended periods. I think kaboom probably sums it up, its funny now but it certainly wasn't when i got up at 3am to feed my newborn son and innocently wondered what the liquid was coming out of the pantry. In my sleep dazed state i couldn't make sense of the carnage all i knew was there was purple wine smelling sludge on every shelf and shredded bags of food everywhere. I did what any sensible new mother should do and shut the door and ignored it till the next day. Thankfully today there was no purple sludge and i had had plenty of sleep! So for the before shot.

Not too bad really thanks to an extreme bout of nesting 8months ago, but still cluttered and hard to find things. Lots of things unlabelled or in the wrong jars just makes things harder and more frustrating. This week on the whole food kitchen front it was time to get organised and sort out our kitchens so this was the first step for me.

Shelves reorganised, containers tidied and labelled and looking oh so flash. It really must be a sign of how my life has changed that my clean, tidy pantry makes me feel so happy. It makes me want to cook more so after braving the pantry i even had a bit of time to whip up some black bean veggie burgers for dinner.

Filled with nuts, seeds, spices and herbs these patties were so delicious! On a fresh bun with salad and homemade tomato relish it was a great way to finish the day. Sorry there is no cooked and in burger photo, what can i say they were good! We ate all but one which is earmarked for my lunch tomorrow.
Next stop is my plan to clean out my tea cupboard, yes you heard me right i have a tea cupboard. So expect a few more tea posts in the future.
Take care people xx

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Eating a rainbow

Roasted rainbow veges with a honey dressing for dinner tonight. So yummy and prefect to serve up with a side of roasted lamb. Followed by a glass of iced red rooibus tea with sliced lemon, it was a nice way to end off a busy weekend.

I had the pleasure yesterday of attending a good friends hen's do. I haven't been to many of these before so i never know what to expect. What a riot it turned out to be! Competitions involving fencing ( as in the electric kind), Croquembouche (profiterol towers) making, scrapbooking and movie making made the day a laugh a minute! Oh my the movie making took me back to my high school days although in those days i would have run for the hills at the very mention of drama. I am much braver these days and enjoyed the challenge despite a few nerves. Our challenge was to do a skit offering marital advice in the theme of one of the brides favourite movies Happy Gilmore. A few mullet wigs, bad golfing outfits and somewhat suspect acting attempts later and we were in hysterics. It was definately a great day all round, and destroying and then eating the profiterol towers was a great way to end the night.
Well people i better sign off for the night, sleep is calling as it seems to a lot since having my little boy. Maybe just a few minutes for a cocoa and a couple of dried strawberries is in order first. Take care people and hopefully the craft drought will ease up soon and i'll have some projects to show you all.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Home front

Drying herbs
Playing with my baby boy
Baby giggles
Organic wholefood shopping
Banana, oat and chocolate cookies (from whole food kitchen)
Garlic/ Basil hummus
Chocolate cake to share with friends tomorrow
New born baby cuddles
Coffee and dinner with a friend
Relaxing on the sofa with feet up eating said cookies
Good day

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Brew for a sleepy day

Today was a work day and last night was spent getting up and down to soothe an unsettled boy. Not being a coffee drinker and missing breakfast i was seriously fading by mid morning. Enter a brilliant wake up tea    (and a bowl of cereal for morning tea).

Red African Fire is a rooibus tea with red safflowers and orange flavours. It has beautiful vibrant orange flecks in the tea leaves and releases a light orange smell when you open the bag.

Its hard to get a good picture of just how bright orange it is, but you can get a bit of an idea.
It is quite a strong flavour with the orange being quite prominent and it just seems to make you feel fresher and brighten you up a bit. Perfect for a long afternoon at work or for a sleepy mummy who needs to wake up a bit.

Luckily for me i always keep a small supply of tea at work and an infuser pot for just such moments. I was refreshed for a little bit longer anyway.
It was nice to pick up my little man and head home at the end of today and i even had a bit of energy to try another whole food recipe. Tonight it was lentils with tomato and bacon.

A bit messy to cook

But totally delicious to eat, add a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of parmesan and a side of sausages for the meatatarian and it was perfect. I had a bread roll with mine and it was amazingly delicious comfort food, i  could eat bowls and bowls of this stuff. I didn't really think about the lack of veges in the meal until i dished up so a side salad might be in order next time. So satisfying and yet so good for you.

So this week im trying to get a few more crafts done this week, since going back to work (even for only 2 days) i seem to have much less time to get everything done. It's so hard to balance all my time and everything i need and want to get done. I'm in awe of the ladies of blogs like Soulemama and Gooseberry jam with big families and yet they manage to fit so much into thier day. It's really inspiring, maybe it's time to reassess what's important in my day. I know what's important right now is a hot cocoa and curling up in bed with a book. Have a great sleep people. Take care xx

P.S A sneak peek of a project i'm trying to finish off this week.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Whole food for a whole life?

I've often wondered about how and what we eat relates to how we live. Is food just food or is it a reflection of who we are and how we feel about ourselves? Doing this wholefood course has provoked a lot of thought about what i eat and what impact that has on my life. Is the food i'm eating nourishing? Is it right for me? Does it give me pleasure? How do i feel when i eat different foods and do i even like what i'm eating?

It's definately been more challenging than i expected. The food has been amazing and even though i thought i was quite a good cook it's made me realise that i've been stuck in a cooking rut as i'm sure many of us are. I've become so used to the way i eat i barely noticed if it has been right for me and my family. I have always tried to cook healthy meals but how does the food actually suit us and our lives? Am i making sense? For example since i've be paying attention to my food more i've realised that i feel unwell after breakfast every day. I've been eating mostly the same breakfast for years and have never even noticed this before. But now i realise that it's just not right for me at this place in my life. So i'm on the hunt for a new breakfast and stepping away from old habits that no longer work for me.

There is something truly relaxing and peaceful about making meals from scratch. Cleaning the vegetables, rinsing the beans and mixing the ingredients together is almost meditative. Pure, simple, nourishing food. No packets, no wrappers, no artificial flavourings, no preservatives. Just REAL food that is good for you, makes you feel healthy, brings you joy, makes you smile and nourishes your body. Shouldn't everything in life make you feel like this?

Nourish yourself this week, feed your soul and remember to smile. Take care people xxx

Monday, 13 February 2012

Sunshine and church bells

So i'm back from my wedding weekend and as expected it was a beautiful wedding. The bride wore a stunning dress of the palest blue covered with white lace, it really was spectacular. The sun was shining and family and friends came together and you could feel the love. The bride never stopped beaming and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. lovely, lovely, lovely. My little man did well too and managed the reception with only a little bit of squealing and before dinner i took him for a long walk in his pram so he could sleep. It was a lovely walk and i took lots of photos along the way of roadside wildflowers and weeds. They are slowly becoming my favourite thing to photograph. Heres a few of my favourites.
                                                 These flowers remind me of snowflakes
                                           Wouldn't this make a stunning embroidery?

  No there wasn't any wind the trees just grow like this and remind me of something out of a Dr Seuss book.
Having to be away from the wedding to care for my baby had it perks as you can see. On the downside i foolishly forgot to put on sunblock and if your from NZ you will understand how silly that was given i was outside for over an hour. If you not from NZ i can tell you that 15mins in the sun is all it takes to burn here, so my back is rather burnt and i am almost bathing in aloe vera gel trying to soothe it. Oh dear, i may be older but it seems not always wiser!
Have a great week people, i feel a tea review coming on. xx