Sunshine Punch

 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! This week is brought t you by desperately clinging to warmer days. Bright golden summery-seeming punch today. Golden sunny saffron rolls later on. Let me have this one. I’m wearing two layers of woollen socks. Homemade cordial couldn’t be easier. It’s just juice, a bit of sugar and maybe some extra spice. We are keeping the sugar low today so this one will need to be kept in the fridge. No biggie. Winter citrus is a miracle. Fruit that conjures up bright sunny days and zesty refreshment. And it comes into season right when you need cheering up. Citrus is one of my all time favourite things. Smells good, is a bit bitter on the outside but is a big sunny hug on the inside. A bit like me. This punch also makes great cocktails. Just add your favourite white spirit and you’re away. Now this does have a bit of passionfruit in it. You can still get them in stores here and you only need one. I do recommend getting frozen passionfruit to have on hand when you need an injection of sunshine!

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Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Peppered Pickles..

 Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 10 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! It’s all pickles all the time around here at the moment. It’s a great way to experiment with flavours with very little effort. I love classic cucumber pickles. I am the only one at home who does. It’s okay. I eat enough of them for both of us. This recipe is adapted from one given to me by the lovely Nic Murray. Who is incidentally now my boss. I added chillies. Natch. My first attempt didn’t come out very spicy at all – the pickle juice dulls the heat. So you may need to experiment a couple of times if they don’t come out hot enough for you. Pickles are super easy – just be careful not to shock the jars with major heat changes as they can break. I have only ever had problems with one brand of jar with this but we should be careful always.

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Pickled Ginger. With Chilli.

 Prep Time : 15 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 90 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Part two of the back to front week! My brain is back to front this week as well. A mix of information overload and upset routines. But we forge ahead. In style. I have been meaning to make pickled ginger for a while and was prompted to go ahead and do it by a post on Instagram. I got together that recipe and some others and have made my own franken-pickle. Because I am obsessed at the moment I added chilli. It actually rounds out the heat and fruitiness beautifully. Everything is mellowed by the pickling but still has a satisfying bit of burn. This is a super easy quick pickle. It comes together in a flash. Then you have to wait a few days. The extra days are worth it. Be VERY careful slicing with a mandoline. I am living proof that while you will survive and go on to live a full life, you may have a slightly misshapen thumb for a while… Try to use the plumpest freshest ginger possible. The older the ginger the more heat it has and the root can get woody and tough.

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The WB Larder: Hot Wellington Sauce

 Prep Time : 15 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 2 Hours | Total Time : 3 Hours | Difficulty : Moderate

Hello my lovelies! When I saw the name of this recipe I absolutely had to make it. I pumped up the hot part with some fresh chillies and swapped the malt vinegar for apple cider. Malt vinegar reminds me too much of terrible faux mayonnaise made with the vinegar and sweetened condensed milk. Sorry mum. If you saw my post yesterday you will know I had a chilli adventure at the market. I recommend that you try to identify chillies before you buy them. Be careful adding them to this recipe. You can always add more later if you need to but you can’t take them out! This is a lovely fruity sauce that packs a punch. If you want it to. I’ve become a bit of a wuss about heat but I am addicted to this. If there are more tender family members around make sure you have adequate ventilation while cooking as some chilli vapour does circulate… You will need a bit of time

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Gooseberry + Ginger Jam

 Prep Time : 15 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 30 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Moderate

Hello my lovelies! I am a gooseberry fan. They aren’t super easy to get a hold of here but have a great unique flavour. While there are sweeter varieties they tend to be very sour when raw unless they are very ripe. So they are perfect for preserving. You can buy them frozen, or find someone with a bush or two. I usually take some from my parents at Christmas but this year they had moved the bushes to a different garden bed and they were sulking about it. I added warm ginger to this jam to balance the sharpness. It’s a winning combo. Anything with ginger is a winning combo in my book. I used raw sugar this time because it’s what I had. White sugar will give a brighter coloured and flavoured preserve but both are delicious.

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The WB Larder: Homemade Lime Curd

 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Moderate

Hello my lovelies! NZ limes are just coming on. And by coming on I mean are less than the $30 a kilo that imported limes cost. So it’s a good time to start adding lime to everything. I have had trouble in the past with curds. There is a lemon curd recipe on this site that is not my best work. They can be finicky and require babying and are easy to overcook. A lot of modern recipes have a very high proportion of eggs and butter and too little sugar. Yes I just said that. Sugar is the world’s great emulsifier. It brings ingredients together like nothing else. Too much butter will split as the curd cools and you will get a grainy texture. Too many eggs gives the curd too much eggy flavour. In my opinion. It also adds to the risk of splitting because of overcooking. This curd is based on my mother’s recipe. It is smooth and velvety. It is packed with pure lime flavour. I have made this curd as lemon and as lime and both are amazing. We don’t need to add zest to it. The juice provides enough flavour and we can do away with the straining step at the end. We are using a double boiler because it protects the curd from fast or uneven heating. I tend to make a half batch to have a jar in the fridge for myself. I’m the only one who eats it. Scale up and down as you see fit. Remember that it is stored in the fridge so don’t go overboard. If you want to make this through the year, juice limes when they are in season and freeze the juice for using later.

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The WB Larder: DIY Sprinkles

 Prep Time : 30 + 45 Minutes | Cook Time : 0 Minutes | Total Time : 8 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! It’s getting greyer out there by the minute. Time to inject some sunshine. This DIY is fabulously easy. You do need some basic icing equipment but it’s not very expensive. I adapted this “recipe” after reading two different tutorials from Kitchy Kitchen and Alana Jones-Mann. Both are awesome and this DIY is how I like to make them. Making your own sprinkles is a lot of fun. You can make them just how you want them and can control exactly what’s in them. No unknown additives or waxes. You can coordinate them with the rest of a baking project. You can make heaps of different mixes for very little money. Nice sprinkles are not cheap here which is part of what led me to making my own. It’s a great project for older kids to help with, especially if they are into baking. Let’s get making our own sunshine!

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