LIFE: What a Year

Hello my lovelies! Happy New Year. I hope you are filled with dreams and promise and ready to tackle a fresh 365. If someone told me five years ago that I would be where I am now it would have seemed ridiculous. If someone had told me we would have a single year in which so much would happen in the world in such a strange fashion it would have seems impossible. In 2018 y’all loved to make yourself some tacos and two preserves cracked the top five posts. Bless your hearts! Christmas flew by. I’m planning what to do with myself this year. And I’m elbows deep in preserving season. One of my favourite times of year.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas my lovelies! I hope you’re having a day filled with things and people that you love. I’ll be back next week with a round-up of my Christmas adventures and new recipes and stories for 2018. Remember that it’s ok to take some time out to stay sane today. Christmas can be stressful especially if you have big personalities in your family. Right now is good. Go for a walk outside. Make a cup of tea. Call a friend who understands.

Eat something delicious. Get some fresh air. Make big plans for next year. Look after each other. And most importantly look after yourself.


Fig + Ginger Horchata

 Prep Time : 5 + 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 0 Minutes | Total Time : 4 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Since we’ve been talking about non-alcoholic drink options lately I have another one. A bit more work than the lemonade but so delicious and refreshing. One of my favourite people made horchata to bring along to friendmas and I absolutely loved it! It has the same creamy mouthfeel and refreshingness as cold milk. But without the heavy feeling. With a few added spices and sweetened with a little dried fruit it becomes addictive. It does need to be well chilled or it will seem sweet and a bit cloying. As well as just knocking it back I can recommend pouring it on cereal or adding to black tea. Use the most blender-ing appliance you have because the smoother you can blend it the more creamy goodness you can extract. When it’s sitting in the fridge it will settle out into layers – just give it a good shake before drinking.

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Fruit Mince Pie PvP {Pastry vs Pastry}

 Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Christmassy

Hello my lovelies! Now that you’ve patiently waited after making you fruit mince it’s time to make some delicious treats. I’m assuming that you have more self control than I. I’m not saying that one of my jars was gone within three days but things happen… I am generally on team sweet shortcrust for my Christmas mince pies but it’s good to have options. Today we’ll use our fruit mince to satisfy the shortcrust and flaky pastry lovers. We got range. There are traditional small tartlets of shortcrust and mini flaky hand pies that require just a round cookie cutter. Both our shortcrust and flaky cream cheese doughs are made in a jiffy in the food processor. We’re not insane. No one has time for that at Christmas. Make either or both of these to please your guests or yourself. I vote for pleasing yourself.

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Five Seed Wholemeal Sandwich Bread

 Prep Time : 20 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 40 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! It’s important to have a plan for your leftovers. Even if that plan is just to make sandwiches. This flavourful bread is packed with seeds and makes the best sandwiches! Make it on Boxing Day morning or make it ahead of time and pop it in the freezer already sliced. Then pile it up with ham and pickles and cheese and leftover salad and all the good things. Heck keep making this bread during the year for school lunches. Nice things aren’t just for Christmas. This dough comes together quickly and easily with a bit of squelchy fun adding some butter. Butter makes everything better. It makes the crumb soft and pillowy. We are using a bit less than half wholemeal flour in this loaf to keep a soft texture while still getting a good amount of wholemeal goodness. The dough will feel a bit stiff and you’ll need to put some muscle into the kneading but it will get easier when you add the butter.

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Lemon + Tarragon Soda

 Prep Time : 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! At this time of year a lot of toasts are made and a lot of drinks are provided. But what if you don’t drink alcohol? I don’t drink anymore apart from the odd mouthful on a very special occasion because it’s not good for my mental health. My body and my brain are not fans. While I make no bones about it there are a lot of people who would rather not drink a lot or at all for reasons they may or may not be comfortable sharing. It’s important to look after those people too. Give them something better than “back up” options. With the crazy heat in NZ at the moment we need all the cold drinks we can get! I’ve been making lemonade the way my mother taught me for years. It has 2 ingredients and takes no time at all. Today we are going to level up using one of my favourite herbs. Tarragon adds a glorious herbal anise flavour that goes wonderfully with lemon. Herbs are woefully underused in sweet foods and drinks and they’re a great way to add a new dimension of flavour. Made up with soda water this is a fabulous drink on it’s own but if you must it is also delicious in gin cocktails.

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