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Almond and Chia seed slice

IMG_6197I love blogging, I MISS blogging, so in this year when I have no goals to date and seem to be going around in circles, Ive decided to at least make more time to do the things I love.

I went to the movies a few weeks ago with some of my favourites, and I brought a large pop corn, knowing I would feel crap afterwards but doing it anyway. I had made a sizeable dent into my oversize popcorn container before the opening credits, and my lovey friend next to me passed along some of her home baking. I knew straight away that it was good for me dressed up as chocolate slice, not because it tasted sub par, but I could taste all the things in there I knew were good for me – almonds, chia seeds and coconut.
I got the recipe the next day and have had stocks of it in the fridge ever since! Take literally 5-10 min to make and its a much better alternative for me to junk when I need a quick bit to eat while I’m staring into the fridge aimlessly. Added bonus – my fussy kids eat it! Winning!

The recipe comes from here – but I have altered it slightly and also added coconut oil as it helped it to bind better for me to make more of a slice feel.

What you need -Ai??
1 cup of almonds
1 1/2 cup dates
2-3 tablespoons of cacao powder (I used cocoa powder)
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
What to do –
  1. In your food processor, blitz one cup of almonds until they are fine like almond meal
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients into the food processor
  3. Blitz until the mixture is dough like. This may take a bit of time depending on the power of your food processor. You also may need to stop the food processor several times & scrape down the sides
  4. Once the mixture is soft & dough like place press into a slice pan that has been lined with baking paper
  5. Place in the fridge for 1 hour before serving
Happy kids eating = happy Mum

Happy kids eating = happy Mum

Cake Pops!

Nom Nom

Nom Nom

Cake pop, oh how pretty you are.
Confession – I’m actually not a cake lover at all. At all (gasp). They look so pretty, and I am in awe of people who can whip up a beautiful cake with the special perfect looking Ai??decorations, but I would take some chips or cheese any day over cake!
But I’m loving the cake pop! They are so cute and just enough for me, and did I mention they are covered in melted chocolate!?
I have only made them twice, once for Bear’s first birthday and another time last weekend for a dear friends baby shower. They are super time consuming, but the overall affect in the end is worth it.
Both times I made them I followed this video. Even if you are not going to make them, you have to watch the video, its hilarious!

Christina x

Bird Feeders

DSC_0617I love winter. I love the cozy feel of a winter’s night – early into pjai??i??s, sleeping kids, hot milo and some netflix. Bliss!
Winters days on the other hand can be very looong with a toddler.
I find I run out of ideas pretty fast for activities for Bear. I found this cute tutorial here for making bird feeders and it worked out great! Bear loved to make them and then hang them in the tree and then watch from the window inside to see the birdies eat his creations. Can totally recommend for an afternoon indoors.

I got some shots of Bear hanging them on the tree the next day after they had set, but do you think I can find them?! Grr so these are the making of only!Ai??


Have fun!!

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Chocolate Brownie Mix In a Jar

IMG_4157 (1)So last night I went to a wonderful group called Make and Cake. I have found my creative home! Its a gathering of like minded people where we chatter away while we make things and eat cake. Perfection.
So it got my creative mind ticking over again, as it feels like I have been in a bit of a baby groove and have forgotten a little to take time to create something as this makes me happy. Even if its just something small, if I manage to create something new during the day, its a good day.
I started thinking about how I could use some of my glass jars that I seem to collect, and I googled ‘food mixes in jars’. Its a thing! Found some great ideas here, and some great Christmas holiday mixes which I have mentally bookmarked for later.

I found this one here and have adapted it just slightly (for no other reason than I used what I had in the pantry without leaving Bear on the bench by himself to go to the other end of the house to get more of what I needed! Because you don’t interrupt a toddler who is happily playing. You. Just. Do. Not.)

What you need -Ai??
  • Half a teaspoon of salt
  • Half a teaspoon of baking powder
  • 95g plane flour
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 75g plane flour
  • 115g brown sugar
  • 150g sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate roughly chopped
  • 70 g walnut roughly chopped
  • One glass jar 1 litre size
Ai??Plus to make up –
  • 150g melted butter
  • 3 eggs beaten
What to do -Ai??
  • Combine in a bowl the salt baking powder and the 95g flour. Mix well and pour into your glass jar to make up the first layer.
  • Then layer on the rest of the ingredients in order down the list.
  • The ingredients here will fill a 1 litre jar.
Makes a great gift for someone. Remember to add a gift tag that says

Chocolate Brownie Mix

Made 3/3/15 Best before 3/4/15 – Give one month expiry
To Use –
Combine the contents of the jar with 150g melted butter and 3 beaten eggs. Mix well, and pour into a lined 9 x 9 inch tin. Bake at Ai??180 C for 25-35 minutes.
Here are some others as well that I will try – love the addition of the wooden spoon. Have a look here here and here

Spaghetti Carbonara

IMG_4073Sometimes I get caught up in blogging about healthy recipes for dinner that I forget to blog the ones that are not so good for you, but still used at my house. This one is quick and easy and a great comfort food. Hope you enjoy!

What you need -Ai??

350g spaghetti pasta

Olive oil (for cooking pasta with)

2 egg yolks

140ml cream

80 g parmesan – finely grated

150 g streaky bacon – sliced

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

Knob of butter

Small bunch of flat leaf parsley – roughly chopped

Salt and Pepper

What to do -Ai??

  • Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil for the pasta. Once its at a rolling boil, add the pasta and a dash of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking.
  • While the pasta is cooking, in a medium bowl combine the egg yolks, cream, parmesan and salt and pepper. Put aside.
  • Fry the bacon in a frypan with the oil and cook until its nearly crispy.
  • When the spaghetti is cooked drain it in the sink and return to the pan and add the butter and bacon. Mix well, and then with the heat on the lowest setting add the cream mixture and mix well until the cheese melts and all the pasta is coated.
  • Serve with the parsley on top and some more grated parmesan if desired.

Brown Sugar and Peppermint Foot Scrub

IMG_3994I love summer, my feet dont. My feet live in jandels (thongs for Australian readers!) and end up getting pretty dry and not so pretty. I was thinking of dropping some hints to Scott that I would love a foot scrub from The Body Shop, then I thought I would just make my own instead. Its devine and so easy to make. If you dont have calendula or jojoba oil at home you can use whatever you have on hand, maybe olive oil or coconut oil. The addition of the peppermint oil makes it smell extra yummy and leaves your feet tingly.

What you need –
1 cup of brown sugar
3 Tablespoons of jojoba oil
2 teaspoons of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of calendula oil
30 drops of peppermint essential oil
What to do -Ai??
  • Measure out the sugar first, then add all the other ingredients. Mix really well and put into a glass jar with a good seal. Store in a cool, dry place and it will last for 4 weeks

 

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Home Made Irish Creme

photo (3)Its been a while since I’ve done a post – I’m 7 months pregnant with baby number 2! I dont do pregnancy all that well and kind of drop of the face of the earth for a while while I’m sick and crying from the physiological pain of the Vomit. But I’m feeling alot better now and ready to get back into my little world of blogging!
I can take or leave alcohol BUT I love Baileyai??i??s! Its always been something we get as a special treat from duty free. So when I came across this recipe a few weeks ago I let out a sigh of happiness and then thought Ai??to myself of course thats why is so delicious, look what’s in it. So easy, and so yum and tastes pretty much like the real thing! I would recommend investing in good quality whisky.

This makes 1 Litre. Iai??i??m pregnant so none for me, and Scott won’t get through all that in a short time, so giving some to a friend with a cute label. Who wouldn’t want to receive that as a gift? Apart from a recovering alcoholic I suppose.

Happy mixing

What you need –

  • 1 tin of evaporated milk ( 375ml)
  • 1 tin of sweetened condensed milk (350ml)
  • 1 teaspoon of instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of drinking chocolate (in used Quick)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 and a half cups of good quality whisky

What to do –

Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together well. Pour into glass container and store in the fridge. Shake well before pouring

 

Quinoa and Red Kidney Bean Patties

photoAs you would know, Im always on the lookout for yummie new vegetarian recipes. The only recipes that make it here have Scotts thumbs up, and with him being a totally meat lover, thumbs up means a lot!

I love these. Love love love. They taste amazing and you know that they are good for you and you have sneaky goodness in them for the kids!

This made me 8 medium sized patties. Added them to my buns with hummus, lettuce and beetroot. Yum.

Note – I was just using what I had at home at the time, but some grated zucchini or carrot would work well too. Add some hot sauce for the adults!

What you need –

1 x 390 g tin of red kidney beans – drained

A? c of Ai??quinoa

A? a cup of water

A? a cup of wholemeal breadcrumbs

1 medium onion – grated

2 cloves of garlic – grated

1 and a A? teaspoons of cumin

A? a teaspoon of salt

1 egg

Handful of fresh herbs – roughly chopped (I used oregano and mint)

3 tablespoons of olive oil – for frying

What to do –

  • Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Transfer into a large bowl. Add the beans and use a potato masher to mash them up roughly (leave some chunks).
  • add all the other ingredients except the oil. Mix well and form into patties.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the patties for a few minutes on each side (or until golden).

Bare Naturals Launch!

photo (100)So this is the first year I can really remember that I have stuck to my New Years Resolutions. Like, ever. I used to do a massive list that was pretty much unattainable. Not this year, no sirie. I made a whopping 3 New Years Resolutions, and hurrah, Iai??i??m kind of doing them!

One of them was to do less thinking about things and more action and I have really been pushing myself to action the things I say I will. This is actually surprisingly (or not surprising to most of you) very time consuming. But Iai??i??m learning, and getting lots of warm fuzzy feelings of accomplishment along the way.
So that being said I wanted to introduce you to Bare Naturals!! A company I have started to sell my home made organic products!

My journey to this point has been interesting. I started making my own products when I found myself out of full time work for a whopping 7 months (which is a long time when you have worked full time since you were 16, and now in yourai??i??.gulp 30ai??i??s) after the February earthquake in Christchurch. My world took a bit of a hit and I was floundering. My friend suggested a book to me called ai???A Home Companionai??? and it changed my life! I had always been interested in natural products, but after reading this book and getting a bit more educated about chemicals, I started making my own beauty and cleaning products and I just love it.
About 9 months ago I was at the airport seeing off my best friend who came to see me after I had my baby. We were munching (or hoovering) down sandwiches from Healthy Habits. Seriously those sandwiches are the BEST. She said to me

ai???You need to start selling your products girlfriendai??i??

Me – ai???pffft who would buy them?!ai??i??

I cant remember what she said in clarity next to warrant quotation marks but she and Scott encouraged me/hounded me to start selling some products.

ai???You will look back at this conversation one day and you will remember that this is where it startedai??i?? she said.

That part is true! So I got working and here we are!

I would love it if you would check out the website www.barenaturals.co.nz

There are some delish lip balms on there that would make great stocking stuffers at just $6 each! They are all natural and mostly organic, so they are safe for you and your family.

Pure Peppermint lip balm, beautiful and crisp $6 each

Pure Peppermint lip balm, beautiful and crisp $6 each

 

Limited edition Christmas Spice lip balm $6 each. With hints of cinnamon, lime, orange and clove essential oils - its a Christmas treat!

Limited edition Christmas Spice lip balm $6 each. With hints of cinnamon, lime, orange and clove essential oils – its a Christmas treat!

 

Below The Mo lip balm for men! $6 each. Made in a low gloss formulation, which is extra thick for less application for the forgetful man

Below The Mo lip balm for men! $6 each. Made in a low gloss formulation, which is extra thick for less application for the forgetful man

All products come wrapped individually

All products come wrapped individually

 

Christina xx

ps I just re-read that post and gosh I can get side tracked!

Preggers Eggers pregnancy belly balm $12 for a limited time Contains only organic ingredients of almond oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter

Preggers Eggers pregnancy belly balm $12 for a limited time
Contains only organic ingredients of almond oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter

Homemade Garlic Salt

photo (97)I recently ran out of my favorite seasoning and I usually buy it from markets in Christchurch. In the lead up to Christmas and my Bare Naturals project (post to come about my exciting project soon when its loaded up in computer world!) my calendar is filling up fast and don’t have a weekend spare to go to the markets. Sooooo I thought I would have a go at making my own salt spice mix and I am surprised how good it turned out! I had a 500 g pack of sea salt so I used all of that and now I can seasoning for the masses! I have to be honest and say its not as good as the Smoke and Spice Company one, but I know they smoke their garlic to give it that beautiful flavor. Mine is still delish though! I had a couple of old salt bottles with large holes on top as well as one used pepper grinder. Im keeping one and giving out two to my foodie friends. Makes a cute Christmas gift for someone you know maybe?!

What you need –

500 g of sea salt

10 cloves of garlic – grated

3 tablespoons of fresh oregano

3 tablespoons of fresh thyme

3 tablespoons of fresh rosemary

Half a tablespoonful of chilli flakes

 

What to do –

  • Put your salt into a bowl. Grate in your garlic and mix well. Finely chop all your herbs and add to the mix as well as the chilli flakes. Mix well and then spread out salt mix into a tray and let it dry out for 24-48 hours. Once done, pack up into containers.