Thursday, 31 May 2012


It's been a weird week around here with things not always going to plan and when i have days like that its great to fall back on an old favourite for a quick tasty dinner. One of my most loved simple dinner recipe is deviled sausages. I almost always have all the ingredients on hand. It all goes in one pan and whips up quick smart.
My recipe is based on the Alison and Simon Holst recipe with a few cheats and extras.

In a pan fry up the chopped sausages first until cooked then add in 1 chopped onion, 1 sliced apple (i leave the peel on but you can remove it if you prefer) and any veges you have on hand. I used broccoli and carrots.

In a separate bowl mix up the sauce.
1/4C brown sugar
 1 T cornflour
 1 t dry mustard
 1/4t salt
 1T soy sauce
 1T vinegar
2 T tomato paste
Mix well and add 1 C water

Once the sausages and veges are cooked, pour on the sauce and stir until thickened (about 1 min)
Done! Yummy saucy goodness in a bowl.
Serve with rice.

Not the best picture but we eaten it all by the time i remembered to take a picture so i had to take a pic of the leftovers for the boy's dinner tomorrow.
This recipe was a huge hit with my son who ate a full chopped bowlful and then ate some more as finger food. He was very unhappy when it was all gone!

I hope you will give this one a go at your house.
Take care 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Loving... Grateful....

My Monday night ritual to reset and start the week in a good place.

Loving ~ This precious little boy like nothing i have loved before.

 ~ For his every little way.
~ For my loving partner.
~ For the friendship and coming together of my new craft circle.
~ To be pondering a new craft project.
~ To have finally decided on and booked our first family holiday.
~ For a peaceful life.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Chestnut and vine - month 5 and 6

How else to spend a Saturday night but sewing! This is my new small pleasure in life, Saturday sewing nights followed by a Sunday sleep in. Bliss.
Tonight i finished up Month 5 and 6 of my chestnut and vine block of the month project which finally brings me up to date and ready for my last months block in June. These 2 months blocks were worked together and were quite time consuming compared to other months so im glad im up to date with it all.

Making up the different blocks


Sewing on the borders.

All completed and stitched together ready for the last 2 borders.

This has been a really enjoyable project. The fabrics have just been luscious and rich. It has been a real treat working with such beautiful quality fabrics rather than scraps and bits like i usually do. I'm so happy to be up to date and in a months time should have a finished quilt top ready for quilting.
I hope your day was filled with something lovely too.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Fascination cake

Everyone has one of those old recipes that never fails to please. Mine is straight from an old league of mother's cookbook and it reminds me of my grandma's house with sweet treats and cups of tea. I tried it for the first time about a year ago when i was charmed by the name - Fascination cake. With a name like that you have high expectations and this slice certainly lived up to them. So i thought i would whip this up for my craft group last night.

It really is more of a layered slice recipe than a cake and goes a long way.

First it has a nice shortbread type base. Into the oven it goes.

Mixing together the topping. Cherries, walnuts, coconut and other yummy goodness.

The base all cooked - it has a beautiful buttery texture to it. Come on i know deep down you all really love butter too. 

Sorry i missed a photo of pouring on the filling and cooking again. 
Then yummy lemon icing to top it off.

Delicious buttery, chewy, crunchy goodness. Trust me one piece won't be enough and all your guests will be reaching for more.

Fascination cake

First make the base
Mix together

1C flour
1/4 lb brown sugar
1/4 lb butter
1/4 t baking soda

The instructions don't say what to do with the butter. 
I have both melted it and creamed it at different times and both is fine.
Press into tin and cook for 8 mins at 350 degrees F

In a bowl mix together

1 C brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2C chopped nuts ( i love walnuts)
2 beaten eggs
1 C coconut
1/2 glace cherries

Pour on top of the cooked base and smooth. Put it back into the oven for 20mins.
Once cool ice with lemon icing.

This recipe also keeps really well and freezes well too.
You will be very popular for turning up with this to share wherever you go.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Figgy mess

So today was all about one sick boy, lots of singing, playing and a few brief minutes to deal with the housework. It was also about processing some of the excess from the garden.

The capsicums became 2 bags for freezing and a bowl of roasted capsicum sauce. 

Perfect with chicken or pork and so simple to make. Simply roast the capsicum until the skins blacken then put in a bag and shake. Leave for 10 mins and then peel off the skins. Then throw the flesh in the blender with 1-2 T olive oil and half a teaspoon of salt and then blend until it is as smooth as you like. I enjoy mine a bit chunkier.

The excess of figs was to become chutney using this recipe. But with the grizzly bubba who decided he didn't need a nap this afternoon i got a bit muddled and put in too much sugar. Then after a few hours i came to the realisation that the figs were not breaking down. Closer inspection showed that the skins were just too tough. Abort mission. Into the too hard basket it went.

Then after the baby went down to bed tonight it got the better of me, i hate waste. So i scraped out all the skins and reboiled the chutney. Don't those fig skins look so lovely? It completely belies the mission it was to  remove them all!

So at the end of it all i ended up with a lot less than intended but at least it was done! Hopefully once it cools and i can test it the flavour won't be too sweet.
Note to self - in the future if you have a sick baby don't choose that day to do preserves!
Take care people xxx

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Goddess bowls

 How could you resist a recipe called Power Protein Goddess Bowls? I mean really it's a great name that tempts you to try it and if the name doesn't do it the pictures on Angela's blog -Oh she glows should encourage you. I love a good vege recipe bursting with colour and flavour and this one didn't disappoint. You can find the full recipe on Angela's site here.
Firstly stirfrying the veges. Yum i love the smell of lots of garlic and onions.

Throwing in some fresh silverbeet and parsley from the garden.

Adding in the creamy lemon/ tahini sauce. I used parmesan instead of nutritional yeast.

Mixing in the sauce with the puy lentils and wheatberries.

Served with grated lemon zest and lemon wedges. I also added some raw cashews which were a perfect addition.

Very yummy - crunchy, zesty and creamy. The perfect combination of health food and comfort food. Perfect for a cold winter night. xx

Monday, 21 May 2012

Loving... Grateful

My Monday night ritual to reset and start the week in a good place.


The occasional little treat.

~ That i can indulge sometimes
~ For family visiting soon including the newest little family member
~ For winter flowers to brighten the house.
~ For new art to soothe and inspire
~ For holiday planning and dreaming.


Sunday, 20 May 2012


It's been a bit quiet on the blogging front this week. I had one of those weeks that just didn't flow well, things didn't get finished, deadlines got missed and everything just felt out of sync. After a busy weekend with family and friends i feel like things have been reset and despite having a sick little man in the house, all seems settled again.
Today was a great day which started with a sleep in and ended with apple pie.
 In between there was gardening and harvesting.

Figs, figs and more figs. I'm just trying to work out what to do with them all. Jam, chutney, stewed..... Hmmmm recipes gratefully accepted.

The last of the spring capsicums ready for processing and freezing for the winter months stews and soups.

My first rhubarb harvest.

In the pot with some rapadura for stewing.
After stewing it up i tasted it and was reminded of how tart rhubarb is, eeekkk back into the pot with some more sugar it went!

A very satisfying day and to top it off i managed to fit in a cup of tea and homemade piece of chocolate pie with a friend. 
Good day. 
Now i better head off and hunt down some recipes for using up figs!

Friday, 18 May 2012


Last night was the local embroiderers guild meeting and along with the usual presentation of members work and a fascinating talk about goldwork they also had a very interesting and challenging guest speaker from an organisation called Freeset. Freeset is a company offering work and training to women wanting to escape the sex trade in India. They offer women and thier children a chance to earn a living and learn skills to help them support themselves and thier families and break the cycle of poverty.

The guest speaker was a NZer who goes to India every year as a volunteer to help in any task needed in the factory and she spoke frankly about her experiences in India. She spoke of the thousands of women (mostly young girls) who were brought into the area by train every day to work in the sex trade. The rows upon rows of women and girls lining the streets in the red light area vying for work. Separated only by curtains in the street from the women working.

It was truly disturbing and broke my heart. The sheer numbers of women and child affected was overwhelming and the desperate cycle of prostitution to survive, the birth of more children who at young ages also enter the trade, the incidence of back street abortions and the prevalence of HIV and AIDs. Human trafficking really is the lowest point of humanity and the thought of the women, children and babies affected is very upsetting.
It makes me feel so grateful for what i have but it also makes me feel that i should be doing more to help. I find it overwhelming and upsetting, and i want to do something to help, but i often wonder how any small thing i do can really make a difference. The speaker read this poem which reminded me that any small action is better than no action at all.

While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.
He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you 
throwing starfish into the ocean?”
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Too true isn't it?
My small thing to help was to purchase a couple of bags made in the freeset factory.

Beautiful work and such a good cause.
Please head over to the Freeset site and read more about thier work.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


So i looked around my cupboards today when my groceries arrived and realised i almost didn't have room to fit it all in the pantry and freezer. And no i don't have a small pantry, in fact it's huge! Somehow i bought all the things i thought i needed for the next week but in reality my pantry was already bursting at the seams.
I'm stuck in a rut with my cooking, eating the same things day in day out. So having all this food yet nothing to eat i've decided to go back to the basics and make more from scratch.

No more buying! other than fresh fruit and veges, until the cupboard is back under control!

So for a start instead of buying more crackers i decided to make my own. A quick google search turned up hundreds of choices so i settled on a variant of wabisabibaby's recipe and made whole wheat cracker with parmesan and herbs.

Ok so they don't look very exciting but they were so easy to make and totally delicious! and the flavour combinations are endless.

I thought it was only decent to eat the rough edge bits straight away. a few of them. with cheese. Also they were very popular with the baby who crunched away on a few today and then quickly tried to steal mine when he finished them. Good sign.

Give these a go you won't be disappointed. 

Whole wheat crackers

2 cups wholemeal flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
2 t dried herbs (i used rosemary)
2 t garlic powder
3 T parmesan cheese
1t salt
1t sugar

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl or food processor and add in

3 T oil
3/4 C water

and mix together to form a dough. 
Then roll out and put on a oiled over tray and cut into squares and cook in a moderate oven for 12-15 mins until the edges of the crackers start to brown.
 (Watch them closely they can quickly become overcooked.)

Totally addictive and i think they would go really well with a sharp cheddar, but no i won't be going out to buy any.
Enjoy xxx

Monday, 14 May 2012

Loving... Grateful.....


Warm walnut loaf with a slathering of butter after a cold and tiring day.

Grateful ....

~ For a wonderful partner who spoiled me on mother's day
~ Good friends 
~ Time for crafts and creativity
~ Poetry which takes you to another place and time
~ A good book you can get lost in - currently its The Quilter's homecoming by Jennifer Chiaverini
~ Tea (no surprises there)
~ Being snuggled up under a quilt when there's a storm outside

Here's hoping you all found something to enjoy and be grateful for today.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mothers day

It's such a weird feeling having my first mothers day. I always think of mothers day as being for my mother and suddenly the focus has expanded to include me and my new little family. It's part of the shift into this new phase of my life and i feel so grateful for my little boy and my partner and the family we have all formed. It makes me sentimental about my childhood and of the moments i now spend with my family.
It's a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

Given how good the day has made me feel you might think i didn't need the commercial gift. I'd like to think that too but nah gifts are cool too lol. You have to love a gift from the heart, the other half treated me to a new piece of art from one of my favourite artists. This lovely piece is on its way to me as we speak.

Isn't it beautiful? I think i have just the space for it too. Along with the beautiful art i got a bottle of my favourite wine, a sleep in, a beautiful walk in the park and a yummy Chinese dinner. 
Very very spoilt and very very grateful.

I thought i would share the poem from my first mothers day card from my son it bought a tear to my eye.

"Sometimes you get discouraged
Because i am so small,
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls
But everyday i'm growing,
I'll be grown up someday
And all these tiny handprints
Will simply fade away.
So here's a final handprint
Just so you can recall,
Exactly how my fingers looked
When i was very small"

- Unknown author

It came in the card with two little wiggly handprints. Very special.

To all the mummies out there i hope someone treated you to all you deserve today. 


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Autumn glow

When the day doesn't go to plan, we walk. We walk and walk till everything is right again and we are always rewarded for venturing outside with a renewed sense of calm and balance.

We are moving into winter here and the trees are dropping their leaves. But for now a few leaves remain on the trees - orange, red, brown and yellow with a golden glow from the last of the sun of the day. I think i love autumn and spring the most of all the seasons. Autumn brings feelings of moving inwards, warmth, nourishment and a small retreat from the world while Spring brings a feeling of new beginnings, brightness, lightness and a general feeling of being refreshed. My autumn table is full of oranges and golds and it won't be long before it is replaced with the darker colours of winter but for now i'll enjoy the glow.

I wish i had taken a better camera out with me on this walk. It's hard to explain but the air was crisp and fresh and that dark blue sky was heavy with rain clouds while the trees just glowed with golden light of the setting sun. It really was something special and lifted the spirits as did the crunching of leaves as we walked.
Refreshed, revived and reset for the rest of the day.

Friday, 11 May 2012

This moment with Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Joining in late on a Friday night in New Zealand with Soulemama

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Stitching in

What a weird kind of day. Today started with a migraine and that dragged along the ground feeling that comes with them. I managed to pack up my son and drop him off to a carer before coming home and crawling back into the bed. Luckily the day improved and i had a quiet afternoon doing some baking and pottering around the house which actually felt really good for the soul. Quiet days at home alone are a very, very rare occurrence these days. To top the day off tonight i managed to finish off a couple more blocks from my chestnut and vine quilt.

I'm finally catching up, i had got a bit behind with each months block and tomorrow night is the first of a new craft group im hoping to get going. It will probably be me and a couple of friends and it sounds like my perfect night - sewing, chatting, eating and maybe a nice warm fire going to make it cosy. Bliss xxx

Monday, 7 May 2012

Loving... grateful...

~Having so many fresh cranberries i can try out all sorts of different recipes. Mmmm apple and cranberry oaty crumble.

~ For my beautiful orange pumpkins which grace my autumn table.
~ To be enjoying the last of my hot cocoa before i start trying out my own recipes.
~ For snuggly winter quilts
~ For finding more balance in my days
~ For having more time to work on my sewing and crafts
~ For the start of a new craft circle this week.
~ For autumn and its beauty.


Sunday, 6 May 2012


For awhile now i've been thinking i would like a new pinny. I seem to get so much messier these days with a little one around and lately have started wearing an apron while cleaning and tidying up to save my clothes a bit. I have one apron but i've never really liked it. It sits funny as the fabric is so thick and i've been feeling the pull to make one since seeing the apron swap over at Down to Earth. So into the fabric stash i went and came up with this beautiful blue flower fabric. Lol do you like my pattern drafting area? The rest of the floor was covered in toys so i improvised using the hall.

To go with the blue i found this contrast pattern with golds, greens and black. I love this fabric but it is only scraps and i have never found a use for it before now. I'm so excited to finally use it!

Drafting a pattern from my old apron with supervision from my cat, Sage.

A bit of contrast hem.

A handy pocket.

And tada it was all whipped together in no time.
It turned out a bit long so i may yet take the waist up but i want to wear it in a bit first and see how it feels. The photo doesn't do the blue colour justice, it really is a vibrant shade with a slightly silky glean and it feels supersoft. I'm sure my son will love wrapping up in the skirt of this one.

Did i mention how much i love this fabric? I almost turned the apron into skirt halfway through and i do have enough fabric to whip up a skirt too. Hmmmm very tempting.
It will almost making doing housework enjoyable. hmmm well almost.