Saturday, June 26, 2010

Felt and Creme brulee

I have been busy felting scarves. I am using alpaca and merino fibre. I think they are good but it is so hard to know and I feel very critical of them when thinking I intend for other people to possibly buy them. I have never sold anything I have made and I am really scared if someone does happen to buy one they will complain about the quality or something. It is really hard to judge your own work from the point of view from someone elses perspective ie what would you pay for them etc

I did plan on posting some photos and if there was the possibility that I was not the only one visiting here I might get some feedback. But I have lost the freaking camera charger!! So that will have to wait.

I did manage to take some pic's of last nights pudding before the camera died. I love food and food photos. This space has no real theme but it seems food seems to feature here a lot.

Creme brulee is my favourite dessert. Last week I tried to make a dairy free alternative for Ben who is lactose intolerant, poor poor him. I used coconut cream, lime and passionfruit. It was yum but for some reason the sugar wouldn't crisp up. With straight cream they were oh so delicious, the sugar was a little over crisped but was lovely and crunchy.

Harper thought they looked good, this photo never ceases to crack me up, he is a crazy dog.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Koru ice - ice cream love

When we were in wellington I was reading the dominion post and found a review of a New Zealand ice cream company called Koru Ice. They have received awards for there innovative and yummy original recipes. Such as easter bun, Christmas pudding and pumpkin spice. I love trying new things and was really excited to see that they were only just down the road. We pulled up to the shop on the side of the main highway that with its almost psychedelic yellow exterior did not look like the home of gourmet ice cream.

There was so many flavours, cranberry and apple, quince, pineapple lump, peanut butter, apple and cinnamon, rhubarb, chocolate and so many more they were either a gelato, sorbet or organic ice cream.

For only $2.50 I had a waffle cone with a massive scoop of organic pumpkin spice ice cream. I have been craving pumpkin pie for a while. This ice cream not only tasted like the best pumpkin pie I have ever tasted but by far the best ice cream.

The next day I went back and there was even more of a selection. This time for only $2.00 I got pumpkin spice and apple and cinnamon.

You all better get in quick because there is no way this ice cream is going to stay this cheap once the masses find out. I cant wait to go back and try the newest flavour which is kumara and caramel.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Scaredy Cat

This morning was my first time volunteering at the local SPCA. I have been allocated to the dog section so along with another volunteer we wash out all the sleeping places, empty and replace water, feed the dogs. Pick up poop from everywhere and hang out with the dogs and puppies. You enter one of the big enclosures and about four dogs bowl you over in welcome. They are jumping on your front, on your back, front legs on your shoulders. There was a friendly nip or two but so many lovely cuddles. I will have to be very careful too not fall in love with them all and create my own dog sanctuary at home, becoming the crazy dog lady who only communicates in barks!

They were short on people so I also cleaned out the cat enclosures. My first encounter with cats was at age five. I awoke to my fish I was taking along to pet day floating on top of the tank. Mum packed me off with an ice cream container of snails but later came along with a cute little grey kitten. Looks can be deceiving. I never bonded with Saidy the cat and was more scared of her than anything. She became my sisters cat and our only link was the times she would wait on the steps and claw my ankles as I stepped down, scratch me from under the kitchen table, pounce on my moving foot under the blankets sinking her claws in and the multitude of hair that would cover everything causing double bung eyes and my skin to itch. The photo above is of when she is older and I tried to buy her love by sharing the leftovers of my breakfast, if allowed she would lick the butter off your toast and drink your tea.

There was some beautiful kittens at the SPCA that looked in need of a cuddle and I have just read the book Cleo by Helen Brown so thought I would give being a 'cat person' another go. It did not end well. Cats paws can move like lightening bolts!! There claws are like filleting knives. With scratched up hands and one cat escaped and hiding behind the washing machine I admitted defeat and said I would stick with the dogs. I am seriously a scaredy cat!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


These two fat kererus were hanging out in our garden yesterday. We see lots of tui's and kereru's around but these two looked particularly well fed. Are'nt they beautiful and plump. They almost look to big to be flying so gracefully through the air and perching up high on flimsy branches. Don't worry I did not break any laws and they are still flying plump and free but I did have a thought that I could totally see why they were historically the equivalent of roast chicken.

I read about ceramic drawing/painting here and was keen to give it a go. I bought two pens at spotlight, black and peacock. I got the milk jug and sugar bowl at a farmers sale and had a go at making them a bit prettier. I really love the final result, and the whole process was so simple. The picture on the milk jug is inspired by a pattern from a paper cutting website, that I painted free hand on to the jug and the sugar bowl is just a simple vine. I think the milk jug is really sweet.

At the farmers sale I also picked up this gigantic cup and saucer. I was in the midst of a bit of 60% off histeria and couldn't seem to control myself. It has made a really cool herb pot though.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Adaptation of the food pyramid

Baking is not always such a good idea, so far florentines have served as lunch yesterday and breakfast this morning. I suppose you could say it is a balanced meal with 'good fats' from the nuts, dried strawberries could scrape by as fruit and dark chocolate for a healthy heart.

Here is the recipe,(adapted from two different recipes) it makes meal time fun!!

115grams of dried or glazed fruit
345grams of nuts
1/3 cup (45grams) plain flour
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup (100grams) brown sugar
1/2 cup (120mls) honey
Melted dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius

Place your selection of nuts on baking paper and bake till roasted. I used macadamias and almonds. Cool, roughly chop and set aside.

Chop the fruit and add to the nuts. I used dried strawberries because I don't like glace cherries or mixed peel but you could use any dried or candied fruit.

Add flour, allspice and nutmeg

Heat sugar and honey till sugar dissolves. Place dessert spoonful sizes on baking paper and bake in oven till golden.

Spread melted chocolate on one side.

Eat for breakfast lunch and tea

Monday, June 7, 2010

High Tea

Despite the rain and more rain wellington was lovely. Lots of walks on the beach, movie watching, book reading and spending time with my Benjamin. I had a great time with my sister, we talk most days on the phone and I love spending time with her. She bravely had a final go at teaching me to knit, and I truly got the hang of it! She finally figured how I would miraculously start with 15 stitches and end up with 30 on the needles. Each time I put the needles down to do something I would come back and often start knitting backwards. I love what I made, so soft to wear, and the colours are beautiful. They liven up any outfit. On the way back from wellington I stopped off at the wool company full of inspiration and bought a beautiful ball of teal merino wall that I plan on knitting it in to a back up pair of wrist warmers, also because its the only thing I know how to knit!

We had an early birthday celebration for my sisters birthday which is tomorrow. She requested a sponge cake. Sponge cakes are so quick and simple to make and so yummy. We had run out of icing sugar so some sugar was pounded in the pestle and mortar. For some reason the icing sugar that was made was so much better tasting. I never thought there would be much difference between packaged icing sugar and freshly ground, maybe homemade just does taste better.

It had anathoths raspberry jam spread over with whipped cream on top boysenberries and grated chilli chocolate. We drank tea out of beautiful cups and ate cake. Everything tastes better when it looks pretty.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rainy days

Isn't this pretty. I love the flower on the top. We are away in welly for the week. The rain just keeps on falling. We sheltered in a little cafe in Plimmerton. The hot chocolate was just as yummy as it was pretty. I love Plimmerton, it reminds me of England where so many of the beaches have boardwalks to stroll along. The plus seems you are higher up and have a better view of the beach and sea stretching out in front of you, it seems more expansive, but is always good to get the toes out and feel the water.

Yep, there is a puppy under there. Even Harper is hiding from the rain and cold.

I wonder if a Kate owns this boat? I have never seen a boat called Kate. I am glad that the boat I happen to find called Kate has some character. It looks like a happy boat, something appeals to me about it (other than it sharing my name!) I think it is the simple blue and white colouring, it looks solid and rustic. I would like to take a trip on that boat.

Doesn't he look like he is having the best sleep ever. I don't mind rain at night, the heavier the better. I hope it pours tonight, nothing better than snuggling down in bed, listening to the rain pound down on the roof and hopefully having a sleep as peaceful as this.