Monday, February 28, 2011

monday - good morning

He wanted to show you how he can stretch his leg like this.  We've put the old school desk in his room with his old dining chair and he's loving it.  Quiet time is spent doing colouring in and writing stuff.  He's so excited about his school readers, the first thing that happens when he gets home from school each day is that he grabs it out of his book bag and starts reading, doesn't matter if I'm ready or not!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

sunday - hot crayon rocks

Finally today we did the hot crayon rocks that the boys have been waiting ages for.  We collected them a few weeks back when we went fishing and they've been sitting in a bowl on the table ever since.

It's easy and very effective.
1. Heat the rocks in the oven (around 200 degrees).
2. Handle them carefully with oven gloves, place them on to cardboard or thick newspaper.
3. Draw on them with crayons.  Fun!

WARNING make sure your rocks are super dry before doing this... wet rocks might explode in the oven!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

saturday - bookworm

There are those silly bands again!

Friday, February 25, 2011

bonus photos for you Christchurch rellies

Just snapped them eating their juicies for afternoon tea, straight out of the camera and onto the blog. M wanted you to see his grazed knuckles (no he hasn't been in a fight) and silly bands.  Those crazy rubber bands have been the cause of many tears, plenty of happy times and long extended bouts of trading. R happily trades his (I think he has five) with much bigger kids at school.

friday - true colours

B & I were both born and raised in Christchurch.  Although the boys are native Aucklanders they have been down often enough to forge a strong bond with Canterbury.  Off to school today in their red and black.  Big brother (who is looking more like the littler brother these days!) wanted to know when he can have some red shoes.  I know you blog followers/rellies down south will appreciate regular blog updates... so I'm going to make an effort.  Especially for you Nana, Grandpa, Nana and Poppa, and yes all you Aunties, Uncles and cousins too.  We love you all so much and miss you tremendously right now.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

thursday - this moment

{this moment} -  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. 
Thanks SouleMama for the inspiration

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I don't know what to say but I feel strangely compelled to write something.  My home town Christchurch has been decimated by a massive earthquake yesterday.  All of our immediate family are okay (they all live there) which is wonderful for us, but I know that so many people down there have lost people they love.  The CTV building below, was the regional television station, a place both B and I have worked.  It's gone and burning and they're still working to see if they can get anyone else out alive.  It makes me feel sick.  I'm trying to convince all of our rellies to jump on the next plane to our place! There are no after shocks in Auckland.

photo from Sydney Morning Herald
If you want to help there are various ways to donate money...

To make a donation: 
- Phone 0900 33 200 to make an automatic $20 donation
- FreeTXT 'QUAKE' to 555 to donate $5 or FreeTXT 'QUAKE' to 333 to donate $3 from any Vodafone mobile
- Donate online at
- Donate in person at any branch of NZ Post, Kiwibank, ANZ, National Bank, ASB, TSB and BNZ across New Zealand.
- Mail a cheque (made payable to New Zealand Red Cross) to: Canterbury Earthquake Appeal, Freepost 232690, PO Box 12-140, Thorndon, Wellington 6144.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

sourdough pancakes

We've been eating these on Saturday mornings to use up the excess starter and then we bake our bread on Sunday.  I can't remember where I got the recipe though.  It's quite yummy and flluffy and amazingly has no dairy or dariy substitutes either.

2 cups sourdough starter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar 
1 egg 
4 tablespoons olive oil 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 tablespoons warm water

In a large bowl, add sourdough starter, sugar, egg, olive oil, and salt; mix well. 
In a small bowl, dilute 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 tablespoon of warm water. Important: Only add baking soda to batter just before you are ready to cook the pancakes. 
Fold the baking soda/water mixture gently into the prepared pancake batter (do not beat). This will cause a gentle foaming and rising action. Let the mixture bubble and foam a minute or two. 

Heat up a lightly-greased pan until fairly hot; then pour the sourdough pancake batter onto the griddle. For each pancake, pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup sourdough pancake batter onto hot griddle. Cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from heat and serve. 

Sourdough Pancake Variations: 
Blueberry: Combine 1 cup blueberries dusted with 2 tablespoons sugar; let stand a few minutes. Gently fold blueberries into the batter just before adding the baking soda mixture. 
Apple: Grate some tart apples into the batter before adding the baking soda mixture.
Banana: Thinly slice or mash banana into the batter before adding baking soda mixture.

Friday, February 18, 2011

this moment

{this moment} -  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. 
Thanks SouleMama for the inspiration

Thursday, February 17, 2011


So for the past few weeks we've been trying out making sourdough bread, pancakes and crepes.  You begin by making a starter with flour and water and leave it on the bench to grow, feeding it each day (sometimes more than once) for at least a week.  The starter is what you use as a raising agent in your baking.  It's all kind of new to me really.  I was inspired by Hanna at CraftyKin to give it a try as she makes awesome looking bread.

At the moment I don't have a loaf tin so we're just making round loaves.  They don't seem to be rising up as much as I'd like and they look a bit ugly before you slice them up (so no photo of the whole loaf yet).  The crust however is fantastic, chewy and delicious.  I had to pop in a photo of our cool bread slicer that B picked up at a market once for $2, such a bargain.

When you're making sourdough bread you do end up having to discard some of your starter so that's why we've been making pancakes and crepes.  I'll post the pancake recipe tomorrow.  I've been posting a lot of recipes and food stuff recently which is a bit of a change from stories about the kids.  When I started my blog it was all about the boys and I did it for the grandparents, these days it's more for me.  I figured out the other day that I could make a recipe page which is going to make finding my favourites a lot easier (as our computer is in the kitchen).  Here's the link for lots of information about sourdough, be warned that it does take a while to get established.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

black bean hummus and pita chips

1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) of chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) of black beans, drained
2 cloves garlic crushed (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Blend it all up and adjust seasoning to taste.  If it's a little too thick you can add a little more olive oil or some water.  I cook my own beans in the slow cooker which is so much cheaper than the canned ones.  This made a delicious afternoon tea today with carrots and wholemeal pita chips (also home made).  To make pita chips simply chop up some pita bread, pop it on a baking tray, spray with a little oil and bake it in a moderate oven till slightly crisp.  I've tried sprinkling cajun spice on them which worked well too.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

sourdough crepes

makes about eight to ten crepes

1 cup sourdough starter
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup of (non dairy) milk
extra oil for cooking

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Add milk until it reaches a very smooth, thin batter consistency.

Heat a medium frying pan (about 8' - 10' is perfect) over medium high heat. Spray with oil, then immediately pour in 1/4 cup of crepe batter, tilting the pan with a circular motion to allow the batter to coat the bottom of the pan and create a circle of crepe.

Cook the crepe for about two minutes, until the bottom has splotches of light brown. With a spatula, very carefully loosen the crepe and flip over. Cook for about 30 seconds and decant onto a plate.

We ate these wrapped around some leftover chilli or a curry.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

this is my first ever sausage sizzle!!!!

Today our five year old had his first sausage sizzle and it was awesome.  The yummy sausages were from the Westmere Butcher and the bread was grainy and delicious.

Thanks to Allergy NZ for a fun party.  There were plenty of kids wearing medic alert bracelets and most people were double checking the ingredients of the soy, nut, egg and dairy free sausages (just in case).

We also had some lovely dark chocolate sorbet.  I spoke to another mum who was almost teary to see her boys enjoying chocolate. It was pretty special to be some place that having allergies was normal.  So often I struggle with his allergies and at times have to force myself to not think about the "what ifs"...  What if another kid gives him something and tells him it's dairy free?  What if he feels like rebelling and eats something on purpose?  What if he has an anaphylactic reaction and nobody spots it and he doesn't get his epipen in time?  See it's not worth thinking about!

This week at school they did "I is for Ice cream" so of course they ate ice cream.  The teacher let me know in advance so I could bring him in an icy treat of his own and I did talk to her about safety and hand washing.

However the thought of a big class of five year olds with drippy melting ice creams was kinda terrifying!!!  He has had an anaphylactic reactions to tiny bits of dairy before (a chocolate pebble once and a sip of milky coffee another time) so we're pretty sure that any ice cream would necessitate adrenaline and an ambulance trip to the hospital.  Luckily they kept him safe and all was well.  I must admit I did contemplate keeping him home from school.  I know that with him at school I have to let go a little, allow him to be more responsible for himself.  With him gone all day I have to trust that he'll be looked after and try not to think about the what ifs...

Friday, February 11, 2011

this moment

{this moment} -  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from a couple of years ago!! 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
Thanks SouleMama for the inspiration

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I score it... affinity!

In an effort to get more wholefoods and vege meals into our daily diet, I've been making a lot of recipes from the fabulous Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.  I've made this delicious salad a few times lately and the whole family love it.  The dressing takes a little while to make but it's worth it!  It's also fine with defrosted frozen black beans (I cook a whole lot up in my slow cooker and freeze a couple of batches in their cooking liquid). 

 #1 gave it a score of "one hundred" and not to be outdone, #2 said "I score it affinity!".

Black Beans and Rice Salad from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home

2 cups drained cooked black beans
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/4 cup sliced olives

1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped spring onions
2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2Tbsp chopped parsley

2 tsp grated orange peel (do this before you squeeze the juice!)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup toasted walnuts (about 10min in a moderate oven then cooled)
few fresh coriander or parsley leaves

Mix the beans, rice, celery and olives in a bowl (I actually didn't have any celery and used some corn).
Whisk together the dressing ingredients and stir thoroughly through the beans and rice mixture.
Top with the toasted walnuts and the coriander or parsley.

Friday, February 4, 2011

this moment

{this moment} -  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the holidays. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
Thanks SouleMama for the inspiration.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

if you like to eat sprouts... need one of these!!  Mine was only $14 when I bought it (quite a long time ago now) but it'so much better than the mesh one I had before.  Or perhaps I'm just better at using it these days.  The boys like to eat the sprouts and to help to grow them too.  Sprouts are always good as hair on bagel faces too!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

my boys

These are the appliqu├ęd tie shirts I made the boys for my sisters wedding.  I let them choose the fabric.  I'd almost forgotten how long the wee guy's hair was before Christmas!  It has had two cuts since then.  The shaggy cut and now the super short cut.  B and I loved it long but he wouldn't tie it back and the constant pushing it out of his face was going to be a big problem for school.  He starts school on Thursday!  Aaaarrrrrgh!  Yes I'm freaking out a bit.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


So currently we're trying out this thing called sourdough (inspired by Hanna).  To make a starter you basically mix flour and water and add more flour and water each day (sometimes three times a day!).  It lives on the bench.  Once it's bubbling away nicely you throw most of it away and start over with just a little bit of the starter.  Confused yet?  Yeah I think it's a bit weird.  Not sure if it will be something we continue with but I'm willing to give anything a try.  The idea is that you use it to make bread instead of using yeast. 

Rather than chuck out the excess starter you can make things with it, and once it's going properly you can put it in the fridge till  you need it again.  So the past couple of days we've made pancakes with great success, crumpets which were okay and pizza dough which was pretty awful.  I have a delicious pizza dough recipe (which uses yeast) which I think I'll stick with in the future.  I tried to make bread today but it was really awful... will try again at the weekend using a long long long complicated recipe and see if that helps.

easiest fort ever

  1. Take 2-6 dining chairs (small couches also work here).
  2. Take one fitted sheet.
  3. Stretch sheet over the backs of the chailrs.
  4. Done.