Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My creative space

Been working on little bits and pieces, my head is so full of projects I have to restrain myself and not get too impatient. Among the not planned sewing, I made this bath towel last night for a friend's sister who just had a baby (at the age of 19, holy molly!). I copied the pattern from a bath towel my bro sent me when Miro was born ant that we have found great. You can velcro the towel around your neck, which means that when you pick your little bundle you can put him/her straight on your chest and wrap him/her inside the towel.
It was quite simple to make, took me about an hour, with the surrounding red tape taking up the majority of it. I used a bath towel we had in our cupboard that is still in good condition and has cute colorful cartoons on it.

More creative goodness here!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Our little holiday in photos

Finally sorted out our pics, slowly getting back into the groove of things...

Tahi and Miro...

Making friends!

bad boy
We stayed a some friends' farm, and they had way to many turkeys, so the guys went and got a few...
From wild turkey...
... to turkey tagine (with almonds and apricots). It was delicious.

My friend makes this tree for Matariki every year (Maori new year), and a more elaborate version for Xmas I think. I want to make one too, I love it!

 And of course, Josh and Tahi had a great time at "Walking With Dinosaurs".

Little dinosaur

Stegosaurus... the size of a bus!

Mummy T-Rex

Giant looove

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

my creative space

A few things this week, some old and some less old. Not much time to blabla, kids are up and needing to be fed!

My newest project. Some quilting involved, that's what happens when you're working with fabric scraps. After the curtains odyssey, I must have felt like another long term challenge...

Working on a new project
 I finally  got round to making a photo album for Tahi, using one we got given when he was born and hat had an ugly cover. Yes, it took me three and a half years, just to change the cover. And guess what, I've "misplaced" the photos nows.

Finally making use of the fused plastic sheets I've been upcycling. These are little presents for some friends overseas...

More creative spaces here!

Friday, July 15, 2011


I'm back! We had a great time away, it was so nice to visit friends and family, have a few sips of wine and catch up with everyone. We met so many gorgeous kids, it's sometimes hard to imagine our friends are in the same boat as us, raising kids, enjoying family life and building a future. Whenever we go away and find ourselves sharing some time with people it feels so refreshing.
We came back happy and relaxed, the car trips went surprisingly well, tons of photos to sort out and post, some new resolutions (for me, like sorting out all our photos, writing more letters, keeping in touch). I hadn't left Gisborne for a while and it was nice to have a break. So, YAY! to family holidays!!!

Long sleeve merino top - made before we left for a 1 year old's birthday

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My favorite winter soup

I've been posting more recipes lately, I hope you enjoy it and maybe try a few. I usually stick to simple things that can be whipped up easily. Yes, even fresh pasta is not that hard to make, it all comes down to planning out. If you know how long it takes you to make something, then you can work out when will be the easiest time to get it done.
Anyway, another classic in our family is this beautiful soup, full of veges. It can be adapted to whatever veges are in season, although here is my winter version of it. There is no need for a blender and even those reluctant to eating soup will like it, because there's lots of chunky bits.

You'll need:
- Onions and leek, finely sliced
- A couple of bay leaves, thyme, rosemary
- Your choice of root vegetables (I like to use carrots, potatoes, swedes, parsnips), chopped into cubes
- Your choice of greens (Spinach, silverbeet, kale)
- Beans (I love canellini beans), pre cooked*
- Olive oil

Heat a couple of tbsps of olive oil in a big pot. Sweat onions and leek until translucent. Add bay leaves, thyme and parsley and root vegetables. Cook with lid on for about 5 minutes, then add enough water to just cover the veges. Bring to the boil then cover and let simmer until you can prick the vegetables with a fork. Add the beans and cook for about 10 minutes, then add the greens. Season with salt and pepper.
And that's it, easy peasy you've just made a beautiful soup that'll warm you up!

For some extra zing, you can chop up some garlic very finely, mix it in a little bowl with some olive oil and some chopped fresh herbs of your choice (basil, parsley, coriander). Let it sit while you cook then add to your bowl of soup.

* Beans need to be soaked before cooking. This deactivates the phytic acid that makes it hard to digest (read: makes you fart). Soak at least 24h before cooking, then cook in a pot with half a potato until tender.

On another note, we're off to Auckland tomorrow, Josh is taking Tahi to see a dinosaur show called Walking with dinosaurs. Tahi is super excited and can't stop talking about it. He even packed his own suitcase!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The best pancakes ever

A good friend of mine gave me a sourdough bug almost a year ago. It's changed the way I think about and cook food. It's a free gift yes invaluable. Now that I've got this bug, I can use it for life (if I look after it well), and even better, I've been able to gift some to other friends too. It creates a feeling of belonging, that lost sense of community, all of us sharing this live culture. It becomes our culture in a sense.
I started using it to make bread of course, then pizza (which is basically bread dough) and pancakes. I am glad I don't have to use the commercial yeast anymore, especially after reading about how radically different the process is here (take a deep breath, you'll never look at bread the same way).

A while ago I decided to try making sourdough pancakes, so I googled and found a recipe for alaskan sourdough pancakes. They are the best pancakes ever, truly. They are fluffy, light, taste beautiful and hold well in the pan. And they are dead easy. We have them every sunday now.
Here's the recipe as found on this website:
- 1 cup sourdough
- 1 cup wholemeal flour
- 1 cup water
Mix these ingredients the night before you want to make pancakes. In the morning, refill your sourdough bug, then add the following ingredients:
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or melted butter)
- 1 tbsp raw sugar (or melted honey)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
Add the baking soda right before making the pancakes for extra fluffiness.
I tried taking a nice photo of ours piled up but it never happens like that, as soon as a pancake is ready to eat, it gets eaten!