Friday, October 24, 2014

Yes, really.

Christmas decos.

Surely its not time for Christmas shopping again I hear you say! But really, Christmas is less than nine weeks away which means there are only a few more craft markets where you will be able to buy Sweet Mary Christmas decorations. This year I have mini doves and hearts filled with either lavender or rosemary which would look sweet attached with a gift card to a specially wrapped present.
The next Craft&Design market in Havelock North is just over a week away on November the 1st and as usual it will be packed with clever makers showcasing their wares.

Christmas is a time of celebration and part of this celebration is the making and consuming of "celebration food". On a coolish day last week I made our Christmas cake, a different recipe from my usual and although I can't cut into it until the day, it did smell amazing. I couldn't put my finger on it exactly but this cake smelt so wonderful that I was tempted to cut it there and then. Maybe it was the cider! HERE is the recipe if you would like to try it - please use real butter, there is no substitute for me. I didn't have apple brandy, just ordinary and would probably cut the 6 tablespoons down to 3 as the cake seemed very wet. Its wrapped up tightly now and away in the back of the pantry snug in a cake tin so maybe the brandy will just make it all super amazing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Homemade Weekend.

Sweet smelling violets
Mint syrup, vanilla essence, water kefir and crystallised violets.
Bliss balls.
Yes, it was a homemade weekend for me but it was in the kitchen this time not the sewing room. I collected together the different recipes I wanted to try and made an afternoon of it. The first one, vanilla extract, was easy. Vanilla pods in alcohol, leave for a month - HERE are the instructions and its a beautiful NZ food blog to look around too, so make sure you do. As its spring in our part of the world the mint in the garden is growing well and the idea of preserving that delicious fresh taste was pretty enticing. The recipe is HERE and when I found it I knew it would be a good one as its from a River Cottage handbook - one that I now have out from the library. I have this idea that my mint syrup is going to go very well with my strawberries in the not too distant future. A few weeks back I tasted water kefir at a friends house and loved it so that got made too - recipe HERE, though I used raisins not figs. Last but not least was a late addition as my visiting daughter raved about these healthy treats that she had made for a work morning tea. If you have a sweet tooth and crave sweetness late afternoon or anytime really as I have discovered, MAKE these little beauties. They are aptly named - Bliss Balls.
Don't forget to click on the highlighted words for the recipes and further information.
The crystallised violets will have to be redone as not a great success - too much rushing!