Friday, 18 October 2013

Embracing the Kiwi life

Yesterday I felt very kiwi.

I went to a Turkish spice shop for my curry spices, an Asian store for my sushi ingredients, the bakery for my bread, the butcher for my meat, the post office for my stamps and the supermarket for everything else! In the UK I could have just gone to Asda for everything so it's a totally new way of life now!

Last night I tried out some of my new curry spices. Mmmmm curry!
And I made our own roti to go with it. So simple and such a great alternative to shop-bought naan bread.


200g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp oil
180ml warm water


Mix all the ingredients together into a dough. Separate out the dough into 8 balls, then roll out into 14cm (ish) discs. Fry in an oiled pan for a few minutes each side until they go golden. Yummy!

I tried sushi for the very first time just a few days ago and I absolutely loved it! As with most things I then thought "I could make this" so today I gave it a go...

Doesn't look too bad for a first attempt does it?!? And what's better, it was delicious. Even the ladybug ate it! I'm so pleased :) I just need to get the munchkin to eat it and we'll have another lunch box option!

And here's how to do it...

You will need:

A sushi mat (it was $2 in the Asian store)
Nori (the seaweed sheet)
Rice (2.5 fluid oz per nori sheet)
Sushi vinegar, 1tsp sugar and pinch of salt to flavour the rice
Whatever you want to put inside!
Woy sauce


Rinse the rice before you cook it to get rid of some of the starch.  Cook the rice in a non-stick saucepan with double the amount of  boiling water to rice (if 5 fl oz rice then 10 fl oz water).  Cover and cook on low heat for approximately 10 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.

Next flavour the rice. I'm not sure how much vinegar you should put in as you can get powdered stuff (which I have) or liquid. I just sprinkled a little in.

Then place some cling film (plastic wrap) over the sushi mat and put your nori sheet on top.  Spread the cooked rice over the sheet leaving a little gap at the end furthest from you.

About a third of the way down place your filling in a line across the sheet.  I used cucumber and carrot strips because that's all I had in the fridge.  I then drizzled a small amount of sesame and ginger sauce over the strips.

Roll your nori using the mat.  You will need to peel back the cling film and mat as you roll.  Then wrap it in the cling film and place in the fridge for a few minutes before slicing (with a very sharp knife).

Enjoy your homemade sushi! :)

Monday, 14 October 2013

Anzac meets Wales

Being in New Zealand, I thought I'd give a NZ recipe a go. I have a Kids in the kitchen cook book (which I think is actually from Australia, but I'll pretend it's Kiwi!) so I flicked through for a suitable recipe. Anzac Slice looked pretty good so I got the ingredients ready. Now we hit two problems. Firstly, it has coconut in it and I really don't like coconut so I just left that out, and secondly, it needs golden syrup, which I don't have, so I swapped for maple syrup. I also adjusted the quantities a little as I'm not very good at following recipes!

So really it's not a Anzac slice anymore its more of a Welsh/Canadian slice, but it's really yummy so I don't mind what it is, I'm going to eat it!!!

1 cup flour
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
125g butter (I always use diary free spread in baking as I have a milk allergy)
2 tbsp. syrup (I think any will do, maple was very good!)
1 tbsp. water
½ tsp. bicarbonate of soda
(if you want to add the coconut its was ½ cup coconut and just do 1 cup of oats)
Pre heat oven to 170°C and line a brownie or flapjack tin with baking paper so that the paper sticks out on 2 sides for easy removal from the tin.
Put the butter, syrup and water in a bowl and melt in the microwave (or in a saucepan and heat on the hob). 
When all the butter is melted add the bicarb (it may fizz and bubble a little- which is normal, don't panic)
Then add the dry ingredients and mix well. 
Pop the mixture in the tin and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. 
It should be brown on the top and firm to touch.
Cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes before you try to take it out, you don't want it to crumble when its removed.
Then slice while it's still warm, and eat! :)

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Quiet moments

The last 2 weeks have been the spring holidays here.  Half of the days have felt very 'spring' like; its been sunny, warm and we've enjoyed the outdoor life style.  The other half of the hols have been like a welsh winter! Cold, wet and grey!

Although I love my children dearly and we've had a lot of fun, there are times where I have just needed a quiet cuppa and to retreat into a grown up world... enter Mr Darcy :)

I very rarely sit down and read during the day, but I have made the children have a 'quiet' time during the afternoons so that I can recharge with a cuppa and my book.   On the afternoons that the lady bug has been asleep, the munchkin has had to learn patience and to occupy himself.  The afternoons where they've been together they have had to learn to play together without fighting, to resolve their problems themselves and that when mummy says 'stop fighting over it or I'll take it away' mummy really means it!

We done a few craft projects over the holiday as well.  But the biggest success by far was the blackboard...

Its a really easy craft.  I picked up an old frame from the eco shop for $5 (just £2.50) and then painted it in blackboard paint.  You can use any colour paint and mix it with grout and job done! (1 cup acrylic or matt paint mixed with 1 tablespoon of grout - simples!) 

They have had so  much fun taking it in turns to make pictures of all sorts.  These 3 are super duper machines. So much fun in fact that I'll be making another trip down to the eco shop (like a charity shop, but without the charity!) to see what else I can pick up to paint.  The possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Birthday Boy

The world is full of different types of people. There are those who are good and kind. Those who are encouragers and build people up. Those who are selfish or thoughtless. Some are manipulative and others are down right nasty.

We all know someone who fits into each category. But who do we choose to surround ourselves with?

I am happy to say that I have married one of the best of men. And today I wish him a very happy birthday. He is a true gentleman. And he's mine! My own Mr Darcy. I am so thankfully for you Mr H. You bring out the best in me and love me for who I am. Thank you! :)

Everyone needs to be loved and feel loved. To be valued and know that their opinion counts.  I'm so blessed to have a husband who does both.  This is something he wrote me a few weeks ago:

Bless her Lord, abundantly bless!
Grant perfect joy in you, and rest
As she fulfills her role as mother and wife
Sustain her every day of this life.
Highs, lows, whatever she’ll face,
May she know as a solid truth your grace
To comfort, calm, protect and provide.
Be her faithful friend at her side,
Her Father when she needs to feel love,
The One who meets all of her needs from above
By the endless strength of your almighty power;
Hear even her smallest request every hour.
And when all in this world has been said and done,
Lead her Lord, blinking, into the sun;
Dancing with freedom at the sight
Of your eternal glory and magnificent light!

I ask because she is so precious to me;
Oh how much more Lord, she is to Thee!

I truly pray that all of you have a person in your life who will bless you with kindness and build you up the way that hubby does for me! 

Monday, 7 October 2013

Many nations, one voice

Please watch and listen to this song...

There are a few songs that really move me.  Some stir up passion, some provoke memories (sometimes happy, sometimes painful) and others inspire me.

This song give me hope!

So many nations coming together with one voice. All singing the same, in many languages, with totally different experiences of the world.  But one song, one voice, one God.
There are far too many prejudices in this world but all things can be overcome with love. 
Love is a force for unity.  It brings people together from all walks of life.  We do not need to be at war. If we find love, we can work towards peace.

The bible teaches that we should 'love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength' and 'love your neighbour as yourself'.  If we all took the time to love others not judge others, this would be a totally different world. Let all the earth rejoice for Great is our God.