Buckwheat Pancakes for Breakfast

Posted by Tricia on 18 September 2014 | 13 Comments

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Buckwheat flour is a perfect alternative to regular wheat flour when making pancakes. I've always prefered them over "regular" as the wheat ones usually make me feel a little sick. Buckwheat flour is gluten free and makes a denser and fluffier pancake.IMG 5440 Perfect for soaking up lemon juice and maple syrup! You can buy buckwheat flour from your local whole food store and from more enlightened supermarkets. Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel and rhubarb. The cultivation of buckwheat grain declined sharply in the 20th century with the adoption of nitrogen fertilizer that increased the productivity of other staples. Buckwheat pretty much has everything going for it. It's gluten free, heavy with flavonoids, helps regulate/lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system. It's certainly worth adding to your food basket. For recipe read the full post.

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Home-made extracts; Vanilla, Almond and Orange.

Posted by Tricia on 15 September 2014 | 2 Comments

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Last December I made a few bottles of vanilla extract. One for my own use and the other as a gift. Today I've made more vanilla extract as well as a few bottles of almond extract and orange extract. I go through a fair bit of these three previously store bought essences. Good/natural essences aren't cheap so it makes sense to make your own. They are super easy to make but you do need a little patience to allow them to sit, steep and flavourise for between 2 to 4 months.IMG 5434

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Orange Macadamia Cake

Posted by Tricia on 27 August 2014 | 6 Comments

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There's a glut of citrus and eggs around here at the moment so I decided to rustle up my orange and macadamia cake. You can use almond meal if you prefer, in fact I think that is what the original recipe called for. Macadamias are the only nuts I can grow here and I have a basket full of unshelled nuts. My eldest daughter Molly was visiting for the weekend so I took the opportunity to shell some while we sat and talked.IMG 5309  There is something so satisfying about eating cake and knowing it's not just sweet and yummy but has major goodness as well. For recipe read the full post.

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Gluten-free Banana Bread

Posted by Tricia on 17 August 2014 | 3 Comments

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My youngest daughter Cherry put me onto this recipe a few weeks ago. Say Banana bread and it doesn't get me very excited but tasting this, well that was another story altogether. It was good and delicious. I've altered the recipe quite a bit from the original but from memory I think this version may be even yummier. Read the full post.IMG 5304

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Potato Gnocchi

Posted by Tricia on 17 August 2014 | 4 Comments

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It's perfect weather for making and eating potato gnocchi. IMG 5295Too dull and chilly for me to be in the garden and still cold enough to warrant a fire. With weather like this I don't feel torn between being outside gardening, or staying indoors keeping warm. I was searching through my cook-books recently when I came upon this old favourite. It's from one of those Australian Women's Weekly collectible cookbooks you could buy from supermarkets about twenty or more years ago. When the kids were small this cookbook titled "Cooking class cookbook" and The Middle Eastern Cookbook were my go to's. Both use everyday ingredients and are simple but nourishing family meals. For the recipe read the full post.

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Gardening in Style

Posted by Tricia on 11 August 2014 | 5 Comments

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I got all inspired yesterday after watching a documentary called GROUNDED. Long story short there are quite a few benefits from connecting with the earth or "grounding". I fully subscribe to this idea, well, I am a gardener and without any doubt always feel recharged after working in the garden. The deeper belief here though is our mirroring or relationship with air, water and earth. Most of us get the air and water part of the scenario but we overlook our relationship with our mother earth. We all need earthing regularly. When was the last time you walked barefoot? Apparently this is something that we should all be doing more of. I was remembering the other day how my two girls, the elder one especially as a child, whenever it rained she would strip off and run outside and play in the rain. My kids never wore shoes, they played outside all weathers and made contact with the earth, the grass, the trees and the waterways on our small piece of heaven here in the Beautiful Puhoi Valley. I guess it's true that we as a race are evolving and changing but we are still made of flesh and blood and we are still inhabitants of this earth. Ko Papatuanuku te whaea tena koe. Read the full post.

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Posted by Tricia on 8 August 2014 | 1 Comments

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A few years ago my friend Anna gave me a taster of some of her damson plum "schnapps". It was seriously delicious, and a taste soon turned into quite a few more. The definition of schnapps is any strong alcoholic beverage. She had covered plums in gin and added some sugar. This could be called a liqueur also because of the addition of sugar. Anyways I got all inspired this summer to make some for myself. I did some research and decided that I didn't want to add sugar. I would try for the cleaner/truer flavour of the fruit only. If it wasn't sweet enough I could always add sugar later. Here is a helpful reference site. The few samplings that some of us have had are all in favour and I have been hard pressed to keep some family members hands off my stash (Jake!!!!). IMG 5227I'm planning to crack them open at a few family occasions that are coming up soon. I used either Gin or Vodka for the different fruit. Gin for the plums and vodka for the feijoas. The choice is yours. I've forgotten the names of some of my fruit tree varieties, one of which is a small french desert pear that tastes very much like honey. I made one with these, one with damson plums, another with a dark plum, my wildling golden queen peach and of course feijoas. For more details read the full post.

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Posted by Tricia on 8 August 2014 | 2 Comments

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I've been feeding quite a crew for some time now as we have some major building/creative projects going on. Most recently the insulation and ceiling of my house. It's a half round barn so not a particularly easy task, let alone whilst still living and operating within the house.  Let's just say it's been an experience! Over this time I've made mountains of biscuits and cake and scones etc for morning and afternoon teas. Here is a recipe I came up with using oats and frozen blackberries from last summer's harvest. These are really good texturely and tastewise. Muffins can sometimes disappoint, but not these babies. For recipe read the full post.

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Posted by Tricia on 1 August 2014 | 1 Comments

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Since I was a little girl, I have had a total aversion to commercial toothpaste. I think my dad put me on to using salt way back then so that's what I used. Once I discovered alternative "healthy" toothpastes I used those. Even better I've finally made my own. There's no hidden nasties and it tastes good.  It's made of only 5 ingredients and they are all truly natural and make my mouth, teeth and gums feel super clean and cared for. Jethro my lovely young friend at our local Hammer hardware store gave me the recipe and I won't be going back to purchasing store bought any time soon. Read the full post.IMG 5056

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Simply Sauerkraut

Posted by Tricia on 13 May 2014 | 3 Comments

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I have wanted to make sauerkraut for years and I have finally done it YAY! My friend Den came for a visit a few months back and showed me how. She whipped some up in no time. I'm so over all the fancy this and that that you can make these days. I'm sticking to the basic old-fashioned stuff from here on in. All she used was some cabbage, good salt and caraway seeds. I had the perfect container on hand that I bought especially for sauerkraut. I think it cost me $5 from our local second-hand shop. For recipe read the full post.IMG 5199

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