Sour Orange and Strawberry Doughnuts

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Sour orange doughnuts! They are SO good, my sister ate the lot and I only got one. I had this doughnut mix sitting in the cupboard…it had been there since before we went to England…over 3 months now!!!!  (It smelled all right 😛 ). Well I was feeling like something yummy and easy to make (pretty much just feeling piggy and lazy) so I got out my 3 month old jar of doughnut mix, added the butter and milk etc, and then decided I should put the effort in and make up a cool flavour.

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There are so many oranges ripening on our trees, so I squeezed an orange into the batter. Then I mixed up some white icing (butter, water, icing sugar…) and added orange colouring, orange juice and citric acid. Citric acid is basically sour white crystals that look like salt or sugar. In New Zealand, Citric acid is a common ingredient for getting sour flavours. In England, I think you have to buy it from a chemist or something. But anyway, it makes a delicious sweet-sour icing when I added about 1/2 a teaspoon.

I also made bright pink strawberry flavoured icing, for no other reason than I think pink doughnuts are just so cute! But they didn’t taste that good, kinda boring. The pink ones actually didn’t all get eaten – they are still sitting in the pantry!

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My 3 month old doughnut mix doughnuts came out great!

The recipe for making the doughnuts in a doughnut maker is here, If you want to make doughnuts like this, see my post.

I really think that doughnuts like this are NOT as delicious as traditional deep-fried ones, but on the other hard, they have much less fat. They are quicker and easier too.

My basic recipe for the sour orange icing would be:

Put on tablespoon of butter in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave, add about a tablespoon of boiling water and stir in enough icing sugar to make it a nice smooth paste. If it is too small an amount, add more water and keep adding icing sugar, little bits at a time into you reach the right consistency. Add in about 1 tbsp of orange juice or a couple of drops of orange flavoring. Stir in citric acid to taste. (You might not like it too sour or you might like it really sour.) Remember that the sourness is balanced with the sweetness of the doughnuts. Colour the icing as bright as you want, and ice the cooled doughnuts.

Sorry this recipe is so rough, but it’s really just a point of making icing and flavoring it with orange and citric acid. Everyone seems to have their own ways of making icing anyway. 🙂

 

They are SO yummy, you have to try it. I think this would also be nice on cupcakes or a chocolate cake. Orange and chocolate really go well.

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The pink ones look pretty, but don’t bother with them. The orange ones taste great.

 

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Enjoy them! Becca :]

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Classic Custard Squares

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These are such a pretty treat! I got this recipe off this great blog. Only to check in the Edmonds cook book (where she got the recipe!) that every New Zealander owns, and I found I had had the custard square recipe sitting on my shelf the whole time! I got a much better version to use, as the blogger who goes by the name of Mrs Cake had detailed descriptions and helpful hints and pictures.

So, even though I know these have been very well blogged by Mrs Cake, I thought I would put up pictures of my custard squares.

They are too pretty to just delete.

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My custard came out rather orange…

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But they taste SO delicious, and I actually really like the custard. It doesn’t taste “eggy”. I think I will use the same custard recipe for a custard tart. The only thing I changed from the recipe is I didn’t put coconut on top. No one in my family wanted it with coconut. We had the lemon icing though. It was delicious.

So if you want to make these (and they are REALLY easy) the recipe is here.

Lemony Lemon ‘Brownies’

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Creamy, sweet, and perfectly tart. This delicious, light, lemony “Brownie” is perfect for a spring picnic. (I say, as the days get colder and more wet and bleak here where I live…Winter is well on it’s way.) Have this as a nice change to chocolate brownie. (I know, Lemon “brownie” doesn’t make any sense, but what the name means is that it has a brownie type of texture, without chocolate. Try it! You will love it, I am sure.) Maybe this would be a lovely mothers day treat?

Lemony Lemon Brownies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

   3/4 cup flour

2 eggs, large
2 tbsps lemon zest
2 tbsps lemon juice

For the tart lemon glaze:
2 tbsps lemon juice
4 tsps lemon zest
1 cup icing sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 (180C) degrees.
2. Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
3. Zest and juice two lemons and set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.

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5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined.

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6. Pour it into the flour mixture and beat for 2 mins at medium speed until smooth and creamy.

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7. Pour into baking dish and bake for 23-25 mins, should turn golden around the edges.
8. Allow to cool completely before glazing. Do not overbake, or the bars will dry.
9. Filter the powdered sugar and whisk with lemon zest and juice. Add more icing sugar if it is too runny. You want it thick enough to not soak into the brownies and make it soggy. (That’s what happened to mine! I have halved the amount of lemon juice so it is a thicker icing now.)
10. Spread the glaze over the brownies with a rubber spatula and let glaze set.
11. Cut into bars and serve.

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I have slightly adapted this great recipe from here.

these are mild, creamy, sweet

Mothers Day D.I.Y – No 7: Making Gorgeous Gift Boxes Quickly

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I think presentation is SO important for a gift. It makes the person receiving the gift feel so special.

If I get a present that I can see has been carefully wrapped, with ribbon and lots of prettiness, I really feel so excited opening it. Even when the present is very simple, the wrapping turns it into something beautiful and very special, somehow.

This box started out looking like this:

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So, as you can see, you can use just about any old box. Big, small, tiny…shoebox, empty teabag boxes, cardboard boxes….

I just got 3 coordinating papers, including some leftover antique music and handwriting papers from my Antique Music Jar Candles. They are so pretty!

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Cut pieces of paper to fit each side, like a collage: (oops sorry about that blurry photo!)

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Use a different paper for each side, overlapping edges so you get a tidy finish.

Do the same for the top, if you have 4 flaps like I have on my box.

If you have a box with a separate lid, like a shoebox, you could do one paper all over or a few, it’s up to you.

As there are just SO many different varieties of boxes out there, you will have to just adjust the design of your box decorating to suit.

Tie with ribbon going all around. Curling ribbon, or satin ribbon, OH, black velvet ribbon would have looked amazing on this box! I wish I had some!

There are just so many ways of decorating boxes. I liked this way because it was very very quick, and works for any box.

Jewels, words, stencils, glitter, rub-ons, fabric, beads…there are so many ways of adding extra embellishment to a box as well.

I can just picture a huge delicious lot of Chocolate Fudge in my box! I will have to make some, I suppose, because now I am craving it.

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And flowers really finish off the look!

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And here I am at the end of my week of mothers day gifts.

It was very fun, and it sure kept me busy thinking of ideas! I did miss one day, as I was away. But I put it on the blog as soon as I got home. It was hard to keep up, doing a craft project every day, even if it was only for a week. I am so glad I did though!

Well, ones things for sure: my mum is going to get a lot of lovely gifts!

Mothers Day DIY – No. 5: Delicious (and easy) Chai Tea mix

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If your mum likes tea, try this easy spicy chai tea mix.

I got this adorable tea pot for my birthday, from my brother and sister in law.

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They also gave me a little bag with a delicious Chai Tea mix in it.

It’s so good, I can tell I am going to get through it quickly, and I wont end up buying more, and then I realised:
“I bet it isn’t hard to make!”

It isn’t hard to make at all. You only need a few basic spices (and some fancier ones if you want) and loose black tea.

For my basic Chai tea mix, I used:

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 tsp ground Ginger

1/2 tsp ground Cloves

1/2 tsp Cardamom pods, crushed

1 Star anise, crushed

1/2 cinnamon stick, crushed

4 tablespoons loose black tea

In a mortar and pestle, crush all the whole spices, add the powders, and grind it all together.

Put in a pretty jar, and mix the black tea in.

Shake it together.

Now think what a lovely present that would make for your mum…or for you.

My teapot holds 500mls of water. I put 2 teaspoons of Chai mix in, filled it to the top with freshly boiled water, and let it brew for 5-8 minutes.

Warm enough milk for 1/2 cup of milk per person in a pot on the stove, or in the microwave. That’s if your one of those poor people like me who don’t have a nice coffee machine with a milk steamer!

Fill half of each tea cup with hot milk, and put in the chai.

Add sugar to your taste. Chai is usually quite a sweet tea.

This amount of tea gave me 5 little cute tea cups of tea, or it would do 2-3 mugs of tea.

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I had a lovely day today, sharing this tea with my very special friends, even though my sister made the tea luke warm!!! It was still delicious.

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Mothers Day DIY – No. 4: Chocolate Coffee Syrup

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This is so easy to make, looks really fancy, and tastes delicious! If you don’t have a coffee maker, using this syrup and hot milk, and a basic coffee plunger, you can make a totally delicious and easy Mocha.

I found this recipe online a couple of years ago. Back then, I never thought about saving where I got it from, so I just printed it, and used, and loved, this recipe.

Sadly, I have no idea where I found it online! All I know is that it is an AMAZING recipe, very easy, using only basic ingredients.

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 Chocolate Coffee Syrup

1/2 cup cocoa powder (not ground chocolate)

1 cup sugar

dash of salt (improves flavour but only use a very little!)

1 cup water

2 tsp vanilla

Mix the cocoa and sugar together in saucepan. Heat on medium high, leave it there, for a minute or two. (No more – you don’t want to burn it!)

Add the water slowly, mixing well in between.

Add a dash of salt. Once mixed completely, the mixture will probably be boiling, so lower heat to medium. Let it boil for 5-8 minutes, mixing constantly.

Boil till mixture thickens. When you move spoon fast through mixture, you can see the bottom of the pot. This means it’s done. Turn off heat, add vanilla, stir thoroughly,  let cool for a few minutes, pour into sterilised jar.

Soak jar in boiling water to sterilise.

To make a delicious mocha,

1. fill 1/4 to 1/2 cup with coffee (plunger/filter/instant – whatever you like)

2. stir a teaspoon of Chocolate Syrup in.

3. Top up with warm milk (frothy if you like!) Microwaves work really well for quickly heating milk up. Not healthy, but quick. 🙂

4. Drizzle more mocha syrup over the top.

5. Enjoy you easy, delicious, homemade mocha!

Make a pretty label for your chocolate sauce, put it in a cute jar, and you have a delicious mothers day present. Or a present for anyone, really! You could also use this as an ice-cream sauce, add it to milk shakes, iced mochas, make yummy chocolate milk….

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Mothers Day D.I.Y Gift – No.1: Antique Music Jar Candles

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Vintage Music Paper Candles

This takes ten minutes and looks amazing! You could make a few or just one, but it would be a great mothers day gift.

I am doing a week of mothers day DIYs, as Mothers Day is coming up (and it’s fun!)

This is the first, and it’s very easy and adorable.

What you need:

old fashioned music/letters (links for great printable ones below)

http://freevintagedigistamps.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/free-digital-scrapbook-paper-vintage_07.html

http://vintageephemera.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/French

Short glass jar

twine/ribbon

tea light candles

glue

scissors

Cut your music paper to the width of your jar. You might need to cut an extra bit if the paper doesn’t wrap all the way round.

Draw 2 hearts on your paper, aligned to be opposite each other when you stick the paper on.

Cut  hearts out, glue paper strip around jar, put tea light candle inside (or 2 or 3 if your jar is a wide one) and tie the ribbon or twine around the top of jar.

Done!

A lovely (and super easy) mothers day gift.

The printable music papers are really great. they print a full page without being blurry or “home printered” looking, and they are often much prettier than any normal music. You can also use old book pages for your candle.

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upcycling old canvas’s

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^ This used to be a really badly done painting I did at a camp once. I’m NOT good at art!!!!

So I gave it to my sister and together this is what we did with it. (she did all the hard work and I had the ideas haha….)  It’s really great so I thought I’d share it on here.

Paint canvas over with 2 soft colours. There are what we chose:

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Supplies: newspaper, glue stick, scissors, paper heart. Oh, and a fine tip sharpy or any black marker, and a pencil.

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Cut out lots of bits of newspaper words.

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Draw a big paper heart, cut out and colour red.

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Glue heart onto canvas. Then do another layer of glue on top of heart.

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Stick newspaper letters on it in a collage.

IMG_6623We did letters going out sideways too, like they were blowing off the heart. Do it however you want.

Add words: we did love, joy peace, because that a special, un corny thing that we love to have on our wall.

There are all sorts of possibilities.

Write in pencil first!! Then go over that in black marker.

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We now need to find a place to hang this picture.

You could also try going over with a decoupage gloss or pearl finish.

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Rocket & Pear Salad

IMG_6570One of the best salads ever.

Usually, magazines have a huge amount or recipes that I never ever have any ingredients for. So I was very surprised when I was randomly looking through an old copy of Better Homes and Gardens, and found it was full of great recipes!!

Here’s one of them, but I have slightly adapted it because I STILL didn’t have exactly all the ingredients.

ROCKET AND PEAR SALAD

2oog baby rocket leaves (or a handful, however much you have)

1 small lettuce, roughly chopped (I used a red lettuce)

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

40g parmesan (but I just used finely grated cheddar)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (originally balsamic)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed.

salt and pepper, to season

*****

Combine rocket, lettuce, walnuts, pear, and cheese.

Put vinegar, oil, and garlic in a jar. Secure lid and shake it all up.

Drizzle over salad.

I also tried adding ricotta cheese to it. It was delicious! It put a mild creaminess to the sharp rocket flavour.

Try this salad with pizza…!! It’s perfect.

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D.I.Y – 5 minute Glitter Bow Shoes

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This is a super quick way to do up shoes.  Perfect for boring op shop shoes 0r hand me downs. This takes like, 5 minutes. Truly. 🙂

Here are the shoes BEFORE:

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You will need:

-glue (or modpodge. I used that because it was all I could find)

-glitter

-Paintbrush

-old shoes

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Paint the glue over the bows, or wherever you are glittering. This could be the heel (which I have to try sometime!), the toes of the shoes, or all over.

Sprinkle glitter over.

Touch up with a bit more glues and sprinkle another layer of glitter on, if needed.

Aren’t they cute?

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