3 Ingredients: basic banana berry smoothie

IMG_7623

This is a quick easy delicious pretty yummy nice refreshing healthy quick easy as smoothie.

It is getting colder and colder here in New Zealand. We live in the sub-tropical North Island, and the norm for winter is rain, mud, and just enough cold to give you chill blains and make you huddle by the fire. Meaning, the discomfort of the cold but not the excitement of Snow! We got hail the other day. That’s a big excitement in the Snowless North.

For some reason we made smoothies today. A summer treat, just as it’s getting cold enough to make your toes ache! Well, a lot of the world is just getting their Summer, so I suppose this recipe will have some appreciation, if not from New Zealanders.

***

For 3 Banana Berry Smoothies I:

-put 2 bananas in the blender with about 2 cups of orange juice. (any fruit juice will do)

-I added about 1/2 cup of frozen (or use fresh) mixed berry’s.

And then I blended it all up and poured it into pretty glasses.

***

IMG_7621

A perfect healthy snack.

Sugar (apart from the sugars in the fruit) free, dairy free, gluten free, everything free.

You could try all sorts of things, maybe using whatever you have in your fridge. I always find delicious smoothie recipes, but I NEVER have all the ingredients. This is my basic smoothie recipe, and I have made this with just bananas and orange juice in the past. It is a very delicious summer treat. You could add a spoon of natural yoghurt for extra deliciousness.

Oh, and they are very pretty, too.  Enjoy!

IMG_7620

IMG_7637

Classic Custard Squares

IMG_7579

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.

IMG_7586IMG_7572

My custard came out rather orange…

IMG_7594

IMG_7584

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’

camera_20130503143708411

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.

IMG_20130503_121520_20130503142823972

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

IMG_20130503_121733_20130503143200306
6. Pour it into the flour mixture and beat for 2 mins at medium speed until smooth and creamy.

IMG_20130503_122236_20130503143430521
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.

camera_20130503143959384

I have slightly adapted this great recipe from here.

these are mild, creamy, sweet

Homemade Pesto & Pasta Salad

IMG_6683

For lunch today we made a delicious (and easy) Pasta salad, with olives, the last few teeny cherry tomatoes from our garden, freshly made pesto, and cashew nuts.

Put a pot of pasta on to cook. We used a 500g bag of elbows.

 

IMG_6651   Here are our lovely freshly picked ingredients for the pesto.

– handful of basil

– about 5 leaves of silverbeet

– squeeze of lemon juice

– 1 clove garlic

– 1/2 cup grated cheese

– salt & pepper

– 1/2 cup cashew nuts (or any type of nuts)

 

Blend the basil & silverbeet, add lemon juice, garlic, and cheese. Season with salt & pepper, and last of all add nuts. Only blend nuts for a couple of seconds if you like them to be chunky.  (Sorry about the funny colour of the pesto, I used some red silverbeet in there and it made my pasta and pesto go a bit pink!)

IMG_6672

Pasta Salad:

1/2 cup pitted black olives

1/4 cup grated cheese

a few cherry tomatoes

500gm steaming freshly cooked pasta

1 lot of Basil & Silverbeet Pesto

Mix all ingredients together and serve. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Serves 6

IMG_6659 IMG_6660

 

D.I.Y – 5 minute Glitter Bow Shoes

IMG_6390

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:

IMG_6358

You will need:

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

-glitter

-Paintbrush

-old shoes

blog

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?

IMG_6411

D.I.Y – make a dress out of a SCARF

Image

I want to share with you another of my strange attempts. I found a scarf reduced to $2.50 at Pagani. It was even buy one get one free, so I got a stripy scarf free as well!

Anyway, the scarf was a lovely sheer lilac, and it was wide. Wide enough to be a long enough skirt. (if you can understand my logic lol!)

SO. I had been planning to make this with an old T-shirt, but in the end I used a sleeveless blouse.

IMG_6239

fold your scarf over, and sew the ends together so you have a loop.

Next, sew a gathering stitch around the top.

IMG_6243

I also had to gather the shirt, because it was so wide.

Measure where your waist is on the shirt, then measure evenly all around in pencil before sewing a gathering stitch on the shirt.

You don’t want an uneven skirt…

gather the shirt to fit the skirt, and make sure that you will be able to get it on. Don’t do it too tight, as this is not made with elastic.

I made this intending it to be baggy, so I could bring it in nicely with a belt.

A big belt, to cover up my slightly messy sewing!!!

If I did this again, I might try doing it with elastic, so it is easier to pull on, but as my sewing machine is acting funny and doesn’t seem to work on stretch stitching at the moment, this way worked for me.

IMG_6297

Also, I didn’t do lining. That was lazy. I knew I could wear a plain, tight skirt under and it would be fine. But if I was making this for someone else, I would definitely do lining.

The great thing about scarfs is: they are already hemmed!! Neatly too.

I plan to look out for as many clearance scarfs as I can in the future. It’s often cheaper than buying fabric, and it is already hemmed nicely.

IMG_6279

IMG_6292

IMG_6300

Thanks Susie for taking the photos for me. In the rain, too. It was fun!

Our new doughnut maker!

I’ve been wanting one of these for ages.

IMG_5478

SO I found one for only $15…:)

IMG_5482

RECIPE http://www.sunbeam.com.au/recipes/d/doughnut-maker-doughnut-batter/

That is the basic recipe. I am planning on trying out a few fancier toppings etc, but I made cinnamon and glazed cashew nut this time.

IMG_5515

For the glaze: mix water and icing sugar together gradually until you get a white, gloopy paste kinda thing. My glaze came out weird. It was too runny. Next time I will know what to do, though.

IMG_5531

IMG_5524IMG_5528

Make the glaze, drizzle over doughnuts, chop cashews up really fine and sprinkle on.

 IMG_5497 IMG_5505

For the cinnamon donuts: Put 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon into a plastic bag. Put the doughnuts in and shake it all together thoroughly.

They tasted sooo good! IMG_5548

IMG_5550

These are not fancy doughnuts, they are not healthy…and I’m sure there are some other  DELICIOUS recipes out there, but this was my fist try, and I was very proud of them lol. 🙂

abeautufulmess.typepad.com has a delicious looking recipe that I have to try! Well, America is probably the best at making up exciting new recipes.

IMG_5556

IMG_5562

enjoy