Cook, Eat | The BEST Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

 I apologise in advance for this recipe, because holy moly these boys are sinful!  But totally awesome, everyone will love these and they keep really well for lunch-boxes throughout the week.

 

The BEST Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup of butter
  2. 1/2 Cup crunchy or smooth peanut butter
  3. 1/2 Cup sugar
  4. 1/2 Cup brown sugar firmly packed
  5. 1 Egg
  6. 1 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
  7. 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
  8. 1/2 Tsp Baking soda
  9. 1/4 Tsp salt
  10. 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190°
  2. Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light.
  3. Add the egg and mix until fluffy.
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mix well, add chocolate chips, mix again.
  6. Drop cookie mixture by teaspoonful onto lightly greased baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
http://www.thebestnest.co.nz/

Acquisitions | Little Noggi Meraki Hat in Clover

 

Instagram is bad news brown for little love-to-shop Mamas like myself.  I can’t remember how I stumbled upon Little Noggi but I’m SO glad I did.  I purchased Nixie’s first, reversible Little Noggi hat in an Instagram sale and I won this beautiful lined style by naming it ‘Clover’.  how awesome is it????  Hats are extremely hard to photograph and my toddling model has been very uncooperative, so I hope you can in some teeny way appreciate how insanely beautiful these wee hats are.  They are quite simply, the most gorgeous pieces of clothing I have ever purchased.  No lie.  

I love to support hard-working Mumma businesses and with products this special it’s a no-brainer, did you see the packaging? Swoon.

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Cook, Eat | Smoked Fish Pie Recipe

So many iconic New Zealand brands are participating in New World’s Little Shop promotion but Sealord have taken it one step further this year; they have built two fully functioning Little Boats, complete with engine and rudder which will be given away to two lucky Sealord customers!  All you have to do is buy Sealord at New World and swipe your Fly Buys card to get in the draw.  Check out how cute the Little Boats are: 


 
Our family was treated to a delicious lunch by Sealord including an amazing salmon, smoked mussel, orzo and micro-greens salad {which I’m totally going to try and recreate} but our favourite dish was the smoked Hoki pie and being totally cheeky I asked for the recipe – to share with you of course! {FYI We don’t have a smoker so I’d sub out the Hoki for a 450g tin of Sealord Smoked Fish Fillets}.

Sealord Smoked Fish Pie
Print
Ingredients
  1. 500 gms Agria potatoes – peeled
  2. 200 gms butter
  3. 100 mls cream
  4. Sea salt
  5. Cracked pepper – black
  6. 4x fillets Sealord Hoki
Curing Mix
  1. 1 cup rock salt
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 cup manuka smoked wood chips
Béchamel Sauce
  1. 5 tblsp butter
  2. 4tblsp flour
  3. 4 cups milk
  4. 1.5 tsp salt
  5. ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Cure hoki in rock salt and brown sugar for 2 hours. Clean off curing mix.
  2. Place in smoker with manuka wood chips and smoke 4 mins on high pressure
  3. Boil or steam potatoes. Bring to boil add cream and butter.
  4. Press potatoes through a fine sieve or mash. Prepare béchamel sauce.
  5. Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour, and stir till smooth. Cook approx. 6 mins till golden.
  6. Heat milk to simmer and add hot milk to butter mixture 1 cup at a time whisking till smooth.
  7. Bring to boil and cook for approx. 10 mins while stirring.
  8. Season with salt and nutmeg.
  9. Crumble fish in a bowl
  10. Add béchamel sauce and chopped parsley
  11. Place smoked fish mix in a baking dish, place mash in a piping bag and pipe on to fish mix.
  12. Bake at 185 degrees 8-10 mins or until mash is gratinated.
http://www.thebestnest.co.nz/

Cook, Eat | Best EVER Waffle Recipe

Dave received a waffle maker for his birthday at the beginning of the month, so we have been faffing about, trying out different waffle recipes for the past three weeks and not been entirely impressed with any of them.  

Until today.

Behold, The Jack Family 2/3rds American Approved Best EVER Waffle Recipe!  These have a very liquid, thin batter which is what we had been looking for.  Dense batters = dense waffles and we prefer the light and fluffy variety.  It’s never good to feel like you’ve swallowed a couple of bricks after brekkie right?

Best Ever Waffle Recipe
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 1/2 cup flour
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 2 tablespoons sugar
  6. 1 1/2 cup milk
  7. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat waffle iron and read manufacturer's instructions. Melt butter in microwave. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In another bowl, beat together milk and eggs. Whisk liquid mixture into dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in melted butter. Brush hot waffle iron with butter. Spoon about 1/2 cup of batter onto iron and close to cook. This first waffle will be the tester. Cook waffle until golden brown. Remove to plate and keep warm.
http://www.thebestnest.co.nz/

The Age Gap = A Very L O N G Week

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Pass the wine.  

For the past 13 months I have been self-righteously patting myself on the back, mentally high-fiving because the huge age gap between our kids has been a huge non-event.  And truth be told it hasn’t been difficult in any of the ways one would expect;

  • Ethan has not been jealous of his little at all
  • If anything juggling a newborn with a very busy 8.5 year old was only minutely difficult
  • E loves playing with nix and vice versa
  • E delights in all of his bro’s developmental milestones and is as proud as punch of his wee brother.
  • These two are so close and adore each other in a way that is going to result in the strongest bond that they will treasure as they grow older.

There has been a storm quietly brewing though.  Stewing and simmering, rearing it’s head every now again amidst protestations against iPad time limits and run of the mill simple requests are being constantly met with opposition and resistance.

It’s doing my freaking head in people.  

I have to admit, The Age Gap problem is real and it’s pretty much living in my head.  Changing channels between the totally transparent requirements of 13 month old Nixon and the ever-changing, complex analysis and head-nodding required to keep pre-tween E on an even keel is SO HARD.  I almost cried and ran to my room about 17 times this week.

Big is going through a phase which apparently requires compulsory attempts at control of all situations and as many arguments as you can fit in the day.  Thank god I have a hair appointment on Saturday as I can actually see my grey hairs growing before my eyes.

So.  That’s life at the moment.  In baby news, Nixon’s bum rash has stopped bleeding and his appointment today with the surgical team went really well!  He also loves meatloaf and making animal sounds.  Yah age gap!

How to | Our Water Kefir Routine

About 6 weeks ago, my good friend Debbie gifted us some water kefir grains and a bottle of her own fermentation to see if we even liked it!  We did, we ALL loved it and after a few hiccups initially things are brewing along smoothly!  I now have two jars fermenting, ready on alternate days and the kefir grains have multiplied enough for me to prepare two new starters to gift to some lovely ladies this week.  What is kefir? Originating in Mexico, water kefir grains (also known as Sugar Kefir Grains) allow for the fermentation of sugar water or juice to create a carbonated lacto-fermented beverage.  The ‘grains’ are not grains at all but little globules of bacteria and yeast which work their magic in the sugar water, the result is a great tasting, fizzy, probiotic and viatmin filled healthy alternative to juice etc.
So, what’s involved?  Follow the steps below and have a look;

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Getting started with water kefir grains is easy, and definitely made easier by having everything you need on hand.  

  1. Large glass Ball jar or similar, this one holds 1.5 litres and I picked it up at Junk n Disorderly
  2. Glass bottle, Dave found this one at a dollar store for around $3, but you may have ones you can recycle at home – Antipodes water bottles are perfect!
  3. Small glass jar.  Your kefir grains will multiply so be prepared to store them in the fridge when you find you have an excess
  4. Funnel that will fit in the mouth of your glass bottle
  5. Sieve
  6. Tablespoon and long handled spoon

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  1. 6 tblsp water kefir grains {if you are unable to source any from friends you can purchase kefir grains here}
  2. 4 tblsp raw sugar
  3. 1 tblsp raisins
  4. Half a lemon
  5. 1/2 tsp Black Strap Molasses {optional}
  6. 3 cups water
  7. Pinch of baking soda

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Step 1:  Add your 4 tablespoons of raw sugar, 3 cups of water and 6 tablespoons of kefir grains into your large jar in this order.  If you add the sugar after the kefir you can end up with cloudy broken grains.

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Step 2:  Add your raisins, molasses if you want, a pinch of baking soda and half a lemon.  Try and pick as many pips out as you can before adding your lemon, then you won’t have to separate them from the kefir grains later.

Step 3:  Store in a dark, warmish place for approx 48 hours until you see your raisins float, see pic below.

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This pic shows why you need such a big jar when you are only adding 3 cups of water; the fermentation process omits a lot of gas causing pressure to build inside the jar – see how my mighty kefirs have popped up the lid?  If your jar is too small you may risk a kefir explosion!

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Step 4: Once your raisins are floating, scoop them out, also remove the lemon, squeezing the juice back into your jar.

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Step 5: Prepare your bottle for the second fermentation.  If you choose to flavour your kefir add this now.  I’m loving the Barker’s Lite Blackcurrant flavour at the moment.  If you aren’t adding any flavour just stick your funnel in the bottle.

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Step 6:  Using your funnel and sieve pour the liquid from your large jar into the bottle, seal and pop back in the dark cupboard for another 24 hours.

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Step 7: Refrigerate and enjoy!

As I mentioned earlier, the kefir grains will multiply so when you notice you have a bit more than the 6 tablespoons required for a fermentation, place the excess in a small jar in the fridge with 1 tablespoon of sugar and enough water to keep them covered plus a bit more.  Your kefir grains are now ready for more, so give them a light rinse and begin again from Step 1!

 

33/52

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

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ethan:  back on your skateboard both days this weekend!  dad has set you up a wide old school santa cruz deck and you’re loving it!  after losing much of your summer to a fractured ankle from a skateboarding accident we really didn’t know if you’d ever be keen to skate again, but you are, and we’re stoked that you’re stoked x

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nixon: a better week at home, you are healing well and we are slowly getting to grips with your new hyperactive bowel {one day i changed your nappy 7 times before 12pm!}.  most days you are still sneaking in two naps but this is becoming a bit erratic so we’re both making the most of  your snoozy baby-ness while it lasts.

linking with www.practisingsimplicity.com

 

Book Review | The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

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Finishing a book, or even starting or reading a page of one is a rare luxury these days but one I DO enjoy, so I will plod on  s l o w l y lol.

This is a book I really wanted to finish sooner, I never wanted to put it down at the end of the night when my eyelids got too heavy.  It is a beautiful book dealing with one of the most grotesque abominations of human history; slavery.

Written in two parallel but decidedly unequal voices, The Invention of Wings introduces Sarah Grimke, from a wealthy, white, slave-owning family in Charleston SC and the slave she was given as a ‘gift’ on her tenth birthday, Hetty known as “Handful”.

I was naively unaware whilst I was reading, that although a work of fiction, The Invention of Wings is based on historical facts. The Grimke sisters Angelina and Sarah were hugely influential abolitionists and early feminist authors and Hetty was indeed a slave owned by the Grimke family.

One of Monk Kidd’s successes with this novel is surely the disparate nature of the two main characters and the dance between them as they both grow into strong, admirable women.  Each of the main female voices is archetypical of her inherited place in the society of the day, but neither Sarah nor Handful is willing to settle into the life ordained for her by her birth.

This is a novel that doesn’t shy away from the horror of life lived as a slave but it also bows to the beauty of human relationships that can altogether save a tortured soul.  I loved every page of The Invention of Wings and will be looking to read more by Sue Monk Kidd.

 

The #wantneed conundrum

 

#need shopping today

Selley’s Liquid Nails: to fix the stupid handle on Nixon’s Mocka Wooden Trolley that refuses to stay stuck

Cheap nappies: Nixon poos like a champ now approx 7 times per day at least, expensive Huggies are now reserved for nights only

New Nursing bras:  After wearing the same dingy nursing bras for 13 months I decided to splash out at the Farmers sale and get a couple of new ugly bras.  Nix is showing no signs of ditching the boob so we will soldier on with the shoulder snaps

New swim pants for E: He blew the ass out of his old ones, cheers Farmers!

New Flippers for E:  My swim fins from my surf lifesaving days approx 17 years ago finally bit the dust so popped in to Stirling Sports to pick up a new pair

Plastic farm animals: Nix likes to moooo, or maaaaa if I’m being honest.  It’s a fab cow/sheep combo sound that he invented himself!  Maaaaaaa. Found these gems at The Warehouse.

{Not pictured but equally exciting were baby wipes, Dettol spray cleaner and three dog beds for the assholes.}

So, lets preface this post by saying, this is something I’ve been thinking about for a wee while, no, I’m not preaching to the choir as I’m fully aware that I’m the biggest shop-a-holic there is pretty much. So hello Pot, I’m Kettle.

If you’re an avid Instagram user such as myself, you would have undoubtedly come across the #wantneed hashtag at some point.  Basically 95% of my feed is images that I could classify as #wantneed; beautiful linen, $50 baby leggings, $600 hand-woven rugs, models with legs for days shopping for Chanel purses, underground Etsy crafters creating handmade masterpieces that would look so fab on my wall {if I had any room left on my walls to hang shit}.  Even my fave second hand store has an IG account, tempting me with Scandi Bloomingville wares that aren’t even second hand wtf?!!!

Instagram is rad and I seriously love it, but holy hell if it doesn’t make my credit card burn a hole in my wallet every time I see a Needle & Nail chopping board – not that they are overpriced, they are just gorgeous and gorgeous = #wantneed!  I keep thinking of this one IG account, a very stylish mama in Australia with a gang of cute kids.  If I unfollowed her there is a chance I would not know where to buy the hottest espadrilles this summer, I may not know that Kip & Co have a new linen range out soon or I may never have heard of Mini Rodini {GASP}.  

And would any of this matter?  

Not in the fucking slightest.

None of this matters if you have infinite disposable income or at least enough to be able to live with yourself for spending $69 on a baby onesie.  I guess what prompted me to finally get this post out of my head was that viral Momastery post about the lady and her damn kitchen – didn’t we all look appreciatively at our kitchens for about 3 hours after reading that, regardless of whether our backsplash had subway tiles or not?.  Surely this wondrous social media comprised SOLEY of images is doing our heads in, and perhaps our bank balances?  It’s natural for us to gravitate towards the trend-setters, the beautiful people with the beautiful children and designer decor, but maybe this 24-7 access to how the other half lives runs the risk of normalising excess and amplifying the rampant consumerism that we are already mired in?

Nixon’s poor bott is requiring a LOT of attention post-op, lots of time and lots of money are being focused on his nether region and I’m just so thankful that a) I am fortunate enough to be able to give him my time all day every day and b) that we have the money to spend on his medicine, most of which is non-subsidised.  It’s really given me a bit of a wake up call about what I spend money on to be honest.  So that is where todays pic comes from; a flat-lay not of lust-worthy clothes, shoes or accessories, but an image of everyday, normal mummy shopping.  No #needwant items to be seen but plenty that I’m grateful for xx

 

 

 

 

Nothing to see here, move on

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Today I hung the washing out in the sunshine, listening to an Oprah and Deepak meditation on my phone {no, for real I was! check it here}.

And then it hailed.

I spent 10 minutes changing the baby’s diaper, blow drying his bum and gently applying lotions to his poor bleeding skin.

And then he poohed within 2 minutes of setting him down. {This happened about 12 times today actually}.  

I took a shower for the first time in two days and was reminded what a hassle it actually was. Being clean meant that I was then required to brush my hair and put moisturiser on etc and LOOK AT ALL THAT DIRTY LAUNDRY I JUST MADE!  Due to my nekid-face-state I was blindly slapping on some BB cream and bronzer, spilt the BB cream on my sweatshirt, washed that off then dropped the bronzer compact on the tiles where it of course shattered into a million powdery pieces much to Nixon’s delight.  It was just one of those days – and it’s my blog so I can whinge and stomp my feet if I want to, right?.

I didn’t actually have to leave the house until 3pm today when we went to swimming lessons, but the list of things to do before them seemed to grow every second so that my mind was spinning and I felt like I actually might get none of said things ticked off the mental list.  {The cookies didn’t get baked until 8.30pm but huzzah!  We have fresh cookies!}.

>>>>  This leads to something I can’t get out of my head; a former colleagues wife asked me after Nixon was born “so, what do you actually do all day?”.  And you know what?  I couldn’t think of a damn thing to say.  Seriously, surely as a second time stay at home Mum I must have some clue as to what I do between the hours of 5am and 5pm?  I just gawked at her with a blank stare so, so surprised that anyone would ever ask a Mum of a young child such a stupid question.  Everyone knows all we do is wait for Ellen to come on and read Home & Garden while sipping Nespresso right?

Sigh.

I was just walking by the computer and read an email, which led me to a new blog, which even though it ain’t pretty is full of some awesome content, and COMMENTS {remember them?  hello?  anyone out there?} and made me think, “wtf am I doing?” and why am I doing it so obviously wrong?  and who are all of these bloggers that I don’t know?”.  Is there now an Old School vs New School mummy blogger thing going on?  Have we who have been rumbling around these familiar blogs for years and years been laid out to pasture?  I don’t know.

So, if any one you have discovered a wondrous new blog of late please share!  And maybe you’ll come back again another day?  If I promise to stop complaining? {You all have days like these too, yes?}.