Tuesday, September 27, 2011

yummy stuff I've made lately

I have a friend who has a son that is allergic to nuts among other things. So when I invited her over for coffee last week,  I just knew I had to help her get her peanut butter fix! They avoid buying the stuff. So I settled on a chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter cream icing... She loved them.

Chocolate Guiness Cake with cream cheese icing. One candle for each decade...yes someone is getting old!

It was Hubbys birthday this weekend...well he wasn't in the country on his actual birthday....so we celebrated a day late. I made him a Chocolate Guinness cake with a cream cheese frosting. I have made this cake once before...but had iced it with a chocolate Ganache...I think I liked it better with the Chocolate Ganache. BUT the cream cheese icing on its own was to die for. It had a tub of thickened cream in it so it wasn't so cream cheesy. Sooo yummo. The recipe is from Nigella Lawson. The white icing is supposed to make it look like the froth on a Guinness. Great idea for a cake if your man enjoys the odd beer. Its a very MAN cake.

For his birthday I thought we would construct our own pizzas. We had 8 adults so I rolled out dough bases that were big enough for one person (A dinner plate size), chopped up all the topping and let people make their own pizzas. I had a vege platter, a meat platter and a cheese platter for peoples creativity to run wild. I cooked them individually in a pizza oven appliance. The whole process took a lot longer but it was kinda fun. 

Paisley Jades Creation

And Lastly...for dinner last night I had a hankering for a bit of mums cooking...and when you are a grown up and have moved out of home you have to give it ago yourself! I felt like some of her bean curry. I'm not much of a fan of plain old boiled beans, but bean curry is so good. Taking a vege and add a few curry spices to change the flavour up a bit make all the difference. So tasty. And taking the time to roll out some roti (the Indian flat bread) which my kids absolutely love, really gives it a real authentic Indian feel. A taste of home. According to hubby though it was not as good as my mums...ah well... I thought it was pretty close ;)

xx Jks*

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our 2 seconds of fame

While I was watching "Breakfast" yesterday I saw that they were coming to Whangarei...Lets go see Tamati...YEAH!! said the kids.
We watch Breakfast most mornings while I drink my coffee and have my toast...so the kids are very familiar with Tamati and the other hosts.  And most mornings I say "go and get dressed for school...wait lets see what Tamati says the weather is today". So it was such a cool experience for the kids to see what goes on behind the scenes of a live TV show. I recorded it at home on the off chance we might get in the shot and look what Grandma found...

Thats us in the backround...she took a photo of it. Miss Joy was so keen on getting on TV..so she is going to be stoked...even if it was only for 2 seconds!

Here are some other shots. I am usually a confident person EXCEPT when it comes to famous people...I hate bothering them..so I did what any shy parent would do...I asked Miss Joy to ask for a photo...how could they say no to a sweet little face like that?!

Kids with Tamati...the TVNZ weather dude

Kids with Corin Dann TVNZ presenter

Tamati reading the weather from his phone.
Yep...Our 2 seconds of fame!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bay of Islands

Bay Of Islands in day.
I grew up in the around the Bay Of Islands, so with my parents still living there, it's great taking the kids to the old stomping grounds.
First stop the Kawakawa train. We pass through Kawakawa all the time and I had promised to take the kids on it for the longest time. Today was their lucky day. It goes right through the town to the Taumarere stop, about a half an hour round trip. So fun, the kids loved it.

 The famous Hundertwasser Toilets in Kawakawa. If you need a tinkle...make sure you tinkle there ;)

It's quite unique having a train come right through the middle of town really. As member of the community it used to be quite an annoyance having to wait for it to pass through before you could proceed on to your destination. But when you experience from the other side it's quite fun.

Later on we went to the Rainbow Falls near Kerikeri. So pretty and a great little walk.

On our way out of Kerikeri I found this chocolate store open. And the first thing the salesperson does it offer us some samples. And oh... my...goodness...that was it..I spent way too much. I bought this .Macadamia Butter Toffee Crunch. Traditional toffee made with wicked amounts of real New Zealand butter, laced with macadamia chips, coated with milk chocolates on both sides and dusted with macadamia fines
....so delicious

  It had a great little viewing platform for the kids to watch.

 Next we headed to Paihia Wharf

The kids found the RWC flags painted on the path and played hop scotch

And that is only scratching the surface...there is so much to see and do in this beautiful part of the country. It was great to be home for a day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

ol Blue Eyes

I love blue eyes and I was not aware of where this obsession came from until today! I was reading this blog post where the blogger mentioned Amy Carmichael...and that name seemed so familiar. So I googled it. And sure enough it was the "AMY Story" I remember from Sunday school.

When I was a little girl I went to a Sunday school where my teacher read me a story about a little girl called Amy who grew up to be a missionary. When Amy was a little girl in the late 1800's she would pray that God would change her brown eyes to blue, and she would go to look at her eyes in the morning and they were still brown. She would be very disappointed that God hadn't answered her prayer.
Later in life she decided she would become a missionary. God lead her to India where she worked with children who were forced into prostitution. At times she would go incognito dressing in Indian dress and colouring her white skin with coffee so that no one would suspect who she was in order to save children. And if she had BLUE eyes then her cover would have been blown. She came to appreciate that she had brown eyes for a reason.
After hearing this story I have always observed and appreciated people with blue eyes...and also cats...or any other species. However, I always took this story to heart never myself wanting blue eyes and knowing instead that God had created me just the way I needed to be. A great lesson for a 7 year old to hear and believe.
I did however think it would be great to have blue eyed children! In 4th Form (Year 10) Science class  I first learned about genetics. I worked out the genetic possibility using the punnet square, like one of these....yes obsessed much

from here

 ...As you can see, in this example, I put your brown eyes on top (Bb) and your husband's blue eyes (bb) on the side. Remember, you and your husband only contribute one version of gene 1 each. You can give either a B or a b to your kids, not both. The Punnett square gives you all four possibilities of you and your husband's combinations.


So obviously I needed to find a blue eyed Husband first! I wanted to look into his beautiful blue eyes too!

Fast forward to baby making time...Miss Joy...born dark black hair and dark brown eyes. The most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Ah well, I thought to myself..I don't have the genes...but I sure do make great babies! So I forgot about it, until Joe came along. He was white as, with blue eyes and not an Indian gene in him. Ohh I wonder what number three will turn out to be, blue or brown? I was sure it would be brown. But no..another blue. Dadda is stoked that his genes "kicked ass". So now I have a lovely blue eyed hubby, an almost clone of myself in Miss Joy with the brown hair brown eyes and two lovely blue eyed white boys. And I love them all! All masterpieces of the Creator himself.
I love this photo. Miss Joy weeks old.

Joe with Dadda 8 months old

Now a days since I am more mature, I just love looking at every ones eyes. I've noticed other people love dimples or hair, but I love eyes. Everyone has different shades and they can change as kids get older. Eyes can tell how someone is feeling, what horrors they have seen, and what triumphs they have celebrated.
It is written somewhere, "the eyes are the windows to your soul".

Do you have any little human body part obsessions?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

From bad to worse

Today I woke up determined to get out for an early morning walk. Except 6:30am and the window of opportunity went and passed as I enjoyed dreamland. So I decided I would walk the kids to school instead. I went to pull out my push chair from the boot and felt a rip in my back. It was; try not to cry in front of the kids sore. Different from my usual nurses back. Hurts to breathe sore. Scrap that idea. I pop the kids in the car for drop offs.  I came home, popped some painkillers and lay still on the couch while bubba had a nap. Pain killers kick in...not so bad now.
later in the morning...
I decided yesterday that I would try and give Mainly Music ago again. Its been a while so ring and confirm that its still on today and the correct time. I wake bubba up early from his nap so we can walk there instead...I'm still in my track pants! I get to the church only to find a big absence in the usual people mover crowd. Where is everybody today? Apparently this week and last week its been changed to Monday. Great!? Maybe someone should let reception know. I turn to head home and it starts to rain. GREAT! Lucky I have the rain cover for the pushchair...meanwhile I'm cold and wet. I'm trying not to be angry...So I sing at the top of my voice.

Plans have changed for the day...what to do. I feel some baking mojo coming on. I peruse through some blogs for inspiration. Delissimon has a Lemon and Polenta cake I have been meaning to try. I bought some polenta especially for it. She says it needs fine polenta...I only have course polenta. Hmmm I decide to try and make it with the course stuff. Ive never worked with polenta before so I experiment. I also don't even have any lemons...the experiment continues with oranges instead. And its not even a cake...cupcakes...does the experiment end? This is the result...

Yip they are a disaster. The polenta is still crunchy. Maybe they need some more cooking. I need to disguise them anyway so I add a coconut meringue top...and put them back into the oven to brown.    

End result... still crunchy but a slight improvement.

I decide to make some cookies after that. Another experimental recipe, Chocolate, weetbix and coconut cookies. Finally some experimenting that pays off. Lovely chewy biscuit. 

Moral of the story today.
1) ALWAYS bend to your knees when you lift

2) ALWAYS follow Delisimons recipes to a tee.

3) Sometimes experimental cooking works out...sometimes its just a waste of eggs! I like this quote "I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.  ~Thomas Edison"

4) SING when you are angry..."....yet I will praise Him". Ps 42:5

Hope you are having a great day.xx

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A happy Sunday...

I love a Sunday that does not include work...It went a little something like this.
Me and Hubby..dig our heels in...which one gets the sleep in today...I decide I had better let him have it today. Zak Zak is awake and a reeking  havoc where ever he walks. Files being pulled out of the filing cabinet is the last straw...what ever happened to our lie ins...oh yeah...they are long gone.

I decide Waffles are on the menu for breakfast today. After a bungled attempt last weekend for Fathers day, I needed to redeem myself so I can take a picture for you all. I call it my "Bacon and banana waffle club". With the mandatory maple syrup drizzle. Sooo delicious. Eat them like little sandwiches.

We make it to church on time for a change! I love hanging at my local. Seeing familiar faces...singing familiar songs...meeting with my amazing God.
Home for Bacon and veges soup. Always tasty.

I do the coffee run to my favourite cafe. One Mochacinno for me and one for hubby. I picked up the Herald to read in bed while bubba sleeps, kids watch Peter pan and hubby heads out for some Triathlon training.

The Herald has an interesting article about a study comparing the level of spirituality and IQ. Apparently people who are Fundamental Christians have a lower IQ. Hmmm...might exercise my intelligence and avoid such a lame newspaper who would bother to print such drivel.

Sunday afternoon. I don my runners. The first time since April 9th...Yeah a whole season and a half ago...Bad me. My new fitness book recommends I do a series of fitness tests like how fast I can run 1km, how many push ups and tricep dips in a minute, and whether I can do a sit up. I surprised myself (and hubby with the stop watch) 1 Km in 7minutes. Not bad for someone who hasn't even been for a walk all winter. Day one begins tomorrow.  Watch this space.

What a happy Sunday...
Hope your weekend was grand!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

when you are 18 and leave home...

Ive created a new "nag". In order for me to get my children to embrace learning how to do household chores these are the words that "fell" out of my mouth... "You need to learn how to do the dishes...so that when you are 18 and move out of home, you'll know how to look after yourself."
Oh yeah that's right...when they are 18 they'll be grown up and moving on their merry way. I am mortified at the growing trend of teenagers who decide living at home, where they have it so good, beats growing up and moving on.

I celebrated the day I left home as a an almost 18 year old. I was out at the beach with some friends when I was suddenly hit with the wave of freedom. I realised I no longer needed to phone home to let anyone where I was. I felt free. Now my home life wasn't horrible but my parents did have high expectations of good children...and anything out of line meant discipline by humiliation.  The entire extended family and family friends would know if this good girl  stepped a foot out line. So I relished the new found freedom.
Apprehensively I moved into a flat with two others. Thankfully I knew how to cook so we didn't go hungry. I had to do my own washing, keep our place clean and learn how to do the entire weeks worth of shopping. I learnt to be responsible with the very little student allowance I received during my degree and found myself a part time job for more income. I learnt to be independent and self sufficient, something I would never have been able to do if I were still at home.

I want this for my kids. I want them to be empowered, independent and self sufficient. I want them to know how to change a tire and oil, know how to cook a three course meal, sew on a button.I want them to have the tools to be great adults.I want them to experience life in the real world before they get married. I want them know how to look after themselves and others. So I'm starting early. I'm going to drum into them that they need to learn how do these things so they can move out at 18 and be a responsible grown up.

But mostly this nag is for me. Its going to take me 18 years  to let them go into the big wide world. This mother who is so protective I don't even let them play at the park by themselves without an eagle eye watching. So I'm thinking if I start psyching myself up starting now...maybe when its time to kick my little chicks out of the nest I will actually let go.

Monday, September 5, 2011

ButterScotch Baked Cheesecake

A few weeks ago I posted about having my bloggy friends over and the delicious cheese cake I  tried out on them. And a few of you were keen for the recipe...except I don't generally follow recipes. So I had to try another one and actually measure the ingredients for you all!
I'm such an experimental cook. I keep encouraging my friends to biff out their recipe books and try it. Its quite liberating! Maybe you could try some experimenting?
If you like cheese cake, I have figured these are the basic ingredients you need for a basic cheesecake. And then the world is your oyster when it comes to adding flavours you like.

Base: 1 X packet Plain biscuits. Digestives work well, but any plain biscuits. Pulse them in a food processor until resembles fine bread crumbs. Add 150grams butter (melted). Mix until combined and then press into a spring form tin. Place in to fridge while you prepare the cream mixture.

I'm not sure where I learnt this tip but its a good one.  Line the spring form tin base with grease proof oven paper. And then clip the outer ring over the top. When the cheesecake is cooked and chilled down undo the outer ring and then the base slides right off onto the serving platter.

For a little fun try making little mini ones for mini tummies or for  finger food.

Cream mixture: 3X 250g tubs of cream cheese, 1 cup castor sugar, 3 eggs, 150mls of cream, 1/2 C flour, 150g sour cream.
Ensure cream cheese is at room temperature, it can be microwaved for 30 seconds or until room temp. Cream the sugar and cream cheese together until well combined in a food processor or cake mixer . Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each one. Add the cream, sour cream and flour and mix well until there are no lumps.

Now you can have fun with flavours. Try different liqueurs, Baileys for example. Add a shot of espresso for a cappuccino flavoured or some melted dark or white chocolate. Add lemon juice, or pureed fruit. Or berries on top. Seriously!? Have a little fun experimenting. My motto is..how wrong could it possibly get as long as it has all those yummy ingredients. And if it really doesn't work out...you just learnt one way NOT to do it!

So back to the Butterscotch Baked Cheesecake. I added 1/2 cup of Preznels Butterscotch cream liquor to the cream mixture. Pour that over the chilled crumb base. Place into a preheated oven set at 150 degrees Celsius.Cook on bake for 30-40 minutes. It should still have a little "wobble".  Then turn the oven off and let it cool down in the oven. When completely cooled place into the fridge overnight.

To finish it off I topped it with a butterscotch sauce. A good description of the sauce recipe can be found here. And because I like to experiment! I added a little more Preznels Butterscotch cream the sauce while it was cooking too!  Tasted Fab.

Are you an experimenter in the kitchen?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

One year blog-aversary

This time exactly one year ago September 1st, I started Jacksta B the blog. See here.
And what a year it has been. When I started I had a 2 1/2 month old baby along with the older two siblings. And now that same bubba is 14 months old. As I sit and reflect on my year of blogging words like thankfulness, friendship, challenges, inspiration come to mind. So let me break it down.

Thankfulness: My year of blogging has encouraged me to get out the camera and pay attention to the details of my life. What I bake, the kids, books I'm reading, what I'm up to. In doing so I am thankful for my life and all it entails. Adding the the Things I'm loving Linkies really reminds us to be thankful for ALL things.

Friendship: Way back in February I organised the first Whangarei Bloggers get together. I was inspired by Simoney from GreatFun4Kids. She often hosted or gathered together other bloggers. So between PJ and I we sent out the invites. And low and behold The Whangarei bloggers group was born. We all got on so well that it has progressed from "bloggers" meeting to "FRIENDS" meeting.
And then last month we had our first Kiwi Mummy bloggers meet up in Auckland where I was able to meet more bloggy friends. So thank you all to those who read my blog and allow me to read whats going on in your lives too. I now call you friends.

Challenges: Parenting brings about its own challenges and I have found great encouragement from blogland to be a better mumma. I also gratefully received the cheers from the sidelines of blogland to do my first ever mini-triathlon. There was something powerful in blogging about it as it made me accountable to you all to spur me on to finish it.

Inspiration: I can't even begin to explain how inspirational I find my blog friends. Bloggers who pour out their good days and their bad days. Women surviving life threatening illness (here and here), mourning the loss of a husband or child( here), expats living abroad and missing home (here, here and here), or bloggers living with illness. To each of you I say your story inspires me and I regularly pray that God will strengthen you and fill you with his love, joy and peace.
I love reading how you all do life. You have inspired me to be a better mum, wife, nurse, and friend.

So Happy Blog-aversary to me and thanks for coming along my journey in Life.

xx jk*b