Traditional Maori (Rewena) Bread from New Zealand

I love been able to share this recipe of our wonderful traditional Maori (Rewena) bread from New Zealand. It is a bread made with a potato starter or bug that ferments and causes the bread to rise. The starter is made from boiled potato, flour, sugar and water. There is no need for yeast to be added. It has its own really great favour.

There is no better time to make this bread than Christmas, when spending time with family and friends (whanau).

You have to allow 36-48 hours for the starter to ferment before you can make the bread. So you need to plan ahead!

Ingredients for starter:

1 medium potato

1 cup flour

1 tsp sugar

1 cup water

Instructions for starter:

First, peel and chop the potato into small pieces.

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Boil the chopped potato in 1 cup of water in a pot with the lid on until mashing consistency.

Mash and leave to cool to lukewarm.

Mix in the flour and sugar into the potato mixture. Add more lukewarm water if needed. It needs to be pancake mixture consistency. (I always need to add more water).

Pour it into a glass bowl or mason jar and cover.

Starter

Starter

Leave in a warm place (not the refrigerator) to rise for about 24-48 hours. It should have bubbles and a yeast smell when ready.

Fermented for 36 hours

Fermented for 36 hours

If you wish to keep some for your next loaf, take out 1 Tbsp. of the mixture, put it back into your container and cover. Add ½ cup of warm potato water one day and the next 1 tsp sugar. You can also add 1- 2 Tbsp. of flour. Skip this step if you only want to make one loaf.

Ingredients for loaf:

Starter

5 cups flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Instructions for loaf:

Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.

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Make a well in the middle and add the starter, mix well.

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If needed add warm water  (I always need to)

Knead for 10 minutes until firm (or for a short cut put it into the bread machine and let it knead for you)

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Knead into a ball and place in a greased dish or tin.

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Cover with a lid, tea towel or glad wrap.

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Next, set aside to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. (I did this loaf  today and it was a colder day, so I put it in a slightly warmed oven to rise).

Dough doubled in size

Dough doubled in size

Bake for 1 hour in a preheated oven at about 180 degrees C/350 degrees F (Moderate oven).

Cooked loaf

Cooked loaf

Rewena (Maori) Bread

Rewena (Maori) Bread

My family especially love this bread while it is still warm! It slices really well.

Delicious Maori bread

Delicious Maori bread

Thanks for reading my post! I really hope you get to make this Maori bread from New Zealand!

Andi

 

 

 

Easy to make rustic christmas log project…New Zealand

No mantel and fireplace – make a rustic wooden log box…

We don’t have a mantel and fireplace so I decide to make a really quick rustic wooden log project to give that winter log, pine smell, Christmas feel to our living room…

 

Supplies needed:

Wooden crate

Logs

Juniper or some pine looking cuttings

Pine cones

Christmas white lights

Rustic wooden log project:

This project didn’t take long, but it really fun to do.

I had found a discarded wooden crate the other week and was saving it for a project. First I lightly painted it using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre. It probably didn’t need painting, but it had some writing on it from the liquor store I found it outside of, so to get rid of this I painted. I love painting as well, so any excuse. You could use any paint you have handy! The paint dried within an hour because I only did a very light coat and it was a hot day today.

unpainted wooden crate

unpainted wooden crate

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre

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Next I put the logs, which had been recently cut from a tree in our yard, into the crate.

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When I was out walking the dog this morning I came across some juniper in the neighbourhood. Fortunately, no one was looking as I trim off some of the tree! It was a large tree so I am sure no one would have minded. I arranged the juniper with pretty light blue berries around the outside of the logs on the crate.

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Then the lights, placing them down into the box and around the logs.

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Finally, I place the pine cones I collect earlier this week for my branch Christmas tree post, putting them onto of the juniper and lights.

Rustic Christmas log project

Rustic Christmas log project

It looks so cute can’t wait until it gets dark tonight to really see how wonderful it looks!

Thanks for reading my post! Hope you give my rustic wooden log box a try!

Andi

 

 

 

 

Simple branch Christmas tree…New Zealand

A simple  branch Christmas tree is so quick to make, looks fantastic and can be a great alternative to a traditional tree…

If you are like me and looking for something different this year, don’t have the time or even the space for a traditional tree try this:

I was on my way home this afternoon and stopped to have a look at a local reserve where I knew there would be pine cones. I was excited to find some great branches on the ground that could be made into a branch Christmas tree. It had some lovely moss on it which was even better for this purpose.

There were some natural things for decorations as well and when I got back home I picked some little crab apples from the garden to add some red colour to them.

Supplies needed:

Branches

Pine cones

Decorations

Scissors

Galvanized bucket (I brought mine at Kmart)

Floral foam (optional)

Twine

Instructions:

Start by placing your branches in floral foam (if you have some, I already had some left over from a florist bouquet in a little burlap bag, so I used this for convenience).

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Galvanized bucket

Galvanized bucket

Then carefully place into the galvanized bucket. Or a large jar would work, as long as it doesn’t topple over everything is on the branches.

Put the pine cones on top.

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Next using twine tie up the berries, nuts, natural decorations onto the branches.

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Finally, add any other decorations, I used my burlap hearts and stars, which I made in a previous post, see instructions here.

And some cute little decorations I brought from trade aid, it is always nice to buy things from companies that support third world countries.

trade aid Christmas ornament

trade aid Christmas ornaments

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Thanks for reading my post! I have also made a pallet Christmas tree, see here. Have you made an alternative Christmas tree this year?

Andi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty Christmas star cookie tree – New Zealand

I was very excited to find these pretty Christmas star cookie tree cutters to make my Christmas cookies look that much more fun.

Star cookie cutters and stand

Shortbread…

One of my favourite cookie recipe is from Chelsea Sugar Shortbread. This is a gorgeous recipe and to make it even more yummy I added 1 cup of dark chocolate chips at the end (before rolling the dough). Check out the recipe here.

Butter and icing sugar beaten together

Butter and icing sugar beaten together

1 cup of chocolate chips added

Once I rolled out the dough, I cut out the star shapes and a hole in the centre of each one.

This dough was wonderful to roll out, no need to refrigerate first

This dough was wonderful to roll out, no need to refrigerate first

Star cutters

Star cutters

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Stars cut with holes in centres

When they cooled I decorated them by sprinkling icing sugar over them. It is important to let them completely cool before stacking. Although I love eating them while they are still a little bit warm.

Cooled shortbread sprinkled with icing sugar

Cooled shortbread sprinkled with icing sugar

Then I stacked them largest to smallest, it is up to you how many of each size you want.

Finally, I added a red ribbon to make it more festive and attractive.

This is really a great way to present your Christmas cookies as I did for morning tea today.

Christmas Cookie Tree

Christmas Cookie Tree

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Christmas morning tea

Thanks so much for reading my post! What is your favourite cookie recipe?

Andi

LITTLE WOODEN BENCH MAKEOVER…

This little wooden bench makeover was really simple to do. I love this little rustic bench! It had previously been outside in my mum’s garden, so had seen some wear and tear over the years.

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I wanted to bring it inside to use, but needed to give it a little makeover to clean it up. It had rust marks on it and the paint was definitely chipping.

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Because, I love the patina on the bench I wanted to keep the look.

First I gave it a good clean down with the hose, especially to get rid of the spiders.

A spider

A large spider

Chalk Paint

Next, I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Old White, and gave it just one coat over the areas that had rust marks on. I left the bare wood and chippy bits.

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It was a really sunny day so dried very quickly and was ready for use.

Little wooden bench

Little wooden bench painted

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Painted wooden bench

Painted wooden bench

Wooden bench and rabbit

Doesn’t it look so much better?

Thanks for ready my post!

Andi

 

 

 

 

Easy to make pallet Christmas tree…New Zealand

This easy to make pallet Christmas tree took me around 2 hours to make. It is a simple project that you can get the children to help you with and it is fun!

I found this on Pinterest here. And immediate decided it would be perfect hanging on our wall this Christmas.

Supplies needed:

Pallet

Hack saw

Paint (60ml)

Water

Nails (tacks)

Hammer

Christmas Lights (I used battery operated 24 LED string lights)

Christmas decorations

Tree log

If you read my previous post on pallet coffee tables, here, you will know I have pallets stacked in the yard just waiting to be used.

The pallet I picked was easy to dismantle.

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First, I used a hack saw to saw through the nails on the back of the pallet. Removing the two sections of wood. The nails that were sticking out I just sawed them off to tidy them up.

Hack saw

Hack saw

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Next, I washed down the pallet with a hose, and started painting the front only. I used Resene paints, test pot colour Bianca (only because I already had this colour at home). I watered it down in the paint tray. Only a light cover was needed as I wanted the wood showing through to give it a rustic look.

Painted pallet front

Painted pallet front

Once it was dry I placed the nails (tacks) in the wood. I made a zig zag pattern. Placing the nails out more each time to widen the tree.

Christmas decorations

There were some great decorations at Kmart, very cheap and cheerful! Some gold beading at a Thrift store and gold balls I already at home, which I brought at Kmart last year, but they are still available.

Kmart Christmas decorations

Kmart Christmas decorations

Attaching the gold beads I strung them around the nails. Doing this gives you a good idea how your tree design looks and whether you need to make any alterations. I attached the lights in the same pattern. The cookie cutter copper lights are so cute!

Beads put on in zig zag pattern

Beads put on in zig zag pattern

Check out the star and hearts I made of burlap, see my post on how to make these here. And, then all the decorations I wanted.

Christmas decorations on pallet

Christmas decorations on pallet

Pallet Christmas tree decorations

Finally, I attached with twine a piece of a tree log I grabbed from a wood pile.

Tree log

Tree log

We hung this on a wall for the holiday season…the family love it!

Pallet Christmas Tree

Pallet Christmas Tree

Pallet Christmas Tree

Thanks for reading my post! Hope you get to make a pallet Christmas tree!

Andi 

 

SIMPLE, BUT CUTE BURLAP CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT…

Simple, but cute burlap Christmas ornaments to make these holidays…

These simple, but cute burlap Christmas ornaments don’t take long to make at all. I saw them in a store for $9.00 and thought “hey I can make that for a lot less”, so here is my take on them, for a lot less!!

Supplies needed:

Burlap fabric

Stuffing

Tracing paper or baking paper

Cardboard

Twine

Paint

Brush

Scissors

Needle and thread

Instructions:

First make a star and heart pattern. To do this trace using tracing paper or as I did use baking a star and heart. If you have a stencil use this.

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I trace the patterns on to cardboard just to make it easier.

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Next, trace the pattern onto your burlap fabric, you will need 2, for front and back.

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Then, use the pattern to trace and cut out the stuffing. I just used polyester filling as I already had some at home. I found it easier to have a flat piece of stuffing and cut it to a little bit smaller that the pattern. It then fits in nicely inside.

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I then sewed with needle and thread the about 1 cm in around the star and heart, finishing at the top. You could use a sewing machine or even use fabric glue, the choice is yours. At the top at attached a small loop of twine for hanging up the ornament.

At this stage I gently fray the edges to get a frayed look.

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Finally, paint the top left or right side of the ornament. I used Resene paints (a test pot) colour Copper Fire, because I already had this at home. It is copper colour with glitter. You can use any colour!

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I made various sizes for my Christmas tree. I imagine there a lot of other shapes you could use to make these ornaments.

Hearts and Stars Ornaments

Hearts and Stars Ornaments

 

Burlap Christmas Ornaments

 

Thanks for reading my post! I hope you get to make these simple, but cute ornaments!

Andi

9 pretty herb bouquets in New Zealand

9 pretty herb bouquets in New Zealand.. can be a great alternative..

Herbs bouquets can be a wonderful way to decorate your home this Christmas! I am trying to be a little bit greener and this is a great way to do it.

First, here are some different herbs with red berries from my garden. The other great thing about using herbs in your home is they not only look good, but also smell amazing!

Rosemary and red berries

Rosemary and red berries

Bay leaves and red berries

Bay leaves and red berries

As you can see I love using my ironstone jugs and mason jars.  I am happy to have now found a great use for this vintage silver trophy cup, which had been sitting in a box for years. Do you have any silver trophy not been used at your place?

Parsley, rosemary and red berries

Parsley, rosemary and red berries

Herb bouquet with irises

A wonderful way to bless a friend is give them a bouquet of herbs and flowers when they come around to visit.

Bouquet of herbs and flowers

Bouquet of herbs and flowers

Herbs and flowers

Rosemary, chives, oregano, parsley and flowers

Herbs are really easy to grow, even inside. See my post about growing them in tin cans on your window sill here

Mint and lavender

Mint and lavender

Parsley and daisies

Parsley and daisies

Parsley, rosemary and flowers

Parsley, rosemary and flowers

Roses and bay leaves

Bay leaves and white bramble roses

Mint, roses and lavender

Mint, roses and lavender

It is really easy to buy herbs these days in the supermarkets, at the market, at a plant nursery, garden shop. When you plant them most of the time they grow without much attention. Some water in the summertime if outside, but water all year around if inside. You do have to keep picking them otherwise they grow into flowers and seed. But, the flowers and seeds can be pretty as well.

I am growing a rosemary topiary for Christmas, see my post about it here. They make really lovely Christmas decorations or a gift for a friend.

Thanks for reading my post!

Andi

Have a blessed Sunday….Havelock North, New Zealand

Have a blessed Sunday … Havelock North, New Zealand. It is another beautiful spring Sunday here in Havelock North. Thinking of everyone who are preparing for Thanksgiving this week.

Here are some shots of my post I am working on for next week…aren’t they beautiful!

Roses from my garden

Herbs and roses

Herbs and roses

Bay leaves and roses

White bramble roses

Herbs and roses

 

Roses, lavender and herbs

Feel so spoiled to have all these flowers growing in my garden. I am blessed!

Have a blessed day wherever you are  reading this!

Andi

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