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

EASY TO MAKE FRUITY CAKE RECIPE from New Zealand

A very easy fruity desert cake recipe made in New Zealand…

The fruity cake recipe comes from New Zealand cook Dame Alison Holst. I love her recipes, they are a great favourite for us Kiwis, so easy to follow and wonderful results.

This cake is going to be served  a lot over the holidays, as fresh fruit has come into season at the berry farms near us in Havelock North.

Fruity Dessert Cake

Fruity Dessert Cake

Serves 6-8 people (depending on your slice size!)

Ingredients

¼ chopped walnuts, toasted almonds or toasted hazelnuts (I don’t add nuts as you never know who has allergies these days)

1 TBsp white or brown sugar

150g (5 oz) butter

1 Cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 ½ cups self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1-2 cups cubed or sliced ripe, raw fruit*

½ cup berries (optional)

*Suitable fruit includes peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, pears, kiwifruit, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries. Drained canned fruit may also be used.

First, choose whatever nuts complement the fruit you are using. Toast them lightly under a grill or in the over as it heats to 180 degreesC(350 degreesF), then chop finely, mix with the 1TBsp sugar and put aside.

Melt the butter in a microwave bowl or pot until just liquid. Add the second measure of sugar, the eggs and vanilla and beat until blended. Sieve the flour and baking powder onto the mixture, then add half the nut and sugar mixture.

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Spread it evenly in a buttered or sprayed 23-25 cm (9-10 in) round (preferably loose-bottomed) cake tin.

Next, prepare the fruit, slicing it or cutting it into 2 cm ( ¾ in) chunks. Arrange the pieces, skin-side up, (I took the skin off for mine) in the batter. Sprinkle with berries then with the remaining nut topping.

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Visit to apple orchard

We have so many orchards here, shots from a recent visit to my brother’s orchard.

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Wattie’s canned boysenberries

I have made this recipe with different fruit and berries, but today I didn’t want to make a trip to the supermarket, (are you ever like me can’t face yet another trip to the supermarket?)  so I used apples I already had and a can of Wattie’s boysenberries (these berries are often grown here in the area, canned by Wattie’s)

Wattie's can Boysenberries

Apples and berries on the cake

Apples and berries on the cake

Bake at 180 degreeC (350 degree F) for about 45 minutes, until the cake mixture has risen round the fruit and browned lightly, and the centre springs back when pressed.

Baked fruity cake

Fruity Cake from New Zealand

Yummy!

Finally serve it warm, cut into wedges, sprinkled with icing sugar, if you like, with a whipped cream, yogurt or ice cream. I actually do like it cold as well.

Fruity cake

 Thanks for reading my post! I hope you get a chance to try out this recipe – let me know if you do!

Andi

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a beautiful day to walk the dog in New Zealand!

Welcome to Thursday! It’s a beautiful day to walk the dog in Havelock North, New Zealand!

I took Rodeo our fox terrier puppy out for a walk this morning, in the neighbourhood. It is such a beautiful spring day, the sun is shining and the birds are amazing. I wish I could record all the native tui lovely melody, with their loud flapping wings. We saw some quails and native wood pigeons.

These native Pohutukawa trees are everywhere. Love their red flowers!

Native Pohutukawa tree flowers

Pohutukawa tree

Rodeo amongst the daisies

Rodeo walking amongst the daisies

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Palm tree

These large palm trees are amazing. Our native wood pigeons love to live in these. The tree across the road from us must have about 20 of them living in it – it’s very noisy!

Bramble white rose

Back home checking out the garden and the weeds!

Garden

Bramble white rose

This is a beautiful bramble white rose in my garden. It is so large that it’s held up by old wooden support structures.

Beautiful rose

Look at this beautiful rose

Roses in the garden

Native flax flowers

Native flax flowers can be yellow, red or orange

Tui in the flaxs

Tui on the native flax, see my previous post about them in our garden here

Thunder, Lightening and Hail

I have to laugh we had such a lovely walk and now as I type this post up the weather has changed dramatically. There is thunder and lightening outside, we probably only get this about 5 times a year in our area. It is also hailing!

Hail on our deck

Hail on our deck

Hail on our deck

I am sure it won’t last long and the sun will come out again. It will be back to being a beautiful day. Have a wonderful Thursday!

Rhubarb Custard Pie – Thanksgiving in New Zealand

We are going to be celebrating Thanksgiving in New Zealand with Rhubarb Custard Pie

We moved to Havelock North, New Zealand just over 4 years ago, but we still love celebrating Thanksgiving as a family here. In America we always travelling down to spend Thanksgiving with family in St Augustine, Florida. It was a great time of gathering together and of course an abundance of food. I  associate Thanksgiving with pies, pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato, never rhubarb custard pie. What’s pies do you always have for Thanksgiving?

When I got to thinking about our Thanksgiving here in Havelock North in a few weeks, I started looking at my pie recipes and came across my Grandma’s Rhubarb Custard Pie.

My Grandma's old recipe book

My Grandma’s old recipe book

I have some rhubarb growing in the garden so I thought I would try the recipe out.

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Rhubarb Custard Pie Recipe

Choose your favourite pastry for the crust. I use Chelsea Winter (New Zealand Chef) sweet shortcrust pastry recipe available here.

Grease an 8 in/20 cm pie dish and line with your pastry, flaky or short.

Filling:

2 level cups of finely sliced rhubarb (do not peel)

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. melted butter

2 level tsp. flour

1 scant cup of sugar

Chopped rhubarb

Chopped rhubarb

Beat the eggs, add melted butter. Mix flour and sugar well, add to the eggs, beat until light and fluffy. Then stir in the rhubarb.

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Pour the mixture into the pastry-lined dish.

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Bake in a hot oven 425degrees F, 220degrees C for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350degrees F, 180degrees C for 40 minutes or until firm to touch.

The recipe says to eat it hot with whipped cream, we loved this, but it was just as nice the next day cold. The rhubarb is quite tart in the pie, but it balances out well with the custard.

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Earthquakes in New Zealand

We had some severe earthquakes in New Zealand last night, only felt one but it was scary enough.

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Rodeo, our fox terrier is usually crazy in the morning, but after a night of earthquakes in New Zealand he is tired and anxious

Thanks for reading my post. Hope you get a chance to try my Grandma’s pie!

  Andi

 

 

 

 

 

Succulents in teacups, little pots, concrete pots….

Succulents in teacups, little pots….

When asked to have a table at a Christmas craft fundraiser for an Alzheimer’s Day Care I immediately said yes. I had a few months to get prepared so I started collecting succulents of all species. Asking friends and families for cuttings, raiding gardens whenever I saw a succulent. Then I hit the Thrift stores collecting teacups, little pots and any pot that looked pretty and was a reasonable price.

I even experimented making some concrete pots painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Duck Egg. My son Elisha helped me making them, we certainly had fun, but that is for another post!

Then I collected tin cans of various sizes and brought some burlap and twine to decorate them. Using a hot glue gun I stuck the burlap on the tins. I even made my own little tags.

This was a really fun project as I love succulents. They have become so popular, probably because they live inside and outside and are very hard to kill.

It took some time, doing all the preparation. But I finally got all the succulents into the right teacup or pot and left them outside to grow for a few weeks. I had to kept them watered regularly as it was hot outside, fortunately they all survived and made it to the Fair.

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Don’t they look beautiful?

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This is my favourite succulent, called Jelly Bean or Pork and Beans.

Jelly Bean Succulent in a teacup

Check out some of these cute teacups

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Some pretty pots

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The tin cans with tags

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And of course my concrete pots painted with chalk paint.

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The day was an incredible success and a lot of fun. Fortunately I only had to bring one home!

Thanks for reading my post. Please come back to find out more about life in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

   Andi

 

 

Feeling blessed this Sunday to be living in Havelock North, New Zealand

Feeling blessed this Sunday to be living in Havelock North, New Zealand. Celebrating Spring!

Today is just beautiful and I look out our front door and see Spring.

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Flowers in the garden.

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Even our palm tree looks colourful.

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A Beautiful Moon

And then to end the day a beautiful full moon comes up as we look out from our deck over the hills of Havelock North.

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Feeling blessed in New Zealand!

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday!

Andi xx

Upcycling Tin Cans as a Herb Garden

I love the look of; dear I say it, elegant tin cans, as a herb garden on my kitchen window sill. Upcycling tin cans as herb garden indoor or outside can look wonderful. Here are a few tips on how to do it and what you will need: o Potting mix from garden center (garden soil not so good for in pots) o Herbs (I just buy them from my supermarket – the living herbs, but you can get them as plants or seeds as well from local garden center) o Tins (I found Milo tins are the largest I could find at my supermarket) o River rocks (found at the river or garden center) o Plastic old garden center container, soda bottle or anything else you can find at home. o Scissors I like to plant my basil inside as it doesn’t seem to grow so well for me outside, especially when there is a frost. The best herbs to plant inside are Basil Rosemary, Oregano, Chives, Parsley and Thyme. I don’t want to put holes in my tin for drainage and have something underneath to collect the water, I think it spoils my look. So I use a plastic container with holes in the bottom. It is always important to have drainage holes, without them water can sit at the bottom and cause the plant to get water logged resulting sometimes in disease. I start by trimming my plastic container to fix nicely inside my tin and place holes in the bottom (if they don’t already have them) for drainage. Then put river rocks in the bottom of the plastic container, around about 1 inch/2.5 cm. Slide your plastic container into the tin and put some potting mix in the container. Pull your plant out of its original tub. Notice how it is actually made up of many plants, if you wish you could plant some of these in other pots or in your garden. I loosen the soil around the bottom of the roots as they have become a bit impacted by being in a small tub. Finally place the plant in the container, put more potting mix on top and water your plant. Don’t water too much, especially Basil plants. I like to have a spray bottle filled with water and spray when needed, especially in the summer. I repurposed a tin can as a vase – look how great my tins now look on my kitchen window sill.

Another Purpose

Here’s another personal touch for re purposing your tin cans. Take a personal photograph down to the photo shop and get it printed large enough to wrap around a tin can. Fill it with something memorable and give it as a gift to remember.

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