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A nutty post . . .

October 14th, 2017 by Eliza

I keep meaning for my next blog post to be about our Big Family Adventure but I still haven’t gotten around to editing – and culling – all the photos I took while we were away.  Whether that blog post will ever eventuate I do not know but in the meantime – just to keep my blogging hand in –  I’ll share the recipes for a delicious almond and cashew nut milk and a scrumptious cashew and vanilla butter I made this afternoon. I was in full domestic goddess mode after spending a few hours at the 50th Jubilee for Brianna’s wonderful school – Tamariki – which just happens to be one of the oldest ‘free schools’ in the world. But I digress . . . Here, without further ado, are the recipes.

Cashew & Almond Milk

Soak 1/2 cup cashew nuts and 1/2 cup almonds in enough water to completely cover them for at least 5 hours – preferably overnight.

Drain the nuts and pop them in a blender with 2 dates, 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt and 3 cups of water and blend for 2 to 3 minutes on high power.

Strain the milk through very fine muslin or a special ‘nut-milk bag’ (you’ll find these in most health food stores) and pour into whatever bottle or container you’re going to store it in. Refrigerate immediately.


Cashew and Vanilla Butter

(Adapted from recipe from Ella Woodward’s Deliciously Ella Everyday)

400g cashew nuts

2 tsp vanilla essence

Spread cashew nuts out in roasting tray and bake at 200 degrees celsius until golden brown

Tip the roasted nuts into your food processor with 2 tsp vanilla essence and blend for 10 minutes. For the first 5 minutes or so you might think that all you will end up with is a lot of finely ground nuts – but have faith, the ground up nuts will start to clump together and then – eventually – they will become a lovely creamy nut butter. Don’t be tempted to stop the processor at the clumpy stage – keep it going until the mixture starts to turn creamy – like it looks in the photo below.

Then – once it’s nice and creamy scoop it into a jar and refrigerate.

This nut butter is gorgeous on bread, on porridge, and in smoothies. It can also be enjoyed spooned straight from the jar. Yummo!!













Hello Again . . . And here are some cookies

October 5th, 2017 by Eliza

CookiesI was going to write a piece about our big trip around the UK and Europe as my first blog back after a long, long time away but today Brianna and I baked some cookies together and after posting a picture of them on Instagram (which I have managed to keep up with – sort of!) I thought why not share them on my blog. I particularly adore this recipe because it doesn’t require creaming the butter and the sugar which – not being much of a baker – I absolutely loathe doing.

This is mainly because “creaming” requires me to get out my electric beater (beating the butter and the sugar by hand to the required pale creaminess takes way too long!). My electric beater lives in the Bottom Drawer – a sad place where all sorts of under-utilised kitchen gadgets (potato ricers, mandolins, electric knives, etc) lie lonely and forgotten. I then need to assemble the beater and find a suitable electric socket which allows the beater to reach the bowl where I’ll be doing the beating and . . . you get the idea. Anyway – these cookies (or biscuits as we call them in New Zealand) do not require all this faffing about, hence they get made very regularly in our house.

And so – without further ado – here is the recipe. I found it in a fabulous recipe book called “Cooking for Real Life” by a fabulously sensible and practical woman called Joanna Weinberg.


Wholemeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

125g butter

175g brown sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

150g wholemeal flour

2 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

100g chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius

Melt butter in small pan. Place sugar in large bowl and add melted butter. Beat together with a wooden spoon and then add the egg and the vanilla. Beat this lovely goo until combined and then stir in the flour, salt and baking powder. You can sift the dry ingredients through a sieve to aerate or just tip it in without – I don’t think it matters too much either way. And last but not least – mix in the chocolate chips.

Taste to make sure it’s suitably yummy and then – using a teaspoon dot spoonfuls of the mixture onto baking sheets leaving 4cm or so between them as they will spread. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes – it will depend a little on the vagaries of your oven – just keep an eye on them because they can go from golden brown and delicious to incinerated in very short order. I know this from bitter experience.

They’ll be very soft when they first come out of the oven – just let them sit on the tray for a couple of minutes and then – using a fish slice – transfer them over to a wire rack to cool. They’ll harden up fully as they cool.


Corner View – Once Upon A Time

April 15th, 2015 by Eliza

Toshiaki Kato - Beauty and the Beast

Toshiaki Kato – Beauty and the Beast

I’ve always loved fairy tales – and this Corner View gives me the chance to share some of my

Three Maidens-Florence Harrison

Three Maidens – Florence Harrison

“Sleeping Beauty” by Adrienne Segur

“Sleeping Beauty” by Adrienne Segur

SleepingBeauty - Edmund Dulac

SleepingBeauty – Edmund Dulac

Snow White & Rose Red - Illustrator Unknown

Snow White & Rose Red – Illustrator Unknown

Frog Prince -Angela Rizza

Frog Prince -Angela Rizza

favourite fairy tale illustrations 🙂

Ciinderella - Arthur Rackham

Ciinderella – Arthur Rackham

Rapunzel - P J Lynch

Rapunzel – P J Lynch

Corner View – Hunger

April 8th, 2015 by Eliza

Mitchelli's Potato Rosti & Hot Smoked Salmon

Mitchelli’s Potato Rosti & Hot Smoked Salmon

I’ve been away from Corner View for a while but this Corner View is a perfect one to return to!  I love my food and I always have lots of food photographs in my photo library.  Here are a few meals I’ve particularly enjoyed recently.

First up is one of my favourite hot breakfasts – the Potato Rosti & Hot Smoked Salmon with Dill-flavoured sour cream from one of my favourite cafes –  Mitchelli’s at The Tannery in Christchurch.

Next up is the gorgeous Quinoa and Cannellini Bean Salad from a cute little cafe which has recently opened here called ‘Hello Sunday’.

And then there is the thoroughly decadent and divine Churros and Spanish Hot Chocolate from The Mediterranean Food Company (where you can also get fabulous pizzas and buy lots of gorgeous grocery items from the Mediterranean and beyond).

Finally there is The World’s Best Platter – courtesy of our fabulous friend Lyn from Leithfield. There’s nothing better than arriving at Lyn & Roy’s place early on a Saturday evening and tucking into one of these with a glass of something bubbly close by.

I’ve had my dinner but I’m feeling hungry again after looking at all this food!!

Hello Sunday's Qunoa & Cannellini Bean Salad

Hello Sunday’s Qunoa & Cannellini Bean Salad



Mediterranean Food Company's Churros and Hot Chocolate

Mediterranean Food Company’s Churros and Hot Chocolate

Lyn & Roy's Fabulous Pre-dinner platter

Lyn & Roy’s Fabulous Pre-dinner platter

Corner View – Cuddly

March 4th, 2015 by Eliza

Wosy and Friend

Wosy and Friend

Brianna and I found these two gorgeous rabbits in the bargain bin at one of Brianna’s favourite shops – Pumpkin Patch. Pumpkin Patch is mainly a clothing store but it also sells a few soft toys. As soon as I saw the blue rabbit I just had to have him because he reminded me so much of a favourite childhood toy – a blue rabbit with floppy ears called Wosy.

Brianna was very excited at the idea of Mummy buying a toy for herself and quickly became very fond of Wosy II.  Hence it wasn’t very long (the next week in fact) before we were back at Pumpkin Patch so Brianna could get Wosy a friend. Indeed, she wanted this rabbit so much she was willing to spend her own hard-earned cash to buy him!  So now Wosy and his cream-coloured friend (who still hasn’t got a name yet) are happily ensconced in their new home. And yes – they are extremely cuddly!

Corner View is a weekly appointment – each Wednesday – created by Jane of Spain Daily, and hosted by Francesca of Fuori Borgo where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. 

A little notebook

March 1st, 2015 by Eliza

A little notebook

A little notebook

I have had very little time for doing anything creative over the last 6 months or so. I have a part-time job now and when I added that to being a Mum to a busy 9-year-old, my singing commitments,  and trying to keep things on the domestic front under control (surrounded by chaos right now so losing the battle on that front!) – as well as attempting to write a book (drawing on skills garnered from my former life as a researcher) with my husband Kevin . . . something had to give.

This little notebook got made in a tiny patch of time during my Christmas holiday break using an image I developed for a series of cards I’ve called ‘Love Notes’ (which are in my Etsy shop). I printed this image out on the wrong paper and was about to throw it out when I thought of mod-podging it onto the front of a little plain-covered notebook I’d bought ages ago for this very purpose. I added a couple of bits of braid, applied ink to the page edges  and voila – my very own little one-of-a-kind book. I was thinking of listing it on Etsy prior to Valentine’s Day but never got around to doing a back cover for it. Oh dear! Never mind – it was fun to make and one can never have too many notebooks!

Decorating a Notebook

  • Materials
  • 1 x plain-covered notebook (I got mine from a craft supplies store)
  • 1 x image cut to size of notebook cover
  • Mod-podge
  • Braid, lace or other decorative trim
  • Stamping ink

Coat the back of the image with Mod-Podge and adhere carefully to front of notebook. Use a little roller to make sure it’s nice and smooth.

Once image is adhered apply a coat of Mod-Podge to the front of the image. Repeat this 2 or 3 times – waiting for the Mod-Podge to dry between coats – depending on how much gloss you want the cover to have

Select and cut to size your pieces of braid / lace / ribbon / twine – whatever you fancy – and apply (using craft glue) where desired.

Repeat the process with the back cover – once glue is dry of course!  As I said above – I still haven’t gotten around to this step 🙂

Finally –  apply stamping ink to the edges of the pages – as per picture below. I used a mixture of dark brown and gold inks. You can apply directly from the stamping pad (waiting for the ink to dry between applications so you don’t mess up your ink pad), or you can use one of those sponge applicator thingies. As you can see mine is not as neat and uniform as it could be because the brown ink I used was very new and wet so things got a bit out of hand. I’m sure with a bit more care, however, you could end up with a nice effect 🙂  Luckily I’m just keeping this one for myself!

Slightly messy inking job :-)

Slightly messy inking job 🙂



Corner View – Warmth

February 25th, 2015 by Eliza



I was looking through old photographs recently and when I was thinking about this week’s Corner View theme of ‘warmth’ this photo of Brianna snuggled up with a book in a sunny couch corner on a warm afternoon popped into my mind.  She’s grown up a lot since this was taken but she still loves to do the very same thing – though the book is more likely to be Harry Potter rather than the Little Bulldozer!

Corner View – Homemade

February 18th, 2015 by Eliza

Home-made muffins

Home-made muffins


Brianna loves it when I bake – she’s so keen to help and she’s becoming a very competent little kitchen-hand.  It won’t be be long before she’ll be able to whip up a batch up muffins all by herself!  Then I’ll be able to sit on the couch with my feet up and have home-made muffins delivered to me fresh from the oven. Yay!

Corner View – Love in my Corner

February 11th, 2015 by Eliza

Love in my corner

Love in my corner

There is not a lot else to say really. I think this photo – taken on our little family jaunt to Diamond Harbour which I blogged about here – just about says it all.

Corner View is a weekly appointment – each Wednesday – created by Jane of Spain Daily, and hosted by Francesca of Fuori Borgo where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. 

Corner View – Poem

February 3rd, 2015 by Eliza

Garden Fairy

Garden Fairy


There are so many poems I love – too many to catalogue here. Your eyes would grow tired even just reading the names. But when I was thinking of all these poems – and wondering which one I would choose and how I would illustrate it with a photograph or an image – this poem by early 20th Century New Zealand poet (and novelist) Katherine Mansfield lilted into my mind. It is called ‘Evening Song of the Thoughtful Child’ – and is so evocative of childhood and its multitude of magics that I thought I’d share it – accompanied by an image of Brianna frolicking many years ago now in the evening light in a friend’s beautiful garden. The wings are a little bit of magic added by me later for an Eliza’s Dream project inspired by this poem. The project has never really come to fruition but nice to share both the poem and the image with the lovely people of the Corner View community.

Please excuse the rather large font the poem is in – I ended up having to put a screen shot of it in because I just couldn’t seem to format the poem properly in WordPress – I obviously need some lessons!


Evening Song of the Thoughtful Child



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