Monday, December 20, 2010

Festive Fudge

I've been doing a bit of Christmas baking to put together as a little gift for some friends and neighbours. In the freezer I have chocolate and hazelnut truffles, gingernut and apricot square, chocolate shortbread and plain shortbread shapes. Today I made vanilla (haha as I wrote that I just realised I never put the vanilla in!!whoops) and cranberry fudge. I decided to try using a cutter to make it into star shapes. I was very pleased with the result.
Here's the recipe if you want to give it a go yourself
(it makes a really big batch so may want to halve it first time round)

Vanilla and Cranberry Fudge
600g white chocolate melts
50g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tin condensed milk (375g)
1 cup dried cranberries
Combine the chocolate, butter, vanilla and condensed milk in a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until thick and smooth. Stir in cranberries (mine were pretty big so I chopped them up first). Pour into a 20cm x 20cm greased or lined tray and refrigerate until hard. Cut into 36 squares or use a cookie/fondant cutter to cut into shapes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Creativity

 This last week I have been getting into the Christmas spirit with a bit of sewing and baking.
I made Na'uli a Christmas bag to put under the tree...
 I made this doll back pack as a Christmas present for Sofia...
 The idea and pattern were from this book...
 And here's 'new doll' (as she is still called!) in the back pack...
 Sofia and I baked a batch of shortbread cut into trees, hearts and stars...
I have no idea why but this is the only time of year I bake shortbread. We all really like it and it's not like it's particularly Christmassy-not red and green, not sparkly, not spicy-just plain old shortbread!
We're aiming to get some more baking done this week and make up some little packages for our friends and neighbours.
Do you have any recipes that you just HAVE TO make at Christmas?

Sunday, December 12, 2010


 n. 1. spiritual being believed to be an attendant or messenger of God. 2. person who is kind, pure, or beautiful
We bought and decorated our Christmas tree today. Sofia was very excited to help us choose which tree to buy and she loved helping me to hang the lights and decorations on the tree. When Na'uli woke from her sleep her eyes lit up at the sight of the decorated tree.
The pine tree has given our home that distinctly Christmas smell mmmm.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Four Seasons-Early Summer

This time of year is always exiting in the garden with lots of new things growing and beginning to produce their fruit. The little girls at our house are waiting sooo patiently...
 for these peas to fatten up
and for these berries to ripen to a rich dark red
And I am resisting the temptation to 'bandicoot' my new potatoes!
 More tastes of Summer can be found here

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Today while the girls were sleeping after coming home from pre-school I set up a little Advent area on our book shelf.
Wool angel...
Pacific version of The Twelve Days of Christmas story...
A Tongan tapa angel...
Fabric Christmas tree I made last year...
Cute little Advent card from my big sis:)...
Our Advent calendar...
Some of the treasures that the girls will find each day...
Before I started to write this post I browsed through the other posts on my dashboard and saw this one also titled 'Advent'. I am sharing the link because as I read it I really related to what the author was saying. I like her ideas and have a similar feeling about Advent.
As a child I remember we always had an Advent table set up and I knew it was a special time of the year but it wasn't until I began my teaching career at a Catholic school that I started to understand the religious side of Advent. I do not follow any particular religion but my husband is Catholic and it is now that we have children of our own that I am beginning to wonder what Advent means to us and how I will explain it and celebrate with our girls. Traditionally it is a time of preparing or getting ready (to celebrate the birth of Jesus). For us I think it is also a time of  preparing but we are getting ready for family get togethers, relaxation time and a camping holiday too. I think it's a great time to reflect on and be thankful for the good things that have happened during the year.
 I also loved Lou's Advent idea here. She has created such a magical space and special ritual for her wee daughters.
What are your thoughts on Advent? Do you have any special traditions or rituals at this time of the year?