Monday, December 24, 2012

Dairy free Gingerbread Christmas cookies

We have done some Christmas baking which has been wonderful. I adapted a recipe of mine to be dairy free and it works well. It tastes really yummy and Blossom can eat to her hearts content!
Dairy free gingerbread men (or flowers/ stars/ circles)

50ml golden syrup
125g deodorised* coconut oil (more as needed when kneading**)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg yolk
2 cups of flour
1 tbsp ginger ground
1 tsp baking soda

Heat the syrup in the microwave until runny.
Cream the coconut oil*** and sugar, add the egg yolk and beat in the sifted dry ingredients a little at a time.
Add in the warm syrup and kneed the mixture** until sticky and moist.
Roll out the dough to roughly 3mm in thickness.
Use a cutter and cut shapes. Bake at 190 degrees centigrade fan bake for 7 to 10 minutes.
Remove and turn oven down to 100 degrees centigrade. After 10 minutes return gingerbread cookies to oven and bake for a further 5 minutes to harden.
Decorate, or if your kids are like mine, eat them plain!

* I use a deodorised coconut oil in our cooking and in baking as we are not quite into the taste of coconut flavoring all our food. Nothing wrong if you are though. The brand we use is Blue Coconut oil (white tub) available at Pak N Sav or new World in the oil section.

**The mixture is more crumbly using coconut oil as a fat and I guess that the vegetable fat must act in a different way to butter when helping to bind the mixture together. I just added more coconut oil until I felt the mixture was binding well enough. You need to use your hands to kneed and "feel" the dough! When it holds a shape in your hands it's ready- its not like a pliable sticky bread dough though- its more crumbly.

***Coconut oil is solid at room temperature except during a sticky Auckland summer when it becomes liquid. I "set" mine in the fridge until it was the consistency of spreadable butter. Or if in a colder climate you may need to warm it over a hot bowl of water until soft if yours is hard. It does resemble a butter/ sugar mix when creamed but is white.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Today is my last day of work. Because I have a great boss (myself) I have kindly given myself annual leave until the 7th January. I wouldn't work for me unless I had to as this is the first proper leave I have had since Blossom was born.

Anyway. I am super tired.

The kids have been home this week on school holidays so I have worked around them. Today they came with me to run some work errands and drop client gifts off. It was great mostly, apart from a few little boy meltdowns. I am learning not to base the success of an outing on Rupi's meltdowns. The inner city was bathed in Christmassy goodness, we loved it.

Bring on Jesus' birthday!!!!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

happy little secret

** UPDATE: Crochet does not have needles but HOOKS. Yes indeed... I am learning slowly!**

In these slightly scary days it's good to have some happy bits. And one if these is... crochet!! I am a newbie crochet lover...

I am learning slowly and can do granny squares. That's all. I can't follow a pattern yet and don't know all the stitches but I LOVE it. Love love love it!

Here's my first project, Christmas bunting! It's all wonky and the triangles are different sizes but I don't care. I am so proud!

And lovely generous Cat gave me a special Christmas present- a holder for my needles (or noodles as Rupi calls them!) Isn't it gorgeous?

Super happy!


Sunday, December 9, 2012


Cat (from Catalina's cottage) is a new IRL friend. And I like her a whole lot!!!! She is warm and funny and has such a soft heart. She wants to create a community of bloggers in Auckland and has gone about making her vision happen. And yes, it's all happening with warmth and inclusion and lots of fun.

This is the latest gathering. We met at a child friendly cafe and as expected had  we all had such a good time. I have never met a blogger I didn't like and this was no different!

 This is me, ha! With my little darling, of course.

 Sarann from "I Bequeath Love" and Simoney from "Great fun for Kids"

Leonie from "Sunshine x3", Rachel from "Heart and Crafty" and Cat from "Catalina's Cottage"

So, if you are in Auckland (or near enough!) and looking at the photos feeling a bit left out/ uninvited/ lonely.... you are invited to a dinner in January 2013. Pop along to Cat's blog and email her or leave a comment. She'll add you to the list and you will get details of when and where.

We will be loud, eat a lot, laugh even more and generally have a wonderful time and I would LOVE to have you there!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

little bites of happy

Little boy hand picked flowers just for me. Although I can't actually have them, they have live in his schoolbag (?)

Little girl offerings to the printer gods

She finally "got" toddler ballet and utterly loves it. Yes this is actually one of her ballet moves... it's called the "crouch down and spring up"...

Ice creams on the beach together on a rare sunny Auckland November Saturday (note drip on the chin- he just lurves "dalilla" ice cream!!)

Putting dolly and lion to sleep and then sleeping on top of them- Plunket would have a heart attack!

Happy weekend friends!!!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

tradition sweetness

This year we made the annual trip to the Christmas tree heaven shop with the cousins. It was chaotic and lots of fun. The idea is that each child gets to choose an ornament of their own. No boundaries, well, except the giant stuffed reindeer costing over $800....

This is the first year that Rupi has really understood the tradition. And he just loved it. While Blossom ran around the shop creating havoc he carefully selected his own ornament. Which was.... ENORMOUS lolly (sweet)! He truly is his mother's son as this is excatly what I would have chosen as a child! It dominates the whole one side of the tree and makes me giggle every time I look at it. All of his ornaments are carefully hung close to each other and he relates the story of each again and again.

This is Blossom's. I chose it for her as she was randomly selecting candles, lights, tinsel and carrying them all around the store. Bless.

I love this silly little tradition! It doesn't take away from the true meaning of Christmas and provides a great introduction into the Christmas season. Traditions bind family together and this one doesn't get much better!



2009/ 2008


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