24 June 2012

Beauty in the Small Things

As part of the ongoing exploration of our new home town we took a trip yesterday to Kauri Point, just up the road from Katikati town. Its an historic area with an old Maori  site situated on it. Although I didn't find anything telling me any information about it which is sad.

However, we thought it was pretty special, and the way the light was settling in the late afternoon it was magical. The water was as clear as glass and the views across Tauranga Harbour were clear and faultless.

The trees in the background are on Matakana Island

Madeline looking for fish


We even found a little beach with white sand and gnarled ancient pohutakawa. And there's a cool bush walk which we didn't try this time, we'll have to come back again.

There's interesting rock life we've never seen before.

I'm so excited about exploring more around these areas and explore the beauty that New Zealand has to offer. This really is a special country.

There really is such beauty in the small things.

20 June 2012

Chocolate Ganache Tart with Blueberries

This is one of my own recipes. I had some leftover ganache to use up or else I'd end up licking it all out of the bowl myself...and that's not a pretty sight. And its not good for my losing weight before surgery scheme.

So here is a yummy dessert you can share with anyone. Gail from Delightfully Diva-ish...this one is for you as I've used tinned blueberries. Or you can just wait till you get back to NZ and make it with fresh or frozen blueberries? Or you can use any fruit topping you wish. 

The pastry is simple sweet shortcrust pastry which is blindbaked.

And filled with a chocolate ganache,

and topped with blueberries. I was out of frozen so I used tinned.

See? That's so simple but so visually effective. 

Shortcrust Pastry:
125g cold butter
250g flour
100g icing sugar
1 egg
Pinch of salt.
(optional spices or orange zest if you  wish)

Put flour in a food processor with icing sugar and salt and butter and blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and process until it all comes together in a soft and uniform dough. Wrap and refridgerate for 30mins.
When ready grease 1 tart tin or individual tart tins with and line with pastry. Blind bake for 20mins on 180deg Celsius.

Ganache Filling:
While you are waiting for the pasty to chill start on the ganache.
Heat 300ml cream until the edges are just starting to bubble, do not boil cream.
Break up 250g dark chocolate (I use Whittakers 50% dark chocolate) into metal or glass bowl and pour cream over. Leave for 1 minute then gently whisk until all the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.

When pastry cases have cooled you can either pour the ganache (as it will be pouring consistency) into them or spoon if you have whipped it up a bit (which I did gently with a hand whisk). Place berries on top and chill until served.

A nice rich little dessert which is actually really simple!

18 June 2012

Delissilinks - Race Car Cakes

So this weekend we had a race car party theme so I thought I'd showcase some neat car cakes car cakes I've found around the internet.

Starting with this great one from Debbie Does Cakes.

I got the Herbie movie out (along with the Cars movies) to play for the kids. I loved Herbie movies when I was a kid. As it turned out none of the kids watched it. Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo is a long movie and I guess not as exciting for the kids anymore? So I suppose this would be a great cake for an older generation, isn't it neat?

And this one by Cakes by Lully

 This one is really cool for the Formula 1 enthusiast. By Pink Cake Box.

This one is cute. Johnny loves Roary the Racing Car! This one is by JVCakes.

For the Holden fan I love the simplicity and clean lines - it has a great impact without being a literal car cake.  From Cravings Cakes, Cupcakes and Cookies.

Another cake with a race car theme without being an actual car is this one by Tasteful Cakes.

And any parent who has a son will know that Cars is right up there as a favourite. I think I've seen the first movie around 10,000 times. This cake would knock the socks off any young boy! This is by FranceP, from Cake Central and was for her son. Puts my little attempt to shame!!

That is all.

17 June 2012

Happy 5th

My Johnny is almost nearly 5! Only 3 days until I no longer have a preschooler at home with me. Waaahhhh!!

Nah I'm okay with it. I have to be. He's more than happy to be going to school and I know he will love it. He's just one of those kids - happy to be part of something and happy to learn. Its just that its so strange knowing that's the last of the baby years gone and we are heading into a new era. I shall miss his constant chatty banter and hilarious stories during the day quite a lot. But I'm looking forward to watching him grow up into a lovely young boy who enjoys life to the full.

So anyway enough with my silly sadness. And on with the party.

Facetime with Uncle Alex  in Chile before the party...

Setting up the food table.

Chocolate fudge cake with chocolate ganache. 

Race time

Mads sorts them out

This cracked me up! Total carnage on the 3-legged racing!
Sack racing in my old pillowcases. Johnny sulked in the flax bushed because he didn't win.

My lovely big girl who organised all the boys into their races. She's a great party planner!

The boys watch Cars 2. So do the big boys.

What a great day. And in the evening we finished off with playing with new presetns, eating leftovers, bacon sammies, reading through vintage car books (dad) and good and All Blacks rugby. Ahhh it's always such a GREAT feeling when a party is over.

Doing the haka...