Tag Archives: summer

Homemade “Summer & Seed” granola with nectarine compote

Because the smoothies I’ve been having for breakfast are becoming a bit passé…I revisited the homemade granola thang. I went through a phase of DIY granola back when I was in NZ (we call it muesli – same same but different but not really. Actually not at all. Or maybe? I’m not the authority on this) and loved filling the house with the sweet smells of toasting oats and cinnamon.

Without further ado: I used a simple recipe and added and substituted here and there. Copy, or mix it up. You know what you want. I trust you. NB: it’s my version of a summery granola. Let’s not get into the semantics of whether or not figs are summery. There are no rules here 😉



3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (I’m not a big fan of lots of sugar and the dried fruit makes it sweeter so feel free to adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup small-dice dried figs and apricot
1/2 cup raw sunflower and pumpkins seeds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 – Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 C)

2 – Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and gently heat, on low, the honey and oil until free flowing.

3 – Once heated and mixed, remove from heat and add vanilla.

4 – Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the honey liquid in. Mix with wooden spoon until fully coated.

5 – Pour mix onto a baking paper lined baking tray, or non stick baking sheet into an even layer

6 – Bake for 15mins, take out and mix to turn oats and bake for a further 10-15mins until golden brown. Allow to cool on baking pan or carefully demolish by the fistful.

Read on for compote…

The man I’m married to was wandering the supermarket aisles with me while I was (out loudly) pondering which fruit would make a good addition to the granola/greek yoghurt magic I was creating in my head. This man was soon to be deemed a genius because he suggested I use the nectarines I got the day before and a lightbulb went off. I guess this makes the whole shimozzle (actual word) more summery than it is without the compote.

Usually nectarines sit in the fruit bowl, making the kitchen pungent with nectariney goodness as they slowly over ripen and then house dozens of fruit flies before I finally give in and throw them away. Anyway, here’s the compote recipe. Dunno if it’s “teeeeechnically” a compote. Pfft, technical schmechnical, right? No rules people, no rules.


Two (or more) nectarines
Nothing else!!

1. Halve nectarines and remove pits

2. Squootch (a term for pushing the flesh of fruit off the skin or fruit) the flesh away from the skins –  best done over top of the saucepan you’ll use to compote those stone fruit beauties, to catch the excess juice.

3. Chop, or finger chop, into small pieces – not a big deal, they’ll break down. You just wait.

4. Bring to simmer over medium to low heat and let it bloop away until the fruit has broken down and the fruit juice is more syrupy than juicy. This should take about 15-20mins

5. You can adjust the sweetness with sugar if you want but these were so sweet it just wasn’t necessary.

Enjoy your comopte with a dollop of greek yoghurt on top of your new favourite granola.



Akarua Pinot Rose AKA the best Rose I ever drank

akarua pinotAkarua Pinot Rose AKA the best Rose I ever drank

Just got an email about the Akarua Pinot Rose release which is today! I was so excited I had to share it with you. I want a case but can’t quite justify the spend…

Most likely, it won’t be sent to the Bay of Plenty liquor stores (where I am) as there is only a small quantity of it. So I should really buy some. Just  a couple of bottles, no harm in that is there?

It’s like summer in a bottle, this stuff. Mmmmm, I can taste it now. I should buy some. I really should. Early Christmas present perhaps? Teehee!


Hi! How’ve you been?!

It’s been…almost three months since I last posted. I was unemployed, I got married (again…to the same man…), I was unemployed, I moved closer to my family and friends, my sister is pregnant, I was unemployed. Mostly I was unemployed. Then I got a job and I moved out of “home” aka my sister’s house. This new job will see me needing to kill a bit of time. So what better to start off the next series of blogs at work with today’s three beverages:

Echinacea and Raspberry tea – because my nose is a bit stuffy and people seem to be getting sick. I blame the change in temperature. Getting chillier… nooo winter…noooo!!!

Black coffee with a little bit of hot choc powder – because we have one of those Nespresso machines at my new job and it’s fun to use. I don’t really need the coffee (or the hot choc powder) but it’s novel.

Water – because it’s water and I LOVE it.

side note: Is it too late to say Happy New Year?

A toast to summer – may you come quicker than you did last year

The weekend saw me catching up with some very good friends and sampling some alcoholic delights over laughs and shared memories.

I enjoy being well hydrated so I usually have about three different beverages close to me if I’m at home doing nothing, or at work (writing my blog). Those beverages usually consist of: water, herbal tea and a coffee that’s gone a little cold. Or if I’m drinking wine it’s: water, wine and herbal tea.

This weekend I actually slacked on the water drinking as it was taken over by the next three yummy, “I wish it was summer” beverages (in no particular order):

First: Mt Difficulty Pinot Gris (I feel like I’ve talked about this before?)

It’s fresh and fruity but not too sweet like my usual choice, Sauvignon Blanc’s, tend to be. I find them sharp and punchy compared to the quiet, understated characteristics of the Pinot Gris’ I’ve been sampling of late.


Second: Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer

As a kid my dad brewed ginger beer in the garage and we got “disciplined” with the long plastic spoon he’d stir his brews with. You’d think this would’ve scarred me but it didn’t. Thank god! Because I LOVE ginger beer. The favourite has to be Pheonix Organics Ginger Beer as it tastes the closest to dad’s brew. So you can only imagine my delight at the discovery of an adult version of a ginger beer! oooohhhh….aahhhhhhh….


Third: Rekorderlig Strawberry and Lime Cider

I first sampled this “party in your mouth” beverage in London’s 2010 summer. It was served over a mountain of ice, in a tall glass with muddled mint, a couple of slices of strawberry and a wedge of lime squeezed in. It’s amazingly refreshing, not overly sweet or sickening. Right now in NZ, cider is making a surge in popularity thanks to the likes of the apple and pear ciders that have become readily available from old faithful’s: Mac’s and Monteith’s as well as Old Mout Cider. I predict this’ll be summers next hottest thing; cider is the new body-con cut out swimsuit.

It’s as cool as cider on a hot day (yeah, I went there): http://www.rekorderlig.com/nz/#/flavours/
STOP THE PRESS!!! This just in: as I was looking for the above picture, I discovered you can make strawberry and lime cider CUPCAKES!!! *drool*

Recipe HERE

Here’s to the countdown to summer, weekends with good friends and trying new things to drink during both – cheers, good health, salute, prost!

How many blog posts can a blog poster post if a blog poster could post blogs?

Tongue twisters are fun!
My title was adapted from the classic “wood chuck” tongue twister.

I also like:

Yellow lolly, red lolly
You know New York, you need New York, you know you need unique New York

BUT…Since starting this blog I’m all like “ooh I should blog about this!” and “ooh I should blog about that”. So much enthusiasm! But do I saturate the market now, or leave you all hanging for a couple of weeks until the next one?

I don’t know the etiquette. If i’m going to be constant I might as well on bloody Facebook! I’ll calm down in a couple of days, I swear.

Just wanted to share a couple of things I am stoked on right now:

Yoga – just got back into it. Bikram once a week in a “koha class”. “Koha” meaning a gift (in Maori)or offering in exchange for something. The proceeds are donated to a charity each month. 100% of the proceeds. And also this website: http://www.doyogawithme.com/

Lots of awesome FREE videos to do in the privacy of your own home. I did a power class the other day (by accident) and am still feeling it today. Which is awesome because in spite of my efforts with 3kg dumbells, my bingo wings are not shifting. So, to feel the burn two days after yoga makes me mucho happio!

The other is wine!!! I am generally fairly stoked on wine but more so after a couple of weekends ago, a posse of pals came to Queenstown for some quality Jenna face time. Yay!

We visited a couple of wineries in the Central Otago region and it was so much fun! I loved the taster ladies, I loved the wine and I loved seeing the first daffodils of spring along the way. The stand outs of the day were a Chardonnay from Mt Difficulty Wines and a Pinot Rose from Akarua. The latter smacks of strawberry and leads me perfectly to a recipe I saw on the ultra cool (secretly would love to be her friend) Lani Says blog: http://wine.about.com/od/howwineismade/r/Strawberrysangr.htm

Summer is on it’s way even though the season fairy only just landed on spring. I can feel it. I can smell it. The days are getting longer, the mornings are getting lighter and the idea of strawberry sangria with Pinot Rose somewhere near a beach excites me quiiiite a bit.

Will try and not post anything for the rest of the day. If it’s too much, let me know. If it’s not enough, tell me! Feedback is helpful 🙂