thekiwicountrygirl
(@thekiwicountrygirl)

I am SO excited to share this post with you! 3 of my favourite recipes - chewy chocolate chip cookies, raspberry and white chocolate blondies and fudgy chocolate brownies- in jars! They are the perfect homemade gift and great for beginner bakers (or kids just getting into baking!) They're fun and inexpensive to make and if you head to my blog, I've included free printable labels for you to tie onto the jars. Here are the ingredients for each jar, and head over to my blog for the labels and some tips on how to assemble them! INGREDIENTS CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 1 1/2 cups (210g) plain flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar 1/2 cup (105g) white sugar 1/2 cup chocolate chips (plus more to fill up the jar if needed) RASPBERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE BLONDIES 1 1/2 cups (210g) plain flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup (150g) brown sugar 1/2 cup (105g) white sugar 1/2 cup dessicated coconut 1/2 cup white chocolate chips FUDGY BROWNIES 2/3 cup (93g) plain flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar 3/4 cup (157g) white sugar 3 Tablespoons (30g) cocoa powder (sifted) 150 grams dark chocolate pieces (I used Whittaker's 50% dark chocolate)

Edible gifts seem to be the flavour of the month so here's another one for you...BBQ spice rub! It takes 5 minutes to put in a jar, write a quick label and you're done! Coming into summer it's the perfect gift for the foodie in your life...BBQ pork ribs are my favourite thing to make with it! INGREDIENTS 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 Tablespoons salt 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika 1 Tablespoon black pepper 1 Tablespoon dried oregano 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (See note 1) INSTRUCTIONS Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix together well. Use immediately or store in an airtight jar or container and use when needed. RECIPE NOTES As you may know, we are pretty wimpy when it comes to heat, so 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper gives it just enough kick for our liking. I recommend making it as the recipe suggests to start with and then adding more next time if you want it hotter, but be careful - cayenne packs a huge punch!

I like finding ways to enjoy Christmassy things all December without falling into a sugar induced festive coma (only because I dont want to miss any of the build up!) 🎅🎁🎄 Gingerbread granola is a festive twist on my favourite healthy granola recipe. It's not quite as healthy but it sure tastes like Christmas! And how cute would a jar of this be as a homemade gift idea! INGREDIENTS 3 cups rolled oats 1 cup chopped nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews) 1 cup other dry ingredients (e.g. dessicated coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raw quinoa, puffed rice, wheatgerm) 1 Tablespoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon allspice 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 cup oil/melted butter (melted coconut oil, sunflower oil, rice bran oil) 1/4 cup golden syrup *see recipe note 1 1/4 cup brown sugar *see recipe note 1 1 tsp flavour (vanilla or almond extract) INSTRUCTIONS Pre-heat oven to 150°C/300°F Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine well. Spread mixture on a lined rimmed baking sheet (or roasting dish) and bake for 35-40 minutes. Check after the first 15 minutes and stir, then check every 10 minutes until starting to go golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray before transferring to an airtight container and storing in the pantry for 2 weeks. RECIPE NOTES I used brown sugar and golden syrup to make this more cookie like in flavour but to make it healthier you could substitute them for 1/2 cup honey or other sweetener

🎄 Christmas traditions! 🎄 Every year since Josh and I moved home we get in the ute, go for a drive and my lumberjack husband cuts down our Christmas tree from the side of the road. It's never perfect and this year it rained and Sadie had a full blown meltdown on the way there but it's what we do! This is the tradition that kicks off Christmas for us...tell me, what is one of your family traditions? 🎅🎁

Don't be scared to decorate gingerbread cookies! Or think you need fancy equipment. I made these with a $6 set of cookie cutters from @kmartaus and a snap lock bag with the corner snipped off! And a killer spiced gingerbread cookie recipe of course. Swipe across to see how close up, even the prettiest looking cookies are just really simple piping that any sleep deprived parent can do while their kid is napping! Which is your favourite shape? INGREDIENTS COOKIES 115 grams butter (room temperature) 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar 1 egg 2 Tablespoons golden syrup 2 cups (280 grams) plain flour 1 Tablespoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt ROYAL ICING 2 cups icing sugar (sifted) 1 egg white Milk (if needed to thin the icing) INSTRUCTIONS COOKIES Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and golden syrup and combine. Add all other ingredients and mix together on low speed until well combined. Split dough in half and shape each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 1 hour, or fridge for 2 hours. At this point, you can also put the dough in the freezer to use at a later date. Once you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Remove the cookie dough discs from the fridge or freezer and unwrap. If using frozen dough, allow to thaw in the fridge for an hour or so. Roll the dough out until it is about 3-4mm thick. If the dough is too hard to roll out, leave it sitting for 10 minutes or so and then try again. Using Christmas cookie cutters, or whatever shapes you want to, cut out the cookies and lay them on a lined baking tray. Re-roll any scraps of dough to make more cookies. Bake for 12-14 minutes, checking them at 12 minutes, until they are looking golden brown. They will harden slightly as they cool, but if you prefer a crispier cookie, bake them for a couple of minutes longer. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before decorating. Royal icing in comments

If you watch my stories, you will have seen that I got a multi cooker for my birthday. I've been trying it out and so far, I like it. I'm planning a blog post on it and a few new recipes using it in the new year, but I know a few of you have one on your Christmas wish list so here is a quick run down of what I've found so far. 1. Cooking dried beans and chickpeas is the best! No soaking, just 45 minutes cook time. Win! 2. Its not a massive timesaver in terms of how long it takes the meal to be ready...the cook time is shorter but it takes around 10 minutes to get to pressure and then some things you have to let manually release pressure for 10 minutes, HOWEVER it's hands off!! No babysitting required which I love. 3. Yoghurt I'm still figuring out...I haven't got it totally sorted yet and if @crockpotaunz could please tell me the temperature of the yoghurt function, that would be grand! 4. The keep warm function is 👌 Josh is always home late at this time of year, so I love that I can cook in advance and when it's done, it automatically switches to keep warm rather than keep cooking. 5. Being able to saute and then slow cook or pressure cook is amazing. It's essentially like having a giant frying pan with a lid (I made my 1 pot mince pasta in it tonight and it was great!) 6. You can set the timer to start automatically if you are out. I haven't tried this yet but I'm excited to. If you have any questions about it, or want me to try out any recipes, comment below!

Let the Christmas baking commence!! 🎄🎁🎅 I think cinnamon rolls are pretty festive anyway but making them into a wreath is 1000% more Christmassy! It's not even hard to do...check out my latest blog post for the video that shows you exactly how to do it! Drizzle with a vanilla glaze and it's the perfect Christmas morning breakfast or bring a plate treat! Link to the full post with recipe and instructions is in my profile @thekiwicountrygirl...there is too much to fit in here and watching how it's done is a much better way to learn 😊

We're 3 days into December and I am up to my eyeballs in sugary goodness! 🍪 I'm not complaining, but let's try to remember that advent calendar chocolate isn't a stand alone meal and that making a big roast veggie couscous salad to eat between cookies is probably a pretty good idea 😊 INGREDIENTS 1 cup uncooked couscous 2-3 cups peeled & chopped veges pumpkin, kumara, zucchini, peppers, carrots etc 100 g feta Pinenuts DRESSING 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tsp crushed garlic Salt & pepper INSTRUCTIONS Cook couscous according to package directions. Put the peeled & chopped veges on a baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and salt & pepper and roast at 180°C for 20 minutes or until cooked. Add all dressing ingredients to a jar and shake until mixed together. Add the couscous, roast veges, feta, pinenuts and dressing to a large salad bowl and mix together. Serve immediately warm, or store in the fridge and serve cold. Keeps in the fridge for 5 days.

Can I please get a show of hands all my coffee drinkers? 🙋‍♀️ Have you ever tried cold brew coffee? It had suddenly got hot and muggy here which means the time for hot coffee is done, and I am all about a glass of iced cold brew. The cool thing (no pun intended 😂) about cold brew is that it brews slowly (like 12 hours slowly!) which makes it super smooth...I can even drink this black! I like making a big bottle and having it ready to go in the fridge...it keeps well for 3-4 days! Ingredients 3/4 cup coarsley ground coffee beans* 4 cups (1L) water Instructions Add the coffee and 1 cup of water to a large (8 cup) capacity coffee plunger/French press. Stir so that the coffee grounds are all wet. Add the remaining water, stir again and leave sitting on the bench for 12 hours. Carefully plunge/press the coffee and pour into a glass or plastic bottle and store in the fridge. Serve over ice with your choice of milk. Store in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. Recipe Notes * If you are grinding your own whole beans, leave them pretty coarse but you can also use plunger/espresso ground beans and they work just as well!

Sometimes meat and 3 veg is the order of the day in our house. Josh is great at taste testing anything I make, but the man has simple tastes! Serve him up pork chops and mashed potatoes and he is a happy camper. Especially when they are coated in parmesan, breadcrumbs and herbs...they're even ready in 30 minutes! Servings: 2 people Ingredients 4 pork chops (bone in) 1/4 cup breadcrumbs 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated) 1 teaspoon mixed herbs 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder Salt & pepper Instructions Heat the oven to 200°C/392°F and heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron frying pan. You will transfer the pan into the oven so if you don't have a cast iron pan, use a regular frying pan but prepare a baking sheet lined with baking paper and set aside. In a shallow bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, mixed herbs, garlic powder and salt & pepper. Press each pork chop in the mixture so that they are coated well on both sides and place directly into the hot frying pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes each side until the coating is crispy. Transfer the pan to the oven (or transfer the pork chops to the prepared baking sheet and place that in the oven) and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the pork chops are cooked through. Serve with mashed potato and vegetables.

If you only have room or time for one garden, make it a herb garden! My herb garden is the garden that requires the least amount of effort, always looks the prettiest and probably saves me the most money because buying fresh herbs is expensive!! You can throw almost anything in there and some herbs even keep growing year after year! Plus, if you let your chives flower, they look like the clover from Horton Hears a Who and are great for the bees! My favourite herbs to grow (and other things in this garden) are: Rosemary Thyme Oregano Chives Purple sage Parsley Basil (in summer) Borage (great for the bees!) What herbs do you love to grow?

Sadie is having a real moment with macaroni right now. I'm serious, that kid can put away pasta like nobody's business! So even though I should probably be giving her noodles made out of vegetables or adding all the greens to her organic pasta that I painstakingly made by hand while she sat quietly waiting for her meal 😂 I give her plain old, white pasta, zero vegetable 30 minute stovetop mac and cheese and we all live happily ever after...until bedtime anyway! INGREDIENTS 250 g dried macaroni 50 g butter 1/4 cup flour 2 cups milk 2 cups grated cheese I used a mixture of tasty & parmesan Salt & pepper 1/4 tsp nutmeg optional, but awesome INSTRUCTIONS Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the dried macaroni. In a microwave proof jug, heat 2 cups of milk for about 1 minute, until warm-hot. Set aside. (This step is optional but speeds up the cheese sauce) In a medium sized pot add the butter and flour and cook over a medium heat until the butter has melted, whisking constantly. Cook for a couple of minutes, being careful not to let it burn. Add about ½ cup of the milk and whisk it into the flour mixture until there are no lumps. Add the rest of the milk and bring to boil, whisking all the time to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom and go lumpy. Once the sauce thickens (5-8 minutes) take it off the heat and whisk in the grated cheese, nutmeg (if using) and salt & pepper. Drain the macaroni when it is cooked and stir through the cheese sauce. Serve with more grated cheese, a sprinkling of breadcrumbs or bacon bits. Or just as it is!

Grab your homemade graham crackers and marshmallows and let's make s'mores! Such a classic American dessert (perfect for summer!) and I've got everything you need to know about making them down here in NZ without the typical ingredients! Make them entirely from scratch or buy the kiwi equivalent ingredients. 1. Homemade graham crackers or digestive biscuits 2. Homemade marshmallows or the biggest store bought ones you can find 3. Thin pieces of chocolate - think Lindt or fancy Whittakers And then layer it up: Graham cracker/digestive biscuit + chocolate + toasted or grilled marshmallows + another graham cracker. Squish together. Eat. Enjoy! Make them over a campfire, under the grill in the oven or even in the microwave! The link to the full post with everything you need to know about s'mores is in my profile! They're going to be your new go-to dessert this summer for camping trips, BBQ's, kids sleepovers or just because!

Ok so it was cold and rainy and I was looking at pictures of homemade marshmallows being sprinkled with icing sugar and it seemed super magical and I may or may not have accidentally pushed play on Christmas music before December 1st 🙈 🤷‍♀️...don't hate me! 🎅🎄 but who else is excited for Christmas? And homemade marshmallows of course! Ingredients 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup water 1 Tablespoon gelatin 1/4 cup water 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon salt Marshmallow dust 1/2 cup icing sugar (sifted) 1/4 cup cornflour Instructions Heat the sugar: Add the sugar and first measure of water to a small saucepan and gently swirl the pot around until the sugar has mostly dissolved trying not to splash too much up on the side of the pot. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot ensuring that it is not sitting on the base of the saucepan (see recipe note 1) Bring to the boil over a medium heat, without stirring and continue to cook until the temperature on the thermometer reaches 115°C/240°F. The temperature will get to 100°C/212°F quickly and will seem like it's taking forever to increase to 115°C, but it will! This whole process will take about 15 minutes. For me, it takes about 8 minutes for the sugar to come to the boil and 7 minutes from then to reach 115°C/240°F. See recipe note 2 for making this without a thermometer. Prepare the gelatin: While the sugar water is boiling, dissolve the gelatin in the second measure of water in the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Whisk together: Once the sugar syrup has reached 115°C/240°F, remove it from the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer and with the mixer running on low/medium speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture. If you don't have a stand mixer, carefully do this while using a hand mixer. Add the vanilla and the salt, increase the speed to high and whisk for 3-5 minutes until doubled in volume and is white, fluffy and smooth. Continued in comments

Hands up if you know what a Graham cracker is? They're an American biscuit (or cookie) that are a hugely popular snack, are often used crushed up as a base for cheesecakes and are a KEY ingredient in s'mores aka the most fun summer treat! I've got a recipe for homemade Graham crackers today, marshmallows are coming this weekend, and then I'll show you how to put it all together to make a super fun dessert that's perfect for summer bonfires and camping trips! Bonus, these cookies use wholemeal flour and honey to replace some of the plain flour and sugar so they're a wee bit healthier than standard biscuits!

Apparently it's summer next week, but the snow in the South Island and icy cold winds here today suggests otherwise! Is it warm where you are? If it is, I'm coming to stay! ☃️ But once the weather finally warms up, these Chicken Burrito Bowls will be back on regular rotation here. They're light enough to eat when it's hot but substantial enough to satisfy a hungry farmer. Success! INGREDIENTS  CHICKEN  2 chicken breasts 4 teaspoons burrito spice mix (see recipe note 1) 1 Tablespoon olive oil CORIANDER/CILANTRO YOGHURT DRESSING  1 cup fresh cilantro/coriander (leaves and stalks) 1/2 cup yoghurt (plain & unsweetened) 2 Tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic (crushed) Juice of 1 lime Salt & pepper FOR THE BOWLS  2 cups cooked rice 2 cups chopped fresh vegetables (cherry tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, carrot) 1/2 cup cooked black beans 1/4 cup grated cheese METHOD CHICKEN  Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally so that you have 4 thinner pieces of chicken. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of burrito spice mix on each side of the chicken breasts and gently rub in. If you don't like touching raw chicken, just sprinkle it on and leave it! Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the chicken, flipping once during cooking until cooked all the way through. I usually cook it for about 10 minutes on each side. While the chicken is cooking, cook your rice. CILANTRO YOGHURT DRESSING  Add all dressing ingredients to a mini food processor or nutribullet (or similar) and blitz together for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the dressing is the desired consistency. ASSEMBLE THE BOWLS  Add a sufficient quantity of rice to 2 bowls. Slice the cooked chicken and place on the rice along with black beans and salad ingredients. Drizzle with the cilantro yoghurt dressing and enjoy! RECIPE NOTES  You can use store bought burrito spice mix (or taco seasoning) but it's super easy to make your own: Combine 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp black pepper

It's become really obvious to me in the last week that I have the BEST followers. No, seriously. The comments, messages and love that was sent our way after sharing our miscarriage story was immediately followed by the loveliest birthday messages and I honestly still can't believe how people I haven't even met seem to truly care about us! So I just want to say thank you! I really appreciate every single one of you, whether you're here for the recipes, the garden things or just because you think Sadie causing mischief is cute! You are all amazing people and I'm so happy to have you here. And on another note, is there anything cooler than our matching cowboy boots?! 😍

What are your favourite take aways? We barely ever get them because 1. No delivery out here and 2. If we pick them up they're cold by the time we get home! So I'm working my way through our favourites and making them at home! This sweet and sour pork recipe is one of our favourites...it's quick, easy and super tasty. And most definitely healthier than the bought one. INGREDIENTS SAUCE 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 2 Tablespoons tomato sauce 1 Tablespoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon oyster sauce (optional) 1/2 cup hot water COATING FOR PORK 1/3 cup cornflour 1 egg STIR FRY 400 grams pork steaks 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1/2 red pepper 1/2 yellow pepper 1/2 cup pineapple pieces INSTRUCTIONS SAUCE Add the ingredients for the sauce to a small jug or bowl and whisk together. Set aside. PREPARE THE PORK Add the cornflour to a small bowl and the egg to another small bowl and whisk. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium/high heat. While it is heating up, pat dry the pork steaks and slice into 2cm pieces. Add the pork pieces to the bowl with the cornflour and toss to coat evenly (you may need to do this in 2 batches) Once the pork is coated in cornflour, dredge it in the egg mixture and then place it in the hot oil. Let it fry, without stirring for a few minutes to allow the coating to get nice and brown. Flip the pork pieces over and cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes until cooked through. Add the peppers and pineapple and fry for 2 minutes. Pour over the sauce and bring to the boil, and then simmer for 3-4 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and serve immediately on white rice.