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Please tell me all your secrets for getting a nice photo with your kids! 📷 This is the first of what I can only assume will be SO many “get away from me Mum” moments. 👩‍👧 I have learnt a lot in my almost 2 years as a mum but the big thing currently is “everything on her terms” And come to think of it, that hasn’t really changed since those teeny newborn days! 👶 I’m talking I’ll eat when I’m ready, I’ll chat away but won’t say words on demand, I WILL walk if I want to making the trip around the supermarket 3 times longer and don’t you even think about trying to get a smile out of me for a photo. 🤷‍♀️ But what I’m choosing to take out of this is that I am raising a girl who knows her own mind. A strong, independent woman who will stand up for herself and won’t be walked over. A tough cookie who will do whatever she can to be successful, whatever success means to her. 💪 I’m pretty sure some of these characteristics will drive me crazy over the next (at least) 16 years but I’ll just keep reminding myself of the end goal! 🙏 By the way, she’s currently closing in one almost an hour of refusing to go to sleep. I don’t really know how to put a positive spin on that one...any ideas?! 😴

Chinese style photograph16 #Chinese #Chinatrends #Chinaclassic

Our beautiful country is going through a pretty dark time at the moment and the thing is, it's hard to know how to deal with it. Nothing like this has ever happened here, it's all new, unchartered territory and it's going to take time to figure it out and to heal. 💔 The thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to feel about it, or to deal with it. For some it might be donating time, money or physical things that are needed. For others it could be just squeezing their loved ones a little harder. Some people might be having a really hard time processing and trying to understand this. Others might choose to just carry on as normal and that's ok. 🌅 For me in amongst the feelings of sadness, I'm cuddling Sadie, feeling proud of how this has brought our country together and embracing the feelings of love and support that are being shown for the Muslim community and New Zealand as a whole. I'm also sitting on the couch with a bowl of mac and cheese because sometimes comfort comes in the form of food. 🌏 I've seen some wonderful quotes shared over the last few days but I think this one is a good one to remember. 💕 "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Martin Luther King Jr. 💕 #theyareus #christchurch #lovenothate

Chinese Beijing Roast Duck #chineseculture #roast duck #chinese food

It is DRY!! We had a bit of rain over the weekend which was so needed but we still need more! 🌧 But on the plus side (I always get in trouble for saying this) I genuinely love how awesome the dry grass looks against the bright blue sky 🙈 Also, just in case you feel like learning about cattle breeds tonight, here is what we have on the farm. On the right is a Hereford, in the middle is a black Angus and on the left is what happens when you breed them together...believe it or not it's an Hereford-Angus cross! 🐃🐂

China top actress 2018 Dilraba #Chinese #Chinastars #Chinesebeauty

Ok it has been forever since I updated you on our pumpkins! So since we are into autumn and about to hit the season for eating pumpkin everything, here goes! 🎃 Leaving the vines to do their own thing was 100% the right thing to do! I just kept them under control by training them back in towards the plants rather than letting them spread out all over the show (this is what got me in trouble with Josh last year haha!) 😂 To be honest I was pretty average at remembering to water them. Our gardens are all set up with irrigation and the pumpkins don’t get this! Josh was actually far better at setting up the sprinkler for the pumpkins than I was! 🤷‍♀️ In saying that, soil quality obviously plays the most important part in growing pumpkins. When I dug up the soil before planting it was GLORIOUS! Feeding it with grass clippings during the year was obviously a winning strategy! 👍 At last count there are about 30 pumpkins from 6 plants. Plus, we actually managed to grow melons (see my stories!) 🍉 I will wait until the vines start to die off and until the skin of the pumpkin can’t be pierced with a fingernail - that’s when to pick them. And in case you are ready to pick before me, make sure you cut them off the vine but leave a good 10cm piece of the vine attached...and don't pick them up using this as a handle (totally not speaking from experience) 🙈 How are your pumpkins looking?

The mornings might be cooling down but the afternoons are definitely still hot enough to require Peach Iced Tea! 🍑 Make it the night before and let it brew in the fridge for the perfect refreshing afternoon drink! 🥃 Peach Iced Tea Recipe INGREDIENTS 1 fresh peach (see recipe note 1) 2 Tablespoons sugar Mint sprigs or lemon verbena 6 tea bags (regular black or green tea) 1.5-2 litres water (from the tap is fine) TO SERVE Peach slices Mint leaves Ice INSTRUCTIONS Cut the fresh peach into small pieces. Add them to a 2 litre jug along with the sugar and muddle together using a cocktail muddling stick if you have one, or a wooden spoon to release the peach juices and dissolve the sugar. Add the fresh herbs, tea bags and water, stir around and place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight until the tea has brewed. Serve cold with ice, fresh peach slices and mint leaves. Recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or more for a crowd. RECIPE NOTES If peaches are out of season, you can either use frozen peach slices (just let them thaw first) or drain a tin of peaches in juice and use them

I can't be sure of exactly what was going through her head, but I'm pretty sure this is what pure joy looks like 😍 A lazy summer afternoon on the farm, hanging out with Sue the dog, the sun on her face and the breeze in her hair 🌞 This is her happy place! 👩‍🌾 Happy Friday everyone!

What is your favourite takeaway meal? 🍜 I have friends who get takeaways once a week and to be honest, I’m a little jealous! Occasionally if I’m going to be heading home from town late I might pick up fish & chips on the way home (that then have to be reheated anyway so I might as well have cooked!) but other than that, takeaways are pretty much limited to when we are on holiday. Because getting them delivered is half the fun right, and last time I checked, Uber Eats doesn’t deliver out back and beyond 🤷‍♀ So I have made it my mission to try and recreate our favourite takeaway meals at home! I have a great butter chicken recipe, pizzas and burgers are always a winner and we are both pretty partial to the occasional fried chicken night! 🍗 But this sweet & sour pork is one of our all time favourites! The extra step of coating the pork in cornflour and egg is TOTALLY worth it, for that authentic takeaway shop coating. And it still only takes 30 minutes to make! 👌 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 Stirfry 400 grams pork steaks 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1/2 red pepper 1/2 yellow pepper 1/2 cup pineapple pieces INSTRUCTIONS 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) Dredge the pork 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 thickened. Serve on white rice

Are you a dog person or a cat person? 🐶🐱 Without a doubt, we are definitely dog people thanks to our labrador Sage (who is harder than a toddler to take a nice photo with!) 🐕 We adopted Sage about a month after we got married and she is the single greatest dog in the whole wide world. ❤ We have always thought she was pretty cool - she hangs out with me in the garden, is an awesome duck retriever for Josh come duck shooting season - but now that we have Sadie, she has a new best friend and it works so well in our favour! 🦆 If I can't find Sadie (which happens pretty frequently) all I have to do is find Sage - she just tails along behind her, keeping her out of trouble! 👌 They play rough and tumble on the lawn, Sadie stands out on the porch and yells for her when she needs a buddy and Sage tolerates anything she does to her - probably because Sadie knows how to sneak her dog biscuits 🙄 Tell me about your pet!

Do you ever have meat free meals? 🥦 When Countdown asked me to team up with them to create a recipe using a product from their new vegetarian range of products on price lockdown, I was super excited! We are definitely not vegetarian - quite the opposite! - but after talking to you guys, I know a lot of you are trying to have 1 or 2 meat free nights per week meaning that this range of products will be right up your alley! 🥕 Countdown has lots of affordable protein options including veggie burgers, haloumi cheese and tofu to help you make healthy meals or side dishes to serve alongside meat for these late summer BBQ's. 🥩 This is actually my sister's recipe for beetroot and haloumi salad that I love and I know you will too! 🥗 Roast Beetroot and Haloumi Salad INGREDIENTS 3 or 4 medium beetroot, peeled and chopped 1 bag baby leaf spinach 1 x 180g block Haloumi cheese 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 2-3 TBSP balsamic vinegar Juice of half a lemon INSTRUCTIONS Drizzle the beetroot in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes or until cooked Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Slice the haloumi into 1cm strips and fry for 3-4 minutes each side until golden Toast the walnuts in the same pan for a few minutes until fragrant Assemble the salad by adding the spinach, beetroot, haloumi and walnuts to a bowl. Pour over the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice and toss to combine. Serve as a lunchtime salad or as a side salad for a BBQ! #sponsored #lovecountdown #healthandwellness

How have your tomatoes been this year? Grown any cool varieties I should know about for next summer? 🍅 We have had by far our BEST ever tomato year...we've eaten, bottled, frozen and cooked so many! Plus Sadie has eaten her weight in cherry tomatoes! I'm telling you, all that harping on about removing the laterals paid off! 🤣 I'll do a full garden recap on the blog in the next few weeks but these are the varieties we grew this year: 🍅 San Marzano (the Roma tomato) - these have been the BEST! Super prolific, great for eating and perfect for bottling as diced tomatoes 🍅 Cherries - Sungold (orange at the top) Honeybee (yellow at the bottom) and Windowbox (red on the right) Sungold were my FAV! Super sweet and flavourful, the Honeybees produced really well and were delicious and the Windowboxes were little bush tomatoes that were fun for something different and did really well in pots 🍅 Beefsteak - delicious tomatoes but they never grew very big...or very many 🍅 Black from Tula - a beautiful dark red/green tomato with heaps of flavour but I didn't get too many 🍅 Money maker - always a winner! Plus, I think there is one other type of tomato in there buuuut I'm not totally sure what it is! #summergarden #tomatoes

Raise your hand if you love pickles as much as I do! 🙋‍♀️ Although at this point in my life, in order to love them more than me you would have to be eating a jar every 2 days, so you know...I'm probably the biggest pickle lover 😂 🤰 I showed you on my stories how to make my favourite refrigerator pickles (story is saved in my Preserving Food highlights) and the full blog post is live in my profile...@thekiwicountrygirl 🥒 If you have gherkins or cucumbers in the garden this is the perfect thing to do with them...its quick, easy and they are SO delicious! 👌 INGREDIENTS Gherkins or cucumbers (enough to fill 2x 500ml or pint jars – for me this was 3 jumbo gherkins) 2 fresh dill sprigs 2 peeled cloves garlic (optional) 1 cup water 1 cup white vinegar 1 Tablespoon plain salt 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (optional) INSTRUCTIONS Wash the gherkins or cucumbers and cut off the ends. Slice into spears, rings or if you have gherkins small enough to fit in the jars, leave them whole. Pack into the jars and add a sprig of fresh dill and 1 peeled garlic clove to each jar. Add all remaining ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to the boil so that the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes before pouring over the gherkins or cucumbers. If you need slightly more liquid, top up with either water or vinegar. Place lids on the jars and put in the fridge. Pickles will be ready to eat in 24 hours but will continue to improve in flavour over the next few days. Pickles will keep in the fridge for at least 2 months before they lose their crispiness.

Last week Sadie learnt how to fix a trough where the cattle had knocked and managed to disconnect the pipe 🐃 Ok just kidding. Josh fixed the trough while Sadie splashed in the water, played fetch with the ballcock and was a general nuisance...a very cute one! 😂 But we all had fun, all got a little bit wet and got to spend time together as a family, so I'd call that a win!

Do you like making things? ✂️ If I see something that I love and have even a tiny inkling that I could probably make it at home, chances are that I'll give it a go. 🔨 This DIY canvas swing is most definitely my favourite project to date. I wanted one, couldn't stomach the $200 price tag so knew I had to make one...and guess what. Not even hard! 👌 This one was a team project...I did the sewing, Josh helped with the drilling and sanding and the result was the perfect swing that Sadie has spent hundreds of hours in over the last year. 🎠 The link to the full tutorial is in my profile...@thekiwicountrygirl and you can get everything you need from @mitre10nz and @spotlight stores 🏠 I'm already planning my next fences and a little red barn for Sadie's birthday in May. Tell me if you've done anything similar! 🐃

It’s not summer without ice blocks, am I right?! Sadie & I have been eating our weight in frozen treats this summer - usually smoothies in the form of popsicles because popsicles buy me way more time to sit down for a while! 🍭 I was super excited to find a recipe for Strawberry and Rhubarb Smoothies on Countdown’s Food Hub - I figured it would make the perfect popsicle and I was right. Sadie & I both loved them! Plus with rhubarb, strawberries, banana, coconut milk and just a little bit of honey, they are awesome for a healthy afternoon treat. 🍓 With a ton of awesome summer recipes using ingredients that are on Price Lockdown all summer, Countdown’s Food Hub is an awesome place to go to look for summery inspiration! 👉 🌞 Strawberry & Rhubarb Smoothie Popsicles (I halved this recipe and it made 6 ice blocks) INGREDIENTS 1 rhubarb stalk 250g strawberries (1 punnet) 1 cup coconut milk 1 banana, peeled 1 tsp honey 1 cup ice METHOD 1. Remove leaves from the rhubarb stalk. Chop the stalk into 2cm lengths. 2. Hull the strawberries by removing the green cap and leaves. 3. In a blender, add all ingredients. Blend until well combined and not too lumpy. 4. Pour into ice block moulds and freeze overnight. Enjoy! Fresh Tip: You can use any berries you like, instead of strawberries. #lovecountdown #sponsored #summer

Sadie is so happy to tell you that she is going to be a big sister in August! 💖 The extreme excitement Sadie is showing sums up exactly how we are feeling but without the side of complete and utter nervousness that comes from pregnancy after miscarriage. 🌈 We are feeling so thankful and lucky to be expecting our rainbow baby so soon...I know this is not the case for everyone, including many amazing women that I have connected with on our journey so please know that if you are in a stage of loss, uncertainty or waiting I am thinking about you all the time and hope you get your happy ending too. 💜 But for now we are celebrating the little miracle that is growing in my belly and we can't wait to meet him or her!

Drowning in zucchini? Or 3.5kg marrows? 😂 These easy zucchini fritters are going to change your lunch life!! 🥒 There are only 5 basic ingredients in these fritters and I can almost guarantee you have them all right now – eggs, flour, baking powder, salt and zucchini. Optional is feta and a small amount of lemon zest but having made these both with and without these ingredients, I highly recommend adding them – it makes them super flavourful and even if you or your kids don’t like feta (Sadie) they won’t even notice it’s in there. 🍋 Serve them with sour cream, tomato relish and avocado and you have one fancy (but so simple) lunch! 👌 INGREDIENTS 2 eggs 1/2 cup plain flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups grated zucchini (see recipe note 1) 50 grams feta (crumbled) 1/4 cup diced green or red pepper (optional) Zest of half a lemon (optional) TO SERVE Sour cream Tomato relish Avocado INSTRUCTIONS Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl and whisk together well. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until well combined. Add the zucchini and feta (and peppers and lemon zest if using) and using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix together until well combined. Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a low-medium heat (see recipe note 2) Spoon the batter into the pan (about 1 big spoonful per fritter) and cook for a few minutes each side until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the pan onto a cooling rack while you cook the remaining fritters. Serve with sour cream, tomato relish and avocado. RECIPE NOTES If you are using marrows and they are quite watery, you may need to use a clean tea towel and squeeze out any excess liquid. If you are just using regular sized zucchini this isn’t necessary. How hot the pan is will depend on the type of pan you are using. I cooked mine in a cast iron frying pan which gets quite hot, so low-medium heat is perfect. If you are using a non-stick frying pan, medium heat will be perfect.

Is there something that you just feel like you were always meant to end up doing? 🌌 My Grandad was a sheep farmer. My dad is a sheep farmer. Josh's dad and Grandad's are both sheep farmers.You could say it's in my blood. And it’s definitely in Sadie’s! 🐑 The thing is, sheep are pretty stupid. You’ve gotta have a lot of love for those little white fluff balls because they can drive you mad. So lucky for me, I have a total soft spot for them...especially the babies! 😍 Josh’s dad hurt his shoulder last week and is out of action for a while, so Josh & I were left in charge of getting the lambs ready for shearing this week. I got thrown on the drafting gate (separating the lambs that had already been shorn and the ones that needed to be crutched before shearing) and to be fair, I was a little rusty! But Josh & I found our rhythm and I only missed a few here and there! 👌 It was so nice to be out on the farm and being an actual help, rather than just hanging out watching with Sadie. And it was fun to have a bit of one on one time with Josh, doing something we both love. 👩‍🌾

Do you bottle fruit? 🍑 In case you hadn't noticed, I've become a wee bit obsessed with preserving this summer 😂 I've always done it, but this year we've gone next level and I am preserving anything and everything I can get my hands on! Plums, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, cucumbers, gherkins and just wait until my chilis are all ready! 🌶 New on the blog is a detailed post I've written on exactly how I bottle my stone fruit. I've tried to make it as straightforward and explanatory as possible so that I can share the love for what is becoming an old fashioned process! The link is in my profile if you want to check it out @thekiwicountrygirl 🍒 Also, stay tuned because this weekend we are bottling spaghetti...I'll share it on my stories, so make sure you're watching! 🍝 #preservingfood #harvest