A tangy and sweet zucchini relish recipe that is the perfect way to use up excess zucchini or courgette from the garden and enjoy it all year long on hotdogs, burgers, cheese boards and in sandwiches.
Making and decorating a gingerbread house can seem like a daunting project but it's really very simple! Let me walk you through how to bake your own houses and my best tips for decorating them with kids and I've included a free printable template!
One of my kids absolute favourite Christmas traditions is making and decorating gingerbread houses. I had made a couple over the years but never with kids (we stuck to standard gingerbread cookies) and it wasn't until a friend of mine suggested we do it together as a December activity that we decided to give it a try.
Of course the first year we decided to go for it we both had new babies (making a grand total of 7 kids between us aged 7 and under!!) But would you believe that we pulled it off and now all of the older kids start asking about when we are doing it again by about July!...
How to preserve tomatoes without cooking, canning or bottling them, here are 3 easy methods for freezing them for use all year long! Methods for whole tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and diced tomatoes.
If there is one thing I can never grow enough of in my summer garden, it is tomatoes. There is nothing that tastes more like summer to me than a fresh tomato on a piece of sourdough bread. But what I really love about tomatoes is that they are such a versatile ingredient - particularly if you love to preserve like I do!
They are something we use year round in so many meals, so once I've finished making all the salsa, pasta sauce and tomato jam that I can manage, I always love freezing some tomatoes to use year round....
For a Christmas appetizer or as a side dish to the main meal, you can't go past this cheesy, pesto Christmas tree pull apart bread. Make it ahead of time and freeze or bake fresh on the day....
Hearty, healthy bacon hock soup using a bacon or ham hock or bones and and any vegetables you have on hand. Make it in the slow cooker or instant pot and serve with fresh bread for a warming winter meal!
Bacon hock soup is a classic winter soup and is a fabulous way to pack loads of nutrition into one bowl. It's also one of those recipes that everyone makes just a little bit differently - the way my Mum and Granny make it is different to how Josh's Mum and Nana make it and then I make it slightly different again! But that is the joy of a soup like this, it is never exactly the same twice and you can change it up to suit your families tastebuds!
Try as I might, soup just doesn't pass as dinner for my meat and veg loving husband (although my Mexican Chicken Soup just scrapes through!) so we save this one for weekend lunches, served alongside a buttered piece of fresh sourdough or no-knead bread.[feast_advanced_jump_to]
- Bacon hock - the bacon hock (also called a ham hock in some places) is like a mini ham and is perfect to use in this soup as you will get plenty of meat off the bone. You can also use bacon bones which is what I usually use as this is what we get with our homekill pork.
- Soup mix or split peas - this is what bulks up the soup and makes it super thick and filling. I prefer to use a pre bought, unflavoured mix of lentils, split peas and barley.
- Vegetables - this soup is a fantastic way to clear out the fridge of all the odds and ends of vegetables that need to be used. I like using onion, garlic, carrot, celery, grated kumara or pumpkin, silverbeet or spinach, but anything goes!
- Slice, dice or grate all vegetables into desired size. Because I have kids of various ages, I prefer to very finely chop or grate my vegetables making it easy for them to eat (and not as obvious how many vegetables are hiding in there!)
- Add all soup ingredients to your slow cooker or instant pot/pressure cooker. Cook for time specified in recipe card.
3. Remove bacon hock or bones from the soup and shred the meat.
4. Add the shredded meat back into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir through fresh parsley.
Hint: Grating vegetables makes them almost disappear into the soup which is a great way to get kids to eat a whole lot of veggies that they might otherwise turn up their nose at!
Cooked soup keeps in the fridge in a sealed container for 1 week. Any leftovers can also be frozen and will keep in the freezer for 6 months.
I like freezing soup in individual portions for a quick, healthy meal for myself during the day or if I'm home alone for dinner. Empty plastic peanut butter jars or margarine containers are excellent for this! Or freeze portions in silicone muffin tins (see them in action here), pop them out and transfer to a large snaplock bag or freezer proof container.
Definitely! This method works really well with beef shin bones or chicken too or with the leftover Christmas ham bone!
We get ours with our homekill pork but you can easily pick them up from the supermarket or ask at your local butcher.
It freezes extremely well, I like freezing it in individual portions for a quick lunch or lazy dinner!
I have used almost every vegetable in this soup at one stage or another and they have all been good! My favourite ones to use are actually anything that is left in the bottom of the fridge looking a little sad - such a great way to use them up!
Bacon Hock and Vegetable Soup (slow cooker and instant pot)
- 500 grams bacon hock or bacon bones
- 3 cups vegetables grated or finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups soup mix lentils, split peas, barley
- 8 cups water
- Salt & pepper
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
- Add bacon hock or bones, vegetables and soup mix to the inner pot of a slow cooker or instant pot or to a large stockpot on the stove. Cover with water and place the lid on.
- Cook for 8 hours on low or until the meat is starting to fall off the bone.
Instant Pot/Multi cooker
- Ensure the valve is in the sealed position and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before quick releasing any remaining pressure.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 2 hours or until the meat is starting to fall off the bone.
- Use tongs to transfer the cooked bacon hock or bones to a chopping board. Use forks to remove all meat from the bones and shred. Discard the bones and return the shredded meat to the soup and stir through.
- Taste the soup and season well with salt and pepper and stir through fresh parsley.
- Serve immediately with fresh bread.
- You can use any combination of vegetables you like - I love using onion, carrot, celery, kumara, pumpkin and silverbeet or spinach.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 6 months.
This yeast leavened overnight waffle recipe is mixed up the night before and stored in the fridge, ready to make fresh waffles in the morning with next to no effort required! It takes 5 minutes to mix up the batter and it is all made in one bowl....
There is no denying it, beef mince is an absolute staple ingredient to base meals around. It's cheap, tasty, kid friendly and incredibly versatile!
If you are a farmer like us and have a freezer full of homekill beef mince, you will always be looking for new ways to use it!
Here are more than 40 amazing recipes using beef mince that you can try when you need inspiration. Some are favourites from my website, others are new ideas from around the web. All of the recipes are linked, so you can easily click through and find something for dinner now!...
A step by step guide to canning/bottling peaches using a water bath canner. Perfect for beginners, home canned peaches are a delicious way to enjoy in season peaches year round....
A step by step guide to canning/bottling diced tomatoes, perfect for beginners - they are a pantry staple and the perfect way to preserve an abundance of tomatoes in the garden....
I just cannot believe how perfectly Finn has fit into our family! Maybe because he's the third baby and he doesn't have a choice but also probably because he is such a content, peaceful baby that unless he's hungry or mid nappy change we barely know he's there!
Although in saying that, he is not getting left alone for one minute - between the girls wanting to cuddle and kiss him all day long and me making the most of every sleepy newborn cuddle I can get, this baby is barely ever put down!...
Our baby is a boy!!!
We are so excited to share that this handsome wee man, Finlay Colin MacDonald (Finn), joined our family on Monday 25th October 2021 at 10.23am weighing in at 8lb 4oz. We could not be more excited to have him here!! And still sort of in shock that after 2 beautiful girls we have a little boy!...
Simple to make, this easy recipe for decadent chocolate truffles will be your new go to when you need to take a plate. Made using pantry staples with only 30 minutes hands on time, they can even be made ahead of time and frozen! They are the perfect no bake dessert.
When you think back to your childhood, is there a particular recipe that just stands out? For me, it is definitely my Mum's famous chocolate truffles. No family event was ever without a huge plate of them for good reason - they are an absolute treat, popular with adults and kids alike and are just SO darn good!...
Our smart, curious, kind and loving big girl Sadie is 4!! And what a year it has been!...
Simple but impressive, this no bake cheesecake is a real crowd pleaser. The white chocolate and boysenberry flavours make it an absolute treat!
Disclaimer: This post is a paid partnership with Countdown Supermarkets. All content and opinions are my own....
Pull apart bread is such a useful recipe! It makes a great side dish for dinner, goes perfectly with soup for lunch and is the best thing to take to a potluck!
It's been a while since I've shared a new bread recipe, so why not get everyone back into bread making in time for the cooler months of comfort food with a made from scratch bread challenge! This is the April "made from scratch" challenge - if you missed the last ones, you can check out all of the previous challenge recipes here....
This fruity peach cobbler is the easiest dessert to make. Use any fruit you have and enjoy all year round!
Oh hey there dessert lovers! It's been way too long between delicious desserts around here so I'm back with one that is going to knock your socks off!...
Chicken fried rice is a quick and easy meal that the whole family will love. It comes together in less than 30 minutes and is a really budget friendly meal!
Disclaimer: This post is a paid partnership with Countdown Supermarkets. All content and opinions are my own
When it comes to dinner, especially after a busy day I am all about something that is quick, easy, healthy and that my kids will actually eat. This chicken fried rice is exactly that!...
The perfect sauce to make the most of fresh summer tomatoes and basil. You can bottle it, freeze it or eat it right away. Perfect for pasta, on pizza, with meatballs, in spaghetti bolognese or in lasagne.
It's the March "made from scratch" challenge! If you missed the last ones, you can check out all of the previous challenge recipes here....
A simple recipe for canning tomato salsa - easy to follow step by step instructions, even if you are a newbie canner!
First up, a HUGE thank you to Mel from Mel's Kitchen Café for allowing me to share this recipe here - it is Mel's original recipe that I have been making for a few years now, I've just adjusted the ingredients and measurements to make it easy to follow for anyone in New Zealand. Make sure you check out Mel's website for an unbelievable collection of tried and true recipes!...
A beginners guide to using the water bath canning / preserving method. Equipment needed, why it is important and how to do it!
I know, I know, back in the day our grandmothers all just filled up their jars, popped a lid on and called it a day. Nobody died (we hope!) and it was all good.
Well fast forward to today and we now know just a little bit more about how to process food safely to help it store longer and taste better....
Make pizza night more interesting with stromboli - a pizza roll stuffed full of meat and gooey cheese that makes the perfect dinner and lunch leftovers!
Disclaimer: This post is a paid partnership with Countdown Supermarkets. All content and opinions are my own.
It's that time of year when we are suddenly back into routine but still want to feel like it's summer for a little bit longer!...
A simple recipe for homemade pasta - 4 ingredients and options for using a pasta machine or by hand.
We eat a lot of pasta in our house. It's my favourite and of course, toddlers pretty much love nothing more than plain pasta, right?!
So it was only natural that eventually I was going to need a homemade pasta recipe that I could fall back on and make with whatever I had on hand....
A simple method for freezing in season blueberries (and other berries) using the free flow method. Perfect for using in smoothies, baking or just enjoying as a healthy snack!
Something I have learnt about preserving food over the last few years is that the number 1 rule is to preserve what you will eat!!
If you have a glut of tomatoes but don't like tomato relish, there is no point in making jars and jars of it. But if you use tins of tomatoes in meals all the time, it makes sense to can diced tomatoes (method coming soon!)...
How to make simple homemade strawberry jam from scratch! Only 2 ingredients and easy to follow step by step instructions to help you master homemade jam!
Welcome to the first monthly made from scratch challenge! At the start of each month I will post a new recipe (or project) that you can make from scratch along with me! The whole point of this challenge is for me to learn something new to make from scratch and share it with you and for you to hopefully be encouraged to try something new. You can find all the details in this post.
This delicious strawberry jam is enough to convince any jam hater - and even if you have never made jam before, the step by step instructions should make what can seem like a daunting process, very simple!...