These bacon and egg breakfast muffins are quick and easy to make, freeze really well and are perfect for preparing for busy times of year or for easy hand held meals for new mums!
Sometimes I make a recipe and then wonder why it's taken me so much of my life to get to the point where I make them. Like freezer bacon & egg breakfast muffins...they're so genius!
It's super easy to make 8 (or more) at a time and throw them in the freezer, ready to pull out for a quick breakfast or lunch on the go! The whole process only takes around 40 minutes so it's time well spent in my opinion!...
Put that packet back on the shelf! This recipe for made from scratch devilled sausages in the slow cooker, oven or multi cooker is the only one you will need! Plus how to prepare in advance to put in the freezer!
Devilled sausages are one of the ultimate comfort food meals that we never eat between October and April but feature pretty much weekly on the menu over the cooler months.
There is something about sausages and mashed potatoes covered in the most delicious sauce that just makes cold nights so much more enjoyable!...
My pregnancy with Macey was not exactly smooth sailing. Before falling pregnant with her, I had a miscarriage and then throughout the course of the pregnancy we had a lot of hiccups along the way.
At our 20 week scan the ultrasound technician told us there were cysts on her brain - these were insignificant and usually go away on their own but after spending the last 20 weeks worrying about having another miscarriage, this was something else for us to worry about!
We then had a growth scan at about 32 weeks (routine for me as I don't usually get very big) and to follow up on the cysts. The great news was the cysts had disappeared but Macey's stomach was measuring extremely small - in the 3rd percentile - and there was also a small amount of fluid on her brain. This alone wasn't a problem as it was still in the normal range, just at the higher end, but paired with the small stomach measurement was enough to have us referred to Waikato Hospital for twice weekly monitoring and fortnightly growth scans as well as a follow up scan in Auckland to check her brain. So obviously this put us into a bit of a spin! The following few weeks were full of hospital appointments and scans which all showed that baby was small but was still growing and that was positive.
The Auckland scan however was a nightmare. The doctor told us there were 2 structures in her brain that they couldn't see due to the position of the baby and how late in the pregnancy it was, so they may or may not have been there. She followed that up with some pretty grim outcomes if they were in fact missing. She then went out of the room, leaving us with that news, to double check the growth and came back to tell us she could actually see the most serious structure which was a huge relief but also had caused us huge distress in the 10 minutes since she had dropped that bombshell on us! There was still one structure they couldn't see, the corpus callosum. If it was there, we were ok, if it wasn't there, there was still a chance everything would be ok. But the other outcomes were pretty scary. We were given the option of having an amniocentesis done or waiting until the baby was born and having an MRI.
We opted to wait and see and as Macey kept growing but was still on the small side, we were booked in for induction at 39 weeks. After a very straightforward pregnancy and birth with Sadie, it was very strange to go through all of this and then be given a date to turn up at the hospital on!
The morning of Saturday 17th August rolled around and after leaving Sadie with my Mum, Josh & I headed up to the hospital. We had bags packed full of things to do as everything I had read and been told indicated that it could be a lengthy process!
Once we got settled in and I had all my checks and the nurse inserted the cervadil at 10.30am which would stay in for 24 hours. Then Josh and I just hung out! We played a couple of games, went for a walk and just chilled out which was pretty nice! I was being monitored every 6 hours to make sure baby was happy, but other than that we were pretty much free to do whatever. Around 2pm I started having tightenings - definitely nothing major but just enough to make me feel like things were starting to happen. We kept walking around (mostly because we were bored!) and tried to watch a movie but I was not super comfortable at this point so we kind of chopped and changed between things.
About 10.30pm I went to the bathroom and the cervadil fell out (it was supposed to stay in for 24 hours). We called the nurse who came and checked me and as I was already a couple of centimeters dilated she said that she would leave it out and call the delivery suite to say I was ready to come down and have my waters broken. We were told this would just be whenever they were ready for us, so to try and get some sleep. We settled down even though I was definitely not feeling that comfortable, turned off the lights and about 20 minutes later the nurse came back to say they were ready for us!
Around midnight we were taken down to the delivery suite and met the hospital midwife who would be taking care of us. She did all the checks, got me hooked up to the monitors and at around 1am she broke my waters. This was such a strange feeling as my waters never really broke with Sadie - this time I certainly knew about it!
After breaking my waters the midwife said they would give my body an hour or so to get into established labour and if that didn't happen they would start the drugs to kick start it at that point. Well my body didn't need telling twice and got straight to work with strong contractions starting to hit immediately! Within the hour I was well into established labour, so the midwife just let me do my thing which was very limited as I was hooked up to monitors so couldn't get off the bed. It was super frustrating as I was very mobile and in the shower for Sadie's birth which I loved - I did not like being on a bed at all!
My contractions were so full on right from the start and with almost no break in between that I opted to use the gas. Initially I didn't think it was that great but the distraction of it was enough to take the edge off.
Around 2.15am the hospital midwife called my midwife to come, as she could see that things were progressing fairly quickly. The only problem with this, was that each time I had a contraction, Macey's heartrate dropped. They weren't really sure what was causing this, so the doctor who was on that night kept popping in to check on me, just in case we were going to need to go in for a c-section. As it turned out, it was just because she was moving down so quickly but there was no way of knowing that at the time!
At this point I was in a lot of pain and was a little bit worried about the heartrate dropping, which was not a great combination! The midwives encouraged me to change positions and lie on my side which wasn't that great either and then eventually I was allowed off the bed to go to the bathroom. I was on my way back when suddenly I felt like I needed to push. I got up onto the bed on my hands and knees and tried to get comfortable - impossible! The gas took a bit of a hammering at this point! The hospital midwife suggested she might check me to see where I was at, but I was pretty confident that it wasn't necessary - this baby was on the way! My midwife was absolutely wonderful and just let me do what I needed to do without having to be checked which was great.
After a couple of massive contractions and a few long draws on the gas I started feeling pretty dizzy, so stopped the gas and immediately started pushing. And less than 10 minutes later, at 3.05am on Sunday 18th August, we had our second sweet baby girl!!
Macey was passed straight up to me and we were able to have some great skin to skin time while I birthed the placenta. And Macey's umbilical cord was one of the longest my midwife had seen! Macey passed her checks with flying colours and latched on for a feed almost immediately which was great.
Everything was going great, so my midwife went home about 4am and then at 5am I ended up having a post partum hemorrhage which was pretty unpleasant. I had to have an oxytocin infusion and a catheter put in which was the worst part of the entire birth process.
At 7am once things settled down, we were transferred up to the maternity ward. Macey was 6lb 2oz and below the 10th percentile which meant she needed to have her blood sugars checked every 3 hours until she had 3 good tests in a row. She also had to be checked over by the pediatrician before she was allowed out and I needed to get my catheter taken out. Luckily Macey's tests were all fine, I was cleared and at 2pm we were allowed to leave. Right before we left, Macey had a choking episode - she brought up a lot of mucus that needed to be suctioned out. She was fine but it was super scary - especially as we were both absolutely exhausted after being up all night and stuck in the ward in a shared room for the last 7 hours.
We were finally able to leave and head to the birthing centre for a couple of nights. I was still feeling very overwhelmed after the whole ordeal but the second we walked through the door to River Ridge I breathed a huge sigh of relief. We had our baby (who by all accounts looked absolutely perfect) and we were out of hospital and at the amazing baby hotel for a couple of days to just hang out with our new baby!
Mum bought Sadie in to meet her new baby sister and it was pretty much the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life. Such a special meeting! We bought a present to give to Sadie from the baby which was a doll for her to take care of and she absolutely loved her!
After 2 nights at the birthing centre we headed home to settle in to life as a family of 4!
She's here!! We are so excited to introduce the newest member of our family, baby girl number 2, Macey Claire!
She joined us at 3.05am on Sunday 18th August and we could not be any happier....
The ultimate guide to filling your freezer to make meal times easy! Here is my list of freezer meal prep ideas for new parents, busy times of year on the farm or just to be organised!
With baby number 2's arrival only a couple of weeks away, I'm happy to say my freezer is officially full!
When I was pregnant with Sadie I prepared a few meals for the freezer but knowing what life is like with a toddler and having a pretty fair idea of what I'm in for with a newborn this time, I knew I wanted to be much better organised this time around. To be honest, I actually found cooking dinners with just Sadie as a baby easy enough, but the thought of preparing dinner for Sadie, getting her to bed, dealing with the witching hours of a newborn and trying to get something healthy and delicious on the table for Josh and I was completely overwhelming and something that I knew I could have control over if I was organised.
So the ultimate list for pre baby meal prep was born and I got cooking!...
As a parent, the biggest thing that I've learnt is that I am pretty much never going to be on time for anything, ever again and that goes for these updates too! I just really wanted to get it done before this next baby joins us as I know I'll be even more behind once that happens!
Sadie turned 2 at the end of May and I seriously do not know how that happened so fast. The last year has just flown by and we now have a real little girl, not just a baby anymore!...
How to make instant pot pumpkin puree in 30 minutes! No peeling, cutting or preparation required, just simple pumpkin puree in the instant pot or multi cooker. Perfect for pie, bread or soup!
It's been about 6 months since I've had my multi cooker (or instant pot) and I keep figuring out amazing things to do with it all the time!
So far cooking rice, beans and porridge/oatmeal are an almost daily occurrence but since our gigantic pumpkin harvest, cooking a whole pumpkin in the multi cooker is my new favourite thing!...
Everyone needs a recipe for chocolate self saucing pudding! This delicious dessert is saucy, chocolate comfort food at it's best! Serve with vanilla ice cream for the perfect after dinner treat.
When I was a kid, chocolate self saucing pudding was always my favourite and apparently, that has not changed!
I mean, what's not to love? Delicious chocolate cake, sprinkled with brown sugar and cocoa and topped with water that magically turns into the most amazing chocolate sauce.
How does it even happen??!!...
This easy one pot sausage pasta is going to become a regular on your weekly meal rotation! 30 minutes from start to finish and everything (including the pasta) is cooked in one pot!
So, Sadie has started doing this really awesome thing where she likes to try and climb out of her cot at nap time.
We had this perfect plan that we would paint the new room, buy her a big girl bed and then at the start of August (time before the baby arrives) make a big deal out of moving her into a new room and bed and it would be happy days.
But of COURSE, like anything parenting, things don't ever go as planned, so given that the room is not ready to paint and we have no idea what bed we are buying her, I think we are now going to take the side off her cot and slowly start the transition into a bed that way....
This cheesy spinach cob loaf recipe is the most delicious appetizer ever! The best spinach cheese dip served up in a homemade cob loaf and ready to dip toasty bread into!
I'm at the point in this pregnancy where I'm well and truly past the "I don't feel good, only bread and cheese will do" stage and have moved gracefully onto the "I'm pregnant and I will eat as much bread and cheese as I like" stage. It's a good one!...
A simple cob loaf recipe - the perfect bread for sandwiches or for a delicious stuffed cheesy cob loaf!
It's been so long since I've shared a bread recipe with you! So I'm back with a really great one that not only makes delicious sandwich bread, it also is just what you need to fill up with a delicious cheesy filling to make a cheesy spinach cob loaf!
Because, of course you can buy a cob loaf from the supermarket (although I have actually struggled to find them before!) but you KNOW that making it from scratch makes the whole thing so much better!...
A step by step tutorial showing you exactly how to make delicious sugar free homemade stewed apples and how to can applesauce - the perfect way to preserve the apple harvest and great to have on hand for roast pork, baby food or quick desserts!
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting The Kiwi Country Girl.
After a little break from all the preserving fruit and veggies I did over summer I'm back at it with the autumn harvest! And can I just say, canning (or bottling) is so much more enjoyable when it's not 30°C and you are leaning over a hot stove!
Canning applesauce is the most fun!
I've always stewed apples to have around for roast pork, baby food options or just to add to a quick apple crumble over winter but I've always frozen it. Nothing wrong with that method (in fact, I did some like that this year too) but I always forget to take it out of the freezer in time so end up having to hurriedly try and defrost it right as I'm serving up. Not ideal!...
These spiced apple muffins are the perfect autumn baking treat. Full of fresh apples and yummy spices, these muffins are perfect for lunchboxes, morning tea or for stocking up the freezer!
Ok ok I'm finally ready to admit it's autumn. I go through this battle every single year. I hold onto summer for as long as humanely possible i.e. until my toes start falling off because I am still wearing jandals even though it's under 10°C.
But I can't help it! As much as I think I like the idea of dressing warm and snuggling up inside with a hot drink I just don't like winter. I hate being cold, being stuck inside does not agree with me (or Sadie!) and I would just much rather be at the beach....
Fruity, spicy delicious homemade hot cross buns! Step by step photos and instructions to help you make the perfect Easter buns this year!
This post was originally published in March 2016 – it has been retested, rephotographed and republished (to make it better for you!) in April 2019
It's nearly Easter! And guess how many Easter Eggs I've already eaten? Trick question. Actually none. Probably because we are still working our way through the mountain of Christmas chocolate we were given. Yes, we are thooooose people that can sit in a room with chocolate and not eat it. How? No idea, but the pull of the miniature Reese's Pieces Eggs is getting stronger. I give it til Wednesday. Until then, let's make my favourite Easter treat...hot cross buns!
Before we start I'd like to point out that making bread is a long process. The whole process from start to finish will take you about 3 hours, maybe longer if you dawdle...as I tend to do. But don't fret! This does include about 2 hours rising time so it's not all hands on, leaving lots of time for kitchen dance parties and watching Adele carpool karaoke on YouTube.
The ingredient list also looks quite long, but it's all simple stuff. It may seem daunting, but I can assure you, it will be totally worth it. The smell of freshly baked hot cross buns is drool worthy, and they taste SO much better than the buns you get from the supermarket. Especially with a 4 day weekend coming up (YAY)...do it!!...
Today is the launch of the first ever product on my site!
I've been working on this Burrito Spice Ebook for almost 6 months now and I'm so excited that it's ready!
Homemade Burrito Spice Mix was one of the first recipes I published on my blog and it's been the most popular since then. So of course it was a natural step to create a whole recipe book full of delicious recipes that all use it!
Here is what's in the book:
- Homemade Burrito Spice Mix
- 5 minute blender salsa
- Refried beans
- Queso Fundido (Mexican Cheese Dip)
- Breakfast Burritos
- Mexican Chicken Soup
- Bean quesadillas
- Mexican rice
- Beef burritos
- Mexican lasagne
- Chicken fajitas
- Crispy chicken burritos
- Chicken burrito bowls
- Slow cooker chicken enchiladas
- Fish tacos
- Slow cooker Mexican pulled pork
- Pork tacos
Some of the recipes are already on the blog and have been reader favourites for a while, but most are brand new and you can only find them in the ebook.
For this week only (April 1st to April 8th 2019) you can get the book for only $9.99NZD which is a steal for how many amazing recipes are in there, so head over to the shop and grab a copy now!
I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as we do!
This Mexican Chicken Soup is warm and comforting but is also filling enough for a main meal. Serve with corn chips, sour cream and salsa for the perfect Mexican meal!
My brand new e-book "The Burrito Spice Cookbook" is here! 18 Mexican inspired appetizers and mains that your whole family will love!
So, I never thought soup would be a dinner meal in our house and to be honest, when Josh saw soup on the menu, I genuinely think he might have been somewhat disappointed. And nervous.
But this recipe wouldn't be making it to the blog if he wasn't a fan and Mexican Chicken Soup was not only a winner that night, it's now part of our regular rotation!...
What worked in our garden this summer, what didn't and the plant varieties that we loved!
We've had our last beach weekend for the summer so I'm now officially starting to try and get out of summer mode and embrace autumn. But it's HARD!! I am such a summer girl and the thought of winter approaching makes me kind of sad!
I've planned and planted some of our autumn/winter garden but I thought before I forget what we did over summer I would write it all down so that I remember for next year and also to share with you what worked well and what wasn't as successful!...
This Vietnamese beef noodle salad is packed full of flavour. It's easy to prepare, so colourful and is a delicious meal!
Usually we eat really simple, classic meals like spaghetti bolognese, cheesy mince pasta or ribs for dinner and my truck driving husband is the happiest man out. And then other days I make him strange exotic things like Vietnamese beef noodle salads. I like to keep him on his toes! Do you know what though? He still eats it and enjoys it and says all the right things. How lucky am I?! But you know he is so happy when we have sausages, mashed potatoes and peas the next night!...
The perfect refreshing summer drink - my cold brew peach iced tea recipe! 5 minutes prep and just leave it to brew for a few hours.
Do you like iced tea? Until a few years ago it wasn't something I ever drank other than the occasional sugary flavoured bottle that you can buy from the supermarket.
But then we travelled to the Southern USA and iced tea was EVERYWHERE! Also, it was literally 100 degrees (Farenheit!) so when water wasn't cutting it, iced tea was the winner.
In the south they drink iced tea either sweetened or unsweetened. I'm usually an unsweetened girl when it comes to coffee and drinks but in this case, a mix of the two was perfect....
These easy refrigerator pickles only take 10 minutes to prepare and are crunchy, tangy and super delicious! Perfect on burgers, with hot dogs or just as a snack, they are a great way to use up gherkins and cucumbers from the garden!
Calling all pregnant ladies - today is your day! If you are a vinegary pickle craving mum-to-be like I am, you are going to go NUTS over these easy refrigerator pickles. I wasn't lying when I said I've been going through jars of these babies in the last few weeks.
But I've got a good system sorted now. Make 2 jars at a time. Eat one jar over a couple of days. Make another jar. Still have one jar left in the fridge with this one almost ready to go. It's a constant pickle cycle where no one goes without pickles.
If you love canned spaghetti, you need to know how to make it at home. Here is our family recipe, with step by step photos and instructions!
Up until a few years ago, I had NO idea you could make your own bottled spaghetti. We were at Josh's parents house for breakfast and Carol bought a jug of spaghetti to the table. It looked like bought spaghetti but it certainly didn't taste like it - it was SO much better!
The following year I helped Carol make it and since then we have become obsessed with this homemade spaghetti - Sadie too! And because you guys are loving all the preserving recipes I've been sharing, I knew I had to write this one up too....