Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas Blog!

I'm going home for Christmas tomorrow and might be M.I.A in the bloggersphere for about 2 weeks! ah yes, two whole weeks of sunshine, strawberries,seashells, friend catch ups,swimming and hugs from Mum:) But never fair I'll be back next year with more tasty treats from my kitchen to share.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season.

 Love Sezasaurus xx

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Jamie Oliver's mulled wine:


• 2 clementines (or I think any orange will do really)
• peel of 1 lemon
• peel of 1 lime
• 250g caster sugar
• 6 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 3 fresh bay leaves
• 1 whole nutmeg
• 1 whole vanilla pod, halved
• 2 star anise
• 2 bottles of Italian red wine

This is dead easy to make and tastes like Christmas in a glass. It’s a lovely celebration of those traditional festive spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you’ve got your own favourite spices, then feel free to add those to the pot too. Let everything cook away and warm up gently so the flavours have time to mingle with the wine. I like to leave my mulled wine ticking over on a really low heat and just ladle some into glasses as and when guests pop in.

Peel large sections of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you’ve got a beautiful thick syrup. The reason I’m doing this first is to create a wonderful flavour base by really getting the sugar and spices to infuse and blend well with the wine. It’s important to do make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.

When your syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and both bottles of wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Iced coffee love

Its 81 percent humidity in Wellington today and I'm sweating up a storm to say the least! I decided that hot coffee was craziness so decided to try my luck at making iced coffee instead. Delish!

Iced coffee:

strong instant coffee (I used Moccona espresso)
vanilla ice cream
hot water
ice cubes

Add two heaped teaspoons of instant coffee to a large mug or glass, pour in 2-3 tablespoons of hot water just enough to dissolve the coffee. Top up the glass with milk and place two large scoops of icecream on top, give it all a stir with a couple of ice cubes in the mix and that's it!

If you want to be a little bit fancy (like the picture) sprinkle nutmeg or cinnamon on top, and if your not a big coffee drinker just replace the coffee with milo or drinking chocolate. James loved his non coffee version just as much.

Monday, 13 December 2010


On the weekend we went home for a friends wedding and this meant we got to see some of our lovely Auckland friends, but it also meant we got to have Dunkin donuts! Wellington doesn't have any Donut stores which is a bit of an outrage really. Which has led me to hunt the internet looking for a home-made doughnut recipe, and viola! This is what I found. These are home-made baked (not fried) donuts.

Now in keeping with my December Christmas recipes I thought I'd make them into Christmas shapes and with Christmas icing. Something a little like these:

Okay, those are Krispy Kreme ones, so that might be a little bit to challenging! Still, so pretty aren't they?

Christmas Treat #2: Baked Donuts

1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour (alternately, white whole wheat might work - haven't tried it yet)
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments - if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time.

You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Most people (like myself) don't have a doughnut cutter, instead I use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.

Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen medium doughnuts.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Tis the season to be jolly!

I love Christmas time! And even though I've never had a white Christmas I can dream right? Here are some of my favourite Christmas photos I thought I'd share with you. There's something really magical about snow, I have to confess I've never seen 'real' snow... I've never even been skiing, although I intend to change this as soon as I can. I'm a southern hemisphere girl through and through, the only Christmas is I know involves shorts, jandles and bbq's. But  I love to look at 'white Christmas' pictures and get caught up in the winter Christmas spirit of it all, so I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

My Christmas is more like this:

Don't get me wrong, its all I know & I love it! Merry Christmas, which ever kind your having x

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Happy first of December!

In honour of December I am posting the first of my holiday Christmas treats today!

I baked these yesterday just to make sure they were as delicious as I remembered, and you'll be happy to know they were even MORE delicious! I hope you enjoy them:)

This was originally the "Herseys cookie recipe" but I've modified it (for maximum deliciousness purposes)

Christmas Treat #1: Snow top chocolate mint cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup of cocoa
  •  1 cup (12-oz. pkg.) dark Chocolate Chips or mint flavoured chocolate bar
  • 1 drop of peppermint essence
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add eggs; beat well.
 Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in chocolate,cocoa and peppermint (the result is the glorious chocolatey mixture below).
 Roll teaspoon sized balls of cookie dough in icing sugar and drop onto ungreased cookie sheet. 

 Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.  When mine had finshed baking they didnt have that much icing sugar left for the "snow top" effect I was going for so I just dipped them back into the bowl of icing sugar. Perfect!


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