15 December 2015

Christmas Day canapés - DIY-buttermilk blinis

I made a batch of pikelets on the weekend, for Harry to take to school as part of a shared lunch.  It had been a while since I'd bothered making these delicious little morsels, and I'd forgotten how quick they are to make, and how many you get in a batch (I make small, bite-sized pikelets).  Anyhoo, it got me thinking that these would be a good base for some Christmas Day canapés.  

However, I want these to be less sweet than your typical pikelets, otherwise known in their smaller-size as blinis, so I reduced the amount of sugar used, added some lemon zest to the mix, and used buttermilk in place of milk (actually, I used milk with lemon juice, canny eh?).  The result?  Light little blinis which are going to be perfect with a little cream cheese and salmon.  This batch will be long gone before Christmas, but I'll make another next week (though you can make these now, and freeze them until you need them).  

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
up to 1/4 cup sugar 
1 egg 
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk with juice of half lemon squeezed in)
zest of one lemon
  1. Squeeze lemon juice into milk, if making your own buttermilk.  Set aside for a few minutes.  
  2. Put everything into a bowl and stir to combine, until free of lumps.  
  3. Melt butter in pan, fry in batches.  Remove to cooling rack, or eat straight away.  

09 December 2015

Frankincense to offer have I

I like Christmas carols.  I know they can be annoying, especially in shopping malls, but there's just something a little bit magical about some of them.  We Three Kings is one I've always liked, so when I saw some lotion bars on Wellness Mama using gold, frankincense and myrrh, I knew they were something I needed to try.  And they smell and look so beautiful, I can't wait to give them to people for Christmas!  I made two batches, one as Katie did on her blog, and one which used different oils, as an adjustment for skin sensitive to fragrances.  

Gold, frankincense and myrrh bars

1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup shea butter
1/3 cup beeswax
2 tsp gold mica powder (I reduced this from the original 'cause I was using a very very fine satin mica - if you use a more coarse mica, like a sparkly mica, you may like to up this to 1 tbsp)
15 drops each frankincense and myrrh essential oils
5-10 drops peppermint essential oil

Sensitive skin bars 

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup shea butter
1/3 cup beeswax
1 tsp gold mica powder
calendula petals 
5-10 drops lavender essential oil (optional, I left this out this time) 

  1. Melt shea butter, beeswax and coconut/olive oil in a double boiler (I put them in a large glass jar, which I then put into a pot with some boiling water in it).  
  2. When all melted, remove from heat and add other ingredients (I left the sensitive skin batch on for a while, to allow the calendula to release its goodness into the oil). 
  3. Carefully pour into silicon muffin tins, or into deodorant containers, like the white ones I used - I bought those from Go Native NZ.  
  4. Once hardened, rub onto skin for a nourishing natural shimmer.  

04 December 2015

Havana Christmas - aka vanilla latte sugar scrub

Coffee, sugar, vanilla, coconut...sounds like a festive hot drink.  And you could totally make an amazing drink from this, I'm sure.  I love the smell of coffee and I love drinking coffee, so I'm pretty excited to be adding it into my skincare routine.  This simple scrub smells like a vanilla latte, hence its name, and leaves the skin really silky.  It smells and looks sophisticated, but is incredibly simple and inexpensive to make, so makes a perfect gift for friends and family for Christmas!  I'm going to make a second batch, so I can keep some too!

Here's a run-down of the benefits of these tasty ingredients...
  • Coconut Oil – naturally nourishes skin (I used an organic virgin oil which is also super cheap, from Go Native NZ - $21/kg!!)
  • Olive Oil – contains antioxidants 
  • Coffee - caffeine has a tightening and stimulating affect on skin 
  • Sugar - naturally exfoliates
  • Vanilla – smells good :) 
1/4 cup finely ground dry coffee (I used my favourite, Havana)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil 
2 tbsp olive oil (it was supposed to be made with castor oil, but I didn't have any)
1 tsp vanilla essence 
  1. Place coffee and sugar in medium-sized bowl. 
  2. Add vanilla, mix well. 
  3. Add oils and stir with a fork until well mixed and moistened.  
  4. Stir in an air-tight container.  
Keep in the shower, so you always have it handy to keep your skin feeling great!