a berry fun afternoon

If you popped into Quotidien or follow me on Twitter you would know that yesterday we hopped in the car for a little road trip and went berry picking. A great diversion for a holiday afternoon, the small ones are berry fans and loved the idea of picking their own. The farm had a great selection too of raspberries, brambleberries, blueberries among others. You got your bucket and off you traipsed among the bushes, popping a few samples in your mouth as you went along.

There was also a lavender hedge filled with butterflies and buzzing bees, I’ve never seen so many butterflies in the one place outside the centre at the zoo. And the best part, we have fresh berries to pop on our cereal and cook some delicious treats with this week.

this is not a nature walk: peppermint bark and rocky road

Faced with putting together the end of year teacher’s gifts {thankfully only two this year} on a tight deadline {as in the last week of school}, I decided it was the thought that counts as I started a flurry of activity in the kitchen making some homemade treats.

I was inspired by some quick and simple recipes I spied around the bloggy traps, and this year, in a little silver gift bag and tied with silver ribbon, the small ones’ teachers will be munching, or giving to someone else, the following:

  • Peppermint bark {pictured} ~ thanks to Kim’s recipe here. Although does anyone else have trouble unwrapping candy canes.
  • Rocky road ~ thanks to Corrie’s recipe here {although being a nut-free school and all, I erred on the side of caution and threw in some scotch finger biscuits instead of nuts and left out the sultanas, also means the leftovers are kid-friendly for my two who will now be raiding the pantry all through the day}
  • Caramel popcorn ~ I used Sweet Paul’s recipe here {the caramel was surprisingly easy ~ neither it or I had a meltdown} and planned to mould the balls on candy canes. You need to work really quickly and it is really hot. I was calm in the face of disaster and put it in cupcake wrappers for eating and bagged some up to complete my gift trio.

I’m thinking the peppermint bark might make another appearance in the lead-up to Christmas. It’s easy to make and is lovely and festive.

around here

A quick snapshot of what’s been happening around these parts over the Christmas break. Taking it a bit easy this week, remembering what it means to relax, taking time to regroup and hang as a family. Tis a bit nice!

Meringue in the making. We made meringue ~ for the first time ~ for Christmas dinner. With help from Jamie Oliver. The first one, well our over efficient oven cooked it far too quickly and it browned. In 20 minutes. Fail.

Luckily, take two turned out just fabulous, with the addition of whipped cream and tons of local berries.

We also feasted on some figgy puddings, courtesy of donna hay.

We used up the leftover baked pumpkin in ravioli, mixed with goat’s cheese. It gets my vote for best use of leftovers this year.

The day after Christmas ~ lego building time.

One last Christmas lights shot ~ all over for another year.

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