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Our Christmas party last weekend was lots of fun! Loads of people came up throughout the day. It was nice to see the kids taking full advantage of what was there to play with!

It was a really hot day, we ate, drank and were MERRY!

This photo is of John, John his wife Ronda and son Ben drove all the way from Levin to share the day with us, it was lovely to have them here!

You may not know this but I love to cook, when I left school I went to hair dressing collage and then I headed off to a cooking course just before I moved to Queenstown, one of New Zealand's treasured places. So I thought it would be nice to share with you some fun recipes to make over the holidays and a few photos I took last Sunday at our Christmas Party.

Chai Tea Recipe
(This lovely little angel is Maia)

Add together:

1 Tbsp fennel or anise seed
6 green cardamom pods
12 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4" ginger root, sliced thin
1/4 tsp black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
7 Cups water
2 Tbsp Darjeeling tea,

bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes
Then add:

6 Tbsp honey or brown sugar
1 Cup milk


Persimmon Salad - 4 servings
(Here we have Tony and Rob)


2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 large bulb)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
4 persimmons, each cut into 6 wedges and peeled
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled goat cheese


Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add fennel, chives, and persimmons; toss gently to coat. Divide fennel mixture evenly among 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

(And of course my wonderful man Shaughan)

300g Rolled Oats
150g Barley Flakes
150g Oatmeal
250g Brazil, Hazelnuts and Walnuts (whole or chopped)
100g Sunflower Seeds
50g Wheatgerm
50g Oat bran
250g Chopped Apricots

Combine together and store in an air tight container it will last up to 3 weeks.

These are merely guidelines, substitute different grains fruits and nuts as you wish.

Galliano Liqueur
(This is Jane eating Mum's Pavlova, yummy!)

2 cups Sugar
2 cups Water
1 tbsp Lime Juice
6 drops Anise Essence
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
4 drops of Yellow Food Colouring
2 1/2 cups Vodka

Mixing Directions

Boil water, and sugar for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and let stand 1 month.

(This is Kate one of my friends from school.)

3 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
10 to 12 teaspoons of instant coffee
3 cups of vodka (buy the most inexpensive)
3 teaspoons of vanilla essence

Simmer sugar, water and coffee for 1 1/2 hours. Cool and add vodka and vanilla. Put in bottle. Ready to drink, but will get better with age.

Art Quotes

Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.
Claude Monet

Life is our greatest possession and love its greatest affirmation.
Leo Buscaglia

My message for the day was: When you get into the habit of having continual conversations with us, your every action and thought is guided with powerful harmony.



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