Quick and easy Scones


With all that walking up and down the hill, from the road-schooling camp to the farm, to milk herself and a friend collected quite a stash of blackberries which were going wild along the roadside along with some rose-hips.  I think one of my favourite things about travelling around NZ is watching themselves ‘harvest’ all kinds of wild growing fruit.  Apples in Otago,  Plums in Canterbury, blackberries where ever we can find them, kawakawa fruit in Kāpiti, rose-hips in Hawke’s Bay and even the odd raiding of friend’s raspberry or strawberry patches 😉

Anyway …. what do you do with a big bowl of berries and a pocket full of rose-hips?  Make blackberry jam and rose-hip tea for afternoon tea for your siblings!  However that still leaves a gaping hole … what do you put the jam on and still cater for the vegans in your midst?  Vegan scones of course 😉

Road schooling camp

Preparing the tea party

This recipe is quick and easy  to whip up for an afternoon tea snack and super delicious.  I got it in my in-box a while ago courtesy of ‘Cook the Beans’ which is a blog I follow. She had called them Watercress Scones though I think she may have forgotten to add the said watercress into her recipe as I couldn’t find it mentioned anywhere.  Either way I made it, and modified it as I usually, with great results so there are no complaints here ….. no even from the meat, gluten and diary eaters on the bus 😉


Ready to munch

Vegan Scones

  • 200 gm flour (GF or plain, white or wholemeal or a mixture of both as in original)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 30 gms coconut oil (cold from the container)
  • 1 flax-seed egg (1 TB ground linseed/flaxseed and 2.5 TB cold water)
  • 100 ml non-diary milk (I used rice milk)

– Put the flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the coconut oil so that it is fully blended with the flour.

– Add in the flaxseed egg and milk then ‘cut’ the liquid into the dry ingredients with a knife until a dough is formed.  You may need to help it with your hand near the end to form a ball

– Flour a baking tray and flatten dough into a fat rectangle shape.  Cut this into 12 or 16 pieces depending on the size of scone you desire.

– Separate the scones a little on the floured tray and then bake at 200 Celcius of 10 mins or until golden on top.

– Spread with jam (and butter for the non-vegan among you) and enjoy

Hope this finds you enjoying the fruits of life







Homemade Yoghurt


Some of you may have the impression that this is a ‘Vegan’ blog (not sure why I put that in inverted commas) however while I share a lot of vegan recipes these are relatively new for the blog, as is our journey with our son into his preferred eating style.  Rather I like to think of this blog as sharing things that are happening with us on the bus, our adventures, experiences and more often than not the food we are eating!  This week after an amazing weekend away at a Road-schooling camp I thought I would share an easy yoghurt recipe.


At camp with other fantastic road-schooling families

This comes about only because while we were away on our road-schooling camp a local farmer came down and offered our kids (all the kids on camp that is) the opportunity to come up and give milking his cow a go.  It is one of my favourite things about New Zealand, and being on the road, that locals are eager and open to share their lives and interests with us as a family.  While himself was more interested in patting the pigs and the cows rather than trying milking, herself absolutely relished the whole experience.  I even made a second trip up with her so she could milk the next morning!  She really got a rhythm going and was rewarded with a bottle of fresh, warm milk ….. along with a desire to own her own cow. 😉 Considering she is not a big milk drinker but is a huge yoghurt consumer we thought that creating a batch of yoghurt with her reward may be the best use of this delicious liquid.


Milking Saffy

This recipe is one that I found ages ago and which we used to make regularly before moving onto the bus.  It is very easy (just how I like my recipes) with not much milk or effort needed.  The best thing about this recipe is the fact that it doesn’t require much stove power and, as long as you remember to save a bit of yoghurt for a starter, it can keep going as long as you have a milk supply. Thankfully we have a very warm spot above our fridge/freezer where we can incubate this for the night which makes it possible to try on the bus – our first bus batch. We have halved the recipe for us this time however 1 litre fills up an old preserving jar nicely with yoghurt.

Homemade yoghurt

  • 1 litre of full-fat milk (raw is best in our option)
  • 2 tablespoons of live yoghurt (this is your starter)
  • Large glass jar with lid

– Warm the milk in a pot until it is just about to boil then take off the heat.

– Allow the milk to cool for 20 mins and then remove the skin off the milk and discard.

– Mix the warm milk with the yoghurt starter and mix gently but throughly.

– Put the lid on and place the jar into a warm place (such as the hot water cylinder) overnight or at less 6-8 hours

– Transfer to fridge the next morning (or once it has set) to help cool and set further or enjoy warm with some wild blackberries.


Hope this finds you all enjoying new experiences and savouring the old ones too.




Vegan Banana Bread


Well hello again!! I know it has been a while since I’ve been on here and in that time I have really enjoyed the time off the computer and trying out a few new recipes. There is a lot to be said for down-time from the screen and sampling baking 😉


Parked up at Cass

After being parked up in Kaikōura for nearly 9 months last year we are now back on the road in our bus enjoying life on the road. This summer has been an absolute scorcher and on the days when we have struggled for shade our little tin can has nearly baked us alive! Thank goodness for cool winds, big trees, clear rivers to splash in and the ability to get to them with our home.


Swimming at Wai-iti Domain

We have made our way up to Kāpiti again for me to teach some Infant Massage which is always a highlight for me.  It also means that there is weekly baking to do in order to keep those parents sustained as well as extra baking for all the catching up with family and friends we are doing.  With himself still being Vegan I have been signing up to a few more cooking blogs in order to get a good range of things to offer, some with success and some which I’d rather not discuss 😉

I’m always on the look out for good Vegan recipes that can replace our old favourites … baking two cakes at a time is a bit too much of a mission for me.  This recipe I found in a free magazine which a local health shop issues and came up a treat even with my adaptions.  It comes from a book by Daisy Dagg and Amber Vito called Kai for Kids eBook and while the original recipe had honey in it we have just replaced this with Maple Syrup without much change to the flavour.  Likewise we have used GF flour instead of the regular wheat flour they had listed and as with so many of the recipes I enjoy enough to share it is pretty much a one pot wonder 😉


Ready for morning tea.

Vegan Banana Bread

1 3/4 Cup GF self-raising flour

1/3 C melted coconut oil

1/2 C pure maple syrup

4 mashed bananas (large)

1/2 C shredded / desiccated coconut

2 Tb chia seeds

1/2 C rice milk

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla essence

sprinkle of salt

1/2 tsp mixed spice

  • Melt coconut oil in a pot and stir in the maple syrup, rice milk, vanilla essence and mashed banana
  • Add in the chia seeds and stir well
  • Add in all the other dry ingredients and mix until blended well
  • Pour into a baking paper lined tin and bake at 180 Celsius for around 35-40 mins or until a cake-tester (skewer) comes out clean.
  • Cool and Enjoy

Hope this finds you enjoying the new year, trusting in yourself and loving the life you’re in.





Energy on the go


This past weekend we have been tramping (hiking for those of you outside of NZ) up the mountain which looks down on us in our bus which requires a bit of forethought as far as food goes.  Food has to be plentiful enough to keep everyone satisfied and yet light enough that the walk up to the hut isn’t too arduous for those carrying it, namely the parents.  With a Vegan thrown into the mix it took even more forethought …. onto the internet I go!

SAM_6518 (2)

Almost at the hut, looking down at Kaikōura

It didn’t take that much searching to find a fantastic recipe for Vegan (and raw) muesli bars which was created by Isle of Flora … right here in NZ! These are especially great for us as there was not dairy, sugar or gluten in them either.  As usual though, due to my nature and the fact that we are living on a bus the recipe got a few adaptations.  There weren’t too many however and they didn’t alter the recipe that much.  The end result was a nutritious, energy packed, tasty muesli bar which stood the test of time travelling up to 1100m in a backpack on a very warm day.

Before I share my adaptations I will just put a few comments about the method as some of you may be in the same position of not having amazing whizzing appliances ready to blend things at the flick of a switch.  In the original recipe  (which I followed almost to the word on my first attempt apart from using millet instead of quinoa as I thought we had run out of it) it says to pop nuts and dates into a food processor until blended smooth  …. this was my first stumbling block.  However after a bit of thought it was nothing that a strong plastic bag filled with said nuts and a lot of bashing with a rolling pin couldn’t solve. As for the dates I soaked them in 1/4 Cup of water and then mashed them within an inch of their sweet little selves! Obviously if you have these whizzy wonders of modern society then feel free to click onto Isle of Flora’s original recipe and go for it!  Otherwise stay tuned 😉


The nut version

The soaking of dates did add a bit more moisture into the recipe which is where my adaptations came in as I increased some of the amounts to take up the moisture and added some psyllium husks.  The original recipe also calls for quinoa however it didn’t say if it was cooked or not so I took it upon myself to cook it.  I first by put 1.5 TB of quinoa (or millet) into a pot along with 7.5 TB water (1 to 5 ratio), then boiled it until almost all the water had gone.  Next I turned off the heat and covered for a while until there is no liquid left.  This gave me 3 TB of cooked quinoa which, as you’ll see, is the amount I used as opposed to Isle of Flora’s 2 TB.


Enjoying some muesli bar at the hut

In my second attempt at these yummy little bars I left out the nuts altogether … there is only so much bashing a girl wants to do in her life …. and replaced the cup of nuts with a mixture of sunflower and pumpkin.  Any combination would be great though which you can change to suit your taste.  When it comes to taste it has to be said that themselves preferred the seed version although that may have been down to the millet in the first recipe rather than the nuts 😉  Anyway … here is the recipe and you have the original so you can decide from here on in.

Vegan Museli Bars (DF, GF, SF)

1 Cup of chopped nuts (or seeds)

1 Cup of dried dates

1/4 Cup of hot water

3 TB psyllium husks

3 TB chia seeds

1 TB pumpkin seeds

1 TB sunflower seeds

1 TB linseed

4 TB coconut oil

3 TB cooked quinoa (or millet) – see above for cooking method

6 TB desiccated coconut

  • Soak the dates in the water for 10 -15 mins then add chia seeds and mash until they form a smooth paste.
  • Add in all the other ingredients and mix until they are well blended.
  • Tip into a baking paper lined tin (mine is 20 x 17 cm) then press down smooth and evenly with the back of a dessert spoon.
  • Pop in the fridge and leave for at least 20 mins before slicing into bars.

Well that is it for this week … I hope this finds you fighting fit and climbing any obstacles in your way.




Back in the Hood


Funny that just over 2 weeks ago I was thinking we were losing our sense of community and yet since then (and my ‘wake-up’ call from a friend) I have been seeing it, feeling it and touching it everywhere.

I think though that this weekend was the highlight of that.  We had gone down to Christchurch to drop off herself at a Guide camp, so decided to park up the bus outside our friend’s place to have a good catch up….. and eat some delicious GF and vegan hand-crafted Canadian perogies (sorry, a secret recipe so no sharing that today) .  We haven’t had the bus at their place since the beginning of the year and yet as himself was letting the dog stretch his legs a neighbourhood boy came up to him, smiling and saying ‘Hey, it’s YOU …. I know YOU!  You’re back!’.


Parked up in Suburbia

I love the idea that we (or maybe more correctly our big green bus) are part of his community.  I love the idea that he was excited to see that we had returned.  I love the idea that to him it seemed completely normal that a 1956 Bedford bus would be parked up in his street.  Clearly, community is everywhere when you’re looking and open to it …. I for one am very grateful that I have begun to open my eyes to that fact.

I hope this finds you embracing your own community in whatever shape it takes.




A weekend away


It is amazing how something with the same name can take on so many different guises.  A weekend away can be anything from sedentary to active, entertaining to down-right un-interesting, even to those involved. This past weekend was one of those; it had so much packed into it that I’m left feeling very grateful and yet somewhat exhausted! It was a massive mixture of emotions, weather, personalities, scenery, activities and thoughts.


On the Kaikōura Inland Road

Thursday night arrived and we all bundled into the bus to begin our journey up to visit friends in Nelson the ‘Cider Festival’ with lots of eager anticipation.  It wasn’t long however before this was replaced with a lot of nervous anticipation as our bus decided that she no longer really want to use a particular gear.  Thankfully himself is a confident and capable driver … I would have been even more of a nervous wreck than I was if I had to drive that night …. and we got to our first destination (2 hours away) with a the simple strategy of leaving that gear alone.

The trip to Nelson was looking less than promising, however after a phone call to the mechanical (thank goodness we have such an awesome one) we were assured that all would be good. With this knowledge we headed on our merry way and making good time decided that we could catch up with another Road-schooling family.  Clearly, however, our beloved bus didn’t get the memo about ‘everything being ok’ and as we neared our destination it began to make a strange sound.  It wasn’t until we arrived and then saw a puddle of liquid under the front of the bus that we realised a bit of first aid was needed.  Luckily our friend had a heap of mechanical experience and knowledge so with her help we (the royal we that is) sorted out what we thought the issue was and proceeded to eat, drink, be merry and have some awesome conversations.

liam and his bbq at the sturrocks

Making the most of the bbq himself insisted on being with us …. a winner over the weekend!

The next morning we woke early, albeit a little tired from a late night and the nervous tension of the previous day, to get into Nelson, ready to see our other friends and begin tasting some cider.  Unfortunately it seemed that our bus was also a little tired and refused to start without a ‘jump start’  from our willing friends when the time for departure came.  Issue number three duly noted.  This didn’t hold us back though and we had yet another wonderful day with friends in the sunshine tasting cider, eating yummy food and watching themselves race around the venue trying out all the children’s activities provided.


Enjoying the Cider Festival in Nelson

With the AA (Automobile Association) card at the ready on our final morning we tried to get the old girl to go ……. without success.  So after our second ‘jump-start’ in two days we got on our way, with everything sound tickey boo, and decided to keep the bus running until we made it back to Kaikōura to remove the need for more jumper cables.  It was half way home that the bus had obviously had enough and despite letting us now use all the gears she won’t let himself go into high ratio which meant a slow trip of no more than 70km rather than the 90km speed she should have been getting up to.

It was almost painful to listen to her refusing to go into high ratio but clearly not happy to be driving along in low ratio and it made me wonder how often we do this ourselves.  How often to we keep going (or let other drive us) when really we need to get something sorted? How often do we refuse to step up the gears and put in a bit more thought or energy to get us out of ‘grunting’ along in life?  How often do we create a story about what our capabilities are to justify what we are willing to do or not do?

at the sturrocks

Himself sorting out our ‘girl’ with lots of encouragement

Over the weekend through conversations and observations I came to see that I am very guilty of this.  I keep telling myself that we are losing our sense of community and yet everyday I am part of one … the fact that you are reading this now confirms it … or part of creating a new kind of community.  I choose to believe my old story rather than own the new reality I have.   I ‘grunt’ through life thinking about the things I can’t do or haven’t got rather than stepping up to the higher gear and checking out all the amazing things I do have.  I make up ‘stories’ about having to do things for others when actually it is my choice to be ‘busy’ rather than taking ownership of the actual things I really want to achieve, the things which may challenge me or leave me feeling a little vulnerable.

It was certainly an interesting weekend that has left me deciding to question myself a bit more, move into the ‘higher gear’ a little more often or at least notice those times when I’m hanging around in ‘low ratio’ and grunting along.  Anyway those are my musing now that we are safely back in our paddock in Kaikōura and if it makes sense to any part of you then I invite you to begin the exploration into your ‘operating systems’ as I am doing with mine.

Sequoia Farm Nov

Back in Kaikōura …. our bedroom view

Hope this finds you in good working order and smoothly navigating the roads ahead.




Pancakes for all


Pancakes have always been a favourite for certain members in our house (now house-bus) and it is one of the first things that themselves could cook independently.  The process has been a long, messy and at times smoky affair however I try to keep my focus on the fact that they are making food without me having to participant!


Tucking into the good stuff!

Since himself became vegan, pancake making has changed quite a lot.  First came the arguments (between the two of them) that herself couldn’t make some if he couldn’t eat them, then can the moaning that they couldn’t make anything yummy, then the searching of recipes to find a vegan pancake batter and then the making of two separate batches (a lot of deep breathing went with this stage – by me that is in case you wondered).  Finally we have come to the resolution that actually the vegan pancakes are just as yummy as the regular ones and so we only have to make one batch …. thank goodness for that 😉


Make sure it looks almost cooked (lots of air bubbles and no runny batter) on the top side before you flip.

Themselves usually make pancakes as a weekend breakfast but as these pancakes take a bit longer to cook than the regular recipe, for some reason, it is worth factoring that into your timeline before staring.  Just a bit of patience in letting them cook a bit longer with definitely give you a better result (see notes with the photo above) … not that my two notice in their eagerness to munch.  Himself has he plate, knife, peanut butter and banana ready before the mixture is even in the bowl sometimes! Other times they will have them as a tasty dessert with a bit of fruit and Vegan Ice-cream 😉


Dessert pancakes

I can’t remember where we found this recipe so apologies if you are reading this and recognize it as yours, also many thanks for facilitating peace within our tiny space.  These pancakes are quick and easy which is ideal for little bakers and creators.  Best of all they don’t need an egg (I know …. duh) but this means that for all you non-vegans out there when you do run out of eggs you now have a stand-by recipe up your sleeve.  We have only tried this with wheat flour however one day, maybe when I think I’d like some pancakes, I will attempt it with some GF stuff. Until then here it is ….

Vegan Pancakes

  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C milk (we use rice but I’m sure any non-dairy one would be good)
  • 2 TB veg oil (we use olive)
  • 2 TB water

– Mix everything thoroughly in a bowl with a fork, adding more milk if needed to get a good consistency

– Heat a frying pan and then lower the heat before adding the mixture.  You can add a little oil for cooking if you like.

– Spoon mixture into a frying pan and cook until the top had lots of air-bubbles in it then flip – see photo above

– Enjoy with your favourite toppings

Until next time  I hope this finds you enjoying the tasty bits of life.