Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Love Dog Biscuits.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Love Cookies

These are intended for the dogs, but I tasted one and they're not half bad. If you wanted to make them for people, personally I'd add some brown sugar & chocolate chips & omit the parsley.

They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Crunchiness will depend on baking time. I store mine in the fridge, because I don't bake them too long. My little one doesn't like crunchy treats. Spoiled much?

I decided to make my own because the healthier biscuits down here in New Zealand seem to be really expensive, and still full of lots of ingredients I can't pronounce. The affordable ones are even worse. I will probably try experimenting with other ingredients like added fish oil for a healthy coat. Even the pickiest of dogs will eat these!

3 cups of Oatmeal.

1 1/2 cup flour (I've been meaning to try with a alternative flour like Garbanzo bean,
if anyone does, please let me know how it turns out.)

2 cups cold water. (if you have leftover stock you can use that instead- make sure there's no salt, garlic or onion)

1 tablespoon parsley (natural breath freshener)

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons natural peanut butter (no sugar, no salt added) or to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add the water, parsley & egg yolks mixing well. Add a little more water if it's too hard to mix.

Add the peanut butter after the entire mixture is well blended.

The mixture will be easy to form with your fingers into the shapes of hearts, bones, stars, moons, etc...

Larger biscuits will take about 15-20 minutes to bake. Smaller about 10-15. I normally test one to make sure it's the desired consistency.

If you want to store them in the cupboard, cook them at 275 for a longer period of time to insure they are crispy all the way through. Also make sure they are completely cooled before putting them in a an airtight container. They'll last about 2 weeks. It's the moisture that makes them spoil quickly.

My puppies like them a little less crunchy so I bake them until they are crunchy on the outside and soft in the center and store them in the fridge.

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My "other" blog

Happy Thursday everyone!

So don't forget to check out my "other" blog from time to time. It's more jewelry biz related, but I am posting some down-underness for those folks to see as well.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

a few explanations...

People have been asking for clarification on a few things..

One, what does Kia Ora mean? Here's the definition taken straight out of Wikipedia:

Kia ora is a Māori language greeting which has entered New Zealand English. It means literally "be well/healthy" and is translated as an informal "hi" at the Māori Language Commission website Kōrero Māori.The New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage website NZ History lists it as one of 100 Māori words every New Zealander should know, with a definition "Hi!, G'day! (general informal greeting)".

Many Kiwis start their emails with this greeting, and I love it because it's Polynesian and try to use it when I can.

Two, "why is your blog called 'Notes from the future'?"

That's because I am actually in the future right now (well, if you are in the states, that is). We're across the international date line so when it's noon on Sunday in California it's actually 8am Monday morning down-under. I like to think of it as 4 hours behind, but a day ahead. And when the time changes for ya'll in the Northern Hemisphere in a few weeks we'll only be 3 hours behind.

And, three, yes I have a phone line down here! A phone line that is not long distance. But, I only have limited outgoing calls, so if anyone wants to chat, shoot me an email and we'll set up a time for you to call.

I have so much more to write, but must get back to work... Have a great day everyone!


PS- Dave was right, the weather IS warming up nicely.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kiss the Sky

Aotearoa: "The Land of the Long White Cloud"

Did I mention that the sky is amazing down here? Really fantastic. And it changes from minute to minute. Literally.

We've been caught in a few rain storms on walks completely unprepared, without an umbrella or rain coat, and found ourselves huddling under trees to keep from getting drenched. The good thing is it really seems to pass quickly. Or at least enough that we can run home during a break.

I felt better when I saw Kiwi's pull their bikes over & seek shelter as well. Felt a little less like a whimp, see my "girl make fire" post.

We really have to learn how to learn how to judge the weather. Especially because I've been using the clothes line to dry my laundry like a true Kiwi.

However, I think it's a skill that us Angelinos don't possess, but we will learn. I wonder if there's a class for that? Or a book? NZ Weather Forecasting for Dummies.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Get Lost- pt I

I hope I never stop getting lost. You should try it. It's remarkably freeing. And, since I'm on an Island, I know I can't go too far!

The best things happen to me when I get lost. The first time, I discovered Mairangi Bay. I didn't mean to but was completely smitten with this sweet little beach town with it's marigold and tulip planted round-about (traffic circles for those not familiar with the vernacular), baby strollers and sidewalk cafes.

Today, I was looking for Mairangi Bay and made a wrong turn and ended up at Murray's Bay- my bay for those who know me from college and remember my tomboyish nickname. Gorgeous beach, gorgeous path for jogging (who, me jog? maybe, it's that pretty) and cute restaurants.

My best discovery was a KARAOKE bar!!!! And my husband just informed me that he knew about it and has been holding out on me! That's because he's afraid I'll drag him to it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Drive Left, Hug Right.

First trip out was excellent. Only one minor goof-up, a few wrong turns, and a bit of exploring. I was looking for the mega-center, this huge Westfield Mall which has everything. I call it the Mega-Low-Mart for fun. Anyway, on my way to the Mega-Low-Mart I took a wrong turn, or didn't turn or something and not only did I find a health food store with Agave, yay! But I came across this ridge and discovered the most amazing view of the ocean with islands.

This is when it hit me. I was lost, on the wrong side (well, right for here, I mean left) of the road, alone, and absolutely spellbound by the beauty before me. I live here? Really? Wow. And now how do I get unlost?

The hardest part about driving is NOT staying on the left side of the road. All the signs lead are pointing you to the left side, and all the other cars are driving on the left side, so you just follow along.

Top 10 driving challenges are:

#1--when you pull out of someplace and there are no cars to give you guidance. Panic moment! I normally wait for a car to gain my bearings.

#2--turning. Anywhere.

#3--parking. Anywhere.

#4--those making a right turn (the turn across traffic) have the right of way. Yes, even the Kiwis agree that it’s nonsense.

#5--the millions of “roundabouts” and remembering how to use your turn signals.

#6--drifting to the left. Your peripheral vision is catty-wompus because you are used to driving on the left side of the car, so you constantly drift to the left. You not only have to chant to yourself “drive left”, but also “hug right”. So many things to remember!

#7—did I mention, turning- anywhere?

#8--getting in the wrong side of the car.

#9--as a passenger, you see the gear shift in the center (to your right, where it would be if you were the driver in the states) and you want to use it even though you are NOT the driver!

#10--every time you go to use your turn signal you turn on your windshield wipers! I have a feeling that this will take the longest to correct.

Mantra: drive left, hug right. Drive left, hug right.

First impression of the new land....

Everyone is asking what my first impression of NZ is. Honestly, and sorry to harp on this, but my first thought is "It's really cold here! yikes!"

So our first outing was to the supercenter for some warmer clothes for me, as well as a rain parka. I need a hat, badly. And thanks, mom, for insisting that I bring a few extra of those small cashmere scarves in my suitcase. They are perfect for warming up my neck when it's chilly. So don't give away any extras that I might have returned to you if they are good colors. I have a feeling they will quickly be a part of my daily wardrobe.

Anyone coming to visit will need to bring warm layers, keep that in mind. I think in the summer it's much warmer, but the nights still get chilly.

The house is great. Will start posting pics this afternoon. The angles that looked slightly off in photos are actually really cool. The landlord came in and painted my studio and got rid of the crazy two toned (USC cardinal and gold), so now it's a soft butter yellow which is cheerful and clean so I can live with it for now. The colors are still a bit outdated in person, which was my concern from looking at the pictures. But, they aren't nearly as bright as they looked on Dave's skype. I think we need to get our furniture in here before making any major changes. The problem is, this house has such a great open floor plan, each room leads into another one, so you really have to make sure all the colors are in the same palette. However, that said, the kitchen needs to be white. The view from the kitchen sink is amazing, I don't think anyone has thought to take a pic, but I will. I promise. It looks out into the front yard and the window box screams for orchids, melding the outside with the inside. I'm turning into my mother's daughter and already planning the garden! Ferns & Callas & Peonies, oh my! :)

The landscape really reminds me of Hawaii- the rainy side. There's an amazing mix of tropical and pine trees and rolling hills that's just spectacular.

And the people are amazingly friendly. Made my first friend the other morning in the bakery, some crazy happy lady named Judith who told me all the yummy things that I needed to try. Surprisingly I'm feeling a bit shy, I feel like my accent makes me stick out like a sore thumb. And some of the dialect and the names make me feel like a total foreigner. I'm sure that will wear off very soon. As soon as I have to stop asking people to repeat themselves.

I made Dave practice driving with me last night. I have some errands to run and I wanted to drive the loop that I would be taking with him with me. But in about an hour I'll have to do it all by my lonesome. I'll report back after.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Girl make fire. ugh.

So it's cold here. For me.

Funny thing. We went for a walk the other day and I'm wearing my alpaca socks, layers of merino wool, a raincoat, a wool cap and my alpaca fingerless gloves. It's chilly and you never know when it will rain.

So what's funny, you ask? Well... many Kiwis pass us on our walk wearing shorts, a long sleeve shirt, maybe a light jacket. And they are all looking at me like I'm nuts, with a small smile on their face, and I know what they're thinking: "ex-pat".

So maybe my huge roaring fire and my Arctic gear are a little much for Spring in NZ. But this Cali girl is cold! Yes, formerly East Coast, but don't forget many young years spent in Miami, FL.

Signing off, in layers of wool.
Peace & love & warmth,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Details on the move to NZ.

Kia Ora!

First of all I apologize to anyone that I haven't had a chance to explain why we've moved to New Zealand, or even that we've moved to New Zealand!!!!

To make a long story short, Dave got offered a job with a few year contract. It's a great opportunity for him, career wise, and also a great opportunity for us to live in a foreign land for a few years.

Dave has been here since July 6th, I stayed behind to pack up the house, get the dogs sorted and on the plane and pack up and move my studio to a gorgeous spot in sunny downtown Los Angeles. I just moved down here, left LA on September 16th and arrived on the 18th. I was so tired from all the moving and organizing and coordinating that I got on the plane and slept for 8 hours straight! wow!

About my biz. Amery Carrière Designs has gone global! We are still based in Los Angeles, my production being run by Carlie Mathews, thank God for Carlie! I feel confident that she will treat my production like she would her own, and I have left my business in good hands.

I am planning on coming back for trade shows, about three times a year. I have brought my studio number down under with me, and actually did some business this morning and people had no idea that I was calling from 10,000 miles away! :) So business will continue as normal.

I know this first blog wasn't too exciting, but stay tuned for a second one that will give you a little more Kiwi flavor!