To complete my posting of our journey around the North Island I would like to share my favorite photos from the following nine entries. Below are the photos that really capture what the North Island will always be for us, in our hearts and memory, in no particular order. Stay tuned for the South Island posts. I never thought it could get better, but it did....
I really wanted to like this book. It’s by a New Zealand author, so I felt I should be supporting the local girl. And I did like it. The world she has created is rich and complicated. Archangel Raphael is hot, of course, and vampire hunter Elena is kickass. I zoned out a bit when the UST took a back seat to their fighting, but once they were back on course as a couple I was a lot happier.
Scenes with the evil archangel were gruesome and intriguing. We find out snippets of Elena’s past when she’s under stress, and I made a few assumptions but I guess I’ll have to read the next book to find out for sure. I liked the cast of supporting characters, especially Elena’s friends and blue-winged Illium, but it was tricky at times to figure out who was speaking because the narrator’s voice was similar for each voice. Only Illium stood out with his British accent. The narrator can’t do an Australian, by the way
I enjoyed it, and will probably read the second book in the series on my Kindle rather than listen to it in the car. Audiobooks are great for long car journeys and they certainly help when you have sore eyes from reading too much for work like I do, but I’ve come to the conclusion they aren’t my thing. Nalini Singh, however, just might be.
This time of year – Spring here in New Zealand – my garden is coming to life with colour, cheering me up after a very wet Winter. With Spring, though, comes a bit more rain and lots of wind, so before everything got too battered I went out and took some photos.
Time to up the sugar intake! If it’s a special occasion around here – particularly Christmas or someone’s birthday – then the dessert of choice is pavlova and whipped (chantilly) cream. My husband can eat one all by himself, and has been known to have leftovers for breakfast.
Pavlova is a meringue dessert native to New Zealand, named after the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova. The best kinds are crunchy on the outside and marshmallowy on the inside. Here is my favourite recipe:
4 egg whites (ensure they are at room temperature)
Beat with electric beaters until stiff white peaks.
Add one cup of caster (superfine) white sugar.
Beat until stiff (about 20 minutes).
Shortly before finished, add
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon cornflour.
Pour onto non-stick baking paper on an oven tray. Try to keep the circumference of the pavlova about 20cm, and build up as high as possible to make more marshmallow in the centre. I like to tease out the edges to make crunchy peaks.
Bake at 110degC for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to 60degC to cook a further 45 minutes. Leave in the warm oven overnight.
Shortly before serving, cover with whipped (chantilly) cream and fresh berries or chocolate chips/shavings.