Water cooler gadget special… and chocolate

In the water cooler this week:  Miranda discovers a super product, Nadene gets worms,  Cheree becomes hot and steamy and Anna cracks the mystery gadget.


Peanut butter chocolate bites.

Peanut butter chocolate bites.

My eating habits (for better or worse) are quite wellknown to Water Cooler followers, so it won’t come as a surprise that I’ve found yet-another ‘healthy’ sweet treat. A Buzzfeed list promised “14 Delicious Desserts You Can Make With Four Ingredients Or Fewer . Easy and delicious? Sold!
I made a couple of slight adjustments to the recipe found here

1 cup peanut butter*
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons of coconut flour (found in the cooking section of the supermarket for $5, so not as outrageous as expected)
200g 82% dark chocolate (this is hit and miss depending how much chocolate you want to cover with, I had some left over)
Sea salt for sprinkling on top

In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, honey and half of the coconut flour. The peanut butter mixture should be a little sticky, keep adding the coconut flour until happy.

Shape into round balls or flat discs depending on preference and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Pop in the freezer for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes, place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and melt chocolate. Transfer to a small bowl and quickly dip the peanut butter mixture into the chocolate, coating evenly. This can be slightly awkward as the chocolate will set quickly so best get fingers in there to ensure even and quick results. Place them back onto the baking paper and sprinkle the salt on top (quick – before the chocolate hardens). Place back in the freezer for another 30 minutes, or as long as you can last before tucking in. Store in the freezer in an airtight container. Quantity will depend on personal size preference, mine were the size of milk bottle top, and this made around 25 treats.

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Sweet, salty and yum.

*One cup homemade peanut butter (I put roasted peanuts with a sprinkle of salt in my Vitamix to make my own peanut butter – it’s magic. Pics Peanut Butter, or any natural offerings with only peanuts and salt on the ingredient list, also works well)

Cheree Morrison
Staff Writer, NZ Life & Leisure


Last week we asked if anyone could identify Food editor Anna’s mystery object. Only one person cracked the mystery, NZ Lifestyle Block reader Antony, but the clue was in the “Food” editor.
… and the answer is: an egg decapitator. The aim of this most useless of kitchen gadgets is to take the top off a raw egg with surgical precision, thereby creating a cute receptacle for an egg-based entree or dessert – think truffled eggs or creme custard.

It works like this: the sharp-edged dome is placed on top of the egg and the spring is pushed down then quickly released, sending shock waves through the shell. The result is a perfect crack around the circumference of the egg. Theoretically, that is. In practice, it takes several whacks, each one a bit more forceful than the last until the final blow smashes right through the shell, firing raw egg all over the kitchen. I’ve found it takes several smashed eggs to get a result, and even then, it’s not perfect.


I’m still wondering what possessed me to buy it. Why did I think I’d ever be serving custards in dinky egg cups? I can’t even think why it was invented – an egg guillotine? It has to be French. The only thing I’m reasonably sure about is that like my onion goggles, orange peeler and coconut scraper, it is destined to remain in the back of the drawer.

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– Anna Tait- Jamieson
Food editor, NZ Life & Leisure



Every year as October approaches, I become obsessive about looking after my skin. Another birthday, another year older – and this year (I tell myself for the fourth or fifth year in a row) I will really start treating my skin right. My renewed passion for moisturizing and studying my forehead for wrinkles in the mirror coincided with the new Tier for Teens range landing on my desk to try. The steam pouches caught my eye, I’ve heard of steaming but was yet to try it out. Facial steaming once a week or fortnight is said to cleanse pores, preps skin to better absorb serums and masks, removes nasty toxins and, apparently, feels quite lovely. One quiet morning I snuck into the NZ Life & Leisure boardroom to try it for myself.
Step one – A clean, make-up free face and a ceramic or glass container filled with approximately one litre of boiling water, placed on a heat proof surface.
Step two – Pop in the product of choice – in this instance a pretty little pouch of dried herbs, botanicals and lovely smelling things. Cover and let it steep for five to ten minutes,
Step three – Using a towel, create a little tent over your head and the bowl. Hold your head over the bowl at a comfortable distance and relax there for around ten minutes.
Step four – Follow with a mask for the best experience. Being at work it felt inappropriate to wander around with a face mask so I’ll be trying this again at home. My skin felt amazing!
For yourself – Dr Hauschka Clarifying Steam Bath (RRP $59) contains nasturtium, daisy and witch hazel to support the skin’s self-cleansing processes.
For the kids – Be the cool mum/aunt/friend and gift them Tier for Teens Liquorice & Calendula Steam Bags (RRP $40 for eight bags)
Cheree Morrison
Staff Writer, NZ Life & Leisure


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Between horticulture and drama, green-fingered thespian Nicola Kawana takes work-life balance to a new level

In an age when so many things are disposable a clever young Irish woman has create a space-age rubber product that can prolong the life of many household objects. Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh took six years and a million pounds to get it to market, but now she has investors galore wanting a bit of her magic fix-it called Sugru – a mouldable glue which can be used for everything from fixing worn-out cell phone calls to creating a DIY picture hook. I just ordered some on www.sugru.com after reading about her in The New York Times. Jane says her biggest market is parents who don’t want their children buying into the throwaway habit.

Miranda Spary
Freelance writer
NZ Life & Leisure



Remember Candy Crush? Pokemon Go? Or are you more old school with your computer games, perhaps Tetris or Snake were more your style?
If you were fan of Snake and Tetris, Slither.io utilises the same skills so you might have an unfair advantage. It’s definitely just as infuriating and annoyingly addictive.
The objective is to create the largest ‘snake’ by ‘eating’ little shiny dots. Each time you eat, your snake gets bigger. You start on the edge of a huge circle of other players and the further you move inside that circle, the more food is available.
Unfortunately, there are also other players – millions of them worldwide – with the same objective and they can eat you (or if you’re smart, you can can eat them). That’s when you realise the little shiny dots are actually what’s left behind if your snake dies.

Slither is very popular, can be downloaded onto any device, and you can waste a lot of time on it.
Nadene Hall
NZ Lifestyle Block

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