A cheeky beef cheek or two anyone .......?

I don't know about you but I'm all about comfort food when the weather is doing it's best to freeze & drown you all at the same time! I tried this recipe for Beef Cheeks recently when friends braved the elements to visit me. During dinner there were lots of oohs, ahhhhh, & yummms so I guess it hit the spot. Unfortunately it's not the type of recipe to whip up quickly, but with a little pre planning and slow cooking the beef for 5 - 6 hours you will end up with a tasty and very tender meal. 

Enjoy! 

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The weather, Clive James & citrus .......

Well winter has definitely arrived, and we seem to be experiencing weeks of grey overcast days with continual rain. I always remember a comment by Australian author and raconteur Clive James, about his view on the weather in London - he likened it too living under a Tupperware container. Got to agree with you there Clive, we have the same problem here in NZ at the moment.

To brighten the long grey wet weekend I’ve had a bit of a baking session in the kitchen to use up some of the citrus from the garden. This combination of the tart citrus filling with the liquoricey anise pastry is perfect! Give the recipe a go - you won’t be disappointed!

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Quince oversupply.......

You can tell it's Autumn, coz I've been busy in the kitchen trying to use up some of the bumper crop of Quinces from the garden. So far on the cooking schedule I've made Quince Paste, Quince Tarts, Quince Muffins, and finally this  very yummy recipe for Quince & Ginger Sorbetto.  

I wasn't sure how well the quince would freeze but it came perfectly, and you can't beat that AMAZING colour. Next on the baking schedule is to make another Quince Tart (or even Apple Tart) and serve with this Quince Sorbetto. Ohhh my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

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Easter Treats.....

Whilst thinking about Easter recently and trying to avoid the inevitable chocolate coma, I saw this recipe in Dish Magazine for an amalgamation of hot cross buns and donuts! What a combination - it certainly got my attention.  Whats not to love about a donut flavoured like a hot cross bun!  

Have to say they were delicious, and we did a very thorough taste test this morning with coffee. Meanwhile the younger generation were busy doing a grid search of the garden trying to hunt down the elusive easter eggs. Happy Easter everyone!

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A Little Celebration.....

Every Christmas holidays I try to do a major project either in the studio or with my promotional material. So this year it was time for a website and blog redesign and update. Well to be honest it was long overdue for update, and was getting a bit embarrassing how old some of the images were.  So I toiled away over Christmas thinking I could knock the project off in a week, which then became 2 weeks, then 3, and finally 4 weeks before the new website & blog were launched. Don't ask what the problems were, but needless to say there was lots of going round in circles and wheel spinning happening. Check out the redesign at www.motif.co.nz.

To celebrate the launch (finally!) I've baked this yum Blood Plum & Blueberry cake with plums & blueberries from my garden. Cooking dishes from produce you've grown in your garden, makes it just that bit more extra special don't you think.

Enjoy!

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Happy 2018.....!

Happy New Year to everyone out there in blog-land. Many thanks for your wonderful support in 2017, and I can't wait to see what fabulous things 2018 brings. Here's how we started our New Year's celebrations last night with a summery sangria. It's the perfect drink for those long summer evenings. Enjoy!

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Christmas Raspberry & White Chocolate Trifle

Yay it's Christmas time - that special time which only comes once a year to slightly overindulge on the food front! And have I got the creme de la creme ('scuse the pun) of all christmas desserts for you.

Check out this christmassy Raspberry and White Chocolate Trifle with Raspberry Macaroons - it's slightly different from your standard every day trifle but boy does it taste good! You can follow the recipe or get a bit creative and do multiple thinner layers of jelly and white chocolate, then top it all off with the macaroons and mascarpone cream. Which ever way you put it together it will always cause a stampede at your christmas table. 

Merry Christmas everyone - enjoy!

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Spiced Lamb Cutlets with Labne, Dukkah & Pomegranate

These spicy lamb cutlets done on the BBQ are perfect in this moroccan-inspired dish, and ideal for a casual weekend get together. Your guests will be salivating watching them cook on the BBQ, followed up by lots of finger licking after tasting the lamb cutlets with heaps of creamy labne and spicy dukkah.

Don't be put off by the long preparation time for this dish, it's really very simple to put together, and just a little prep time the day before. Then throw everything together while BBQ'ing the cutlets. What could be easier? Enjoy!

 

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Who's counting the calories...?

Look away now if you have an aversion to calories or sugar. This recipe is NOT for you! It might be slightly healthy with the addition of bananas but the rest of the ingredients don't appear on any healthy eating guide I've ever seen.

I love cooking this recipe for Sunday brunch, or in fact brunch any day of the week. It has all the ingredients I love.....

  • Caramel sauce - check. 
  • Bananas - check. 
  • Whipped cream - check.  
  • Chocolate - check, check, check. 

And all put together in one scrummy dish - who could want for more? But be aware you may need a lie down after to deal with the sugar comma that will follow! Enjoy.

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Champagne Breakfast for Show Week

In Canterbury we have Show Week at this time every year, which is fantastic excuse to get dressed up in your fancy clothes complete with fascinator (for the girls - google it if you haven't heard the term), and go watch the horse racing.  As part of Show Week there are a myriad of Champagne Breakfasts and sponsored events to attend, which by the end of the week most people need to followup with some extended couch time and a quiet weekend.

I'm always on the lookout for something slightly different to serve at a champagne breakfast - and as many foodies say "always start the day right with a good breakfast", particularly if there is some alcohol involved! This Herb Waffle with Smoked Salmon and Fennel Cucumber Salad caught my eye and is perfect for any early summer breakfast or brunch. It's super tasty and a great stomach liner for all that early morning champagne. Enjoy!

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Summer has kicked in....!

At long last summer has finally kicked in with lovely warm sunny days. Needless to say the rhubarb patch has gone feral, which must also have something to do with all the compost and sheep pellets I dug in a few months ago. Definitely does help if you feed your plants!

I normally do a Rhubarb & Strawberry galette, but as my strawberries are still a long way off and I'm not paying a small fortune for the imported hot house ones, I've added some ginger for extra zing. Give the recipe a go, the rhubarb/ginger combination is super yum!

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Sunday suppers.....

Roasted tomatoes are a beautiful thing, and really simple to make into a tasty sauce (sugo). I love roasting them to bring out their inherent sweetness, and with the addition of herbs, balsamic & little sugar takes them to a whole new level. 

One of my favourites recipes to accompany a roast tomato sugo is pork and fennel meatballs. You can't beat this combination for a sunday supper, or in fact any day of the week. It's a super quick meal if you have your sugo and uncooked meatballs already made up and stored in the freezer. Give it a go - and give your taste buds a party!

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Dealing with a lemon glut...!

Well its the first day of spring, and it's hosing down outside. Guess the weather gods didn't get the spring starting now memo!

Too brighten up the grey day outside I've whisked together this super easy Lemon Posset recipe to use up some of the glut of lemons I currently have in the kitchen. Teamed up with the Citrus Shortbread this is a yum dessert with a good citrus kick. The berries add a tart flavour and cut through some of the posset sweetness. Give the recipes a go - they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Enjoy!

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Fancy a spicy dinner in on a winters night...?

Yup we're in the middle of another cold hard winter - the ever revolving cycle of frosts then rain, more frosts, then more rain! So what better way to beat the chills than a crispy pork belly with spicy asian sauce! Best combination ever, right? It's such an easy sunday evening meal especially in the midst of winter. 

After 2 - 3 hours of gentle cooking, followed by a blast under the grill you'll be rewarded with the most gorgeous crispy pork belly, spicy sauce and vibrant greens. Whats not to like? Enjoy!

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Wet weather Easter baking

Well Easter is here and so is a cyclone or two. Currently Cyclone Cook is battering my house with torrential rain and high winds - so I'm guessing gardening is out today.

I saw this recipe online a few weeks ago and thought it would make a yum treat over Easter. Yes you will probably go into a chocolate coma with the filling, but hey Easter only comes once a year so a little over indulgence is allowed. Hope you enjoy it!

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Happy New Year....!

Happy New Year to everyone out there - hope you all had a fabulous night and aren't under the weather this morning. Thought I would share this cocktail which started our New Years eve celebrations last night. Given it was a warm evening it was the perfect way to start the party along with some tasty nibbles.

You can adjust the quantities to your own tastes, and it makes a refreshing drink for anytime during the summer. Best part for me is the crunch of the pomegranate arils when you get to the bottom of the glass. Enjoy!

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