Curry time.......

This week I have another recipe from fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy (www.themodernmess.com).

This Tomato & Coconut curry is a family favourite in Jen’s house, and is so quick and easy to prepare. Subtly spiced with the four different seeds, plus the fresh sweet cherry tomatoes really make the dish. The recipe came about as Jen had an oversupply of cherry tomatoes (always the way with tomatoes all ripening at the same time), one random eggplant, no legumes or meat, and chickpea flour and pantry staples. So thinking cap on and voilà and hour later a dish the whole family loved.

The pudlas are great to serve with a curry and so versatile. Plus kids love them! They are a thin crepe/pancake originating from India, and the batter consistency when mixed is like cream. The mix keeps well in the fridge so feel free to double it and crank some out for breakfast or lunch. This recipe makes 2 cups, so about 8 small crepes. You can add spices like cumin, or fresh grated ginger, or even grated vegetables in to the mix.

Chickpea flour is available at the supermarket, but the best place to buy it is at the Indian grocer or the organics shop.

Enjoy! 

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Bounty from the garden.......

This year in the garden I’ve been trying a few different vegetables, to see which grows best in my little corner of the world.

Fennel was a big fat fail, but the beetroot has turned out to be an excellent crop. Lots of fat beets and luscious green foliage. So what to do with said crop? In my book you can’t go past a yummy vege relish to have on just about everything, from a cheese board to sandwiches, burgers and cold meats. And the small beetroot leaves can be used in salads or cooked in place of kale.

So the beetroot crop got a big tick from me and will be appearing once again in next years garden. After a strenuous day in the garden, nothing is better than a tasty steak sammie cooked on the BBQ with the Beetroot & Cumin Relish and a garlicy aioli. Yum on so many levels!

Enjoy! 

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Fresh Peaches = Summer on a Plate!

This week I have another recipe from fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy (www.themodernmess.com). She recently managed to score a 12kg box of peaches at a bargain price, so had to get creative in the kitchen cooking and preserving the peaches before they were past their best. This recipe Jen has developed is a very simple and light summer dessert, and a perfect finish to a BBQ or summer salad. The peaches went down a treat on our shoot day, and I definitely fulfilled my role as chief taste tester by having seconds and thirds! They’re also fantastic as leftovers the next day on your breakfast cereal. Any stone fruit would work well instead of the peaches, as well as fresh figs.

Start this recipe a day in advance as the labne needs time to hang.

Enjoy! 

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Valentines day - are you sorted ......?

Well it’s that time off year again - yup Valentines Day!. Have you got everything sorted for your special other half? Flowers/pressie, special dinner in or out, yummy cocktail to start the evening? Well I’m here to help you out with the last item on that list. Sorry can’t help you the other items, you’re on your own for those!

This Strawberry Basil & Gin Cocktail is pure summer in a glass, and perfect for Valentines Day in the southern hemisphere. Not so great for northern hemisphere peeps, it’s probably still snowing and freezing cold in your neck of the woods. Maybe try this cocktail at another time of the year.

Your challenge on Valentines Day is to try and stop at just one cocktail. They’re very addictive so it would be easy to drink 2 - 3 cocktails, and forget about that yummy dinner you’ve got in the oven!

Enjoy! 

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Courgette heaven ......?

This week I have another recipe from fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy (www.themodernmess.com). As per usual at this time of year the courgettes take over the vege patch. Jen was telling me she had planted 4 courgette plants this year, which was one less than last summer, and she’s still trying to cope with them all ripening at the same time. Puts my single plant to shame, but I’ve still got the same problem.

If you aren’t picking almost daily, in the blink of an eye they turn into marrows! This rich moist cake is a nice way to use up any extra courgettes you have before they end up the size of a marrow football.

Enjoy! 

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Berry Delicious......!

This week I have another recipe from fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy (www.themodernmess.com). This time its a type of syrup called a fruit shrub, which is a concentrated syrup with a vinegar base, that’s used as a mixer in cocktails or with soda. It was popular during the American colonial era, and it’s making a come back with the recent interest in mixology. On a hot day it’s very refreshing served with soda, ice and extra fruit.

This recipe has a cold brew method where the ingredients are left to sit to concentrate the fruity flavour. Some fruit, like rhubarb require cooking with the sugar first. Jen tends to use the cold brew method when she can, as it produces a fresher flavour. You could also experiment using different types of sugar, matching it to the type of fruit.

In this recipe Jen used boysenberries, but raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, logan berries will all work well, in fact you can use just about any fruit to make a shrub. Try stone fruit, rhubarb, apples, pears, and even cucumber. Pair them with herbs/spices such as Pear & Ginger, or Strawberry & Basil for a fantastic base in a cocktail.

Enjoy!

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DAY 2 - Christmas Countdown - Christmas Star Bread

Day 2 of my christmas countdown - and we only have two days till the big day. Hope you’ve done all your Christmas shopping, and are sprinting through your “To Do” list. Todays recipe for Christmas Star Bread is perfect for that Christmas morning snack, while your opening presents and wrangling the turkey into submission. And it can even be prepared the night before and popped in the oven first thing Christmas morning.

Enjoy!

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DAY 5 - Christmas Countdown - Christmas Mince Pies

Day 5 of my christmas countdown is really getting into the Christmas spirit with these tiny Christmas Mince Pies. I love these pies with lots of dried fruit and a touch of nutmeg. They have to be my favourite at Christmas time, and of course I’ve been doing a fair bit of quality testing this week just to make sure they taste as good as they look.

Enjoy! 

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DAY 7 - Christmas Countdown - Gingerbread Stars

Day 7 of my christmas countdown is a recipe for a christmas bauble or two in the shape of Gingerbread Stars. They look fabulous hanging on a Christmas tree (or any tree if you’re going the non traditional route), or bagged up as pressies.

And don’t be like me and forget to put the holes in each star before putting them in the oven - doh! Never mind, out with the trusty power tool, and drill the holes once the gingerbread has cooled. Don’t forget to give the drill bit a wash first though. Perfect holes every time!

Enjoy! 

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DAY 9 - Christmas Countdown - Chocolate, Orange & Almond Biscotti

Well here we are for Day 9 of my Christmas Countdown. Today’s recipe is a Chocolate, Orange & Almond Biscotti, just the treat to have with a coffee or anytime snack.

Might pay to do a bit of dunking first as these biscotti are super crunchy, and I don’t want to be responsible for broken teeth at this time of year.

Enjoy! 

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Summer salad to impress......

This week I have another recipe from fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy (www.themodernmess.com). This is a simple but beautiful recipe for a Roast Carrot Salad with Labne & Sumac. It’s just the dish for those summer BBQ’s, or a light lunch. The labne could be replaced with soft goats cheese, just give the dish a sprinkle with sumac at the end. You can serve the salad warm or at room temperature, so perfect for Christmas day as you can prep ahead.

Enjoy! 

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Dress up your salads, soups & vege

OK everyone don’t fall off your seats - another post from me only a week after the last one. I’m trying to be a bit more diligent with my social media posts (early New Years resolution), fingers crossed I can keep going for more than a few months.

This week I have another recipe from fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy (www.themodernmess.com). Savoury Granola makes a great pantry staple, and a perfect topping for salads, soups, on top of eggs, and on roast or steamed vegetables. In fact anything that needs a bit of crunch! It also makes a great homemade gift, particularly at this time of year.

The dry ingredients are interchangeable with what you have in your pantry, just keep it to around six cups of dry ingredients. Don’t go too heavy on the buckwheat, they go nice and crunchy, but you don’t want too many of them.

Enjoy! 

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Getting in the mood for Christmas...?

Apologies to everyone out there in blog land - it’s been an absolute eon between posts. Been a bit busy on the work front with back to back projects, and have only just come up for air in the last week or so.

I also wanted to introduce you to fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy from the Modern Mess (www.themodernmess.com). We’ve decided to team up on a few projects and this is the first of our endeavours.

To get everyone in the mood for Christmas, Jen has cooked up a yum Christmas Mince Slice. Yes I know it’s still November, but Christmas is officially one month away today!

This is a version of Jen’s grandmother’s recipe. It’s subtly Christmasy and loved by all who get to sample it, plus great to have in the pantry for those Christmas visitors.

Enjoy! 

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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 best end to a winter dinner .......

Searching for a light winter dessert to have at a weekend dinner with friends? You've got to try these roast spiced pears with hazelnuts and labne. Roasting the pears gives them a richer flavour, and the generous slug of port with the spices makes for a heavenly combination. Of course a little tipple during cooking doesn't go amiss either. 

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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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Calling all Lovebirds.....

For all those lovebirds out there in blog land, Valentines Day is just around the corner so time to spoil that partner, husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, special friend etc! How about starting the day right with breakfast in bed? A little waffle and rhubarb berry magic could be a perfect Valentines treat. 

Bon appetit!

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