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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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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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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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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Party time in my fig tree......

During autumn I can always tell when the figs on my tree are ready as the birds seem to be having a party every day. With the amount of bird noise I can hear I'm guessing there's lots of squabbling going on between birdy individuals as to who has the perfect fig.

With this years mild autumn, the figs are huge and some nearly fill the palm of my hand. OK I have little hands - but even so that's pretty big for a fig.  The tree I planted about 10 years ago is called Brown Turkey - don't ask why as the figs aren't brown & there aren't any turkeys involved. It seems to cope well with the winter frosts we have here in Canterbury and produces a good crop most years - autumn weather dependent for ripening of the figs which are green to black on the outside and a creamy colour inside.

So before the birds damage all the fruit, I have a bit of a baking frenzy in the kitchen and cook up all sorts of dishes. This recipe is one of my favourites and always generates plenty of ohhhs & ahhhhsss from hungry guests!

Enjoy!

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That time of year again......

Yup it's that time of year again when florists work around the clock and love is in the air. Thought I would share this recipe & images with you all out there in blog land of a shoot I did recently for a client. I think it fits the Valentines brief perfectly and super easy to make. And yes the client and I did eat this dessert and the spare afterwards. Result - both decided it was super delicious and were looking for more!

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Summer - sort of.....!

After complaining in my last post about the lack of summer the weather gods finally turned on a few hot humid days last weekend just to tease us, then turned the water works back on again for the rest of the week. I'm still hoping the remainder of summer is going to be sunny but I'm not holding my breath on that one! 

So on the hot humid days I had a go at making some jellies with fruit from the garden. The blackcurrants needed picking so this recipe looked perfect for a test run. Adding the blackcurrant shots after the elderflower jelly is set is optional but adds an interesting look to the jellies if they are are in glass containers. The idea came from Jellyologist Jess Mentis (www.thejellyologist.com). I've been following Jess on Instagram for while now and her jellies look amazing. Often they have different colours or flowers inserted in the jelly. Hmmm more practice needed I think on my own attempts.

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