February 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
ive fallen in love with mairangi bay.
a seaside village (well – as villagy as you can get in auckland), crisp white sand, stunning coastal runs, weekly saturday walk with the amazing sally from fitness fix, scrummy saturday market laden with the most succulent homegrown lettuces you can ever imagine (thanks clevedon herbs & produce).
this lovely market the other saturday had the most beautifully sweet, juice dribbling down your chin kind of variety, deep purple plums. The car came back laden and it was too irresistable not to stew some of them to make the below concoction.
anything tastes good with buttery pasty, melt in your mouth frangipane and vanilla cream goodness. the subtle sweet tartness of these stewed plums was just ideal…yum x
ps – cross my heart to put the recipe up tomorrow…. xx
January 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
ive been doing some reading (ok, ok, so its more like ‘book addiction’, adding to my ever-growing stash of cookbooks), and honestly cannot get enough of this genius cookbook from molten, a to die for restaurant in mt eden. it is such a beautifully depicted portrayal of their food and journey in the culinary world.
photographically, babiche martens has captured some real magic in her shots. pure food, untainted ingredients, immaculate presentation. such a privilege to be able to conjure up some of the molten secrets at home (i’m a huge fan of the fig panforte and chocolate cake already!)
please, please, please go pay them a visit and support the continuation of exceptional food in your own kitchen by getting your hands on a copy!
(actual photos above courtesy of michaels website, minus the signed copy – thats mine for keepers on my shelf!)
January 15, 2012 § 2 Comments
yay. welcome to summer. well, lets hope! the rain here in auckland seems to be clinging on to the relic of winter long gone.
firstly, i have some apologising to do. many months have passed since i last posted here (11th november to be exact). not because i didn’t want to, in fact i longed to. life got caught up in the busy mode of juggling work, a little near three year old and that pre-christmas rush, making copious amounts of gin & blackberry jam along with fig and hazelnut panforte to wrap for the hordes prior to christmas day took a tonne of energy and love.
it took a timely and ever so sweet reminder from a dear friend over coffee the other day, to remind me of this. his words were, “there is only one thing wrong with your blog…..you don’t post enough”. let it sink in. reality, very true.
so, heading forwards i will cross my heart and promise to visit this little land and share with you all things scrummy more frequently. and in return, i hope that your heart will smile, that your tongue will savour and that your loved ones will partake in the warmth and pleasure that the joys of food creates.
this little wonder below is the ultimate summer tart (i love this word so much more than ‘quiche’). ruby red little cherry toms, succulently sweet courgettes, salty feta all encased in the butteriest of pastries.
the past two weeks of our summer holiday were spent in christchurch, enjoying all the sumner has to offer. beautiful beaches, seagulls to chase, rocks to throw (presently im sporting a lovely wee butterfly clip thanks to rock to head collision of very good armed near three year old), coffees to savour, bean bags to lounge in, books to devour.
joe’s garage in sumner is worth a wander into. great macchiatos. lovely eggs & spinach on whole grain. endless amount of colouring, truck playing and chalk drawing for little people. great start to many a morning.
heading away was also a wonderful opportunity to devour many a book. i was in hammock heaven! check out this lovely read from nz restaurateur Fleur Sullivan. at age 72 with a string of restaurants and an amazing life behind and ahead of her, the energy in which she writes and the achievements she has bought to fruition is inspiration enough for this green bean.
i’ll leave you with this beautifully zingy sweet blackberry & gin jam recipe (a wonderful ripe deli recipe which has been tweaked and adapted with gratitude).
go on….smother it on your grainy toast with slathers of butter…
November 14, 2011 § Leave a Comment
yesterday was a day unlike summer. dull grey cloud covering a translucent blue, a wind that blew continually and drizzle which turned itself on and off sporadically to trickle down ones face. we are bang in the middle of november and these kind of days only make me yearn even more for summer and the many joys that come with it. here is why:
1] no more grey. no more wind. just pure sunshine, sand in toes, fresh mint, frozen lemon cubes, decadent raspberries and ice cream that dribbles down the chin.
2] fresh berries in all shapes, sizes, colours and forms. especially raspberries picked from the raspberry farm in tai tapu in christchurch. they are perfect for making mini coconut and raspberry bites (lets face it everything in ‘mini’ just tastes better)….
ps – i have managed to get my hands on the treasured recipe of these famous little & friday donuts so will definitely be trying my hand at them and sharing the successful indulgence with you all some day soon (fingers crossed) x
November 12, 2011 § Leave a Comment
a number of weeks ago, i treated myself to an amazing book “light of lucia” . it is a book filled with recipes that have been cultivated, cherished and passed down from generation to generation. amidst it’s pages you will find the tale of luciana sampogna and discover her stories and recipes which embody a celebration of italian life, love and food. with photography captured by natasha milner, it really is a remarkable and credible journey. please open the pages and see a little taster of what lies below. you’ll be inspired to gather fresh ingredients from your garden, rub mint into the tenderest of lamb and cook untainted food at its purest.
aside from devouring many a book over the past weeks, an addiction to the most gorgeous coffee and cake haven has been formed. little & friday has me totally smitten. with mouth watering delights from decadent chocolate and raspberry ganache cake, mini baci, gluten free almond and orange cake, hazelnut caramel fudge, lemon and coconut cake with mascarpone cream….there really is too much to choose from. stumble along to melrose street in newmarket for a glimpse and droolworthy experience. for one of their home made donuts dunked in icing sugar and filled with vanilla cream and home made raspberry jam, you’ll definitely have to get through the doors by eleven or they are bound to be sold out (mmm..).
it is because little & friday has vision and creates food that is tantilisingly mouth watering, presented beautifully, all in miniature sizes that there has been inspiration to say no to all the distractions, put some time aside to get in the kitchen and make the below. using walnuts baked into a caramely goo and encased in the crispest of pastries, you are sure to devour these. just as good hot from the oven as they are when cool. imagine a dollop of vanilla bean icecream on the side….mmmmm.
September 11, 2011 § Leave a Comment
one of my very gorgeous friends – jaime, gifted me with the most beautiful of books recently. its called ‘recipes from an italian summer’.
i was awestruck by the exquisite recipes, earthy paper stock, illustrated cover and breath taking photography that truly made you feel like you were curled up right on the picnic rug in the very field in which some of the photos had been taken.
i love how it becomes not just a book of recipes but an entire journey and taste teaser of a little of what italy and the italian culture have to offer. its a book that conjures up images creating a yearning to discover and taste. the suggestions on which italian food festivals to check out all look like a must and a great way to start planning a holiday around.
these are some snapshots taken from a little of what lies within its contents. simple. beautiful. honest. raw.
take a trip to a good bookstore and get a copy. maybe you’ll get to come to italy with me too.
ps – a huge thank you for the massive encouragement from this wonderful lady. so lovely to get a mention once more. there is oodles of inspiration to be found amidst her creative pages. go visit.
August 3, 2011 § Leave a Comment
so, its apology time. days have passed without any new post to occupy this space. sorry.
you see, last week was a bit of a melt down one for me. how i managed to have two car accidents (yes – two), in different cars each time (yes – one still in the workshop), in the space of a few days from each other, i am yet to figure out! since then there has been a lot of footpath walking and little kid scootering going on!
anyhow. while practically marooned it was a good opportunity to delve into the books, cupboards and pantry and concoct something to sooth and ease the memories….what better way to do that than with chocolate and sticky sweet marshmallows. yes, i am a total chocolate sucker.
just hearing the word ‘marshmallow’ makes everything better. how can one say that word and not get a smile upon their lips?
go on…just try it…M A R S H M A L L O W!
July 11, 2011 § Leave a Comment
there is a book that you should read. a book that will transport you places. one that will conjure images in your mind of all things delectable and savouringly sweet, taking you back to memories of childhood days where sand stuck to your tongue when you licked the hokey-pokey dribble from your ice cream cone or of journeys you long to take to a land where people speak in an italiano tongue.
this book, which you must find is called ‘gelato’ and if you look inside you will discover the world of caffe latte, amaretto and poached pear, zabaglione with figs, chocolate and hazelnut, mascarpone, vanilla and lemon, cherry, peach, cactus pear and every kind of gelato and sorbetti a little kid can dream and wish to devour.
and though yesterday, i didn’t end up making real gelato (promise to do that oh so soon). it did inspire me to whip up something similar with a few things that were lying around in my freezer. we call this ’banana berry frozen cream’. completely dreamy, melt in your mouth exquisiteness. this will satisfy your need for a burst of summer on a wintery afternoon and allow you to sleep guilt free by having given your little ones something of pure health to eat.