December 17, 2018
It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. There’s a touch of tension in the air. Who is coming to the Christmas feast? Why won’t the family make up their minds? It’s often a bit awkward with families. Some live in different towns; there are the in-laws, siblings a...
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December 11, 2018
Christmas is a time of celebration and festive foods. And if dishes can be prepared ahead — well great! The more time spent with family and friends the better. Turkey is an excellent special occasion meat and it can always be prepared in the slow cooker — if...
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December 5, 2018
Christmas is a time for giving, sharing and caring. It is a time for catch up with friends and neighbours. Whether the fraternising happens before Christmas or during the holidays, a small gift is a great way of showing the friendship is appreciated. Interesting wrapping pap...
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November 29, 2018
Tantalising smells are wafting across my backyard — it must be time to rev up the barbecue and compete with the neighbours in our annual competition for the best summer aromas. Whatever the type of cooker or fuel used, the secret to successful barbecues is the quality ...
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November 19, 2018
“Bring out the figgy pudding” rings the Christmas song. But what is it and how is it made?  Originating in England in the 1600s, this fruit pudding was the forerunner of the Christmas plum pudding — neither of which generally contained figs or plums. The puddi...
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Jan's Dukkah

November 12, 2018
1/2 cup each: flaked almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin kernels 4 tablespoons each: cumin seeds, coriander seeds2 teaspoons each: rock salt, oregano, fennel seeds1 tablespoon each: ground turmeric, paprika Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the almonds and seeds (but not the fenn...
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November 7, 2018
I recently relaxed for a few days in Fiji and noticed a change in the culinary climate. I’ve always enjoyed the tropical fruit, kokodu (marinated fish) and the local curries, which are often a little milder than the true Indian versions. However, a raft of new chefs have i...
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Mercury Bay Estate Vineyard

November 7, 2018
Mercury Bay Estate Vineyard, Winery & Cellar Door on eastern Coromandel Peninsula is a showcase for local and Hawke’s Bay grapes. Simon & Veronica Ward purchased a piece of an original vineyard choosing a Pinot Noir block purely as an ideal location to live.   Ho...
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November 5, 2018
What I love about the warmer weather is the opportunity to dine al fresco with friends, enjoying a light lunch and a glass of rosé. This blush-coloured winner is now the ‘go to’ wine when invitees are unsure of what to bring to an event, or — if you’re the host ...
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October 23, 2018
We’re expecting a truck load of visitors this coming month so I’ve been freezing a selection of mouth-watering meals in expectation. This includes a favourite way of cooking a whole duck — in a slow cooker. Asian spices flavour the duck which can be served in Chine...
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