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RECYCLED REWARDS

Another unexpected hunkering down at home has seen a complete cleanout of my pantry. I discovered large bags of sumac and ground turmeric left over from a photography shoot 18 months ago and just past their best-by dates. Their flavour intensity was a little diminished but they were still usable. I had two days of turmeric lattes (heat a half teaspoon of ground turmeric, a quarter teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and ginger and a dash of vanilla essence in a cup of milk), then married the remain...

October 22, 2021

BIG ON BRASSICAS

Do you remember your mum saying ‘Eat your greens’? Followed immediately by those discouraging words ‘They’re good for you.’ Nothing about how delicious they were, nothing about the preparation (ie ‘I’ve stir-fried them in orange juice’), and certainly no interesting background facts.  Did you know that silver beet has a noble past? It’s one of the vegetables recorded as growing in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; it appeared in the writings of Aristotle; and it was pro...

October 18, 2021

KITCHEN CAPERS

In many ways, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between school holidays and lockdown. But to keep spirits up during the hols, encourage the kids to enjoy some simple fun playing chef in the kitchen. The following recipes don't require much cooking so they are suitable for kids of all ages. It’s throw together food. However, give a little guidance, if required.  • First, make sure hands are washed in hot soapy water and dried thoroughly.  • Read the recipe first and place...

October 11, 2021

SOLD ON CITRUS

This is the season of citrus at its zingy best. Oranges, lemons, mandarins and grapefruit are versatile, tasty, and low in kilojoules. New Zealand-grown navel oranges are a one of my faves: luscious, juicy and moreish. Segments add pizzazz to winter salads. Combine them in a bowl with crunchy greens, super grains or winter fruit combos for eye-catching colour and fabulous flavour. The juice makes a wonderful low-cal dressing.   If you’re gin drinker or if you enjoy lemon-flavoured wa...

October 6, 2021

PANCAKES AND PIKELETS PLEASE

The accidental creator of the famous pancakes, Crêpes Suzette, was a 14-year-old boy, Henri Charpentier. He was cooking a crêpe sauce for a special restaurant customer, Albert, Prince of Wales. The sauce — a combination of citrus, sugar, butter and various liqueurs accidently caught on fire. Henri thought his sauce was ruined but when tasted, it was delectable! He plunged the crêpes into the sauce and served them — much to Albert's delight. The creation was named after a little gi...

September 28, 2021

Mollie's Bar and Eatery

Blenheim's relatively new Mollie's Bar and Eatery, attached to Hotel D'Urville, took top honours in this year's Great NZ Toastie Takeover, which attracted more than 120 entries nationwide and saw more than 80,000 toasties served up to punters.  Chef Steve MacDougall's delicious creation 'Mo Jo Pork Cuban with a Twist' contains slow-roasted pork belly, provolone, chimichurri, American mustard, McClure's Pickles and apple chilli gel slathered between toasted sourdough and served with kumara c...

September 14, 2021

COUCH POTATO PICKS

I love a feel-good story and the winner of the 2021 Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover challenge certainly has one.  Steve MacDougall of Blenheim lost his job at a local restaurant when Covid hit. He became a stay-at-home dad to three-year-old John and nine-year-old Komal. During this time he developed an online keto bread business to make ends meet. It became very popular and continues to evolve. Once lockdown ended chef positions were as scarce as hen’s teeth. Eventually he was appointe...

September 14, 2021

FRYING PAN FAVES

For my husband and I, frying pan meals have come into their own over the last two months. We have been waiting to shift into a new house. After initially staying with kind friends, we rented a tiny apartment with extremely limited cooking facilities. But it did have an excellent frying pan. And I just love whipping up one-pan meals. They’re so easy. This pan had a very heavy base so it distributed the heat evenly. It was non-stick which meant I didn’t have to use oil in much of my cooking. T...

September 7, 2021

ON THE BALL

There are three good things about bliss balls and truffles. One, they are generally mixed by hand and easy to make. Two, they don't require baking and three they taste delicious. These winners can be served as snacks, with coffee after dinner or they can be a substitute for dessert. Truffles, the chocolate variety, were so named because of their similarity from afar, to the famous fungi found underground.  Looking like dark, mushrooms, truffles are regarded as a savoury delicacy. And the af...

September 2, 2021

TIME FOR TEA

The Chinese accepted the medicinal values of tea as early as the fourth century BC. Wild tea leaves were gathered from trees and bushes and combined with water to produce a tonic. During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 AD) it was found that covering the leaves and steeping them in hot water produced a more flavoursome brew. Thus, the first teapot was developed. Farmers began cultivating small tea bushes to keep up with the demand and a system of drying and processing gradually developed. In the thir...

August 27, 2021

HEALTHY HANDFULS

‘Tiny but mighty, nuts and seeds deliver protein, fibre and a nutrient punch with every bite’ Havard Health. Nuts are actually the seeds of plants with most coming from trees. However, peanuts are the seeds of a legume. Sesame seeds have been cultivated for well over 5000 years. The tiny, oil-rich seeds grow in pods on the ‘Sesamum indicum’ plant. Sesame seeds may protect against heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. However, you need to eat significant amounts — a handful per day...

August 23, 2021

MAKE MINE MICROWAVE

Like many great inventions, the microwave oven was a by-product of another technology. Developed in 1946 by Dr Percy Spencer, a specialist in radar research, the first oven was almost two metres high and weighed over 300 kilograms. Born in 1894 and forced to leave school to find a job at the age of 14, Percy Spencer had ‘an itch’ for knowledge. He studied text books at night to work out how to introduce electricity to a local paper mill. He took a shine to wireless technology and joined the ...

August 16, 2021

BAKES BEATS BLUES

The winter weather maybe frightful but your home-made bakes will be delightful! Baking requires attention to detail. Pans need to be prepared in advance and measurements must be exact. To get the best cake, creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy will help enormously. However, in this day of ‘busy, busy, busy,’ the food processor has a place. It can be used for nearly every meal occasion as well as preparing batters for waffles and pikelets and a processor speeds up the preparat...

August 13, 2021

Sea Fare

Eat healthy. Eat seafood. It can help prevent heart attacks and strokes, it can lower blood pressure and may even help ward off depression. The magic ingredients are the omega-3 fatty acids which are notably common in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna. Cooking temperatures should be kept to medium though as high heat can destroy the fatty acids. All seafood contains goodly amounts of protein, has low levels of saturated fat and contains vitamin E, an important antioxidant. Although so...

August 5, 2021

CHEAP AND CHEERFUL

Budget meals don’t have to be boring. Try different combos of herbs, spices or sauces to add interest to your dishes. They’re relatively economical and once your pantry is well stocked, your creations are only limited by your imagination.  Meals with rice, pasta and noodles can be great budget beaters. And there always seems to be a new variety to try.  Ramen noodles are named after the popular Japanese soup they are used in. They are an adaption of the Chinese wheat noodle and onl...

July 22, 2021

FRUITFUL SEASON

Persuading kids – and even ‘big kids’ — to eat their veg is often a challenge. I tempt my family with broccoli trees and a dip of mayo and tomato sauce; or fresh Vietnamese-style spring roll wraps with finely shredded cabbage, julienned carrot and capsicum; or julienned assorted greens in fritters. It easier to persuade your family to enjoy fresh produce in the winter because seasonal fruits can add pizazz to greens. Tamarillos stir-fried with mushrooms and broccoli; tender spinach l...

July 12, 2021

COOKING USA

The Fourth of July is party time in the United States when families gather together to celebrate the Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1776. I’ve experienced a couple of Independence Day parties in the USA and on both occasions was amazed by the quantity and quality of the food offered. Everyone brought a plate of food large enough to feed twice the number of guests. Buffalo wings (or just ‘wings’ as they’re called for short) were popular. Unbreaded chicken wing sections are ge...

July 3, 2021

CURRIED VEG VIM

I remember the day I discovered one of the secrets of a successful French chef in Melbourne. Standing next to him as he cooked, I noticed a tiny pinch of curry powder being added to a sauce. (Very non Cordon Bleu!) The taste wasn’t obvious in the sauce at all — it just made it intriguing. I’m sure he wouldn’t admit to his fellow countrymen that he used curry powder. Powder was the only type of curry in my mother’s pantry. Today we are spoilt for choice. There are Thai green and red...

June 28, 2021

SPICE OF LIFE

Love is like a spice. It can sweeten your life — however, it can spoil it too. Confucius. Using spices in cooking is a balancing act. Too little can be too vague, too much can dominate.Chinese Five-spice is a pungent combination of ground cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, cloves and Szechwan peppercorns. It enhances pork, beef, poultry and seafood and should be used in moderation. Add just a little at the beginning of cooking as it can always be spiced up at the end or just sprinkled ove...

June 21, 2021

FOUR DAY’S FARE

Monday to Thursday you need dinner fast. These meals have to be tasty, easy to cook and family friendly.  The term ‘munchie’ originally referred to snacks that were devoured before dinner to relieve hunger pangs. In recent years it has become a term for yummy food that can be eaten easily, usually held in the fingers. The Monday Munchie became family slang for burgers that were more often than not served on Monday.   Which got me thinking about Taco Tuesdays. The name taco ori...

June 17, 2021

GLUTEN-FREE TREATS

“Removing gluten from one’s diet isn’t a choice but a necessary way of life for up to 70,000 Kiwis living with coeliac disease,” says Coeliac NZ General manager Wendy Bremmer. Even a tiny portion of gluten has serious consequences for coeliac sufferers and that’s why families living with this disease need two toasters — one for common bread and one for gluten-free — to avoid mistakes. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats and causes inflammation and gut d...

June 6, 2021

PORK APPEALS

Pork provides more bang for your buck than many other meats. It’s a firm favourite on the summer barbie and a top choice for warming winter winners.   The key to producing tender, juicy pork is to avoid over-cooking. Pork schnitzels take about 1-2 minutes each side to cook depending on the thickness. Sliced in a stir-fry, schnitzels take 2-3 minutes to cook.  And the New Zealand Pork Board has been advocating new rules for cooking chops and steaks. It’s the ‘6+2+2’ method....

May 29, 2021

KIMCHI

Add julienned carrot if preferred or combine a mix of red and green cabbage. 1/2 large Savoy cabbage4 tablespoons salt1 tablespoon sugar4 cloves garlic, crushed2 tablespoons each: finely grated root ginger, fish sauce, gochujang (Korean chilli paste)4 each: spring onions, round radishes, thinly sliced Remove any thick core from the cabbage. Chop the leaves into 3cm pieces and place in a large ceramic bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and mix it in with your hands. Stand for 1 hour...

May 29, 2021

Kim Chi Lamburgers

Burgers: 500g lean minced lamb3/4 cup kim chi1 small egg, beatenfreshly ground black pepper to taste1-2 tablespoons olive oilExtras: 4 small buns4-6 tablespoons mayonnaise2 cups finely shredded lettuce1/4 cup mint leaves (sliced if large)4 slices tomato or cooked beetroot1/2 cup mint jelly, melted Place the lamb in a large bowl. Drain the kim chi well and finely chop. Squeeze out any excess moisture. Add to the lamb with the egg and mix well. Form into 4 patties the same diameter as the buns. Se...

May 24, 2021

VIVA ITALIA

For me, many of Italy’s dishes are feel-good comfort food. And countless dishes have been embraced by other cultures and countries and become firm favourites. Indeed, the bible of the French kitchen Larousse Gastronomique, makes the concession that ‘Italian cooking can be considered for all countries of Latin Europe, as a veritable mother cuisine.’ Lasagne (or lasagna) is an all-time favourite in Italy. It is thought to have originated in the city of Naples during the Middle Ages. However,...

May 23, 2021 Posts 1-25 of 326 | Page next
 

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