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SIMPLY SALMON

Salmon is a perfect summer food. It’s readily available, nourishing and quick and easy to cook. New Zealand’s fresh salmon is farmed in pristine coastal waters and in the chilly canals close to the Southern Alps. Salmon is a naturally rich source of top-quality protein, vitamins and long chain Omega-3s which are linked to the protection against heart disease and certain cancers, alleviation of arthritic pain, and the boosting of the immune system. But best of all its taste and versatility ma...

January 25, 2021

RENEW YOUR MENU

Surprise yourself. Next time you visit your local supermarket or deli browse the shelves with an eye for something different. There are always new temptations to try which will add interest to meals. I recently discovered black bean noodles. They’re 100 per cent plant based, have a low sugar content and are gluten-free. The thin spaghetti-like noodles cook in five to eight minutes. Slightly chewy and with a mild flavour, they marry well with hot sauces or cold dressings.   Date syrup...

January 18, 2021

GOURMET TRAVELS

My hairdresser has travelled extensively overseas but until recently had never visited the South Island. I suspect a lot of Kiwis haven’t explored their own ‘backyard’. So now is the time and I encourage travellers to enjoy some of the food specialties of the regions visited. Who knew that the only cranberry farm in New Zealand is situated close to Westland’s Hokitika where one can purchase fresh berries in season plus frozen fruit, sauces, jellies and relishes? And that pistachios are b...

January 6, 2021

NEWS YEAR’S FUN FARE

The earliest recorded New Year festivities date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal (spring) equinox — the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness — heralded the start of a new year.  The early Roman calendar created by Romulus, the founder of Rome, consisted of 304 days, with each new year beginning at the spring equinox. A later emperor is credited with adding the months of Januarius and...

December 31, 2020

SUPER SALAD SEASON

Summer is the time for simple tasty food. Healthy salad greens, tomatoes, fresh fruits, cold meats, and cheeses are perfect for the cook and the menu on hot balmy days.  Classical Roman salads were simple — salted vegetables eaten with a dressing of oil and vinegar. In medieval times salads composed of green leaves — and sometimes flowers — were drizzled with lemon juice. Later in England, oranges and lemons were used as salad garnishes. Today the salad has become a showca...

December 26, 2020

CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

If there was ever a year when Christmas celebrations are particularly welcome then this is the one. But every year there are more whims and wishes to cater for. Vegans, vegetarians, coeliacs, meat lovers and ketogenic dieters will gather round the family festive table this year to enjoy good food and friendship. Coeliacs are relatively easy to cater for: if you usually toss your spuds in flour before roasting, swap it for gluten-free cornflour — and also use it as a thickener in sauces. Ve...

December 23, 2020

SWEET ON CHRISTMAS

Although our family favours tried and true traditional desserts at Christmas, we add little twists and tweaks that provide interest.  The Yule Log has been a favourite in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and Vietnam for centuries. A variation of a rolled chocolate sponge that sometimes has a thick, diagonally-cut slice placed on top, highlighting the curls of whipped cream that resemble the concentric circles of the growth of a tree. In Shakespeare’s day, the traditional British Chris...

December 14, 2020

KITCHEN XMAS COOL

“For it is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis of Assisi. Christmas is a time for giving. A time to show our appreciation to family, friends, a good boss and your kid’s favourite teacher. Home-crafted goodies are particularly well received especially if a thoughtful note is attached — or even a recipe attached to a treat prepared in your kitchen. Christmas has not always been linked to Christ’s birthday. The winter solstice in the northern hemisphere was originally a Pagan holi...

December 8, 2020

Potato Salad on Sticks

1kg small waxy (boiling) potatoes Vinaigrette: 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Topping: 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed 2 tablespoons diced gherkins 1/4 cup each: chopped chives, flat-leaf parsley, fennel fronds flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Ensure the potatoes are about the same size. Halve any large ones. Boil in salted water until just tender. Meanwhile, whisk the ingredients together for the vinaigrette. Combi...

December 7, 2020

FUN FOOD

Offer me a selection of interesting finger foods at five o'clock and I'm in heaven. At this time of the year, these delicious little morsels sometimes replace my traditional dinner.  Tapas — the fashionable small plates of delicacies — were first created to suit the Spanish lifestyle. The trend towards enjoying nibbles while sipping a drink with friends after work is civilised socialising. Tapas are intended to whet the appetite not gratify it fully. However, the idea of serving...

December 2, 2020

VEGETARIAN PISTACHIO NUT LOAF

Based on a recipe from Jamie Magazine — but easier. Excellent served hot or cold with cranberry sauce. Risotto: 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms2 tablespoons olive oil2 each: celery stalks, small red onions, garlic cloves, diced1/2 cup each? Arborio rice, white wine2 cups hot vegetable stockNut mixture: 2 tablespoons olive oil200g brown mushrooms, sliced70g each: pistachio nuts, blanched almonds, lightly toasted and finely chopped1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs1 cup lightly packed grated tasty ch...

December 1, 2020

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER CHEESE

I made this dairy-free, gluten-free cheese sauce with diluted coconut milk.1 medium head cauliflowerCheese Sauce: 1/2 cup Angel Food Cheesey Sauce Mix2 1/2 cups rice, soy or coconut milkTopping: 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained1 tablespoon oregano leaves Preheat the oven to 220°·C Trim the cauli of its major leaves. Cut the base so the cauli sits flat. Place in a large microwave-proof bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove and place in a sma...

December 1, 2020

MEATLESS TREATS

Meatless Mondays were first introduced by the US Food Administration during World War I because meat and other staple food items were being exhausted. Nearly 13 million families signed on. The campaign was continued during World War II by President Roosevelt and then by President Harry Truman in post-war restoration efforts.  Meatless Mondays have become a way of life. And it's not only those who already opt for meat-free menus for health, religious or ethical issues, but for those who enjo...

November 28, 2020

CHRISTMAS YUM

Yes, it’s time to make your Christmas cake. Make it now to allow true lusciousness to develop. Make it now so it’s easier to cut. Make it now and enjoy tempting Christmas aromas even before festivities really kick in. The first step with most festive cakes is soaking dried fruits in brandy to soften them and enhance the flavours. A friend at the gym said his wife uses a whole bottle. When I looked at him aghast he said he buys the brandy duty free. (Well, not this year!) If brandy is a littl...

November 16, 2020

BIG ON BARBECUES

It’s time to dust off the barbecue, scrub the grill and enjoy cooking al fresco. Besides producing fabulous flavoursome foods, I find barbecues encourage family togetherness and conversation — it's difficult to watch television dining under a sun umbrella! Barbecue cooking has become sophisticated: marinades and spicy rubs add exotic flavours to meats and fish; minced meats combined with Asian ingredients make tasty burgers; fresh herbs add interest to fish and shellfish; and popula...

November 13, 2020

COOKIES PLUS

Nothing beats the aroma of freshly baked cookies. According to culinary historians, the first record of cookies was their use as test cakes. A small amount of cake batter was baked to test the oven temperature. There are also records showing cookies were a result of sugar cultivation in 7th century Persia. During the 11th to 16th centuries, sugar spread through the Mediterranean and then to northern Europe. By the 14th-century wafer-like cakes could be purchased in Paris.  By definition, a ...

November 4, 2020

HALLOWE’EN HIGH JINKS

Evil will be abroad on the evening of October 31 as ghosts, demons and witches roam the land. But don’t worry — they are only the neighbourhood kids dressed up to celebrate Hallowe’en. It is the Irish and the Scots that we have to thank for Hallowe’en. It was part of ancient Celtic religious celebrations in the AD 800s. At the end of the northern hemisphere summer, the Celts held a big party to scare away the ghosts and spirits they thought would wander the earth at the end of the se...

October 26, 2020

LAID BACK LUNCHES

Last weekend I enjoyed a relaxed lunch on a friend’s patio. The sun gods were obliging, the slight breeze was balmy and I realised that summer was just around the corner. Hurray! Laid back lunches are great for catching up with friends and family. They don’t need to be exotic — just good food served simply. My friend dished up a crisp and colourful salad topped with an award-winning, Kiwi-produced burrata — mozzarella-like on the outside but gloriously gooey on the inside. The ro...

October 20, 2020

FUN, FOOD & BEER

Oktoberfest originated in Germany on 12 October 1810, to celebrate the marriage of Ludwig, the Crown Prince of Bavaria, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. He later became King Louis I. The citizens of Munich were invited to join in the festivities which were held over five days on the fields in front of the city gates. Today, the two-week festival attracts over six million visitors from all over the world. In addition to eating, drinking and dancing, visitors enjoy colourful parades...

October 15, 2020

WHOLE IN ONE

Who needs the hassle of multiple cooking methods for a weekday meal? Who needs four pots to clean after dinner? Who needs 25 ingredients in Monday’s meatless dish? Well, not many of us.  Granted the four-pot scenario may have its place for those entertainment dinners where you want to dress (up your meals) to impress.  But talking to my friends it seems we all want ‘simple’ during the week. We also want variety in our meals — not mince five nights in a row even if it is pre...

October 6, 2020

SEE THE LIGHT

Spring is here! Time to lighten up with lighter meals. It’s an opportunity to get in shape for summer. I want to be able to wear last year’s slim-fit ‘trou’ and shorts.  Although a recipe may specify a few tablespoons of oil, you can usually get away with using a lot less – think teaspoons rather than tablespoons. For frying, choose a non-stick pan and brush the base with oil. You can also use water in place of oil when frying onions or even for stir-fries. Water helps soften...

September 27, 2020

CANNED DELIGHTS

Health professionals encourage us to eat more fruit and using canned varieties is an economical way to bump up your daily intake. However, where possible, choose canned fruits in juice rather than syrup to prevent adding excess sugar to your diet.  The advantages of using canned fruit in meals include: they’re a time-savers as they are already prepared; any fruit leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container without loss of nutrients; they are sometimes cheaper than seasonal fres...

September 21, 2020

GO GEORGIAN

Recently I received a message out of the blue from a client in Georgia (SE Europe) asking me if I could develop suitable recipes for a local (Georgian) product to be sold in Japan. An intriguing request! But it got me thinking. I love Japanese food. But Georgian cuisine? Well, it’s delightfully diverse. Nestling between the subtropical Black Sea shores and the snowy crest line of the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia is gourmet country. Tea, citrus, almonds and olives thrive near the mountains. In m...

September 12, 2020

WINE DINING

Men are like wine — some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age. Pope John XXIII Most cooks will agree that it’s wise to cook with a wine that you would be happy to drink. But that doesn’t mean you have to select a wine from the top shelf. Just choose a good one that fits the budget. Wine adds a little magic to many a recipe. The complex combination of flavours of the wine provide body and depth to dishes as well tenderising and adding moisture. Wine’s acidity softens the tis...

September 5, 2020

Lychee Lamington Sponge

Make your own sponge cake or use a bought unfilled sponge. Sponge cake: 4 eggs3/4 cup caster sugar1/3 cup boiling water2 teaspoons butter1 cup self-raising flour1 tablespoon cornflourCoating: 1 packet raspberry jelly crystals1 cup each: boiling water, desiccated coconutFilling: 560g can lychees1 cup cream2 tablespoons icing sugar To make the sponge, first preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly brush two 21cm cake pans with oil and line with baking paper.  Breat the eggs in a lar...

August 31, 2020 Posts 1-25 of 291 | Page next
 

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