Eeeeeee, just had the best day cooking and shooting with Stacey Morrison for Whanau Living, for an episode which will be screening on TV One early next year...obviously that is miles away, but I'll remind you closer to the time :) Now it's time to head off to Beatriz at Dinner as part of the NZ international film festival and enjoy a wee glass (or several) of red. Check back in tomorrow for two new recipes for the weekend!

Mushrooms in pastry (en croute)


Gooood morning, good morning, good morning (said in my head just like Stephen Fry). Right well apparently the weather is about to turn to crap all around the country again, so I thought a wee bit of mushroomy, cheesy pastry was in order. This is such a simple recipe that I put together for my lovely friends at Dish magazine, seriously easy - the only thing you need to watch out for is that the mushrooms are quite dry after cooking, the cheese on the base does a good job of preventing a soggy bottom, but there is a limit to it's water-proofing abilities...the end result is so bloody good, I hope you give it a whirl :) 

And in other news, I have just finished an epic couple of days shooting a little project for Simon Gault - seriously, I know it might not sound very difficult, but shopping, prepping, cooking, styling and photographing recipes and not missing anything can be pretty stressful. But phew - job done, apart from the editing that is, but in my head that's the easiest bit. And now, hurrah, I'm so excited to start thinking about my trip to Melbourne to see Pog and Will - I haven't seen Henry since the 8th of January which feels like a very, very long time. God I wish it was for longer than two days, but it's an expensive business. Meanwhile I got the most hilarious message from Hoob yesterday who was fizzing with excitement sitting in a lecture on the philosophy of psychology - darling man. That's about it really, apart from a very successful quiz night down at the pub the other night - just in case any of my 'rubble-making' teammates read were awesome :)

Fisher & Paykel dinner set winner!


CONGRATULATIONS REBECCA LANEY - with your 'turbo boosted' chilli choice, you are now the proud owner of the gorgeous 21 piece ceramic dinner set that has been hand crafted in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawer. If you could email me at by Tuesday 18th July with your address and phone number, the good people at Fisher & Paykel will organise the delivery of your dinner set. Well done -  and have a great weekend :)

Pumpkin & pancetta pasta bake


Goooood morning - right well I am back to having a very hectic few weeks coming up so thought I would get one quick blog post up before things turn to custard! This is such a bloody delicious, indulgent, cheesy flavour-packed pasta dish, it is perfect for a crappy winter's night. The intense flavour comes from salty pancetta, grunty garlic and earthily sweet pumpkin and kumara, paired with a little nutmeg, a good hit of chilli and finished off with a crumbling of toasted walnuts and the distinctive fragrant flavour of fried sage. Seriously. It really is bloody good!

Meanwhile in other news - Hoob is still in Welly picking up extra shifts at work during the uni break, Henry is slogging away in Melbourne, dealing with the occasional uninvited mouse-guest and I have had a lovely quiet week in the manner of the calm before the storm. Next week I'll be flat out doing a job for the famous Mr Simon Gault before heading off to Melbourne for two nights with Pog and Will - hurrah!!! Back here it'll be down to business again for Fairfax, Cuisine and Dish and finishing off prep for the cookbook launch, which I am thrilled to say involves a wee bit of media coverage around about - keep an eye out, hahaha, but of course I'll be letting you know when it all starts here anyway! First up was an article in Stuff last week, which you can read about here. (Can I please just point out I hate having my photo taken, and I am spectacularly crap at it - I always look like some kind of stiff, stunned possum...). Anyhoo - time to get up, it's a gorgeous morning, I'm off for a walk (yoga tomorrow yippeeeee), and gotta get sh*t done! :)

whisky + winter


There is absolutely no point to this post other than, clearly I am no good with time on my hands ('just chilling' - words you will probably never hear me say), and hello - isn't whisky just made for crap weather? No wonder it means 'water of life'...

Rhubarb & Raspberry Clafoutis

L'il re-post from last year for Bastille day celebrations (la Fete Nationale), I know in the northern hemisphere it is the middle of summer - but for my southern mates I thought a warm pud might be appropriate! I'm aiming to shoot an easy, cheesy pasta recipe in the next few days - so check back in at the weekend for that, and in the meantime - have a good one! :) (Obviously I have always been a sucker for rhubarb and custard...!)

(original post)
I'm writing this a bit later in the day for a change, coffee in hand, weak sunlight streaming in the window and, as hoped, Dougie is snoring gently and intermittently farting in his bed at my feet. (Dougie is Henry's border terrier in case you weren't sure!). He seems to be rocketing along with his recovery, eating well (free range chicken and rice...), taking his meds (kind of), sleeping lots but generally in a pretty perky state. The next step is to have his stitches removed next Wednesday and further blood tests to see if there is an underlying disease which caused his gallbladder issues. Meanwhile - it is all go in Melbourne with Pog finally starting his interior design course on Monday, and I am (fingers crossed) assuming not-much-news is good news from Rich. I started my day with a bloody lovely yoga session, so have no excuse not to now get my act together and have a good day, testing my next lot of recipes for Dish magazine.

This clafoutis recipe is one I put together for my fortnightly Dish web contribution, and I have to say it is damned delicious. I love tart rhubarb, and when combined with the sweet raspberries then topped with soft vanilla custard it really is a great dessert. The clafoutis is super easy to make, and quick too, if you roast your rhubarb in advance. The trick is not to serve it straight away as the custard needs time to set up a little - but then don't serve it cold either, because by then the custard will have set into a slab! Just give it 5 minutes or so, then serve with a lovely big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Rhubarb cheesecake custard crumble tart


This is outrageous - it is 8:27am and I am still in bed! As I scroll through my Facebook feed looking at everyone's tropical/American/European adventures, I am 'on holiday' at home - complete with spa treatments (I have a bath and epsom salts), gourmet food (hello kitchen) fabulous nightlife (Netflix), culture (pile of books) and shopping (on-line). Hahahahaha - it's not all bad to be honest...Anyhoo, as I have had a bit more time I have enjoyed getting creative in the kitchen, this tart is one of the recent results created for Dish magazine. Basically it' a load of my favourite things together - a tart, with custard, kind of cheesecake-y, roast rhubarb and short-cakey crumble...bloody fabulous. You can serve it warm or cold, and although it's great on it's own, feel free to serve with vanilla bean ice cream or softly whipped cream. Also - it sounds complicated I know, but it is actually really easy, to be honest I don't ever cook stuff that is super difficult, because - who can be bothered!!?

No other news to report really - I'm trying to lure Hoob up for a few more days in Auckland, unsuccessfully so far, but early days, while counting down to my trip Melbourne to see Pog and Will...eeee, so excited! Other than that, let's see I trimmed the daisy bush (don't go looking for euphemisms) and cleaned the bathrooms perhaps I should leave it there. Have a great week - and do check out the recipe below, you'll see it is completely straight forward.

Oh - and before I forget Saveur are doing their food blog awards again, if anyone feels an inclination to nominate me, you can do it here :)

Spicy Beef Curry


By crikey this has been one hell of a year so far - up until just recently I had had only 1 1/2 days off (including weekends) since the middle of January. I am so bloody excited to say that the cookbook, which has ruled my life for so long, is now finally on the presses and will soon be heading this way - wooooooooo hooooooo!!!!!!!! (If I ever decide to do another one - please remind me of this post!). Anyhoo, as an exciting end to that daily grind, I have just had my darling Hoob up from Welly for two short nights,  it was such a huge treat to see him and gave me a fantastic boost (felt like my old self for a minute there). Now the countdown is on to see Pog (and Will) in a few weeks with two nights in Melbourne. They may be approaching 22 and 20 years old and totally independent, but I still miss my lovely men/boys massively! Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, the temperatures have plummeted and I have been craving a few more warming, slow cooked winter meals. Today's recipe is a spicy beef curry, slow cooked and fragrant, with a good bit of chilli grunt, but also a depth and complexity of flavour which means it's not just 'hot'. Don't be put off by the ingredients list below - they are all readily available and not too much of a bother, and as for the curry itself - it takes just half an hour to prepare, then the slow cooking does all the work of breaking the meat down until it is meltingly tender, while the flavours round out and develop. Trust me - it's worth it. If you're planning on watching the rugby tonight, quick go and get the ingredients now - if you give it a good 4 hours it's going to be bloody perfect by kick-off. (And frankly even better for Sunday night leftovers!)

In other news, I don't know if you've caught up on my Instagram stories lately, but if so you might have seen a particularly fetching set of dinnerware loaded into the flash new Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawers in my kitchen. The ceramic dinner set has been hand crafted in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Fisher & Paykel Dishdrawer - and I am excited to have one of the 21 piece dinner sets to GIVE AWAY. All you need to do is answer here on the blog, in the comments box below - how do you like your curry: mild, medium or turbo-boosted!? The winner will be announced here on the blog and on Facebook on Saturday 15th July, so make sure you check back in to see if you've got a dinner set coming your way!

Banana cake pudding with rum'n'raisin caramel sauce


Helloooo from my old blogging ground (bed), with a massive mug of tea. It is bloody freezing outside but shortly it'll be time to brave the cold and head out for my walk - but first - banana cake pudding with caramel rum'n'raisin sauce. With my Fairfax recipes (as you can imagine) they are locked into a newspaper schedule months in advance, and this combo is one I had been particularly looking forward to sharing. They are both so easy to make, but served together with a generous scoop of ice cream or softly whipped cream, the result is indulgently fabulous. Make sure the cake is cooked through (by testing in the centre with a skewer) before resting for 5 minutes as it can look suspiciously 'done' when, not quite.

Right - on the news front - the book is at the printers (a miracle) and we are awaiting the proofs any day. Holy moly, I can't quite believe it, it seems slightly surreal! Lock September 19th in your diary, the official New Zealand launch date, and I will keep you posted with where you can buy it well in advance (and obvs I will be sharing the cover and a few pages to whet your appetite well before then). Meanwhile it's business as usual for Pog and Will, hard at work in Melbourne - I can't wait to see them again, it has been way too long. Hoob is zooming up for two nights on Saturday which will be such a bloody treat (two nights, seems like just a tease)...I do miss my lovelies so much! And me? It's no rest for the wicked having just finished off my next Cuisine and Fairfax shoots with still loads of work to catch up on and finishing off to do, but at least a slightly more manageable pace. But I have allowed myself the luxury of inviting a crew around to watch the rugby at the weekend, cooking without making notes/testing/photographing is a real treat! Hope all is well where you are, and I'll see you here again soon....

gruyere cheese & bacon tart with celeriac & cauliflower soup


Helloooo - God it feels good to be back into the swing of things, getting blog posts done, actually doing a bit of house tidying, and generally speaking not working every single minute of every day...well not quite any way! Today's recipes are two I put together for Fairfax - a gentle, creamy celeriac and cauliflower soup and richly indulgent gruyere cheese and bacon tart. They are both bloody good, eaten either individually or together, but that tart...I usually give a lot of food away so that it doesn't go to waste, but I sliced the tart into wedges and froze it to make about seven dinners for myself! The pastry can seem like a bit of a nightmare while you are making it and wrangling it into the tin - but I promise you it's worth it :)

Meanwhile not much else to report. Henry and Will are ticking along with daily life in Melbourne, and Hoob is counting down to his next semester break in Wellington. I am really getting to the tail-end of book production with the final read-through next week - then, files will be uploaded, plotters out, approved (I hope without too much issue) and onto printing. I can't quite believe it's almost done! Any hoo - the wind is howling around outside but it's time for me to haul arse out of bed and take the dogs for a walk (and me too). Don't forget if you're a regular visitor (or a new one - welcome!), you can always say hi here on the blog, or pop in over at my Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. See you again soon...