Summer Loving All-In Salad


OK, so my last post was a soup (albeit a very fresh and bright soup) to warm up my northern hemisphere friends. Today we're back in the southern hemisphere with a super summer salad that I made for Fairfax to share. This is pretty much summer on a plate, perfect for the unbelievably beautiful, hot, sunny weather we have been experiencing. The salad creates an entire meal, complete with leafy greens, crunchy freshly blanched beans, creamy avocado, starchy new potatoes and rich hot smoked salmon, and the  dressing is all zingy with plenty of capers, lemon and dill and a little bit of garlic grunt. If any Aussie or New Zealand farmers or firemen out there are reading this (you never know!) good luck for handling the remainder of this heatwave around our countries, and from someone who has had a melanoma (me) please all you lovely beach-goers, don't forget to be sun safe!!! Have an awesome week...mwahahahaha where will we be next time?


Fresh Pea Soup with Chedddar & Chive Scones


We have just arrived back from a wonderful weekend at Waiheke, with incredibly beautiful, hot sunny weather, loads of swimming, bush walks and a pretty spectacular slow cooked pork shoulder on the barbecue. It seems so weird to think of my American friends enduring a really bitter winter - we've seen some coverage on TV here in New Zealand, and woah, it looks COLD! Even though we are still enjoying one of the hottest summers I can remember, I hope my NZ followers won't mind that I post a recipe just for the northern hemisphere - a pea soup that is so bright and fresh, but still completely nurturing and warming, and perfect with the chive and cheddar scones (biscuits in 'American') - a little ray of sunshine on a bleak winter's day! To my Aussie and Kiwi mates, this is a good one to tuck away for autumn's arrival...

PS - happy Anniversary Day tomorrow to any Aucklanders reading! Let me know if you're keen for that pulled pork shoulder with crackling recipe...

Thanks Food 52 for sharing my five things to do with left-over chicken!


Hi all - just a quick note to say a big thank you to the team at Food 52 for featuring 5 of my recipes, showing how to make dinner with left-over chicken. It's been so much fun secretly putting them together! I'll include the links and pics in case you missed them as they appeared on the blog...

Braised Italian Lentils and Eggs with Pesto


Last Saturday Nick and I made dinner together (a rare occurrence indeed, but on the the 'to-do more regularly' list) delicious braised lentils with fish and salsa verde. It was so good I immediately became re-addicted to lentils, so much so that I made up this recipe as a way of being able to enjoy them any time of day - for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The lentils are beautifully earthy and flavourful and I could eat mounds of them just on their own (hot or cold!), but if you fancy, top them with an egg which provides a protein-rich contrast, and pop pungent, garlicky pesto on top.....phwoar, unbelievably good!!! To go even one step further feel free to serve them with grilled Italian sausages or pan fried mushrooms - and do let me know if you give them a whirl!

Before I go I just wanted to say thanks to all of those who leave comments and kind words here and on Facebook, as any blogger will tell you, half the time you just feel like a weird, self-involved crazy person, tapping away at the computer, so when you get feedback it's a total treat!

Basil Pesto and Onion Jam - the holiday essentials


These are two things that you will almost always find in my fridge as both can instantly bring even the dullest meal to life - and they are perfect to pop in the packing pile to take camping - even a humble sausage is transformed! In winter I often swap out the basil/pinenut combo in the pesto for rocket/walnut and it is equally good. The onion jam/caramelised onions can be made with red or brown onions, although generally I think the red version looks a little more interesting. Both can be used in sandwiches and rolls, on pizza, stirred through pasta, baked into muffins, on toast with eggs....seriously, even though I know it is a dorky thing to say - they are your secret weapons against food boredom!

Herbilicious Nutty Salad with Feta and Radish


You may be looking at this salad thinking well that's a bit boring, but I urge you to look again...see that crumbled feta, the baby herb leaves, the crumbled walnuts, the drizzle of simple dressing, the thin slices of radish - now imagine a mouthful with everything - the salty soft feta, the bitter leaves, the zingy herbs, the heat of the radish, crumbly nutty walnuts and the tart dressing - see?! See what I mean! It's actually bloody delicious - so fresh and deceptively complex! Well, anyway, I love it :) and it is perfect with simply cooked fish or chicken for a healthy, tasty lunch. Hurrah!

Blueberry Breakfast Muffins


It has been so lovely having Henry home for the holiday, and I am so bummed that our time is already up! After a lovely relaxing stay out at Waiheke with gorgeous, hot, sunny weather, cruisey days and swims in the sea we are back in town battling flies and traffic - back to reality.  Tomorrow at 6am we will be starting the 8-hour drive down to Wellington so that he can take more stuff from his room (sniff) to his new flat where he has set up a happy nest (room) with Josh and 4 lovely nursing students. Seeing as he and Josh are starting the year in a spectacularly healthy fashion, and have been menu planning like demons, I thought I should make a recipe for them that they can bake in advance, store in the freezer then grab for a healthy breakfast on-the-go. These muffins look naughty but are really a great snack with rice bran oil instead of butter and a good dose of oaty fibre as well as heaps of anti-oxidant rich blueberries. As I say farewell to Pog again, I am looking forward to the arrival home of Rich who has been sunning himself (not too much I hope) with Miss Lily and sleeping in a VW combi in Wanaka. Returning home Saturday with one perforated eardrum (cliff jumping into the sea - don't ask) and a huge mound of washing. Motherhood eh? Gotta love it! :)

Roast Salmon with Fennel Rocket & Potato Salad


Well congratulations, we have made it through the madness of Christmas, and are now out the other side and ready to  hit 2015 running  - woo hoooooooo!!!! I am so lucky to have had the most incredible year, having taken the risk of going freelance and then having the opportunity to work for Dish magazine, Simon Gault, Yahoo, Tourism Australia and Mindfood. My most recent association is with the lovely people at Fairfax and I contribute two recipes fortnightly for their regional newspapers - and these are the ones for today, perfect to whip up for New Year's Eve. Seriously, the salmon is incredibly easy and looks so flash, and the fennel salad is the perfect foil for that rich salmon flavour - aniseedy fennel, peppery rocket, sweet orange, lemon and currants - people will be impressed, I promise! I served the salmon and salad with little soft rolls at Christmas drinks and it went down a treat. Thank goodness we had both the boys at home for that, I'll be missing young Richard (aka Hoobie/) at New Year as he will be celebrating with Miss Lily in Wanaka, but we will have Henry (aka Pog) and Josh here on Waiheke with us so hurrah! However you are celebrating, stay safe, have fun and see you next year!!!!!!!!! :)

PS - for some reason I don't understand my pics appear lower res on the blog - to see them properly just click on them, not on the PIN IT sign, for a closer, sharper look! Any techies out there, I'd love it if anyone knows the cause :)

Farewell 2014 recipes (hope you enjoyed them) and bring on 2015!


Well by crikey, as we count down to New Year's eve I've been thinking about what a big year it's been! I have had the most enormous amount of pleasure dreaming up recipes, cooking and photographing, and sharing them with you. I love the whole evolutionary process as I experiment with styles and techniques - both with the cooking and photography. I am always interested to see which ones appeal most and to whom, and the different responses across various mediums is fascinating with instagrammers perferring different shots to Facebookers who like different ones to Pinners! Whichever you are - or maybe you just pop in to the blog - I hope you always find a recipe that appeals and gives you a chance to try something new. The pics above show a selection of some of my favourites from 2014, (all of which you can find here) and after a little time off at Waiheke I will be back in action.

Have a wonderful new year's eve, stay safe and enjoy yourself - and if you make one of the recipes from the blog, let me know, it really gives me such a thrill to think you're enjoying the same food I am! As far as 2015 goes, I am so looking forward to consolidating my learnings from the last eighteen months, and who knows, I haven't made a resolution in years, but this might just might be the year to change that. Can I resolve to start work on a cookbook, would anyone buy it, am I just a crazy person wallowing in mid-life crisis mode indulging my passion? I'll let you know once the 'Negroni-fog' has worn off on new year's day!

See you soon my bloggie friends!

Merry Christmas and a huge thank you to you!!!!!!!!!


Thank you to all of you who pop in and take a look at the recipes here - and especially to those of you who leave comments here or on Facebook, I really appreciate it :) 800,000 views I can hardly believe it! I really hope you enjoy the recipes, and plan on bringing you many more in 2015. Thank you also to my lovely design student Henry for putting this together for me! Have a great Christmas everyone, and if I possibly can, I'll sneak one more recipe up before the big day. Take care :)