Friday evening mucking about with the camera


Pizza with Braised Lentils, Hot Smoked Salmon and Pea Puree


Hi all - this bloody delicious creation was inspired by the very clever and talented people at La Cigale in Auckland who do a puff pastry tart using lentils, salmon and pea puree - and this is kind of my tribute to it in a pizza form. Seeing as Rich has been in Shanghai with Nick for the last four days I thought I should do a little entertaining, so had a few girlfriends over for drinks the other night and this was the most popular of the dishes I made. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but the earthiness of the lentils with the slight oiliness of the fish and the freshness of the peas are just the most fantastic combination. I re-made it to photograph this morning and consequently had a piece for breakfast at 9am, and it was good even that early...the only downside is my fingers still smelt vaguely of salmon when I went to yoga, not optimal in endless downward dogs! I made these using homemade pizza bases, but bought ones would be totally fine too. Having had the last week completely solo I have to say, I feel like I have been on holiday - rejuvenated and thanks to all the yoga, very calm and zen-like. Long may it last! (famous last words).

A big thanks to the lovely people at Food52

One of the the things I love about food blogging is the sense of connectedness in our mad foodie community. There are definitely some days when I think I am the equivalent of a crazy old cat lady sitting at home with my camera and my oven, but then there are others like today when Food52 share recipes of mine to their American-and-beyond network, and I get such a buzz out of knowing that even though I'm sitting down here at the bottom of the world I can share foodie love with people from all over. And just quickly while I'm at it - when you leave a comment (you people know who you are), you have to know that really makes my day...I often meet people who say how much they like the blog (well thank you kindly) but I wouldn't know they had ever seen it - but you my friendly commenters, make me feel like there are real live people using my recipes, and that is pretty damn cool. Anyhoo - thanks to the team at Food 52, I feel very proud to be hanging out on your amazing site! :)

A Waiheke Easter


Hi all! Just a very quick couple of pics from our recent (far too brief) stay at Waiheke over Easter. I just wanted to share a tiny slice of my favourite place with you. 

It's all about perspective - weeds or flowers?


Look I have to say I'm usually not keen when food bloggers start waffling on about unrelated stuff because it often seems A. self important B. boring C. wtf? But I'm just quickly throwing these up as I went for a walk today and started noticing how pretty all the weeds are...maybe I shouldn't be trying (OK, not very hard) to keep them out of the garden. Funny - who decided they were weeds any way?

Hear Me Raw Vege Salad


Hi there, and welcome back from Easter - I hope you had a good one! It has been such a wonderful treat to have Henry and Josh up from Wellington, and while they've been here I have lavished them  (and of course Rich and Nick) with love in my usual fashion - with food. So far we've had slow-roast garlic-studded lamb with fennel and cabbage slaw*, home-made chicken and leek pie, fennel and prosciutto pasta*, pumpkin cheesecake, mini carrot loaves, chocolate whiskey figgy pudding, chocolate layer cake (all recipes from the blog I'm happy to say except these ones*) and of course hot cross buns and chocolate! Now, as you can imagine, we are all ready for something a little lighter, so I am very excited that Henry will be whipping up dinner for his last night here - a soba noodle dish which I can't wait to try :)

If you've read my 'about me' page you'll know I struggle with a wee dilemma with this blog: I should get myself an angle so that I can be known for something in particular (eg gluten-free, vegan, raw, baking, family-friendly, paleo etc etc) - cue book potential and a following. Argh. My problem is I like to eat all sorts of things, and can't bring myself to commit to a limited diet, I would be faking it! Having said that, if you have a good look through my recipes you will see that they are in the main, pretty healthy (not the desserty/cake department obvs), and I have even been congratulated by a few people on my healthy eating blog - whaaat? Is it? I don't know, but my natural preference is for a healthy-ish diet, with sensible portion sizes. I am a believer in all things in moderation - and a diet with plenty of fibre, fresh fruit and veges, good protein and limited bad fats and oils, with sugary stuff as a treat. I fear that makes me really old-fashioned, but whatever! Hmmm - clearly I've got too many words today with this ramble, but the thing is I actually really want you to try this salad which is in fact raw, (vegan even) and even though it looks extremely earnest it is so bloody yummy - I made it originally for Fairfax newspapers, but then kept re-making it for the next week because it is so addictive. Underneath those shredded vegetables is a big smear of garlicky hummus, and the salad on top is doused in a lovely olive oil, cider vinegar, honey dressing. Because everything is chopped quite finely it has a great texture, with the crunch of veges, the smooth creamy hummus and avocado and the salty pumpkin and sunflower topping. Seriously, give it a whirl and if you don't like it you can have your money back. (Not really - you enjoy it OK?!)

Mr McGregor's Mini Carrot Loaves


Hello and hurrah - my final blog recipe for Easter! (Now just two more shots to do for Fairfax tomorrow and then I am DONE for a week!!!) Oh dear I just saw a lovely reader had suggested a definite 'yes' to icing these little carrot loaves with cream cheese icing, but I was already done and dusted - sorry Natasha! If you do want to drizzle them with icing, you'll find a fantastic recipe for orange cream cheese icing here. But actually, these are so moist they really don't need anything more unless you're super keen - they are so earthy and delicious, the absolute perfect thing for enjoying with a big cup of tea over Easter. I am going to be taking them over to Waiheke (fingers crossed they last that long!!!) and fully intend to sit on the deck watching the kereru (wood pigeons) swooping over the bush, while the dogs run around the grape vines and the family do their thing (possible code cracker / crossword action).

So that's it from me for a week to ten days. Take care, have a wonderful Easter, and I'll see you back here soon :)

Meatballs on Brown Rice with Peanut Sauce and Asian Slaw


Just when you thought there was no other way to serve meatballs, here is my final recipe! (Actually, I could probably think of quite a few more ways, but I'm thinking we should probably leave it here...) This recipe combines the earthy meatballs with a zingy Asian slaw, spicy peanut sauce and some lovely nubbly brown rice. This is the kind of thing that Nick and I love to eat - sometimes I think perhaps I am a frustrated hippy at heart... and on that note I am very excited to see that Om yoga studio is going to be opening just near where we live, so instead of having to schlep my way down to Newmarket for a session, I'll just be able to toddle 500 metres or so down the road - now there is no excuse I am preparing to transform myself into a zen-like state of bliss with a lean sculpted body and beatific smile.


See you tomorrow (hopefully) with a fab final Easter recipe for delicious little wholemeal carrot cake/loaves. The question is should they be left in their un-garnished natural state or drizzled in cream cheese icing. What say you?

Meatballs with Indian spiced Eggplant and Minty Yoghurt

Feeling like a bit of a frantic old (grr) mad woman at the moment (nothing new) trying to get recipe testing done for Dish and Fairfax before Easter, as well as get a few over-due recipes on the this one! Number four in the meatball line-up uses the same base meatball recipe again, this time with a lovely spicy eggplant and tomato sauce and minty yoghurt. Get yourself some good Indian bread - paratha, naan or roti would all be excellent (or a classic ole wrap) and it's all done. This is a great quick meal to prepare for friends as everything can be done in advance, and the meatballs can be made smaller and served with the sauces on skewers as drinks nibbles too. Any left-over sauce is also ideal for bringing other easy dinners to life: hamburgers, sausages or even eggs! 

Can't wait to head to Waiheke on Easter Sunday morning for our one whole family night together (humph) - Henry and Josh don't arrive from Wellington until Saturday night as Pog has work during the day, so we'll stay in town that night and head out the next morning - and then Rich is shooting for Te Radar (New Zealand TV show) on Tuesday so has to come back in with Nick on Monday night so that he can get there bright and early the next morning. The next day Nick flies out to Shanghai, and two days later Rich will fly up to meet him for a few days. Sound complicated?!? Ah well, never mind - that Easter Sunday night dinner is going to be the biggest kick-ass feast I can make, an entire holiday's worth!!!

Vege and Lentil Curry Pies


Wooo-hooooo today is the day of the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup and our New Zealand team, The Black Caps are in the final against our arch rivals in most things sporting - Australia. We have this crazy relationship with our neighbours across the Tasman, we love to visit (and live) there and we are great mates in many ways, but when it comes to sport, it's all on for young and old! One similarity we have is our love of food, and a classic for both Aussies and Kiwis is the good old meat pie. (I always find it funny seeing American recipes for 'Hand Pies' hee hee - most of our pies are made to be eaten in your hands - ie. with a base, and generally speaking a good squirt of tomato sauce/ketchup on top). Yesterday as I was lying in a state of exhaustion at the end of my hot yoga class (so far so good - still going) and again (!!!) my thoughts turned to food. I seem to be in a big vege phase at the moment, and this recipe just popped into my head - a mixture of cooked kumara (sweet potato), sweet leeks, cauliflower, broccoli and earthy lentils nestled in a slightly cheesy, mild curry sauce encased in flaky puff pastry - phwaor, so good! So basically I was straight home, into the shower and was already cooking it before my hair was dry. This recipe is for 6 pies, but seriously, you barely need a recipe, you could just round up last night's veges, make a quick easy bechamel with a touch of curry and you're almost done. Anyhoo, stuff to do (accounts...) so 'nuff said...get to it!