Saturday, January 14, 2012

My iPhone pictures prove that I... eat a lot.

You might remember these guys from last week. Here they
are forming our table "centrepiece" with coffee fragranced tea-cup candle.

I made my own muesli today!

Ingredients: rolled oats, sesame seeds, wheatgerm, pepitas, sunflower seeds, coconut, dried apple, dried apricots, cinnamon, macadamia nuts, flaked almonds pinch of salt
Method: Lightly toast muesli in batches, lightly toast sesame seeds, flaked almonds and macadamias, lightly toast coconut - mix together and cool. Mix in remaining ingredients - quantities to your tastes. Store in air tight container for ages.

This is for you, mum (and let's face it, you're probably the only one reading this!)
At brunch today my eggs came out on these plates! Plates of my childhood, adolescence and general home-ness.

Version of moscow mules. Friday night drinks with some workmates - ice, vodka, mint, lime and ginger beer. Apart from cheese, what else would you ever need?

We were gifted a snapper. N made a feast for the Whanau and used it as the linchpin that held the rest together (boiled potatoes with BUTTER, salad with POMEGRANATES etc.)

Last week I spoke of making my own foccacia with rosemary and that blessed ingredient: salt. Above is proof. Not very appetisingly photographed, unfortunately - next to leftovers and no thought process in the presentation. Take my word for it, though: Yum.

My niece and I made this rocky road last Sunday (white, milk and dark chocolate involved)
Simple but impressive. How could you fail to be impressed with a combination of marshmellows, cut up raspberry licorice, flaked almonds and coconut encassed in, as I said, three types of chocolate?

No, I don't live in Scotland (I'm tempted to say "I wish" purely for the ease of access to the rest of Europe I'd subsequently have... but, I won't) this was taken on our walk last week - I'll make it my mission to find foreign looking plants and snap away with abandon to fool you all into thinking I'm in exotic locations (yes, like Scotland). Cacti - watch out, I'm coming to snap you.

Brunch in the sun today. Smoked salmon was involved.

When I walk to work (very rarely - it takes me about 1hr 15-30 depending on pace) this is the river I get to cross. Pretty, hey? Mystical looking. Cold and windy usually, too.

Favourite new Indian. As you can probably tell - best naan ever.

Finally - I moved to NZ to get away from bugs, etc. (I didn't actually - that would be totally drastic and over the top - even for me: QDQ - Queen Drama Queen). WHY THEN am I getting unsightly and downright ITCHY mozzie bites, here, when I never got them in Aus? WHY? :(
I hope your weekend is great, mozzie bite-free and the coming week is also more positive than tolerable.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I love a good breakfast

Breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day. I love eggs and would eat them everyday if I wasn't worried about cholesterol and all that other boring stuff.

After having eggs for about 6 days in a row while friend was here, I finished eggs run with this cleansing "granola" (meh, why can't they just call it MUESLI?) from FInc in Wakefield St, Wellington (conveniently located next to Karen Walker...)

It was heaven. Gold kiwi is my new favourtie fruit. Today was fresh tomato with s&p on English muffins. What's your fave breakfast?

My other favourite "cleanser" (am I conjuring up all sorts of images, right now? I hope so) is a good cup of herbal tea - this brew is a green tea blend with roses, pineapple etc. It was a Christmas present and is quite delicious. I drank whole teapot worth on own. Favourite herbal tea of all time is Tummy Tea - sold at T2. I need more herbal tea recommendations!

Pretty tea packaging - I'm all about the external aesthetics, ya know.

So today, on this first day of the weekend before worrrrkkkk I plan on enjoying the outdoors (come on blue sky, I know you can do it), doing some exercise of some sort and hanging with the whanau (N and the cat).

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eating risoni in an empty cinema

Today was my last real day of holidays - everyone knows weekends don't count - you get them off anyway.

I wore this Camille-Lucie ring to celebrate. It's past its prime now, having had the tangerine oval covered in superglue (it fell out, I was making like modern woman - doing it for self, etc).

Yesterday I received a brown paper package tied up with string (no, really!) from my favourite little girl in the world, Stella (you may or may not know that I also have a baby called Stella, although she is a b&w DSH - i.e. a cat) and her beautiful mummy and daddy. It contained these beautiful replica 70s owls - currently taking pride of place on the mantel piece until I figure out better place to display.

In the spirit of celebration, I wore a party frock. Truly! Below is a dress I purchased years ago, tucked into jeans as a top. Wore this dress-top to death in '08 - because I am SKINT I am now bringing it out again.

We went to the movies, today. I'm afraid I won't be able to go to a normal movie theatre again. Because it was before 5pm, tickets were the bargain basement price of $12 each - plus we got to eat proper meals whilst watching our movie. Yes, I know, like gold class. HOWEVER - this is in rural NZ, the couches were super comfy (with cushions), the prices are cheap-cheep and WE GOT THE WHOLE PLACE TO OURSELVES. In case you're interested, we saw Albert Nobbs - 7/10 - could see Glenn Close being nominated for Oscar, though - Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry style.

Last night I made one of my favourites - fish tacos. I posted this to instagram (my user name is lydiaml in case you're interested) and recipe was requested. For prosperity and so any interested parties can emulate - click here for orginal Food Safari recipe. My comments - I don't bother about slicing fish up, I more let it marinate and cook in its juices in the pan and break up in pan and serve right away.

Finally, I bloody love cheese - we devoured this little treasure courtesy of trip to Wellington and Moore Wilson whilst watching a DVD last night. (We actually watched two - Swinging with the Finkels 7/10 and Paul 7.5/10)

Tonight, N has gone to the Slot Cars (or the stock cars, I completely forget the difference) in black jeans and a flannie - which I'm told is the cultural norm. here in our new home town. I think he's gone for the hotdogs, beers and chips, though, to be honest - which is fine with me, I'm breaking out the Christmas chocolates and watching trashy TV on the internet. God, I love holidays. Don't you?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

So, did you know?

I have moved to En Zed.

Tha hanky is actually quite appropriate as I was quite sad about this. You see, Melbourne is my home and I love it dearly. Have taken it upon myself to resurrect this blog and talk about (read: distract self) with the goings on in my new home.

Best thing about NZ, as far as I can see? Green lipped mussels being sold fresh in all supermarkets.

I cook a lot and take pleasure in lining up all my ingredients in their correct quantities in separate little bowls - for two reasons - 1) Ok, I kind of pretend I have my own cooking show and throw in prepared ingredients with flourish/gusto, etc; and 2) I live with a chef and perhaps his mise en place habits have rubbed off on me.

I am cooking mainly vegetarian and pescetarian meals, now. Above is the nicest lentil cottage pie you have ever tasted.

Spinach, fetta and ricotta filos.

Veg curry (i.e. leftover user-upper-er)

Last year at Lake Taupo - I put this up in memory of summer holidays (all but gone and no sun to be seen this year).

Last night I made an Italian feast of stuffed zucchini flowers, tomato and basil salad, cavalo nero pasta and rosemary and seasalt foccacia. I think I'm going through a bit of an Italian phase. Anyone have any tried and true easy pasta making recipes (fancy pasta maker needs to be NOT a requirement) ?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Come and get your fresh lemonade... and cream... scones

These scones really are fail-proof. They are so quick to whip up and surely beat rubbing butter into flour. You can use diet or normal lemonade, depending on dietary requirements.

Lemonade & Cream Scones

3 cups of SR flour

1 cup full fat cream (at least 16% fat)

1 cup lemonade

1 pinch salt

Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make well in centre. Pour cream and lemonade into well. Mix with knife until combined. Turn onto lightly floured work surface and knead until dough is workable consistency. Cut scones using a small glass/scone cutter. Bake in hot oven (220 c) for approx 10 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Serve with butter or jam and cream.


Mix in a generous handful (or so) of your favourite grated cheese for yummy cheese scones

Perfect scones and total prep, cook and clean up time is about 20 minutes.

Pictured: Cheese scones made using diet lemonade

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Le Chien - pooch optional

Le Chien
5 Gamon St

9362 7333
Entrees: $10 - $15
Mains: $19 - $30
Desserts: $9 - $12

This Modern Australian Cafe turned French Eatery just got better. The bustling cafe is home to many a "yummy mummy" and her bug-a-boo during the day, serving fabulous coffee with local brunch favourites such as perfectly cooked poached eggs with avocado and fresh tomato a-top sourdough toast spread with promite. Tonight I experienced the grown up version of this busy little hot spot. A new (and bound) sophisticated menu hosts some lovely entree and main choices with just enough options to allow you to ponder leisurely over a glass of the delicious sangiovese.

Service is down to Earth, super friendly and damned efficient. The owner-slash-waiter, Andy, is more than happy to help you choose a glass of wine to your preferred taste and will give you as much or as little time as you need to select your dishes. Without regret, I chose the chicken, pork and pistachio terrine with onion jam for entree. The terrine was just the right kind of "fatty" and meaty with a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth flavour and had no unpleasant metallic after taste that I find some terrines leave. The onion jam has just that right amount of tang to cut through the smoothness of the terrine and was a delicious accompaniment. My only complaint (however minor) would be that the toast is a bit too thick and not as "crunchy" as I tend to prefer with this sort of dish.

My dining companions had the scallops and black pudding; and the smoked cod fritters. After trying small amounts of each I have the following comments: the scallops were juicy and well-cooked, the black pudding was rich (I could smell it from across the table) and comforting and the smoked cod fritters were nourishing and definitely tasty, if a little dry.

Our mains were brought to the table with about 10 minutes wait between courses. I had John Dory wrapped in prosciutto with cauliflower puree and a red wine sauce. 9/10 for presentation. It looked like something you want to eat immediately. The red wine sauce was thick without being sickly and the cauliflower puree - Finding the occasional lump of cheese in the sauce was like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Three times. The fish (three small-ish fillets) itself was good but perhaps slightly overcooked. Only very slightly, though. The prosciutto was deliciously salty but didn't overpower the fish and provided slightly crispy texture and a whack of flavour - again - without overpowering the fish or the dish.
I can vouch for the eye fillet steak, "cooked at the Chef's discretion", and served with roasted kiflers and bearnaise - yum. The risotto was citrusy, light and again, held little cheese surprises that were akin to the rainbow paradigm.

Now to that special part of the evening - dessert. Not for a second do I regret my last-minute decision to forgo cheese for white chocolate parfait served with strawberry salad. This parfait is going to haunt me in a good way (perhaps). In fact, whilst writing this, I'm still full to the point of bursting - but the thought of the parfait has me watering at the mouth once more. Smooth, white-chocolatey, ah-mazing (I would go so far as to describe the white chocolate as: chocolat blanc, oh yes, we all know that once things are in French - albeit with rough translation and meaning the same thing, it elevates them to a point beyond an English description.

The chocolate pudding had my chef brother weak at the knees and the pear and rhubarb crumble was so big I'd advise you to... eat it slowly so as to fit it all in (did you think I was going to say share?)

My coffee was nice, but it's always been nicer during the day. My brother found his long macchiato a little bit bitter, as well.

The sangiovese (of course, I forget the winery and vintage...) was my special treat and I treated myself twice on this cold, winter's night. Whilst it probably wasn't the most suited choice to my dishes, I found it a warm and delightful companion anyway.

This is the second night Le Chien has been open for dinner and they've so far done a very fine job of transforming the fun little cafe into an intimate, relaxing and inviting dinner space. I told the owner when we were chatting at the end that I would recommend it to my friends. Well, recommend it, I definitely do. I'll definitely be going back for seconds.

NB: Picture at top borrowed from