Author: Bunny Eats Design

Auckland! Prepare your waistbands.

This is not a sponsored post. Sorry if I get gushy…I just get easily excited about food and I love a bargain. It’s almost August which means Auckland Restaurant Month starts next week. A great time to visit all the CBD restaurants you have been meaning to visit. There are special menus starting from $25 (some including wine!) there is something for all tastes and budgets. Below is my 10 picks for the month. I’ve curated this list from over 100 offerings. Some are set menus and others have options to choose from.Hopefully this helps you make some decisions or entices you to check out the other menus for the month. Full disclaimer, this list is purely self indulgent. They are all places that were already on my wish list or places I’ve wanted to get back to. I’m unlikely to get through them all but a girl can dream. Have a nosey and if you are hungry for more, check out the rest of the offerings here. I will update this post as more …

Oven baked flounder with tomatoes

If you don’t like eyes looking at you from your plate, then flounder are the worst. I grew up eating yellowbelly flounder. My parents steamed whole fish with fresh ginger and a touch of hot oil and soy, served with rice and a side of greens. Fish doesn’t need much messing around with. While I’m sure not everyone feels the same way, there’s something I find super appealing about fish served whole. Fun fish fact: Flounder are born with an eye on each side but as they develop, one eye grows over to the other side to join the other. Yellowbelly flounder are available year round and I’ve paired them here with tomatoes which also available year round as they are grown in glasshouses. When buying whole fish, Look for bright clear eyes, shiny tight scales and a moist flat tail. A fish with a dry tail is a sad sight. Your flounder will probably be gutted and most places may have scaled your fish, if not ask, for them to be scaled or do …

Pork belly adobo and a Crockpot giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot and I am delighted to give away a Crockpot Sear & Slow CHP700 (RRP $299.99). Just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. Pork belly adobo is comfort food. Adobo is the (unofficial) national dish of the Philippines. A country of 100 million people, inhabiting 7000 islands, you will find many variations, both regional and personal of this delicious Pinoy stew. Some cooks make it with pork, others with chicken, others still with both chicken and pork. Accepted ingredients are soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic and bay leaf. With default savoury, sour and sweet notes, variations include the addition of ingredients such as pineapple, coconut milk, potatoes or hard boiled eggs. I’ve added potatoes to my slow cooker adaptation which soak up the sauce and takes on a gorgeous hue. What I love about this dish is that aside from the pork belly, if you cook regularly, you may already have these ingredients at home. The ingredients list feels familiar and not too …

Fire smoke land and sea

Heading west on Friday afternoon, we drive into a brilliant lilac sunset. My “fork buddy” Aimee is at the wheel and our spirits are high. We’ve been looking forward to this for months. We are going to Hiakai and hiakai means hungry in Māori. However, the weather soon sours. By the time we arrive at Vineyard Cottages in the heart of Kumeu, it is dusk and both sky and earth are wet. Typical Auckland. A couple of fire pits and glowing tents are beacons in the dark, confirming our destination. One bell tent with a warming wood stove burner is to be our dining room and the other canvas tent to serve as the camp kitchen and kitchen pass. I first cottoned on to chef Monique Fiso on the recommendation of fellow blogger Bri DiMattina. @momofiso’s brand of honest, humble humour track her explorations and experiments into a new standard of fiercely Māori cuisine. Having spent 7 years working in some of New York’s best kitchens, Wellington-born, Māori-Samoan chef Fiso returned to New Zealand in 2016 …

Slow cooked whole chook and a Crockpot giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot. I am giving away a Crockpot Lift & Serve CHP450 (RRP $159.99). Just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. Does a whole chicken in a crockpot seem weird to you? It’s not. I promise. Inspired by my new crockpot, I slow cooked a whole chook. The Crockpot Lift & Serve is the largest model in the Crockpot range. If you have a large household or like to meal prep, this one is for you. Its oval design happens to make perfect for cooking a large chicken.  Whole chickens are affordable and shredding means you don’t need carving or  or butcher skills. Just go at the tender cooked chicken with a fork. Easy. One thing I loved about this recipe is that slow cooked chicken is succulent all over. All over! Even the wings. If you’ve ever roasted a chicken, you’ll know the wings are done long before the rest, often resulting in sad, dry wings. Once you have cooked this chicken and you’re …

And the winner is…

Happy Friday! I am delighted to announce the winner of the Crockpot Traditional CHP200 RRP$119.99 is Lesley McIntosh. Enjoy your crockpot this winter, Lesley! Thanks to the hundreds of people who entered and make sure you watch this space as I have another giveaway launching next week! Stay up to date with this blog and my giveaways by following my Facebook page here.  

Thai coconut mussel and kumara chowder

This post was made possible thanks to Trident. To win a year’s supply of Trident products including their popular chilli sauces, noodles, coconut cream and milk, upload a photo of your own sweet chilli creation to their Facebook page here. Need a recipe to inspire you? Read on… Back when I was a poor uni student, I indulged in mussels as a culinary upgrade from instant noodles. I would steam a kilo of mussels in a pot, add a little sweet chill sauce and coconut cream and serve with bread to mop up the juices. It was a treat. Delicious. Affordable. Minimal effort. Sweet chilli sauce goes so well with mussels and ever since, I’ve kept sweet chilli sauce on hand as a pantry staple. NZ green-lipped mussels are giant compared to other mussels. Some are as large as my hand…though I admit, I have quite small hands. Because they are so big, they have enough strength to hold tightly to their beards making them hard to pull out. My hack is to remove the …

Braised beef noodles and a Crockpot giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to Crockpot. I am giving away a Crockpot Traditional CHP200 (RRP $119.99) just complete the entry form at the bottom of this post to enter. I was born in Hong Kong and the Cantonese have a long-standing obsession with food. They love to eat well and they love to eat often. Whenever I visit Hong Kong, my days transition from meal to meal. Almost the entire time is spent eating along with the social fanfare that comes with it. There are many dishes I am inspired by. However, locals typically do not cook at home. After working long hours, grocery shopping, followed by cooking at home is undesirable when eating out is so good and very affordable. Here in New Zealand, not so much. Regularly eating out in NZ is expensive but luckily there are clever ways to cook at home using affordable ingredients which yield maximum flavour. Enter the crockpot Thanks to Crockpot I have created a braised beef noodle recipe inspired by a dish found at Dai Pai Dong …

Bao Chicken Bao Bao

This post was made possible thanks to the Best Burger Truck which is trucking through the North Island giving away Beef & Cheese Sliders and Thai Chicken Sliders made with Best Foods Mayo. I have been enjoying Best Foods Mayo since I was a teenager because it is the creamiest, tastiest mayo. I distinctly remember me and my friends being obsessed with this mayo in high school and I have bought it ever since. One thing I was pleased to learn is Best Foods use 100% cage-free eggs in all their products. Winning! The Best Burger Truck recipes have been created by brand ambassador Jo Wilcox, who has worn many different hats including Chef, Food Editor and Food Stylist. To tuck into on these complimentary sliders, simply turn up at the locations in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington listed below. If you can’t make it to one of these events, make your own sliders at home by following the 5 recipes found here. Best Burger Truck will be in… Auckland Friday 28 April, 5pm-8pm at Basement …

Way of the Tao

This is not a sponsored post; however, my dining companions and I dined as guests of First Table. Opinions are and will always be my own (I also gleaned thoughts from my fellow fork buddies). First Table is a booking website with 45 Auckland eateries listed and is available in locations across NZ. First Table bookings give the first table of diners a generous 50% off their food bill. Bookings are $10 and can be made up to 6 days prior. If you enjoy dining early and trying new restaurants, sign up using promo code BUNNYEATS to receive $5 off your first booking. I personally enjoy dining early, usually it means the food comes quickly and because it’s usually quieter than the dinner rush, I don’t bother other tables with my camera. It may suit you too for other reasons, say you grab dinner right after work and don’t have to go home or hang around in town before dinner. First table is also perfect for pre-theatre dining. Last week we enjoyed a visit to Tao. Tucked away …

Our Growing Edge – April 2017

Hey April, it’s Genie here. You are one of my favourite months because you encompass Autumn. Autumn here means feijoas, figs and chestnuts. A couple of weeks ago, we started Bluff oyster season which for oyster lovers, is the tastiest season of the year. I’ve already scoffed a few dozen oysters and keen to gobble more. This autumn has been pretty messy weather-wise tough. Hopefully it sorts itself out. Soon. Many of you who are in the northern hemisphere are enjoying spring which means asparagus, early strawberries and toward the end of April, ramps. This month’s Our Growing Edge is being hosted by Michelle from Kitchen Mess. The theme is HEALTHY FOOD FOR THE SOUL. If you are embarking on any new food adventures this month, make sure to  share it with Our Growing Edge. Some food adventures you could try this month: Cook something that makes you happy Learn a fun new cooking technique Create a new recipe that is “a hug in a bowl” Recreate a recipe from vivid food memory To submit a post, click on the submission button below: …

Our Growing Edge – March 2017

OMFG you guys, it’s March already. This month’s Our Growing Edge is being hosted by Susan and Mike from Simply Sundays. The theme this month is FAMILY FAVOURITES. If you are embarking on any new food adventures this month, make sure to  share it with Our Growing Edge. Some food adventures you could try this month: Adapt a favourite recipe to a specialty diet Recreate a dish from your childhood Host a pot luck of family favourite recipes Re-write a family favourite recipe Bug a family member for their secret recipe and share it with the world To submit a post, click on the submission button below: More info on the event can be found here. Last month’s event Last month was hosted by Amanda from My Everyday Homemade and the theme was APHRODISIACS in honour of Valentines Day. Below is a preview of some of the submissions. Check back for her full round up on her blog.  

Goodbye sweet Tofu

With full and heavy hearts we said goodbye to our sweet Tofu on Sunday. Tofu lived a full life of 9.5 years and charmed everyone he met. A free ranging creature who lived his last 3 years completely blind, he was a lover, a fighter and little champion. He loved cuddles and was the most chill rabbit I ever met. His favourite foods included carrots, oats, dandelion and parsley. He had been unwell on Sunday and our plan if he didn’t improve, was to take him to the vet on Monday morning. He has always improved after a few hours. After a sunny Sunday of cuddles and hanging out with us and friends all day in the garden, in the evening, about 7pm, on our bed, on his favourite blanket, he suddenly squealed and he was gone. He has been a big part of our lives for almost 10 years and will be greatly missed. Binky free little one.