Author: Bunny Eats Design

Smokey Mezze Bagel (and a giveaway)

This post was made possible thanks to the folks at Lisa’s  and Abe’s Bagels, who know a thing or two about quick and easy meals. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter a delicious giveaway featuring both brands.   This post is for everyone who enjoys a good mezze platter. Traditionally served at the beginning of a meal – according to Wiki, mezze comes from the Persian word mazze meaning taste or snack – and as much social ritual as a meal. Grazing with friends is one of the more enjoyable ways to spend an afternoon. A great addition to any mezze platter is Lisa’s new Smokey Hummus. I love smoke and I love hummus but I’ve never tasted a smokey hummus before now. The smoke is subtle, not overpowering at all. The cream and lemon notes go beautifully with other mezze ingredients. I love the process of picking out the next morsel and combining items together. You curate every mouthful. Pick. Bite. Select. Down the hatch. Flavour, texture and colour go a …

Chicken and vegetable pie with creamy white wine and tarragon sauce

Hey folks, it’s officially winter in New Zealand. This week we have had bright cold days with beautiful blue skies. Now that we’ve hit the long weekend, the gloom has set in. The rain is relentless today. It’s 9am and as dark as night. We have the lights on, the heater cranking and it is good to be inside. Bring on the comfort food. I’ve been craving pie lately and since leeks are in season (just a dollar each!) I decided to make a chicken and vegetable pie. The creamy white wine and tarragon sauce is stunning. This is a good one to have up your sleeve. This recipe is very forgiving. I’m sorry, the ingredients list looks super long but you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand to the equivalent of about 2 litres (an ice cream container) of filling. Some other vegetables that would try are: mushrooms, silverbeet, pumpkin, and celery. Read through the recipe ahead of time, as steps 2, 3 and 4 can be worked on simultaneously. Chicken and …

Chorizo kumara hash

This was brunch this morning. One of those quick scrappy meals using up whatever we had in the fridge at the time. It wasn’t definitely NOT going to be a blog post but The Koala said it looked pretty and convinced me to photograph it. So here it is. 100% could be served for dinner if you enjoy a good breakfast for dinner. For those outside of New Zealand, kumara is the Māori word for sweet potato. Feel free to use sweet potato or a combination of sweet potato and potato. I used fresh chorizo sausages made from free range pork. You can substitute this with any well spiced sausage. Do not substitute with dried or cured chorizo. Chorizo kumara hash Serves 2 Ingredients 2 kumara (sweet potato) 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 fresh chorizo sausages 1/2 an onion, diced 1 garlic clove, chopped 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 handfuls baby spinach To serve: fried eggs and buttered toast Preparation Peel kumara and cut into 2-3cm cubes. Place in a saucepan of boiling water and …

Edible Paradise

My friend Rich Humphreys is often found behind a camera. We met (what feels like) a million years ago when he was living in Auckland. Over the years he has called a few places home including Wellington, Lyttelton and these days, Australia but we always seem to catch up every year or so, no matter where he is based. Creative, free-spirited and well traveled, his enthusiasm for story telling and community developed early on. I vividly remember viewing parties for his personal travel videos, featuring our friends. I don’t know if they ever saw the light of day but they were gold. Edible Paradise “A quiet revolution is growing in communities across Aotearoa-New Zealand, seeding long-term, multi-generational solutions for our food.” Edible Paradise captures the birth of the food forest movement in New Zealand that is about much more than sustainability. It is ‘he tangata’ – the people. Coming together to connect & share both this abundance and the intangible social benefits that are at the heart of community food development.     After almost 6 …

Bluff oysters and Red Red Mignonette

Bluff oyster season kicked off last week and so far, I’ve scoffed 3 dozen. Oysters can be an acquired taste but I have the taste for oysters in my genes. I can’t remember a time I didn’t love them, though I didn’t grow up on Bluffies. If you’re not an oyster fan, I wouldn’t recommend starting with raw oysters and certainly not with Bluffies. They are truely for the oyster connoisseur. The season is March to August and fans go a little crazy for the season. Bluff oysters can be identified by their flat saucer shape and their creamy warm grey colouring. They’re less “frilly” than their black and white Pacific cousins. My very first bluff oyster was at a design event a few years ago, the oysters were free and shucked to order. Being a design event rather than a food event, there was no one queuing up for oysters. Not one to turn down free oysters, I kept eating as long as they were shucking. This was the first time buying oysters in a …

Perfect picnic food with Californian Medjool Dates

This post was made possible thanks to big and juicy Californian Medjool Dates. These whole fruit treats are a natural source of fibre and a wonderful to refined sugar. Available at Huckleberry stores and in the fresh produce section of your local supermarket. Scroll down for giveaway details.   We have had a deliciously warm summer in Auckland. Great picnic weather, and typically for Auckland, some not so great picnic weather. To me, perfect picnic food works at ambient temperature and extra points if it can be eaten with hands. I’ve created these Moroccan chicken pies with Californian Medjool Dates to be enjoyed hot or cold. Chicken, dried apricots and Californian Medjool Dates pair beautifully with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and ground ginger. These spices are warming but don’t pack any heat, making them excellent for a range of palates including little ones. The filling can be made ahead of time and the pies filled and baked before you head out. And if you plan on bringing these to your next picnic, place pies a tea …

Five spice roast pork belly with peaches

Summer is in full swing. It’s muggy AF and I am chancing mosquitos to sleep with the window open. So far so good. I haven’t left Auckland this summer, instead, I’m enjoying local day trips. I’ve hit 70k steps every week so far – it’s only been 2 weeks – and regularly include Mt Eden summit in my daily walks. I’m a little obsessed with my FitBit and doing well with my “more steps” resolution. Yesterday, The Koala and I explored Duder Regional Park, enjoyed ice cream truck treats and swum at random beach on our way home. We usually stay central, or head north or west so exploring east is new for us. I hope to discover more of Auckland’s regional parks this year. My first recipe of the year is fiercely seasonal and embodies the kinds of food I love to eat. A shit-ton of vegetables (another resolution) and some beautifully cooked free range meat. Yes please! I usually order pork belly if I see it on the menu so it makes sense …

2018 manifesto

Christmas has been super chill. The weather was stunning, I glazed a ham, The Koala and I went to my sister and fiancé’s house, we played with their pup, we walked to the beach, we had our first swim of the summer, we ate. We have plenty of leftover ham (just as I hoped) and this afternoon The Koala and I will have our first barbecue of the summer. We didn’t manage a single barbecue last summer so we’re already doing OK. Each year, I write a list of 5 things I intend to embrace and 5 things I hope to surrender for the year. Today I look back at my manifesto for 2017, my motives were: More: Patience, courage, collaboration, generosity, grit Less: Haste, doubt, worry, gluttony, mess I loved this list. I’m not quite ready to let them go. Patience, grit and courage are three things I find myself summoning regularly. Take a breath. Conjure patience. I dislike impatient people so I wanted to be more patient. I’m getting there. Doubt and worry are often …

iLASIK with rice: 20/20

Last week, I did something incredibly selfish for a whole chunk of money. I spent $5700 on my eyes. I never intended to write this post, but now, a week later, I feel like sharing. While this is (mostly) a food blog, the most commented post is one I wrote back in 2012 about wearing glasses. I’ve worn glasses since high school. That’s 18 years of glasses. I never found glasses comfortable but a necessity. I have a flat nose and my glasses slide down my face but if I push my glasses up they sit too close to my eyes, bothering me because my lashes kiss the lens with each blink. I have to admit though, the hipster trend has been great for glasses wearers. Glasses look cool now. Just a shame that happened 10 years after high school. I wore contacts a lot when I was younger. Though I prefer the feeling of glasses over the hassle of wearing contacts. I remember a moment between The Koala and I, the first time he …

Celebration Stuffed Chicken Breast

This post was made possible thanks to Freshlife who have two summer hampers to give away. Competition closed. Winners: Congratulations to Kate Rassie and Holly Jay P! You are the winners of the Freshlife Summer hampers. November is my favourite month as it’s my birthday month. Each year, I use my birthday as an excuse to celebrate for at least 2 weeks. In my world, celebrating includes great food and great company. My social life really amps up this time of year, as I get ready for the summer season. Sometime before Christmas are mandatory end-of-year catch ups, often over grazing platters and bottles of whatever you fancy. There will be cheese, crackers, fresh and dried fruit, nuts and various cold cuts. Having a few staples in your pantry is ideal and Freshlife nuts and dried fruit are great to have on hand for those occasions. Cooking at home over summer should be painless, delicious and not too harsh on the wallet. A recipe to celebrate Made with Freshlife’s pistachio kernels, dried cranberries and silver platter …

Taste of Auckland 2017 – food, mostly.

This is not a sponsored post, however the folks at Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux have supplied me with entry tickets. I visited the festival twice and paid my own way inside the festival. Here are my thoughts… Last week I (and thousands of others) celebrated incredible local food at Taste of Auckland. Taste is a four day festival of food and beverage at Western Springs, Auckland. A line up of 10 restaurants, a gourmet hangi, live demonstrations, cooking and master classes, hundreds of food products and samples, it is a wonderland for food lovers of all levels.   This year I was invited to the media opening with refreshments and mingling just before gates opened. A who’s who of chefs, restauranteurs, media and influencers. Disclosure, I’ve recently started freelancing in social media and I wear many hats that often look the same. Regardless, I take photos, I eat, I make content. I only hope to do the food justice! I snapped a pic of my buddy Georgie with her hero, George Calombaris …

Taste of Auckland turns 9! 

I haven’t always been food obsessed. I “got into food” in my mid-twenties and Taste of Auckland was the first food festival I attended. A year before I started this (mostly) food blog, Mum and I bought tickets to the first ever Taste. We checked out a few cooking demonstrations and I tried beef tartare for the first time ever. I took photos for no real reason as I didn’t have social media or a blog. It was casual. Just something to do. Nine years later, as I mentally prepare myself for next week’s festivities, I realise I’m am a die-hard fan girl. I’ve attended 8 years of Taste and I’m going to Taste of Auckland this year too. Twice. It helps that it’s usually around my birthday making my birthday month a bit more wonderful. Well, basically Running four days from 16 to 19 November, the six sessions of Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux is essentially a build-your-own degustation with your choice of fine wine, beer, even cocktails. There are 10 restaurants …

Dan Dan Noodles and a $100 Prezzy Card giveaway

This post was made possible thanks to MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain Noodles – Made with the goodness of wholegrain and are 99% fat free. They are available at all supermarkets. Dan Dan. Fun to say. Fun to eat. Dan Dan Noodles are a common street food from China’s Sichuan Province which  is also responsible for Kung Pao Chicken and Mapo Tofu. If you know these dishes, you’ll know the fiery, punchy flavour profile of the region. Dan Dan Noodles are egg or wheat noodles served with a meat topping, preserved or pickled vegetables, peanuts or sesame seeds, a sweet sesame soy sauce or soup and of course, Sichuan pepper.  Served from street food peddlers, these noodles are an inexpensive, filling meal with lots of flavour. Spice level varies, but this is more about the satisfying tingle of Sichuan Pepper than the burn of chilli. There are many variations on this dish but those are the key elements. For the sake of research, I’ve eaten a few bowls of Dan Dan Noodles to get a feel for …

Vege Wonton Noodle Soup

This post was made possible thanks to MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain Noodles – They are made with the goodness of wholegrain and are 99% fat free. Available at all supermarkets. Do you have a favourite meal? Is it comfort food? I am all about comfort food. As stated on my ABOUT page, wonton noodle soup is my favourite meal. I grew up on wontons and back in the day, I folded many, many wontons for our Chinese take away. Unpretentious. Easy to portion to suit your current appetite. Easy to digest. While I love the Cantonese classic of pork and prawn, I decided it was time to reinvent this old favourite to be vegetarian-friendly. Perfect for spring, this light yet satisfying meal is a hug in a bowl. I make no claims on the authenticity of this recipe. It is fusion at best. Win! MAGGI 2minute Wholegrain noodles come in Chicken or Beef 5 packs, are baked, not fried and are 99% fat free. Thanks to MAGGI’S 2minute Wholegrain Noodles I’m giving away a set of …

The Food Show 2017

Fun fact: I carried about 6kg of meaty weight around with me today. Was I on an gruelling new exercise regime? Hell no. I was at The Food Show. The Food Show Auckland is on now until Sunday and today was the preview day. I visited The Food Show today with Bri DiMattina and Michelle from The Foodie Inc. We didn’t  have a plan of attack aside from a cooking class with Barilla, so we checked out a couple of hours of stalls before heading to the pasta class. Take your time, flock to what interests you. Don’t worry too much about the other stuff. We weaved in and out of stalls, trying and buying. There was plenty that took my fancy and once I started shopping it was hard to stop. After a sizeable bowl of pasta, I didn’t have room for much else, though I persevered and continued for a few more hours. When I was almost done and had said goodbye to my friends, I snuck back and bought a little bottle …

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. IMPORTANT! Make sure you read the terms …

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 …