All posts filed under: Culinary Adventures

Te Matuku Oyster Festival and a deep fried oyster recipe

The Koala and I had the pleasure of attending the Te Matuku Oysters on Waiheke on Saturday thanks to Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney and Te Matuku Oysters. Our first festival of any kind since last summer, the weather held up – aside from a couple of light showers, it felt like summer. Waiheke is an island just a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland with loads of pristine beaches, a warm Mediterranean micro-climate and a focus on growing quality food and wine. We started with a delightful pilsner from Albi Brewing Company and a complimentary 3 oysters each. We were in oyster heaven and gobbled up more than our share and at festival special prices, it didn’t hurt the wallet one bit. If you love oysters the festival is time to gorge yourself on fresh, plump oysters. If your preference is natural with a squeeze of lemon (or Worcestershire sauce or vinaigrette), then shucked oysters are just $20 per dozen. To give you an idea of market price, a local restaurant sells the same oysters at $48 per dozen. …

Our Growing Edge – November 2016 Intro

November edition of Our Growing Edge is hosted by Alicia from Alicia’s Bits n Bobs. Just a reminder: Our Growing Edge is the part of us that is still learning and experimenting. It’s the part that you regularly grow and improve, be it from real passion or a conscious effort. This monthly event aims to connect and inspire us to try new things and to compile a monthly snapshot of what food bloggers are getting up to. So if you don’t already have a foodie bucket list, it’s time to write one. Feel free to browse my list for  some ideas. Some ideas you could try this month: Learn a new technique Reverse engineer a dish from your favourite restaurant Cross something off your bucket list Cook something new out of an old cookbook Try a new cuisine To submit a post, click on the submission button below: More info on the event can be found here. Last month’s event October was hosted by Annika from We Must Be Dreamers. Check out her round up of all the HALLOWEEN submissions on her blog later this month. Below is a preview …

Burrata for NZ Cheese Month

Happy NZ Cheese Month! I was over the moon last month when I joined a bunch of cheese-loving media on a NZ Cheese road trip. We visited some great local cheese makers, tasted some amazing and some polarising cheese and even met a lovely herd of water buffalo north of Auckland in Whangaripo. One of our stops was at Il Casaro, located in Glenfield in an unexpectedly industrial area proving that cheese needn’t be made out in the countryside to be good. Here we witnessed Italian cheese maker and co-founder Massimiliano make mozzarella by hand as he explained the process and treated us to freshly made cheese. New Zealand cheese is nothing short of phenomenal. The quality and creativity of our cheese is absolutely good enough for the world market, but many small producers can only meet the demand of our local appetites. This means that our very best cheese actually stays in the country. A win for us. In honour of NZ Cheese Month this month, I had the pleasure of trying this organic …

Our Growing Edge – October 2016 Intro

October edition of Our Growing Edge is hosted by Annika from We Must Be Dreamers. Theme: Halloween   This month’s theme can be as literal or as abstract as you like. Just imagine the final round up as an epic Halloween pot luck spanning food blogs from around the world! Some ideas you could try this month: Make a Halloween treat Pumpkin spice something Cook a dish that uses only Fall colours Host a Halloween-themed dinner party Cook with an ingredient that could be considered slightly horrifying Invent a Halloween cocktail To submit a post, click on the submission button below: More info on the event can be found here. Last month’s event September was hosted by Chrystal from The Smallwood Parsonage. Check out her round up of all the yummy FAMILY RECIPE submissions on her blog later this month. Below is a preview of just some of the FAMILY RECIPE submissions.

Our Growing Edge – September 2016 Intro

September edition of Our Growing Edge is hosted by Chrystal from The Smallwood Parsonage.  Theme: Family Recipes Family recipes are important to foodies and food bloggers because the dishes we grew up with nurtured our love for food. Family recipes are often forgotten by adventurous foodies as we look for trendy and new recipes. This month’s theme asks for us to step back and dig into our family culinary histories. So pull out those old family recipe books, phone your family and share those family recipes. Some ideas you could try this month: Update a family favourite Beg a family member for their treasured recipe to share on your blog Cook something from a family cookbook and share it’s origins Host a pot luck with the theme of “Family Recipes” Recreate a dish from your childhood from scratch To submit a post, click on the submission button below: More info on the event can be found here. Last month’s event Cheryl at Business Chic was the host for August’s edition of Our Growing Edge. I know Cheryl from wine festivals here in Auckland and also because the blogging scene …

Curious chips for seasoned foodies and a hot giveaway

Being a curious foodie can be a double-edged sword. I love trying new things, but am never satisfied with the same old flavours. Food tastes and food culture are constantly evolving and finding the next big flavour can be a constant pursuit. I often find inspiration from new foods, cuisines, chefs, and restaurants so I was delighted to learn that Eta have done the same by exploring dozens of ingredient, flavour combos and food trends around the world for the release of four interesting new Eta Uppercuts flavours. I’m excited to share with you two of the new flavours: Sriracha Chilli Corn Tapas, and Cheddar with Black Pepper Deli Cut along with the dips I have created to match. These recipes make generous portions of dip, good for 2-3 bags of chips each. Great as a snack or as a party food, I’ve tested these combinations with my enthusiastic band of guinea pigs friends and I’m pleased to say that both chips and dips were reduced to nothing. A tasty dip can elevate a great …

Our Growing Edge – August 2016 Intro

August edition of Our Growing Edge is hosted by Cheryl from BusinessChic. Theme: WORK DAY EATING   I love Cheryl’s theme suggestion of WORK DAY EATING this month. The majority of lunches are eaten at work and it’s hard to eat well at work if you’re not prepared. When I first started working full time (way back in my early twenties), I ate out every day. I didn’t make the time to prepare lunch in the mornings and I liked having a bit of “me time” in the middle of the day while I checked out local cafes. Eating out for lunch cost me $50 to $70 per week but I didn’t mind because I had gone from a student budget to a full time salary. I was splurging. Then I got smart. Eating out every day is a big waste of money. Nowdays, I’m all about leftovers, whether it’s straight up leftovers or rehashing it slightly for lunch – such as a chicken salad using leftover chicken from the previous night’s roast dinner plus some chopped salad ingredients. You hardly notice a cost difference if you cook …

Freestyler in the Kitchen: Throw-together recipe #3

  Being able to chuck a bunch of ingredients together and create something delicious isn’t so much a skill as a way of thinking. When cooking, I enjoy getting creative, using recipes only for inspiration. I find sticking to recipes tedious and restrictive and always find myself deviating. Understanding your own cooking style can help make your kitchen time more enjoyable and efficient. When I took Fisher & Paykel’s online quiz WHAT’S YOUR COOKING STYLE? I was branded the Freestyler. Find out what type of cooking style you have by taking the quiz quick here. Thanks to Fisher & Paykel, I’ve created a series of throw-together recipes that celebrate the Freestyler approach to cooking. If you enjoy this recipe and this style of cooking, please check out the other recipes in this series. Throw-together recipe #3 This is a easy, naturally gluten-free omelette for one that is good for any meal of the day. I make this style of omelette at least once a week and I like how each one can be customised without fuss. We’re …

Auckland Restaurant Month and a Street Eats giveaway

August is Auckland Restaurant Month and this year, Street Eats on the first Saturday of the month (Saturday 6 Aug 2016). Huzzah! I love Street Eats which I view as a walking, build-your-own degustation. Browse, graze, have a drink, and enjoy the atmosphere. There will be over 80 dishes, usually priced between $5 to $12, covering many different cuisines from restaurants, cafes and food trucks around Auckland. With games for kids, a bar for grown ups and live music for everyone, there will be plenty to keep you amused. Entry is $5 for adults and free for supervised kids. Gates open 10.30am and close 8pm, though I highly recommend an early visit as many of the best dishes sell out. Check out the menus here if you’re like me and like to have a browse before the event. Here’s a few pics I’ve snapped of past Street Eats to get your appetite going…   There are lots of other foodie events on this month, with serious and novel themes. Events include Dinner in the Dark (sold out), Dessert Degustation Walking Tour …

Hiakai means “hungry”

Māori cuisine is curiously uncommon in our culinary landscape. Growing up in the Māori wonderland of Rotorua, I enjoyed many hangi as a kid. I just didn’t appreciate or understand how special it was until we moved to Auckland and there were no more hangi. For those not from around here, hangi is a traditional Māori technique of cooking food underground, using heated rocks and covered baskets. It involves a lot of digging and a lot of time and is thus reserved for special occasions on marae (Māori meeting houses) such as weddings and funerals. For most New Zealanders, Māori cuisine is not an everyday occurrence and even tourists visiting our country will struggle to find Māori cuisine. Searching “hangi” on Zomato comes up with one result and both “boil up” and “Māori” yield no results. None. I know of one cafe in Auckland serving Rewena bread as part of their menu, but it’s not like I can just go out and enjoy Māori food whenever I want. The industry just doesn’t look like that. Yet. In contrast, searching “sushi”, “butter …

Our Growing Edge – July 2016 Intro

July edition of Our Growing Edge is hosted by Sophie at Cooking Trips. The theme this month is “Travel”.   I am lucky to have travelled to some delicious destinations and have collected precious food memories. For me, food is an important part of travel and I love exploring other cuisines while expanding my growing edge. Some memorable meals include: Late night takoyaki made fresh to order out of a van in a deserted parking lot in Osaka, Japan Our first larb in Laos from this random restaurant in the middle of nowhere just on the border of Vietnam and Laos Killing and eating a snake at a snake restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam I have so many more food memories I want to collect but it’s nice to be able to travel to faraway places by recreating dishes at home. I hope this month’s travel theme inspires you to cook something from your travels or something from a place you would like to travel to. Because there’s nothing quite like falling in love with places you’ve yet to visit. …

Too easy free range sausage rolls

I could eat my weight in sausage rolls. If I see sausage rolls at a party, I’ll make a beeline and scoff them without shame. I’m not the only one, there’s always others. I know who you are. Sausage rolls are one of New Zealand’s most beloved foods. Golden puff pastry with a meaty filling, cut into bite-sized morsels and served with plenty of tomato sauce, sausage rolls appeared at all the childhood birthday parties I attended growing up. They are a comfort food and a party food for all generations. Sausage rolls can be eaten hot or cold making them equally good for winter nights or summer picnics which is why I’m submitting this post to Taste of Summer edition of Our Growing Edge this month. I’ve been experimenting and perfecting this recipe using L’Authentique’s french grind. Made locally, L’Authentique sausages are made from free range meat and contain no fillers. Coming in a range of different flavours, I’ve made these sausage rolls at home using their Toulouse, Angus Beef, Pork & Fennel and Chicken & Bacon sausage meat. My …

Our Growing Edge – June 2016 Intro

June edition of Our Growing Edge is hosted by Susan and Mike from Simply Sundays. The theme this month is “Tastes of Summer”.   Most of you will be enjoying warm weather, picnics, barbecues, salads, and al fresco dining late into the evenings. Summer produce is plentiful, affordable and delicious and maybe the produce is inspiring you to prepare more meals at home. At the same time, here in the southern hemisphere this week marks the first week of winter, I’m torn between warming winter dishes and also eating lighter so that the waistline doesn’t run away from me.  Adapting the taste of summer can be great for winter eating. Some ideas you could try this month: Adapt a classic oven or stovetop recipe to be cooked on the barbecue Cook with strawberries, cherries, apricots or watermelon Make something with avocado, heirloom tomatoes, radishes or corn Invent a winning smoothie using summer produce Make a refreshing drink or adapt a classic summer cocktail Host a picnic potluck To submit a post, click on the submission button below: More info on the event …

Our Growing Edge – May 2016 Intro

May edition of Our Growing Edge is hosted by Joana from My Gut Feeling. The theme this month is “Allergy friendly recipes”.   We all know someone with a food allergy and the restaurant and cafe industry are increasingly catering to food allergies too. I love cooking for other people and sometimes this includes allergy friendly recipes. I am lucky that we don’t have any food allergies in our household, but I have dabbled in some gluten free baking after I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease a few years back. Gluten free seems to be fairly common and cafes around here usually stock at least one gluten free option, while dairy free, nut free and egg free can usually be arranged after speaking to the chef. Vegan isn’t a diet or way of life I personally follow but I have cooked vegan meals in the past which are both egg and dairy free. It’s good to have a recipe or two up your sleeve for those occasions. Hopefully this round up will inspire us to try some new recipes. Some …

Ramen at home

Autumn is delightful. I’m enjoying the cool, crisp air and the bright sunlight, filtering through the trees into my shady home office (aka lounge), and the food. Oh the FOOD. I’m not a summer salad kind of girl. I’m a steamy bowl of something something queen. Steaming bowls of ramen is up there in my 10 ten things I love about cold weather and I recently tried the Tonkotsu ramen set compiled by WASHOKU Explorer. Tonkotsu is one of the most popular varieties of ramen. The creamy, rich, pork broth is made by boiling pork fat, collagen and well washed pork bones for hours (even days). Due to the labour intensive process, this dish is not often made at home, though you will find it at any ramen shop. The Tonkotsu ramen set comes with comes with a cool ramen bowl, renge (spoon), dried noodles, soup, seaweed, dried green onion and dried kikurage (wood ear mushroom). If you like, you can add a boiled egg or slices of meat – neither of which ship or keep …