All posts filed under: Recipes

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 …

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 …

Chipotle and passionfruit with Long White Vodka

Some people are iffy about fruit with meat. I am not some people. Sweet and savoury have always been in my culinary vocab. I practically grew up in a Chinese takeaway in Rotorua during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Back then, Dad and Uncle worked as chef owners and cooked a thousand sweet and sour pork dishes for their customers. Battered deep-fried pork smothered in a homemade sweet and sour sauce; this came with onions, capsicum and of course, pineapple. An instant classic. I grew up loving sweet and sour pork and I think many of you did too. I enjoy cooking with natural sweet flavours and pork lends itself traditionally to fruit pairings, most commonly apple and pineapple but I found passionfruit also works beautifully. This sweet and smoky pulled pork taco is inspired by Long White Vodka Passionfruit. With a light, tropical taste that’s not too sweet, Long White Vodka Passionfruit is my favourite of their three flavours. Containing no added table sugar, apple juice is used to give it just a …

Freestyler in the Kitchen: Throw-together recipe #2

I recently took Fisher & Paykel’s online quiz WHAT’S YOUR COOKING STYLE? and was branded the Freestyler. Freestylers have mastered the basics and enjoy pushing the boundaries and going “off-piste”. The quiz was designed to help you get the most out of your time in the kitchen and results in eight distinct personalities, from the Curious Novice to the Professional and everything in between. Understanding your style can help you to choose ingredients, recipes and appliances to make your kitchen time more enjoyable and efficient. You can find out what type of cooking style you have by taking the quick quiz here. Go on, I’ll wait. Thanks to Fisher & Paykel, I’ve created a series of throw-together recipes that celebrate the Freestyler approach to cooking. These recipes are more templates than traditional recipes. I’ve suggested ingredients, but in all honesty, whatever you have in the fridge can be substituted and you’ll only know if you try. If you enjoy this recipe and this style of cooking, please check out the other recipes in this series. …

Freestyler in the Kitchen: Throw-together recipe #1

Hey guys, I have a confession… Even though this blog is FULL of recipes, I am NOT a good recipe follower. I use recipes as inspiration – a starting point to leap from and aside from recipe testing, I seldom stick to the script. I like to make things up as I go along, eyeballing quantities, changing it up with whatever ingredients I happen to have. I season to taste or mood. I am not the kind of girl to cook an exact dish twice. What’s your cooking style? So, when I took Fisher & Paykel’s online quiz WHAT’S YOUR COOKING STYLE? I wasn’t surprised that I was branded the Freestyler. Freestylers have mastered the basics and enjoy pushing the boundaries, putting together flavours and textures that complement each other. They also enjoy going “off-piste”. I shall wear the Freestyler badge with honour. The quiz was designed to help you get the most out of your time in the kitchen and results in eight distinct personalities. Understanding your style can help you to choose ingredients, …

Chorizo meatballs and kale in red wine sauce (as seen on Instagram)

Am I in denial or has this winter been pretty mild? If you don’t pay any attention to the wind that howls threatening to take the roof, and if you ignore the rain that batters viciously and sideways, it’s really not too bad. Our heater is set to number 1 and I haven’t even contemplated buying an electric blanket (like I have other years). But if winter plagues you, you could try some warming kitchen activities to keep your mind off what’s going on outside. I just posted a photo of this hug in a bowl on Instagram and Facebook tonight and the response was so positive I thought I better share the recipe on my blog. There’s lots of things I eat and cook that never make it to this blog. This was going to be one of them. But I changed my mind. While hibernating indoors, I’m eating free range This comforting recipe is gluten free, dairy free and uses free range meat. There’s enough for dinner for two with leftovers for lunch the next day. I …

Easy Entertaining with Long White Vodka (and a giveaway)

(scroll down for giveaway)  I once paid $2.55 for a single lime. I was furious. *shakes fist* That was summer. When limes are like gold. I would buy one lime at up to $35 per kilo and make every wedge count. Now that it’s winter, New Zealand limes are in season and around $5 per kilo – completely affordable. You can enjoy them as nature intended. And you should. Another way I’m enjoying New Zealand limes this winter is with Long White Vodka Lemon & Lime. Light and refreshing, Long White Vodka is made using local ingredients, and it’s sweetened with apple juice so there’s no added table sugar. Ingredients are NZ sparkling water, triple distilled vodka, fruit juice and natural flavours. That’s it. SWEET. Plus these drinks have a beachy label design and sport a twist top (YAY!). I was inspired by the Lemon & Lime flavour to create an easy recipe for sharing with friends this winter. Chicken wings are a favourite at our place and make an appearance regularly. They are cheap, simple …

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 …

5 ways with Dairyworks cheese

Hi, I’m Genie and I am a cheese addict. Our fridge is always stocked with cheese. Like, a SELECTION of cheese. I always have a block of cheese open but the thing that annoys me is how the packaging is rendered useless after opening. When I wrap the packaging back on, the cheese is exposed like a cutout dress. Not cool. Blocks of cheese are designed to be used over time so I was delighted to see that Dairyworks has come up with re-sealable packaging for their convenience range of cheeses. At the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards a few months ago, Dairyworks won four category awards for their innovative cheese packaging. The Dairyworks range comes with recloseable packaging, a homey wood design and windows so the consumer can eat with their eyes. I really like the new grated cheese mixes 3 CH3EEZE and SMOKEY JOE which appeal to the glutton in me. Can’t decide on which cheese to buy? Well these packs are a blend of 3 cheeses each! The 3 CH3EEZE is a …

Gluten free Feijoa Muffins

Just over two years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. At the beginning, I looked for nutritional answers as I didn’t want to be relying on medication just to be normal. Some people said that gluten free was the answer so I went gluten free. I ate gluten free pasta, gluten free bread, gluten free bagels. I didn’t like them. Luckily I prefer rice and rice noodles over gluten alternatives. I also tried gluten free baking. I inherited a bunch of gluten free flours from my mum who tried gluten free baking but had lost interest. Then I also lost interest. I count my blessings that going gluten free had no measurable benefit to my health. I’ve been off medication for 8 months and feeling great. Still, having a gluten free recipe up your sleeve can be handy. I’ve made these muffins with berries and bananas before and my friend announced that gluten free or not, they were the best muffins he ever tasted. That’s quite a proclamation. Feijoa season Since it’s feijoa …

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 …

Baked frittata

I first made this dish the day after a hangover. I never crave greasy food after a hangover, I prefer foods that are a bit more hearty or nourishing. Even better if it’s something that I can pick at over a period of time rather than have to eat the whole thing at once. Over the past week or so I’ve tweaked this a recipe a little and we’ve eaten this for both breakfast and weekday lunches. Hot or cold. Both are good. Future me might make this the day before a night out so it could be picked at the following day. That would be amazing. I’ve just planted a bunch of seedlings including basil, oregano, thyme and sage so I’ve used a mix of these in this frittata. You can change up the ingredients, use ham, sausage or chicken in place of bacon if you have them. Other vegetables like courgette, broccoli, capsicum would also work. Just make sure you use egg, cheese and potato. Baked Frittata Ingredients 2-3 potatoes 6 free range eggs …

Spicy garlic beef and eggplant

This recipe is inspired by a dish that led me to fall in love with eggplant. I used to hate eggplant. For reals. I found it absolutely disgusting in flavour and texture. Now I love the stuff. I rejoice when I see eggplants for under $1 each at my local Asian grocer. Weird right? I’m constantly amazed at how my palate has changed and this blog has been a great record of the changes.  The Koala also used to hate eggplant but likes it now too. Have eggplants changed? Have we? Spicy garlic eggplant can be found at many of the Chinese restaurants along Dominion Road and I think I first tried this at Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle, though Barilla Dumplings also does a mighty fine version. Vegetarians and meat eaters will enjoy this tasty dish. I’ve adapted this to include beef because well, I like beef. Feel free to skip the beef or replace with another vegetable such as mushroom (or more eggplant) for a vegetarian dish. Spicy garlic beef and eggplant Serves 2 with …

Baked Mayo-Cheese Mussels

We dined with friends at a local yakitori restaurant last week. Although one of our favourite restaurants in Auckland for their tasty morsels of individually selected skewers, it had been a long time since we had visited and it wasn’t quite the same. My favourite dish, scallops wrapped in bacon were disappointing this time and the other dish I was looking forward to (chicken hearts) was unavailable. They did however, have a special on the blackboard: 4 mussels for $5. These were baked, cheesy, creamy, a little sweet and very different to how I usually cook mussels (steamed with sauce added). I don’t know exactly what was in the dish but I figured there was mussels, cheese, mayo and perhaps something sweet for balance. Boom I wanted more. The Koala and I split a portion and 2 mussels each is just a tease. So when our Foodbox delivered a kilo of mussels yesterday, I took it as a sign from the universe that I should try and recreate it at home. This recipe is deceptively easy, very quick, and uses just …

Tasty hot dogs and a meaty giveaway

L’Authentique (law-thon-teek) is a small local charcuterie run by Frenchmen. Charcuterie (sha-koo-ta-ree) is the culinary art of turning meat (mostly pork) into delicious things such as sausage, bacon, ham, terrines and pates. Known primarily for their handmade sausages, I love L’Authentique’s gluten free, dairy free and free range meat products. There are no fillers here and definitely no carcinogens (for those who worry about recent food headlines). The Koala and I have been eating lots of L’Authentique sausages this year. We tried the whole range of sausages so far and they are great to serve up at home or to take to a barbecue where you want to impress. I’ve yet to meet a sausage lover who doesn’t fall in love with L’Authentique sausages. Summer collaboration L’Authentique have just released two summer sausages for the Kiwi barbecue. In collaboration with Javier Carmona, Executive Chef at Orleans, a hot and smokey Louisiana Andouille (ahn-DOO-eee) sausage that comes in a 4 pack; and in collaboration with Hallertau Brewery, the Asian-inspired Peking Maximus which is made with Hallertau Maximus …

Fancy Steak and Chips

This is a sponsored post. The Koala and I love a good steak, but I don’t order steak when dining out because it’s so easy to cook at home for a fraction of the price. I often go for the fattier steaks because that’s what my tastes buds like, but when I heard there was a leaner steak coming out that still tastes good, I was all for it. The flat-iron steak is a relatively unknown cut to the kiwi palate. A butcher’s secret, this cut is for people in the know. It is called the oyster blade steak in NZ and Australia. It is known in the US as the flat-iron steak and in the UK as the butler’s steak. Affectionately known as the ugly steak, this flat, rectangular cut comes from the shoulder and is trimmed to make it very lean. Because it is so lean, it’s important not to overcook a flat-iron steak. Just 3 minutes on each side in a hot pan and 5 minutes resting time. This month, Silver Fern …

Whitebait fritters fit for kings and queens

Spring is whitebait season here in New Zealand and as a North Island girl, whitebait has always been a slightly unattainable delicacy. So imagine my delight when The Koala’s parents visited from the South Island with a precious cargo of whitebait for me as an early birthday present. Having never done anything with whitebait before, I thought whitebait fritters was the best dish to cut my whitebait teeth on. Known in New Zealand (particularly the South Island) to be a casual seasonal treat, served with lashings of butter on soft white bread this simple dish is a delicacy us North Island folk can only dream of. Fresh whitebait is best (if you can get it), I froze mine so that I could take some time to think about what to do with it. Thaw whitebait in the fridge overnight and make sure you drain it well before working with it. Fritters served with lemon, asparagus and a pale ale, this is a spring time lunch fit for kings and queens. Dig in with your hands or use …

Balsamic garlic mushrooms

We are obsessed with mushrooms at our house. I disliked mushrooms as a child but now I don’t go more than a couple of days without eating mushrooms. I love that mushrooms are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner and you can bet that I have eaten them at all times of day. In fact, I have distinctly awesome memories of eating mushrooms from The Burgerie on K Rd late, late at night (or is that early hours of the morning) after a night out. If you haven’t had those mushrooms before, they are dangerous morsels of delicious molten lava. You have been warned. Four mushrooms or a handful is considered a good daily dose to reap all the benefits mushrooms offer. Mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked, raw is healthier, cooked is tastier (in my opinion). It doesn’t take much time to prep mushrooms and even The Koala can rustle up some tasty mushrooms. Thanks to Meadow Mushrooms I have a mushroom prize pack worth $25 to giveaway to one Auckland mushroom lover. …

Asparagus for adults in spring

It might only be the start of spring but it feels like the tail-end already. We’ve had bright sunny days that suggest that summer is just around the corner. Daylight savings has begun, which means I get to photograph food in natural light in the evenings instead of having to save it for the weekend. This means (potentially) more recipes and more blog posts! Yay!   Last week, The Koala and I went to Cornwall Park to see the spring lambs. They were super cute. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, I would advise seeking out a lamb visit. It’s worth it. After our visit with the lambs, we invited a couple of friends over for the first barbecue of the season. It’s been all of winter since we taught ourselves how to use our charcoal barbecue and we’ve still got the skills we picked up in summer. I don’t remember spring barbecues being a thing, but going by the lovely smells in our neighbourhood, we’re not the only ones barbecuing in spring. Spring also means asparagus season. I …

Pumpkin Soup for Pumpkin Haters

I know I sound childish and not at all like a sophisticated foodie when I say, “I hate pumpkin”. Maybe hate is too strong a word, but I have a strong dislike for it. Whenever we get roast dinner takeaways (best hangover food) I transfer my pumpkin pieces onto The Koala’s plate. The Koala loves pumpkin so he accepts it happily. I say pumpkin, you say squash Before I go further, I should mention that here in New Zealand, we call all things in the squash and pumpkin family simply, “pumpkin”. So when I say, “I hate pumpkin“, elsewhere, I would say, “I hate squash“. Anyway, I know it’s good for you and when it’s in season, it’s everywhere. Since The Koala loves pumpkin and pumpkin soup, and since pumpkins keep appearing in our Foodbox, I’ve been experimenting with pumpkin soup recipes. This recipe is for the pumpkin haters among us. Spices I’ve used garam masala and cinnamon, feel free to also try turmeric and ground coriander. Spices make pumpkin palatable. A little cream doesn’t hurt either. …