All posts tagged: cheese

An ode to pie

In my thirty-something years of living in NZ, I have eaten a lot of pies. More than a hundred, less than a thousand. I love pie. In New Zealand, the word pie usually refers to a meat pie, not the fruit pie you might find in the US. My pie of choice is the mince and cheese pie. With golden pastry, beef mince, gravy and a oozy layer of melted cheese, it’s a classic. Found in every school tuck shop, dairy, lunch bar, bakery and cafe across the country, this humble meal is portable, cheap and filling. A fond pie memory: my 9th birthday party at the newly opened Rotorua Georgie Pie. Georgie Pie was a pie franchise that was KILLIN’ IT in the early ‘90s. Their $1 mince and cheese pie, a hand-held square in a paper sleeve. I thought it was the best thing ever. When we moved to Auckland the following year, we quickly located our closest Georgie Pie on Glenfield Road and made it our local. Loyal. Like any ubiquitous food, the …

Anatomy of a platter with Lisa’s Hummus (and a giveaway)

  Summer is at our doorstep At our place, sunny days often lead to long evenings in the backyard. Grazing platters are great for easy weeknight dinners. Bring out your speakers, throw a forgiving tablecloth over your weathered outdoor table and delight in the warm weather. I keep a few platter-friendly bits and pieces on hand in case of unexpected guests or for days when I don’t feel like cooking. Put together a simple platter for two with just a few items foraged from your fridge or pump it with more items when catering for many mouths. Platters are super easy to scale up or down and if there’s more than 5 people at the table, it’s a good idea to make a couple of smaller platters so everyone can have easy access. Lisa’s make entertaining easy with their range of delicious hummus and dips. When it comes to platters, colour is important and I’ve picked my favourite beautifully colourful dips from the Lisa’s Hummus range: Chargrilled Capsicum, Basil Pesto, and Beetroot with Roasted Cashews. …

Gold reds with easy tapas and $150 New World voucher giveaway

As a graphic designer I’m often attracted to beautifully designed labels…but if I’m deliberating between two bottles of wine, the one with a little gold sticker gets the final say. I usually buy wine on special in the $10 to $15 range. If I’m feeling fancy, or buying a wine for a BYO birthday dinner I’ll upgrade to a $20 to $25 bottle. I don’t often go over that because I don’t have to – there are delightful wines to be had for under $25. The New World Wine Awards takes wine just seriously enough for your garden variety wine drinker. They’ve just announced their Gold, Silver and Bronze winners – all under $25. A panel of experts double-blind taste test over a thousand wines so you can be confident that the hard yards of wine tasting has been done for you. Thanks to the New World Wine Awards, I have a $150 New World voucher to give away so you can embark on your own gourmet adventure. Look for the gold sticker next time …

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 …

Tamarind chutney and blue cheese pizza

Happy Friday guys! Just a quickie recipe for a Friday when you can’t really be bothered cooking but don’t feel like takeaways either. Read on for punchy flavour, minimal fuss. This recipe is super easy and uses Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney, a locally made product with a loyal following. With a tangy sweet flavour and plenty of spice, this chutney elevates the simplest dishes. I tried Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney a few years ago at a food festival and it’s one of those products that keeps popping up in food magazines. My friends and family RAVE about this chutney so I’m not surprised it’s currently in the running for Bite’s People’s Choice Awards. Make sure you vote before 25 September because every vote goes into the draw to win $250 to spend at The Sugar Club. Enter your vote here. It’s weird to think that 6 years ago when I started this blog, I hated blue cheese. As in, “Ewww gross, get that stuff away from me”. In that short space of time, my palate has changed and developed …

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 …

Countdown CheeseFest 2016 – review

Last week, my social media was stuffed with cheese. I had the pleasure of being a steward at the judging for NZ Cheese Awards and also attended the CheeseFest a few days later. It’s hard to pin down an exact number, but I tasted at least 50 of NZ’s finest cheeses. While I can’t share much about the judging process due to strict confidentiality regulations, I can say that it was a full day of cheese judging and I would do it again next year. I’ve never worked as a steward before, but it’s a bit like being a waitress only you’re handling cheese, and you get to sample a lot of cheese. I mean a LOT. I picked up a bunch of tips for my next cheese tasting event and while I don’t think I will be spitting cheese at tastings any time soon, I do understand why it’s done. If you love cheese and can spare a Sunday in February/March, I would recommend volunteering at the judging next year. PM me for details. …

Countdown Cheesefest is coming! Double pass giveaway

Calling all cheese lovers! The very best of New Zealand’s cheeses will be carefully judged and ranked for the New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards in a few days. To celebrate the winners, this year sponsored by Countdown, the CheeseFest will be hosted at The Langham Auckland’s Great Room, from 5pm to 8.30pm on WEDNESDAY 2 MARCH 2016. Taste, admire and purchase NZ’s best cheeses to your hearts delight and enjoy a complimentary Crossroads wine or Epic beer on arrival. Tickets are $30 +bf and available online here. Door sales from 4.30pm on the day $35.   Thanks to the CheeseFest, I have a double pass to give away (worth $60). To enter, simply fill in the entry form at the bottom of this post. There will be plenty of cheese samples and also cheese bargains to be found on their famous cheese sales tables. I attended my first CheeseFest last year and I was in awe of the cheese sales tables. Check out my rundown of last year’s CheeseFest here. Tips for CheeseFest: There are amazing specials on cheese. Clear your fridge and …

Cheese and Chocolate givaway: winner

With special thanks to Whitestone Cheese and Wellington Chocolate Factory, I am pleased to announce the winner for the Cheese and Chocolate giveaway. The prize consists of the latest products by both companies with the Lindis Pass Camembert being released just last week: Whitestone Cheese Ferry Road Halloumi Whitestone Cheese Lindis Pass Camembert Wellington Chocolate Factory Peanut Butter Bar Wellington Chocolate Factory Great War Bar Drawn by Random.org the winner is…**drum roll please!** Kris van de Water Congratulations Kris and thanks to all who entered. You can find all these new products at New Zealand stockists. This was the final giveaway in my series of giveaways to celebrate Bunny Eats Design turning 5 years. Hope you’ve enjoyed receiving goodies as much as I’ve enjoyed giving them away! To keep up with announcements including giveaways, make sure you follow me on Bloglovin’ or Facebook.

Honey grilled figs with prosciutto and blue cheese

The following post is part of a series of recipes celebrating figs which are currently in season.  From my investigations into figs and ways to eat them, a prosciutto (pronounced: pro-SHOO-toh) and blue cheese combo seemed very popular. Most recipes I saw didn’t specify quantities and since I’d never bought prosciutto before, I bought way too much. Prosciutto is expensive and a little goes a long way. About 50 grams (just under 2 oz) will be enough for 10 figs. Similar quantities for the blue cheese. I used Mahoe Blue (pronounced: MA-ho-ee) which is an organic, semi-firm farmhouse blue with a sharp flavour but a creamy texture. I did consider Marin Blue which is a super creamy buffalo cheese, mild with only a hint of blue. These are award winning New Zealand blue cheeses, so use whatever local cheese you can get your hands on. With blue cheese, buy the best quality blue cheese you can afford. I made a version of this without the prosciutto for my vegetarian friend. It was still delicious. Honey grilled …

Figs with soft goats cheese and balsamic syrup

The following post is part of a series of recipes celebrating figs which are currently in season.  I visited Sabato in Mt Eden for advice on cheeses to go with figs. There were a few recommendations but I was sold on the value of the Pico Affinė, a soft goat’s camembert with a yellow rind from France. You could substitute this for chèvre or regular cow’s camembert. This recipe is gluten free, refined sugar free and vegetarian. Out of the four dishes at our four course fig feast, this dish was my favourite. Please check out my tips at the end of the recipe for alternate options.  = Figs with soft goats cheese and balsamic syrup Makes 20 pieces Ingredients 10 figs, halved 2 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons honey 100 grams (3½ oz) soft goats cheese Preparation Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Melt butter in a sauce pan and add balsamic and honey. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes until syrup is thickened. Line a baking sheet with parchment …

MiNDFOOD CheeseFest 2015 – The skinny

This time last week, I had eaten so much cheese my eyes were glazing over. This time last week, I was at the MiINDFOOD CheeseFest having just grazed my way through most of New Zealand’s best cheeses. I was lucky enough to get a trade/media pass which entitled me (and others) to a full hour of tastings and cheesemaker attention before the general public got in. I caught up with Bri DiMattina, local foodie, and blogger. Bri was the winner of the Curds & Whey Champion Home Crafted Cheese and Cheesemaker Award at last year’s CheeseFest. Being my first CheeseFest I was stoked to be cruising around with someone from the exclusive cheese society. Bri gave me some great festival tips and we rubbed shoulders with important people in the cheese and food industry.   I got to chat to one of the judges, Sonia Cousins, whose credentials include Cheese Activist, Cheese Judge, and Cheese Writer. I learned that like professional wine tasters, cheese tasting judges spit. Spit! It came as bit of a shock but Sonia assured me …

5 NZ Wines paired with 5 NZ Cheeses

I prefer to buy New Zealand cheese and wine. We have such wonderful products here it seems a pity to buy imported. I recently bought some NZ wine from the Advintage Online Wine Store who – like many New Zealand wines – are based in the Hawkes Bay region. Advintage offer a range of wines including wines from NZ, Australia, France, Spain Italy, and USA. What I liked about the Advintage website is you can easily sort wines by price, region and variety. They also have a few useful categories such as SPECIALS, CLASSICS or HIGH ROLLERS depending on how your shopping/drinking style. Prices are per bottle or per case with good savings for both. I found it super cool that their case pricing applies to mixed cases. You don’t have to buy all the same wine take advantage of their case pricing, as long as you buy 12 bottles of any wine, you’ll pay the case rate. I selected five New Zealand wines priced from $18-$22 on Advintage but actually retail at $24-$35 elsewhere. The wines I picked where ones …

MiNDFOOD CheeseFest Double Pass Giveaway Winner!

With special thanks to MiNDFOOD CheeseFest, I am pleased to announce the winner for the double pass for. Drawn by Random.org, the winner is… **drum roll please!** Natallia Yanachkina!   Thanks to all who entered, I loved reading your cheese answers and reminded me to eat more cheese. If you would like to find out more or purchase tickets, details are below. MiNDFOOD CheeseFest Wednesday 18 March 2015 5pm to 8.30pm The Great Room at The Langham, 83 Symonds Street, Auckland Tickets are $30 from Eventfinder or $35 at the door. See you there! Links you might love: New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association http://www.cheeselovers.co.nz CheeseLoversNZ on Facebook To keep up with announcements including giveaways, make sure you follow me on Bloglovin’ or Facebook.

MiNDFOOD CheeseFest: Double Pass Giveaway

Do you love cheese? Yes? Then keep reading. The ultimate cheese adventure is coming to Auckland. Thanks to MiNDFOOD CheeseFest, I have a double pass to give away (retail value $60) to the CheeseFest next month. To enter, please fill in the contact form below, including a skill question. What you can look forward to at the CheeseFest: Unlimited free samples of the best NZ cheese Mingling with the winners of the 2015 NZ Champions of Cheese Awards Learn how great cheese is made Cheese sale tables Complimentary beverage on arrival (thanks to Crossroads Wine and Epic Beer) MiNDFOOD CheeseFest Wednesday 18 March 2015 5pm to 8.30pm The Great Room at The Langham, 83 Symonds Street, Auckland Tickets are $30 from Eventfinder or $35 at the door. See you there! Links you might love: New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association http://www.cheeselovers.co.nz CheeseLoversNZ on Facebook Terms and conditions 1 entry per person. This competition is open to Auckland residents only. It is the responsibility of the prize winner to redeem their prize. Prize includes a double pass only. You …