All posts tagged: New Zealand

Winner of $150 New World voucher

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. With a big thank you to the New World Wine Awards I am pleased to announce the winner of the $150 New World voucher giveaway. The winner is… *drumroll please* Orlene Enoka! Congratulations! I hope you enjoy creating your own gourmet adventure with New World. Thanks to all who entered and if you missed out, don’t be sad,  I have more giveaways coming up so make sure you stay up to date with this blog and my giveaways by following my Facebook page here. This post was made possible by the good folks at the New World Wine Awards. Opinions are my own.

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. …

Learning to shuck oysters and a recipe for Oysters Tamarind Kilpatrick

From my father, I inherited a fierce love for fresh oysters. If there was ever a moment I didn’t love raw oysters, I don’t remember it. As a kid, I ate my weight in oysters and any buffet worth visiting had fresh oysters in it’s offerings. Those in our family who loved them would eat a plate piled high. As a young adult, I once (or twice) turned up to family gatherings armed with several dozen shucked oysters on a polystyrene box, knowing they would go down a treat. Oysters are cheaper and fresher if you shuck them yourself but I’d never shucked oysters before. I vaguely remember my uncle wrestling with oysters but that didn’t interest me as a kid – I just wanted to eat them. In anticipation of the Te Matuku Oyster Festival on Waiheke this Saturday, I had the opportunity to shuck and cook up some plump Waiheke oysters. I’m no pro yet, so I won’t be sharing any shucking tips but I watched a bunch of Youtube videos (including this …

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 …

Taste of Auckland 2016 is coming and a giveaway

Happy Friday everyone! We’re about halfway through October already and I am loving day light savings time. Longer evenings and we’re actually getting more sunny days than rainy days. November is my favourite month and not just because it’s my birthday (although that certainly helps). November means that my favourite festival of delicious proportions, Taste of Auckland is back for the eighth year in a row. Thanks to Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux, I have three double passes to give away to three lucky readers (Total value $150). To enter, fill in the entry form at the bottom of this post including a skill question: Adriano Zumbo will be demonstrating at Electrolux Taste Theatre on which 2 days? The answer can be found here. Running from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 November 2016 and once again at Western Springs, Taste of Auckland will be settling in for 6 sessions over 4 days of al fresco dining with wine and cocktails. If I gush a bit in this post, please understand I am a Taste fan girl. I …

Did someone say Palooza?

I consider Pinot Noir the “gateway red” and next Saturday on September 3rd, Pinot Palooza, a celebration of Pinot Noir is coming to Auckland. Auckland’s first Pinot Palooza features unlimited tastings of 150 wines, 60 producers from New Zealand and Australia. Regions represented are Central Otago, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough, Wairarapa, Waipara Valley, North Canterbury and Nelson. You may recognise some of the producers such as: Pegasus Bay  Neudorf Sileni Estates Giesen Wines Villa Maria Though there are many more, check out the full list here: http://pinotpalooza.com.au/auckland-your-wine-list/ If you’ve been to any other Bottle Shop Concepts events such as Game of Rhones, then you can expect the same token-free experience. That’s right no tokens meaning you can taste wines to your heart’s content without worrying how many pieces of silver you have left in your pocket. There will be music, there might even be dancing. Who knows? Tickets are $60pp which includes an EPIC crystal Plumm RedB Glass (value $35) or VIP tickets which includes early access, a food voucher, a curated tour and a special …

Fish at work

It doesn’t matter if your co-workers love fish, zapping a fish lunch in the staff microwave is just bad manners. I love fish, especially smoked fish but I’ve always been careful not to have bring fish to work. Smoked fish pie and fish curries – while delicious – are dishes I enjoy at restaurants or at home. This smoked fish recipe is work-place appropriate. Because it is served cold, no one else needs to know you’re enjoying some yummy smoked fish. Kahawai is a firm white fish commonly found in New Zealand and most of the time is served hot smoked. Reasonably priced at around $25NZ per kilo for boneless sides, a 250gram (half pound) fillet will set you back less than $7NZ. If you can’t get a hold of smoked kahawai, feel free to use any smoked fish fillet – hot smoked trout would be a great substitute. Spring is just around the corner here and in my garden, the rosemary bush and onion weed is flowering so I’ve used these as garnish along with …

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 …

The Food Show Auckland 2016 – review and packaging porn

I went solo to The Food Show today. If you’ve never been on your own before (this was my first time solo), it’s totally awesome. You can zip around quickly, miss the things you’re not into and spend longer chatting about food and to exhibitors generally being a big food NERD. Also, you can take photos of pretty packaging for as long as you like without anyone thinking, “Come ON, let’s GO (you weirdo)”.  The Food Show is huge. Like, MEGA. You could conceivably visit every day for 4 days and still find new things you missed before. I recommend allowing 3 hours, any longer can be a bit overwhelming and it’s easy to get lost. If you do, don’t panic. Eat something and just enjoy. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, The Food Show is packaging and food design HEAVEN. If you’re a budding graphic designer looking for food-related inspiration or even someone looking to get into making and packaging their own product. Go to The Food Show. I even saw creatives walking …

The Food Show Auckland is coming – double pass giveaway

The Food Show is coming back to Auckland from Thursday 28 to Sunday 31 July, from 10am to 6pm at ASB Showgrounds. A great place to sample new products, buy show specials and explore new food trends. The ever popular Whirlpool Cooking Theatre will be showing 5 demonstrations each day with headlong NZ food personalities including Chelsea Winter, Josh Emett, Ray McVinnie, Sachie Nomura (Sachie’s Kitchen), Simon Gault, Megan May (Little Bird) and Kyle Street (Depot). Also for the first time, there will be demonstrations by food blogger Emma Galloway from My Darling Lemon Thyme. It’s so cool to see food bloggers at events like this. My Darling Lemon Thyme blog has been around for years, even longer than this blog. Emma and her family have been in living in Perth for 5 years but recently moved back to NZ meaning she can do cool stuff here like The Food Show. I count Emma as a blog role model so I look forward to seeing her demonstration. The full schedule for Whirlpool Cooking Theatre can be viewed online here. This year, …

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 …

Game of Rhones – double pass winner

With special thanks to Game of Rhones I am pleased to announce the winner for the double pass to this Saturday’s Auckland event (worth $120). Drawn by Random.org the winner is… **drum roll please!** Emma Tan Congratulations Emma, I hope you and your friend enjoy the event! All wine tastings are included, just bring money for food and take home bottles if that’s your thing. To keep up with giveaways and announcements, make sure you follow my Facebook page here.

#WineIsComing – A double pass giveaway

(scroll down for giveaway)     There are people who like drinking wine and having fun. Are you one of those people? If so, keep reading. I was a late convert to Game of Thrones but I now watch it religiously. The season finale of Season 6 is in 3 days and it will be long, loooong wait until the next season in 2017. But wait! There’s more! Next Saturday, while the season finale of GoT is still warm, Auckland is getting a very special event called Game of Rhones. Not affiliated in any way with GoT, Game of Rhones is a big deal in Australia, where it began…Where Dan Sims, the founder started it as a bit of a joke, but then more seriously and rather quickly expanded into Game of Rhones events in 7 cities in Australia and New Zealand. Where people drink wine and are encouraged to channel their favourite GoT character. I’ve included some photos I took of Auckland’s 2015 event but check out their Facebook album to get the full effect of …

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 …

Winetopia 2016 – things I have learned

I have been cursed with the realisation that I like expensive wine. Last Saturday, my friend and I attended Winetopia, an expo for wine lovers. Set upstairs at the expansive Shed 10 on Queens Wharf, in Auckland CBD, the event was bursting at the seams with well behaved but jovial attendees, wine exhibitors, food stalls and plenty of free wine talks (with tastings).       We’d already enjoyed a leisurely feast of a lunch (to line the stomach) but I couldn’t go past freshly shucked Mahurangi Oysters and my friend enjoyed a Food Snob cheese platter. There’s a decent array of food if you want or need it, but we were here for wine. Entry included a tasting wine glass and 5 tokens, though more tokens could be purchased for $2 each. Most wine tastings cost 1 token, though there were 2 and 3 token tastings for the more expensive bottles. For an extra $20pp you could also choose to attend various Masterclasses with guaranteed tastings. The King of Pinot Noir We were lucky to swing a …

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 …

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. …

Auckland Seafood Festival 2016

If you enjoy sensational, succulent seafood, then make sure you visit Auckland Seafood Festival this long weekend. My sister and I hit Auckland Seafood Festival on opening night and we had a truly delightful time.  We both love seafood so we shared a bunch of things we both enjoy. Arriving shortly after opening, there were no queues so we didn’t have to apply any strategy based on length of the queues. Last year I gave crayfish a miss because the lines were horrendous. Nothing like that this time around. We started with oysters and the Bluff farmed oysters at Sanford Oysters looked good to us. These were freshly shucked and served with malt vinegar and lemon (6 for $22). We had a little browse and then hit up Besos Latinos for some Peruvian ceviche ($14) and seafood empanadas ($10). The ceviche really hit the spot and the empanada (fried fresh to order) reminded us of a seafood pie.   Always popular at Auckland Seafood Festival are Auckland Fish Markets’ crayfish tails. This year they had grilled half cray tails …

Auckland Seafood Festival 2016 – double pass giveaway

2016 has started with a bang. Like just about everyone else, I have some dietary intentions for the year. I was feeling like were were eating too much red meat last year, but instead of saying, “I will eat less red meat” I’ve been saying, “I will eat more seafood”. The thinking is different, the end result is the same. So far in 2016, I have eaten yakitori scallops, whole grilled squid, salt pepper squid, herb-crusted pan-fried salmon, bagel with lox, yakitori salmon, mayo-cheese mussels, prawn pasta, Vietnamese pancake with pork and prawn, prawn fried rice, prawn and fish butter curry, fish tacos and a fish burger. Not bad considering we’re only 15 days in. Here’s to 2016 being a seafood-fuelled year and hopefully I’ll will cook or eat a seafood dish that I’ve never cooked or eaten before. With Auckland anniversary coming up, we can look forward to even more seafood at Auckland Seafood Festival. Running 5 sessions over 4 days at Halsey Wharf which is downtown between the Viaduct and North Wharf. Thanks to …