Skip to content

Some Of My Favourite Green Smoothies

 (5)

I may be a morning person, therefore getting to work for 5.30am is no problem but I’m not good at eating breakfast that early. So in recent months I have turned to smoothies to get me through the morning till the tummy starts to rumbly. It’s become a bit of a daily ritual and I have been experimenting with seasonal produce lately. I try to use local and fresh as much as possible but have relented for bananas and pineapple which aren’t readily grown here.  I have listed below three smoothies I am enjoying at the moment. All quantities are for one serve, so increase as required. If your blender can’t handle adding ice you can always add it to the glass afterwards to chill the drink. We have a lot of stone fruit about so keep checking into my Facebook account where I post daily smoothies more often.

This is also my entry for Sweet New Zealand, not a cake or pudding but they are certainly sweet! The months event is being hosted by Alessandra. For those Kiwi bloggers who have not yet entered you still have a chance to do so by the 27th. There’s also a chance to win some Fresh As products!

Tropical Green 

1/4 pineapple (peeled), 1/4 wedge of lemon (I use the skin also), handful baby spinach or kale leaves, sprig of fresh mint leaves, 1 cup of coconut water (buy a brand without added sugar if you aren’t using fresh), a few cubes of ice optional.  For a thicker creamy smoothie add 1/4 fresh avocado flesh.

Whizz everything together in a blender.

The Royal Cucumber and Mint

3 inch piece of telegraph cucumber (for overseas visitors these are the softer skinned cucumbers), sprig of mint, 1/2 a sweet red apple, handful spinach, 1/4 avocado flesh, 1 cup of coconut water, 1/4 wedge of lemon, a few cubes of ice.

Whizz everything together in a blender.

Chocolate Doris

4 black Doris plums, 1 small banana, 1 Tbsp cacao powder, 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds, 1 cup of milk or almond milk. If you need it a little sweeter add some honey or blend two to three dates with it.

Whizz everything together in a blender.

sweetnz

A New Years Trifle of Gingerbread & Nectarine

 (3)Now don’t fall off you’re perch’s because I’m posting twice in one week.  This is not a New Years resolution either so no one get too excited please. The next post could be a month away. I have just had more time over Christmas with the shop closed till the 7th but I am already writing my lists for shopping, preparing and baking to be done Monday. This was our New Years Eve dessert which followed Braised beef cheek and ribs, Mexican spiced. Accompanied with a piquant coleslaw,  bean & corn salad and homemade tacos. It was a gloriously sunny evening, we ate outside and lit the outdoor fire as the sunset so we could spend the rest of the evening outdoors. I have to confess, we didn’t see the New Year, I’m not much good with late nights, even on special occasions. Does it really matter if one doesn’t stay up till after midnight?

The recipe will made 6 individual servings or one medium sized trifle bowl. You can prepare all the components of the trifle or buy some of them depending how you feel and how much time you have. I have offered recipes for each part if you are feeling adventurous. I thought of buying a gingerbread loaf when contemplating the recipe, cursing that I hadn’t frozen some from my shop before we closed for Christmas, but when I looked at what the supermarket had to offer I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

I’m also submitting this for our monthly Sweet New Zealand blogging event which is hosted this month by Alessandra If you pop over you will find more delectable sweet treats by fellow bloggers.

Simple Gingerbread Sponge

Preheat oven 160C, Line approx 18cm cake tin or tray with greaseproof.

100g butter, melted, 100g golden syrup, 1 free range egg, 100g self raising flour, handful crystalized ginger, roughly chopped. Save a few pieces of ginger for slicing and decorating the trifles.

In a medium sized bowl, beat together the butter. Add the egg and beat mixture again. Add the chopped ginger and flour and stir until combined.

Pour mixture into lined cake tin and bake to 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before using in the trifle. Crumble sponge roughly once cool.

Creme Anglaise

200ml cream or milk, 2 medium free range eggs, 1 heaped Tbsp castor sugar, seeds of 1 vanilla pod

Whisk eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. In a saucepan heat cream or milk and vanilla bean seeds over a medium heat to a simmer. Pour hot milk/cream over the egg mix and whisk while pouring to prevent eggs scrambling (easier if you get an extra hand to help you). Turn heat down to low and pour the mixture back into the saucepan, cook over the low heat whisking all the time until sauce thickens. It’s important to keep whisking to prevent sauce sticking to bottom of pan. Once thickened pour into a clean bowl and cover with lid or plastic wrap to cool.

Poached Nectarines

6 nectarines (or you could use peaches), 1 vanilla pod (I use an empty pod that has already had its seeds used above)

Half and de-stone the nectarines. Place them in a pan and cover with water. Add the vanilla pod and place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. I don’t add sugar to the water as the tart fruit contrast well with the other sweeter ingredients in the trifle. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow fruit to cool in water. If fruit is quite ripe then you may only need to simmer for 5 minutes or use the fruit fresh. Once cool slice nectarines into wedges, approx 12 wedges per nectarine.

Whipped Cream

150ml whipping cream whipped to soft peak. Or you can use more cream if you prefer a thicker layer of cream!

Assembly

Layer nectarines, sponge, creme Anglais then cream. A few slices of crystalized ginger for decoration.

sweetnz

New Years Eliesenlebkuchen & a gift of Pottery

 (1)

Little slow of the mark with this one, lebkuchen would normally be baked pre Christmas and I would certainly have eaten my first one at the beginning of December the minute they arrived in the Frankfurt shops. I make a batch every year but have been a little busy baking Christmas cakes, trays of gingerbread, festive biscotti and panforte for the shop but no lebkuchen! In fact I had not even missed or thought about it until I read London Eats post about Eliesenlebkuchen. Christmas may have been and gone but I wasn’t going to wait a whole year to have lebkuchen, I blame you London Eats! A batch for a New Year celebration, perfect idea, the problem is we have almost finished them and I doubt they will make it into the New Year.

I had forgotten how truly special these biscuits are, the scent wafted through the house and I couldn’t even contain myself to wait for them to cool. Stuffing one in my mouth hot from the oven. Good? Yes, but much better if you wait for them to cool and glaze or dip them in chocolate. I haven’t written the recipe but offer you a link here, I did make a few changes due to available ingredients and how I remember them (see below).

Some of you may know that I am a bit of a vintage diva, owning a lot of 60s & 70s outfits. Well it doesn’t stop at clothes, I picked up the set of New Zealand Temuka pottery you see in the photo Christmas Eve at the Op Shop (Charity Shop) and wrapped them up and put them under the tree. A gift to me from me! The cups are the perfect flat white coffee size, just the right thing when you gift your hubby a coffee machine for Christmas ;o) The pot we can use for tea.

If you scroll below you will also see my latest vintage find that needs a little TLC , I’ll post pics of the chairs once pretty and complete.

Enjoy your New Year celebrations…. see you in 2014! xx

My changes to the Lebkuchen recipe

1. I had no bakers ammonia (hard to come by here) so I just skipped it. I was going to add a bit of baking soda instead but completely forgot and the results were still amazing. So don’t worry if you can’t get any.

2. I had lebkuchen spices which are better than mixed spice as they contain more spices (ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, ground coriander, ground cardamom, ground ginger, ground anise seed, ground star anise). Maybe make your own or add a few extra spices to the mixed spice. Here’s a link .

3. I also used ground hazelnut only which is how I remember having them.

4. I pipped mine onto bakers rice paper and glazed one side.

photo (13)

Simple Strawberry Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Syrup

DSC_0013 - Version 2 (1)

Just a quick post so I can sneak this into our monthly New Zealand blogging event, Sweet NZ. It’s not a new one but we are in the height of our strawberry season here so ‘oldies are goodies’ right if they are using seasonal produce, are easy to make and and look fab! Mairi over at Toast is hosting this months event, pop across and see what else our KIwiw family of bloggers are cooking this month. I’m heading back to my crazy pre Christmas kitchen baking up batches of Christmas biscotti, Pacific Christmas cakes (millions on order), Panforte for the shop, not to mention mince pies once December hits next week. I’ll keep you posted on Facebook!

 

Ingredients – makes 6

1 large punnet/chip strawberries or 18-24 small/medium strawberries (enough to fit 3 to 4 in each muffin tin base)

2 Tbsp Equagold Vanilla Syrup

100g ready bought puff pastry or 1 sheet

Method

Preheat oven to 180C, fan bake

Wash & hull the strawberries and place in a bowl with the vanilla syrup

Toss the strawberries through the vanilla syrup.

Using large muffin tin (6 per tin normally) place 3 to 4 strawberries in the base of each tin

Roll out the puff pastry to 1/2 ich if not using a ready rolled sheet

Using a large cookie cutter, slightly larger than the top of your muffin tins so there is enough pastry to tuck down the sides, cut out 6 pastry circles and place each one on top of the strawberries

Tuck the pastry down the sides with a butter knife around the strawberries to make a little shell that will hold the strawberries once turned out.

Bake in the oven on the top shelf for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.

To turn the tarts out, use a rubber spatular and slide it under the pastry and strawberries and turn the whole tart over.

I tried turning the whole tin over but that didn’t work so it is best to remove them one by one.

Serve warm as they are or with whipped cream

DSC_0010 - Version 2 (1)

Pumpkin Pie with a Caramel Crunch

20120627-195242.jpg

A lovely lady from the US emailed me about this recipe asking if I had a conversion for the measurements to suit the US.  Since I have deserted you the past few weeks and many may not have see this recipe anyway I thought you wouldn’t mind if I re-blogged it. Particularly since it is autumn in half of the world and fast approaching Thanks Giving for the US, it’s the perfect pumpkin pie recipe. Well I thought so, the bitter caramel balances out the sweet pie. I’ve even converted it to suit US measurements ( they aren’t a direct conversion but a measurement ratio that will work). I hope some of you get to enjoy it. Have a great Thanks Giving!

Ingredients – Pastry
180g of flour or 8oz
110g butter or 4oz
1 medium free range egg
50g of icing sugar or 2 Tbsp
Extra butter and flour for lining the tin

Method – Pastry
Preheat oven on ‘bake’ to 170C.
Butter and flour a 24cm loose bottom tart tin
Place the flour, sugar & butter in a bowl and rub the ingredients together with your finger tips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Or use a food processor to whiz them together.
Add the egg and bring dough together, (you may need a few additional tablespoons of chilled water particularly the ounce measurements) into a ball then flatten slightly.
Rest dough in fridge for 20 minutes before rolling out.
Roll out pastry dough thinly to fit tart tin.

Ingredients Pumpkin Custard
250ml milk / 1/2 pint
1 cup chopped pumpkin = 1/2 small butternut pumpkin
2 Tbsp honey or castor sugar
Seeds of one vanilla bean
3 medium free range eggs

Method – Pumpkin Custard
Steam or simmer the pumpkin in a pot of water for 10 minutes until soft then drain any liquid away.
Allow pumpkin to cool.
Whizz all the custard ingredients together in a food processor and pour into the tart case.
Place the filled tart on a lower shelf in your oven to cook the base through.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until tart is firm and started to puff slightly.
Remove from oven and chill completely before adding the toffee crunch.

Ingredients – Toffee Crunch
100g / 1 cup castor sugar
50ml / 1/2 cup water

Method – Toffee Crunch
Place the water and sugar in a small pan over a low heat until sugar has dissolved.
Turn the heat up so the syrup is gently boiling.
Boil the syrup until it starts to turn golden brown, approx 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let it stand for a minute, it will continue to cook and turn a darker brown.
Pour onto the chilled pumpkin custard, you may need a spoon to spread it but work quickly as it will set immediately it cools.
Don’t worry if it is a bit messy, you are going to take the back of a spoon and tap it so the surface cracks and is easier to portion the tart.

Colourful Raw Pad Thai Omelet & a Matching Colourful Retro Outfit

 (5)

Hello world…..I’m still here!

As the weather warms up Our Girls (hens) having been laying lots of eggs and we are struggling to keep up eating them all. Of course friends are welcome benefactors of these beautiful golden yolked free range eggs. Since I bake sweet treats every day in work I tend not to bake at home so I am having to be a bit creative with the eggs rather than just boiled, poached and scrambled. This Raw Pad Thai Salad inside the omelet is quick to make and adds a fragrance and texture to the dish.  Tonight we are having another egg dish, Malaysian Egg Curry which I love and you can find a recipe here.

So I may not have had much time to write blog posts lately but I have managed to keep up with my shopping habits :o) Luckily for me all the best retro and vintage shopping is online so I can still fit that in when all the shops are shut and I have my feed up with a cuppa. Can’t wait for the summer to get here so I can sport this new outfit of mine.

Ingredients

This is really just an rough idea per omelet, you can vary the type of veg you like. The ingredients are per omelet below so increase per person.

Handful each of grated/shredded carrot, cabbage & spinach per omelet

2 eggs per omelet

zest & juice of 1/2 lime

pinch of sugar or honey

small piece of grated fresh ginger

Tbsp of chopped coriander

Pinch of chili powder or fresh chopped.

1 small kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

I’m not going to tell you how to make an omelet, I’ll let you make it your favourite way.

Place the shredded cabbage, carrots and ginger in a bowl.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together and add to the veg mix and toss through.

Place the cooked omelet on a plate and fill one side with the Raw Pad Thai Salad. Fold the other half of omelet over and enjoy. This would also make a nice ‘packed’ lunch the next day, just keep your salad separate from the omelet and assembly when you are ready to eat it.

il_570xN.470692942_fkbm

Moroccan Couscous, Pumpkin & Chickpea Salad

 (2)

This week we are introducing a salad bar to the shop, complimenting the juices and smoothies and balancing out the decadent pastry treats. The weather had been glorious, it felt like spring was on it’s way but as usual for this time of year, mother nature was just teasing us. We had even planned a girls surf day, the sea had been calm and the skies blue but that is on the back burner as the sea raged in all it’s West Coast glory this morning. Back on with the woolies as the rain and blustery wind rattled the house. The intended spring salads turned into hearty winter salads, something to satisfy and comfort with a spicy kick. I will also have a Smokey Mexican Slaw and Italian inspired Roasted Cauliflower & Rocket  Salad. I’ll try and blog those to for you if I get a chance! Have a great week everyone and I hope the weather is being good to you where ever you are. xx

Ingredients

1 large butternut pumpkin or 1 small crown pumpkin

400g tinned chickpeas

Cous Cous

1tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp cumin seeds

3Tbsp olive oil

1-2 tsp Harrisa Paste (depending on how hot yours is). I have a recipe here if you want to make some

2 Tbsp Water

Juice & zest of 1 lemon

large handful of parsley & coriander

salt & pepper to season

Method

Cook the couscous as per packet instructions then rinse and cool.

Pre-heat oven to 180C

Skin & de-seed the pumpkin and dice into one inch squares. Place pumpkin in a roasting pan/tray.

Mix together the cinnamon, cumin, turmeric & olive oil and pour over the pumpkin. Rub the oil and spice mix through the pumpkin so it is coated.

Roast the pumpkin for 15 minutes or until tender but still has a bite to it. Allow pumpkin to cool before mixing it with other ingredients.

Drain the chickpeas.

Mix the harissa with the 2 Tbsp water

In a large bowl combine the chickpeas, roasted pumpkin and cooked couscous. Add the harissa , lemon juice & zest, coriander, parsley. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Goes well with roasted chicken, lamb chops or grilled fish or just served on it’s own.

The Smallest Chicken Egg & A Herby Omelet

background 3

This week one of our new chickens laid the smallest chicken egg I have ever seen, well we think it is one of the new chickens. Above is a comparison with one of their regular eggs. If it keeps on laying them that small I might be able to sell them as gourmet eggs to restaurants but it’s likely it is because it is her first egg. Does anyone know? All of our chickens are hulking great Orpingtons but we do have one little chicken who looks a bit like a Bantam but she hasn’t laid since we adopted her and we think she is rather old anyway. It’s nice that our chickens are now laying, having adopted older abandoned chickens we were beginning to think we had acquired new pets and the most expensive free range eggs around with two a week from five hens. Not that we minded, they are very entertaining to watch, very sociable and keep the weeds in the garden down. Below is Beryl, not the best pic of her but at least you can see how big she is and she isn’t even the largest of them.

background 3 (2)

 What better way to enjoy fresh eggs, a nice simple omelet with lots of herbs and some sheep feta. Use any herbs you prefer but lots of them, I used parsley and mint from the garden and coriander but basil would also be good. Then add your favourite cheese, I chose a sharp sheep feta.

background 3 (1)

Ingredients for one omelet

2 free range eggs

large handful of chopped mixed herbs

a handful of your favourite cheese (I used sheep feta)

Method

Whisk two eggs in a bowl and add the herbs. I did not add any salt since my feta would be adding enough salt but you go with your own preference.

Place a small cast iron or non stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a glug of oil. Let the pan get hot so it sizzles when you put the beaten eggs in, helps to prevent sticking.

Add the herby eggs and cook for a minute or until brown underneath.

Add the cheese and fold one half over.

Turn heat down to low and cook until the centre cooks through, although I like mine a little soft still.

Serve straight in the pan and enjoy!

Campfire Cockles on a Winters Day

DSC_0098

Did you think I had forgotten you all? Were you beginning to think I wasn’t cooking anymore?

Quite the opposite, as those of you who follow my Facebook page will know, I have been baking tons and tons of pastries, pies, tarts, quiches and desserts for my Pop Up Patisserie in Waimauku which opened at the beginning of this month. It’s been a busy but fun three weeks, meeting lots of new people in my neighbourhood, getting used to my new kitchen, experimenting with new recipes and eating lots of  what I make! There just wasn’t enough time to sit down and write about it all.

A day off on Sunday, the sun was shining so hubby decided he was cooking dinner and he were going to eat al fresco. We headed down the coast, foraged for our own dinner of cockles and set up camp along beach river inlet. A few other ingredients we had brought along to jazz up our foraged cockles; lemons, coriander, salt & pepper, a bit of chili, a big wedge of sour dough and a bottle of vino. A beautifully simple dinner, cooked on a little camp stove, watching the sunset whilst sipping vino and dunking hunks of bread into the cockle juice. Life is good, it may have been a mid winters day and I had a blanket to keep me warm (even though the Kiwi hubby had a t’shirt on as he doesn’t seem to feel the cold like most Kiwis) but it certainly beats sitting indoors. I am sure you will agree looking at the photos.

DSC_0105 (1)

No specific recipe for this just enough cockles or clams to feed whoever you are cooking for. 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 lemon thinly sliced, salt & pepper, 1 glass of white wine, 1 small chili chopped, handful coriander and bread to mop up the juices.

Heat the olive oil in a pan with the lemon slices over a low heat for  a few minutes, Throw in the cockles, wine, chili, salt and pepper and cover pan with a lid. Cook for 8 minutes. Remove lid, add the coriander and serve. You could use parsley if you don’t like coriander.DSC_0070 (1)

Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons & my POP UP Patisserie

DSC_0015 (1)

They say every cloud has a silver lining and redundancy from my full time employment this month was just that. I decided it the opportune time to do what I have not been brave enough to do for some time and go into business for myself. I am opening a POP UP patisserie! Why POP UP you might ask? Well it is financially a lower risk and it also give me the opportunity to test the market in our neighbourhood. There was also an existing coffee and juice bar looking for some yummy food so we were the perfect match, two small businesses under the same roof complimenting each other. Our opening day will be 2nd July, 2013 … just over a week away! This is our address and opening hours:

9D Factor Road, Waimauku, Auckland (sharing premises with The Daily Squeeze) – Opening hours; Tuesday – Saturday, 8am – 3pm

515ce2537bd7196a38000510515ce2537bd7196a38000512

Menu selection changes daily but here is an idea of what mouth watering treats are on offer.

Homemade pies; Beef Stroganoff, Moroccan Lamb, Thai Chicken
Homemade Soups; Piri Piri Chicken & Corn Smokey Ham & White Bean
Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Galette Roasted Tomato & Halloumi Galette
Rueben Sandwiches, BLAT
Savoury Tarts
Pain au Chocolat & au Raisin
Eccles Cakes, Scones, Shortbread
Portugese tarts, Palmiers
Vanilla Custard Doughnuts
Raspberry & White Choc Lamingtons
Blueberry Danish
Lemon Drizzle, Gingerbread Loafs

Also stocking artisan bread by Pukeko Bakery

…and lots more

And yes you will be able to buy some of these delicious homemade Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons if you pop in!

For those who would like to try making their own here is the recipe below.

I’m also submitting this recipe to our monthly Sweet New Zealand blogging event which is hosted this month by my dear friend Sue over at Couscous & Consciousness.  If you pop across to her blog you will find a few more Kiwi bloggers and their sweet creations.

20120731-214010.jpg

Ingredients

Sponge base here,  plus 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries.

100ml whipped cream for filling & 4 Tbsps raspberry jam for filling

 200ml whipped cream for ganache

200g white chocolate for ganache

1 Tbsp raspberry jam for ganache

200g coconut thread

Method

Sponge method here, plus add the raspberries after the flour and stir through only a few times so raspberries don’t break up.

Instead of using two round cake tins like in the victoria sandwich cake recipe, use two square. this will make the top and bottom piece of the Lamington.

Bake as per recipe, allow to cool before filling sponge cake.

Spread the jam over one sponge layer, then spread the cream over the jam. Place second sponge on top of jam & cream.

Before cutting the sponge into square I find it better to let it rest in the fridge for a few hours.

Cut cake into approximately 8cm square pieces.

To make the ganache, place the cream & chocolate into a plastic bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 min. Stir and continue to microwave in 10 second blasts, stirring in-between until chocolate has melted.

Add the 1 Tbsp of jam to the ganache.

Now for the messy bit! Pour the coconut thread onto a tray.

Dip all 4 sides of each individual cake square into the ganache, using a spatular to scrape of too much excess ganache. Roll cake in coconut thread. Place on a tray the spread a bit of ganache ontop of square and sprinkle with coconut.

Enjoy!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,369 other followers

%d bloggers like this: