I saw today I have 324 followers for New Zealand Home cook. I love subscribing to others blogs and reading their about pages and food ethos. I thought I would update my about me page. I also wanted to share this picture of a lovely fresh fig, goat cheese salad I made recently. I am sure all you lovely readers will appreciate this. It was as divine as it looks. Figs are an aphrodisiac and the are infamous for looking similar to a woman’s divine centre. Now you are all blushing…
I hope you enjoy finding out a bit more about me, and if you enjoy my posts please leave a comment. It is very encouraging. Bonnie x
Five minutes with Bonnie Brown
It’s a standing joke; “come to fat camp” you will always be voluptuously well fed if you come for dinner at Bonnies home, and she always insists everyone have second helpings. The 32 year old loves to play at being the ultimate Stepford wife, and adores her two pretty daughters. Cooking and reading cookbooks is a daily occurrence. When she is not cooking, writing, and spoiling her family she enjoys success at her sales career in the fast paced world of residential real estate.
Want to know more…
I am a romantic gourmand and long to make my travels to Europe. I am inspired by the timeless dishes of Mediterranean Europe and their food simplicity. I adore the flavours and home style dishes of Greece and Islands, Italy and France. Eastern European and Italian peasant food is continuously a revelation in its basic simplicity and frugalness. North African and Middle Eastern food is fascinating and exciting to cook. Occasionally when I feel palate fatigue I will make Asian stir fries, though these never seem to satisfy my culinary desire. My own Kiwi, Irish and English food heritage has been influenced by its own historical roots of climate, class and comfort home cooking.
What I am cooking with at the moment…olives, Italian quality De Cecco dried pasta, shiny green puy lentils, fresh herbs, ground spices, nuts, free range chicken, New Zealand lamb, (non crate) pork, dry cured bacon, fresh seafood – monkfish, tarakihi, gurnard, mussels, akaroa salmon, prawns. Black beans, red lentils, chickpeas, split peas, Fair trade jasmine white and brown rice & couscous http://www.tradeaid.org.nz/index.php/page/shop/pi_categoryid/43 . Black and red rice, oats, stone ground local fresh flours, vanilla, 72% dark chocolate, ground almonds, cream, milk, parmesan cheese, Clearwater yoghurt http://www.clearwaterorganic.co.nz/ . Good butter, bread, potatoes, kumara, tomatoes, avocado, onion, garlic, ginger, celery, cauliflower, spinach, soft lettuces, carrots, pumpkin, courgettes, oyster, shitake, button, Portobello mushrooms, apples, bananas, oranges.
I love to shop and it is a lovely pleasure to buy food for your family to cook. I usually shop at the Farmers market once a week for my fresh produce and sometimes supplement that with greens from Liberty organics. I purchase meats every day or every third day depending how organised I am. I do like to make a plan for the week as to what and how I will go about you my produce and leftovers. I buy these magnetic meal planners from Kikki K shop. I buy fish from the fish market fresh on the day I plan to use it. I try to avoid buying any seafood on a Sunday as it can be a bit old which is usually what happens if you purchase from the supermarket. I like to keep a really well stocked store cupboard with spices, canned beans, long life flatbreads, rice, pasta, nuts, oils, vinegars.
Best store cupboard meal, what would you make?
Risotto; rice, good stock, best cheese, seasonal vegetable…think smoked goats Gouda and green cauliflower with sourdough and thyme croutons. I love its oozing, soothing ability to calm; each mouthful is like eating relaxation.
What don’t people know about you that you wish they did?
I wanted to be an actress when I was growing up. My Uncle Dave worked in television as a camera man and I would ring him after school and ask him if he could get me an agent. I would sign my autograph at the end of each school year and give it to my teacher and tell them to hold onto it as I would be famous one day and they could say they taught me. Susan Boyle was only discovered at 47, so I guess I still have time…
How did you learn to cook?
I was influenced with good food through my family, my Mum and Aunties who are great bakers and cooks. In my twenties I took great pleasure learning all I could from hundreds of cookbooks loaned from the local library. I self taught with my willing husband who has been happy to eat and critique
As a self-taught cook, who would you say have been your biggest influences?
I had if you like an epiphany, I could loan these books from the library and be imparted cooking wisdom and knowledge from the most inspiring talented, creative cooks. I especially love these food writers; Diana Henry, Tamasin Day-Lewis, Nigella Lawson, Rachel Allen, Tessa Kiros, Annabel Langbein, Bill Granger, Elizabeth David and Lindsey Bareham to name some of my favourites. I also soaked up each issue of my subscription to DISH magazine, a New Zealand food magazine. Online food blogs and BBC food TV website was a continual source of inspiration.
Do you have a guilty food pleasure when no-one else is around?
My favourite late night dessert indulgence is homemade hot chocolate fudge sauce, vanilla ice-cream and toasted nuts, especially during my two pregnancies.
Tell me three things on your must-do-next-list
Travel to North America and Europe, write and publish a (food related) book, have a third baby.
What was your worst cooking disaster?
Well it was the first time I made carrot cake. I got through making the cake perfectly, iced it with thick cream cheese icing and decorated it beautifully with walnuts. It was looking divine and I could not wait to try it. It was loaded into the back seat of my car to take to a friend’s house. We had arrived, as we were standing outside the car greeting our friends; when to shock horror (it was like in life in pictures slow motion) a friends dog jumped into the car, we yelped, the dog freaked and leaped into the back seat, paws straight into the cake and then sat on it!.