It makes me feel so productive to bake and cook, these are some of the things I have been enjoying …. Blueberry and chocolate bit muffins.
Lentil salad, new season sautéed courgettes, blanched green beans, sweet red onion and feta cheese. Gently tossed in a simple squeeze of lemon juice & my best New Zealand extra virgin olive oil. Season, season, season. The perfect accompaniment to a greek oregano & lemon roast chicken.
Early season tiny broad beans, podded , dressed raw with lemon juice, sea salt and a tickle of olive oil. After a half hour of therapeutic broad bean podding, I decided to put this Haloumi salad together. Not strictly traditional, I have no idea if they eat broad beans in Greece. It was delicious, after some quick googling for further inspiration and desire to keep it as simple as possible; I decided on a tahini, honey, lemon juice & olive oil dressing. The greek haloumi was wonderful fried nice and crispy golden, the trick is too eat the haloumi hot immediately.
A highlight of a recent trip to Wellington, New Zealand was a visit to a Cuisine magazine recommended restaurant http://www.capitolrestaurant.co.nz/ . When I saw the Creamy pumpkin, sage, parmesan and pine nut risotto on the menu I was excited, when it came to the table it was a decadent wet style risotto, which I love. Pure comfort food. I have been dreaming of this risotto ever since, so was even more excited when I came across a recipe for it in an Old Australians Womans Weekly magazine. This version as per my photo below had half a cup of mascarpone and parmesan cheese through it. Definitely not for lettuce leaf eaters!, which I am certainly am not. The recipe was divine.
A quick update to my previous post, Where to eat out in Christchurch Post Earthquake 2. The beloved Under The Red Verandah Cafe, Christchurch, which was demolished post February 22nd quake is now under construction with a temporary cafe. This new Cafe as I mentioned is called After The Red Verandah. Which is so fitting, luckily they managed to save a part of the verandah which is being incorporated into the new building. Nearly all the same staff remain too, as they are like part of the furniture too!. In the meantime we can all enjoy some time out at After The Red Verandah. I almost lived there last week, so nice to have a humble home away from home to read the morning paper and drink delious espresso, with some very tempting, decadent treats…dark chocolate muffins, fat slices , fudgy chocolate cake, homemade flaky pastry chicken pies, salmon bagels. WE LOVE YOU AFTER THE RED VERANDAH. XX
This is the secret to fluffy, delicious, speedy pancakes for breakfast….Buttermilk and my food processor. occasionally I will get really organised and buy some buttermilk, blueberries and most importantly make sure I have plenty of REAL maple syrup. Lucia absolutely devours these sweet pancakes down more like she is inhaling her food rather than eating it. Then comes “more Mummy – MORE”! her new favourite sentence when she really approves of whats on her plate. Like all really good recipes this one came surprisingly via the recipe on the side of the Tarurua Buttermilk container!. I am doing what all good friends do passing this recipe on to all my good friends.
Lemon and Blueberry Pancakes
1 Cup self-raising flour
1 Cup cultured buttermilk
2 eggs (Imperative – Really big fresh free range eggs, do not dare use anything else if you want perfection)
2 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp melted butter
1 cup blueberries
Blend all ingredients together with the exception of the butter and blueberries, to form a smooth batter. Now add the blueberries and melted butter. I do all of this in my food processor.
Lightly grease a frypan and add enough mixture to cover the pan or to the size you desire.
Cook on a medium heat. When bubbles form, turn the pancake over and cook the other side.
I like to serve these with sliced banana, maple syrup, softly whipped cream or a dollop of creamy natural yoghurt with a sprinkling of icing sugar.
These are so good. When I made these yesterday I experimented and roughly blended the berries in with the batter which gave the batter a lovely purple colour!. Both ways are lovely but I think by adding the blueberries to the batter after you have a smooth batter and keeping the berries intact makes a prettier and photogenic pancake. This is my kind of early morning recipe when you are still sleepy-eyed and want to make breakfast/brunch to impress.
Yum Cake Mum!
Are you like me and flip through glossy cookbooks, imaging yourself cooking and eating the perfect food on each page. I always have a long shopping list of recipes I can not wait to try out. I have been gaining a fervent desire to learn and have been disciplined in following recipes to see the intended result of the cookbook author (who is quite often very qualified). Wow – I am forever amazed at the RESULTS!. Beautiful, delicious food and I am developing new skills and knowledge along the way. Take one of my favourite food writers Tessa Kiros (there is a long list of favourites) however I do have a couple of her cook books. I have been reading and cooking from Apples for Jam this summer holiday. The title is so subtle and it only dawned on me after cooking some of the recipes that this is really a children’s cookbook full of wonderful lively italian family meals very suitable for my 21 month old Daughter Lucia Belle but still delicious for the family to eat. I love how Tessa writes the food memories of her husband’s family and his childhood memories of what would eat growing up in Italy. Today I finally got around to making the BERRY AND BUTTERMILK CAKE. It reminded me of a berry scone mixture. I was thrilled it looked just like Tessas picture in her book. My Lucia Belle squealed with delight when she saw the cake turned out of the tin and onto the cooling rack. We both cut it warm and enjoyed it for a late afternoon tea.
Berry & Buttermilk Cake