Tag Archives: desert

All things pretty and nice

 I woke up boxing day feeling energised to be creative. In fact I have been cooking up a storm in the lead up to Christmas even more than usual. It is a luxurious pleasure to have free time and endless warm summer days to cook and bake all those recipes you coveted over the year and make them my own. I have been pushing the boat out and trying some new techniques and recipes I have not made before. If my Strawberry & lime curd cream Puff (photo below) may not look that pretty, it tasted beautiful.

New Zealand’s own home grown cooking celebrity http://www.annabel-langbein.com/tv-series/ has fantastic recipes that are always amazing. This recipe came from her book The Free Range Cook and It turned out almost the same as her photo. I found it easy to make the choux pastry in a saucepan with melted butter, water and flour. It was a bonus I got given homemade lime curd for christmas as she had suggested lemon curd. Rather than let it sit in the pantry for a year (which is what normally happens to random Christmas presents like that) I decided to put it to good use folded into whipped cream. I am not usually a big baker, preferring to cook savoury dishes.

My husband, daughter Lucia and I headed to the Christchurch Botanical Gardens for a picnic.  Lucia loved sitting on the picnic rug and opening her new Dora Lunchbox and looking inside to find homemade mayonnaise colesaw, humus & smoked chicken wraps.

I managed to spend over $500 on food in the days leading up to Christmas. Are you shocked? see I had found this stunning picture in my Dish magazine for a Strawberry tart. It had a sweet short crust pastry, filled with a french goats cheese, 500 grams of italian mascarpone, orange liqueur, orange zest, icing sugar then filled with topped fresh strawberries glazed with apricot jam and fresh mint leaves. I also held a cocktail party at my home on christmas eve and catered finger food for 14 people. I will have to save that for another post.

Here is a picture of my exquisite Strawberry tart. It was so much fun to make.



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What’s on the menu?

Are you like me, constantly planning what’s for dinner for the week ahead?. Some of my friends think I am MAD!. I love it!, searching for recipes, ideas, inspirations for wonderful meals. I usually start with a depleted fridge and cupboard, I then start to mentally collate lists and  ideas for meals, recipes which I have been sourcing  from online food websites, cook books, magazines which go on to become written menu ideas. Farmers Markets provide a huge influence when it comes to what is in season. Earthquakes and the imminent winter weather is motivating me to fill the store cupboards.

This week is shaping up to be a very delicious looking Autumn, end of April Menu.

  • Thursday Evening – Cinnamon Beef Stew with creamy mash, french green beans & shallots.
  • Friday Night THE ROYAL WEDDING – Fillet Steak Gratin with creme fraiche, chive sauce & rocket.
  • Desert Rhubarb crumble served with custard
  • Saturday Night – Pork with caramelised pear and parsnips
  • Sunday Night – Handmade by moi, Agria Potato Gnocchi with cherry tomato, basil sauce and parmesan
  • Monday Night – Home made Chicken Soup, stock and all.

Thats as far as I have planned right now. I like to keep my ingredients as fresh as possible and I find if I plan to far ahead I end up with some forgotten, limp vegetables at the back of the fridge that do not get used. I can’t wait to get cooking. Who would like to come to dinner?

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Filed under babies, cafes, cooking, earthquake, food, home cooking, lamb, organic, photography, potatoes, recipes, soup

Living through the Christchurch Earthquake

My favourite Local Metro cafe, Ferrymead re-opened today, this is a milestone let me tell you. The last time I had coffee and a pumpkin chocolate muffin there was 10:43am the morning of February 22nd, 2011 (a bit like the last supper, for I ate nothing else that day) . The 6.3 Christchurch Earthquake rocked my city at 12:51pm.The  epicentre was only minutes away from this location. ALL the businesses, cafes, supermarkets, have been closed in this area. The nearest supermarket has been a 30 minute drive. For this trip you must be a skilled driver to negotiate the lumps, bumps, detours, roadworks, potholes and general road damage. I was so excited to go and have a coffee there. This felt a little like normality.

I lost all my food in my fridge/freezer as the power was off for weeks. Fish sauce!!! smashed onto my kitchen floor and the smell has only been removed with some very thorough cleaning.

The force of the earthquake was so strong it picked my island bench and huge oven and shifted it across my kitchen. I was in shock when I saw this mess…where do you start? with no power or water to clean the glass and mess and an active toddler who is on the move. We moved out. I have felt like a refugee. We are one of the lucky ones up on our hill as our house appears to have no structural damage unlike about 80% of my neighbours homes. We still have our fair share of cracks. Two days after the earthquake we were staying at my brother in laws house. I felt very grateful as I watched the news reports…over 200 missing presumed dead or missing. I felt the desire to make a  Chocolate cake!. Unfortunately I do not have a photo of it.

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Special recipe request for my cute sister Jess

Butterscotch & date self saucing pudding


Self Saucing Banana Butterscotch Pudding . DISH magazine Issue 30 June-July 2010 

This is the most fail proof, perfect self saucing pudding recipe. This pudding brings a bit of nostalgia to when I was a 17 and 18 and my family lived in Oxford my first love Andy and I would make chocolate and butterscotch self saucing pudding’s on cold Oxford winter nights, which were so scrummy.  Jess here is, sorry you could not find it on my blog. I have been very naughty and made this four times in the last month. Delicious. I will say no more…you will have to try making it for yourself. Just ensure you serve it with cold french vanilla bean ice cream. ENYOY. BB   x 


Recipe for Self Saucing Butterscotch recipe 

1 1/4 cups self-raising flour 

1/3 cup packed brown sugar 

pinch of salt – not much 

finely grated zest of 1 orange or lemon 

(I use a microplane grater for zesting they are the Porsche of graters) 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/3 cup dates are my favourite or you can use raisins or sultanas 

1 very ripe banana, mashed 

3 tablespoons melted butter 

1 egg 

1 cup milk 


1 cup boiling water 

2 tablespoons melted butter 

1/2 cup brown 

to assemble – another banana 

Preheat the oven to 180C. Slice the banana thinly and place in the base of a 6 cup capacity baking dish. 

Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, orange/lemon zest, cinnamon & chopped dates in a bowl and mix together. 

 Stir the mashed banana, melted butter, egg and milk together in a bowl and using and a large metal spoon fold into the flour. 

 Pour the batter over the sliced banana. 

Topping: Put the boiling water, butter and brown sugar in a jug and stir to dissolve the sugar. Gently, pour the topping over the pudding. If you pour it over the back of a spoon, the topping will evenly distribute without breaking the pudding up. 

Bake for 40 minutes until the pudding is firm to the touch and is pulling away at the sides of the dish. The top will have cracks in it. 

To serve: dust with icing sugar and serve with vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy. 






Filed under babies, cooking, food, home cooking, photography, recipes

Hot Decadence Caramelised Bananas

Caramelised Bananas with Vanilla Ice cream


I have just had mouthful after mouthful of delicious Caramelised bananas. So good.   

Think hot gooey home-made caramel sauce with warm banana and a thick slice of vanilla ice cream on top. 

It looks so simple, which it was to make. 

I had the I am still not satisfied after dinner feeling and feel like a treat… 

What will I make…my cupboards and fridge was looking sad. 

I have a bottle of cream, a few bananas, a tiny wee bit of butter, caster sugar, brown sugar & a splash of water. 

To make: Heat butter in large frying pan: add sugars and the water. Stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves: stir in cream. Bring to the boil; add banana sliced lengthwise, stir gently to coat in caramel. 

To serve: Served with ice cream…so enjoyable! 

I had to share this – let me know what you think? 

Bonnie x


Filed under babies, cooking, food, home cooking, photography, recipes