Tag Archives: muffins

Worthy of praise Baghdad eggs. spiced lentils. tomato kasundi

I managed to escape from the aftermath of Christchurch third major shakes June 13th 5.7 and 6.3 Magnitude earthquakes for the heady, cosmopolitan pleasure of an undamaged city – Auckland, New Zealand.  Thank goodness for a breather from the constant aftershocks I have been experiencing. Armed with a current Entertainment dining discount book I used it as my guide to search out a cafe which I could experience a stand out great breakfast. Most breakfast brunch menus bore me to tears, most cafes stick to the same formula, eggs Benedict, big breakfast, french toast, predictable, safe, yawn, yawn. So I was excited when I turned up to Urban Cafe on Carlton Gore Rd, Newmarket, Auckland at 9am this morning. Firstly it was very busy with plenty of good Auckland people watching – corporate types and fashionistas sipping lattes, deep in conversation on a superb sun spilled  patio. I love it when I see plenty of fresh baking – caramel, cinnamon, raison brioche, perfect bakewell slice, red velvet cupcakes. My early morning sweet tooth was bound to be satisfied. I started off with a round of coffees for my group and yes my sweet tooth insisted on a sneaky cinnamon brioche shared with our coffees while we pondered and tried to decide what to order from a very good menu. Baghdad eggs with spiced lentils and a tomato kasundi served with more than enough turkish bread beckoned me. The dish was served piping hot in a small cast iron pan with three soft poached eggs set amongst brown lentils, not unlike a frittata. Garnished with a generous handful of fresh coriander which infused the dish. Bagdad eggs were Perfect. I can not wait to try making this dish at home.

http://www.urbancafenewmarket.co.nz/

Review

  • Food 9/10
  • Coffee 10/10
  • Atmosphere 8/10
  • Toddler/child friendly 8/5

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My new love affair, After the Red Verandah.

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

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Recipes for the young and the young at heart

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

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Roasted Vegetable Goodness

I always am amazed how delicious and easy roasting food can be. I think I go through stages of labouring over my hot stove thinking I am being so clever, pan sauteing , braising, poaching, frying, however I am probably just making a lot of work for myself even if the result is sumptuous. I then stumble across some ingredients or a recipe which makes me throw all my chopped, prepped ingredients in a roasting tin, pop them in the hot oven and ahhhh relax until my trusty beeper tells me it is all ready to be simply served & enjoyed. 

The ingredients that caught my eye this week were a a couple of perfect  lean pork fillets from the Redcliffs Butchery (he knows his pork he is the guy on the pork advertisement on TV!),  winter pumpkin – this is the best $1-3 you can spend this winter, red onions, new season carrots, whole garlic cloves, braeburn apples all from my Local Lyttleton Farmers market. 

The inspiration came from my 2008 Issue 19 Aug-sep DISH magazine. 

Pork Fillet and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Baked apples….oh this is as good as it sounds actually it was better than my expectations. 

Pork Fillet and Roasted Vegetable Salad with Honey Baked Apples

Prepped winter vegetables ready for the oven

 

Ingredients 

600 grams free-range pork fillets, 

2 table spoons olive oil 

2 cloves of garlic crushed 

2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary 

finely grated zest of 1 lemon organic/unwaxed 

sea salt and ground black pepper 

Salad – 1  pumpkin butternut or buttercup or I used a small gem squash I think it is called(Dish recommended parsnips), 2 red onions, peeled and quartered through the root, I also used some red pepper cut into thick strips, 3 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal, 8 whole cloves of garlic, skin on as they will pop out like juicy morsels once roasted, 2 handfuls of baby spinach. 

Home made apple sauce

 

Apple sauce – 4 braeburn apples, skin on, cut into wedges, knob of butter, juice of 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon of chopped thyme. 

Dressing – 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard, 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Preheat your oven to 200c 

Pork: Trim the pork of any silverskin and tie with kitchen string, tucking the thin end under for even cooking. Combine the olive oil, garlic, rosemary and lemon zest in a bowl and season. Rub over the Pork and set aside until ready to cook. 

Pork fillet trimmed and tucked ready for cooking

 

 Apple Sauce: melt the butter in a ovenproof saute pan (I love my www.lecreuset.co.uk) , add the apples and lemon juice until they just begin to colour. Stir in the honey, salt & thyme. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until just tender and caramelised. 

Salad: Combine the Pumpkin, red pepper, red onions, parsnips, yams  or whatever veggies you have chosen in a large roasting dish. Toss with a little olive oil and season. Roast for 40 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Leave until just warm. 

Dressing: Whisk the ingredients in a bowl and season. Add the spinach to the roasted veggies and toss with the dressing. 

To finish: Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan and brown the pork on all sides. Roast for 12 minutes or until just cooked. 

To serve: Slice the pork on the diagonal and toss with the roasted vegetables. Serve with the apples. Serves 4-6 

Please leave a comment if you like the look of this and please let me know if you try this recipe and how you find it. Thanks for visiting, Bonnie

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Winter comfort food

Bean Burgers with home made tomato relish

Dish magazine banana butterscotch & date self saucing pudding

Oven Baked fish & tomatoes with a simple green salad and balsamic vinegar dressing.

It feels like we have been dumped into the deep end of winter with little warning, or maybe I got so wrapped up with our glorious autumn weather I did not consider that winter was closing in soon. 

I have started a new career with has been engrossing much of my energy and time. However cooking is still my creative, relaxing outlet. I also love to receive the accolades from my dining partners, I have some  peacock characteristics, like to be in the limelight, centre of attention. What better way than to please your diners.  Those diners consists of baby, hubby, and as of late usually a self invited extended family dinner guest. The fame of my blog means that my home dining room is taking more dinner bookings than Johnny Swass’s Ferry Rd restaurant!. 

This is a small hall of fame photo gallery of some of the meals Josh, Jess & Jem have been enjoying. I have been cooking some sensational recipes from the latest DISH magazine. Please go and get a copy now if you still have not. Please let me know if you would like a particular recipe or leave a comment and let me know what meal you would like to eat when you to to “Restaurant Bonnie Pleasant” 

Stay warm x 

p.s maybe I need to make some mulled wine this weekend. 

Dish magazine Carrot & parsnip soup

 

North African Lamb & Apricot tagine

 

Lazy saturday night asian fusion lamb noodle salad

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Fish Dish

        

Fish Pie with light greens

 

I have been craving seafood. I went to Manchester Street seafood for the first time ever this week and was in seafood heaven!. All Seafood desires can be fulfilled, the selection was vast. There was filleted fish and whole fish for the more adventurous cooks.  I was lucky to buy fresh Tuna steaks for $32 kg and shiny salmon fillets (already pre boned) for $32.95kg they must have the best seafood selection in Christchurch, New Zealand.         

It bought me back to the time of growing up in Auckland with sweet memories of actually eating fresh pan fried snapper that Dad just line caught of our little boat from the Hauraki Gulf Harbour. Fish this fresh literally breaks up in the pan and melts in your mouth. I have forever been disappointed with most fish eaten since we moved to the South Island. There was also the time when I was ten and we went and stayed in a batch in Mangawhai Heads North of Auckland and we caught mud crabs and collected little pipis. We were walking along the beach and a John Dory jumped straight out of the ocean onto the sand in front of us, that was a tasty supper. I also have always been first to put my hand up to share the crayfish with my Dad, we would break the legs off and suck the soft juicy flesh out, so delicious and kiwi I think. We after all live on an island in the pacific ocean it makes sense that we enjoy some seafood from time to time.       

I went to the Lyttelton farmers market and bought this really “fresh off the boat” break in the pan, melt in your mouth tarakihi a few weekends ago. I then bought some locally grown last of the season green and yellow  baby courgettes, non spray cherry tomatoes and small potatoes. I then made this DISH magazine recipe from Issue 26 Oct-Nov 2009.       

RECIPE       

4 X 200 GRAM Freshest FISH FILLETS you can buy       

Marinade for fish       

2 tsp ground cumin       

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika       

 (buy this from Mediterranean Warehouse, Tuam st, Christchurch, it is $12 a tin and last ages)       

1/4 tsp chilli powder       

2 cloves garlic       

finely grated zest of 1 lemon       

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander       

Market Fish

 

 To Finish:    

 3 Zucchini, sliced on the diagonal    

2 tablespoons currants or I used sultanas    

juice of one lemon    

2 medium vine tomatoes    

2 spring onions, thinly sliced    

2 tablespoons of mint or flat leaf parsley&nbsp    

Marinade: Blend all the marinade ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Tip into a shallow dish, add the fish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately. The fish can be marinated several hours ahead. Heat a saute pan with a little olive oil. season the fish and cook on all sides until just cooked through. Reserve the remaining marinade. Transfer to a warm plate and cover loosely. Do not wash the saute pan you want to keep all those wonderful flavours. Add a little more of the olive oil and scrape int he remaining marinade. Add the zucchini and currants and cook for 3-4 mins until the zucchini has started to soften and golden. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, and spring onions and cook for 2 mins. Season and stir in the fresh herbs. To serve: I served over little potatoes with the zucchini mixture and fish on top.    

There is something so comforting about eating a fish pie. Its simplicity, meal in one dish is a major appeal for a multi tasking Mummy. I love to poach monkfish fillets in the milk with some fresh herbs before making my white sauce. I then sometimes add steamed spinach to the bottom of the pie to bump up the vegie intake. You can also add prawns and smoked fish like ling or fresh salmon works well poached also. Fish and potatoes go so well together. Like all good relationships opposites attract and make a good balance. Fish from the under the sea and potatoes from under the earth.       

Simple Home Made Fish pie

 

8 min Oven grilled Salmon with Chunky guacamole

 

Thanks to Gordon Ramseys wife Tana I was able to make this delicious recipe of chunky guacamole which teamed perfectly with my grilled salmon fillet.       

For the guacamole you need two ripe avocados, stone removed and mashed, juice of 1 lime, 1 small red chilli deseeded and chopped finely, 2 tbsp sour cream and 2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander (optional)       

Fish cooked any way really is the dish!       

Bon Bon x

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Busy Mothers Day Dinner!

I have to confess I have been feeling very lazy the last week and have been exploring recipes using my slow cooker. I live in Christchurch and this week there has been a slight nip in the air, hence the stew. There a quite a few advantages for using a slow cooker. I can cut, chop and assemble the meal in the morning turn the button on low and  then do absolutely nothing to it (maybe a quick stir) let it do its thing for 8-9 hours. With a one year old it is fantastic I can sneak a bit of the meal at 5.30pm to feed to Lucia and then finish getting her ready for bed and then we have ours at 7pm. The smell when you arrive home is fabulous, slow cooked meat & veges cooked in red wine & fresh herbs, It is like having your absentee Grandma cook you a hot senior citizen casserole.  

My slow cooker on my kitchen bench

 

My husband went through a stage where every time I sent him to the supermarket to buy a few things sugar, milk etc he would come home with random impulse purchases. I am talking about household goods and appliances on sale at Woolworth’s supermarket!. They all had the same things in common, they were fairly cheap imports from China which were badly made. Firstly he came home with a microwave.  Shortly after owning it the light stopped working and the tray stopped spinning at that point I thought it was a health hazard and retired it to the shed in the garden .It has put me off microwaves forever. Next he came home with an electric guitar!, this I made him promptly return. Next time he came home with  the slow cooker and it only cost him about $40 yet I have had so much use from it over the last 4 years!.  So my point is these are not expensive and probably a worthwhile kitchen appliance to own, especially for lazy or “smart” cooks.
Recently I got up at 3am in the morning to put on some porridge for us, the cinnamon made it really sweet tasting without the need to add too much sugar. This is the most tasty, nutritious porridge ever. I found the recipe in a Annabel White recipe book for Healthy Eating. If you’re wondering why you would go to all this effort. well firstly it takes about 3 minutes to prep. Then when you wake up on that cold autumn morning and enter your kitchen to the smell of cinnamon and all you need to do it fill your bowl and add dollops of creamy yoghurt. You need to make sure it is the best yogurt in New Zealand  http://www.piakoyoghurt.co.nz/ You can buy this yogurt from Petrinis in Ferrymead or New World in Redcliffs. You could put your slow cooker on a timer to switch on. It takes about 3-4 hours on high. I believe every slow cooker is slightly different you will get a feel for how hot yours is the more you cook in it.
Slow cooker Cinnamon & fruit Porridge
1 Cup of rolled Oats
2 Cups Milk
1/4 cup dried fruit eg:sultanas, apricots
1 Teaspoon or cinnamon
1/4 Tsp salt
 
This week I have been really been enjoying Chicken or Turkey Stew. This is the recipe I have been using quite successfully. This meal is a bit like an old-fashioned classic kiwi dinner…. Meat and 3 vege!. I like serving it over steamed rice but you could have it over couscous or just on its own with some crusty buttered bread to mop up the juices.
 CHICKEN STEW SLOW COOKER RECIPE
3-4 Potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 Kumara peeled and cut into chunks
3 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
850gm-1kg Chicken, Turkey Thighs (free range is the best, email me if you are unsure where to buy and I will advise)
Lamb and Pork work well too
1 onion peeled and finely chopped (for really “smart cooks” you can chop this finely in your food processor)
2-3 fresh cloves of garlic finely chopped or minced
2-3 tbsp fresh herbs rosemary,parsley or thyme
 (if you don’t have herbs growing in your garden, get some from the roadside)
salt and pepper to taste
410 g tin of Campbell’s condensed  cream of chicken soup
A slurp of red wine
1:Place first three ingredients in slow cooker first, then add onion and garlic.
2:place meat on top and the remaining ingredients.

Chicken Stew

 

How easy is this! I hope you give it a try to let me know what you think.

And Chicken Stew another night with steamed spinach

 

Ok I admit this is not quite restaurant fare but real earnest home cooking and still it ticks all the boxes for good general nutrition. The veg, carb & meat box!. I also recommend a glass of red wine to enjoy with it!.
 
These are only two examples of things you can do with your slow cooker, it really is endless.
 
Maybe you should give yourself the night off cooking for Mothers Day and why don’t you pop your slow cooker on in the morning and enjoy this recipe!. 
 

Lucia & Mummy

It has been thirteen months and 6 days since I become a mother and it is the busiest yet rewarding job in the world!. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL THE HARD WORKING MUMS!
Bonnie Brown x
 
 
 

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