Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Living the good life We’re back! With all new recipes! And we’ve discovered a gorgeous cheese that we can’t stop eating, and new beers to enjoy. It must be summer!
Well, that’s probably enough exclamation marks … but we have been enjoying fabulous weather teamed with lots of fresh produce. Everything seems to be growing, saved from extinction by the rain the other week (rain is not always bad!).
Ilaria has been back over on Waiheke and we spent a day eating and drinking … and while that’s not entirely unusual, we tried beers and cheese that we haven’t had before. We are performing at the The Great Kiwi Beer Festival in Hagley Park, Christchurch, 27th January, so we had an excuse for tinkering around with sips of this and sups of that. It’s work, and someone has to do it! Oops, another exclamation mark jumped in. We’ve got some great dishes and ideas for the beer festival, so if you are coming along make sure you don’t miss our gig. We are on at midday and again at 3.00pm.
The Great Kiwi Beer Festival
The pic of Ilaria with a paddle of beers was taken at Tantalus restaurant on Waiheke and the beers are from their brewing company Alibi. Yes, that was work again.
Tantalus Restaurant
And we discovered our favourite goat cheese ever. The Drunken Nanny’s Black Tie goat cheese. It is simply sensational
The Drunken Nanny Black Tie
Sun, sea, barbecue smoke … hamburgers. Yep, there’s nothing like a homemade burger to munch on around the barbecue. BUT preparing the ground (or minced) meat yourself will produce a superior pattie. Give it a go. And get hold of some decent pickles. I’m in love with Chicago based company McClure’s. Fresh and clean with just the right bite and texture.
Beef & Pickle Burgers
I like quick ideas that you can throw together on these hot nights. It’s usually 7.00pm or later before I’ve thought about dinner and sometimes I don’t want to faff around too much, though I want something decent to eat. That’s where traybakes come in. I love them because you can look in the fridge, grab a bunch of stuff, and it will always taste good lightly baked with a few seasonings. And, they make a good home for leftovers. I’ll be continuing my love affair with them throughout 2018.
Summer Traybake
If you want to go a bit fancier, get some long red peppers, cut them in half, add a few slices of feta and seasonings and get them chugging along in the oven. Delicious.
Baked Peppers with Feta
If you are still in slow-down summer mode, hopefully, there is something here to motivate you to get cooking again. I know how easy it is to order in food (not on Waiheke!) or to buy ready-made stuff, or to not make much of an effort because you are enjoying being outside, but HEY, many of my dishes are fast to make and are stuffed to the gunnels with goodness. That is plenty of reason to make them.
Have a good one.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Caramelized Endive and Blue Cheese Tart


Caramelized Endive and Blue Cheese Tart
David, 12 Jan

When I first heard about tarte Tatin, nothing sounded better to me. What first seems like way too many apples packed into a skillet, then caramelized and baked under a blanket of buttery pastry, then turned out and served warm, became one of my favorite desserts.
I’ve had recipes for them in several of my books, but also enjoy the savory version. I’ve seen upside down tarts made with fennel, tomatoes, carrots, and other root vegetables, but an upside-down caramelized tart with Belgian endive always appeals to me the most. The contrast between the slightly bitter, chewy, spears of endive, make the base for a perfect savory tart, especially in the winter. And I don’t think anyone would disagree.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Double Chocolate Bundt Cake


Double Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze
David, 09 Jan

One of the compelling things about food blogs is how they bring together people from all over the world. Cooking and eating is something we all have in common, no matter where we are from. Blogs have globalized cooking, erasing borders and boundaries. And I’ve enjoyed learning more about other people’s food and cooking, and meeting them as well.
Things have changed over the past few years, but a little over a decade ago, “link rolls” listed maybe a half-dozen blogs, and people would excitedly add new ones as they learned about them. One that stood out was Cafe Fernando, written by Cenk SonmĂ«zsoy. He started like most of us – sharing what he was eating and cooking, but eventually became known for his gorgeous photography, too.

I, and other readers of Cafe Fernando, weren’t the only ones who noticed him. Cenk got a publishing deal and spent six years working on his book, which was in Turkish. I was at a dinner party recently with some Turkish people who had non-Turkish spouses, and both sides agreed that Turkish is one of the most difficult languages to learn.
When I saw his book, I didn’t need to know any Turkish (although I can say, “Thank you,” “Goodbye,” and “hazelnut” in Turkish) — the book was so unique and beautiful that I didn’t need to understand any of words. Although I was hoping one day to be able to make the Hazelnut & Caramel Cookies, which were speaking my language.Continue Reading Double Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze...

Saturday, January 6, 2018





RECIPE OF THE YEAR | Sarah Tuck's Prawn, Chorizo and Chilli Pasta
Hello Graham

To kick off 2018 on the tastiest possible note, we've rounded up our most-visited recipes from the year that was.

From spicy salmon dishes to Friday Baking classics, 2017 proved a fabulous year for foodies around the country.

Cheers to the new year with fresh inspiration.

Happy cooking!

Ashley Signature
BEST OF THE BEST | The most-visited Dish recipes of 2017
SWEET TREATS | Friday Baking favourites