the good lifeWe’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.
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.
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
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.
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 Sonmëzsoy. He started like most of
us – sharing what he was eating and cooking, but eventually became known
for his gorgeous
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...