Archive for July, 2010

O how I wish my kitchen looked like this…


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Want. Need.

Will purchase this year. But which colour?

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Anyone who knows me well will know that nachos are one of my favourite meals. I like to eat them every week. At least once. And for the record the best nachos I’ve ever eaten are the vegetarian nachos from Manly Wharf bar. Now I’m not going to pretend that my nachos are gourmet or require any special skill to make. They are very quick, cheap and easy to make but very delicious. That’s why I love them and want to share my love for them. They are also one of the few meals I prefer to not include meat.

Nachos with Guacamole in 10 mins
Very important to use the exact brand listed here.

Bluebird Lime & Chilli corn chips or Dorito’s (any flavour)
Watties Chilli Beans or Coles Mexican Chilli Beans
Edam Cheese, grated
Sour cream
2 Avocado’s
1 tomato, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 medium red chilli, finely sliced (seeds are fine)
2 tbs chopped coriander
Rind of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon

Turn the grill onto 180ºC. To make the guacamole mash the avocado until smooth. Combine well with the 1 tbs of sour cream, tomato, onion, chilli flakes, coriander, lemon rind and lemon juice. Refrigerate. Divide corn chips amongst bowls, heat chilli beans in a saucepan and pour over the corn chips. Add a sprinkle of grated cheese to each bowl and grill until the cheese is bubbling and the corn chips are lightly toasted. Add a dollop of sour cream and a dollop of the guacamole. Serve. With a beer.

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1. Feijoas
2. Watties chilli beans
3. Chow
4. Fruju tropical sno’s
5. Artikel and Ricochet jewelry
6. Wholly Bagels
7. Sweet Mothers Kitchen (for the food and quirky interior) and Parade Cafe (for the view, top story bay window and the fireplace)
8. Glassons merino’s
9. $6 roti chanai from Satay Kingdom
10. Fish & Chips

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Some like it hot…

Before moving to Sydney I was never a huge fan of Indian curries. There was one Indian restaurant on Cuba St in Wellington that I went to a few times but it never really tickled my fancy. I think I was probably ordering the wrong things. But then I moved to Sydney and discovered Maya Da Dhaba (on Cleverland St in Surry Hills) and well, quite simply, fell in love. Once every few weeks when I’m feeling too lazy to cook we will order the $19.90 takeaway special (Large curry, rice, 1/4 tandoori chicken, salad, 2 naan breads, poppadums and a mint yoghurt) and stuff ourselves full with that and a few beers.

So anyway, after discovering that I did infact, LOVE Indian food I started making it a bit at home as well. This is my favourite dish, is really quite easy to make and freezes well to take to work for your lunch breaks.

Chicken Tikka Masala
A Jamie Oliver recipe. Tried, tested and slightly adapted.

500g chicken breasts, sliced into 2.5cm pieces
1 onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can coconut cream
1/2 red capsicum, sliced into strips
1 tub natural yoghurt
Lemon, to garnish
Coriander, to garnish
Almond flakes, to garnish

1 can Patak’s Tikki Masala curry paste


1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Rind of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic
a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
2 tablespoons tomato purée
2 fresh red chillies
a small bunch of fresh coriander
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons ground almonds

Toast the cumin and coriander seeds until lovely and fragrant. Grind to a powder with a pestle and mortar and then place in a food processor with all other curry ingredients and process until smooth. Place the onions in a large pot with a lug of oil and heat through for 5mins. Add the curry paste and fry for another 2mins before adding the chicken. Ensure the chicken is fully combined with the curry paste then add the tomatoes and coconut cream. Fill one of the tins with water and combine. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for 20mins. Serve with garlic naan breads or a steaming hot bowl of basmati rice. Garnish with yogurt, coriander leaves, almond flakes and a lemon for squeezing over.

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Nicholas gifted me a lovely cast iron French Oven last week and since then I’ve been scouting around for a good casserole recipe.
In the end I just threw a few things together (only had to buy the beef, everything else we had at home!)….

Beef Casserole

900g stewing beef, cut into 3cm pieces
1/4 cup plain flour
2 carrots, diced
3 celery sticks, diced
2 onions, diced
1 btl pale ale
1 can diced tomatoes
1 litre beef stock
3 large bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme

Preheat oven to 200ºC. Place flour in a casserole dish with the beef and combine so the beef is fully covered with the flour. Add carrots, celery and onions and combine. Add a lug of oil, mix well and place the casserole dish on an element on a medium heat. Add the thyme and bay leaves and stir for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened slightly. Add the beer, tomatoes, beef stock and a dash of salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover the dish with tin foil and then the lid (to create a good, tight seal) and place on a low shelf in the oven for 2 hours. After 2 hours add the dumplings and bake on higher shelf for a further 40mins. Serve steaming hot! Serves 4.

Mustard and Rosemary Dumplings

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g cold butter, diced
1 tbs chopped rosemary
2 tbs dijon mustard
2 tbs ice cold water

Combine flour, baking powder, butter and a dash of salt and pepper in a food processor until butter has created fine crumbs. Add the mustard and the ice cold water and process until a dough forms. Add more water if necessary. Divide dough into 8 segment and roll into balls. Dumplings need to be half submerged in the casserole and also all basted with a little of the casserole juices.

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Want these…


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