Sunday, 28 December 2014

Easy yummy breakfast...

Brioche Cinnamon Roll Bread

Tried this recipe recently:

It worked perfectly. You make the dough the night before and then just get up in the morning and hiff it in the oven. Can't get any fresher than that! I made the full recipe - 2 loaves.

For two people one is plenty, but I froze the other one after breaking it up a bit, so now we've got decadent afternoon tea options as well.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Nice evening...

Rainy season isn't far off... creates some beautiful skies...

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Polpettone (Italian vegetarian torte)

Love it that we have the ingredients for some Italian food we recently sampled.

This dish is from Liguria. It's a typical summer dish, and it is best eaten cold or lukewarm. Once cooked, it can be preserved in the refrigerator for several days.

Ingredients (for about 8 servings)

Polpettone di verdure alla ligure - Vegetable loaf Ligurian style

1 large eggplant, or
  300g green beans, spinach, or any other veg
4 or 5 potatoes
3  cloves garlic
1 onion
3 eggs
4 tablespoons Parmesan
basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


Boil the potatoes until they are soft. Let them cool, then smash them. 

Boil "al dente" the vegetables in a small amount of water, slightly salted. Let them cool, then chop them in small pieces. I used eggplant and baked it in the oven until soft and added some NZ spinach.

In a large pan, fry in oil the onion and garlic until golden. If using other vegetables add them at this stage. Cook for about ten minutes. Remove the pan from the stove. 

Then add the potatoes, cooked eggplant, and the herbs, minced. Add the cheese. Add more salt if needed. Add the eggs, scrambled. Mix everything.

Spread the inside of a ceramic or glass pie dish with oil, then sprinkle bread crumbs on it, so that the inside surface is all covered with crumbs and the food won't stick. Put the mixture in the casserole and make the surface even. Run a fork around the top for a nice pattern. Cover uniformly with bread crumbs. Sprinkle a bit of oil on the surface. 

Let it cook in the oven, at 390 (Fahrenheit) degrees, for about 45 minutes. Let cool a bit before serving. 

Serve warm or cold with tomato salad.

End of the dry season...

The hot and dry is making the flowers crazily bright...

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Experimenting with lemons..

Making limoncello 

Ruth Pretty's Limoncello
This idea for this almost instant Limoncello came from Hayden Wood, world champion bar tender and author of 'The Liquid Kitchen' published by Drink Australia. Traditionally made Limoncello takes weeks to mature and requires attention. Serve Limoncello neat in a shooter glass, or as a cocktail in a flute diluted with methode champenoise, or in a long tumbler with ice and soda. It is addictive.
375g (4) lemons (washed, peel on, chopped into large chunks) 
420g (2) cups castor sugar
rind of 1 lemon 
350ml vodka 
375ml (1.5 cups) water

  • Place lemons and sugar into a large bowl and bruise the fruit to extract some of the lemon oil by squashing with the handle of a rolling pin (or a muddler). Add rind, vodka and water to the bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar. If it doesnt dissolve easily leave for 1 hour then stir again.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, leave in a cool place and allow to infuse for 48 hours.
  • Strain liquid through a sieve, discarding lemons. Pour through a funnel into empty bottles to store. Store in fridge or pour into plastic bottles and store in freezer.
  • Serve well chilled from the fridge, or better still from the freezer.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

More ideas for canned tuna...

Healthy quick lunch...

Tuna, capers, and egg salad
Arrange lettuce leaves and cut tomatoes on plates.
Mix drained tuna with mayo, Dijon mustard and capers.
Put spoonfuls on top of salad.
Decorate with egg, lemon pieces, and sprouts.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

More bugs...

This Giant Swallowtail caterpillar has been feeding on my lime tree...

It is known for looking like a bird dropping as a defence....

This is it's chrysalis...

This is it's expected outcome... Talk about the ugly duckling syndrome!

Worth the loss of a few lime leaves! (Hope I get to see my one hatch?)

Saturday, 29 November 2014


are plentiful at the moment.  We get a few different varieties here.  Love that purple colour...

This weekend found these great looking baby ones...

so found a recipe that made the most of their cute shape...

Stuffed Baby Eggplants with Lamb Filling
Recipe type: Main
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 4
Plump baby eggplants stuffed with a Middle Eastern inspired ground lamb filling seasoned with cinnamon, pine nut, mint and feta cheese.
  • 4 baby eggplants, about 3-4" long each
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 lb lean ground lamb
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch hot pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ chopped fresh mint
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Using a grapefruit spoon, gently scoop out pulp from eggplant halves, leaving ½" thick shells. Roughly chop the scooped-out pulp and set aside. Sprinkle inside surfaces of eggplant shells with salt, and place face down on a paper towel to drain for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper, and continue sauteeing until onion is golden and peppers are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ground lamb and chopped eggplant, and cook until lamb is browned and eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cinnamon and red pepper flakes, stirring until just warmed through.
  4. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and lots of black pepper, then stir in the tomatoes, pine nuts and fresh mint.
  5. Pat the shells dry with paper towels, removing any excess salt remaining on the surface. Brush with remaining 1 tbsp oil and arrange in a baking dish, cut side up. Divide the lamb mixture among the eggplant shells, mounding the filling slightly, the top with crumbled feta cheese.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the eggplant shells are tender and filling is bubbling and golden.

Finished product...

Saturday, 22 November 2014

A promo!

I love "Fresh As" products...!!

Got these in NZ. For anyone living on an island and missing their summer berry fix, these are fantastic!

So far I've used them in muesli, smoothies, and sprinkled the powder on top of icing for a neat effect and zingy taste.

They are freeze dried so the flavour is intense. More so than the normal dried fruit, so don't have to use as much...

Bill Granger's Blueberry and Almond Toasted Muesli (substituted the dried blueberries with Fresh As)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Campaigning Solomon style...

Elections are a bit of an eye opener here.  Seems like all the rules are broken...  For example, safety becomes second to drawing attention to the political party of choice.  These are all moving vehicles...

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Local wedding

A lovely couple of friends married on the weekend...