Foodie

Spiced Apple and Feijoa Cake

Spiced apple and feijoa cake

Feijoa season has landed in EnZed… Ye-haaa!  I had a hankering for feijoas. And Cake. Introducing spiced apple and feijoa cake.

Last weekend  I found myself in possession of 30 odd free range eggs last week and spent the weekend in the kitchen. First I whipped up this carrot cake, always a crowd pleaser. Second I had a hankering for feijoas. Off I went to the green grocers to buy some, ouch NZ$8 for a bag of 10! I need to make friends with someone who has a feijoa tree. Any takers?

Anyway, I had a play in the kitchen, tweaked an ancient apple cake recipe I had, added ground almonds, feijoas, ginger, spice and bugger me days, this spiced apple and feijoa cake turned out perfectly the first time. I’ve made it again since to test it – boom, perfection! I shared a sneaky photo on my Facebook page and there were lots of requests for the recipe to be shared. So, here you go! (more…)

Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market – A Foodie Paradise

Hawkes Bay Farmers Market Our recent summer holiday saw us doing a huge roadie around parts of the North Island (i.e. Rotorua-Masterton-Wellington-Napier-Mahia-Cape Runaway-Rotorua-Napier-Rotorua. I lost track of how many kilometres we travelled. At last count it was over 2000km in 10 days. It’s been great from the perspective of the stunning scenery, tip top weather and catching up with friends, some of whom we haven’t seen in a long time. It’s ended up being a summer holiday I’ll remember for crayfish, gourmet salads, fantastic coffee, craft beer, lots of giggles and good books. I read for a large chunk of the roadie.  I am extremely grateful to be able to read in the car: No travel sickness has ever been experienced by this wanderluster!

Anyway, last weekend, on our last few days of holiday we ended up in my hometown of Napier and we boosted it to the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market. Wow.  So wow in fact, I took a heap of photos on my trusty Samsung S7 to share with you. Out of all of the things we saw and did on holiday, this was one of the best experiences. And I’ve been to this market plenty of times.  (more…)

Carrot Salad with Toasted Coconut and Cashew

carrot salad with toasted coconut and cashew

This carrot salad with toasted coconut and cashew was inspired by a recipe on the back of a carrot recipe! Needless to say the recipe got the “Lou Once-over” and this was the result. Yum, nailed it.  My  buddy Emma has road-tested it for me and declared it delicious.

I made this recipe in Wellington, on trip to Ohariu Valley to visit my hubby’s family. We had a good old-fashioned belated Christmas get-together and it was so much fun. This zingy carrot salad was served alongside Aunty Janet’s now famous roast turkey: Quite possibly the best turkey I’ve ever had (I want to say it was super moist, but so many people seem to have an allergic reaction to that ‘m’ word.. So I’ll put the word in brackets).  Back to the salad, this would be a sensational addition to any BBQ. You could serve it hot – we had ours cold and it was perfection.

As you know, I like recipes that can be easily modified with different ingredients. This recipe is no exception. I reckon replacing the carrot with orange kumara would be delicious. Emma and I both agree that chopped dates or cranberries would also be tip-top.  

Speaking of carrot salad recipes, have you tried this recipe for crunchy carrot, date and almond salad? This is another goodie!

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Chocolate Caramel Slice Recipe

chocolate caramel slice recipe

Oh yes. My chocolate caramel slice recipe.

The Boy and I have been watching Zumbo’s Just Desserts on TV3 on Monday and Tuesday nights. Despite having an epic savoury tooth I can’t help but develop intense cravings whilst watching Zumbo’s for… SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR. Enough, I thought. Time to whip up something decadent to enhance our viewing pleasure.  Frankly, I don’t think you can go past chocolate caramel slice, for me this is the ultimate treat, the king of home-baking. 

Here’s my recipe, it’s a bit of a hodge-podge of various recipes I’ve tried over the years.  

Now, don’t tell anyone… Sometimes I make it with…. Double the caramel topping.  I know.  I’m such a porker.  But try it, don’t  just shake your head in disbelief at my porkiness. (more…)

Kick-Ass Kumara, Kransky and Spinach Salad

Kick Ass Kumara, Kransky and Spinach SaladThe inspiration for this kick-ass kumara, kransky and spinach salad didn’t arise from the creative depths of my foodie brain, I’d better fess up to that, right now!   Nope, inspo for this dish comes from Salute Cafe and Deli in Taupo.  We did a roadie down to Taupo from Rotorua recently and called in at Salute for lunch.  I ordered hock and eggs, which is Salute’s version of Eggs Bene. It was it good, the coffee was hot and decent, but I had total food envy as both my Mum and Marissa, my brother’s girlfriend ordered this (rather boring sounding) ‘Kumara Salad’. When it arrived, I begged them for a taste. It was so good I took a photo, made a note of the flavours and promptly legged it to the supermarket to get the ingredients for dinner!  Mum keeps asking if I’ve blogged this recipe yet. Marissa’s already emailed me from Boston (she’s now back home) for the recipe. Last night I got a photo of the end result after she dished it up for dinner for her and my brother.  Best I get sharing. It’s clearly a goodie!   (more…)

Roast Carrot Salad with Spiced Yoghurt Dip and Dukkah

roast carrot salad spiced yoghurt dip dukkahSince a mate dropped off a whole heap of carrots, and I mean a whole heap (we took half to the neighbours) we’ve been going crazy on carrot related dishes.

So far, apart from my tried and tested cafe-style carrot cake, this Roast Carrot Salad with Spiced Yoghurt Dip and Dukkah, is in firmly our No1 Best Dish.   My fussy monkey of a son would debate that… He’s a fan of the humble carrot stick.  This is, more often than I care to admit, constitutes the vegetable component on his plate. Oh, sometimes we give him a chopped up apple (he doesn’t eat fruit…).  We’ve been making a little progress though: Recently he’s progressed to eating broccoli. Stop the bus.
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Cafe Style Carrot Cake Recipe

cafe style carrot cake recipeMy mate Cam dropped off a box of carrots and kiwifruit the other day. I have no idea where he got them from and, frankly, I’m too nervous to ask:  I might get arrested. Suffice to say there were enough carrots in there that I’ve been whipping up enough carrot related dishes to the point I’m wondering if we’ll turn orange.  That happened to my little brother once when he was a toddler. Crack up. Anyway, top on the lists of carrot culinary delights was my tried and tested cafe style carrot cake recipe that I’ve made on and off over the years (more years than I care to admit, cough. Shit. I’m old).  

This is one of those recipes that’s been handed around and I love going to a mate’s house to find they’ve made it (unless it’s better than my version… Then I feel aggrieved).   So if you’ve been on the hunt for a top notch carrot cake recipe, look no further, I’ve got you sorted.

This cake is moist, packed full of flavour and texture and super-filling (I know we shouldn’t be getting full on carrot cake, but good luck with that after you’ve made this).  Yeah, it’s delicious.  It’s also super healthy because it contains vegetables. Snort. Oh, it’s also beautifully decorated, if I do say so myself. As you may know I detest decorating cakes with a passion, so this is cake decorating at its best: Get some stuff and sprinkle it on. Easy and effective. Who can resist a pretty looking cake,  especially when there is no art or skill to it?

Lastly, as with a lot of my recipes, this is definitely one where you can substitute ingredients. Don’t like walnuts? Use chopped almonds. Not a date lover? Use raisins or craisins or even diced apricots. Can’t be arsed with faffing around decorating the cake – just use shredded coconut. Or don’t decorate the cake. Let the icing shine. You get my drift.  

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