Foodie

Dreamy Full Noise Potato and Bacon Bake

potato and bacon bakeMost people have a potato bake ‘go-to’ recipe, eh?  Not me, my efforts are always slightly different and TBH always a bit ‘meh’.  However, I’ve nailed it: This is the potato and bacon bakes of All Potato Bake recipes. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I’m not even a massive potato fan (apart from chips… #nuffsaid).  In the midst of a cold Rotorua winter, danger: For me, this is comfort food at its finest.

Hang on, if you are calorie counting, stop right here. Exit out of this blog. This dish is totes not conducive to weight-loss, in fact hubby said to me, and I quote “Shit, we’d better not eat this too often we’ll get fat’. In our house, hence, we call this ‘Full Noise Potato Bake’.

Firstly, as a bit of a disclaimer, the origins of this recipe don’t like with me, nope. They lie with my buddy Portia.  We went to her house for dinner a few weeks back and she dished up her version of this. I asked nagged her for the recipe, as it was WAYYYY better than my potato bake. Finally she relented and shared the secret. The two secrets are, incidentally:

  1. Dried Maggi Chicken Soup (you know,  the one that comes in the packet, like the crucial Kiwi Dip ingredient, Maggi Onion Soup).   Now, I’m not usually a fan or a supporter of pre-packaged foods, but I’m not so LANA* about it that I can’t make an exception.  
  2. Par boiling the potatoes. My potato bake efforts have yielded dishes with semi-hard potato. Meh. Nobody likes it semi hard.

The next day after Portia wowed us, which was a Sunday, we all had a hankering for Portia Potato Bake.  The hankering was so bad that, in the torrential rain I set off to Countdown on a mission for Chicken Soup and potatoes (cupboards were bare).  Me being me, I had a fiddle with Portia’s recipe and this was the result. I nailed it, if I do say so myself: It’s same, same, but different, to Portia’s Potato Bake.  The addition of bacon and onion knocked it out of the ballpark, IMO.

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Fresh Start with Nadia Lim – Review

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim. The newest kid on the block from My Food Bag. We’ve had it for one week – here’s my review of Fresh Start, which, for the record, we paid for (this is not an advert of any form of sponsored post). However, before I forget, if you’d like to give a My Food Bag, err, bag a go, go to the bottom of this post: I have a referral code for you to use – we’ll both get $10 off our next order! 😊

First,  I’m going to assume, for the benefit of keeping this post as brief as possible (noting I always have too much to say) that you are all over the My Food Bag concept. If you are, in fact, not ‘all over that’ – read this blog post from a while back where I reviewed My Food Bag (long story short: I super complimentary things!).

My Food Bag’s newest bag, Fresh Start with Nadia Lim, is essentially, same, same but slightly different to other My Food Bags.  Fresh Start is the option for those wanting to get ‘healthy’ and/or drop some pies.  All meals are 450 calories or less per serve. Meals come with lean protein, a shit tonne of veges, and the meals are lower in gluten and dairy to boot. Check out  My Food Bag’s website for all the deets on Fresh Start here. 

Whilst I’ve been wittering on in recent times about the astronomical cost of groceries in NZ, potentially leading you all to believe we are poorer than church mice, we signed up for Fresh Start for the pricely sum of $200 for 20 meals. Why? I’m quite porky at the moment. Uncomfortably so.  Why I am porky is, to be honest, bloody boring and predictable. I’m not going there. I am, frankly, I’m sick of reading blogs/Facebook posts about curvy birds like me who have seen the light and have dropped 20kgs and are now a size 10 and lifting their own body weight at the gym. I AM NOT GOING THERE.  This is Not That Blog.  I am not aspiring to get crazy fit, nor be a size 10 (though I am joining a new gym opening up down the road)… Yes: I’m happy with fitting back, comfortably into my smaller size 14 jeans. I like my curves, albeit some of them are more like rolls at the moment.  Anyhoo, we thought give Fresh Start a nudge. There we go, rationale, done. #simple.

My Food Bag, as I’ve bleated on about before, is a winner in my view: It’s one less thing to think about in a week. No meal planning, no McDaddy grocery shop, just a quick trip to the supermarket to get breakfast stuff. Yes, I know, it’s not a huge task, but it’s one less thing to think about. If you are reading this and have a husband who takes care of all the groceries and cooking and you don’t have to think about it: Good on you. I’m envious. I’m not in that situation and frankly, I get sick of all the organising and planning that goes with running a family. I am not a naturally organised creature, I have to put a lot of effort into it and I find it exhausting. If I lived the single life I’d be the kind of person who would ponder all day what I felt like for dinner. I would pop into the supermarket every night on the way home: Sod that planning malarkey, I’d revert to type! So, scene set, the Number One reason I love My Food Bag is that they cater to my gourmet taste, whilst eliminating all that thought about meal planning and organisation. It helps my ENTP* Personality Type out, tremendously (using the Myers Briggs Framework, but I digress).

What does Fresh Start cost?

With Fresh Start, there’s two options, as shown below.

Fresh Start with Nadia Lim

I signed up for the Lite 20 option, so we had meals for two adults for dinner, with leftovers each for lunch the next day. Hubby had no say in the matter: He does as he is told when it comes to meals. If he took charge, he could make such decisions. He doesn’t.   We are, for the record a family of three, our 10 year old vege dodger has been eating separately from us (he’s cooking his own meals with my help, get ‘em in the kitchen early I reckon).

$200 per week, which sounds on the high side. However, this is just under what I spend a week on groceries anyway, so, being pragmatic, by the time I get breakfast stuff in: Our total weekly grocery cost is more or less the same. 

So, scene set, how have we found Week 1 of Fresh Start? Thanks for asking: Here’s a blow by blow.

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Delhi Hut Rotorua – Review

Delhi Hut Rotorua

We had date night last night. The Boy stayed over at a mate’s place, which, when you have an ‘only’ means you are home, alone, in one easy sweep. Boom, easy! We thought we’d treat ourselves and go out for dinner (we haven’t done that for months) and go out to a movie. However, the weather was foul, I’d been complaining I was cold all day and the offering at the movies was ‘bah’. “What about takeout from Delhi Hut, that newish veggie Indian place we keep hearing about?” Offered hubby.

Wait, he’s offering to eat vegetarian? And Indian? Two of my favourite ways to eat (but not his?). Done. “Oooh, can we eat in front of the TV and watch a movie?” I countered? Done. Sold. We are old, but happy. Off we went to Rotorua’s Delhi Hut. We got a park straight outside. Off to a good start. I did have gumboots and track pants on just in case we had to walk a long way in the crapola weather:  I’m an old school puddle jumper. I over dressed.

Delhi Hut Rotorua

As quick background, Delhi Hut keeps sneaking up in my Facebook feed. This is always a good sign.  My buddy Cam, our slightly mad, enthusiastic, food-loving vegetarian friend, has been raving about their kai, as have a few other foodie friends. Frankly, I’m ashamed this was our first visit, we should have pulled our fingers out ages ago.

Exec Summary:  The food is fantastic, the service top notch, and, you know what a lover of a good deal I am: We got all of this food for $32 and it’ll feed us again for dinner tonight! So that’s $8 per head for four people (if your maths is a bit pants). Wowser. Last time we got takeaways, it was a Chinese takeout feast (amazeballs, but it was $75 for four peeps: That’s almost dine in bloody prices – so long as everyone drinks water). (more…)

Cloud Eggs – What the…?

cloud eggs Cloud eggs… What the?

Cloud eggs keep popping up in my Facebook and Instagram feed. Sounds like this is the next best thing since Mecca Cosmetica, The Hobbit, Big Mac, Cronut, Lewis Road Creamery. You get my drift.

I’m usually get a bit titchy with hype. I am usually reluctant to buy in to this. For example, I still haven’t seen LOTR. I am, possibly, one of the last beauty bloggers to purchase the much lusted after Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette. I bought my Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette eighteen months after it came out – which was dumb: I should have bought it immediately. It’s that good.  I am told  this is an interesting trait of my personality: I’m good at creating hype. Yet I don’t buy into it. Hmmm.

Cloud eggs

The concept, is: Whisk up the egg whites, make a nest. Bake em’. Place egg yolks into nest. Bake ’em.  I was seriously sceptical – I’m a DIE-HARD poached egg fan and devour these for brekky probably half of the week. Cloud eggs, to my mind, sounded like a bit too much faffing around. Why ruin a good thing? Yes: I’m loyal to my poachies.

You know where this is going: I gave cloud eggs a go.  (more…)

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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