Mexican Eggplant Salad

SAMSUNG CSCI went to the gorgeous Mamacita Mexican restaurant in Havelock North.  I can’t decide what I like best… Their food, their service, or their decor:  All top notch, go check it out if you are in the area!

Anyhow, we ordered the most fantastic eggplant salad. It was so good I took a photo, made mental notes and tried recreating it the next night at home. The result? I was chuffed with how it turned out (just quietly, I reckon my freestyle version with the addition of mint and feta took it to a whole new level!).

So, here’s what I did (the photo is my version, by the way, not Mamacita’s!)


Lemon, Honey and Garlic Chicken Wings

Lemon, honey, garlic chicken wings recipeAsk Hot Hubby what his favourite meal is to come out of my kitchen… It’s quite likely he’ll tell you it’s Lemon, Honey and Garlic Chicken Wings. I can’t take any credit whatsover for this recipe, this comes from Cathie Hamilton, of Cathie’s Cuisine.  I nabbed this recipe when I went on Cathie’s Spanish Tapas cooking class 18 months ago (don’t get me started on what else we made or how good they were, we’ll all be here all day).  I mentioned to Cathie how much we love this recipe and Cathie generously said I could put it on my blog to share with all you lot!  Thanks Cathie! This is a fabulous entree/nibble dish when you’ve got visitors and it never fails to impress.  I’m pleased this recipe is now here on the blog, as I can refer my dinner guests to this – everyone asks for the recipe!

By the way, if you are in Hawke’s Bay and looking to WOW your friends or family with your cooking skills, or even just looking to hone your cooking schools or even expand your recipe collection, definitely consider one of Cathie’s Cooking courses. I did the Spanish Tapas class with Mum (on a Mum and Daughter day out) as well as a Thai Cooking course with a group of colleagues. Both courses were so much fun and I’ve successfully recreated all the dishes many times since.  Cathie runs the courses from her own home in Hastings. You spend the afternoon cooking (and giggling) and then at the end of the class you get to sit down and enjoy the meal you’ve lovingly prepared along with a wine.  On that  note, I really must sign up for her Mexican cooking class. Hmmmm.



Zoodles with meatballs and tomato and vegetable sauce (with a dollop of basil pesto on top). Tastes better than it looks…!

I feel like every time I surf the internet or pick up a magazine at the moment I’m reading about the Paleo Diet and, more specifically, Zoodles, aka Zucchini Noodles. You’ve gotta love the name ‘Zoodles’ – I can’t stop saying it. Anyhow Zoodles are simply ribbons or fine strips of zucchini, used in place of pasta. Zoodles are, I’m guessing, soaring in popularity due to being Weight Watchers, Paleo and Gluten friendly.

Seeing as Zoodles are ‘everywhere’, I figured it was a sign I should give them a bash. Convieniently I muttered these musings out loud on my Facebook page and some lovely people kindly came back with some cooking tips, which I duly adhered to (coupled with a quick poke around on Google). My thoughts on Zoodles? AH-MAZING! I’m a convert. Even Hubby gave them the thumbs up. Here’s what I did.




Lamb Rack with Dukkah Crust & Baked Eggplant Layer

lamb racks with dukkah crustYou know when you have a meal that’s so good, you keep thinking about it, over and over? Well, this dinner will have you re-living every forkful for a good week.

Dukkah. Contented sigh. Oh, how how I love you. Dukkah goes perfectly with lamb, and hummus, which was convenient on the night I whipped this all up as I had a couple of jars of dukkah leftover in the cupboard post Christmas and a fresh batch of hummus.  Bonus.  This Baked Eggplant layer dish was a side dish I made by chance: I had the latest Healthy Food Guide sitting on the bench as I was pondering what to cook for dinner and there it was, a picture on the cover, calling out to me as the perfect accompaniment…. I even had all the ingredients (I did tweak the recipe a little, I can’t help myself). Sublime. (more…)

Healthy Hummus (with a twist)

low fat hummus recipeThis hummus is heroic in in my eyes as it’s got half the amount of oil contained in usual hummus and no flavour has been sacrificed. Why is low fat important? So, well, time to fess up: My jeans shrunk in the wash over Christmas (yeah right), so I’m engaging some common sense and turning to nutritious snacks that cost next to nothing to make, that are low in fat and contain no sugar. What to whip up in such situations? I don’t reckon you can beat hummus which has been one of my favourite stand-by snacks since, well, ages. Unfortunately lots of store bought hummus can be quite high in fat. Not this stuff! (more…)

Mexican Chopped Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

imageI’ve been making this recipe for the last month or so, playing around with different combinations to get it just right. I’ve finally cracked it.  This delicious salad is the perfect accompaniment to BBQ or pan fried chicken breasts (rubbed in Mexican seasoning) and Mexican Street Corn.

If you are looking for a salad, or a meal that’ll impress, you can’t go wrong. Enjoy! (more…)

Mexican Seasoning Recipe

I’ve been using Mexican Seasoning with abundance lately, I can’t get enough of it.   We’ve been having a lot of BBQs and it’s sensational as a rub on all meats and I have been whipping up a lot of Mexican dishes requiring it (cue: Mexican Street Corn and Chopped Mexican Salad). I just can’t bring myself to buy it when surely, with my excessive collection of herbs and spices, I have all the base ingredients?  Besides, it’s dead easy and you’ll save yourself some pennies! Here’s my Mexican seasoning recipe. Enjoy!  (more…)

Mexican Street Corn


We went to Napier’s Mexi Mama restaurant recently and ordered their “street style” corn on the cob (‘Elote del Mercado’). Holy moly Batman: There’s one of the best mouthfuls of 2013 right there! All the food we ordered was fantastic, but this was the highlight of the meal. So, naturally, being the inquisitive and cheeky foodie that I am, I’ve been trying to replicate this at home and here’s what I’ve come up with. Oh, I’m so pleased it’s corn season! (more…)