Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Lamb Wednesday

A month or so back, Godfrey dropped a plastic container at our back door which had half a hogget in it (for those not in the know, a hogget is like an old lamb...sometimes the lamb you buy at the supermarket is actually hogget). Anyways, I've been slowly getting through it, and have decided to commit one day a week (Wednesday) to cooking some lamb. So far we've had one roast, and a Moroccan tagine with prunes and pears.

This week I went for another roast:

It was all poked with sprigs of rosemary, and I made a fresh mint sauce (the old school kind with vinegar in it) to go with it:

It was pretty darn good, particularly the mint.

Next week, I'm thinking maybe some shanks.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Not Sunny Sunday

Spring is playing havoc with us. For a whole week it was warm (it even passed the 20 degree mark), then suddenly we're back in the single figures. Bleak and cold all weekend. We still have to light the fire every day, and just when I thought I'd seen the last of long sleeved wool's all on again.

Not much to do except eat and stay in bed. Today we went for a drive up around Godley Heads, after lunch in Lyttelton. The view is always spectacular up there, whether it's sunny or not.

In other exciting news, we have just switched to daylight savings, which means it only gets dark at around 7.30pm, which makes everyone feel better and more like summer is just around the corner.

The competition to find New Zealand's favourite recipe is hotting up - and this week I'm going to attempt the current number one - a white chocolate and passionfruit cake. I'm not a fan of either flavour, but am going to give it a go and take it into the office for the boys to judge.

And in other happenings in the coming week, after a disappointing last couple of haircuts (the latest making me feel like some eighties wannabe - a bit like David Bowie's hair in Labyrinth), I have booked myself in for what is going to be the most expensive haircut I have ever had. I can't even admit how much it's going to cost, except to say that it is worth three of the haircuts I usually get. It better be bloody good. I'll let you know.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sunny Sunday

Boo and I enjoyed a lazy afternoon in the sun, on the lawn which Matt mowed yesterday - mmmm the smell of grass clippings...

It was so warm that I took the opportunity to give Boo a bath, something which definitely ranks as one of her all time least favourite things to happen (along with being tied up outside a shop without us, and having her bone taken from her just as the maggots start hatching).

To make the bath more bearable I usually reward her with some sort of chase or fetch game with her tennis ball, but unfortunately it was a victim of Matt's lawn mowing yesterday. The lady was not impressed:

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Nature in our kitchen.

In the corner of our kitchen window we have a resident spider (I call her Miss Spider). She is one of those fat black ones, that usually just sits up there watching us, and is seldom seen out and about. Well, the other day there was a large annoying blow fly buzzing around the kitchen (now that the weather has warmed up, the paddocks are being spread with effluent which tends to attract the flies). Anyways, despite my efforts to shoo the fly outside, it just wouldn't go, but, it did (unfortunately for it) land on Miss Spider's web.

Well, Miss Spider was out in a flash and murdered the fly in seconds. And I got it all on camera!

It was all over in a couple of minutes - Miss Spidey retreated and took the fly carcass with her. I thought that was the end of it, but this morning found this:

Hundreds of baby spiders hatching from the corner. Eeew! For some reason that crosses a line, and now I'm going to have to vacuum them all up (including Miss Spider - sorry lady, but you can't just come in and set up shop and have hundreds of babies).

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Satisfy that craving....

Well, this afternoon, after a particularly tiring 24 hours, I was struck by a huge craving for KFC (which doesn't happen often, but when it does it is a powerful thing and rarely abates until I've actually bought and eaten some drumsticks, only to be reminded of how foul it makes you feel immediately afterwards).

The more observant of you may remember that when we visited Oakland in March, we were big fans of the Bakesale Betty's and in particular her fired chicken sandwiches. This was a fact that Matt remembered, while I was in my KFC obsessed state. The wise man insisted we track down the ingredients and when we got home, I set about recreating that most amazing of fried chicken dishes.

It's a pretty full on recipe for me, involving marinating the chicken in buttermilk, and soaking onions in red wine vinegar, but it was worth the fiddly bits - two hours later I unveiled my attempt at Bakesale Betty's Fried Chicken Sandwich:

It was amazing, the fried chicken was crunchy and spicy and the coleslaw was fresh and crisp and just so yummy. I compared it to the photo I took in Oakland of the real deal, and I have to say that I really did do it justice.

Mmmm, crunchy fried chicken. Gone is my KFC craving, and even better - I don't have that post-KFC grossness feeling.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Summer Ragga-muffins

There is a competition on at the moment to find New Zealand's favourite recipe. It's run on a website but Trillion has added a link to a video of his entry....

He's not winning at the moment, but I was so inspired by the video, I thought I'd give them a go myself today.

Here's my result:

The verdict? I know that these muffins are supremely healthy (no lipids of any sort!), and are environmentally friendly in that they don't encourage dairy farming, or chicken farming, but the consistency is just a bit dense and heavy for me to actually put this at the top of the list as New Zealand's favourite recipe (I will concede that maybe my baking skills let me down rather than the recipe, but I have geenerally made mean muffins in the past).

Big ups for the video though, and I did actually vote for this recipe based on the video alone. Would I make them again? Maybe, but I don't think I could resist adding some butter..... and maybe cutting back on the fruit and vege....and I would definitely consider them if I was having special-needs guests for afternoon tea (dairy, nut or gluten intolerant ones).

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Spring has sprung...

Well, today was the first day of spring, and while I was in Auckland, the garden got itself ready to burst into the new season with great gusto.

My broad beans (above) are coming along swimmingly, and even Boo stopped for a moment to smell the daffodils (moments after this photo she actually put the whole flower into her mouth and tried to eat it)....