Wednesday 27 October 2010

Baking for Hospice: Matcha Green Tea Shortbread

This was my second lot of baking for the All About Dads round for Baking for Hospice.

My dad absolutely LOVED shortbread.  I could never understand why. I mean, I like shortbread: you can't really beat it for its buttery crumbly goodness but it was never my first choice out of those Assorted Biscuits tins we used to always get for Christmas from relos.  I'm all about the glamour cookies - the chocolate coated ones, the choc chippies, the ones with the creamy filling, the malt ones.  But there was no other cookie as far as my Dad was concerned.  It was shortbread or nothing.  He could mow through whole bags of Farmbake shortbread all by himself.  Even when he was staying at the hospice, a piece of shortbread dunked into a milo was his daily afternoon tea.

So seeing as the theme was All About Dads, I just had to bake shortbread.  No two buts about it.  I knew that a couple of other bakers were making shortbread for the B4H round (perks of doing the organising :P), so I thought I'd mix it up a little and make Matcha Green Tea Shortbread.  I'd seen recipes for Matcha Sables or Green Tea shortbread doing the rounds on tastespotting and I just couldn't resist trying a batch myself.

Sunday 24 October 2010

Baking for Hospice: Black Forest Rocky Road

 Last weekend was Round 12 for Baking for Hospice and the theme was All About Dads.

As you know, my Dad's fav cake was black forest gateau, but since I've only just made Black Forest Cupcakes a couple of posts ago and I was too lazy to make a full out black forest cake I went with a variation of my fav Cadbury chocolate bar: Black Forest Rocky Road.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Goat's cheese frittata with port & black pepper caramelised figs

The French Cafe is regarded as the pinnacle of culinary excellence in Auckland.  You usually have to book about a month in advance to get a table. It's New Zealand's French Laundry, our down-under fair-dinkum version of El Bulli.  If the French Cafe was a celeb it would be Johnny Depp: sexy, creative and elusive. 

I've eaten there twice, once for the degustation (incredible, divine, earth shatteringly good) and once off the menu.  Both times we had the French Cafe signature dish, the Goat's Cheese and Beetroot tart.  My darling fellow foodie girlfriends bought me the French Cafe Cookbook a couple of birthdays ago.  I love it.  It has stunning photos and they actually put the recipes of dishes they cook at the restaurant there.

We're going on a trip to Sri Lanka at the end of the year with two of my very best, very foodie, friends so at a trip organising pot luck dinner last week, I wanted to bring something worthy of my girls who are total domestic goddesses.

While I wasn't game enough to go the whole hog and make the FC beetroot tart, when I stumbled upon a simple recipe for potato and goat's cheese frittata by Donna Hay, I knew with a bit of experimentation I could create a French Cafe inspired version: Goat's Cheese Frittata with Port & Black Pepper Caramelised Figs.

Saturday 9 October 2010

Pink ribbon rosewater & pistachio shortbread

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation's annual Pink Ribbon Day was last Friday. 

The thing with breast cancer is that everyone has a story.  Everyone has had a sister, daughter or mother, relative or friend, or knows of someone, who has battled the disease.

For me, it was my Aunty Wendy who we lost to breast cancer, my mum who has beaten it only very recently and a close family friend who has just been diagnosed last week.

It's scarily common but luckily, thanks to clever wee scientists, the detection and treatment of breast cancer has come a long way and in most cases early detection can mean total recovery.  So as a hats off to all those organisations that fund research into breast cancer and in support of breast cancer awareness I made: Pink Ribbon Rosewater & Pistachio Shortbread.

Sunday 3 October 2010

First bbq of summer at Piha

After what seemed like an endless winter of torrential rain and frosty nights, summer has finally peeked its head over the weekend with two days of glorious sunshine.  

And what do kiwis do when it's summer?  We BARBEQUE!

Goodbye rain and hail and thunderstorms.  Hello chillaxing in the sun, sizzling barbeques and ice cold Coronas on the deck

And with that first hint of summer, we were off to the Piha bach for our first summer barbie: Garlic Butter Scallops and Char-grilled Vegetables with Chilli and Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Just a bit saucy chocolate pud and buying wedding dresses online

Weddings are black holes for money.

We're trying our best to do everything el-cheapo but it's still going to cost an absolute fortune.
So one of the ways we are saving is on my wedding dress...I bought my wedding dress online.  Every one said not to.  All the wedding forums on the internet said it was too risky.  Most brides budget for and don't mind spending a couple Gs on their wedding gowns which is pretty standard and fair enough being the most important dress you will wear and all.

But I'm a buy-my-clothes-2nd-hand-on-trade-me kinda girl and when push came to shove I just couldn't justify spending thousands on my dress. Especially when that could mean several more tables of friends and family at our wedding.  So I took the gamble - online it was.

I sent about a million emails to the Storeofdress people, even sent my brother (who was in Shanghai recently) to check out their actual store.  I sent through my measurements and paid.  And then began the anxious month-long wait to see whether:

a) The dress will turn up;

b) It will look anything like the picture; and

c) It would fit properly.

So when the dress arrived last week I knew I needed some comfort food before opening the parcel and what could be more comforting than an old favourite, a tried and true recipe: Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding with Raspberries and Vanilla Ice cream.


Copyright © 2010-2013 by Nessie Chan/Nessie Sharpe. All rights reserved.