Thursday 28 April 2011

Peanut butter & chocolate chip cookies and when diets go bad

Everything in moderation.  Including moderation. ~ Unknown

Maybe it's something to do with eating really healthily for the last little bit to fit into my wedding dress or maybe it's to do with the self restraint required for not eating cookies for the whole of Lent but in the last week I've been back up in Auckland, I've basically eaten my weight in food.  I'm eating like it's going out of fashion.

A mere 3 weeks before my wedding and I've gone from a Wedding Diet to a See Food And Eat It Diet.

I kid you not, in the last week we've eaten at Sri Mahkota, Sun World, Canton Cafe, and Muse and at each and every meal I've eaten until it hurt to move: slow braised pork belly, steamed garlic prawns, beef brisket noodle soup, crispy fried chicken, soy honey lamb chops, shallots chicken, four seasons beans.  While the rest of the table are already clutching their bellies in fullness, I'd still be shoveling food in my mouth.  Need a dish finished off? No worries, pass it to Nessie.

Not to mention the pies-ing I've been doing at home: I've single-handedly demolished a whole 1.5 kilograms of greek yoghurt with a whole bottle of kithul treacle from Sri Lanka, made and eaten a whole stack of cinnamon oat pancakes smothered in golden syrup and then a massive batch of butter chicken and hoovered up almost half a batch of these Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They're gluten free, so simple to make you could make them with one hand tied behind your back and SO addictive you too will have trouble not eating all the dough even before it hits the oven.

Who ate all the cookies in the cookie jar? Nessie ate all the cookies in the cookie jar.

Oh self restraint, why have you abandoned me???

Thursday 21 April 2011

Breakfast for lunch: Creamy oatmeal with peaches and golden syrup

When you think brunch you tend to think of pancakes with bacon, maple syrup and bananas or french toast with a luscious dollop of mascarpone or oozy hollandaise with eggs bene right?

But when you're a student and a cafe brunch is waaaaay out of the budget, you make do with more simple breakfast fare for lunch, enter Creamy Oatmeal with Peaches and Golden Syrup

So simple, it doesn't really need a recipe but don't underestimate the deliciousness of a steaming hot creamy oatmeal with lashings of golden syrup and plump wedges of peach.   It's just like rice pudding only healthy-ish since oatmeal can help lower cholesterol.

Who knew the humble bowl of porridge could be so darn sexy?

Saturday 16 April 2011

Dragon's Gourmet, Epsom, Auckland and being a banana

I've always been a bit of a banana: asian on the outside, kiwi on the inside.

But it has recently come to my attention that my tastebuds may be just a wee bit more asian than I first thought.

I've lived in New Zealand since I was five and was for all intents and purposes was a kiwi kid: played touch rugby in primary, did the Kiwi Kids Triathlon, had a mince and cheese pie from the tuckshop for lunch everyday.  At home though, Mum and Dad were very Chinese in their tastes: Dad cooked traditional Cantonese dinners and when we go out it would be to Chinese restaurants and Yum Cha. I, on the other hand, have always preferred variety be it indian, italian, french, carribean, morroccan etc.  Just ask anyone, I'm an easy girl to feed: I'm just happy to be eating.  I've eaten everything from fetal chicken eggs to frog's legs to rabbit stew.  Be it bacon and egg pie or peking duck my motto is get in my belly
Or so I thought....

It's only upon moving down to Dunedin, where there aren't a heck of a lot of Chinese restaurants around, that I've discovered that I really miss good authentic Chinese tucker.  Guess it's like missing your mother's cooking yeah?

So, if like me, you're craving lunch Canto styles, and you happen to be in Auckland, then check out Dragon's Gourmet in Epsom for an authentic Hong Kong tea house experience.

{refreshingly tangy lemon iced tea}

Saturday 9 April 2011

Go Fish: Tuna Ceviche with Coconut Milk, Coriander and Pickled Red Onions

It's not everyday your dinner falls into your lap.

Just over a week, Ruth and I drove out to Murdering Beach, just north of Dunedin for a run.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, our only company on the beach were circling seagulls and lapping waves.  We had only run one length of the beach when out of the corner of my eye I saw splashing at the edge of the water.

Was it a shark??  Was it a sea monster???   Oh no, that splashing turned out to be a humongous silvery fish - very alive but very stuck on its side, at the edge of the lapping waves.  Holy mackerel!  We literally caught the fish with our bare hands and took it home for tea - no floundering around! (Full credit to Ruth who actually did all the grunt work - Go Hunter Gatherer Woman!)

Fishing had never been so easy.

Saturday 2 April 2011

Buttery Crumbly Vanilla Shortbread: so good you'd want to break Lent for them too!

I have a confession.

I broke Lent.

The thing I gave up this Lenten season is cookies.

This is roughly the timeline of how it went down...Pledge made = Ash Wednesday.  Contraband cookie intake = That Saturday.  Lent FAIL.

I just completely forgot!  I was back up in Auckland for my Grandmother's funeral and itching to bake something in my own kitchen and the only cookie I had time and the ingredients to make was these Crumbly Buttery Shortbread and every cook knows you have to taste each step of the way to make sure everything is ok: Cookie batter? Check. Cookie straight out of the oven? Check. Cookie cooling on the rack but still warm? Check. Cookie when cold? Check.  Cookie a couple of hours later just to check they are still crumbly and crispy? Check.  Cookie the next day? Check.

All highly essential parts of the baking process of course.


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