Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas / Meri Kirihimete

The pav is in the oven.

The kumara salad is ready to go.

The strawberries are being cut.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Monday 22 December 2014

Last minute Christmas noms: Super Easy Gingerbread Men

I love Christmas. I love the decorations, the carols, the festive cheer, the celebrating with friends and family and of course the baking. Christmas has the best baking.

However, Christmas can also be a rather stressful time of year. Fun good stress but hectic non-the less. Multiple family dos fit in. Dishes to make for said-family dos that feed a crowd and caters for the vegetarian + vegan + dairy-intolerant + gluten-free+ only-eats-meat guests. The yearly internal struggle of wanting to go to midnight mass but it being way past your bed time. The age old present buying dilemma of what to get for the work-colleage-who-you’ve-never-talked-to-but-got-as-a-secret santa / person-who-has-everything / distant-relative-who’s-come-visiting / surprise-last-minute-RSVP-to-xmas??

The answer to all of the above is of course 42 sweets/chocolate/baked goodies!

So any Christmas baking that is quick and easy and stress-free is my kind of Christmas baking.

These Super Easy Gingerbread Men have been my godsend this Christmas. They are indeed dead easy/ fool proof / fail-safe. You get maximum wow points for minimal effort. I mean, you don’t even need a rolling pin. They are also completely addictively delicious. Plus just look at them. Adorbs.

Last minute Christmas noms: Christmas truffles

This year's Christmas has been a last minute kinda Christmas.

Got all the prezzies last minute (just finished today whew). Flying up last minute (Christmas eve, evening). Packing for being away for 2 months, you guessed it last minute (aka have not started, yikes).

Only just finished up the last of these bad boys today and managed to get some good very sorry for the last minute Christmas noms posting!

Sunday 16 November 2014

Party Time: Hundreds and Thousands Sprinkles Layer Cake

Nothing says it's party time like 100s and 1000s.  And I've had two awesome reasons to celebrate lately.

1) I passed my finals exams for medicine. Wooohoooo! One more year as an intern left before becoming a real doctor. Beyond exciting.

2) A week ago, I turned the big three-oh. I gotta say, the dirty thirties are awesome!

We had a 3 day non-stop eating bonanza.  I am not even kidding - we did high tea lunch, byo dinner, ice cream and pancakes brunch, all you can eat meat Brazilian churrasco lunch, Chinese banquet dinner, and rounded off with a buffet diy sushi brunch. Food, food, and more food. It was glorious.

All weekend I was surrounded by food, friends, family. New friends, old friends. Breaking bread with the people who had known me the longest and knew me the best. I had never felt more loved or more blessed. The whole time I had just one thought running through my head: this is what happiness is.

{sprinkles = happiness}

You know, I’d always thought that once you had reached 30, you’d be all grown up and do proper adult things. As it turns out some things have most definitely changed:
  • most of my friends now have a kiddo or two;
  • an awesome Friday night is home with the hubby watching Sherlock; and
  • I’ve started using eye cream.
But some things stay exactly the same:
  • we all still crack up at dirty jokes;
  • we still love giving each other stick; and
  • I’m still at uni (sigh).
Not to mention even at the ripe old age of 30 we all still think 100s and 1000s equals happiness and parties. So to mark my 30th, to celebrate passing exams and because I am clearly 30 going on 3, I made a Hundreds and Thousands Layer Cake.

One can never be too old for sprinkles.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Snapshots of exam delirium

It's just over a week until the finals and I'm going a little stir crazy so I thought I'd share some insanity love with you all.

I have so many Exam Time Dinner recipes sitting my on my camera waiting to be posted but I've banned myself from photo editing soooooo instead I'm going to share some of the things that have been keeping me amused this exam period.  It's mainly home stuff because I'm a little bit obsessed with The Block at the moment and it's not procrastinating if it's "necessary".

6 Snapshots of Exam Delirium

1. Highlighters light up my life

What are exams without a good set of highlighters. They're just so pretty and these are even named after me.

Sunday 12 October 2014

Me right now

Studying is no fun.

I would SO much rather be baking. Or cooking. Or doing any number fun happy things like making these fun little posters of the rallying battle cry in my brain at the mo.

Do you know I can't even remember the last time I made a batch of cupcakes?!?  What is life without cupcakes I ask you??

Why did I think it would be a good idea to go back to uni again?
Because I had forgotten the life consuming misery that is exams. sigh.

Ok enough moaning and procrastiposting. Back to cramming (and maybe just a teeny bit of pinteresting).

Saturday 11 October 2014

Black forest chia chocolate pudding and a favour

First, I'd like to ask you a favour.

10 years ago today, my dad turned 48.
For his birthday, he cooked us dinner.  Even though he was really sick.
That's the kinda person he was, always putting others before himself. Always putting us first.

That was the last birthday we got to celebrate with him.  He passed away five months later.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the things he did for us and the person he was.  There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thinking about him, missing him, and wanting to be more like him.

So today I'm celebrating his memory with you all: those of you who knew him, those of you who loved him, those of you who he never even met - because he was too good a person not to share.

And my favour is this: Let's all do something nice for someone today. Even if it is only a little thing, the world would be a little bit of a better place today, because of you, because of my dad.

Happy birthday Dad.

Every year on Dad's birthday, I try to make something black forest because that was his favourite type of cake. So this year, since I'm on a bit of a health buzz, I made Black Forest Chia Chocolate Pudding. Even though I know Dad would've scrunched his nose at all the hippy stuff.

Monday 6 October 2014

Procrasticooking: Grilled paneer, edamame & asparagus salad with soy coriander dressing

prə(ʊ)ˌkrasti /ˈkʊkɪŋ
    the act or practice of  preparing elaborate meals to delay exam study
    Variant of: procrastibaking 

It's med finals.
It's peak exam stress time.
No sleep. Gallons of coffee.
And of course, plenty of procrasticooking.
A girl's gotta eat right?

I went a little crazy at the butchers last week so we've been having lots of gloriously carnivorous creations recently: slow roasted lamb shoulder, chicken cacciatore, steak with pepper cream sauce, so last night to balance things out, we went green with a Grilled Paneer, Edamame & Asparagus Salad with Soy Coriander Dressing.

If you want a super quick, healthy, mid-week, mid-exam meal - look no further.

Thursday 14 August 2014

Forgotten cookies / Chocolate & pistachio meringue cookies

These are Chocolate and Pistachio Meringue Cookies also known as "Forgotten Cookies"
These gorgeous bite size morsels are lovely delicate meringue cookies that are jam packed with pistachio nuts and chunks of dark chocolate.

Forgotten by name but unforgettable by nature.

This is the perfect recipe to let you know that I haven't forgotten you all!

The "forgotten" part alludes to the ridiculously low maintenance way of cooking them - as soon as you get your cookies in the oven, you can turn off the heat and forget about them until the next day.

Yip, just leave them in the oven.  All on their lonesome. And they will just hang out, getting light and crispy and airy.

They are so delicate and light but absolutely packed with flavour.

New favourite cookie.

Monday 28 April 2014

Anzac Ginger Caramel Slice

We downunder celebrated Anzac Day last Friday.  It's the one time in the year where New Zealand and Australia put aside their intense sibling friendly rivalry and commemorate together the brave New Zealand and Australian soldiers who fought in WWI.

The day is marked on both sides of the Tasman with dawn parades and wreath-laying ceremonies, the wearing of poppies symbolising Flander's field and the baking and eating of Anzac biscuits, which were oaty coconut cookies sent over as provisions to the troops during the war.

This year we marked Anzac day by welcoming our lovely nephew on his first ever trip to Wellington (along and his awesome mum and dad of course!).

And instead of making my normal batch of Anzac biscuits, this year, in the Anzac spirit, I thought I would do a mash up of a few of Kiwis' and Aussies' favourite slices: Anzac Ginger Caramel Slice.

Sunday 13 April 2014

Mini Toffee Apple Pies

Ummmmm did someone hit the fast forward button on this year?
How is it that Easter is next week and we are almost a quarter of the way through 2014 already!??

This year was always going to be a doozy.  It's my 5th year of medical school and it is the year with The Exams.

Yip the Finals.

I liken this year to one of those hydro-slides at the swimming pools. You know, the ones that look like a colourful tube of fun times?  Sure, it looks like fun from a distance until it sucks you in,  going waaaaaay faster than you'd anticipated, making you loose your orientation and tumble turn all the way to the other end where it spits you, bruised and gasping for breath.

Welcome to 5th year med school.  Do not pass go do not collect $200.

Ok ok it's not all bad.  It is actually fun for the most part and interesting and I'm learning heaps.  My first run this year was Orthopaedics with its insane amount of cool gadgets and power tools, mind blowing surgeries and awesome banterous surgeons.  In surgery, the boss would often ask for his scalpel, then pliers, then the power drill.  Power drill.  In a surgery.  Crazy talk.  Seriously some of the coolest surgeries I've seen.

So to say thank you for being an incredible bunch of people, teaching me heaps, and letting me do cool stuff, I baked these Mini Toffee Apple Pies for Team Ortho out at Hutt Hospital.

Since at the moment almost every waking minute is either spent at the hospital or studying, my brain is too fried to handle too complicated recipes. So this recipe is stupid easy.  And also stupid good.

{status of my brain}
via here

Saturday 15 February 2014

Guilt-free chocolate mousse with boysenberry jelly

Fact: This chocolate mousse has no cream in it. 

I know right? Mind blowing.

There had been a lot of water cooler chatter about chocolate mousse recipes at work in the last little bit.  Debs had been trialling out chocolate mousse recipes for dinner parties and the lovely Shanti had recently made the Hervé This Chocolate and Water Mousse.  I had chocolate mousse on my brain.

I wasn't brave enough to tackle the chocolate and water mousse (maybe next time) but it did set me on the track to find a not-so-sinful-but-still-decadent chocolate mousse recipe.

Enter the celebrated Raymond Blanc OBE and his Chocolate Mousse Maman Blanc.

Friday 31 January 2014

Kung Hei Fat Choi everyone!  Happy Lunar New Year!

Wishing you and your loved ones health and happiness in 2014.

Hope you have a smooth course through the rest of the year and may your year of the Horse be a galloping success!

Saturday 25 January 2014

Homemade peppermint patties a.k.a. After-dinner mints a.k.a. A Minty Mess

I think I've lost my baking mojo.

This is the first weekend we've had at home since the middle of December. We've been jetting up and down the country for tramping, Christmas, and weddings and somewhere along the line I think my baking mojo went on holiday.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year awesome people!

Here's to a happy, healthy, yum-filled 2014!

Ended the year with the most epic Argentinian barbeque New Year's Eve party.   Big slabs of beef, short ribs, sausages, black pudding, chicken, and even sweetbreads sizzling over glowing embers and served with zesty chimichurri sauce.


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