Category Archives: Food

Been taking a break…again

I find myself in awe of all the bloggers out there who continually post. I have been taking another break…not really sure why. Seems like my blogging mojo had gone and done a runner, but I am trying to get it to come back home.

Now I know this is not technically a wordless post but that is actually how it started off…so here is the picture I wanted to post before I got carried away with my thoughts.

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My very clever friend Margaret made this for me and another friend for lunch one day. I LOVE invites to Margaret’s house for food. It is always amazing…thank goodness for friends who are great cooks I say !!!!
Salmon & Crab Mousse with Fresh Dill Dressing
 
220 gram red salmon, drained
220 gram crab, drained
2/3 cup thickened cream
1/2 cup thousand island dressing
1/4 cup chopped pickled onions
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon gelatine [one tablespoon of powdered agar agar can be used in place of one tablespoon of powdered gelatine for those us who have given up eating meat and meat products because we love our animal friends way too much to eat them]
2 tablespoons water
Dill Dressing: 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons French dressing, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Blend salmon, crab, cream, dressing, mustard and onions until smooth.
Sprinkle gelatine over water, dissolve over a pan of hot water, cool and stir into salmon mixture.
Pour mixture into 6 individual serving dishes (1/2 cup capacity).
Refrigerate several hours until set.
Turn onto serving plates and serve with dressing.
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Prawns are such a yummy ingredient…

So tonight I am making Basil, Lemon & Prawn Pasta.

Oh yes I am…

Now we all know that recipes are difficult…so have some patience with me please.

This one is just for one person.

Ingredients.

  1. A handful of pasta. I quite like the spinach fettuccine, but folks anything you fancy goes.
  2. Prawns. De-veined. I like them with tails on, which I chuck off once cooked. Now really I am kinda crazy about prawns…so I like a lot. 2015-09-24 17.43.33You may like less. Figure it out how many you feel like !!!
  3. A handful of chopped basil.2015-09-24 17.43.03
  4. A handful of drained capers.
  5. A tablespoon lemon juice.
  6. A tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Enough baby spinach leaves to cover your plate.2015-09-24 17.41.26

And here we go…

Cook the pasta until almost al dente. Then throw in your prawns for about three minutes. While all this is cooking wash and lay out your spinach leaves on the plate. Chop the basil. Me personally…I have so many lemons I squeezed the lemons while I waited.

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Once the pasta and prawns are cooked…throw them in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, capers, basil & olive oil. Toss your little old heart out.

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Then place them on top of the baby spinach leaves.

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Add salt & pepper to taste…and away you go.

Heaven for your tummy !!!!

Pets, Friends, Fresh Fruit & Preserving

Although we are heading in to winter here in New Zealand there is still loads of fruit around. Kiwifruit season has started.

Some gold & green kiwifruit. Personally I don't think it is 'real' kiwifruit unless it is green & furry.
Some gold & green kiwifruit. Personally I don’t think it is ‘real’ kiwifruit unless it is green & furry.

At the moment I have a couple staying with me from China who are on a year long trip around New Zealand. Sophie & Bob are very sweet and I am really enjoying the cultural exchanges that happen when you have people from another country staying with you.

Bob & Sophie checking out the local 'old' car show.
Bob & Sophie checking out the local ‘old’ car show.

The fur babies are a hit. They are loving all the attention they are getting from two extra people. Which is good news as a few of them have had incidences in the recent past. Charlie in particular has been propping up the vet’s bank account though Jackie has done her fair share to keep up.

Jackie in her 'happy' place.
Jackie in her ‘happy’ place.

Recently she took to hiding under my bed. Warning signals flashed when she began to refuse to come out for two days. When we visited the vet it turned out three of her teeth were infected. I felt like the worst fur baby mama ever. The vet was a little shocked as only a few months ago she had her regular check up and though there was some tartar it was not enough to worry about. Apparently that can change quickly. We had to have the teeth taken out and for a week or more I had one very unhappy pussy cat. Sophie & Bob were sure I only had the one cat, as she was not at all social. Though under the bed still seems to be her ‘happy’ place, at least these days she is back to eating normal food and seems quite happy to venture out again. Now the baby of the family [Charlie] thinks he needs to make sure that other cats in the area know he is man. When the neighbours recently had family staying which also added three new cats to the mix, things got a little hairy. A trip to the vets was in order when he came home barely able to walk. The pads on his feet were in a terrible state and he had had a knock around his shoulder as well as scratches to his neck. We are still unsure what happened but either he tried to take on the whole neighbourhood’s cat population or possible a dog got hold of him. Seems that wasn’t enough of a deterrent. Last Friday evening he again came home in a sorry state. Does anyone else notice pets seem to get in to strife when the vets are closed ????? Great gouges out of his eyelid and nose, as well as one very sore left shoulder area. He was lucky though that the claw that did the damage missed his eyeball. I was lucky [financially] that the tear in his lid does not require surgery to stop it irritating the eye in future. Today is the first day he has been allowed outside since the incident. We have had to listen to a rather loud ongoing vocal disapproval of being confined indoors. I wondered if he was going to fly this morning when I opened the door for him, he took off so fast his feet seemed airborne.

The eye looks good but his nose has a little hair to grow back still.
The eye looks good but his nose has a little hair to grow back still.

As for Chevvy…luckily for me she is behaving at the moment. Though a wee while ago she also got in to a scrap which saw her eye and paws in a sorry state. I am thinking of arranging an extra mortgage just to keep up with the vets bills. We have managed to fix the fence problem. For a small dog she sure can scale things, but these days she no longer escapes the minute my back is turned. She does enjoy a good bone on the lawn as a reward.

The bone is almost as big as the dog.
The bone is almost as big as the dog.

I have taken to soothing my nerves with cooking. I recently raided a few friends’ gardens and came home with bags full of bounty. From one friend I came home with enough Red Cherry Guavas to make 13 jars of guava jelly.

Red Cherry Guavas
Red Cherry Guavas

This is the cookbook I got the recipe from…isn’t it beautiful ??

Journal of Agriculture Cookbook.
Journal of Agriculture Cookbook.

This was my second attempt at the jelly and I am thrilled with the results. This recipe makes it hard to go wrong…I did add a little extra pectin. I also had to look up how many cups a quart is. 2015-04-21 10.37.39I have become a bit of an addict when it comes to guava jelly.

Guava Jelly ready for distribution amongst friends.
Guava Jelly ready for distribution amongst friends.

From another friend I scored two bags of feijoas and some Chilean Guavas.

Chilean Guavas...tiny yes but sooo delicious.
Chilean Guavas…tiny yes but sooo delicious.

By crikey, I think my love affair with guavas has become a permanent relationship. I might try my hand at feijoa jam next. I will keep you updated.

Feijoas ready for feasting & jam making.
Feijoas ready for feasting & jam making.

Although I have been advised that feijoa chutney is pretty good too. My next stop saw me bag a whole lot of apples. They reminded me of growing up. These days in the supermarket the only fruit you see is shiny and there is never a mark to be seen. Of course this all comes about because of pesticide use. Growing up, fruit was never perfect, but it was still delicious and pesticide free. Those apples took me back to a time when you either cut out the bad bits…or you just ate them anyway.

Pesticide free apples.
Pesticide free apples.

I picked what may well be the last of the chillies from my garden yesterday.

There is something so tempting about red food.
There is something so tempting about red food.

Later today I am attempting to make Chilli & Apple Jelly. This could be interesting. I have already a jar of chilli sauce fermenting in my pantry. Yes I did say fermenting. I am in to fermenting these days. Even made a batch of Zuurkool the other day.

Zuurkool ready to eat.
Zuurkool ready to eat.

That is the Dutch name for Sauerkraut. I haven’t made it in years and feel that perhaps I added too much salt. But we live and we learn, and after a good rinse it was very yummy. To finish off what was a rather long winding post I thought I would leave you with a video of Chevvy…doing what Chevvy does best…being cute. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2RJZYvlwmQ

Winter Solstice in NZ

The Winter Solstice is here in the Southern Hemisphere and it is a cold dreary day. The tuis are still filling my garden with their song. I love having this pair residing in my trees.

IMG_0462Someone however, does NOT think it is a good idea to get out of bed…can you guess who ???

IMG_0467Yesterday when we went for a walk it was chilly enough that we decided to both wear our winter woolies. Chevvy loves her new coat. IMG_0375 copySo much that I get THE LOOK when I dare take it off. THE LOOK says quite plainly…and all in capitals…GIVE THAT BACK, IT’S MINE !!!

On our walk we did enjoy seeing some ducks having fun in the stream.IMG_0392The pukekos had raided someone’s vege garden and were enjoying their ill-gotten gains.IMG_0386And though they were far away, the kingfishers were out and a delight to watch zooming over the mudflats looking for dinner.IMG_0368This year I am proud to announce I have planted garlic for the first time. Yippee…now I just have to wait for the Summer Solstice to enjoy my favourite spice in the world. Though technically it is not a spice but a vegetable. As however my favourite vegetable in the winter is the trusty, tasty brussels sprout I am going to call garlic a spice and be done with it.

And to cheer up my dreary day I am going to share this kitty with you. I love the look on its face when it realises it has been caught.

 

 

WPC: Work of Art

Works of art come in many shapes and sizes. Back when I had the Thai students with me we went to a friend’s 70th birthday. There really is no other description for his birthday cake…

As you can imagine...Alex is a fisherman.
As you can imagine…Alex is a fisherman.

Not to brag, but I can be pretty adept with cake making when the occasion arises. Just to remind you of a couple of my attempts in the past.

The finished cake...
The finished cake…
Jess's cake
Jess’s cake

Not too shabby for a home baker.

WPC: Work of Art

On a completely different note…for all the amateur Kiwi photographers out there. Here is a great competition that is accepting entries until June 13th, 2014. Click on the link for the terms and conditions, prizes, and entry details.

D-Photo Sigma Amateur Photographer of the Year Competition 2014

There are seven categories and heaps of great prizes. Click on the links below to see some of the entries already submitted. I have and some of you guys should really enter. You stand an excellent chance of giving the entrants a run for their money.

 

Share Your World – 2014 Week 18

What object do you always have with you when traveling and why?

Canon cameraWhy…because it has become another limb.

What subject would you like to study in depth, if given the time to do so?

 Mythology. So I can invent my own a little better.

14 - 13.2.2013Which would you prefer:  a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

Okay…so do I look or sound like a person who wants a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family ??? Do I ??? There are moments it would be nice…but it has never been MY LIFE. The one I have got will do just fine – a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks.

You do remember this I hope…

Jo is a WILD THING
Jo is a WILD THING

What are your favorite spices?

Most of these are in my garden. Except for the garlic, ginger and the bottled ones of course. Sadly coriander season has finished here but as it is one of my favourite herbs I keep a bottle handy.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I was grateful for all the love and support that came my way, from friends, from bloggers, from family in dealing with of the loss of Crash and what it meant to me. I was also grateful to my wonderful vet and her staff who cared for Crash and then took the time to care for me.

IMG_8783 copy IMG_8786 copy IMG_8787 copy

As for what I look forward to this coming week…spending time with these guys.

Taking walks around Katikati.

And whatever else comes my way.

Thanks Cee…for the chance to share a bit of my world. Oh and…just for the heck of it and because it is sooooo cute. A video of goats riding horses.

Travel theme: Round

Round is this week’s Travel Theme. What could be rounder than balls of delish ice-cream???

Day 107 - 17.4.2013Maybe a round soft poached egg with hollandaise sauce on top of asparagus and a round of freshly baked bread ??

IMG_4262Not to be forgotten is the homemade pizza…all round oozing with melting goodies.

pizzaNow we are heading in to colder months here I am a big fan of a hot round bowl of soup…especially Bok Choy Soup with prawns and mushrooms.

Bok Choy soupI do love the feel of a ripe round peach in my hand, raising it to my nose to suck in the sweetness before taking that first bite.P1040145To finish I shall leave you with my favourite sweet treat…the delightfully round Neenish Tart. Add a ball of whipped cream and I’m yours for life.

Neenish Tart

Some thoughts around round:

    • “Do you mean to say,” asked Caspian, “that you three come from a round world (round like a ball) and you’ve never told me! It’s really too bad for you. Because we have fairy-tales in which there are round worlds and I have always loved them … Have you ever been to the parts where people walk about upside-down?”
      Edmund shook his head. “And it isn’t like that,” he added. “There’s nothing particularly exciting about a round world when you’re there.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
    • “Money, you have lots of friends hanging round the door.
      When it’s gone and the spending ends
      They don’t come no more.” ― Billy Holiday
    • “Life’s just a merry-go-round. Come on up. You might get a brass ring.” ― Mae West

 

 

that's all folks

 

 

 

 

Travel Theme: Tempting

There is nothing that tempts me out of my comfortable bed more than knowing someone is cooking me breakfast. When The Daughter was home for a visit she made me her staple brekkie for Sunday brunch.

Mine consisted of fried eggs on toast, chilli beans, avocado and fried tomato !! To hers was added some crispy fried bacon.

All washed down with coffee.

A new treat she turned me on to is COLD COFFEE.

Made in the plunger and later left to drip through a coffee filter. Then it is left for 24 hours. When the 24 hours is up you add some sugar to boiling water, let cool a little, pour coffee and add the sugar mix.

I likee…I likee a lot !!!!!!

Related Post: Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme: Tempting

100 % Natural

Oh and BTW…

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