A perfect Bloody Mary

A perfect Bloody Mary is one of the best things about the the morning after a night drinking- or not drinking.

They are great for a Sunday Brunch in a tall jug allowing guests to refill as much as their little hearts desire. Spicy and fresh with a stick of crunchy celery to stir and eat.

Even without the hair of the dog- a Virgin Mary is great to drink on a plane.

 

Perfect Bloody Mary

Tomato juice- a good quality tomato juice is best, one that is rich and flavourful and not too thin.

A dash or two of Worcestershire sauce- Lea & Perrins is best

Two shakes of Tabasco sauce- or your favorite spicy sauce- we use Kaitaia Fire

1.2 tsp Horseradish sauce

Salt and fresh Pepper

30ml Vodka

Ice- lots of ice!

Put Worcestershire, Tabasco, Horseradish, Vodka and Ice in a glass- stir to mix well.

Top with Tomato juice, Salt and Pepper.

Stir, taste, adjust seasoning- if not spicy enough add more.

Garnish with a stick of crunchy celery.

Enjoy.

http://www.kaitaiafire.com/index.pasp

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Second date guarantee

When Mr Lid and I were first dating I remember him making me breakfast on a Sunday, we would sit on his (now our) deck in the early morning sunshine reading the paper, doing the sudoku together and listing to his wonderful music collection- he would make his famous creamy mushrooms and poached eggs it was heaven- it was days like that, that made me realise he was the man for me.

These mushrooms are seriously delicious, so much so that my Dad has made them a frequent weekend breakfast feature for himself and mum, along with the perfect Bloody Mary. Makes you wish weekends lasted longer.

 

Mr Lids Creamy Mushrooms

Flat brown Mushrooms

Fresh garlic

Mixed herbs (dried is fine if you don’t have fresh)

Butter

Cream

Crush the garlic and caramelise in the pan with a knob of butter, add the sliced mushrooms. Stir to mix the garlic well in with the Mushrooms, add the herbs (not too many- just a pinch)

At this stage I add a little water- it helps to soften the Mushrooms and turns into a bit of a stock to help deepen the flavour.

Reduce the liquid down till it is almost gone- add cream- don’t add all the cream as you can always add more.

You want the star to be Mushrooms in a cream sauce, not a cream sauce with some Mushrooms in it.

Reduce the cream down- if you reduce it too far add more.

Season with a good amount of Fresh Black pepper and some salt.

We like to serve this with a wholemeal toast and runny poached eggs.

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Ladies who lunch

One of the best things about being a woman is that you are almost expected to do long leisurely lunches.
A nice wine, a yummy salad, something fatty like fries and aioli all washed down with a good coffee and girl talk.
We met at Pescada on the North wharf near the Wynyard quarter. Parking was easy across the road and $4 for 3hours was some of the cheapest around- first hour free which was a bonus!!
The place was quiet when we arrived but was getting busier as we left, it was a great space with lots of room and an interesting decor of mismatched tables and chairs mixed with deli foods from the Mediterranean. A great spot for a big family lunch!

The lunch selection wasn’t huge but it was everything you wanted with a couple of salad options and a lovey selection of tapas- albeit the usual suspects nothing too out there or pushing the bar.
The salad serves were great (around $22) and for tapas at around $14 it was awesome, I can picture a group of girls meeting up late afternoon eating old favourites of squid rings ($14) fries and aioli ($5) drinking their way to early evening.
Over all I thought it was nothing overly exciting but sometimes that’s just what you want- its the people not the place!
Lovely.

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http://www.pescado.co.nz/

More cake…

I have been a busy girl again this week making two cakes, one is for work its two characters from Toy Story made to look Jewish for the local Jewish Youth group. The second is for my lovely Aunty who is 65 today- in New Zealand at 65 you get a Super Gold card which gets you cheap movies and transport- I am sure it does other neat stuff like make you fly too. So here they are- sorry its not a recipe today as I have spent the last few days making these…

 

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I wish you could smell my house.

I wish you could smell my house. Its warm nutty spiced air is a dream to write in.

I had a crap sleep (Can I say that? Sorry if my language offended some people)

I woke at 1:30am with a cat next to me forcing me into the middle of the bed, where I was all hot and uncomfortable, my knee had shooting pains and I found myself still awake at 3:30am reading recipes on my phone dreaming of what I wanted to eat to keep me going once I was meant to be awake in a few hours.

I wanted something with ingredients I had in the house, I wanted something Gluten free, I wanted a million dollars- shame you can’t bake that!!

I found a recipe for some Cinnamon bun type things sounded good, had to make a few changes as it didn’t quite match the exact ingredients I had to use but hey- still looked good!

Cinnamon Walnut Loaf 

1/4 cup Almond meal (ground Almonds)

1/4 cup Coconut flour

1/4 cup Agave Nectar (or Honey, Golden syrup, Maple syrup)

1/4 cup Apple puree

1/3 cup Sour Cream (could use yoghurt, milk with some vinegar or lemon in it)

2 Eggs

1/4tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Baking soda

Mix in a bowl with a whisk to remove all the lumps- let sit so the Coconut flour can adsorb some of the moisture, Spoon into the tin and top with topping.

I made mine in a Loaf pan – Muffins would be fine too.

Walnut Cinnamon topping

2Tbs Coconut oil melted

2Tbs Cinnamon

4Tbs Agave nectar (or Honey, Golden syrup,Maple syrup)

1/4- 1/2 cup nuts- I used Walnuts

Mix together and spoon onto the above mix.

You could marble the walnut mix through with a skewer if you like.

Bake 180c 35min – this was for a loaf- time will be less for muffins.

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Long and slow bow-wow-chicka-bow-wow

I am sure I have said it before but there is something about slow cooking that is satisfying, sexy and calming at the same time- the marriage of flavours over time the way they thicken and enrich, the way meat becomes so tender it falls apart, and vegetables soak up coking liquor they become plump and tasty…

Stew, casseroles, goulash, melange what ever you like to call it, I think they are awesome.

All they really are is slow cooked meat with vegetables and some liquid to make a sauce.

I know that is very primitive of me but its true…

Basic stew formula

Meat- the cheaper the cut the better- on the bone is always more tasty, could be poultry, beef, veal, pork, lamb even fish.

Vegetables– you cant really go wrong with a mirepoix (its a cooking term for celery, onions and carrot, pronounced me-er pwah) I also like garlic, leek, kumara, pumpkin, turnip, swede, parsnip- Usually root vegetables.

Alcohol– white wine, red wine, beer, these are lovely to impart a richness to the stew but not a necessity- use to deglaze the pan as to burn off some of the alcohol. (To deglaze a pan means adding liquid such as stock or wine to a pan to loosen and dissolve food particles that are stuck to the bottom.)

Liquid– stock (either homemade or store bought- both are fine- just watch salt levels)

water, tinned tomatoes (or fresh), juice

Optional

РA thickening agent such as flour/corn flour can be added

-Then later addition of softer vegetables (mushrooms, courgette, capsicums etc)

-Herbs and spices

The general method of preparing a stew is:

Sear meat on all sides in a little oil/ butter until deep brown. Set the meat aside.

In the same pan, cook chopped mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) or any vegetables you like until golden brown. Add any dried herbs and spices at this point.

Deglaze with liquid – wine, beer , stock, water- whatever the recipe, or your taste, calls for.

Add the meat back to the pan. Pour in enough liquid to just cover the meat, and bring it to a simmer.

Cover tightly, and finish stewing in the oven at a low temperature – around 160-180c.

This could take anywhere from just 10 minutes for some vegetables and fish to upwards of two hours for tougher cuts of beef or mutton. Again, check your recipe.Remove the pot from the oven, and skim off any unwanted fat. If the liquid is thinner than you want it to be, you can thicken it with some cornstarch or flour dissolved in cold liquid, make sure you bring the cooking liquid up to a boil so the starch can cook out and can thicken the cooking liquid

-You can also dredge chunks of meat in seasoned flour before frying (this will help thicken the stew later.)

Tonight I am making Beef shin- carrot, celery, onion, garlic, bayleaf, white wine, tinned tomato also some tomato paste for richness

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Not the most glamorous styled photo but to be honest I had to take it quickly before Mr Lid devoured it!!

Brioche made me do it.

Mr Lid and I are not dessert eaters at home, on the odd occasion Mr Lid will open a bag of jelly lollies and eat a whole packet but that doesn’t count..

Funny because desserts are my thing, I love making a treat for someone and watching their eyes light up when you present them with a dainty decadent delight, even a massive mouthwatering mess is satisfying to watch people dig in and love every bite.

So sitting here on the couch, knowing that there is a half loaf of brioche sitting there- begging to be used up and not thrown away I had to do something- right?!

Not only did I have to make a pudding for tonight, but I had to make it with what I had because it is simply too cold to go outside. And I know we will be going to the gym tomorrow.

Dark chocolate and Berry Bread & Butter pudding

Brioche- cut into chunks

250ml Milk

65g Brown sugar (1/4 cup firmly packed)

2 Eggs

Dash of Vanilla

2 Rows Dark chocolate

Berries

As I am using brioche there is no need for butter- I do however butter the dishes I am baking the puddings in (I am making 4 puddings)

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Mix the milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar together add the bread chunks to soak.

Mix through chocolate and berries (about a handful or two, I used frozen)

Squish mix into buttered ramekins, you can leave these to sit till you are ready to bake.

Sprinkle a little more brown sugar ontop.

Bake 180c 22min

*you can use white chocolate, banana, coconut milk – anything goes with this recipe.