Thursday, 31 July 2014

Tropical Fruit Yoghurt Topping

This morning I tarted up our breakfast yoghurt with a delicious fruity topping made by combining freshly squeezed lemon juice and Anathoth Farm tropical jam.

I like using Anathoth Farm jams because as well as their  pure fruit flavour they contain no artificial colours or preservatives. This one has 50 percent fruit: mangoes, pineapples, guavas, passionfruit apples and lemons as well as sugar.

The recipe is so simple:  mix equal quantities of lemon juice and Anathoth Farm tropical jam to make a runny topping. Drizzle it over another South Island  favourite of mine, Clearwater's cream top natural yoghurt.

  •  Use orange juice instead of lemon juice
  • Stir some desiccated coconut into the yoghurt and leave to stand for at least an hour (or overnight) before adding the topping.

This topping could also go well on a cheesecake, especially my lemon or pineapple one which are set with gelatin so unbaked.
For a cheesecake, if you wish, you could thicken the topping and make it more syrupy by heating it briefly.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Almost Instant Mulled Wine

It was yet another chilly evening in Auckland last night so we cracked open a bottle of Barker's Mountain Moonshine and made ourselves spicy cups of almost instant mulled wine. It made winter feel so much better, especially in front of a roaring fire.
Unlike the usual mulled wine which takes much stirring and standing over a hot stove this is an almost instant version. The Moonshine base is a blend of red berries (elderberries, blackberries and blackcurrants) and warming spices. You simply add water and red wine and heat until piping hot.

per person

1/4 cup of Barker's Mountain Moonshine
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of red wine


Heat together (either in the microwave or on the stove) and serve at once garnished with a slice orange and a cinnamon stick to stir.

Monday, 21 July 2014

The Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge 2014

Being invited to watch six teams of talented New Zealand chefs competing in the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge at AUT in Auckland last week was an extraordinary treat.

Largely thanks to Dilhan Fernando, tea Gastronomy and tea Mixology have become a new international culinary wave which our chefs interpreted in incredibly stylish and creative

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Dairy Free Apricot, Coconut and Orange Cake

At an excellent seminar at IE Produce recently I was introduced to COYO, a Coconut Milk Yoghurt alternative. I bought a tub of it and created this incredibly easy dairy free cake which can easily double as a dessert. It makes a large cake which will easily serve 8 people.


1 1/2 cups of castor sugar
finely grated rind of 1 orange
2 large eggs
1 cup of rice bran or other vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 cup of COYO coconut milk Yoghurt alternative
2 cups of self raising flour (sieved)
1 820 gm can of halved apricots in fruit juice (well drained)


Put all ingredients (except the apricots) in a large bowl
Beat with a hand held electric beater for about a minute until all the ingredients are well mixed
Scrape into a 25 cm lightly greased silicone cake mould or baking paper lined spring form cake tin.
Bake at 190 degrees for 20 minutes.
Have drained apricots ready and quickly arrange on top of the cake.
Put back in 180 degree oven for about 25 minutes until cake is done.

To find out more about this new product I found this review really useful.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Hamburger Soup

Hamburger Soup

Hamburger soup, it could only come from America! I discovered it when in Alaska recently and I was browsing through a little community cookbook on the shelves of an op shop. The recipe ( which I've adapted ) serves four but it can easily be multiplied for a crowd.

It's a nourishing homely soup which will warm you up on a cold winter’s day. You can prepare it well beforehand as it tastes even better the next day. Kids love it as much as the adults.

Mince can vary a lot in its fat content, depending on where you buy it. Use prime mince and make sure to drain the fat off after browning to keep this a healthy recipe.

You can be creative with the vegetables, use what you have on hand.


250 gm of mince
1/2 onion (peeled and chopped finely)
1 clove of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
1 potato (peeled and diced)
1 stalk of celery (sliced)
1 carrot (peeled and sliced)
A handful of green beans ( optional)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of dried oregano.
1 400 gm can of chopped tomatoes in juice
2 cups of beef stock
1 290 gm can of Wattie’s special creamy tomato soup.


Fry the mince, onion and garlic until the mince is browned.
Drain the mince well to remove as much fat as possible (I do this on several layers of paper towels)
Put in a saucepan with all the other ingredients except the creamy tomato soup
Simmer until the vegetables are done
Add the creamy tomato soup and bring just to the boil again.
Serve with hot garlic bread or warmed rolls.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Matariki : Land Sea and Sky at the Lake House Arts Centre

Last night was the opening of the Matariki exhibition at the Lake House Arts Centre. It was a really special community event with old and young coming together to  celebrate the Maori New Year and the creation of some lovely artworks.  

Matariki is the name of the Pleiades star cluster and is seen as the beginning of the Maori New Year. Maori were practiced observers of the night sky, using the stars to navigate the oceans – the rise of Matariki signified a time of remembrance, fertility and celebration of the harvest.

The exhibition will be on from July 2-July 27 2014
Lake House Arts Centre
37 Fred Thomas Drive,
Barry’s Point Reserve,