Friday, October 28, 2011

a few of my favourite things... {october 2011}

If you follow on facebook or twitter you will have already heard that as of last week I am computer-less (sigh), yes a bloggers worst nightmare! I'm not 100% sure our computer is fixable at this stage and with Si still off work (his leg is mending well, just slowly) popping out to buy a new one just ain't an option. So... please bear with me as I randomly check in via the local library computers and write posts while visiting my mother-in-law. Lucky I have a couple of recipes already made and photographed so I should be able to keep up to date. Until then though here's a few things that have caught my eye over this past month... 
Saturday, October 22, 2011

gluten-free mulberry, orange + almond tarts recipe

Everywhere you look around our neighbourhood at the moment you see laden mulberry bushes, branches hanging low with the weigh of their load and the ground littered with berries no one has picked. Coming from New Zealand where I've never even seen a mulberry bush it's quite a sight, and somewhat heartbreaking at the same time. I hate seeing food go to waste. 

It's true the mulberry doesn't have the sweetness of a strawberry, nor the tartness of a raspberry. The flavour is no where near as intense as a ripe blackberry, but it still holds it's own as far as delicious berries goes and I don't get why it's not eaten more often? They grow on bushes that I'd actually be more inclined to call a tree. Some are relatively small, around 3 metres tall, while other monster trees tower at around 8 metres high. The long berries hang down in clumps and a little stalk remains on the berry as you pull it free from the branch. 

We've been keeping an eye out for trees we might be able to pick from, Si's even knocked on a few doors to ask, but no ones been home. The other day he took Kye for a walk to our local park and went on a little bit of a foraging mission, coming home with huge berry grins and purple stained shoes. They had found the perfect tree only a few streets from our house, a monster one overhanging a fence with berries dropping everywhere just going to waste. So we made plans to return that afternoon after the kids had had a nap. This tree is amazing, from the outside it seems to only have a light sprinkling of berries, but as you scramble under the canopy and look up it becomes apparent just how many berries it holds!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

tadka dahl recipe

Recently I picked up Gordon Ramsay's~Great Escape, at a book sale in town. Now, I'm not usually one to be sucked into the whole 'celebrity chef thing', and with this book nothing has changed. I buy a book for its content over the name of the author any day. When I picked this book up and started flicking through it I was plesantly surprised at what I found inside. Great recipes and gorgeous photography of produce, finished dishes, Gordon cooking and daily Indian life. Sold.

The one thing that I will always say about Gordon Ramsay first and foremost is, he is an amazingly talented chefRidiculous angry-man behavior on television aside cannot change the fact that the guy is a pure genius in the kitchen. Full stop. 
Thursday, October 13, 2011

homemade pickled ginger recipe

pickled ginger

We love sushi in this house. Actually some would say we live off the stuff! When the kids were little living back home in Raglan and being gluten-free the only place we could really ever take them ‘out’ for lunch was to the local sushi shop. They kinda had no choice in the matter; they were just going to have to grow up loving the stuff as much as I do! Lucky they never really put up a fight. From a very young age both the kids could polish off a tofu musubi in two seconds flat and now that they are just that much bigger, in size and in appetites, I’ve got into regularly making sushi for dinner so they can pig out on it without breaking the bank! Ada will happily eat a whole roll (yes, 10 pieces) and Kye eats his fair share too.

Loving sushi really is a blessing in disguise. Not only is it healthy but it’s also a great snack to pick up when out and about and the kids need food, now. There aren’t that many other gluten-free, vegetarian options other than hot chips that you can find so readily available. Whether we are at the markets, in a mall or down at the beach, a sushi shop is always near-by. How cool is that?! Nothing like when I was little, I was in high school when I tried sushi for the first time. Crazy how much times have changed.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

strawberry, black pepper & thyme cordial recipe

Every time we shop at the Asian grocery store the kids always nag at me for a drink. There’s something about the bright packaging and weird shaped cartons that seems to make them want it more than the standard orange juice seen elsewhere. Occasionally, I mean very occasionally I give in and buy them one with no colourings and the least amount of additives and nasties. But, as a lot of what's printed on the label is unreadable unless you are Korean, Chinese or Thai, its pretty hit and miss with the flavourings let alone the rest! Recently on one of those rare days I gave in, Ada was adamant that she wanted the lovely pink labeled drink with some odd looking pink fruit on the front. I had a fair idea of what it contained and told her that she may like to choose another one as she probably wouldn't like that one… she stomped her feet and swore black and blue it was the one she wanted. Okay, my darling child.

We get home and for the first few sips she pretended to be enjoying it, to save face you see. When she could take it no more she admitted that she had made the wrong choice and maybe next time 'I should listen to you mum'. No really? You think? Ha, some things kids just have to learn for themselves eh. The sour/sweet umeboshi plum drink was happily passed onto Si who did his best to finish it. An acquired taste that one.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

tofu, herb & rice noodle salad recipe

One of the things I most look forward to come spring-time is the abundance of fresh herbs in the garden. Gone are the cold winter days that keep herbs lying dormant; with all this spring freshness comes new growth and I couldn’t be any happier! Of my favourite herbs; mint and coriander (cilantro) are two of the top. I love them added to fresh rice paper rolls or roughly torn and added to salads like today’s, along with tofu and slippery rice noodles.

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