All posts filed under: Blog


Countown Challenge – Money or the Bag

Recently I teamed up with Countdown to do a fun challenge called “money or the bag.” Basically, a bag of ingredients arrived on my doorstep along with a countdown voucher and I could either choose to make something with the bag contents or use the voucher to choose my own ingredients to whip up a new recipe. The bag contents contained some amazing Global Cuisine products to make a butter chicken. As much as I absolutely love butter chicken I thought I would take the voucher down to my local Countdown supermarket so I could create my own recipe for you guys. Before we get into the recipe I made I thought I would share a few awesome things that Countdown does to help grocery shopping easier and less expensive. Everyday New Zealanders are often busy trying to manage jobs whilst also juggling the responsibilities of feeding their families and budgeting. Firstly one of my absolute favourite things is they have a basket of fruit as you walk in for the kiddies to help themselves to. …


My Online Shopping Delivery Tips

Have you ever really needed a parcel delivered and come home after work to find you missed the delivery and there’s a Card to Call on your doorstep? It is one of my absolute pet hates, so when I saw NZ Post had come up with some new delivery options for parcels or courier packages, I had to investigate. Izzy and I recently celebrated our 12-year anniversary – we had our first date on March 18th at Horse of the Year in Hawkes Bay in 2005.  It involved lots of dancing and our first kiss! Anyway, Izzy wanted to organize a date night to celebrate, so told me we were going to a fancy restaurant in Christchurch that I had never been to. Of course my head went into a spin about what on earth I was going to wear. My wardrobe at the moment, after just having my baby, is pretty much trackies and active wear so I had to go online to find something half decent. As for Izzy I just wanted to …


Kai for Kids

Our new recipe book ‘Kai for Kids’ not only helps fill your kids’ bellies with nourishing yummys, but supports @curekids at the same time. Buy your eBook here now to donate $3 to Cure Kids. IMPORTANT. Please download your new eBook immediately or your link will expire.

1200 x 800 fetaured images - Book Banana Bread

Caramelised Banana Bread

This tasty loaf is lined with sliced bananas to give it that extra intense flavour and a rustic appearance. Leave them out if you want a more traditional bread. Preparation time: 10 minutes • Cooking time: 50 minutes • Makes 1 large loaf 2 firm bananas Dusting of ground cinnamon 2 ripe bananas 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 150g butter (at room temperature) 1 cup firmly packed soft brown sugar 2 free-range eggs 1½ cups plain flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ⅓ cup chopped walnuts Method: Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 23 x 12cm loaf tin with baking paper. Slice the firm bananas into very thin slices lengthways. Carefully press the slices into the base and along the sides of the tin until the tin is completely covered. Dust with a little cinnamon and leave in the fridge to cool. Mash the ripe bananas in a bowl and mix with the vanilla essence. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute until softened. Slowly add …

1200 x 800 fetaured images - Book Pineapple lump slice

Pineapple Lump, Coconut & Macadamia Slice

I made this recipe up especially for Izzy, as his favourite lollies are pineapple lumps. I gave it a few trial runs using different ingredients, but this particular version was definitely the best. I once sent a batch off to the All Black boys in camp and it got demolished. Preparation time: 10 minutes • Setting Time: 2 hours • Serves 10+ 250g packet malt biscuits 1 cup macadamia nuts 1 cup shredded coconut 70g Pineapple Lumps 120g butter ½ cup sugar ½ cup cocoa powder 2 free-range eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla essence Method: Place malt biscuits in a kitchen whizz and blend until almost smooth. (Don’t worry if there are still some bigger pieces, as this will add a nice texture.) Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Place macadamia nuts in kitchen whizz and blend until broken up, then add to biscuit crumbs. Add three-quarters of the shredded coconut, saving the rest for sprinkling on top. Cut pineapple lumps into small pieces and add to the mixture. In a pot, melt butter over a low heat and add …

1200 x 800 fetaured images - Book Banana Muffins

Banana & Chocolate Drop Muffins

These are Izzy’s all-time favourite muffins. Sometimes he even heats a couple up in the microwave and adds cream for a yummy pudding. You can use chocolate chips, but I like to use chocolate drops as they hold their shape and don’t melt, giving you that extra burst of chocolaty goodness. Preparation time: 10 minutes • Cooking time: 15 minutes • Makes 12 2½ cups self-raising flour 1 cup caster sugar ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup dark chocolate baking drops (or chocolate chips) 50g butter 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten ¾ cup milk 1 tablespoon vanilla essence 3 large bananas, mashed Method: Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 12-hole muffin tray with butter or oil. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt and chocolate drops. Melt the butter in a pot or microwave. Add the egg, milk and vanilla essence and stir. Make a hole in the dry ingredients and slowly pour in wet mixture. Mix together but not completely, as this will make the mixture too runny. Add mashed banana and fold together. …

1200 x 800 fetaured images - Book Afghans


These crunchy chocolate treats are Victor’s favourites! Often requested for afternoon tea, the rich icing makes them especially decadent. Preparation time: 10 minutes • Cooking time: 15–18 minutes • Makes 12 large cookies 350g room-temperature butter, cubed 1 cup caster sugar ½ cup cocoa 2½ cups plain flour 3 cups cornflakes ¼ cup chopped walnuts Chocolate ganache 1 cup cream 400g dark chocolate melts ¼ cup whole walnuts Method: Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Whip the butter in a mixer for 30 seconds until smooth, scraping down the sides. Gradually add the sugar until the mixture has doubled in size and is a light creamy yellow colour. (If the butter is too soft and the mixture is liquid, start again. It will cause the cookies to spread and be crispy.) Sift the cocoa and flour, add to the butter mixture along with the cornflakes and chopped walnuts and mix briefly to combine. Using a spoon, or your hands, press the mixture into round discs and place on the lined baking …

1200 x 800 fetaured images - Book Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding with Berries & Pistachio Nuts

My dad always cooked us rice pudding when we were growing up. He did a microwave version, but this recipe is made in a rice cooker. (Rice cookers make life so much easier!) This is a great pudding with very simple ingredients. It’s one of those ‘oh no I have last-minute guests coming over and don’t know what to make’ kinds of pudding, as most of the ingredients should be in your pantry already. Preparation Time: 5 minutes • Cooking Time: 25 minutes • Serves 4 1 cup rice 2½ cups water 400ml can coconut cream 1 cup cream ½ cup white sugar 2 bananas, sliced ½ cup raspberries ½ cup blueberries ¼ cup pistachio nuts, chopped Place the rice and water in a rice cooker and cook for a full cycle. (It usually takes about 15 minutes until the rice is completely cooked.) Add the coconut cream, ½ cup of cream and sugar and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring often to stop the rice sticking to the bottom of the rice cooker. (After 10 minutes the pudding …

1200 x 800 fetaured images - Book Mini Cheesecakes

Mini White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecakes

Baked in the New York style, these little beauties are great for a small after-dinner treat. The raspberry coulis cuts nicely through the sweetness, while the Krispie biscuit base adds a yummy coconut flavour. Preparation time: 20 minutes • Cooking time: 15–20 minutes • Makes 12 mini cheesecakes Base ¾ of a 250g packet of Krispie biscuits 100g butter, melted Filling 120g white chocolate, chopped 375g traditional cream cheese, at room temperature ⅓ cup white sugar 1 tablespoon cornflour, sifted 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 2 free-range eggs, at room temperature 1 cup raspberries Coulis ½ cup caster sugar 3 tablespoons water 1½ cups raspberries 1 teaspoon framboise or rose petal syrup (optional) Zest of 1 lemon Method: Preheat the oven to 190°C and place paper liners in a 12-hole mini muffin or muffin tray (or two 6-hole tins). Put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz until finely crumbed. Transfer biscuit crumbs to a bowl, add the butter and massage in with your fingers. Divide the biscuit mix evenly between the 12 holes of the muffin tray. …