Monday, July 25, 2011

A cold white day in Christchurch

Last weekend I was in the US and was experiencing temperatures 30C +. This weekend I am in NZ and have been experiencing temperatures of 0C -. I think when its cold outside some simple food defiantly serves as comfort food.

Heather, my flatmate and I decided our comfort food was marshmallows, hot chocolate and afghans. The following depicts our cold Sunday evening, plus I threw in some pictures of my snowman which I made (as Uni was closed for the day).

10.30pm Heather roasting Marshmallows in our fire, while watch The Good Wife (a perfect chilly Sunday night in)

Our letterbox, a little snowed under

11.45pm Sunday night - Heather came and got me out of bed to see the pretty powder outside

The street covered in snow (was much thicker the next morning when we woke up).

After a lazy day inside in front of the fire, I decided to clear off the deck and make a snowman.

Note: His mouth = a wedge of onion, his eyes = rasins and his nose = a garlic clove

Baking: Brioche


After coming back from the States I craved some homemade bread. The bread in the US seemed sweet no matter if it was a white dinner roll or burger bun. Ironically enough this brioche recipe has very little sugar, despite being what I think of as a dessert bread. To be honest I quite enjoyed the less sweet verison.

This is my favourite bread to make french toast from, so that is excatly what I did with mine!

2 Heaped Teaspoons Sugar
2 Teaspoons Dried Activated Yeast
1/4 Cup Water, Warm
4 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Milk, Warm
3 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
150g Butter, Softened
1 Egg Yolk, Beaten

1. Place sugar, yeast and water in a large bowl and leave for five to ten minutes.

2. Add milk, eggs and salt to water mixture, then half mix in flour.

3. Add butter and mix until just combined.

4. Turn out onto floured surface and  kneed until fully butter combined into mixture.

5. Place in a oiled (I use baking spray) glass/cermanic bowl and leave in a warm place for at least an hour.

6. Lightly knock down the dough and place in a oiled loaf tin to bake (or you can divide recipe by 12 and place into individual brioche moulds).

7. Allow to rise again, for at least 30 minutes in a warm place.

8. Brush the top with egg yolk.

9. Bake in a 180C oven for approximately 30 minutes, until just firm and a crust has formed (if making individual brioche bake for approximately 15 minutes).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mains: Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough

When I was in Tampa, Florida. Carter's Mum, Sylvia, bought the largest pizza I think I have ever seen home for a late night dinner (after an exhaustive day of shopping (I had lots of fun, however I am not sure Carter felt quite the same way)).

After getting home I decided I wanted to replicate it (however at a smaller scale, as the pizza she brought home wouldn't even fit in our oven!). I found this recipe for pizza dough in Julie Le Clerc's Simple Cafe Food. Usually I would use a bread maker however at the flat we don't have that luxury. It was a fabulous recipe, however I would recommed rolling it out thin, so you can fold it while eating it (like we did in Tampa). Also don't add to much topping as this detracts from the magic of a pizza.

The photo shows the dough just before I rolled it out thinner.

1 1/2 Cup Water, Warm
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Tablespoons Active Yeast
4 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1. Place water, sugar and yeast in a bowl and place in a warm place for five to ten minutes.

2. Mix flour, salt and olive oil into water mixture, then turn out onto a floured surface.

3. Knead dough for approximately five minutes until a frim dough is established.

4. Place dough in an oiled (I use baking spray) glass/ceramic bowl and leave in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.

5. Knead/roll out into pizza bases and place your choice of toppings on top.

6. Bake at 200C for approximately 20 minutes until the crust is golden.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Capitol, Wellington

Yesterday Lucinda and I enjoyed an early Sunday brunch at 9.30am at Capitol (this is when Capitol opens on a Sunday). We were their first customers!

I had a delish french toast with salmon, cream fraish and capers and Lucinda baked eggs with white beans and chorizo. We both finished with a second strong coffee and a Florentine.

A perfect early Sunday morning!

I have been to Capitol often for brunch and dinner. I believe that it defiantly boosts the best brunch and perhaps the best casual dinner in Wellington.

The photo is not my friend and won't post the correct way up!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Mains: Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco

I will be honest, I had never heard of this until Carter requested it (it is a famous Italian dish).

I am not a huge fan of slabs of meat however I have made this various times for Carter and other guests (including my brother, mother and father). I will say the saucy vegetable mix which the meat is cooked in is delish (and even though I am not a meat fan it was pretty good too). My favourite part is the risotto, however Carter will argue that the risotto does not even compete with the meaty goodness. Have a try and you decide!


Chop Roughly
3 Medium Onion
½ Green Pepper
½ Red Pepper
3 Carrots, Peeled
3 Stalks Celery
6 Cloves Garlic

50g  Butter
1/3 Cup White Wine 
1/3 Cup Brandy
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 Cans of Crushed Italian Tomatoes
1 Sprig Rosemary
4 Sprigs Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 Teaspoon Mixed Herbs
2 Cups Chicken Stock

2 Cloves Garlic
Good Squeeze Lemon
Handful Parsley

1. Preheat oven to 160C.

2. Place chopped vegetables into a fry pan with the butter and sautee.
3. Add rest of ingredients minus the meat to pan and heat until warm.
4. Place meat in a casserole dish with a lid and pour liquid and vegetables over the top.

5. Cook in the oven for about 2.5 - 3 hours until the meat is almost falling off the bone

6. Chop parsley up very finely with garlic then combine with lemon juice.

7. Serve with a white wine and fennel risotto and a small serve of parsley mix on top