Don’t Tell Charles

Don't Tell Charles

I found out about Don’t Tell Charles thanks to a bicycle.

Really, a bicycle.

Normal signage is so pervasive that it’s easy to ignore. But Don’t Tell Charles (DTC) advertised themselves on a bicycle propped on a lamp post – and it totally worked!

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Olive oil poached salmon

Olive oil poached salmon

Disclosure: Sponsored by Olive Oils from Spain.

Guess how many varieties of olives there are in Spain?

50? 100? 200? Keep going.

There are actually more than 260 varieties, and this is only one of the reasons Spain is the WorldLeader in Olive Oil: producing, commercialising, and exporting this wide variety. From all those olives, different Olive Oils can be produced, resulting in a huge range of Olive Oils with different aromas, flavours and uses.

I took the opportunity recently to use Olive Oils from Spain in a dish where a high quality and properly stored Olive Oil is incredibly important as the cooking medium – Olive Oil poached salmon.

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Black Forest Chiffon Cake *

Black Forest Chiffon

Hello!

Look at my pretty cake – isn’t it beautiful?

This was the cake I baked for Christmas lunch: a black forest chiffon cake (black forest in the loosest sense of the word). The cake itself was a chocolate chiffon (but of course), cut into two layers, and then filled with whipped cream and jarred cherries. The outside was coated with more whipped cream.

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Ascot Food Store

Ascot Food Store

In October, Alastair and I will have been living in our place for ten years.

Ten years!

When we first moved in, the cafe scene around this area wasn’t particularly amazing (though to be fair, I can barely remember what I did before Xmas, so maybe it’s just my memory playing tricks on me) however that’s changed in the past few years with some great cafes opening up.

Despite this, we seem to keep going back to the same places rather than seeking out new ones. I do try and push us out of our rut every now and again, and just before Xmas this meant we ended up having breakfast at Ascot Food Store.

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Jerry’s Burgers ‘n’ Shakes

Burgers and fries

It’s not just me who’s pretty much stopped going to fine dining, right? Food trends have become much more casual over the past couple of years, haven’t they?

Or am I just being lazy? Because I seem to be frequenting much more casual places – for example, burger eateries – than before.

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Fairy vomit chiffon cake

Happy birthday sprinkles cake

Well hello. Happy 2015!

That was a bit of an unintended hiatus. December is always a very full month – for everyone, I’m sure – along with Christmas and New Years, it’s also my birthday month.

This year some friends came around for birthday waffles, and naturally there had to be cake. And since this is me, it had to be some form of chiffon cake. I’d seen this sprinkles cake on Serious Eats the previous month and it stuck in my mind, because what says HAPPY BIRTHDAY more than hundreds of coloured sprinkles?

Nothing, I tell you. Nothing.

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The Social Kitchen + a giveaway

The Social Kitchen

Disclosure: I attended courtesy of The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen & Q Strategies

The other week I headed down to Queen Victoria Market – and not to shop, as most people do.

Instead, I was there for a cooking class at The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen, a new venture that’s a dedicated, hands on cooking school located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Queen Victoria Market.

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Alaska: Juneau

Mendenhall Glacier

One of the shore stops on the Alaskan cruise was Juneau, Alaska’s state capital. Even though it’s the capital, there’s no direct road access to the rest of Alaska or the US, and primary access is by air and sea.

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Alaska: the Inside Passage

Tracey Arm

In late August, Alastair and I went on holiday. Huzzah.

Along with the parentals, plus Bro and gf, we flew to Vancouver and hopped on a cruise ship to Alaska. Yes, family holiday ahoy.

It was a 7 day cruise to the inside passage. If you’ve ever looked at a map of that part of the world, you’ll see that there is a thin segment of land on Canada’s far west that belongs to Alaska. That’s the part that we visited.

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