Sunday, February 26, 2012

From My Kitchen - Sunday 26th February

I've been sitting at my computer for the past 4 hours, working away on my research proposal for my PhD, so I am going to make this quick! Luckily it has been a rainy afternoon, so with a purring cat on my knee and dinner bubbling away on the stove, it hasn't seemed like much of a burden at all to be working on my weekend. Next week will be much calmer in our house, as Paddy's play has finished and he is back home at night. I might even be lucky enough to get a night off cooking dinner.
Here's the menu this week:

Sunday - free-range, organic Chicken Marbella with dinosaur kale on brown rice
Monday - vegetarian quesadillas ala Paddy with navy beans, veges, salsa and homemade guacamole
Tuesday - cooking class: this week it's lamb and lentil curry with chapati
Wednesday - spaghetti with tomato, zucchini, lemon and garlic
Thursday - quinoa burgers with corn-on-the-cob and a huge green salad

- wholegrain sourdough (I'm trying to replicate an AMAZING loaf I bought at the market this weekend)
- muesli (recipe to come)

To Do
- soak beans for burritos
- soak quinoa

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One Year

It's been one year today, since our lives changed forever. A day of remembrance and a day reflection. Rhys, you are always and forever in my heart.

Kia kaha Christchurch, all my love.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

From My Kitchen - Sunday 19th February

Well it has been a week of potentially exciting opportunities... Nothing I can share yet but things look like they may be changing quite a bit around here, sooner than we thought! (No, not a baby!). I have had a fairly lazy weekend, which has matched the changeable weather - housework was done, washing folded, animals tended to, a bit more garden has been taken over by things I want in it, time has been spent with friends, and a lot of blobbing out... Pretty good for a weekend, really. Paddy is in yet another play this week, which means a week of evenings alone at home. Although, my nights are actually quite full now, as I go to the gym, yoga and cooking class on different nights of the week. By the time it's the weekend, I am usually quite happy to be home! However, flying solo means dinners will be quick and easy. Here's whats on the menu this week:

Sunday - a huge salad with mung and adzuki beans, kale, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, capsicum, apple, spring onion, sourdough croutons and a parmesan/garlic dressing.
Monday - fresh corn, capsicum and feta salad with chorizo
Tuesday - cooking class special. This week it's beef with black bean; honey chicken; and steamed fish with sour plum.
Wednesday - wholemeal flat breads with zucchini, feta and lemon topping, and a green salad.
Thursday - mushroom stroganoff with smashed new potatoes and a green salad.

To Do
- soak mung and adzuki beans
- make flatbread dough

- wholemeal sourdough
- peanut butter bliss balls

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I used to be in a rut about breakfast - I would have the same thing everyday because it was quick and easy, and I began to dread it. That is no way to start a day! If breakfast is dreaded, it doesn't set you well up for the rest of the day going well, does it. So, in line with one of my New Year's resolutions (get up earlier), which is going wonderfully, may I add, I have been branching out with breakfast.

Here are some of my favourites so far:
  • breakfast smoothies: blueberries or mango, banana, organic yoghurt, organic whole milk, whole rolled oats, chia and/or flaxseed and/or hemp, and sometimes honey
  • porridge: made with whole rolled oats and half milk, half water, served with banana or blueberries, organic whole milk, organic yoghurt, brown sugar and cream.
  • homemade muesli: mix whole rolled oats, chopped almonds, seeds (sunflower/pumpkin/sesame) chia and  flaxseeds with honey and olive oil and toast until brown, add chopped dried apricots and serve with organic milk and yoghurt and fruit
  • Japanese breakfast: brown rice with tinned tuna, mayonnaise, avocado and lemon. Sometimes with a cup of miso soup too
  • wholemeal or spelt sourdough toast with butter and homemade preserves, and chopped up seasonal fruit
  • green smoothy: banana, blueberries, greens and water
  • poached eggs on wholemeal or spelt sourdough with wilted greens, butter, lemon, salt and pepper
I usually have a cup of tea with breakfast too, which varies from day to day. As I have a long drive to work, I sip a hot water and lemon drink. I have also recently purchased a wide mouth drink bottle, so I plan on taking a green juice on my drive to work each morning too. I can't get enough of those greens!

Any awesome breakfast ideas I'm missing out on?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

From My Kitchen - Sunday 12th February

It's been another busy week here, with a new arrival to our family - an SPCA cat called Lola. She is possibly the most affectionate cat you will ever meet (she pretty much adopted me herself), cheeky, and soft as a cloud! Since I can't have any children for at least the next wee while due to study commitments, animals are providing a good distraction (even though it seems like EVERYONE is pregnant at the moment!).

Sunday - off to the Chinese Lantern Festival, so something yummy from a stall
Monday - tom kha gai soup with organic chicken thighs, greens, red cabbage and capsicum
Tuesday - cooking class special: chicken gulai with carrot and cucumber salad (both Malaysian)
Wednesday - penne with mashed courgettes, basil and parmesan, and kale salad with apples and blue cheese
Thursday - vegetarian bean burritos with green salad

- more bliss balls (these are amazing!)
- wholemeal sourdough

To Do
- soak beans for burritos
- make chicken stock for tom kha gai

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blackcurrant Tea

1. Pick some blackcurrants or acquire some from a lovely friend or neighbour.
2. Add them to your favourite tea cup and cover with boiling water.
3. Allow to steep for a few minutes, then relax and enjoy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

From My Kitchen - Sunday 5th February

It's a long weekend in NZ and I am LOVING having an extra day ahead of me before work starts. Last night was our house-warming, and it was so nice to see our new place filled with lots of our most special friends. I love entertaining, and I know that was the first of many, many to come! Today I have had a very lazy day, catching up with friends, and then blobbing out with my favourite TV series'. I don't usually watch TV as a habit, but I do have a few shows that I love. It's my own form of escapism, and a dreary, grey day in Christchurch is a good time to escape.

I'm doing a cooking class this term with a few friends, so every Tuesday my dinner will be something delicious and Asian-inspired from class. I'll be sure to share a few treats!

A new goal for me is to take more food to work. I usually take leftovers for lunch but never any snacks, so by lunchtime I'm starving (I have breakfast at 6.30am) and by home time I'm exhausted (not good when facing an hour long drive home). I stocked up on fruit at the farmer's market this weekend, and I plan on making some bliss balls and taking chopped veges and hummus too. This will be good, as it will also force me to step away from my work for more than just 15 minutes over lunch.

Sunday - fresh spring rolls with chicken, carrot, cucumber, capsicum, lettuce, basil and a soy chilli dipping sauce
Monday - roast baby beetroot and feta salad with lentils and greens
Tuesday - cooking class special
Wednesday - garlic and thyme quinoa patties with kale salad
Thursday - spicy pork noodles with green salad

- wholemeal sourdough (I made new batch of starter for my new house!)
- bliss balls

To Do
- soak lentils
- make hummus for snacking on
- chop some veges for on-hand snacks (carrot, celery, capsicum)