Monday, December 19, 2011

a few of our favourite things...

Becs: I know Whittakers has featured here before but they do make great quality, affordable chocolate. My current favourite is their new Berry and Biscuit (love the name!) Basically like black forest but not as sickly sweet as the Cadbury version. If you live in the South Island Whittakers is on special this week at New World for 2 for $6, I for one will be stocking up on their Dark Ghana for last-minute Christmas baking.

Libby: I tried this Paneton sweet short pastry at a Julie Buiso class in Auckland a few months ago. Yes, even the professionals use the bought stuff sometimes and why not when it's this good? It has a lovely biscuity texture and comes pre-rolled so it's very easy to use. After finding it wasn't available in anywhere in Wellington I asked Moore Wilson (several times!) if they could please find room in their freezer to stock it. I also emailed Paneton to ask if they could get Moore Wilson to stock it. And a few weeks later I heard back to from Paneton to say Moore Wilson had come round! Wellingtonians, you've got me to thank for this one!

I used some to make these delicious wee frangipane-topped fruit mince tarts... cut pastry into circles, press into the base of muffin tins (or shallow patty tins if you have them), spoon in a tablespoon of fruit mince (I used Ruth Pretty's recipe here), top with a dollop of frangipane (cream 50g butter and 50g sugar, add an egg and 50g ground almonds) and slivered almonds and bake at 180 degrees C for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We have a winner...

Thanks for all the comments on the birthday post. There were some hilarious birthday cake stories! The lucky winner of the AWW Children's Birthday Cake Book is....

If you send us an email: lovelyweedays (at) gmail (dot) com and let us know your address we'll get it in the post ASAP!

Monday, December 12, 2011

a few of our favourite things

Miriam: Whenever I go home to my parents place I have a wee chuckle as I see bottles of wine labeled with post-it-notes saying 'expensive'. This is Mum's strategy to ensure that family members with less refined tastes (i.e. Dad) select the appropriate bottle to match the occasion. For my birthday this year, my family gave me two knives, one a bread knife, and one the Scanpan knife picture above. Mum (rightly so) felt I wasn't very educated on knives, so informed me that the bread knife was in the 'expensive' category and the yellow one was not. Well, both knives have proved to be dreams to cut with. But I was astounded to hear that this yellow knife cost around $10. What a bargain! It's become my go-to all purpose knife. I wonder if the wines minus the post-it-notes are also as good?!

Becs: Now that the weather is warmer it has been goodbye to porridge and hello to more summery breakfasts. Here is todays - bircher muesli. I just soak rolled oats, linseed and chopped dates in milk overnight with a little honey and cinnamon. In the morning I add a grated apple, spoonful of yoghurt and any other toppings lurking around. Today it was accompanied with a dollop of lemon curd, some strawberries foraged from the garden pre-breakfast, and some toasted almonds and pumpkin seeds. It was so good I may just have more for lunch!

Monday, December 5, 2011

a few of our favourite things

Miriam: Mum recently introduced me to Watties tinned baby beetroot. I'd normally always go for the fresh variety, but I must say, these beetroot are pretty good and so low maintenance. I've taken to roasting them for about 10 mins (not that it's really required) and turning them into a salad with feta, mint and toasted almonds. And, if you don't let on, no one would be any the wiser that the beetroot's from a can.

Becs: Like Libby, I am a regular customer of Book Depository. I was happy to pick up a copy of Bill Granger's latest book, Bill's Everyday Asian in their recent 24 hour sale; however not having seen it in the shops I did a little online research first, as it can at times be disappointing buying books unseen. In the process of my research I stumbled across the blog A Cookbook a Month, where three friends test out and report back on recipes from a different cookbook each month. They seem to be on my wavelength when it comes to cookbooks (eg. Donna Hay = style over substance) so I took note of their high praise for BEA. It arrived the other day and looks delicious; I think it will provide a perfect source of inspiration for summer eating. So if you are making an online cookbook purchase and are keen for some real-life feedback check out their archives, in any case it makes for interesting reading.
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