Time for some comfort food.......

This week I have another recipe from fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy (www.themodernmess.com).

This Smokey Braised Beef is a fantastic winter dish, and Jen originally made it to use up excess turnips and pumpkin. It does take a bit of time in the oven, but makes a lot and freezes well. Its also good cooked in a slow cooker. (see Note below). Could be good for a weekend dinner when you have extra time for cooking, and just reheat any leftovers during the week for a quick meal.

The Cornbread is a bit of fun, and you can mix up the flavours to your taste. Leftovers are delicious toasted and topped with butter!

Enjoy!

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Calling all Easter Bunnies.......

With Easter just around the corner, it’s time to start up the Hot Cross Bun production line again. I always think home baked Hot Cross Buns taste so much better than store bought, and you can mix up the flavours a bit with different combinations. One of my favourites is Apple Cinnamon, made with tart Granny Smith apples rather than the more traditional dried fruit. Excellent for a mid morning snack or anytime really.

Time to pop on the pinny and get baking.

Enjoy! 

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Autumn Baking.......

The weather has definitely changed over the last few weeks, and the temperature dropped considerably with Autumn setting in. My pear trees are coming to the end of this years crop, so as per usual we have ended up with a pear overload. This means pears in everything, from desserts, baking, chutneys, to even tossing a few in salads and roasting with meat dishes. Pretty versatile fruit when you think about it.

So here’s one of my favourite pear based cakes with lots of nuts, and a topping of Mascarpone cream. Great with a cup of tea or even as a dessert.

Enjoy! 

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DAY 2 - Christmas Countdown - Christmas Star Bread

Day 2 of my christmas countdown - and we only have two days till the big day. Hope you’ve done all your Christmas shopping, and are sprinting through your “To Do” list. Todays recipe for Christmas Star Bread is perfect for that Christmas morning snack, while your opening presents and wrangling the turkey into submission. And it can even be prepared the night before and popped in the oven first thing Christmas morning.

Enjoy!

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DAY 3 - Christmas Countdown - Chocolate Rose Truffles

For those chocoholics out there we have simple chocolate truffle recipe on Day 3 of my christmas countdown. This recipe is really easy and you can make the truffles any flavour you like. Just exchange the rose water for a liqueur such as Amaretto, Brandy, Cointreau or what ever takes your fancy. Then you can change the rose petals for a suitable topping, for example candied orange to go with Cointreau.

Enjoy! 

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DAY 5 - Christmas Countdown - Christmas Mince Pies

Day 5 of my christmas countdown is really getting into the Christmas spirit with these tiny Christmas Mince Pies. I love these pies with lots of dried fruit and a touch of nutmeg. They have to be my favourite at Christmas time, and of course I’ve been doing a fair bit of quality testing this week just to make sure they taste as good as they look.

Enjoy! 

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DAY 7 - Christmas Countdown - Gingerbread Stars

Day 7 of my christmas countdown is a recipe for a christmas bauble or two in the shape of Gingerbread Stars. They look fabulous hanging on a Christmas tree (or any tree if you’re going the non traditional route), or bagged up as pressies.

And don’t be like me and forget to put the holes in each star before putting them in the oven - doh! Never mind, out with the trusty power tool, and drill the holes once the gingerbread has cooled. Don’t forget to give the drill bit a wash first though. Perfect holes every time!

Enjoy! 

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DAY 8 - Christmas Countdown - Woodland Meringues

Day 8 of my christmas countdown inspiration is a bit special with these delectable Woodland Meringues. Looking fabulous with their different coatings, you can never stop at just one!

I’ve used pistachios, dried raspberries, and gold pearl sugar for my chocolate toppings. But you can choose different toppings such as toasted & chopped hazelnuts or almonds, dried mandarins, dried cherries, edible gold leaf, chocolate hail, sprinkles, or want ever takes your fancy.

They make great gifts, bagged up in cellophane bags with christmas ribbon and hung on a Christmas tree or stuffed in Christmas stockings.

Enjoy! 

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DAY 9 - Christmas Countdown - Chocolate, Orange & Almond Biscotti

Well here we are for Day 9 of my Christmas Countdown. Today’s recipe is a Chocolate, Orange & Almond Biscotti, just the treat to have with a coffee or anytime snack.

Might pay to do a bit of dunking first as these biscotti are super crunchy, and I don’t want to be responsible for broken teeth at this time of year.

Enjoy! 

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DAY 10 - Christmas Countdown - Cranberry, Almond & Pistachio Nougat

For all those people out there in blog land who are keen on doing some Christmas baking, I’m here to help. I’ve decide to put together a countdown of a few of my favourite recipes in the run up to Christmas. So starting today at Day 10 we have a Cranberry, Almond & Pistachio Nougat. Great for gifts or just having on hand for those unexpected visitors.

This recipe brings back lots of memories of Christmas as a child, when Mum & Dad would give us Callard & Bowser Nougat for Christmas. It became a bit of a tradition in our family and we only received it at Christmas time, as it was meant to be a very special treat. Even now after all these years I can still remember the smell and taste of the Nougat with it’s hint of rose water, crunchy nuts, and luscious cherries.

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Getting in the mood for Christmas...?

Apologies to everyone out there in blog land - it’s been an absolute eon between posts. Been a bit busy on the work front with back to back projects, and have only just come up for air in the last week or so.

I also wanted to introduce you to fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy from the Modern Mess (www.themodernmess.com). We’ve decided to team up on a few projects and this is the first of our endeavours.

To get everyone in the mood for Christmas, Jen has cooked up a yum Christmas Mince Slice. Yes I know it’s still November, but Christmas is officially one month away today!

This is a version of Jen’s grandmother’s recipe. It’s subtly Christmasy and loved by all who get to sample it, plus great to have in the pantry for those Christmas visitors.

Enjoy! 

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Easter Treats.....

Whilst thinking about Easter recently and trying to avoid the inevitable chocolate coma, I saw this recipe in Dish Magazine for an amalgamation of hot cross buns and donuts! What a combination - it certainly got my attention.  Whats not to love about a donut flavoured like a hot cross bun!  

Have to say they were delicious, and we did a very thorough taste test this morning with coffee. Meanwhile the younger generation were busy doing a grid search of the garden trying to hunt down the elusive easter eggs. Happy Easter everyone!

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Calling all Lovebirds.....

For all those lovebirds out there in blog land, Valentines Day is just around the corner so time to spoil that partner, husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, special friend etc! How about starting the day right with breakfast in bed? A little waffle and rhubarb berry magic could be a perfect Valentines treat. 

Bon appetit!

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A Little Celebration.....

Every Christmas holidays I try to do a major project either in the studio or with my promotional material. So this year it was time for a website and blog redesign and update. Well to be honest it was long overdue for update, and was getting a bit embarrassing how old some of the images were.  So I toiled away over Christmas thinking I could knock the project off in a week, which then became 2 weeks, then 3, and finally 4 weeks before the new website & blog were launched. Don't ask what the problems were, but needless to say there was lots of going round in circles and wheel spinning happening. Check out the redesign at www.motif.co.nz.

To celebrate the launch (finally!) I've baked this yum Blood Plum & Blueberry cake with plums & blueberries from my garden. Cooking dishes from produce you've grown in your garden, makes it just that bit more extra special don't you think.

Enjoy!

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Wet weather Easter baking

Well Easter is here and so is a cyclone or two. Currently Cyclone Cook is battering my house with torrential rain and high winds - so I'm guessing gardening is out today.

I saw this recipe online a few weeks ago and thought it would make a yum treat over Easter. Yes you will probably go into a chocolate coma with the filling, but hey Easter only comes once a year so a little over indulgence is allowed. Hope you enjoy it!

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Easter treat for adults.....

Yeah I know there a thousands of posts already in blog land this weekend with hot cross bun recipes - so in case of FOMO I'm throwing in my own version of an "adult only" hot cross bun!

While the kids are on their eater egg hunt getting hyper on all that sugar, the adults can be chowing down on some of their own hot cross bun action with their coffees/teas. 

If you feel the need to share these with younger persons, you can swap the rum for water to remove the alcohol. These are best eaten warm from the oven and don't keep more than a day. 

Happy Easter everyone!

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