Eating In Featured Sweet

Tan Slice – Recipe

August 26, 2020

I honestly thought ‘Tan Slice’ was right up there in the list of Kiwi baking classics alongside the likes of Anzac biscuits, lolly cake, Louise slice and ginger crunch. Turns out, I may have elaborated its classic-tier-status in my own head because a quick poll amongst my New Zealand friends revealed a mixed bags of results – from those with vague memory of it at best, to the worst case scenario of no recollection at all. I think the true way of solving this will be to see whether it features in the Edmond’s Cookery Book because that really is the authority on all things Kiwi baking. Friends who have a copy handy – do you mind checking for me?

In the meantime, I am undeterred and will continue to proclaim the Tan Slice as a classic… because either way, this is too delicious not to share. Yes, the name is terrible and doesn’t exactly make your mouth-water… but sometimes beige food is best! Once you get past that, you’ll soon realise that the humble Tan Slice actually has a lot going for it. A gooey caramel sandwiched between a buttery base and topping, with a hint of bitter dark chocolate – basically all butter and sugar – what’s not to love? It’s also ridiculous easy to make and keeps very well in the fridge for those much needed mid-afternoon pick-me-ups! 


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Eating In Featured Sweet

My Favourite Double Chocolate Cookies – Recipe

July 8, 2020

When I first published this cookie recipe, we were packing up our life in Wellington and getting ready to go on our first adventure – a couple of months travelling through parts of Canada, America, Cuba and Mexico, before landing in London. That was about 6.5 years ago. Wow. So much has happened since then… we settled into London life, we took a break and went off travelling again, and now we’re back in the big smoke, albeit under very different circumstances.

Lots of things might have changed over the past few years, but my sweet tooth has remained constant. As does my love for this cookie recipe. It’s dead easy and still delicious so I thought it was about time I gave this post a spruce up and introduced people to it again… after all, most of us are still staying home and baking more than ever before!

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Eating In Featured Savoury

Cavatelli Pasta – A Recipe

May 11, 2020

So… last year you did that spring clean in your kitchen and finally ditched the pasta machine that’s been gathering dust in the back of the cupboard. Probably patted yourself on the back then for decluttering… but this year, it’s a different story. You now realise that it’s the missing piece on your road to winning lockdown bingo. The insta-famous banana bread and choc-chip cookies have been made, the sourdough starter is alive, and you’ve participated in more Zoom quizzes than you ever thought possible… but how to tick off ‘make you own pasta’ without that sodding machine?! You will no doubt have a rolling bin or empty wine bottle which will absolutely do the job but requires a bit of hard graft and extra time… so that’s definitely an option, but I’ve got an even better one for you.

Forget about the thinly rolled sheets to be cut into fettuccine or folded in ravioli or tortellini. Stick with something altogether less faff but equally satisfying. Friends, I am going to suggest you make cavatelli. This small rustic shell-like pasta shape is made from semolina flour which is another bonus if you find yourself rationing wheat flour. I managed to easily source it in the international foods section of my Sainsbury’s or you can order it online, doesn’t appear to be in short supply. And the final reason why I think cavatelli (or are they actually called gnochetti… no amount of googling has given me a definitive answer) is worth your time, is that it actually doesn’t take that much time – from flour to finish in around an hour!


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Eating In Featured Savoury

Easy Kimchi – A Recipe

April 3, 2020

After my first attempt at making kimchi, there very almost wasn’t a second attempt. Not because the end result wasn’t tasty, or because it was particularly hard to make… it was the smell. I thought I was adequately prepared for that funky fermentation whiff when I opened it for the first time, but I was not. And neither was a certain someone… from memory, he actually left the flat, for no other reason. So as you can imagine, once that batch was finished, it took me a while longer to work up the courage and olfactory fortitude to try again…

The second, third, fourth… I’ve lost count now… times that I’ve made kimchi since then, it’s turned out a lot less messy both in the mixing and the smell factor. Which is an absolute relief because we love the stuff and have taken to eating it any which way we can. The distinct sourness and gentle blend of sweetness and spice makes it a perfect accompaniment for more than you might realise. Of course it’s an absolute necessity in Korean dishes such as kimchi-jjigae (kimchi stew which you can add pork and/or tofu to), kimchi buchimgae (pancakes), or as a side to a bibimbap. But… it’s also absolutely delightful in a crispy chicken burger or a grilled cheese toastie. That, my friends, is why you need to start making your own with this easy kimchi recipe…


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Eating Abroad Europe Sweden

Gothenburg, Sweden – A Food Tour

February 10, 2020

The original plan was to go to Stockholm, but that would have involved handing over our hard-earned dosh to Ryanair, something we had pledged never to do again… so that plan was never going to take off. Thankfully, with the help of Google and our trusty 36 Hours in Europe book, it didn’t take long to conjure up an alternative: Gothenburg. Sweden’s second city caught our attention because it was often lumbered with the tagline of being a little rough around the edges but undergoing a resurgence. We like the sound of places like this, they are usually a little more under the radar and less chaotic than the main tourist haunts.

After spending a long weekend in Gothenburg, I would whole-heartedly recommend it as city break destination for those who are content with strolling the pretty streets, browsing through the trendy shops, and wandering down the halls of their excellent museums. We did all that, but mainly so we could walk off all the food we were devouring. The city is covered by both the Michelin Guide and its specifically Nordic counterpart, the White Guide, so there is a lot of great food to be had at all times of the day. We dabbled in the Swedish ‘fika’ culture  with stops for tea and buns, while also enjoying a mix of traditional and modern Swedish cuisine – here are a few ideas for you if you ever find yourself in Gothenburg…

Outside of the Fiskekoka in Gothenburg

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Featured Food Talk

Zero-Waste Living – Starting Simple, Starting Somewhere

January 27, 2020
Zero-waste-living- feature

I’m not great at many chores around the flat (a certain someone can confirm that) but the one thing that really brings me joy is unpacking the groceries. It’s a bit pathetic to admit but I like the comfort of having well stocked shelves, and the satisfaction of having a place for everything and everything in its place. But today it was a joyless task because I was riddled with guilt. It seemed like every second item I pulled out of our shopping bags contained some form of plastic in its packaging. I stared at it and felt like I had failed. Failed to uphold my pledge to reduce our plastic consumption, failed to make any difference at all. It’s times like this that I wonder what is the point of going out of my way to change my habits when almost every part of consumer life is literally wrapped in plastic.

This zero-waste living thing is hard. Really hard. It’s obviously possible, as evidenced by a few useful and trustworthy proponents I’ve heard of, but I think the aim of complete zero-waste zen is a bit impractical for our lifestyle right now. I’ve decided to be more pragmatic, do what I can, and not beat myself up for what I can’t. In the words of Anne-Marie Bonneau aka @zerowastechef, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” So with that sentiment in mind, I thought I would share some of the changes we have been making or attempting in order to reduce our waste and plastic consumption…

Freshly baked sourdough loaf in dutch oven

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Asia/Pacific Eating Abroad Japan

Ten Things I Learnt From Ten Weeks Travelling Through Japan

May 21, 2019

The look on most people’s faces when we tell them that we spent ten weeks, not days, travelling through Japan is priceless. It’s part disbelief, part surprise, part curiosity. We get asked a lot if it cost us a fortune, if it was hard to navigate for that long, and finally… just why?! It’s a long time to be spending in one country for a ‘holiday’, I get that, but it really was my dream destination. I’ve wanted to visit Japan ever since I missed out of a school trip when I was twelve; it only took close to twenty years but when we finally arrived in the Land of the Rising Sun, my heart was bursting with excitement and apprehension. Would it live up to the lofty expectations I have held for it over the years? Friends, it did. We can both, hand on heart, without a single ounce of hesitation, say that Japan was our favourite of all the countries we visited during our stint away.

It’s so hard to succinctly explain the lure of Japan; it is a country of contrasts and contradictions. It is fabled for being overbearingly ordered and controlled, yet you will find pockets of disarray which challenge the norm. It is high tech and cutting edge, but painfully traditionally in so many aspects. The cities are big, bold and bright, while the countryside is overwhelmingly green and peaceful. In ten weeks we were able to explore the country at a slower pace than most, taking in all the beauty and quirks of this country, but even then, there’s still so much more we want to experience and are already plotting a return visit… hopefully I don’t have to wait so long next time. Here are a couple of lessons (trivial and otherwise) I learnt from those ten weeks in this incredible country…

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