Archive for December, 2011

It’s normal to take a while

One of the blogs I follow is by an Australian girl called Sarah Wilson http://www.sarahwilson.com.au. I don’t check in every day, but today I found this:

I’ve been thinking about New Year resolutions… something I don’t usually bother with… I mean, I don’t know anyone who follows through on those – do you?

But, I do have a list of stuff I’d like to do… leaping out of a perfectly good airplane is NOT on that list (!)… I have smaller ambitions… I’d like to learn to do dressmaking for instance. I always wear really simple tunics… it’s kind of  my ‘thing’… I’ve always had them made for me, but surely I can learn how?…

The one on the right is me...

… and maybe if I can do that… I can do other stuff too???

Thank you Sarah. Every time I check in, I find something that makes me think, and want to do better.


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Nigella… again! … sorry

But… this is delicious!

Nigella makes this sauce for linguine, and serves it with tarragon chicken. But, I have never liked pasta – even in the “before”. I think I can blame it on the tinned spagetti which was the only pasta available when I was a kid. Rick still eats it occasionally – the very sight of it makes me feel squeamish.

The recipe – like most things the lovely Nigella makes, is so very easy. AND it gives me a chance to use this really neat little kitchen toy I bought on my last trip to Wellington… I love kitchenware stores – almost as much as I love book stores…

Shred the zucchini into thin little strips and dry in a spotlessly clean tea-towel. Leave it to dry as long as you can (this is so it doesn’t mush up when you cook it).

In a bowl, combine 2 egg yolks, lots of lemon zest, a splash of cream, some finely grated parmesan cheese and the juice of about half a lemon. If you’ve added too much cream – put in some more cheese… if you want it more lemony… add more zest.. or juice. .. it really is that simple.

Season it to taste with freshly ground black pepper

The sauce is that almost-outrageous yellow colour, because I used eggs from free-range chickens that my Dad’s friend gives him (and Dad passes some on to us). I thought the sauce would be really good with asparagus too…

Cleaning up after taking the photo, I realised I had used my very favourite kitchen toys in making this dish…

When we were first married, Rick arrived home one night with a compete set of beautiful (and seriously expensive) knives. They are brilliant to use, there is a lovely man who goes around all the restaurants and hairdressers etc in our region, sharpening knives and scissors – he comes every few months to keep our knives good and sharp. In between times, Rick sharpens them with a steel. I love my microplane grater – even though I have a scar on my thumb from a moment’s inattention…. the lemon-zester was a gift from our secret Santa one year and I love it!


Melt a bit of butter (or coconut oil) in a pan – put the zucchini in and stir it until it softens (this will take just seconds!), add the egg yolk mixture and stir quickly. Take it off the heat – you’re done!

We ate it with left-over turkey (and the asparagus). It’s rich, but not overly so. It would be wonderful with ham or bacon too.



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Christmas Party

One of my best real-life friends is Catherine.

She and Rick used to work together, I met her at a work-do or two and we became friends.

She invited us to a drinks party on Sunday. It was a gorgeous summer afternoon – heaps of nice people and heaps of lovely nibbles, and she had made almost all of it gluten-free. She is very kind – and a true friend.

I dipped some luscious strawberries into 70% dark chocolate – arranged on a plate, they looked really festive. A small contribution to a lovely afternoon.

WordPress is playing silly with me. I’ve been having great trouble accessing my blog, with WordPress not recognising my password – anyone else having the same difficulty?

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The Big Dinner

It’s been a busy week.

Rick took a week off work to rest his back. The physiotherapy wasn’t working, so he’s now going to a chiropractor. He is walking better, but still can’t sit for any length of time – and getting in and out of the car hurts him.

So, he has been on the sofa this week, watching the Black Caps play cricket well enough to truly earn the nickname the Black Craps. It is very difficult – being a fan of a sports team that is just truly appalling, but we persist… can’t think why.

When he is not shouting a t the tv, Rick is shouting into his mobile (not going to the office, does not mean not working) and when he is not shouting at either the tv or the phone, he is giving me orders…. the man owes me diamonds… BIG diamonds… but, I’m not holding my breath 🙂

We have the dinner party tonight. I’m so well organised – you would not believe it!

The menu is:

Prawns with a Japanese inspired dipping sauce
Prunes wrapped in Bacon
Pacific Oysters in the half-shell – with lemon
Mixed nuts
Turkey – boned and stuffed with chicken and herbs (I boned it myself – I do this because Rick carves like a drunken sailor… not pretty… it is much easier if he can just slice things :-))
Crunchy roast potatoes (cooked in butter, with garlic and rosemary)
Green peas (cooked in chicken stock and butter – with mint to be put on top for serving)
Baby carrots (cooked with orange, garlic, herbs and cumin)
Chocolate Mousse 
Whipped Cream

I don’t think anyone will go home hungry.

Most of the recipes come from Jamie Oliver’s Family Christmas which I watched while looking through all my recipe books, trying to come up with something a bit different – then settling on something simple!

Today is hot and calm. We’ll eat outside – hopefully the weather will hold – right now it feels like we need a small thunderstorm to clear the air… but that could just be that I’m roasting a turkey on a hot summer day 🙂

Wish you were here XO



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My boys – watching the cricket together.

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