Category Archives: Food

Weekly photo challenge: Lost in the detail II

A visual feast!

A visual feast!

Lost in the detail of this yummy plateful of bruschetta (devoured last night at Wellington’s Maria Luca Restaurant) is the tangy taste of the fresh tomatoes, aubergine, feta and garlic and the delicate crunch of the lightly toasted ciabatta.

Oh my god – this dish was divine. And before you think we were short changed on the corner of the plate, two of my fellow diners whipped their first tastings off the plate before I could navigate the password on my cell-phone.

I will return to Maria Luca just to have another plate of bruschetta. Forget sharing – I’ll have one all for myself!

Weekly photo challenge: Love

Enjoying Wellington Harbour, 29 Jan 2013

Enjoying Wellington Harbour, 29 Jan 2013

We love summer!

I went down to Wellington’s spectacular waterfront today to have in ice-cream. Being a diabetic, ice-creams are not recommended. However, having decided to treat myself to one (why not?) – it had to be the best on offer. If you’re going to sin, you might as well sin in style! An ice-cream from Kaffee Eis – plum to be exact. And it was worth every loving lick!

To compensate, I went extended my walk.

Photographed at lunchtime today – just one of the many people enjoying a brilliant summer’s day on the Wellington waterfront.

Weekly photo challenge: Deliciously delicate

Mills Reef Mille Feuille

Delightful, delectable and delicious – my mille feuille at Mills Reef Winery

I know the week this challenge was put out, is long gone. In the absence of another challenge, here is my interpretation of delicate.

Diabetes be damned – there are plenty of days in the year for denial and this wasn’t one of them. I lovingly savoured every heavenly mouthful.

Mills Reef Winery is situated in the little hamlet of Bethlehem in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty – not far from Tauranga. A fabulous destination with great food.

Weekly photo challenge: Changing seasons

Sampling the best of summer fruit

Although strawberries are at their juiciest early in the season, I’m happy to gorge on them any time!

You’d be right in thinking I’s guided by my palette!

In Wellington, warm summer temperatures and long balmy days are mostly in our dreams. From October to December we are subject to winds and gales of the equinox – still days are few and far between. We get lulled into a false sense of security during three days of glorious weather, and are then sent scurrying for the heater when the southerly gales return.

Today is one such day.

It’s sunny, but the wind seems to be coming straight off the antarctic.

Only a few hours north of Wellington (by car) the trees, vines and furrows of Hawkes Bay are bearing fruit.

I always thought that our berries in New Zealand were the absolute best. On a trip to Europe in 2007, I was proved wrong. In Warsaw, the raspberrries and blueberries were not only far less expensive than here, they had the most magnificent intense flavour.

But that doesn’t really worry me now …

The seasons are changing – summer is on the way!

Weekly photo challenge: Happy ravioli

Ravioli a la Rossi – please excuse the steam.

I had a birthday recently. One of my gifts – from my youngest son – was a cooking class for two at one of  Wellington’s favourite Italian cafe/delis  La Bella Italia (a lot of self-interest there!). The ‘voucher’ was handcrafted and covered in his favourite motivational quotes and expressions of his thanks.

“The world is but a canvas for our imagination,” he said.

I was absolutely thrilled, even more so when reading the fine print telling me I was signed up to learn how to make spinach and ricotta ravioli. The voucher allowed for two people, and when asked who I might like to take the class with, I of course said him.

However, that was not to be – he had to go to Auckland. So he organised for me to go along with a friend of his (a girl or course!).

The day came … I was very excited at the prospect of an evening up to my elbows in flour. Seriously, I was. I was hard at work when I heard the familiar chime of my cellphone … a text. Chloe, his friend, was in hospital. Overnight she’d had to go in and was now minus an appendix – no longer in a position to make ravioli. She was gutted …. literally!!!

After a quick and unsuccessful whip around my colleagues to see if any of them were up for the challenge,  my neighbour came to the rescue. We had an absolutely hilarious time with 11 other people sipping champagne, nibbling on antipasti, learning about pasta and ricotta, throwing flour and semolina over the workbench with gay abandon, kneading dough, rolling dough through the pasta wringers, lining lengths of dough with little mounds of filling, and laughing!

It was SO much fun.

At 9.00pm we went home with four dozen ravioli (uncooked) each: 2 dozen spinach and ricotta, 2 dozen pumpkin and ricotta. They looked pretty damn good and authentically hand-made…irregular sizes, irregular shapes, one of mine even had a pasta bandage covering a little hole where my dough ended up being a tad thin.

Being the good mother that I am (!), rather than succumb to a late evening sampling session, I put them in the freezer to share with my son.

Despite having been given a lovely monogrammed apron to wear while working on our masterpieces, my flour covered clothes went onto the washing pile.

Two days later, son returned.

The spinach and ricotta ravioli were duly devoured then next night. They were sensational. There’s nothing quite like good food and good company to warm the heart is there?

What a happy mother!!!

Fast food? I don’t think so … not in our hands anyway.