Cookbook Review: Melie’s Kitchen

Melie’s Kitchen by Amelia Ferrier (Penguin Random House New Zealand)

Melie's Kitchen

I have a fair collection of cook books both new and old.  My favourite cook books are anything with baking or preserving (jams and jellies and such like).  Some books I have never made anything from, although I want to try three or four of the recipes.  Other books I have get me extremely inspired to get into the kitchen and try stuff out.  Melie’s Kitchen falls into the second group – there is so much in there that is just ‘wow’ and ‘oh-my-goodness’ and ‘I’d never have thought of that’.  It’s so exciting (and no, it is not sad that I find a cookbook exciting). Continue reading

Fusilli with Tomato & Chorizo Sauce

Fusilli with Tomato & Chorizo Sauce
Adding Spanish Chorizo & Mexican Jalapenos to a tomato base is definitely not authentic Italian but it does make a quick, easy and super tasty week night meal.  Chorizo is a great addition as only a little is required to pack a huge flavour punch.  I have used cured chorizo here, as opposed to fresh chorizo sausages.  Chorizo come in a variety of sizes: if using the larger chorizo, two will be enough; or use 5-6 of the small cheerio size. Continue reading

Mocha deliciousness

Mocha Milk
There has been a lot of press recently about Chelsea Winter & Lewis Road Creamery’s collaboration creation of Fresh Double Caramel Milk – a caramel milk with two layers of caramel flavour – a golden butterscotch & a deep caramel.  First up, I am not a fan of caramel flavoured milk as they are usually overly sweet.  Chocolate milk is okay now and then but my go-to flavour of flavoured-milk is coffee (preferably strong coffee). I had to try the double caramel milk after reading the reviews on-line and this is a caramel milk I’d drink again – for me, it was sweet but not too sweet. The Mopp is addicted to it and frequently goes out on errands to restock the fridge.
Mocha deliciousness

The collaboration effort between Chelsea Winter, Masterchef New Zealand’s Season Three (2012) Winner and Lewis Road Creamery got me imagining what flavour milk I’d create should I ever have the opportunity.  As Lewis Road Creamery already offer Fresh Coffee Milk with Supreme Coffee which is, in my opinion, really good coffee-flavoured milk as it isn’t sweet at all, I decided a Mocha Milk was the next best thing to Coffee Milk.  So off I toddle and purchase one bottle of really good coffee-flavoured milk and one bottle of really good chocolate-flavoured milk (flavoured with Whittaker’s 5-Roll Refined Creamy Milk Chocolate no less) – just a wee (300 ml) bottle of each.
Mocha Milk
I didn’t give much thought to the coffee/chocolate ratio to begin with.  I just started with 50% of each, carefully measured out into a glass jug.  The Mopp (the above-mentioned caramel-milk addict) was my helpful taste-tester.  I wanted more coffee flavour and he wanted more chocolate flavour so next time around (and there will be a next time around) I will have Chocolate-infused Coffee Milk (with 75% Coffee/25% Chocolate) and he will have Coffee-infused Chocolate Milk with the remaining milks.  Perfect.  So until Lewis Road Creamery cotton onto the Mocha Milk idea, we shall continue concocting our own.
Mocha Milk
Note: I am not related to or connected to any of the companies mentioned in this post nor have they paid me or provided product for samples.  This review is purely my own opinion.
Mocha Milk

Mocha deliciousness

Ingredients

  • 1 x 300 ml Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Coffee Milk
  • 1 x 300 ml Lewis Road Creamery Fresh Chocolate Milk

Instructions

  • Pour half the coffee milk into a tall glass. Give the chocolate milk bottle a good shake to redistribute all the chocolatey goodness that has settled on the bottom then pour half the chocolate into aforementioned glass. Pour the remaining coffee flavoured milk into the half empty chocolate milk bottle and recap. Hide it in the refrigerator for another Mocha hit tomorrow.
  • Give the milk in the glass a stir to combine the two milky flavours then drink.
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Lemon & Currant Biscuits (Cookies)

Lemon & Currant Cookies
A classic New Zealand biscuit (or cookie) is the Kiwi Biscuit, also known as a Highlander Biscuit after the brand of sweetened condensed milk that flavours these yummy cookies.  There are many different recipes out in the world for Kiwi Biscuits and each has a little tweak according to each baker’s preferences – a little more butter, a little less sugar, twice as many chocolate chips….. Continue reading

Apples we are eating: Fuji

Fuji Apple
Fuji apples are not the prettiest apples around – they’re not ugly like the lumpy mishapen Calville Blanc d’Hiver but more of a plain Jane type of apple.  The skin is dull and they’re a nondescript apple colour.  But as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover – these apples are much more than their outward appearance.

The Fuji is the offspring of the Red Delicious and a Rall’s Janet – both American apples. Red Delicious are fairly common here in New Zealand but Rall’s Jenet seems to be an American only variety.  The Orange Pippin Tree Register has only 4 trees, all of which are in the United States.  The Rall’s Janet goes by at least 30 other names and alternative spellings and a search under each of these names could well turn up a wider spread of this apple variety.  However, this post is all about the Fuji not one of its parents.  Before leaving the Rall’s Janet, a quick look at the Orange Pippin images shows that the Fuji get’s its looks from the RJ rather than the RD (a red delicious is quite a handsome apple). Continue reading

Date, Chocolate & Hazelnut Crunch

Date, Chocolate & Hazelnut Crunch
Unpacking boxes of food items to stock my newly built pantry, I came across a jar of date molasses.  Date molasses is similar to blackstrap molasses but milder in flavor (golden syrup or treacle can be used here instead).  The date molasses inspired me to create a slice similar to a very popular ginger crunch that originates in Takaka (the original recipe can be found here) but using dates (obviously) to appeal to people not overly fond of ginger. I don’t completely understand how people can not be fond of ginger but I do have a couple living in my house.  I try not to make the ginger version too often as I am likely to scoff the lot in a couple of days and that is not an action that fits into my everything in moderation philosophy.

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Apple & Winter Fruit Self-Saucing Gingerbread Pudding

Apple & Winter Fruit Self-Saucing Gingerbread Pudding
Self-saucing puddings are one of the easiest puddings to make. They are pretty much a cake batter covered with a liquid mixture that sinks down below the cakey-top to form a sticky rich gooey sauce as it cooks.

The trouble with the sticky rich gooey sauce is that it is made up of sugar, sugar and more sugar so it is very sweet.  To help cut through this rich sweetness I have added fresh fruit to the pudding and reduced the sugar in both the batter and the sauce.  Adding fruit adds a refreshing texture & flavour counterpoint to the sauce & cake and really, what pudding isn’t improved by adding some fruit?  White chocolate cheesecake sounds great, but chuck in some raspberries or lemon and it transforms from great to really really great.

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Walnut Honey Yoghurt Apple Loaf

Walnut Honey Yoghurt Apple LoafThe Mopp has embarked on a refined-sugar eating plan to help support a friend.  This has created quite a challenge in the kitchen as I now am baking dairy-free, refined-sugar free treats.  I like challenges and am having fun discovering a whole new world of recipes using honey.

This recipe is adapted from Cultures for Health Nutty Honey Yogurt Zucchini Loaf.  As it contains yoghurt, it isn’t dairy-free so the daughter has missed out this time.  However, with the nuts included, she’d have turned her nose up at it anyway, so no loss there. Continue reading

Dairy-free Wholemeal Double Chocolate Crinkle Biscuits (Cookies)

Dairy-free Wholemeal Double Chocolate Crinkle Biscuits (Cookies)

Wholemeal Double Chocolate Crinkle Biscuits

These chocolate biscuits are inspired by the ginger crinkle biscuit that I make regularly as they are easy to make and delicious (the recipe can be found on the Chelsea Sugar website here). There are also a lot of other super yummy recipes on that website – I used to make the Chocolate Chunk Oat Biscuits from time to time before dairy-free restrictions entered our life.  It doesn’t matter that 5/6th’s of our family are OK with dairy, if I make or bake something with dairy in it, I get the evil eye from the daughter as if I am intentionally rubbing in the fact she can’t eat anything and everything anymore.

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Chocolate Loaf with Coffee-Soaked Sultanas

Chocolate Loaf with Coffee-Soaked SultanasOne of the recipes in a cookbook I reviewed recently was for a Welsh tea loaf where the dried fruit is soaked in hot tea. The resulting loaf is delicious, particularly when cut into thick slabs and smeared with butter. I took that concept and replaced the tea with coffee. I like my coffee strong so I used two tablespoons of ground coffee to 1 cup of boiling water.

Chocolate Loaf with Coffee-Soaked SultanasI made the first version with raisins which was nice but as the Anster favours sultanas over raisins I switched. It helps that sultanas are less expensive than raisins. I’m fairly sure I have mentioned before that the Anster is one of those weird people who doesn’t like coffee. I can taste the coffee in this loaf but that may be because I know it is there. The Anster loves this loaf – it is his sort of food. I expressed a little surprise and asked him if he could taste the coffee and he said now that you mention it he could detect the coffee but it was subtle enough for his taste buds. Continue reading