Summer holiday fun

My twin sister, hubby and three kids arrived the first week of December, their first trip to NZ. We have a fabulous road trip planned. But with 9 of us ( including 3 teenage boys) we have to be ultra organised with feeding the troops!
So Anj and I have been baking and cooking, but making sure that meals are wholesome and filling as well as being simple allowing us to pack as much into our days as possible. 
The BBQ has been an awesome friend, lots of salads, and relishes and easy recipes for the trip. 
We filled the tins with shortbread, her gorgeous coconut & chocolate biscuits, chocolate cake, blueberry & lemon loaf and gingerbread loaf. 

Here is a quick and easy recipe for our homemade beef burgers

I used a double recipe, but this is for 1 kg of beef mince

1 kg beef mince
2 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbls Tomato sauce
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
A handful of breadcrumbs
Salt & pepper
Mix through making sure everything is distributed.
Make approx 12 -14 balls
Then shape them into patties, cook on the BBQ and serve with your choice of bread rolls and condiments.



TV1 segment

It has been a busy few weeks with the October school holidays and now into the 4th (& last) term of the year! Counting down to summer.

This summer for me is going to be a special one, my gorgeous twin sisterAnjum and her family are visiting us for the first time. In my 19 years to and fro this is her first visit, so needless to say we are all very excited and have planned a great holiday over 4 weeks, showcasing this gorgeous country of ours.  Next year I have plans to do more You tube clips on cooking and have more articles in the pipeline for NZ House & Garden, with the next one coming out in Feb 2016!

I have uploaded my whole food story segment that was shown on TV1 a couple of weeks ago.  Enjoy it, if you didn't get a chance to see the episode.

Gifts from my kitchen

Well, another year has hurtled past, bringing with it a lot of memories. It's been a great year for me, my son Adam started high school, my parents came to visit from the UK, I hadn't  seen them for a couple of years. It was great spending time with them, and eating my mum's home cooked meals. Special times.



I also got published again in NZ House & Garden, another foodie achievement for me. I loved working on the food story, which had 5 of my favourite recipes, a beautifully styled and photographed five page spread.  And earlier in November we did another photo shoot for NZ House & Garden for a summer food story that will be published in March' s issue 2016 ( available to buy in Feb). Look out for more work later in the year.


The kids are off now from school for the summer. My twin sister arrived from the UK with her family for their first visit to NZ. 

We have a fantastic road trip planned, showcasing this amazing country we live in, sharing memories and special times.

 I am hoping to get a new website and updated blog, so look out for that in the new year. 


I wish you all a safe and happy festive season, lots of best wishes for a happy a prosperous  2016.


Till next year!



Vegetable Pulau Rice

I love making this colourful rice dish, its so versatile, it goes with any curry, and I also often make it and eat it on its own.  You can use any chopped vegetables, I mainly use frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots and sweetcorn) and then slice up a couple of potatoes.  Or you can use, green beans, cauliflower and broccoli as well if you wish.

Sunny Florida

 A fantastic opportunity for Adam and his team to travel to Orlando, Florida, over the school break, to take part in the Youth of America Basketball National Champs. 

Food for filming

A couple of weeks ago I was asked if I would like to be part of a TV1 lifestyle/doc about the neighborhoods we live in, and the cultural differences that make up these diverse communities.
The production company wanted me to be part of the food story in that episode.  So I gladly agreed.  The story was about where I am from and how living in New Zealand and the other countries I have lived in, affected my style of cooking.

They were filming all day, starting with an interview and then filmed me making a curry dish, which included me making roti, picking up the children from school and then coming home to have dinner with the family.

!t was a great experience and I will keep you updated as to when it will air in NZ (for my lovely overseas readers) you will be able to watch it on line

Slow Cooked Beef Curry

This is a lovely curry to have on a cold winters day, you can cook it on the stove top, but I find that putting it in a slow cooker, makes the meat really tender and is perfect to come home to at the end of the day.  Traditionally at home we use tomatoes and red chilli powder and a range of spices as the base of our cooking, this is no different. 
This is similar to a "beef madras", with a couple of slightly different ingredients that gives it a slightly milder taste.
Also I have used ready crushed paste of garlic and ginger, for ease of recipe and powdered spices, as the whole idea of my blog is quick. simple and authentic meals.

All In The Family

I thoroughly enjoyed working on my food feature for April's issue of NZ House & Garden.
Fantastic food styling by Bernadette Hogg and brilliant photography by Manja Wachsmuth. Great working with you both again!

Well here is the pdf of the article for all my friends and family in the UK and Austrailia, and all you lovely foodies, that visit my blog. Please feel free to share and cook and leave comments, I appreciate all your support.

Macchi Fry ( Fish Curry)

Nothing like a fresh fish curry, especially if it's caught by my lovely husband! Graham went out paddling on his sea kayak and caught a lovely big kahawai. So that was going to be dinner, with mum and dad visiting from the UK I thought a fish curry would be ideal. Kahawai is lovely and fleshy and tastes divine in a curry. 
With a little help from my lovely mum, we made my mum's gorgeous curry. We used 2 large fillets which were approximately 1kg. You can halve the recipe for 500g. 

Sugar Puff pastries

My parents are visiting from the UK, and I am loving cooking and trying new recipes with my mum. Some of these bring back memories from my childhood growing up in Malawi. 

These scrumptious little pastries are a great accompaniment to ice cream or just served as an afternoon snack.

Tuna Fish cakes with dipping sauces

These gorgeous little fish cakes are so simple and perfect for Summer!  Again, as with all my recipes, using simple ingredients, quick and easy from your pantry and fridge.

Summer Berry Tarts

A couple of days before the end of 2014, it's been another busy year, with cooking and writing and having an article published with Taste magazine. And getting ready to write another one for NZ House & Garden, which will be published early next year.

Having realised three years ago that this ( foodie projects) is what i am passionate about doing, it would be amazing to spend all my spare time doing this. Unfortunately, "life" gets in the way, and my foodie plans, made with good intentions go out the window!

Gifts from my kitchen

Gifts from my kitchen

Well, it's been another busy year, I have neglected my blog :-( but still busy cooking and baking and writing. 

I was asked again by NZ House & Garden to write another food feature for an issue early next year, so thrilled to be able to do this. 

The photo shoot was a couple of weeks ago, and I headed off to Matakana where I met Bernadette Hogg, one of the food writer/ stylist whose work I have admired for many years. It was great to finally meet her, and see her collection of eclectic dishes, platters and props for the various food shoots she has worked on. 

I was excited to be involved in the process, the photography was done by Manja Wachsmuth, who did an amazing job, again. We were thrilled with the result, which will be published in the April issue 2015. So watch out for it. 

Christmas has been and gone and the run up to it has been busy, as usual, as we prepare for the end of the year and summer holidays. I decided again to do some baked gifts for the children's teachers and some friends. 

A lovely shortbread which is so easy to bake, and so traditionally Christmassy. It's one that my mother in law makes, simple with a bit of Christmas sparkle. 

Broccoli & Beetroot tart

One evening last week, I was struggling with time ( story of my life!) and wanted a quick simple dish, with ingredients in my fridge/freezer.
I had been in a dr's waiting room and saw this recipe in a women's magazine, a quick and simple weekday meal, you can substitute with other vegetables if you want.

Coffee and Walnut cake

This very simple, gorgeous recipe was given to me by a friend in the UK, you can bake it in a 20 cm tin like I did or alternatively you can divide it into smaller tins (they have to have upright sides) and they ill take less time in the oven 12-15 min, make sure they spring back when touched and the skewer comes out clean.

Adam's 13th birthday

Adam's 13th birthday

Well another year has passed, it's been another busy one. As always, deciding to make yet another birthday cake, more challenging as they get older, but this time with help from Adam. 
He chose the colour and designed the cake. 
I started with making my no fail chocolate cake, works every time, it's moist and keeps well. I made two 23cm cakes. 
I then made butter cream to sandwich and crumb coat the two cakes. I usually ice with buttercream but this time Adam wanted fondant. ( He has a bit of a sweet tooth!)
He chose the colour, but I couldn't find it in any of the cake shops, so I ended up using white fondant and colouring it with gel colour. It was perfect. We then cut out strips and spots out of black fondant and using edible glue stuck them on the cake. 

The result was great!


Till next time, hopefully sooner than this post.


Easy, mild lamb curry with fragrant basmati rice

 It has been a long winter, I have found that people hibernate in New Zealand, so you don't entertain or see friends very much. Kiwis are very 'outdoor' people and I don't just mean that in the sporting sense, but also entertaining and eating outside. Its so easy to fire up the barbie and throw a salad together, and enjoy dinner al fresco. However, in the colder months everyone stays indoorsand I think this recipe is perfect for the cold weather, comforting and wholesome, with a little spice to warm you up!

 An easy, mild Lamb curry, this is a superb dish for those in the family that don't or cant eat hot and spicy food. My children don't really like the hot stuff! So this is ideal, they are not great meat eaters either, so this curry is lovely as the meat is quite tender (depending on which method you use to cook it).  I cooked this in a slow cooker but you can use the oven or on the stove top.

Indian rice pudding with flaky puris

This is a gorgeous version of rice pudding, I have memories of eating this when I was growing up, we had it mainly at religious festivals, or in the month of Ramadan.
When I crave something sweet that reminds me of home, this is my go to reciepe, it is easy and tastes divine with little hot puris.

Spicy, Savoury potato bhajis

These savoury treats are great for any gathering. We tend to make them more during the month of Ramadan ( which is now) to eat as a starter before the main meal. This is tradition, every family has its own way of doing things. But savoury treats are more common in Muslim families during Ramadan. After a day of fasting, you have some delicious treats to look forward to.