Back In NZ And Ready…….

I have exciting news, but first –

We are back from out wonderful trip. It is lovely to come home to New Zealand and all our normality and friends. I may have been born in Brighton but Wellington is definitely home.

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Since leaving the UK we have been to Vancouver for 5 days visiting my sister in law. We went blueberry picking, had a wonderful birthday cake, ate lots of good food and I finally managed to get Miss and Mr Muffin to try poutine. Miss wasn’t too keen but Mr agreed, it is a thing, a good thing. There first poutine experience was at Dunn’s Famous and I do recommend it for trying all things Canadian.

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And now on to the news……

I am the Wellington based contributor for the High Tea Society and you can see my first review here.

I Am Still Alive!I Have New Chins And Stretchy Pants.

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See the chins?

I am still alive and I really do have new chins and stretchy pants. I also have lots of stretchy dresses. I have been shopping rather a lot.

Us Muffins are currently in Brighton, UK visiting family. I have also been to Barcelona, Spain and up to London for a jaunt with my best friend.

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Harrod’s Baklava

We have eaten out so much since we left New Zealand. Also we have bought things from the supermarket and eaten all the pre-prepared food we fancied. In NZ we do not get a lot in the way of ready prepared so the Marks and Spencer Food Hall is very novel to us. Just today we had a marvellous M&S lunch which included empanadas, mac n cheese bites and French fancies.

 

Me and Miss Muffin have both had birthdays and celebrated with friends and family. Miss turned 13 and chose Thai for her dinner. We went to a proper back street pub in Shoreham By Sea and had a lovely Thai meal with lost of family. She even had a Choccywoccydoodah birthday cake that was rather wonderfull and topped with marshmallows.

My choice was a Chinese restaurant that is a fixed price and you order until you are full. A table of ten of us got through a fair amount of food. My lovely mum made a cake and that was a lime drizzle sponge. It was very good. The indoor firework instead of far too many candles was amusing and turned many heads in restaurants.

Barcelona was marvellous and we enjoyed a lot of tapas. The we in this case was me and 4 girlfriends who I have known forever. Padron peppers were a favourite and I even tried octopus.

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Tapas

 

London was also great. Me and my oldest and bestest friend extended her trip to Brighton so we could go together and do all the food things. On arrival we walked to Harrods and explored the food hall. I have always wanted to try their baklava and chose 4 pieces, the total was £5.05 and I was rather cheeky and paid with a £50 note. The man serving did ask if I had my Harrods card with me. We also did Fortnum and Mason’s, laughed at how many NZ products were for sale. Had cake for lunch and a very special dinner at Ottolenghi’s at Spitafield. The next day we visited Spitafield market and Borough market, both were good. Borough had our heart as it was so very foodie and we had Dosa. Dosa is always good.

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Brighton has a new Mexican and we just had to help the native Brightonians out by trying it, Wahaca was excellent and has a lovely atmosphere. In Brighton we have also eaten very lovely Persian at Shandiz Persian  and enjoyed being daring and having Faloudah for dessert along with baklava. Indian food has also been consumed and much British pub grub. This morning we had a greasy spoon fry up breakfast, writing this I see where the chins have come from.

I am sure there is plenty more eating ahead of us, we are looking forward to the blueberries in Canada.We have a few days left in the UK and will be in Vancouver for a few days before returning home to NZ.

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Dug Out The Breadmaker, Fluffy Farmhouse Bread.

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I dug out the breadmaker, dusted it off and did my old trusted farmhouse fluffy white loaf. I first published this recipe back in 2010 but I don’t want to touch that post so I am reblogging here.

This loaf is a lovely fluffy number, the kind that sends its crust crumbs every where and the crust ends get argued over. To cut, I actually turn it sideways and cut that way. It is a basic loaf and won’t last long. The sooner you eat it, the better. I used the French setting on my bread-maker and the highest crust setting.

Dig out the breadmaker and fill your house with the sweet smell of fresh bread.

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Fluffy Farmhouse Breadmaker Bread - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 1 small loaf
  • Print

Check your Breadmaker instruction book, mine requires wet ingredients first.

1 1/2 c warm water

3 1/2 bread flour (strong flour)

2 tsp yeast (I use Edmonds Surebake Yeast)

3/4 tsp salt

Set to the required settings to get a good crusty.

The Excitement – Visa Wellington On A Plate 2016.

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This week was the week of weeks for foodies in Wellington, it was the launch of Visa Wellington On A Plate. I wasn’t lucky enough to attend but sat at home waiting for the site to go live and I then vanished into the land of planning my eating.

I have a couple of events that I would love to go to and some eating planned already. I don’t want to divulge my events until I know I have the tickets, I will tell you fancy dress and spicy food feature. I am lucky to have a great friend who is going to be the buyer the of the tickets and go for it as soon as they are released at 12pm on the 13th June ’16. That friend is Lily who after a stint on Master Chef NZ 2015 is now writing her own lovely blog, Lemon Chilli.

The 2016 Burgers have 4 sweet choices this year. I think I may have to give them a try. The venison burgers also sound great. For the days when I feel like being meat free, I also have options.

In the past August has seen me eating more burgers in a couple of weeks than I eat in the rest of the year, being rather invisible at home and having a very good time. I can’t wait for 2016 and I hope it is as fun as other years.

My Visa WOAP 2015 involved many a burger, pigs trotters, lambs brains and other offal. There were lots of laughs and Mr Muffin and I had the best night out at The Roman Feast event held at The Artisan Restaurant (still thanking you MacClean) . The Artisan has an excellent sounding and challenging burger this year and another major event, you can look here for all of their offerings.

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Get browsing, get planning and get ready to get eating. Stretchy pants are advised.

Just have to add this last photo, eating a burger as big as our heads back in 2014!

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Miss Muffin’s Muffins- Lunch Box Filler.

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So Miss Muffin is nearly 13 years old. When I say nearly , I do mean like three weeks away. She is in a permanent growth state and always hungry. I don’t think I have confessed it on here, she surpassed me in height about 6 months ago and is far too tall for my liking. She is very handy for reaching things and I don’t have to rely on Mr or stand on a chair.

Her lunch box has been a big issue this year. It is hard to muster independence but make sure there is enough good fulling and healthy food. With this in mind Miss Muffin has been making muffins for the past few weeks. Together we have developed a simple recipe  and they add a nice bit of bulk to the lunch box.

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Fruit Muffins - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20 mins cooking,
  • Print

Dry

1 c SR flour (or 1 c plain and 1 tsp baking powder)

1/2 c wholemeal flour

1/4 c caster sugar

1/4 c desiccated coconut (optional)

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

Wet

1/3 c oil (canola/olive)

1 egg

1/3 c + extra milk

1 c frozen fruit (raspberries are a favourite)

Heat oven to 180 °c

Prepare a 6 hole muffin tin, cup cake cases are good

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl

Measure the oil in a measuring jug

Break egg into the oil and mix

Top up to the 1 cup line with the milk

Add wet to dry and stir just enough to mix

Fold in fruit

Share the mixture out between the cases, an ice cream scoop works well.

Bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.

Two Ingredients Bolognese -Convenimince.

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On Sunday I went to The Wellington Food Show, it was entertaining but there was rather a lot of wine for a food show and me and wine are not friends any more. The best parts were watching chefs in the theatre, having a wonderful lunch from the Origin Gourmet Food Truck  and buying beef from Green Meadows Beef.

Green Meadows are excellent on the social media front and  great to follow on Twitter and you can find them here. I found out about their new product Convenimince through Twitter and I was curious about  the ‘Grass-fed beef mince blended with sautéed onion, red capsicum, garlic & a hint of magic.’ As I bought a 4 choice deal pack at the show I brought a packet home with me.

I have been pondering over what to do with it and after over complicating things I talked myself round to keeping it simple, really simple. I chose to do a two ingredient bolognese and it was very good. I had to fight the urge to cut up and onion or clove or garlic. I felt proud of my achievement as I love to add things. I am pleased I managed it.

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Dinner was delicious and it made a brilliant midweek staple dinner easy. We will certainly be buying Convenimince regularly as the taste was excellent and flavourful .It would make great patties, meatballs and kofta.

All I did tonight was –

Brown the Convenimince in a little olive oil.

Added the tinned tomatoes, I used Wattie’s Crushed and Sieved.

Cook with lid off for 10-15 minutes until liquid has reduced.

Cook for a further 10 minutes with lid on,  stir occasionally.

Serve with pasta of your choice.

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This is not a sponsored post.

 

 

 

 

A French High Tea In Wellington- Louis Sergeant.

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I have been to Louis Sergeant’s for cake and a drink with Miss Muffin but never for High Tea. I have heard mixed reviews about the High Tea and the opportunity to go had never arisen, until today.

A friend was visiting Wellington from Dunedin and it was the perfect opportunity for a few friends to meet and indulge in a French High Tea. And indulge we did. I walked in with no expectations and we were seated at a long table with a perfect white table cloth and laid with beautiful tea cups. When it was established that our empty seat wasn’t going to be filled we were educated on the way of the Louis Sergeant High Tea. Tea was the first thing we had to choose.

We were given a clipboard with drink options and told the tea from the front of the menu was refillable and we could swap teas if we wanted, I had the City of Light. I liked this as often it is just the one cup and/or choice. We could have had champagne but we all chose to focus on the food.

When the food arrived it was explained by a staff member with a very French accent. We got the gist but did get muddled up with the green domed savoury on the middle layer. We were sure we were told peppermint but it was defiantly  pea and not peppermint. This was the only thing served that many didn’t like. I did but then I love mushy peas and will happily eat them cold from the tin (shhh, don’t tell the food police).

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Everything else went down a treat, Oh I tell a lie. Some of the table found the chocolate cake too strong  and were unsure about the texture. I saved the day and helped them get over their guilt by eating it for them. Overall, this was a most excellent high tea and I was impressed with the skills used to make it. Everything was different and just the right size. I have no idea how the little version of the of the red domed pistachio morsel was made. It was a nice change to have a hazelnut creme in the choux pastry. I am not going to go through everything because when you go it may be different. If you want to ask me anything, ask away.

I am now going to let you look at the photographs, please don;t blame me if you lick your screen.

 

 

 
Louis Sergeant Sweet Couture Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato