Richard Hammond – A Short History Of The Motorcycle Review And Lunch At Grill Meats Beer.

The sun has arrived in Wellington and it feel like Christmas is on its way. This weekend is a long one in NZ and what a beauty it is turning out to be. Today we have taken the dog to Petone beach, dropped her home and popped out for a very decent burger lunch at Grill Meats Beer. You can see more about that below.

A Short History Of The Motorcycle By Richard Hammond.


Mr Muffin is a fan of the Motorcycle and has a purple one, when I saw this book available for review I thought it was time to let him has a go at reading and reviewing. With Christmas coming up this may be a good idea for a gift for someone you know?

The book is published in NZ by Hachette NZ.

Mr Muffin says –

A very enjoyable read.
It was like Richard Hammond was on my shoulder reading to me, so if you like the hamster then you will enjoy this.
Amusing, informative and engaging with short chapters making it easy to pickup and just read, i.e. A good toilet book but its really far to nice for that.
Many interesting photos and illustrations
Good for anyone with an interest in motorcycles or even just automotive history.
A great Christmas gift.
Today I decided we needed burgers, good burgers. We had been to GMB once before and it was time to return and we left very happy we did. The food was damn fine, the service was excellent and we left full of food and smiles.
To start we had the Japanese Fried Chicken with Sriracha Mayonnaise. Me and Mr enjoyed the chicken, Miss was not so sure. I hung onto the mayo like it was my baby, there was no way I was giving that up when I knew fries would soon be arriving.
A good burger is subjective, some like real fancy with all the things, others like the plain and GMB caters for all of these needs without having one of those huge menus. Miss Muffin and I opted for the Classic Beef, she added bacon and I added Cheese. Mr M went for the special of the week as it contained crumbed jalapeños. We were all happy with our choices and I was impressed with the buns. The portion of fries didn’t look like much but was plenty, they were perfectly crisp too.I also added a rather lovely fluffy fried ball of goodness in the form of a Manchego &   Jalapeños Hush Puppy. To keep up with the specials have a look on their Facebook page, it is listed on Tuesdays.
All up, we really enjoyed our lunch and even though we have now used our Entertainment Book Voucher, we will be returning. When the burger urge hits we will be back.

Shared Lunch- Jalapeño Popper Pies?


Friday was a sad day at work, we said goodbye to a friend. In the grand tradition of our branch we had a shared lunch. Said friend is a spice fiend and rather than do my predictable sweet baking, I opted for something with jalapeños in. After getting lost in Pinterest for a few hours I settled on a recipe for the above pies. They were good and a big success.

I made them the night before, let them cool and stored. Some of my pies burst a bit and while they were still warm I pushed the cheese back in. I will be making these regularly for bring a plate events.


The original recipe is here and I adapted it to suit me. Now these are not a quick thing to but I did enjoy myself with a Luke Cage Spotify music fest and a dance.

Jalapeño Popper Pies-

  • Servings: enough for a group
  • Time: 20-30 mins prep, 15-20 mins cooking
  • Print

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

150g cream cheese

1 cup grated cheddar

2 tablespoons plain flour

1/3 cup jared jalapeño peppers chopped (we use Delmaine)

1 packet frozen puff pastry with 5 sheets

Lay pastry  sheets out to defrost.

Heat oven to 200°

Cover 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar, flour and jalapeño peppers.

Cut pastry with a fluted 5cm cutter.

Place heaped teaspoon of cream cheese mix in centre of pastry circle.

Moisten edges with egg/water mix.

Put another circle on top and crimp shut with a fork.

Lightly prick tops with a fork.

Place on a greased baking tray.

Continue until all circles have been used.

Brush finished pies with egg/water mix.

Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.

Allow to cool on tray.


Edmonds Cookery Book Has Been Revamped.


In New Zealand the Edmonds Cookery Book is the first cook book that many people own. When my parents moved to NZ we met them off the plane with a welcome copy, sadly they have since gone back to the UK ,but they have their book with them.

This version of the book has been modernised and has some new fancy editions. Don’t worry, your favourites are still there. When I got this new copy (thank you Hachette) I said goodbye to my old copy as it was covered in sugary blobs from fudge and coconut ice making. I am pleased to say, my two favourite Edmonds recipes are still there.


Miss Muffin used the book just this week to cook the Impossible Quiche (p121) and it was very nice. We are trying to get her back into cooking and thinking, not always easy to do with a 13 year old.

So, if your copy is looking a bit over loved or your loved ones are leaving home, get yourself a new and improved copy of the old classic. You can now even learn how to make Bliss Balls!


We Tried Out PappaRich In Wellington.

PappaRich NZ opened a few weeks ago in Wellington, it is just opposite the Intercontinental Hotel. Today was our day to go and try it out. To be honest, we left feeling rather underwhelmed and not very impressed with the price.



We eat lunch out at least once a weekend and our average spend for the 3 of us is $40. This is a meal that is enough to be a main meal and often something like Indian curry, rice and naan bread.This meal cost just over $60 and didn’t leave us full. My Telur Bawang Curry Chicken Curry was $15.90, I think all 3 mains were around this. We had an iced lemon tea each too. There was nothing wrong with any of our meals, they just weren’t exciting. One good thing was Miss M found that she likes beef rendang.



All three of us thought that there are better places to eat Malaysian food and we would rather give our dollars to the little mum and pops operated restaurants. As I was eating my $15.90 meal I was thinking about the $8.50 Masala Dosa at Pandan.



This Week I’ve Mostly Been……

I am sorry, only a few of you will know Jessie from the Fast Show but it speaks the truth.

My friend Lucy suggested that I should have the title Professional Scoffer and that left me feeling happy. I will take that title and I am tempted to get some business cards made saying just that. She did make the comment after we had had a rather marvellous High Tea at Gear Homestead in Porirua. There will be more about when my review is published on the High Tea Society  or you can check it out yourself.


Talking of the High Tea Society, you can see two more reviews of mine with Lucy’s photo here-

Intercontinental Lobby Lounge

Martha’s Pantry

This week I also went for dinner at Hillside Kitchen in Thorndon with a group of friends. It was a Meatless Monday dinner and we had a feast. I am still amazed at how nice the onion flower (that awful weed) tastes, how pretty a purple carrot with a bit of orange carrot looks when arranged as a rose and a chocolate tart can contain tofu and you wouldn’t know. Oh, one last one, those teeny tiny lemon meringues….. how do you get them that tiny and not crush them when filling?

Here are a few pics. Hope you had a good week too.

Thanks you for letting me borrow your pic Nikki.






Beer, Rocky Road Stout From Good George Brewing.


A friend posted on her Facebook page about these two beers from Good George Brewing and I had to try them. I sent Mr off on a mission to New World Thorndon and its huge beer selection. His hunt was successful and on Friday I cracked these babies open.

One thing that came to mind with both of these was, gateway beers to the whole craft beer thing. They are both different from your average pub tap larger but not too different to make you worry that you may turn into a hipster.

Rocky Road White Stout.


I started with the Rocky Road White Stout. I love a good stout and had never had a white one, you can read a bit about what a white stout is here.  I found the colour being so different strange but I could taste the stoutness. The rocky road came through in the form of raspberries with a hint of chocolate and it was an interesting taste. I did find it a little hard to get past the fact that it wasn’t a larger.

My thinking is I would buy it again, it would be good with cheese, chicken and creamy food. All the c’s! It would be a nice edition to a BBQ and even Christmas.


Rocky Road Black Stout.


This version is far more stout like and I found it easier to get my head around. I also enjoyed the predominant coffee taste but there is still a hint of the raspberry. Something about it reminded me of the sweet Asian style coffees.

I liked it and would buy it again. It is not the heavy kind of stout but a good way to get an idea about the stout flavour. It is the kind of beer that I would happily have as my only beer of the evening, yes, sometimes I do that. It would also finish a hearty meal off nicely.


Use The One Egg Up- Brownie Peanut Butter Muffin.


There was one egg left in the box. Do you know how nuts that drives me? All day I have been thinking of using that egg up as the oven was going on at dinner time. At the last minute I decided to experiment , this Brownie Peanut Butter Muffin was the result. They are smaller than your average muffin, I used a cupcake tin. I also managed to use up the dregs of the peanut butter . Winning. Also, this is a bung it all in and stir mix.



Brownie Peanut Butter Muffin-

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 10-15 mins cooking
  • Print

Heat oven to 180º

55g butter

2/3c plain flour

1/2 c caster sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg lightly whisked

3 tsp peanut butter (I used crunchy)

Grease a 6 hole cupcake tin.

Melt butter in a saucepan or microwaveable bowl.

Add all of the ingredients except the peanut butter.

Stir until all the flour is mixed in.

Share mix between the 6 cups.

Put 1/2 tsp peanut butter on top of each muffin.

Swirl with a chop stick so it mixed a little.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool on a rack.