A Walk In The Woods And Then Yatra.

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I have a 13 year old, she is a very typical 13 year old and we always love each other. That is all I will say.

This weekend she was grounded for doing the things 13 year old people do. Being grounded means a family walk with no technology. In the past couple of months we have had a couple of good walks including the beautiful Pencarrow Lighthouse.

Today we headed for Pakuratahi Forest , just past Upper Hutt. Tanes Track was a lovely a 1 hour round walk including the small diversion to go and look at the old railway tunnel. I must admit we didn’t walk through the tunnel, just in a bit. It is long and Miss wouldn’t come in.

The walk was of course followed by food. We didn’t picnic but headed to Yatra Restaurant in Upper Hutt. Now Yatra does not do the usual lunch time deal but they are in the Entertainment Book.

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Yatra is a beautiful little place, the tables are chunky dark wood with engravings and the water cups were stainless steel. We loved it. The food was excellent too.I think the onion bhaji were some of my favourite ever and the portion was huge.

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I had the Reshmi Paneer for main and really enjoyed it. I must confess to bringing half home as it was a big portion. The plan was to eat it for lunch tomorrow but I ate it for tea tonight. I am not a fan of left overs so this was a miracle. Mr had Chilli Chicken and it had a good tang, I would eat it too. Miss had the Chicken Tikka Masala and made a very good dent in it. The chicken was in good size chunks.

Next time we go to Yatra we will have two mains, a bread each and the onion bhaji. There will be another grounding, another walk and an excuse to go to Yatra.

Co’Ed Cafe on Queens, Lower Hutt- What A Find!

A while ago the Little Cafe popped up by the library and theatre in Lower Hutt. I meant to go when it first opened. It is now The Little Cafe and Co’Ed on Queens . Co’Ed sums up nicely what they are about in their twitter bio

“Coffee, it’s the world in your hands. Our passion is quality barista & cafe training for all, with a focus on diversity in the Coffee Industry”.

It is set partly inside a cafe with tables out in the spacious corridor, it is rather lovely and anyone who misses Reka should head straight there. We enjoyed hotcakes, very good coffee and chatting with a staff member about how she should love her tattoos. She was rather taken aback that I have a half sleeve, work in a bank and am rather older than her. She was lovely.

There is also a Co’Ed on Kings, I will let you know what I think when I go there. I would certainly head back to the Queens cafe and try all the huge slices.

So next time you are in the Hutt, ditch the mall coffee and head on out. that is an order. They are in the Entertainment book under Little Cafe.

Pancake Of The British Kind, 2017.

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I have a good few pancake recipes on here. These were the perfect Pancake Day pancakes. They reminded me of growing up in the UK and it being really cold. Our dinner ladies used to serve them in the playground at playtime and they were so good.

I have to confess to mainly blogging this recipe for me. The original recipe can be found on an excellent blog about all things British – Smitten By Britain. I emailed this to Miss Muffin and Mr jokingly told her to x 3. She did and we ate them all. I may have had 6 but please don’t tell my personal trainer.

Our fillings were the traditional lemon and sugar, coconut and maple syrup, Fix and Fog dark chocolate peanut butter and berries.

Pancake Day - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 4-6 people
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Ingredients:

300g plain flour

3 large egg – beaten

600ml milk

300ml water

Pinch of salt

Fillings of your choice

To Make

Sieve the salt and flour

Make a well in the centre

Break the egg into the well and stir with the wooden spoon to make a crumbly mix

Combine the milk and water in a jug

Slowly add to the flour and egg mix, stir constantly to  help avoid lumps

Whisk the mixture to a smooth batter (The mixture is runny as these are not American style)

Heat a fry pan and spray lightly with oil

Ladle enough batter to cover the base of your pan (a 1/3c in our large frypan)

Cook until frilly around the edges and brown in spots appear on the cooked side

They should take 2-3 to cook each pancakes

We made about 18-20 large thin pancakes

Comes and Goes- Shut Me Up

Sorry, this photograph has to be big. Just look at that.

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The Nest- Pumpkin seed crumbed soft boiled egg , filo pastry nest , beetroot ketchup, feta and mesclun salad.

 

This is not something I normally say but, I was wrong.

I have been laughing about how Insta/Snapchat the food at Comes and Goes in Petone is and being rather judgemental about how it could not taste as good as it looks. It sure does taste as good as it looks and my mind was blown by this dish, The Nest.

The Nest is two pumpkin seed crumbed soft boiled egg , filo pastry nest , beetroot ketchup, feta and mesclun salad. Just look at that, it is a plate of beauty and the taste was amazing.

I do have to warn you, we had to wait for a table on a Friday early lunch time. I am so pleased we did wait, it sure was worth it.

So I eat my words, not only is the food Insta/Snap worthy it tastes mighty fine too.

One more photo……….

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Degustation -I got Mr Muffin involved at Jano Bistro.

Almost a year ago I  went to Jano Bistro for their degustation. Last night, I did it again and Mr Muffin came along too.

This is a minor miracle. Mr M does enjoy eating out but it is normally of the Asian variety and comes with a kick.We went along with friends who had never done a degustation either and they too were left impressed with Jano’s too.

The food looked fantastic and tasted amazing too. We talked about the wonderful thing about doing a degustation menu is eating things you would never order. We all ate just about everything on our plate. Mr M left a small part of the calamari mousse but it was finished by our dining companion.

I am now plotting our next fancy dinner out, I may have to wait a couple of months but I have plans in my head and they may involve the Artisan Dining House.

Now, I am not one for descriptions or remembering the exact description of a dish. I can tell you that all the elements on the plate went perfectly and I am just going to give a brief hint with the pictures (click to enlarge). If you want to go, you need to book and they can adjust the menu to suit dietary needs.

 

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Salmon

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Pork

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Palate Cleanser

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Fish

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Lamb

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Cheese

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Dessert

Sanpellegrino Fruit Beverages – Mighty Fine When You Can’t Have Beer Or Wine.

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I received an email from PR firm Lily and Louis  about using Sanpellegrino Fruit Beverages in a cocktail. I think that is a mighty fine idea if you are drinking alcohol. It then crossed my mind that these lovely drinks are not very popular in New Zealand and although we often have a couple in the fridge, I had never seen any friends with them. I think they are a very European thing? I was sent a six pack of all three flavours above so that I may share and tell you what you are missing out on.

When we visited the UK  in the summer of 2016,  Sanpellegrino Fruit Beverages were everywhere. Pubs, restaurants, cafes and even the real greasy fry up cafes stocked them. We drank them on a daily basis and defiantly had more Sanpellegrino than tea.

Now, I am not going to pretend that these are some kids drink that you load up a fridge with, no, no, no…… these are special. I would say these are grown up drinks and my teenager coverts them and thinks I am fab when I let her have a share in mine.

Sanpellegrino Fruit Beverages are the answer to what to take to a party, BBQ or dinner party when you are not drinking. Carrying in a 6 pack of these is the way to be the cool sober driver and your host will appreciate any left over. I often enjoy one or half of one if the teenager got lucky with dinner. I find they go well with food of all kinds.

My  favourite is the Blood Orange, the Limonata is a close second. I hadn’t tried the Chinotto before, that is growing on me. I didn’t realise it was a special type of orange, it has a taste not unlike cola but is citrus tasting too.

We buy ours from Thorndon New World. They are rather hidden. If you stand facing the fizzy drinks isle, go to the furthest left and look down the bottom. All three of the above flavours are usually available. If they don’t have them in your supermarket, ask them to stock them.

Have you had any of the flavours before?

 

 

Hummingbird Bakery Books – You Need Them All.

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I have just discovered that I am missing a Hummingbird Bakery cookbook from my collection. Don’t worry, I have fixed things and ordered Home Sweet Home.

These books are the most amazing, mine are full of bookmarks. Everything I cook comes out fabulous and they are an enjoyment just to look at when you need to feel happy. My one regret from my last trip back to the UK was that I didn’t go to the actual bakery when I was in London. Next time I will make it top of my list.

My most recent bakes have been very successful, if I do say so myself.

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Yesterday, I made the Brooklyn Blackout Cake from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (p 54) and it saw off my grumps and was a bit of a challenge. I enjoyed every moment of making it and eating it. It is the kind of cake I would be happy to pay too much for a slice of.

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A couple of weeks ago I also made the Butterscotch Pecan Cheesecake from Cake Days (p174). I did reduce the cheese layer and did 2/3 of the original recipe. I kept the amount of base, nuts and delicious butterscotch layer the same. It was so very good and my friends were all impressed.

So, off you go…… buy them all. I am not going to blog the recipes because you need these beauties in your life.