Pressure Cooker- It Just Gets Better, Chicken Biryani.

To be honest, when I got my pressure cooker I didn’t think I would use it half as much as I do. I love it. When the day comes that the kitchen gets revamped we will live off pressure cooker meals. We cook all sorts in it and it is great. So much more taste than slow cooker meals. There is still a bit of faffing around but once that lid is on and it is doing its thing, there is freedom.


Currently, our favourite thing to cook is Indian Food. I am following the recipes of another blogger, Two Sleevers. She has a great FB group where everyone is very friendly and full of advice. For a while there I was just an observer but I bought the book and it is my most used recipe book. I used it just tonight.


Our dinner this evening was a very good chicken biryani from Two Sleevers book. It didn’t look much, it was marvellous and full of taste. The only things I changed were sneaking in a few frozen mixed vegetables right at the end and using chicken breasts. It was a really decent dinner.

If you are sitting on the fence about getting a pressure cooker, I say do it. You can email me and ask anything. I have a Sunbeam Avia which was on sale at JBHIFI a while ago.

You can see my post about cheesecake in the pressure cooker here.


Hummingbird Bakery Books – You Need Them All.


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.


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.


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.


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!


Sweet Enough Less Sugar, More Taste- A Great New NZ Baking Book.

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A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this lovely book. If you enlarge the photo you will see that it mentions my birthday buddy, Lucy Mutch from Wellington Foodies. She got to take all the wonderful photos as The Isherwood Sisters who wrote the book live in Wellington. You can find out all about the sisters and the books aim, to reduce sugar here.

Sunday afternoon Miss was baking for her week and I decided to help fill the oven and put a Monday smile on my colleagues faces by baking from the book. I chose the Wholemeal Ginger Crunch. The base has little sugar in and the icing is delicious. To top it all, it was very easy. I do enjoy a good one pot recipe. My colleagues enjoyed the slice.

You can arrange to sell the book for fundraising, I think that is a pretty nifty fundraising idea. So, order yourself the book and have a look and see for yourself.


Digby Law’s Soup Cookbook Is Back In Print.

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If you are in New Zealand you have probably heard of Digby Law and maybe own one or two of his books? I have had a copy of the Pickle and Chutney Cookbook for about as long as we have been in New Zealand. It has sticky splotches on it and bent corners. I have always wanted to complete my Digby Law set and now some of the books are back in print, I will have to make a start.

Digby Law was a proper cook, he taught cookery and wrote articles for various publications. This was all in the day before celebrity chefs and shiny photograph based cookbooks with more photos than recipes. The books are all recipe.

The Digby Law’s Soup book was originally published in 1982 and covers soups from all over the world. It is an international collection with many varieties of soup. There is even a section on fruit soups. It really does highlight that soup can be interesting. The recipes are easy to follow and vary greatly.

Personally, I love a good soup, it is a great way to use everything up and to help get those 5 a day for a balanced diet. This book covers it all and I highly recommend it to add to your Kiwi library of proper cookbooks.

I will add links on her as I make various soups. The first on my list will be –

Mexican Meatball Soup p45.

Thank you Hachette New Zealand.

I now have the new version of the above soup book, thanks to Hachette New Zealand.

Women’s Own Cook Book- 1964

I got this book in an op shop for $4. It has the original old dears book marks in it and is a bit of an eye opener. It is an English book with a wonderful section in the back that gives you an idea of what to expect abroad. I have included the NZ part so that we know what we should be doing here in NZ.
Imagine making these for your kids party?
or these
I do like the weight chart- 
Oh and the information on Kiwi women

And some random pages-

Cooking with my Destitute Gourmet books

I will report back as soon as I have cooked something.
I have 5 Destitute Gourmet (Sophie Gray) books and love them all. I have cooked lots from 100+ Tasty $10 Meals so decided to start with this one.
I am not doing a dinner each night this week but over the next few weeks I will only use this book. At this point I am not going to type the recipes up. I have contacted the Author to see if she would mind and what makes her feel happy. 
** On speaking to Sophie gray via Facebook I have deicide not to publish the recipes. They are available in the book, obviously or you can find a way to contact me. @muffinmum works on twitter.
The first dinner-
Honey mustard beef with seasonal greens ( page 68)
As you can see my version came out a little different. The original recipe called for blanching the veg and then adding to the sauce. I cooked the beef and added it to the sauce and put the dish under a heated grill. I then stir fried our mixed veg (carrot, green capsicum, broccoli, onion, red cabbage) and added the beef/sauce.
We all really liked the taste but next time I will add some chilli and a little more curry powder.
Orzo salad with Chilli basil chicken p72
To be very honest, I didn’t think we would all like this as it is rather fusion. Miss7 read the title and worried about the chilli. I used mild sweet chilli sauce.
Miss7 dug straight in, she wasn’t sure about the orzo but the dinner vanished. Hubby and I both enjoyed it. 
I served it with some corn on the cob and chilli corn bread.
Cowboy casserole p36
This dinner was basically a good way to make Bolognaise more interesting. I had a portion on the freezer and mixed it with some baked beans, pasta and topped it with cheese. It was them baked. It made a nice alternative and was good for that freezer portion that wasn’t quite big enough for the 3 of us. 
Linda’s chicken couscous p18
I have never thought of couscous as something to roast but it was very lovely.  There were soft bits and crunchy bits. Miss loves chicken drumsticks but the grown ups aren’t fans. Next time I would use breasts and add a bit more flavour, probably some cumin, coriander, paprika and lemon.
I really would recommend this recipe, certainly makesd a difference to the normal chicken roast.
And another stunning and different to the norm dinner-
Spianata p 58
Before I forget to mention it, I added an extra cup of flour (3 cups) to this recipe. I also cheated slightly and did the dough in the bread-maker on dough setting. I thought that was rather clever of me.
I roasted some veg when last nights couscous was cooking and used bits up from the fridge for this meal. I was unsure about how nice it would be with just   Parmesan in it but resisted the urge to add feta. I was glad I did as it was a lovely dinner. The crust was different to a calzone or pizza and it was very tasty. I would defiantly make this again.
Lonely sausage risotto p 56
This was another time saving meal as I already had the sausages cooked. I had to hide them from Miss who learnt the joy of a good cold pork sausage and would have eaten them all up. I used 2 sausages and made the addition of peas.
I love risotto but with things in it the other 2 are not keen on (creamy) so it would good to actually make this and find they both liked it. Miss wasn’t too sure about the rice but she will get there.