Farrah’s Mexican Meal Kits- Ditch The Imported Mexican & Go Local.


This is not a sponsored post, this is me sharing my new find.

Sometimes you just have to buy something purely because it is on offer, that was how we first tried Farrah’s Mexican Meal Kits. Now we get them everytime we see them down to $5 a kit. They are a pantry staple and delicious. We wouldn’t go back to that other worldwide brand. They are made in NZ, not that far from us, in Upper Hutt.


Tonight we had Enchiladas and they were delicious. I did 6 enchiladas in total as there are only 3 of us. I am going to use the two remaining wraps for my lunch tomorrow.

If you see the kits, I seriously recommend stocking up. You will be pleasantly surprised. Even the teen enjoyed the meal and didn’t complain.




Offal Club at Hillside – I DID IT MUM!



It started like this!


I have mentioned before that I am not a natural meat eater. I swapped meat for vegetables off my brother’s plate and turned vegetarian at 14 years old. It lasted until we moved to New Zealand.

Last night I did something that I have been saying I would do for ages and maybe even a couple of years, I went to Offal Club. Offal Club happens at Hillside Kitchen and Cellar in Thorndon on random Monday nights. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for various Monday night themes.

I would highly recommend Offal Club to anyone, except the vegetarians and vegans. There ain’t no place for you at that table! I can honestly say, I will go again. If you know me I will wear you down and drag you along. If you can trust anyone to cook you offal it has to be Asher Boote. The meal was an amazing price too, I paid $65 for 5 courses.  This meal was worth more and simply amazing.

Here are a few pictures, can you believe this is offal? They do have to be big to make you look closely and think, ‘I could eat that’.



First came tripe. Yes, I said tripe, salt and pepper tripe with pickled cucumber, onion and a sweet and sour sauce. It was not like tripe and I need to say the word, marvellous.




Pureed black pudding, white anchovies and sprouts with a squid ink cracker. This was clever, very clever. Very clever in a good way.




Lambs tongue in a light broth with turnip and carrot. I am not sure I could cook this but it was wonderful. My knees did get a little shaky seeing little baby lambs tongue on my plate. The meat was nothing like I imagined and it was soft with a little crunch around the outside. The balance of the meal was perfect.



Beef heart lightly smoked with mushrooms, onions and bacon. There was mashed spuds and spinach too. I have to be honest, I liked this but it didn’t float my boat. I think it was closer to a normal beef dish. The others at the table vacuumed it up. I can tick heart off my offal list now.




Lemongrass ants with parsnip ice cream and persimmon.  These ants are native. We may have spent rather a lot of time trying to decide how they were killed and came to taste of lemongrass. They are frozen and the lemongrass taste is natural. Yes, they really do taste of lemongrass. You can buy them from Anteater . This was a lovely way to eat ants, last time I had them they were crunchy and in a salsa.

The very last treat was the little morsels I love. There was no offal and I just have to post a photo because of the cuteness. The little lemon meringues may have been referred to as angels nipples.



Thursday- Chilli con carne meatballs, Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

20130829_172807Blimey, this recipe has been blogged about so many times, I feel boring.

Bulgur wheat:

300g bulgur wheat

1 preserved lemon

1 cinnamon stick


400g lean beef mince

1 heaped tsp garam masala

olive oil

3 jarred red peppers

4 spring onions

1 tsp smoked paprika

700g passata

bunch of fresh coriander

1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans

pinch of cumin seeds

4 tsp fat free natural yoghurt

1 lime

Grilled chillies  – I didn’t do this, it didn’t need it.

Put 1 mug of bulgur wheat, 2 mugs of boiling water, the preserved lemon and the cinnamon stick into medium pan ,stir it occasionally.

Scrunch the mince with garam masala, salt and pepper.
Divide the mixture into 4, then with wet hands quickly shape each piece into 4 balls, placing them into the frying pan as you roll them.
Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and toss regularly.
Blitz the peppers, half the trimmed spring onions, the paprika, passata, half the coriander and a pinch of salt and pepper in the liquidizer until smooth.
Pour the mixture into another frying pan and turn the heat up to high.
Rinse and drain the beans, then add to the meatballs with the cumin seeds.
Transfer the meatballs straight into the pan of sauce leaving the beans behind.
Finely slice the remaining trimmed spring onions.
Stir the beans into the sauce.
Remove the cinnamon stick, then mash the lemon into the bulgur wheat and serve with the meatball sauce over it.
Add some yogurt, the charred chillies and wedges of lime, scattered with the remaining spring onions and coriander leaves.
We had couscous with lemon. I couldn’t find bulgar wheat in our local supermarket . It went well and Miss decided may be she does like it, result.
I would certainly make this again. The sauce was very lovely and one of those things you may have out and think you could never do. The kidney beans aren’t necessary and there are plenty of meatballs.
I used these tomatoes, 1 and a bit cans of them.
Photo 13-09-14 5 59 10 pm

Monday- Noodles with slivered beef and red capsicum, Delicious by Sophie Gray

Delicious by Sophie Gray, also on the Healthy Food Guide website.


280g pack dried egg noodles/ fresh egg noodles
350g beef, thinly sliced (use rump steak or schnitzel)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoons kecap manis
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
a squeeze lime juice
2 handfuls chopped fresh coriander
Heat oil in a wok or frying pan and seal beef strips. Toss in capsicum and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add  kecap manis and chicken stock and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Step 2 Rinse noodles if using fresh or prepare according to packet directions if using dried, and stir into wok. Add lime juice and coriander and lastly toss in bean sprouts, folding quickly through noodles. Add more stock at this point if you like your noodles more ‘saucy’. Pile into bowls and eat with gusto.
I had to add a sliced onion and about a 2cm cube of fresh ginger. They went in at the same time as the capsicum. They were needed.
We added our own coriander and us grown-ups had a bit of chili too. We all added a bit more lime, I used a squeezy bottle as I was unable to buy a lime.
We loved it. I do rather a lot of Asian inspired food and this was different and will be used as a recipe base again. Miss Muffin chose a good one.

Spider Leg Beef

Spider Leg Beef
Yes, you read right. I have no idea why but this is what this beef is to me. I make it to go on top of stir fried vegetable and noodles. Miss Muffin likes just plain beef so I get to funk these legs up and make them good and tasty. Getting these how you like them is the key and just knowing that you can do that lovely crispy beef may just make your day. My one tip is, cook it a little bit longer than you think. On the way to being black is the way to go.
I am going to be vague and give you a rough idea and my way.

Enough stir fry beef strips for you and yours
Corn flour
Course ground black pepper
Chilli flakes
Thai sweet chilli sauce (one with lime is good)

Put corn flour in a bowl, add pepper and chilli flakes, be heavy handed. Make sure it is enough to cover the beef and a bit more.
Put Beef into the bowl and stir carefully so it is all covered. Stir a bit more, cover and leave to stand for about 10 or so minutes.
Heat a frying pan, add enough oil for a good fry but not too much. When nice and hot put the beef into the pan separating the strips as you go. I use tongs.
Cook the beef until brown, when some are almost black, add a good glug of the Thai Chilli to coast all the bits. Keep turning and cook until crispy.
Enjoy those spider legs.

Beef Rendang and other lovely bits.

I love beef rendang and found this post on the spice paste I had been using.

The Brahim’s Rendang paste is good on its own but the hints on the blog really enhance its flavour and give it depth. I buy the paste for around $3.50 a sachet at David’s trading in Petone and am pleased it should be available in Australia too.
The past 2 times I have cooked this I have used the slow cooker and my own method.
Using just one frying pan/wok-

Toast 1/2 cup coconut  and then grind gently in a mortar and pestle, I will not shoot you if you don’t grind.
Sear beef cubes in same pan with a little oil, place in slow cooker.
Thinly slice 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic and chilli to your taste. Sauté in a little oil in the pan. Once they are getting soft add spice paste and cook until it starts releasing its flavour.

Add 1/2 c water as per directions on the packet. Add to slow cooker.
This can be left on for ages. Today I also added some par boiled potatoes, not true to a Rendang but they tasted good.
I served with some peanuts (not salted),  tomato/onion/cucumber salad and some Acar which was ready made and from a jar.  Finding Acar in a jar was a personal mission of mine. I got it in the Dutch shop, I mean, where else would you look for a Malaysian pickle?
We also had roti and rice. Oh it was all very nice and we have left overs. Tuesday night will be Rendang pie in my house.

 An Indonesian version of Acar