Manual – The Button I Now Know How To Use On My Camera.

After 3 years of having a fancy camera, I have finally learnt how to use it for food photography. I have enrolled for evening classes a couple of times and they have never happened as there weren’t enough people. When I saw the very fancy Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand had a 2-day weekend class I decided to jump in and get it done!

The weekend was fantastic, it was spent in their space in Cuba Street, Wellington. I loved it. The first day we talked about the food photography and how to use the camera. The Sunday we took photographs of actual food cooked by some of the Le Cordon Bleu students, photographed them while they cooked and ate their food.

It isn’t easy to learn as an adult and I am a long time out of school. I am no expert (yet) but I plan to be. I would recommend this class, it is by no means cheap but is very informative and a great way to learn.

Here are a few of my favourite photographs. They are not perfect, I love them and I am proud of my progress. My next step is to take the camera out of the house and to buy Photoshop.

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Visa Wellington On A Plate 2017.

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That time has come, the time where I spend far too much time reading menus and planning to eat out. Most of the time these plans happen and I am not home for long for some of August.

Burgers are my thing and also eating out at new places. You can read some of my previous years’ antics here.

So far I am liking the look of my friend Lucy’s Looking Good: Food Styling and Photography. 

The High Tea events are also looking good.

Anyway, off you go.

Visa Wellington On A Plate

Let me know what you think?

 

 

Facebook Didn’t Lie- I love the BexanCo NZ Cashew Nut Curry.

 

You know when Facebook tells you that you will like a certain page and you click and think ,YEAH! Well that happened with me and BexanCo NZ. I clicked the link to the page, shared the page on my Muffin Mum page to ask if anyone had tried it. BexanCo got back to me and offered me a couple of sachets to try. Us Muffins love our spicy food and buy our rice in bulk, I wasn’t going to say no. Tonight we tried the Cashew Nut Curry.

 

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To be honest, I didn’t expect to be impressed and was wondering why I would buy a sachet of spices? I have spices in my cupboard and can make a good mix. However, my spices are not fresh. I confess I am a spice hoarder and it has to stop.

This sealed packet of perfectly balanced spices and cashews was fresh, very fresh and smelt delicious. To cook I went a little off track from the directions on the packet and used the Pressure Cooker.

I browned the onions, then the chicken, added the spice, a drained tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of coconut milk.

I cooked it in the pressure cooker for ten minutes, did the instant release and added some frozen international vegetables, I simmered for about 10 minutes.

This Cashew Nut Curry was delicious, seriously delicious.  I would happily serve it at a dinner party and be proud. That is a very an excellent approval rating from me.  BexanCo NZ impressed me and I didn’t expect it. Mr Muffin commented that it wasn’t a curry he would normally order but it had opened his eyes. It was similar to a Madras in a NZ curry house. The spice rating was balanced and Miss ate a good sized portion and no complaints were heard.

All up, yes I would buy the Cashew Nut Curry, it was a great easy dinner in the pressure cooker and we all look forward to trying the BexanCo NZ Curry.

I apologise for the not very impressive photos but we were hungry

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You Baked A Cheesecake In A Pressure Cooker?

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Yes, I did.

We recently purchased a multi cooker with a pressure cooker setting and we are loving it. I am using the term we because Mr has got on the Pressure Cooker bandwagon and has perfected a chicken and cashew dish. The most interesting thing I have made is the cheesecake.

This cheesecake is the best I have ever made. It is a thing of beauty, well not when it first comes out and looks a bit like the moons surface, it defiantly needs some form of decorating to make it look fab. It certainly tastes fab.

The recipe I used is a mash up of a couple. I combined my favourite biscuit base from Hummingbird Bakery and the cheese part is from Great Big Pressure Cooker Book : 500 Recipes For Every Day And Every Make Of Machine.  I tweaked and made it mint flavoured with nice layers effect. One layer was chocolate mint and the the top was mint chocolate chip.

Right, the recipe. If you don’t get any of my bumbling let me know and I will clear anything up. The most important thing is to have the sour cream and cream cheese at room temperature, I said ROOM TEMPERATURE. My plan is to keep the basic recipe the same but use different types of chocolate. I see a future where I add cherry in some form.

Above you can see the foil sling, the cheesecake in the cooker with the handles folded back and the final result. If you look closely at the final result you will see a few finger dents. I tested it by touching it and feeling it was solid.

 

Chocolate Cheesecake In The Pressure Cooker - Muffinmum.com

A 20cm (8 inch diameter) spring-form cake tin (check fits in pressure cooker) lightly oiled – butter is fine.

About 50 cm length of foil folded in to 1/3 length ways

Base

220g (8oz) digestive biscuits (I used Wine biscuits)

100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

2 packets of cream cheese (Philadelphia)

1/4 c packed dark brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

1 egg plus 2 egg yolks (at room temp)

250g Whittakers Ghana Dark Peppermint

1/4 c sour cream

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put 2 cups of water in the pressure cooker and put the rack in too (should come with cooker)

Crush biscuits and stir in melted butter, leave for a few minutes for the butter to absorb

Put crumbs mix in base of prepared pan and press gently with a glass, craft the biscuits up the side of the tin so there is a lip of 2/3cm up the side

Place in fridge for a minimum of 1/2 hour

Break off 2 rows of the chocolate and set aside

Gently melt remaining chocolate in microwave or over a double boiler, allow to cool for 10 mins

In a food processor with a blade process the cream cheese and sugars until smooth

Scrape down the sides, add the whole egg and process.

Add yolks one at a time processing in between

Scrap sides again and add , sour cream , flour and vanilla

Process again until kind of soft and fluffy

Remove 1/3 of the mix and put into a bowl, cut the 2 lines of chocolate into chunks and stir through this mix

Add the melted chocolate  in to the remaining  2/3 of mix

Place prepared tin onto the centre of your foil sling , you are going to use it to take the pan out of the pressure cooker

Pour  chocolate mixture onto the biscuit base and then top with the chocolate chunk mix

Give it a gentle wobble to level

Using the sling, lower the pan into the pressure cooker. Try to make sure the foil is pushed away so it doesn’t cover the pan at all but you can unroll to use as handles

Cook on High for 25 mins

Unplug the pressure cooker at the wall and allow to release pressure naturally

Remove using the sling

There may be water on the top, don’t panic just blot with a piece of kitchen roll

Run a knife around the outer edge/tin to loosen

Allow to cool on a rack for 1 hour, refrigerate for a few hours before eating.

Decorate the top with whatever takes your fancy, sorry but it isn’t pretty. I grated a Whittakers Mint Sante Bar over the top

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Paperboat, A Berhampore Pizza Delight.

 

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Two things made me think about the delicious pizza we had at The Paperboat. The first was reading the book Lion and the mention of a city in India of a similar name as Beramphore , the second, a friend asking about the best pizza in Wellington. Maggie, here you go!

The Paperboat is over on my work side of the city and not a local. However, for the authentic wood-fired pizza and the handmade chips, we will travel. It is somewhere we constantly talk about and keep meaning to go back to and I think now I have told you too, we defiantly should.

Last visit we particularly enjoyed the IKA and the chips, there is just something wonderful about good pizza and fab chips. I am not a huge hot chips fan and when I have them, I want them to be special. I would go back for the chips alone and would love to try the fish.

If any one over that side of the city wants a dinner date, we will oblige!

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The Chocolate Tour – My First Box

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The Chocolate Tour

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A while ago I started looking for a subscription box, I love getting mail and opening boxes. Thinking about it that is rather strange as I don’t like opening gifts from people I know. In my search I looked at all sorts but didn’t find anything that floated my boat. I did consider a socks one, but nah. One day my quest was over.

Fellow blogger, Wellingtonian and Mum Rosa started a chocolate subscription box. Yes, you read right a chocolate subscription box. New Zealand is fast becoming recognised as an excellent chocolate producer. Today my first box arrived. I managed to hide from other’s photos on social media and even wait until after dinner before opening it.

 

Opening it I must to confess to feeling a little nervous and worried that I might be disappointed. I shouldn’t have bothered with the negative thoughts, it contained a fantastic stash of chocolate goodness. This months box has the theme, The Inner Child.  So far I have just eaten the J’aime Les Macaron’s Choc Pop. It was so very good and I am having an internal argument about what to eat next. I must finish here and solve the argument!

*This is not a sponsored post.

Sorry I didn’t use a fancy camera but I needed to get to the good stuff.

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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