Eight Bells

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Sunday, April 30, 2006


Mezze is a selection of small dishes similar to Spanish tapas but with a more eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavour.

Here we have:
Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves)
Marinated black olives and feta cheese
White bean dip
Ciabatta crackers
Caper berries
Sundried tomatoes
Stuffed field mushrooms
Capsicum (bell peppers) with anchovies and roasted garlic
Spinach and ricotta filled filo parcels

Spinach and ricotta filled filo parcels
1 pkt of filo pastry
1 tub of ricotta (less 2 tablespoons)
1 small onion diced
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 egg
1 bag of frozen spinach 325g/12OZ
Salt & pepper
1 heaped teaspoon of chopped parsley
1/2 a cup of toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds (put 2 tablespoons in another bowl for the mushrooms)

Put the ricotta and spinach in a large mixing bowl.
Toast the seeds and cook the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft (keep aside 1 teaspoon of the cooked onion and garlic). Cool the seeds and onion and garlic and then add to the ricotta and spinach and combine.
Add the egg and seasoning and mix again.
Using a double layer of filo, place 2 tablespoons of the mixture on to the filo and fold in to parcels. Place on baking paper on a flat oven tray and cook for approx 25 minutes at 180C/350F until golden brown.

Cut whole capsicum in to thirds, trim away any internal membrane and discard the seeds. Place peppers on a lined baking tray and add to each: one or two anchovies, a little olive oil, lemon zest, fresh thyme, salt & pepper and a clove of roasted garlic.

Clean four large field mushrooms and place them stalk side up on an oven tray. Mix 2 tablespoons of ricotta, 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese, parsley, thyme, salt & pepper and 1 teaspoon of the cooked onion/garlic. Use this mixture to stuff the mushrooms. Cook the Peppers and Mushrooms with the filo parcels.

White bean dip
1 tin of cannellini beans
1 medium potato diced, boiled and cooled
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 cloves of roasted garlic

Put all the ingredients in to a blender or kitchen whiz and puree. Refrigerate.

The other mezze can be either made at home or bought in. The dolmades we had this evening for example were shop bought as was the hummus, babaghanoush etc. This particular meal was entirely vegetarian but mezze doesn't have to be. Occasionally meat just doesn't appeal and this is a really interesting vegetarian meal with many flavours, textures and colours. Enjoy.

Ka Ree Mun Chaz

So tonight I donned my turban and my wife painted strange symbols on her feet with henna and off we went to Indian banquet night.
A friend of ours had her birthday on Friday so what better way to celebrate than to invite a few people round to your house to eat interesting asian food.
This was pretty much pot luck (all highly organised of course) so no recipes today. I made dal again and Jules took chicken and pistachio korma, yoghurt raita and mango mousse.
Here is a very impressive poppadum tower.

and the banquet

It was all excellent and I highly recommend you do this as soon as you possibly can. Perhaps try not to drink as much Kingfisher or Tiger beer as I did and then you will actually be able to get out of bed the next day.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Quickly sir apply the ammonium carbonate!

Sorry for the incredibly obscure joke but if you get it you will win one million dollars.
This dish conflicts me greatly. On the one hand you have the incredible qualities of prime tuna and on the other hand the fact that tuna really is a non sustainable food source, top of it's food chain and so help me, damn tasty. The following serves 4.

Sesame soba noodles
Seared tuna
Tempura vegetables

First prepare the noodles
Put 1 pkt (250g) of soba (buckwheat) noodles in to a large pot of salted boiling water for approx 6 mins. Remove from heat, drain and stand till cold.
While the noodles are cooking toast 75g white sesame seeds (no oil) in a frying pan until golden brown. Be careful it is very easy to over cook or burn the sesame seeds.

Make the dressing
Whisk 5 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp mirin, 2 tsp liquid honey & t tsp sesame oil together in a bowl.
Finely slice 5 spring onions.

When sesame seeds and noodles have cooled mix together in a large bowl. Add spring onion and dressing. Mix till noodles are coated with dressing, sesame seeds etc and set aside.
Ensure tuna is room temperature or at least removed from fridge 1 hour prior to cooking. Massage tuna with lime oil and set aside.

Prepare tempura vegetables.
Cut selected vegetables to preferred size, we used mushrooms, broccoli and capsicum (bell pepper). Rinse and pat dry ensuring no surface moisture remains on the vegetables.
In a small pan put 2 to 3 cm of cooking oil (sunflower oil) and set aside.
When ready to eat i.e. 15 to 20 mins prior to serving heat oil for vegetables, be careful to heat slowly and test for readiness by dipping a piece of vegetable in to the oil (you are looking for brisk bubbling).

Make batter
50g plain flour
50g corn flour
25ml cooking oil (sunflower oil)
200 ml cold sparkling or soda water
salt & pepper

Mix dry ingredients and salt & pepper in a bowl, add oil, pour in soda water and beat until smooth. The batter will be slightly fizzy. Stand.
Toss prepared vegetables in plain flour and shake off any excess.
Sear your tuna steaks in a frying pan turning once only. While you are cooking the tuna cook your vegetables in batches in the hot oil. Place the vegetables on to absorbent kitchen paper/towel once cooked.
Thinly slice the rare cooked tuna and serve with the tempura vegetables and noodles. Have soy sauce and limes available for dipping and squeezing. Kenshou.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Haolam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al n'tilat yadayim.

That really brings back memories. I lived for over a year in Israel as part of my OE (overseas experience). From the Negev desert right on the border with Jordan to central Tel Aviv I heard the blessing or grace before a meal many times. Seeing it written down really brings it all back almost as if I were there again.
I ate a lot of falafel and hummus in Israel mainly because for a few sheqels you could have a lunch or dinner that really filled you up and was always delicious. In Tel Aviv we used to eat our falafel in pita bread with generous amounts of hummus, some pretty firey whole marinated jalepenos and ice cold Maccabis.
You could make your own falafel but why bother when you can buy pots of the stuff in the supermarket and simply shape and oven bake your own falafel balls. Add to that hummus, youghurt sauce and your choice of vegetables and with pita bread or wraps you have a fantastic vegetarian meal. LaChaim.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Tonight we are having leftover cannelloni so instead of talking food I thought I'd talk about something that I used to believe but no longer do.
I used to believe that we lived in uninteresting times. The industrial revolution had come before I was born. The personal computer, nuclear power and a man on the moon are all now just a fact of life. Lately however I have had to rethink. When I was young I wished I had been born in say the year 20000. I could picture it all. Teleportation would be old hat, inter stellar travel...yawn and downloading my conciousness in to an everlasting super powerful android body would cost $29.95 and come with a free set of steak knives. Recently however I have had to reassess my position. The two main reasons for this reassessment are peak oil and global warming
I have for some time believed that the effects that these crises will have on our society and the speed at which the effects will be felt have been underestimated. I no longer believe that. Now I think they are vastly underestimated. Make no mistake the next 30 years of our lives will be some of the most interesting years in the history of mankind and I don't mean that in a good way. There is no point me going in to details regarding the facts and falsehoods of oil and greenhouse. There are a billion words already written propounding every point of view that it is possible to take. Sufffice it to say that we're in trouble. Make up your own mind but in the end it won't really matter. It's all going to happen a lot quicker than anyone could have imagined and most of it is going to be bad.
On a lighter note I am told that I will soon be able to grow pineapples in my garden. Here's dinner.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Anzac Day roast

This day may not mean much to those living outside of Australia and New Zealand but for ockers and kiwis it is a national holiday and a day during which we remember those who have fallen in battle Anzac Day
Unless it's pork and puha or crayfish you can't get a much more authentic New Zealand meal than a good kiwi roast, it seemed appropriate for the day. Sure a leg of lamb may be a little more traditional but at a pinch a chicken will do. Chuck the chook in the oven, after 30 mins bang in ya veges, give it another hour and Bob's your auntie.


Traditional cannelloni is not a vegetarian dish however when we make this we almost always make both vegetarian and the more traditional non-vegetarian version.


1 box of cannelloni tubes (the one we used had 16 cannelloni tubes and weighed 250g/9OZ). Seves 4-6.
Make meat filling first if doing both.

Meat Filling
250g/9OZ minced beef
1 diced onion
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
1 tsp oregano
1 TBs cooking oil

Fry mince & onion in the oil till the meat is browned and the onions soft. Add other ingredients and slowly simmer until reduced and well flavoured. The sauce must be thick enough to stuff your cannelloni tubes.

Tomato Sauce
This is simply 2 1/2 tins of chopped tomatoes, 1/2 cup of tomato paste and salt & pepper mixed in a bowl.

Vegetarian Filling
1/2 tub of low fat ricotta (150g/5OZ)
1 cup cooked and mashed butternut or buttercup pumpkin
1 1/2 cups cooked, drained and chopped spinach
1 small cooked onion diced
1/2 tsp vegetable stock powder
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
salt & pepper

Mix ingredients in a large bowl and set aside

Bechamel Sauce
You can use a prepared Bechamel sauce from the supermarket, a packet cheese or white sauce or simply make your own roux.

1 cup grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F
Fill the cannelloni tubes (in this case 8 meat and 8 vege) use a tsp, a piping bag or even just a plastic bag with one corner cut off.
Pour approx 1/6 of the sauce in to the bottom of each of your two oven proof dishes. Place tubes on top of the sauce to prevent the pasta from burning in the oven. If you need to layer the tubes pour over more tomato sauce and add the rest of the cannelloni and the rest of the tomato sauce over the top.
Pour half of your cheese sauce over each dish and sprinkle grated cheese on top.
Cover with foil and place in preheated oven. Cook for approx 45 mins before removing the foil so that the top of the dish can be browned and the sauce becomes a little less wet. This was so good I was looking forward to it all day!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Self Crusting Quiche

It's time to get back in to serious recipe territory tonight. This self crusting quiche is awesome and so simple. It serves 4 for dinner and maybe 6 for lunch.

Self Crusting Quiche
2 potatoes
1 courgette (zuccini)
1 small onion
1 capsicum (bell pepper)
2 tomatoes
6 mushrooms
4 sundried tomatoes (optional)
1 cups grated cheese
3/4 cup diced feta
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper
1 tin asparagus
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder

Peel, dice and par boil potatoes to make approx 1 cup, put aside to cool.
Dice and slowly cook the onion, put aside to cool.
Cut capsicum into 4 pieces and chargrill skin side up until black, place in a sealed plastic bag and sweat. Peel the skins and slice.
Preheat oven to 200C/390F
Dice tomatoes and courgette
Slice mushrooms
Mix the vegetables in a large bowl and add cheese, herbs and salt & pepper. Add chopped sundried tomatoes if using and combine.
Drain asparagus.
In a greased pie dish put 1/2 the vegetable mixture and lay half the asparagus on top, continue by adding the rest of the vegetable mixture and arrange the rest of the asparagus spears on top.
In a new bowl mix eggs, milk, flour and baking powder.
Pour over the vegetable mix in the pie dish.
Place in the preheated oven ensuring you have a baking tray lined with foil on a rack below the dish as it may overflow depending on the depth of your cooking container.
Cook for 60 mins, checking regularly. If the quiche starts to brown cover with foil but do not seal. When the dish is ready there should be minimal visible wetness on the surface of the quiche. Stand for 10-15 mins and serve as is or with salad.
This dish is very versatile, other ingredients such as spinach and different cheeses can be added and it can be vegetarian or not with the addition of ham or cooked bacon. It is great reheated the next day or even frozen and served up much later.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

Gaius Julius Caeser 13 July 100 BC-15 March 44 BC was a Roman political and military leader. He was widely considered one of the greatest military tacticians of all time, a great politician, a tyrant and one of the ancient world's most famous/infamous leaders. He also wore a dress and made a damn fine salad.
Dry cured bacon, anchovies, Romano cheese, lettuce and a poached egg. Salad perfection.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Chiefs 33 Cheetahs 32

Oh please, only the South Africans would name a rugby team the Cheetahs. So at the start of this game the Chiefs had to win their 4 remaining games and get a bonus point in each game (score four tries or more) in order to make the semi finals. One game down three to go but hell they made us sweat for it. It's Friday night we are both exhausted and good for nothing but a few glasses of wine and easy comfort food. The sirloin you can see below is again organic produce from the local butchers, various roasted vegetables and brussel sprouts with a creamy mushroom (packet!) sauce. It was easy and delicious.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


We should have shotguns for this
kind of deal.

How many up there?

Three or four.

Counting our guy?

I'm not sure.

So there could be five guys up

It's possible.

We should have fuckin' shotguns.

And here is the box it came in which conveniently has perforations and a cut out to make your own coffin box for leftovers.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ring of Fire

Well it was a bloody big pot of curry wasn't it, you knew you would see it again. Here we have the left over curry and dal with the addition of fried cabbage and carrot an excellent foil to the curry. You can also see naan bread, yoghurt raita and mango chutney again. I'd have to say that it really takes 24 hours rest for a decent curry to become all that it can be. The complexity of the flavours in the curry the next day was just wonderful and even better I get to have the very last of it for lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Never call me chicken!

Well I'm knackered and there's a movie on TV I want to watch so really quickly.
Chicken breast roasted on a bed of sliced limes with rosemary and lime juice and vegetarian risotto with parmesan.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Paperback Raita

Indian food, what can I say. When it is done well it is some of the tastiest and most interesting food I have ever experienced. Tonight we have a lamb curry, it's a bit of a custom job so no recipe I'm afraid. The lamb curry is married with moong dal, cucumber and yoghurt raita and mini papadams.
Here is a picture of the lamb curry (prior to putting in the oven for 2 hours). The main ingredients are lamb, aubergine (eggplant) tomato and onion.

This particular curry is really a mix of different styles (rogan josh meets madras and korma). What I suggest is buying a good authentic Indian cook book and cooking a lot of the recipes. Once you have worked out what you like then you can experiment. Indian cooking is not something you can just do without practice but all the hard work is certainly worth it in the end. Sitting your friends down to a genuine Indian banquet that you have created is one of the most satisfying cooking experiences you can have.
The moong dal is a standard so the recipe is as follows.

Moong Dal
200g/7oz moong dal
2 large tomatoes chopped
2 green chillis chopped
1" square piece of fresh ginger chopped
3 large garlic cloves
1/4 tsp tumeric powder
1 Tbs fresh coriander leaves chopped
10 fresh curry leaves
1 Tbs butter

Wash the dal well and then soak for 15 mins
Bring 5 cups of water to the boil in a large pot. Add the dal with the tomatoes, chillies, ginger, 2 of the garlic cloves (chopped) and the tumeric powder. Return to the boil, then add salt. Cook for 30 mins. Remove from the heat and whisk with an egg beater, until the grains of dal are completely mashed. Add coriander and curry leaves and cook a further 5 mins.
Heat the butter in a small frying pan, add the rest of the chopped garlic and fry until golden. Pour into the dal, which is now ready to serve. The consistency should be like thick soup.
Serve with cucumber and yoghurt raita, mini papadums and mango chutney.

Spaghetti Carbonara for two

Authentic carbonara uses pancetta it is expensive and hard to find, good bacon is an excellent substitute.
Bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil.
Dice a medium onion and slice 4 strips of bacon in to half inch strips or squares. Fry the onion and bacon together with a little olive oil until just browned and put aside.
Beat 2 eggs together in a bowl with ground salt and pepper and put aside. There is no need for carbonara to contain any cream but you can add a Tbs or two of cream to the egg mixture if you wish (just remember it's all extra fat that you don't need to be eating).
Cook your spaghetti (penne is a good substitute) until al dente, about 7 or 8 mins for spaghetti. Drain spaghetti and then return to the pasta pot (off the heat now). Add the bacon and onion to the pasta and then add egg mixture and toss rapidly until pasta, onions and bacon are coated with the mixture (the heat from the pasta will cook the mixture). Serve with plenty of ground black pepper and fresh parmesan or romano cheese.
This recipe has a lot of room for you to add your own touch. Tonight we added rocket & fried mushrooms while serving and herbs such as fresh parsley or thyme can be added to the egg mixture. Do not add dark mushrooms prior to serving as the meal will be entirely coloured by the mushrooms. Bon Appetito.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

More salmon

There's a lot to be said for eating free range produce but when it comes to fish I think the reverse is true. All the salmon you have seen in this blog is farmed. It means they are purpose bred and raised for eating not taken from the wild. When I see a fish species like John Dory or Orange Roughy in the supermarket or fish shop I cringe because although we are told that the reserves of these fish are being 'managed' you just know big business have put there spin on things and their sticky fingers in to yet another pie. The worst thing is that when people see these types of fish in the supermarket I'm sure they automatically think that it must be ok. Even crazier is that there is no demand for these endangered species of fish, if they weren't in the supermarkets we would eat something else.
Anyway enough proselytizing for one day here's breakfast.

Smoked Salmon Bagels

This is simply toasted bagels, smoked salmon and lettuce but the ingredient that really makes it is as below.
Take a small pot of lite cream cheese and add to a bowl, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Add capers a little parsely and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Leave to stand for 30 mins in the fridge if you have time otherwise spread on the toasted bagels add the other ingredients and eat. Heaven.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hawai`i pono`î Nânâ i kou, mô`î

I knew we had burned ourselves out yesterday. I present to you the greatest dinner ever created by man or woman.

Master of my domain

There's just something about putting on chainsaw chaps and cutting stuff down that really makes you want to grunt and eat raw mammoth. The smell of petrol and wood chips, it's primal.
So this cyprus tree? has been looking at me funny ever since we moved in 3 months ago, it has to go sleep with the fishes. Nurse, chainsaw please, I'm going in.
Here is the patient prior to the operation, as you can see the subject is beyond help.

2 mins later and the plug had definately been pulled

Yes the TV aerial was taken down AFTER the felling, as planned (it is not used as there is a satellite dish on the roof). May I just say that the "hinge cut" felling method worked perfectly and the tree fell exactly where I had planned.
For those of you who think the tree was lovely and should have been spared, it was blocking the light to the lounge and pushing the fence over.

Lake walk

It was an absolute ripper of a day today so an early morning lake walk seemed like the best way to get going. Hamilton lake takes about 45 mins to an hour to walk around depending on how long you take to admire the scenery. I took a few pictures along the way.

You can see Waikato hospital below on the left

A local resident, this is a Pukeko.

Then home for brunch, just left overs from last nights dinner and the rest of the bacon from Fridays breakfast.

Friday dinner

Maple Syrup marinated salmon
Roast potato, onion & courgette (zucchini) tarts
Lime oil roasted tomatoes
rocket (urugula)

First make the pastry for the tarts and refrigerate (2 hours)
Debone and slice the salmon fillet in to the desired sized pieces and marinate with 1 Tbs of maple syrup per piece (2 hours)
You will need to dice and roast the potatoes for the tart filling (1 small potato per tart) for approx 40 mins at 180C/350F.

Lime oil roasted tomatoes
Halve tomatoes and place on oven tray. Grind salt and pepper on the cut surfaces and sprinkle lime or lemon infused olive oil on the tomatoes and place in the oven with the potatoes.

Flaky pastry
175g butter (6 oz)
2 cups of flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
cold water from fridge

Mix flour and salt in a bowl and then grate the butter in to the bowl. Rub in until pastry resembles breadcrumbs and add lemon juice. Add enough cold water to mix to a firm dough (add approx 2 tablespoons of water to start). Turn the dough on to a floured board and knead lightly. Roll out to 5mm thick, fold in each corner and form pastry in to a ball. Wrap in cling film & refrigerate for 1 hour minimum.

Potato, onion & zuccini tarts (serves 6)
1 quantity of flaky pastry or store bought
6 potatoes peeled, diced in to approx 1/2" cubes and roasted
2 onions finely sliced
zucchini finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
salt & pepper
1 tsp butter
3 tsp fresh thyme

Slow cook onions in butter until soft, not coloured. Add garlic and cook a further 5 mins then add zuccini and thyme and cook for a further 10 mins. Place in a bowl, add roast potatoes and set aside to cool. Grease 6 mini loose bottomed flan dishes, line with pastry and trim. Spoon equal quantities of the onion/zucchini/potato mixture in to the pastry lined dishes. Make batter for tarts by beating 1 large egg with a cup of cream (no skimping on the fat in this one I'm afraid). Add 1/3 cup of flour and 1 tsp baking powder and mix. Once mixed spoon over the prepared tarts. Place in a pre heated oven, cook at 200C/390F for approx 20-25 mins.

10 mins before the tarts are ready heat a frying pan and cook the salmon. Not a lot of salmon per person is required it is very rich, see picture for a good idea of the size of the pieces the fillet was sliced in to.
Serve as soon as the salmon is done with a tart and the tomatoes and rocket.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Easter tree?!

This is the first I had ever heard of this 'age old tradition'. I think it was just an excuse for my wife to spend a week playing with glitter and glue.

Sleepy Cat

Ok so just to change things around a little Thursdays dinner is out, Fridays breakfast is in.
Here we have dry cured Manuka smoked bacon from the local organic butchery. This particular supplier calls his free range bacon 'free walkin'. Manuka is a tree that grows wild in New Zealand, it has very small fine leaves that can be used to make tea (thus its other common name 'tea tree') and the wood is very hard and when burned has a very sweet smoke. It is often used for smoking and flavouring meat, fish etc.
The bacon was combined with these fantastic free range eggs (yes the eggs are allowed to roam and forage freely on the farm) rocket (arugula) and a shop bought Hollandaise. Up until recently we would have made our own hollandaise sauce however a company called Delmaine has recently bought out a range of pre prepared sauces which are much lower fat than normal (20 grams of fat per 100 grams rather than the usual 60 or 70), very flavoursome and keeps in the fridge when opened for around 3-4 weeks! Bonus.

And here is a picture of a very sleepy cat...

Todays link, everything you needed to know about everything

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hot Cumberland Sausage

This is a little something we bought at the farmers market from the lovely people at Soggy Bottom. Cumberland sausage. Free range, organic and the taste, just awesome.

Although it has surprising similarities in appearence to a rather large dog turd the taste was amazing.
Put together with green beans and potato and pumpkin mash it was just delicious. There is a lot to be said for spending a little more for really tasty free range organic produce. What a difference. It was accompanied with the rather delicious 'Pansy' rose wine from Kim Crawford for no other reason than it was on special.

Check this out kittencannon
So addictive. My top score 1849. Bon chance.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Spag bol

Oh man this spaghetti bolognese is so good, you should see it sitting there in the bowl. If you could imagine the perfect spaghetti covered with the most delicious meat sauce, steam rising, the herbs the garlic ohhh sooo good. Mmmmmm all covered with fresh parmesan it's saying to me "eat me, eat me". So I ate it and it was good oh so good and then when I'd finished and was bathing in the delicious bolognese afterglow I thought "oh fuck I forgot to take a picture".
Instead here's a picture of something even more delicious than spaghetti bolognese.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Mmmmm this is just delicious. Beef salad using the leftover sirloin from Saturday night with roasted potatoes and rosemary.
Simply roast your potatoes with oil, chopped fresh rosemary and ground salt and pepper. Put your salad together, in this case we used caper berries, avocado, tomato, red onion, iceberg lettuce and of course the leftover sirloin. There is no dressing but a little balsamic vinegar based French dressing could be used.

Oh and check this out stripgenerator lots of fun.


Nice and easy. Everyone is knackered after a pretty hectic weekend so it's time for ready made chicken. Prawn cocktails to start.

And the pre prepared chicken from the supermarket, home made chips and salad.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Geezer birthday reprise

Well they're such attention seekers there was no way the birthday was going to last one night.
The original plan was to go to the Hamilton balloon festival and then come back to our place for dinner. Unfortunately the weather was utter shit so staying home and watching the Chiefs (my home town rugby team) draw 26-26 with the Bulls (saffy bastards) was the order of the day. Of course the referee was blind etc and played a big part in the home side not winning. In between times I put up a kitchen wall cabinet, built a kit set wardrobe and installed new light fittings so was feeling very manly.
This is a lovely piece of meat and pricey. It is sirloin steak from our friendly local organic butcher.

After oiling the meat and rolling in ground salt and pepper the steak was seared and then roasted in the oven with the vegetables (potatoes, carrots etc). On the plate you can see Brussel sprouts again and cauliflower cheese and peas. Instead of gravy we used the same butchers meat glaze that was used for the eye fillet. Well anyway it was just delicious. Sorry for not supplying you with a step by step recipe but its basically just a flash roast dinner.

Well you can't have a birthday without a birthday cake so here we go

and a slice

All in all a cool night. We watched Mr & Mrs Smith on satellite which had the expected amounts of bullets flying and bodies counting. We got pretty wasted on various amounts of beer and sauvignon blanc and then it was time for sleep.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Geezer birthday

Ok so the birthday boy is 64 (Beatles moment) and you know what they're like, they need a ready supply of easily chewable foods and handy access to fire exits and toilets. Off to the local casino buffet we went for all you can eat everything.
To be honest it was pretty reasonable for buffet dining, good choice and nothing that looked like it would kill you too swiftly. I just took pics of what I ate so here we go.
Starters were pretty uninspiring so my fall back option was bread rolls and pate.

Time for the main course and hey where else can you get four kinds of potatoes in one meal. You just have to go for it really don't you. The bit I love is walking down the food selection area trying to weigh up if you have enough room on your plate for what's coming up next and then suddenly remembering "OMG I CAN COME BACK FOR MORE!"

By the time you get to dessert of course, you feel like a nap.

All in all as far as buffet dining goes it wasn't bad. But more importantly the company was excellent and I only lost $15 on the slots. What more can you ask.