• News of the Day

    Blood Moon with Full Eclipse – a rare occurance

    Blood Moon with Full Eclipse From New Zealand the night of the 26th we were luck enough to see a Full Blood moon combined with a nearly total Lunar Eclipse. If I heard correctly this hasn’t occurred (at least here) for 40 years. These pics were taken with my camera so aren’t the best, but at least I could capture something. The moon was quite high in the sky so it appeared small (we don’t have a view of the horizon because of trees so we couldn’t see it when it first rose) but it was still very interesting to see. Just before eclipse started Half way during the eclipse…

  • Marinate in Beer
    Tips

    Marinate your sausages in Beer for an extra flavor

    Marinate in Beer for extra flavor In the Sates we use beer in cooking in a wide variety of ways. I’ve noticed it’s not as popular in New Zealand short of  beer-batter for onion rings and chips. And that’s too bad. Beer can add a lovely layer of flavor and depending on the variety chosen many different nuances. In this case I’m using Heineken.  Remember the golden rule when using any alcohol in cooking – if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it! Marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight and then grill as usual. Along with some sauerkraut and peas it’s a dinner I quite enjoy. The…

  • Pork Tenderloin
    Recipes,  Uncategorized

    Roasted Pork Tenderloin with grilled red capsicum

    Pork tenderloin is a delicious and tender cut of pork. You might be worried about price considering how much a beef tenderloin costs. But compare the pork to some nice pork chops and you’ll see there isn’t much of a difference. Since the meat is so lean I use a butter sauce to moisten things. Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Red Capsicum This delicious and tender cut of pork goes nicely with the capsicum and a smooth/rich sauce of butter and balsamic vinegar. Browning the tenderloin before finishing in the oven seals the juices in to keep as much moisture as possible. My method is to use the same pan on…

  • Saving Water flowing tap
    Tips

    Saving water – small things can make a difference

    Saving water is a good thing. While water doesn’t cost much in many places the principle of conserving this most precious of resources is a sound one. I have a few tips. One of the times I feel I’m wasting water is when I want to do dishes and I let the tap run until the water is hot. I realized there are things I can do with that water until it becomes the temperature I want. Some examples are:     Fill your water jug. Fill any drinking bottles you may use Fill a jug for watering plants Rinse vegetables you will be using when cooking later or before…

  • Goulash
    Recipes

    Goulash – my spin on this Hungarian dish

    Goulash originated in Hungary and is popular all over Europe. It’s easy to prepare and great for using up assorted vegetables you might have in your refrigerator because the ingredients are not fixed and very flexible. Goulash requires beef (or any meat you prefer) and tomato  and  I don’t consider anything else mandatory. Go with whatever fresh/frozen vegetables you have on hand and it will work fine. I usually have all the following available but if I don’t I just adjust. 300-400g beef mince ( 10-14 oz) 2 Tbl olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 3 gloves garlic, finally chopped 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped…

  • Rice and Orzo Pilaf with hot summer salad
    Salads,  Side dishes

    Hot summer salad – zucchini features in a side treat

    Zucchini (courgette) features in this delicious hot salad. Fresh garden vegetables combine for a wonderful side dish or feature salad. This dish grew out of my need to use up a lot of garden vegetables at once. I had a large garden and the zucchini and tomatoes would all come in at the same time and I struggled using them up. So I decided to combine them and created something that soon became a hit with the entire family. With all the fresh vegetables this is health plus – zucchini is healthier than you may think! I show it here along with Rice and Orzo pilaf and roasted chicken. Serves…

  • Rice and Orzo Pilaf with hot summer salad
    Side dishes

    Rice and Orzo Pilaf – Delicious side dish

    Rice and Orzo Pilaf. A delightful side dish for virtually any meal Orzo is not as common as other forms of pasta but it is very versatile and easy to work with. What I like doing with it is combining it with rice for a lovely pilaf. Another name you may see instead of Orzo is Rosmarino. If you can’t find either you can break up any thin spaghetti such as Vermicelli. Browning the orzo in butter results in a creamy texture and taste and adds a nice color. 1/2 cup long grain rice 1/2 cup orzo 1 Tbl butter 1 cup + chicken stock 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp…

  • Salmon with whole grain mustard
    Recipes

    Salmon with whole grain Mustard – delicious and #1 for health

    Salmon is not only delicious but extremely healthy. This version with whole grain mustard is simply wonderful. Fresh salmon – whatever fillet or steaks will serve your required number of servings. Whole grain mustard – 1 Tbl per salmon steak (and/or enough to cover fillets/steaks with a thick layer) Salt and pepper vegetable oil Chopped chives or parsley for garnish if desired Season the salmon with salt and pepper and top with the whole grain mustard making a thick layer covering the entire piece. Preheat an oven on grill setting to 195c (380f). Heat an oven proof skillet over high heat until very hot. Add just enough cooking oil to…

  • Sesame Fish
    Recipes

    Sesame Fish – delightful and simple

    This method of cooking with sesame oil works with any white fish. In this case I used Hoki but any similar variety (eg. cod, perch) works fine. 2 Tbl sesame seeds 2 Tbl sesame oil (which has many health benefits) 300-500g white fish (1/2 – 1 lb fish) Chopped fresh parsley or chives juice of 1/2 lemon Toast sesame seeds (like you would for Tahini)  over medium heat stirring often until lightly browned. Careful, they can go from toasted to burned in the blink of an eye. Remove to a bowl and stir/toss to cook as fast as possible. In the same pan add sesame oil and raise heat to…

  • Mushroom and Red Wine Sauce
    Sauces

    Delicious Mushroom and Red Wine Sauce

    Delicious Mushroom and Red Wine Sauce I enjoy red wine with my steak and love sautéed mushrooms on top so I often combine the two. It makes a wonderful sauce for beef. Here I served it on a nice sirloin steak, twice-baked potato and steamed asparagus. Yum! This delicious mushroom sauce is surprisingly simple and takes no time at all. I’m typically cooking it just when the steaks come off the heat and are resting. I recommend a nice cabernet sauvignon for the wine but go with whatever red wine you like. Remember the #1 rule of cooking with wine. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it! 1-2…

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