Finally it is here… my new look blog. I hope you like it. I have been planning this for a while (for over 4 months) wanting to make my site as user-friendly as possible. You can now find ‘quick links’ on the left sidebar to popular recipes, plus homemade crafts and gardening articles. To look up recipes you can either use the search bar on the left or recipe index on the navigation bar. *Please note, during the blog change over we had some technical difficulties and all my email subscribers (and stats) were lost. Luckily I had the majority backed up on Mailchimp (that I will now go back to using). However, if you subscribed in the last month and haven’t received emails from me this last week then please re-subscribe on the right-hand sidebar. Thank-you kindly.
Alrighty, housekeeping out-of-the-way… now I have some exciting news. We off on a 2 month trip to visit family in Central America. When you read this we will be somewhere between New Zealand and Panama City. You see, my Mum married a Cuban man several years ago and as Cuba has always been at the top of our list of places to visit we thought we might as well go now while T is under 2 and virtually a free ticket. My Mum is currently living in Panama due to her technology needs (Cuba is a little behind) and travels between the two countries, so we will base ourselves in Panama and travel to Cuba from there. My sister is also living in Panama temporarily, soon to return to Peru where she has been living for several years with her Peruvian partner. We have a very colourful family with a particular bent towards the Latin countries.
And it doesn’t stop there, we are also heading to Colombia to visit H’s brother and his family (where he has lived for the last 18 years). He lives in the Santa Marta area on the Caribbean coast. If you are familiar with Colombia you will know this area is famous for its national parks and beauty. Colombia has become quite a popular destination for travelers in recent years and we will be visiting one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Excited is an understatement right now. We will be staying with family and experiencing the real culture; visiting markets, eating street food (with caution), soaking up the Latin vibes and music. And of-course partaking in the obligatory hours of siesta (a daily afternoon nap because it is too hot to do little else). What a fantastic concept.
The next few months I will share photos and stories from our travels plus I have some tasty guest posts lined up from my favourite New Zealand food bloggers. At times we will have limited internet access (how refreshing that will be) so please excuse my lack of contact and slowness to reply to your messages. We are on holiday after all.
Preparing to go away on this big trip has been huge, as I am sure many of you well know. Adding 2 children to the mix plus spending two days in bed last week with a tummy bug, has made for a less than relaxed week. However, I did manage to plant out the garden (priorities people) with direct-sown carrots, beetroot and onions, more peas, and early potatoes. I love direct sowing and when we return, all going well, we will have a garden full of food. While clearing the beds ready for planting I found all kinds of goodies to nourish us before our trip. Fennel bulbs, kale, salad greens, coriander and a tree full of oranges all had to be used.
These light fish cakes are bound with egg white and cooked quinoa, and mildly spiced with Thai flavours. They are perfect as a light lunch or serve them for dinner with a salad. The lime hollandaise compliments the flavours and completes the 4 essential elements – sweet, sour, salty, spicy – of Asian fare. I served these with a simple salad of shaved fennel, thin orange slices and a drizzle with local olive oil. Simple and delicious.
2 egg whites
large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp Thai curry paste (red, green or yellow)
1-2 spring onions, roughly chopped
400g white fish, roughly chopped (I used red cod as it is a cheap mild flavoured fish)
1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
ghee for cooking
In a food processor combine the egg whites, coriander, fish sauce, curry paste and spring onions and blitz into a paste. Add the fish and quinoa and pulse half a dozen times to combine. Don’t over blend the mixture or the fish will go mushy. Shape into small cakes (about the size of a small mandarin). Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a moderate heat. Cook the cakes for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden. Serve with lime hollandaise.
2 egg yolks
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
Juice of 1 lime
100g butter, melted
In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar and lime juice. Slowly pour in the melted butter whisking constantly to emulsify. The sauce will thicken a little as you add the butter. If you like your hollandaise thicker you can heat over a saucepan of gently simmering water, whisking constantly until thickened. Make sure the water is not touching the bowl or it will cook the egg and you will have a lumpy sauce. And WHISK constantly. I often skip this step and just go for the runnier but still as delicious version.
Meanwhile back at the homestead, the broad beans are growing…