• Recipes

    Spinach & Blueberry Salad

    My love of “weird” salads is definitely a Kiwi thing. “WE” don’t think ANY salad is weird. This is one that I love because it’s so quick to make and it has so many great flavours and textures going on in it. It’s cheap to make too – but expensive in WW points, coming in at 10 because of the olive oil in the dressing. I will use half of that in future, for sure. Speaking of weird, here’s a lovely and completely appropriate quote from the amazing Ms Streep who I regard as absolutely perfect [apart from her bad Aussie accent in “Cry in the Dark”]. Otherwise Totally Perfect.

  • Cheese Board
    Creations,  Life,  Recipes

    Realistic Cake Challenge

    Here’s a contest you could actually WIN! Over the past months I have downsized my cake pans and bakery equipment but the hard core decorating stuff I cannot find it in me to part with [yet]. I have enough fondant left to do a couple of cakes and I’ve had a few close calls when I thought I’d do a cake for some occasion or other but got lazy or lost confidence…dunno, but they didn’t happen. This was one I saw and I really, really came close… Then this Inspired and Motivated Me! This video came up on my news feed this morning and wouldn’t you know it – it…

  • Recipes

    Garlic Shrimp & Asparagus in Orange Sauce

    Many years ago we were on an Atkins kick – and this was one of our favorite recipe. It’s become a good stand-by for nights like last night, when Jim left our [planned] dinner in the fridge at the shop. We always have shrimp in the freezer and they thaw in half an hour under running water. This recipe is a show-stopper. It’s delicious; a one skillet meal; and it takes just 30 minutes from start to finish. The Red pepper flakes give this dish a bit of a kick. My favourite flavour combination is the cumin and orange. The butter adds a silky texture to the sauce – but…

  • Recipes

    Blueberry Lemon Glazed Scones

    Sometimes I think I’ve actually become my mother because I make scones now once or twice every week. My Grandmother was a dab hand at baking scones and hers were deliciously flaky and loaded with plump sultanas. She served them warm with lashings of butter. I am pretty sure she baked them practically every day. Only one of her daughters had the slightest interest in cooking or baking and luckily for me, that was my Mum. She would knock up a batch of scones at the drop of a hat…usually they were fruit (of the dried variety) though sometimes she’d make cheese ones at lunchtime. Yummy. I used to always…

  • Recipes

    Lovecakes Gourmet Cupcakes

    Lovecakes Bakery was a huge part of my life for several years and I got so much satisfaction from seeing people truly enjoying my baking and being thrilled and amazed by the decorating. I cringe, absolutely squirm in my seat, when I see pics of some of my earliest icing attempts. Dear Lord. But I did get better and since there is no longer any record, anywhere, of my creations (I’ve closed the website and facebook pages) I thought I’d post some of my favourite cake pictures here for posterity. And this one deserves its own moment of glory! Breakfast cupcake with maple buttercream frosting topped with candied bacon and…

  • Recipes

    Egg Free Banana & Coconut Pancakes

    One of the questions I ask guests before they arrive is “do you have any allergies or food preferences?” It is so much better to be prepared and nothing worse than being told right before breakfast that someone is lactose intolerant or allergic to eggs. I prepare my buttermilk pancake batter the night before so it can do its bubbly, ferment-y thing. So when the nice German couple arrived home from dinner and Stephi told me she was lactose intolerant I had to find a plan B. I had coconut milk. I love coconut. I found lots of coconut pancake recipes but after reading them I wasn’t really convinced any…

  • Recipes

    Pear & Pecan Ricotta Galette

    This pie was almost like a “Pantry Challenge”: I bought a huge bag of pears on special at Superstore and wanted to make something that would be good for breakfast. I also had ricotta in the fridge – I bought it at Costco for gnocchi and of course only needed ONE of the 2 tubs, so finding a use for the second one was becoming critical. I scoured dozens of recipes…and finally settled on a pear and ricotta galette which I adapted to make it more “Canadian”, eh. In other words I swapped out the walnuts in the original recipe for pecans. What I love about this pie is that…

  • Recipes

    Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

    GLUTEN FREE – EGG FREE – DAIRY FREE and DELICIOUS!   I had 2 groups of people recently staying for several days and two (one from each group) was gluten free, AND dairy and egg free. I’ve got GF and DF pancakes down to a fine art. People always ask for seconds, but I wanted to do some baking for them too. I came upon an oatmeal recipe I liked the look of (probably because it had coconut in it) so I set about making the cookies. When I had the cookie dough all ready to measure out onto the baking tray I had a dizzy moment and threw a…