Thursday, November 24, 2011

I have a thing for orange....

The photo REALLY looks like I screwed up the camera, big time.  I haven't.  I just went a bit nuts internet shopping.

I now have a real thing for orange, and slowly it is taking over my world.  My iPhone and iPad cases are orange, we are going to paint the living room orange, and all of this is orange.... and better yet, on sale! 

Actually, the ciroa kitchen tools are awesome.  I love the potato masher- it makes really smooth spuds.  And the knives are from Scanpan, they are brilliant for throwing in with my lunchbox for dealing with whole fruit.  (Often the fruit I take is not in the lunchbox or photo).

The Critter Cutters are a hit with my niece.  Every time she comes over, and I really do mean EVERY time, she asks for Butterfly Toast- which is simply a butterfly cutter with peanut butter....  One time I put sprinkles on it.... she nearly died of excitement.  She has been eating these for like a year now....

Here she is, dealing to her first butterfly sandwich, while Rosie watches on....

Here she is, more recently...

And being a big girl at the Spring Festival.

Simple as, man....

Alright, so this photo is AWFUL!

But look at the little doggie!  (or something).  He was crafted out of 2 marshmellows on a toothpick, with food colouring used to make his face.

The main is a pita sandwich with salad, and the staple strawberries and nuts.

Comfort Food

I found a bunch of photos from earlier.  I thought I had lost them when my camera died... but it turns out I didn't!  Yay!

So here we have a pasta bake, nut mix with cranberries in the side bits.

In the main section, boiled egg, strawberries, cheese slice and a couple of baked stuffed potatoes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And Another Way With Iskender

The Iskender revisited.  We now all know I LOVE LEFTOVERS and this is why.... Yummo.  The dark section is beetroot, yogurt and hummus in the other side, lettuce, carrot and cucumber with felafel patties and rice things... done in one of those rice shapers.... a heart and a star.  Too cute to eat really.  But I ate it all..... for morning tea!

Picking Away at the Food

This was my Model UN lunch.... we were running a Model UN event, and I wanted something I could totally eat on the run.

Here we have strawberries, kiwifruit with a giraffe pick, peanut butter lunch punch puzzle sandwiches, popcorn, mixed nuts, small sports-ball chocolates.... and there was a yogurt and fruit pottle on the side.

Wordless Wednesday: My Favourite Cookies

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Muffin-tin Iskender

After a lot of talking about Art today and how it really is breaking down things into smaller parts, this happened for dinner.... a deconstructed Iskender.  Which is nice.... as the foods don't touch!  Lol.

Here we have:
- Felafel patties
- Cucumber cubes
- Grated Carrot
- Cubed beetroot
- Lettuce slices
- Hummus
- Yogurt dressing

And it was all served with a side of rice. 

For Iskender lovers, tomorrow's lunch will involve this in some way.  I LOVE LEFTOVERS!

And a popular but simple lunch

Okay, this lunch had the kids totally in awe, and I wasn't really that impressed with how it turned out...

We have an easy lunchbox, with:
- Boiled egg (in cutesy eggshell holder)
- Homemade hummus in the penguin holder to dip the vege sticks in
- Carrot and Cucumber sticks with an elephant pick
- Peanut Butter on Wholegrain bread, jigsaw puzzle lunch-punched.
- Cheese wedge
- Strawberry
- Tomatoberry

But people wanting to see my lunch totally makes it worthwhile..... I am such a nerd.


If I have said it once... I have said it a thousand times... I LOVE Turkish food!  Yum.
So here is my regular Iskender meal... with felafel and rice.  You may notice the hummus taking center stage, and the nom-worthy felafels.  Nothing overly interesting, but YUMMO!

Otherwise it's just:
- Beetroot
- Tomatoberries
- Cucumber
- Carrot
- Lettuce
- Basmati Rice
- Yogurt and garlic dressing

Monday, November 21, 2011

Making some Hummus

I LOVE hummus, oh, if I could go to Turkey, I would come back so filled with hummus, tabbouleh and felafel.  Yum!  But, I was so keen to eat Turkish, but so lacking in hummus..... I sorta had eaten it all!


So I made my own, and was really impressed with the result.  I also got to use more of my Fernridge Olive Oil, infused with Garlic.  (It is spectacular, and made by an ex-teacher of mine)

This is the recipe.  Oh, it would pay to REALLY like Garlic to try this.  Or just omit the garlic and use regular olive oil!


1 cup chick peas.  You could use a can, but rinse the peas first. 
1/4 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon (or a little more, I lost track) olive oil

Soak the chickpeas overnight.  Rinse the water off and drain well. 
Cut up the onion and chop the garlic.  Throw this either into the food processor, or a container.  I used a stick blender because the clean-up is WAY easier, and nothing additional has to smell of garlic.
Add chick peas, and sprinkle with olive oil and lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Blitz that stuff.  Go slow to start because it takes time for the oil and liquids to mix with the dry ingredients.  Pulse til smooth.

Transfer to an airtight container and store.

Look out for how I used the hummus....

One of my students tried to steal some today because it smelt so good.  I know, awesome... Always good to find another garlic lover.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And back in the garden....

Well, the garden had an overhaul yesterday.  For spring, the weather has been dodgy as.  So the spring growth has really done well for the weeds, but not so great on the cucumbers.

The first strawberry of the season.

How it looks right now.
But, the berries are doing well- straw, rasp and bosen.... the passionfruit is growing.  The lettuce is enjoying the wet weather, the celery is going great.  And the peas are great.  There are a few tomatoes hanging in there, and the companion plants seem to be holding their own for the moment.

Cookbook Review: My Favourite Recipes {Series}

It has been a while since I reviewed a cookbook.... so why not come back with a series?

I'm not sure who else has come across this series?  I picked up the "Chicken" one early on, and ordered the rest.  Mainly as I never know what to do with meat (being a vegetarian).  The first section is all the basics and dealing with whatever the theme is.  I now have about 7 of the books.

I have made a few things.  All of them seem to work out fine.  Nothing too flashy, just good honest food.

I decided to look at the Soups, Snacks and Salads book for a change... and to help with the ol' lunch preparation.

As I had leftover French Bread (Baguette) and a husband who declared that he didn't want 'snacks' in his lunchbox (thanks, by the way.... always good to have a heads-up AFTER doing the groceries!)... so I threw these together...

Waiting for the oven

Hot and tasty

Okay, so I deviated from the recipe a little... I can't make anything Pizza without Basil....  And I only had white mushrooms, not the brown.  Otherwise, I was pretty darn impressed.  I never have put corn on anything pizza before, but it worked well here. 

So, my opinion:
Information:  5/5 points
Recipes: 3/5 points
Originality: 3/5 points
Pictures: 4/5 points
Overall: 4/5 points

This brings us to 19 points, which isn't bad.  The pictures are accurate, and the information is excellent.  The recipes are nothing earth shattering, but they do have common, easy to locate, fairly economical ingredients.  I have been impressed, and glad I subscribed to the series.  As the first book was only a few dollars, and each subsequent one has been about $12, it is not bad for a good recipe book with accurate pictures.

The Lunch Rush

A lunch that didn't quite come together as planned.... oh well.  In the containers it does look cute as.

In the top we have a fritata with cheese and carrots, bagette pizza slices, strawberries, nut mix and hundreds and thousands cookies (yumo).  This bento is particularly nice because it is quite wide and it can fit more in that it seems.  The muffin thingies are full size regular muffin thingies....

Juicing for Well-Being

Since the diagnosis (the husband was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colon Cancer about 6 weeks ago, and has since undergone surgery to remove 60cm of his colon) I have been juicing up a storm.

Basically I started juicing fruit and vegetables because he didn't like to eat them... crazy!  I'm a vegetarian, so basically the idea of not eating vegetables is abhorrent to me.  Now he even likes cauliflower... oddly.  Thank goodness for a great doctor, excellent surgeon, and a series of cancer episodes on Doctor Oz.  (In other news, I have been reading and cooking from Anti-cancer cookbooks...)

Anyway, juice is awesome, and pretty darn easy to make.  I actually think it is rather affordable.  We grow a lot of vegetables and the citrus trees are doing really well at the moment.  Almost all the different juices I make have either lemons or celery in at the moment because we have them growing nicely.

Here is one of my favourites at the moment: Pineapple, Lemon and Carrot Juice.

You will need:
4 Carrots
3cm of a Pineapple
1 large Lemon

Wash the carrots, chopping off the top bit where the fronds grow from.  Wash the lemon skin.  Cut a circular round of pineapple about 3cm wide.  Cut the lemon in half and the pineapple section in quarters.  Throw all the bits of fruit, skin still on, into the juicer.  Stir the juice.

This should make about 2 large glasses of juice.  I always serve with 2 ice-cubes.  Drink as soon as possible, but the lemon should prevent discolouration if you have to refrigerate for a bit.

And the benefits... Among others of course, but the reasons I use these are...

Lemon juice is really high in Vitamin C, and is great for moving things through the bowels... as well as having loads of anti-oxidants which help fight cancer. 

Pineapple juice is really good for joint health and mobility (I struggle with my ankle after surgery last year, and basically I'm preparing for surgery next month).  Really good for dealing with disgusting nasties in the digestive and intestinal tracts.   And for sorting out constipation... as our goal here is to have nothing hanging around in the colon, this is excellent....  (you may notice I am trying not to be too specific, as it is all pretty darn gross).

And carrots, oh the super food that is the carrot!  Carrots are high in all the vitamins, especially C and E, really good for clearing the intestines and dealing with harmful bacteria.  Indian healers have been using carrots for thousands of years to help patients recover from illness, so it can't be bad.  That, and I like carrots.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Lunchtime Rush

Over the years I have found that some days of the week are just plain SHOCKING to get organised.  Rubbish/recycling day is one of them.  And days when I forget to set the alarm....

Fortunately I was rather organised this week...

In the green container we have more of the lentil salad, the large square box has strawberries and an apple and carrot salad, with walnuts ready to add.

The container is not as bad as I had thought as far as traveling.  I will keep making sure it travels flat, as liquid can run between compartments, but, it is pretty similar to the easy lunchbox.  The advantage with this one is a more secure lid and the freezing compartment.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Yellow Lunch

This lunch had my class in absolute jealous mode.... mainly over the jelly....

Here we have in the yellow container Turkish flat breads with baked beans and Swiss cheese toasted on.

In the Easy Lunchbox there is lemon jelly - set into the container (a remnant of the husbands instruction to only eat clear foods prior to his Drs appointment), a hard boiled egg sliced into segments, cheese grape and pineapple skewers, mixed nuts with goji and cranberries and a couple of after dinner mints... yum!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Danish Pastry

I LOOOOOOVE Danish Pastry.  It has to be one of the all-time great foods.  I blame the fact that my Maternal Great-Grandparents emigrated from Denmark (obviously forsaking the fact that I am Scotish on my Father's side, and I do not like Haggis).

Anyway, I just found this recipe for Danish pastry.  It looks so good.  I'll probably give it a go later in the week... yes, I am procrastinating again from my novel.  But, this should prove to be a more exciting thing to do than popping down to the local bakery for Danishes....

Danish Pastry Recipe

I recently started writing for Wikinut, which is a great online community.  It was here that I found this gem of a recipe.  If you are interested in also writing for Wikinut, follow the link below and register. 

Write for Wikinut

Lentils and other goodies

Hello, here is today's lunch.  I am not sure how the apple and carrot salad will hold out, and I am pretty darn sure it is going to leak all over the place.  We shall see.

The best part is the boxes themselves.  I am excited to see how they will stack up today.

Here we have a lentil and bulghur wheat salad in the green container.

In the blue one, we have sandwich crackers with swiss cheese, strawberries and an apple and carrot salad.  There are walnuts for this salad in the container for the lentil one.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another batch of new boxes

Okay, so purchasing lunchboxes is a bit of an addiction.... I know!  But, these were RIDICULOUSLY cheap, and are really, really, really fantastic.

They are the Stayfit range.  There are 2 sorts- heating and cooling.

The red lidded container is a thermal cup.  I look forward to making soup in for it in the winter.  And possibly lentils.  I do love lentils.

The others have the stuff that freezes in those cooly ice pack things built into the lids and/or the bases.

I have thrown the lid to the lunchbox shaped one (blue) and the whole of the smaller green containers in the freezer tonight.  For lunch I shall be having a lentil salad I think, and some sort of other lunch set up.  I haven't thought that far ahead yet!

And please do pop by my new blog, "Beyond Island Hopping".

It's been a while

Well, it has been a while....

And with my world slowly turned back the right way, here's to the universe.

Just a brief update... my Kitchen!  I blogged about the turmoil a while back, then hinted that it was done.  And I have pictures at last!

It's a long way from the teracotta and 70's orange we had when we bought the house....  And, I love it.  The benchtop matches the carpet in the house, the blue is just plain awesome, and the pictures on the wall are of foreign cafes.  The rubbish bin is 80% Beagle proof.  And the splash back is a beautiful black glass.

Check out the dishwasher!  My last one up and died while I had a broken leg, so, this one meant a lot to me.

You may notice the juice machine in the background.  My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer about 6 weeks ago, so it has been a mammoth change of everything.  He had surgery, which went well, and has been recovering nicely.  He will get chemotherapy in the new year.  But for now, and the reason for mentioning all this here, it is all about diet.  We are having a lot of broccoli, a lot of vegetable juices, and he is even eating vegetarian!  Big changes from the red-meat-lover.

So we are back in business, and ready to roll with lunch updates.

Also, please visit my new blog, "Beyond Island Hopping".  It is my travel blog, with tips, stories, and general awesomeness about traveling.  We just started a great new linky party, "Destination Friday" where you can link any blog posts or articles on the internet of your favourite vacation destinations, whether they are on your doorstep or the other side of the world.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shocking! So long gone....

Well, it has been a while.  And, while I have been continuing to eat, it has been crazy here.

It all started with the 'saving money' for the big overseas experience.  The plan was Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong this winter, and summering in Europe and the UK. 

Sounds amazing doesn't it.....

Then I took my class on a camping trip to the National Juggling Convention.  Also sounds amazing, and it was!

But I returned home.  My husband had managed to make friends with a kitchen designer over my 4 days away and book in a new kitchen.

And I have a new kitchen.  Which used to be my backpacking through South East Asia.

Just as the plumber was finishing up with the kitchen, I overheard those words, "I can start Monday"....

And now we have a purple bathroom. 

At the moment all the supplies for the laundry are in my living room, and the floor men are all set to lay tiles in the 4 areas...... yes, even the small toilet room has had a make-over.

And in the wake of all this re-decorating nightmare, blogging went out the window.  Actually, cooking and showering were out the window for a long time.  Soon I'll post images of my glorious kitchen, now that I have sort-of moved back into it.  I am not a master of organisation at the best of times, and in the chaos of re-modelling, even worse!  All my bento supplies have been packaged into a box, hidden from view.... and now, they are back.

Hopefully, I will have lunch posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Soon I shall be back....

I haven't blogged my lunch recently, and I should mention why, rather than have you all thinking I am ignoring you.

There was an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.  I'm not in Christchurch, but I have spent a lot of time there.  It is weird to see places I went to lying in rubble. 

And why am I not thinking about lunch?  Every morning there is a special news coverage of the quake.  I have become addicted to watching, seeing how people are dealing, checking in on rescue/recovery efforts, and generally feeling more of a part of what is going on.

So I have not thought too deeply about my lunch.  Shortly, I shall get back into it.  Shortly.  For the time being, I shall continue to follow the story.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ambrosia on the run

This was a lunch from last week- it feels like a LIFETIME ago!  The start of year is so busy!

Basically we have a simple egg and pasta salad, whipped up with garden greens, a pottle of 'travel ambrosia' (those long-time followers will be well aware of my desire for the perfect ambrosia for lunch).  The top layer of the hamburger bento has a baby-bel cheese round, with a face!  I got the punch to work!  I was totally stoked with that.  There is also a thingy of ginger, mixed nuts with cranberries, fresh blueberries, mini toffee-pop biscuits and some cracked pepper crackers.

I am just so run off my feet.  A smart woman would plan to make her lunches in the evening..... maybe I'll do that. 

On Thursday I'm off to the National Juggling Convention!  YAY!  I am looking forward to practising my Circus skills and hanging out with other strange folk.  Sometimes I think I have the best job in the world. :D

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - No theme.... 'cept veges

As you all should know, this is my year of eating better.  I have been.... ummmm.... wavering a little in the heat! 

And my other writing projects have taken over my computer time (sorry)... And my house is being painted (does the work EVER end?)

But, here was my muffin tin:

1.  Beetroot umbrellas
2.  Corn on the Cob (with retro corn handles)
3.  Carrot sticks
4.  Cucumber sticks
5.  Hummus dip (with sinking man.....)
6.  Mini-salad (with cherry tomato plants.....)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Banana and Apple Pancakes

This morning I felt like banana pancakes.... but I got a bit carried away with the making.... and actually, these are better.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup dried apple


  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, mash bananas, and mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and dried diced apple.
  2. Mix flour mixture into wet mixture.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat. Pour the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.
Next time I will use brown sugar instead of white. 

So, what's going on???

It's been busy around here in the last week.  Busy in a good way.

The garden is back in shape after the jaunt to New Caledonia.  I'm not sure why all the berries decided to stop growing while we were away, but methinks the sister who was meant to do the watering probably forgot.  The lettuce went to seed, the peas turned to straw, the berries stopped fruiting and all the roses needed trimming.

But, we are back on track.  The cucumbers are doing better than ever, we are about to be inundated with tomatoes, the radishes are almost done, the chili's are growing faster than I can harvest them (I think this would be a brilliant cash crop if we didn't eat them all on a yearly basis!).  Yesterday I planted more peas, lettuce and celery.

Grapes, growing nicely, looking forward to them ripening


And in the category of cooking.... the garden has been great.  I made fresh spag bol the other night using only lamb mince from a friends farm and things from the garden.  I stopped sort at making my own pasta, because being without a pasta machine means that I stubbornly make it by hand.... which is labourious and not so attractive afterwards. 

On the sweet and tasty front, I've been trying to create the perfect apricot ball.  After reading all my recipe books, which is no small feet, and checking out internet recipes, I tried the most popular one (which had condensed milk, cocunut, apricot and caster sugar.)  This was too sweet, and too coconutty for me.  I tried a version with malt biscuits broken in, but were still too sweet and cocnutty.  But, I think that I shall have the perfect apricot ball recipe by the end of the weekend.  I was going to upload a picture, but.... I kinda ate them all before photographing..... :D

With school back in 2 weeks, I have just a fortnight to get all sorted for the mad-morning rush!  So, after sorting out my bento cupboard, again, I went and bought a whole load of plastic containers for storing my cups, mini-cutters, picks, etc.  Tomorrow's task is to sort of the drawer.......... which is bulging at the seams.  And what happens to all the bento bands?  I seem to lose them.  But, I have a plan, which I will post out to all my readers once I have sorted out.

I do have a question for my readers...... I have LOADS of zucchini/courgettes.  We are now at the stage that we are sick of eating them.... what recipes or ideas do you have for using them?  I've been making lots of vegie fritters, grating them into dishes and generally trying to think of something fun to do.  What do you do with them?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Iskender for tea

I ordered the Easy-Lunchbox last year, and the set arrived while I was away.  I thought it was time that I gave them a whirl.

Last night I put some leftover rice in the large compartment.  With tabbouleh in the fridge, a Turkish iskender was totally on the menu.

While the falaffels were dry-frying, I harvested lettuce and cucumber, grated a carrot, and popped it all in the lunchboox with a little beetroot.  In the small containers, hummus and a little left-over natural yogurt.

When the falafels were done, dinner was ready.  And did I mention, I have tabbouleh and cooked falafels left-over for tomorrow.  I did say I was the master of the letover... :D

I was impressed with the depth of the compartments in the easy lunchbox, it held enough for my dinner, which was nice, as I still treat this as the largest meal of the day.  A little difficult to eat from cross-legged, but I could infact eat at a table.... (Being a Drama teacher often means I spend a lot of time sitting on the floor with my food.....)

Dahl toasted sandwiches

Well, I am the master of the left-over and a lazy cook.....

Yesterday's dahl become lunch for my husband at work (one that travels well and he does not complain about) and toasted sandwich fillings for me.  There is nothing greater than something that is warm, and takes less than a minute to prepare... :D

Muffin Tin Monday- Blue Fru Fondue

This morning is a wee fruit fondue (of sorts).

In the centre is low-fat, natural yogurt.
In the other muffin cups are diced orange, pear, watermelon and sliced kiwifruit and banana. 
The blue obviously comes from the picks, plate and cups.... :D

Monday, January 10, 2011

Easy Tabbouleh

I love tabbouleh.  But, I do tend to find that most recipes make too much of it for me to eat in 3 days... so I have adapted my standard tabbouleh to something more user-friendly, producing a more workable amount of the salad for myself and my lunches.  It also has a larger proportion of the fresh ingredients, and less wheat.  :D

Easy Tabbouleh

1/4 cup bulgar wheat
3/4 cup boiling water
juice of one lemon
Handful of fresh parsley
A few sprigs of mint
1 firm tomato

In the container you plan to story the tabbouleh in (I warned you this was easy, did I mention it is also the lazy version?) place the bulgar wheat and boiling water.  Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
Cut up mint and parsley to a reasonable size... I don't like it too fine, but go crazy if it is your style.
Dice the tomato.
Add into the container with the wheat.
Squeeze over the juice of the lemon.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper if you wish.
Refrigerate and use as desired.

If you make tabbouleh a lot, you will notice I have left out the olive oil and spring onions, as well as the step de-seeding the tomatoes etc.  This way I can have tabbouleh with very little effort, just 30 minutes of standing time (which today I used to make the dahl). 

Watch this space for tabbouleh in my food tomorrow.... :D

Red Lentil Dahl (Curry)

Well, there was a change of plan for dinner tonight.  Normally Mondays mean leftovers for him, and I have a muffin-tin.... but tonight, just 30 minutes before he was due home, I discovered that he did not have a lot of his lamb curry left in the fridge.  Never fear, for the easiest curry in the world came in to save the day.

On a quick side note, it may be worth mentioning that he is an Indian meat-lover, and I am a Kiwi vegetarian.... which often makes mealtimes interesting.

If I am putting on a full Indian meal, with a number of curries, this is always one on the menu.  Though it is not the prettiest dahl in the world, it is tasty, quick and cheap.

Usually I make it hotter, but tonight I worked it to be more lunch-friendly.  Curry is always SOOOOO much better the next day.

Here is the recipe:

1 Tb olive oil
1 medium to large onion (depending on how much your like onion....)
2 cloves garlic (or more if you prefer... or less for that matter)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chilli-powder
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp black mustard seeds (these can be left out, but I like the flavour they give)
1 cup red lentils (brown and black work well too, but take longer to cook, and create a much darker curry)
2 cups water
2 vegetable stock cubes
1/2 tsp salt
Handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)

The cooking process is simple.

In a fairly large saucepan, heat the oil.  Dice your onion while this is heating, and throw it in the pot.
Crush and chop your garlic, throw that in as well.  Stir.  Make sure your saucepan is over a REALLY low heat, or things will burn to the bottom....
Add the 2 bay leaves, stir.
Measure and throw in the spices in order as above, stirring between each one.
When the onion is clear (or yellowy-clear from the turmeric), add 1 cup of water.
Add a cup of red lentils.  They do not need to be rinsed first, but other sorts will need the rinsing.
Add the second cup of water.  Crush the stock cubes into the pot.  You can use liquid stock (2 cups) instead, but I tend to have stock cubes on hand.
Add the salt.
Keep stirring occasionally, making sure the lentils don't stick to the bottom.
The whole thing should be cooked in 20 minutes.

When the lentils are soft, remove the bay leaves, and add the chopped coriander.

Serve with rice.

As a main, this will serve 4.  I tend to use half for dinner for 2, putting the rest in the fridge for lunch on the next day.  He likes to take it to work with rice.  I like to have mine as a toasted sandwich filling....

When making a full Indian meal, I tend to use this along with a lamb curry, and a chicken curry, with sides of Bombay potatoes, a really lovely cucumber dish, and a selection of breads (naan and roti).

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Bento discovery

During my recent jaunt to Auckland, I stumbled upon a magnificent store on Queen Street.  The $3 Japan store had all I could dream of.... and more.  I was disappointed with myself for finding it so late in the evening, so my purchases had to be made at speed, before my bus arrived, but I felt good about my haul.  I managed to find a terrific headband, hair ties, origami paper, pens, a book, and then my bento goodies.

I managed to get a red 2 tier bento, a one layer yellow bento to match a 2 tier one I have, 4 bear silicon cups, and a set of picks. 

On returning home, I discovered that the store has a website.  Though it seems to be limited at present, I hope they get the bento supplies uploaded for purchase before too long.

$3 Japan store website

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday ... errr.... I mean Thursday

I blame jet-lag... or New Years Idiocy.... or something.  But here is my really last minute, feeble effort for the week.

1.  Fresh peas in pods from the garden
2.  Mini crackers with swiss cheese feet
3.  Orange segments
4.  Carrot sticks
5.  Hard boiled, free range egg
6.  Cucumber, also from the garden

I call this "Stuff I had on hand" and the picks were ones I bought the other day in Auckland, so I wanted to use them. 

Nouvelle-Calédonie.... bon appétit

Wow!  After a wonderful trip to New Caledonia, I am inspired to eat!

Sort of.

There were a couple of things I discovered early on in my journey. 
  1. I can read French reasonably well... better than I had even imagined possible.
  2. And the worst part, the French don't really do much for vegetarians.
This second realisation meant that I was put into a smaller category of people who remove ham from bagettes, or people who eat things covered in chocolate.

I love chocolate.

I did however discover some wonderful French dainty desserts.  Yummo.

Raspberry and Ginger tartlet

Coffee filled almond topped donughty thing

One thing I did learn was portion sizes.  French portions are TINY!  Bagettes were huge, but sparing on things like cheese.  The sweets were so rich, eating more than one was a challenge in itself.  But I am so glad to be home, where I don't have to point and gesture, or try to add large numbers in my head (Pacific Francs are crazy to work with, a bagette was like 350 Francs, a can of "Solo" was 280 Francs, and my ability to count aloud in French is to 20.......)

So, getting back on track, thank you Nouvelle Calédonie for a magnificent time.

Wordless Wednesday - Nouvelle Calédonie

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years Resolutions

Happy 2011 bloggers!

This year should be fantastic, but don't they all sound brilliant at the start of the year.

After a totally busy November writing, and December traveling, it is so time to get my gastronomical life back on track.  So here are my New Years Resolutions for food:
  1. Cook one new recipe a week.
  2. Eat better (more fresh food and less junk)
  3. Watch my portion sizes
As well as this, I do hope to keep this blog updated more frequently than in the last 2 months!