a better zopf.

zopf 2

Sorry, we ate some of it before this picture was taken. Also, dirty dishes in the sink. Hey … I’m a student.

I made this beautiful bread for the first time a few weeks ago, and made it again on Tuesday night. I did alter it slightly, though, and came up with a much better version.

Basically, I subbed in oil instead of butter and reduced the salt and the cooking time.

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youtube.

Because I am apparently in love with the sound of my own voice, I’ve uploaded a few videos to youtube that may be interesting to those of you who are keen on making your own bread.

This one is a video of how to braid a zopf (my zopf recipe can be found here), and this one is a video of how to make a yeast sponge – refer to the same zopf recipe if you’re wondering about what sort of thing you’d use that method for.

The quality is horrible, but if they get a lot of views then I’ll endeavour to bring my actual video camera down next time I’m at home.

And you are viewing half of my kitchen. Seriously, that’s half. And most of the other half is stove. I dream of having a big kitchen, I really do.

sourdough.

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I’ve been craving sourdough for about a week now, since I first put my starter together. Today, I finally got it.

It’s not as sour as it ought to be yet – my starter smells amazing but isn’t quite as flavourful as I want – but the crumb on it is beautiful and it crusted amazingly well.

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to be continued …

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These are peppadews, grown in South Africa. They are tiny and delicious and so very, very sweet.

In order to find out what I’m going to do with them, check back tomorrow. I’ll give you a hint: I just picked a few good handfuls of basil and oregano out of the garden.

And to keep you interested, here is a stupidly delicious bread we prepared for lunch earlier:

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Rosemary and potato flatbread. Crusty and crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside. Glorious. We ate it with homemade cream cheese, red pepper jelly, pesto, and roast chicken.

exciting things from the kitchen (picture clear out).

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Yum … potato flatbread. Does not keep well, but makes for the most awesome picnic snack with dip and salami and chicken and whatnot.

I love how well used our pizza stone is. They’re like wooden spoons, they only become legit when they get nice and used looking.

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Also yum … cupcakes. I’ve made so many cupcakes recently. All the same flavour – double chocolate and boysenberry. And, try not to judge my fridge. I know it’s very full. But, mainly of cupcakes, and the rest is pretty much stuff to make cupcakes. Except maybe the garlic.

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Because I’m awesome – a cupcake carrier. It comes with a second tray that sits on top and carries another dozen cupcakes. So cool! Used it for a picnic in the domain today. It was lovely. (Our friends who we picnicked with brought homemade tortillas and we wrapped hot roast chicken in them. Mmmm!)

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And the fresh batch, cooling under my super snazzy $4 food cover. Isn’t it just gorgeous? Red polkadots and lace! Could it be more me? No.

caketins

Caketin stack! And, a tonne of books (but not our whole collection by a long shot).

new cookware

Colourful cookware! Flan, casserole, teapot, ramekins. And yes, all of my cookware is brightly coloured. The jug, which can be seen in the background, lights up when you boil it … it’s the whole reason we bought it.

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Spice jars: cumin, turmeric and paprika. We’ve since added chili, coriander, cinnamon and ginger (don’t fear, my cooking repertoire was not devoid of these spices, we just bought them in much more normal quantities, i.e. tiny little 40g boxes).

creme brulee

Regular creme brulee …

strawberry creme brulee 2

And creme brulee with strawberries trapped below the surface. DELICIOUS.

 

Well … that ought to keep you going until I make something more interesting. Enjoy! If you want a recipe for anything, comment and let me know, I’ll be glad to share.

paradise, a.k.a. cathedral cove, new zealand

Yesterday we headed South to the Coromandel Peninsula at around 9am. We got to Cathedral Cove at lunchtime with a chilly bag full of deliciousness for a picnic. We were meeting up with friends – one of them lives just by Cathedral Cove and another lives in Paeroa, which is comfortably accessible to Coromandel.

My love affair with Coromandel started in the late year summer of 2009, when I was doing a huge road trip with some friends of mine all the way from Christchurch up the West coast and then up the East coast of the North island. We stopped off to visit our friend in Whenuakite, just for two nights, I think, and it really wasn’t long enough at all.

We stayed in his parents’ woolshed which was at the end of a long, narrow, winding gravel road. It was in the middle of native forest, and at night you could hear kiwis calling (for any non-New Zealanders, that’s a big deal. It’s our national bird, but there’s only a few hundred left in the wild). We went to the surrounding beaches – Hot Water Beach (where there’s a hot spring under the sand, and if you dig down into it you can make a sort of spa pool to sit in), Hahei, Cathedral Cove and New Chums Beach. New Chums was by far the most beautiful – it’s not well known, and it’s about a 45 minute walk in that you can only really do at low tide as you have to cross a river. But it’s supposed to be one of the top ten beaches in the world, and it really is incredible.

We went back at the end of the summer, six of us, to stay in the woolshed (which was really a proper house that sleeps about fifteen if you need it to) for a week. And we did all the beaches, plus more (maybe I’ll document them here sometime).

For our picnic yesterday, I chose Cathedral Cove for two reasons: firstly, it’s an absolute paradise, and secondly, it’s about an hour’s drive closer than New Chums Beach. The water was absolutely freezing, but we went swimming anyway, and enjoyed it, damnit.

Pictures:

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A tui on a flax bush.

 

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Rosemary and potato flatbread (homemade, of course).

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Cheeseball: homemade cream cheese, mixed with grated cheddar, chopped apricots, cranberries, raisins, peanuts and walnuts.

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The feast! So much deliciousness in such beautiful scenery, it’s probably not allowed.

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Beware of falling rocks! (We were with a geologist and he said it was OK.)

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Walking out through the ‘cathedral’.

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Obligatory beautiful scenery shot on the walk out (which is horrific. Steep and long and so much worse than the walk in because there’s no beach at the end!).

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Beautiful scenery shot 2 + camwhoring. Fringe is insane.

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Beautiful scenery shot 3.

 

Just realised I’ve no pictures of the actual beach. What a tosser … I shall find some from my previous trips and put them up. Watch this space!

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