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Posts tagged ‘Yum’

Let them eat cake

We had a birthday in our house a few days ago (yay PJD!). To mark this special occasion, I baked a cake. I went in search of a most delicious chocolate cake recipe, which not only had to be relatively easy to make, with not too many ingredients, but which also had to be scrumptious in the way that chocolate-cakes-when-you-were-young tasted. After much leafing through recipe books, um-ing and ah-ing over which recipe looked and sounded the best (sometimes it’s easy to get drawn in by an amazing looking photo in a cookbook only to discover the recipe is overly complicated – don’t you agree?!), I settled on an aptly (if somewhat un-originally) named “Never-fail birthday chocolate cake with chocolate icing”. This recipe comes courtesy of Australian cook Bill Granger, found in one of the most reliable go-to books in my cookbook collection, Bill’s Holiday.

Birthday cake...

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Summer smoothie

The weather has been unseasonably warm in Wellington these past weeks. I say unseasonably, because it’s never this warm in Wellington, consistently, in a way that you wish you were outside at lunch time every single day, and not cooped up in front of your computer screen at work! So, perhaps this explains our lacklustre efforts to post of late, given that as much as possible, we have been outside, making the most of every bit of this wonderful golden weather before it ends (let’s hope it continues past the official end of the season tomorrow!). This photo of a scrumptious ice-cold smoothie which we enjoyed recently at one of our favourite spots just screams Summer, don’t you think? Yum.

Summer smoothie, thanks Maranui!


Photo by CIA at Maranui Cafe, Lyall Bay, Wellington, New Zealand, February 2013.


The planet of Soy

Someone clearly didn’t feel like Kikkoman with their sushi today…

Today was a long day at work, so as I was walking home and looked down and saw a little Kikkoman soy sauce bottle on the ground, I began to laugh to myself, because all I could think about was the video below. It’s silly and a bit crazy, but if you are in the mood for a laugh (it will help if you are a Kikkoman fan!), you might enjoy to check it out too. We’ve pretty much been laughing about it every time we eat something with soy sauce in it, ever since some dear friends introduced us to the crazy world of the planet of Soy earlier this year.


Photo by CIA, Lambton Quay, Wellington, New Zealand, 08 November 2012. I am really glad I wrote this post, because it led me to discover this: Kikkoman searchable cookbook! Definitely going to be trying out some of the delicious looking tofu recipes sometime soon!

A long-awaited culinary encounter

On a recent Sunday morning, in this quaint Dutch street, we acquainted ourselves with a delicacy of Dutch cuisine.

If you’ve been reading about our various adventures previously, you may well have already picked up on the fact that we both have a bit of a sweet tooth, partial to the delicious and delectable baked goods which can be found in many corners of Europe (for example in Paris and in Stockholm to name but a few). Well, I can report that the Bossche bol, which we sampled in s-Hertogenbosch (locally shortened to “Den Bosch”), lived up to our expectations. Read more

Indulgence, Swedish style


Our recent trip to Stockholm brought us a small edible discovery, in the form of the chokladboll. “What is this thing you speak of?”, you may well ask. Well. If you like chocolate, you probably like baked, chocolatey goods. And if you like baked, chocolatey goods, then you are probably (almost certainly) going to like the chokladboll.

You can find chokladbolls on the counter and in the cabinets at many cafes throughout Stockholm (and I am sure throughout the rest of Sweden). Our journey into chokladboll fan-dom began at the cute pop-up cafe at the Moderna Museet (don’t worry, we’ll be writing about that in posts to come!). We were in need of a coffee stop prior to hitting the galleries, and as you can see from the photo above, it was a case of perfect espresso and hot chocolate + chokladbolls = happy times in Stockholm. We really had no idea what these mysterious sweet treats were going to taste like, but I can report that they taste good. Really, really, really good. Read more

The power of good architecture: entranced and enchanted at Mudam, Part 2

As I wrote about a couple of days ago, Mudam, Luxembourg’s contemporary art museum, is an architectural gem. I promised to take you inside the building, so you can see for yourself whether the building on the inside stacks up to how it looks outside.

The materials on show on the outside flow through to inside, making for gallery spaces that are in many instances beautifully lit by natural light which spills in through the large panes of glass in the roof and widows. The Grand Hall greets you soon after arrival. It is breathtaking in scale and structure, and serves as the main hub of the building, with other galleries leading off on either side and at different levels. Without a doubt, the moment I glimpsed the Grand Hall, I knew that we were in for something special.

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Adventures in a Swedish supermarket

Before you feel like I am selling you short, this post isn’t so much about adventures as such, but about my random wanderings in a Swedish supermarket late one night earlier this week before PJD arrived. Something I am always intrigued by when I go to a new place, especially a foreign country, is the supermarket – the set up, the different food and products on offer. Because not all supermarkets are equal, and you never know what you might find! Also, time spent living overseas has given me an appreciation, as someone who loves to cook, that sometimes it’s just not possible to easily find the ingredients you need. I know my interest in all things supermarket-y might strike you as strange (it probably, definitely is!). But maybe, just maybe, there’s someone else out there who also shares this sense of foreign supermarket intrigue… If so, I hope you might enjoy this glimpse into a Swedish supermarket!

Signage was amazingly clear in this supermarket, as you can see above! With signage as clear and bold as this, there was absolutely no confusion as to where to find what. Read more

Swiss Meals I: Raclette, it’s not fondue…

Ever tried the dish called raclette? I hadn’t, before our recent trip to Zurich, but when I heard the following about it, I was excited to get into it:

1. It’s cheesy; 2. It’s potato-y; 3. It’s Swiss. By virtue of this point no.3, I knew the aforementioned ingredient at no. 1 would be super, super delicious (Swiss cheese really is amazing).

From the above, you’re probably thinking, “wow, she must really like cheese and potatoes!”, and you’d be right. Two of my favourite food groups right there, so I felt we couldn’t go wrong with raclette. Even better, we were lucky enough to be shown the authentic way on this most typical of Swiss dishes (after fondue, I guess), by our Swiss friends in their home.

Ingredients a-go-go.

Above you can see the spread of various ingredients prior to cooking (plus delicious side salad and unusual – to us anyway – accompaniments, such as preserved fruits and pickles). Read more

Éclair-ing at home

Well, true to my word, after earlier writing of our enjoyment of what some have pointed out to be the biggest chocolate éclairs ever on our recent trip to Paris,  I decided to try my hand at making some éclairs of my own at home. I thought you might enjoy to see the results…

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Éclair-ing in Paris, a.k.a. J’aime l’éclairs!

I am going to be completely honest and tell you that one of the things I was anticipating the most about our short trip to Paris (with much excitement) was the chance to indulge my sweet tooth with some of those delicious and beautiful french pastry delights. So, you can imagine my excitement when my eyes alighted upon these:

Have you ever seen such decadent, delicious looking éclairs?  As soon as we saw them, we knew it was éclair-o’clock, without a doubt. I fleetingly toyed with the idea of sampling one of the pistache variety (that green topping was outrageous and looked like fun!), and PJD boldly declared it would be the café flavoured éclair for him. Read more

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