Aunty Kathryn’s Spiced Pecans

In October this year, I packed my suitcase and popped across the ditch to be bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding on Queensland’s Gold Coast.  A few days before the wedding, we travelled south-west along the Pacific Highway

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Red cabbage and fennel slaw with apple dressing

Growing up, I can remember Mum’s dinners often comprising of a side of coleslaw, rich and creamy from the condensed milk dressing. I can remember my sister and I offering to make it and sneaking cheese into it…I think we had just discovered that everything tasted better with cheese.

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Chilli chicken soup

Chicken soup is just plain good for the soul. I make the effort to use free range chicken where possible – I think the flavour is much deeper, and it shines through in this warming soup. I love clear soups; a nourishing broth to cure what ails you. This one is particularly tasty

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Chicken and tofu laksa

What I love about food is that it can be adapted to suit taste, the seasons and even mood. So this is my take on Laksa, it may not be traditional but it is to my taste (and those lucky enough to have had it for lunch today!)

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Salmon fishcakes with avocado and tomato salsa

Salmon is a lovely strong-flavoured and tender fish, which can be eaten in many delicious ways, and (thankfully) this is one food which is ridiculously good for you. Its health benefits are numerous – including containing some of the highest levels

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Blueberry pancakes

Our family have a tradition on birthdays that whoever’s special day it is; they get to choose breakfast. Ever since I was old enough to choose what I wanted for my birthday breakfast I would choose pancakes. Without fail. Every year; I still do! Whist the pancakes I wanted when I was small were never this healthy.

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Smoked tomato and char-grilled pepper salsa

For Christmas my partner and I bought ourselves a charcoal barbeque.  After spending a (delightful) afternoon assembling the kitset creation and trying to follow the less-than-helpful instructions, we had worked up quite an appetite. Before the dreaded hungry-anger (hanger) could take hold we got cooking, creating a smokey feast perfect for a kiwi summer!

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Dairy free chocolate cake

The chocolate cake was something of an obsession for my mum at one stage. She was always trying to perfect it, continually moaning about how she could never get it moist enough.

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Brown onion soup

My ex-flatmate and friend Cat used to make brown onion soup on a cold winter night. It was so lovely to come home to caramelising onions and sweet balsamic; such a comforting smell which made the house feel warm and homely.
By looking just at the ingredients, it may look like a recipe from the famine, but the taste is refined and dignified.

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Riesling syrup cake

We tasted many wines on our team trip into Central Otago.  While the region is best known for its (delicious) pinot noirs, we tasted a couple of delightfully syrupy, aromatic rieslings along the way as well.  They proved the perfect inspiration (along with the stunning scenery) for this syrup-drenched cake.

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Tapioca, caramel and mango pudding

My time in Thailand, although brief changed how I cook and how I eat. Since going there about a year ago I have fully embraced the cuisine which is now a staple of my diet. I vividly remember eating foods for the first time – dragon fruit, steamed broth from a side cart, whole soft shell crab. And first time food experiences – having to hang my drink on a door handle

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Chocolate, pistachio and hazelnut biscotti

Biscotti are twice baked (once as a loaf and then a second time as slices) to make for one incredibly crunchy sweet cookie that just begs to be dunked into hot coffee or tea. The absence of any butter or oils in the mixture means you can definitely have more than one.

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Asian pork

Eating this dish will awaken your senses with its fragrant five spice and star anise, zesty lime and sweet honey. Although simple to make, the flavours are rich and complex.

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