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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!


Well, my new Dell has arrived and it is as quick as anything, which is a huge relief since the Toshiba that bit the dust a couple of weeks ago now was...let's just say that booting it up was like watching grass grow...waiting for Spring...slow as molasses, it was.

Now the real work begins. The migration of data, copying favourites, creating new Outlook folders AND...last, but not least, loading more software (ugh). There is of course the all important camera and photo tinkering software, the PDA/Smartphone synchronization software fo retrieving contact numbers and email addresses, the video editing software, printer drivers, desktop publishing applications, and all that jazz. At the end of the day, it makes on wonder just what we would do without these virtual windows (no pun intended) to the outside world. These conduits to life; scheduling us, maintaining us, organizing us, entertaining us, etc., etc....

Anyhow, my point is that I should be back blogging in no time...logging in with my new fingerprint scanner and Skyping anyone who will listen! It's been an annoying last few weeks, but...the up-side is that I may actually be learning patience (yeah, right) and, I have had plenty to keep busy with.

Gidday me mates, and catcha soon, eh...


I am posting today to thank the lovely
Cheryl at Cooking Dunkin Style for this Sisterhood Award. She is a dedicated wife, amazing cook, Princess of Marthaland and fun friend to share with. I am honoured and flattered to have received this award. Thank you!

The rules of this award are:
  1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
  2. Nominate as many blogs as you want which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
  3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
  4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  5. Share the love and link to the post and the person from whom you received your award.

I would like to give this award to the following folks:

Keep on posting the wonderful creations that you so love to share with the rest of us in cyberworld and, thank you so much for visiting and sharing your own ideas and comments even if I don't have as much time as I would like to visit more often (as I should) or leave more comments for you.

Salute and bon appetit!


This is a variation of one recipe my Mom used to make. She will be the first one to tell you that she was never a gourmet cook, but she does have a few signature dishes that were always truly exceptional and I believe this is one of them.

My Mom didn’t come from a family with much in the way of a grocery budget. Her family had more than a few mouths to feed too, so she would tell us how it was often cornbread and beans for supper in her household. She did learn to make a mean pot of pork & beans though, and she knows her way around the kitchen well enough to make quite a tasty pot roast with veggies as well…not to mention her notoriously delicious cobblers. No, my Mom probably doesn’t give herself enough credit, although compared to the AMAZING cook that was Dad’s Mom, my Grama, who passed many of her skills to my Dad, I can see where my Mom might feel less comfortable in the kitchen than some.

My mother has always been petite as well, so she probably doesn’t have the same passion (or obsession) with food as some of us do…unless, of course, it is derived from chocolate or is in the form of pastries! (Bear claws, right Mom???) :o) But this recipe is in honour of her, my Mum, because she introduced this flavour combination to me and always made it to perfection, that is how I recall it anyway.

This is a wonderful twist on chicken and I think anyone who likes chicken and tries it will like it! So, here we go…


6 Chicken Breasts
* Salt & Pepper
¼ Cup Flour
¼ Cup Butter
1 Med Onion, finely chopped
¼ Cup (more or less) Dry White Wine
1 Tsp Tarragon
½ Cup Chicken Broth
½ Cup Condensed Milk (non-sweetened) or Cream

*Amounts vary to individual tastes.


First, sprinkle chicken breast pieces with salt and pepper then dredge with flour but set aside the remaining flour.

Next, in a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and then brown the chicken on both sides.

Move the chicken to a glass oven dish and keep warm in a low temp oven until sauce is ready.

Add onion to skillet and sauté for 1 minute before adding wine and increasing the heat to high.

Now cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally to loosen anything sticking on the bottom of the pan.

Once most of the liquid is gone, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the reserved flour, stirring to a thick paste (roux style).

Now add the tarragon and chicken broth and return the chicken to the skillet, covering and cooking until tender, about 20 minutes.

Add remaining butter and condensed milk (or cream) to the skillet and combine well and make sure it is heated well through. Just a note here - condensed milk makes a lower-fat creamy sauce than full-fat cream.

Now move the chicken to a serving dish or platter and pour creamy tarragon sauce over chicken breasts.

Voila! YUMMMMM!!!!
I served this with steamed broccoli and carrot-potato mash – it was superb if I do say so myself!


Well, the old laptop is still hanging in there (as I am able to limp along and post today), but it’s certainly not going to last much longer – BUGGER! So…I broke down and built a custom Dell Laptop for myself. I guess you could say that I am trying to do my part in “boosting the economy”, right? Hehe

Anyway, the weather is finally beginning to show signs of the end of summer being near. We have had such glorious weather, for the most part, so I really can’t complain too much about the recent rain and cold snaps. Yesterday was warm again but today it’s “pissing down” as my hubby likes to say. (Gotta love those Kiwi & Aussie expressions, eh?).

In any case, I am still making and adoring the
Melon Granita recipe I recently discovered in Foodtown Magazine, but I also made this ice cream and just procrastinated typing out the recipe because it was going to take some time – something I have been a bit short on of late. Nevertheless though, here it is and it is well worth a try…next time I may even try it with blueberries instead…since there seem to be plenty of those still around the place for a decent price.

Here you go…


1 Cup Milk
1½ Cups Cream
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence/Extract
5 Egg Yolks
130 Gm (4½ oz) Caster Sugar/Superfine Granule Sugar
500 Gm (1 Lb) Fresh Strawberries
60 Gm (2 oz) Caster Sugar, measured separately from the rest
1 Tsp Lemon Juice


Assuming you have frozen your ice cream tub overnight, the first step to making the ice cream is to make the crème anglaise or custard.

First mix your milk, cream and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat to nearly at a boil.

As this is heating slowly and you are occasionally stirring it to keep it from burning, quickly whisk the egg yolks & sugar together in a separate bowl (medium-sized) until they become creamy and a pale yellow colour.

Just before the milk mixture boils, remove it from the heat and slowly whisk it into the egg yolk and sugar bowl and stir until it is well combined.

Now, pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook it over a medium low heat until it thickens to coat the back of a spoon.

At this point, transfer the mixture into a shallow glass dish to cool and refrigerate for several hours until it is well chilled all the way through.

While the custard is cooling, remove all of the strawberry stems and leaves and puree them in a blender or food processor until very smooth.

Pour the puree into a small saucepan through a sieve to remove as many seeds as possible, then add the additional sugar.

Stir this over a low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved then add the lemon juice and mix well.

Increase the heat and boil the fruit for about 6 minutes or until it has reduced to about 1 cup, stirring occasionally.

Now chill this mixture for several hours as well.

Once the custard and jam are well chilled, combine them in a bowl and turn the ice cream maker on (prevents the paddle from freezing to the tub) before pouring the mix into the frozen tub in the machine.

Now you sit and wait for it to freeze and become thicker.

Once it has reached the desired consistency, transfer the ice cream into an airtight container and enjoy!!!

The ice cream will take a while to get to a “soft serve” consistency, but will freeze into “scoopable” tub after a few hours in the freezer.

Have fun!


Firstly, I must apologize for being so lax lately. I have been quite busy, taking full advantage of the gorgeous weather until the last few days here.

I do have some lovely dishes to put up soon (I promise). I will soon be posting my stuffed portobello mushrooms and a gorgeous creamy tarragon chicken dish, but alas...my laptop is now more of a footrest, back support, or bun warmer (if you know what I mean) and I am in the market for a new one...

New device MUST HAVE:

  • Fastest processor available to man (and woman)...or damned close! (Core 2 Duo 8600???)
  • 4 Gb Ram - Minimum
  • at LEAST 250 Gb HDD (500 Gb even better)
  • 17" screen

Now...any suggestions are quite welcome (if you have any clue what a Gb or HDD is).

I'm actually thinking about staying clear of Toshiba as that's what crapped out after only 3 years...Lenovo, perhaps...leaning toward custom Dell Studio XPS though. Just not sure...

Tell me what you have used, trusted, hated, loved, etc., and I will take it all under advisement as I shop around. The good news, I suppose, is that the prices should be good right now as everyone and their brother wants to make some money right now, yes?

I will also be looking around in Honolulu soon for a better deal, so...new options might be US retailers and Costco?... Taking work with me, but plan to have a bit of fun as well!

(sigh) Okay, back to work...I feel a little bit better now. :o)

(Or...Blueberry Bourbon & Onion Chutney)
No, I'm NOT Joking!

Well, this all began with a family outing to the local blueberry farm, The Blueberry Farm And Bakehouse, where we spent a lovely, albeit windy, morning picking berries. We ended up picking roughly a kilogram (that's 2.2 Lbs) of blueberries and later purchased a "Gynormous Brownie Sundae" before heading home with our loot.

Now, we all know by now how good these little blue wonders can be for us with their antioxidants and such, however, I still needed to figure out what to do with them if we weren't going to eat them all within the next couple of days (a challenge even for us!). Sure, I thought about writing about pancakes, but seeing how my friend in Oregon had JUST posted hers, I certainly didn't want to be a copycat or look like I was competing for best blueberry pancakes, now did I?!?! Yes, I did make some of the standard blueberry muffins and I even took some berries (and muffins) next door to our favourite neighbour, but...I remembered seeing this weird, yet wonderful, recipe over at the Lobster Gram Recipe blog that I just had to try. Sure, I was hesitant...more like sceptical yet curious, but it sounded like it just might work. I often prepared my steaks this way or only slightly varying from it anyway, so the sauce was the only potential challenge for me. I just wasn't sure if the challenge was making or eating it! :o)

When the sauce was ready, it did smell REALLY, REALLY good...sort of a tangy and spicy barbecue sauce or slightly fruity onion chutney and it really was a fantastic compliment to the steaks (which we don't tend to eat too often in order to stick with healthier protein options when possible). What a treat this was!

Just as my last little comment here before you go start assembling the ingredients, I would suggest even making this in a larger batch and jarring/canning it as a gift or even just saving some aside as a snack topping. I took the leftover sauce with me next-door one day and we had it on crackers and cheese - YUMM...

Also, feel free to adjust the spices and try different types of peppers to change it up just a bit, but it is simply lovely just like this.


1 ½ Tsp Light Cooking Oil (I use Rice Bran Oil, but Canola Oil is okay too)
½ Red Onion, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed or chopped
1 Tsp Tabasco Sauce (or 1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded & chopped)
¼ Cup Bourbon
1 Cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
¼ Cup Tomato Ketchup (not the Kiwi “Tomato Sauce”, as it contains spices not found in proper ketchup)
3 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1½ Tsp Molasses
1 Pinch of Allspice (ground)


1 Tbsp Thyme, fresh chopped
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¾ Tsp Salt (I used freshly ground sea salt)
½ Tsp Black Pepper, coarsely ground
4 Steaks (Filet Mignon or Fillet Steaks are the best)


First, heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Next add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and just starting to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.

Now add the garlic and Tabasco Sauce (or jalapenos) and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds before adding the bourbon.

Next, increase the heat to high and bring it to a boil, cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated, approx 2 to 5 minutes.

Stir in blueberries, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses and allspice and then return it to a boil.

Now reduce the heat and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened, approx 15 minutes or so.

Preheat the barbecue grill to high and then combine the thyme, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl to rub the onto both sides of the steaks.

Grill the steaks about 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, then allow the steaks rest for 5 minutes before serving with the sauce.

This is a surprisingly tasty sauce and a versatile one at that, so give it a go and see what you think! Happy cooking!!!


Often times I find that after being on the go all day, I have little time to create an elaborate meal. I like to have dinner started or ready by the time hubby gets home so he can sit, relax, and enjoy. In the summer I find it more challenging to come up with interesting new recipes, but this is one that even our daughter loves (minus the rice, of course).

I also found that my “Veggie Twister” from
Oceania Trade Link is ideal in making all sorts of veggies fun for my little person and her friends, not to mention it really makes a lovely presentation for parties or photos. This particular favourite gadget of mine turns ordinary veggies into veg-linguine or into veg-ribbons (depending on which blade attachment I want to use).

Chicken is probably my favourite meat to work with because it is so versatile and I just love the aroma of chicken cooking in my kitchen (or on the patio). This honey, soy and garlic sauce is very versatile as well and is delicious with veggies as well as other meats. I make a relatively small batch here, but you can play around with the measurements and find your own balance with this one.

Here we go…


500 Gms Chicken breast and/or thigh meat (boneless/skinless strips or chunks)
2 Tbsp Flour
*Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Cooking Oil (Rice Bran, Canola, Peanut)
3 Tbsp Good Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Honey (or maple syrup)
2 Tbsp Cooking Sherry/Rice Wine
2 Cloves Crushed Garlic
1 Tsp Chinese Five Spice
½ Tsp Crushed Ginger
1 Tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
½ Tsp Ground Coriander Seeds
2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds, lightly toasted


First, mix the flour and pepper together and lightly coat all of the chicken pieces, then set them aside.

Next, mix the sauce together by adding the soy sauce, honey/syrup, sherry/wine, garlic, five spice, ginger and coriander in a small bowl. Mix the ingredients together well until you no longer feel the thick honey sinking to the bottom.

Now, heat the oil and lightly fry the chicken pieces over a medium high heat until chicken is lightly browned. I fry mine in batches to ensure even cooking, then put all of the chicken back into the pan at the end for incorporation with the sauce.

Once all of the chicken is browned (and all “batches” are back in the pan), pour in the sauce and increase the heat to high.

Allow this to simmer while constantly turning the meat over with a wooden spoon or spatula to ensure all chicken pieces are well coated.

When the sauce begins to thicken, quickly remove it from the heat and add the sesame seeds.
That’s it!

I serve mine with steamed rice and fresh veggies, but this is also tasty if you add broccoli and/or baby corn to the pan before the sesame seeds. Stir fried veggies and noodles are also very tasty with this recipe.