Category Archives: Giveaways

Enter the draw: Groupon voucher giveaway

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Winter today feels like a long, everlasting tunnel… or perhaps it is the cold that has decided to take up temporary residence in my body. :-( Oh! It is gloooooomy being sick.

BUT… I am not here to tell you about my cold. Perhaps we all need a spot of sunshine, especially in NZ! In light of that, I have one NZD$50 voucher from the lovely team at Groupon NZ to give away. Groupon is a great initiative – lots of things to see, buy, do, EAT – for less than you would usually need to spend. ‘Nuff said, right? (More info about Groupon here).

To enter the draw to win:

  • Put on your artist hat.
  • Sketch or take a photograph to the theme of “scrumptious” (if you choose to draw: paper + scan or computer versions are both welcome – even Paintbrush doodles, see my crazy mousework above!)
  • Please resize it so that it’s not wider than 500px wide.
  • Email it to me by Wednesday, 4 July – 9.00pm (NZ time). Replace [at] with @.

This is open to all New Zealand residents or people who wish to purchase a gift for a NZ-based person. I’ll email the winner, post the entries here with a link to your blog/website if you have one – and announce the winner shortly after the closing date.

And that’s all! I look forward to receiving your entries :-)


Don’t forget to join in the Giveaway fun!

The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.
~ Morrie Schwartz

Just a quick reminder, NZ readers – you have till 11pm tonight to enter to win
a voucher and a little something extra
! I can’t wait to pick and announce the winner!

Hope you are all having a beautiful day today.

If you aren’t, might I suggest searing some sliced tarahiki fillet with finely chopped garlic, a dash of Cajun spice, chilli flakes, rubbed basil, and a squeeze of lemon juice? Combine this with your favourite greens, parmesan flakes, a poached egg and your favourite noodley pasta cooked al dente. Sit and eat.

Then look around for someone to help, to love, to encourage – then do it, and just accept the knowledge of having done this as thanks.

Duck at St Tropez (and a giveaway)

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.
~ Michael Caine

“Duck” is one of my favourite words in the world. Is there anything so happy as a rubber duckie, or a duck pond in a garden, or ducking quickly behind a pillar to surprise someone as they unknowingly stroll past? Oh, and of course… needless to say… duck, you are sooooo delicious!

Mmmm. I am, tonight, close to quacking with happiness following a delightful catch up/dinner with my friend Cam who has recently made (the most excellent) choice of moving to Auckland!

Following a quick perusal of the Entertainment Book, we decided on St Tropez since it was close by, and, more importantly, the menu sounded too good to pass up.

What was even better than reading the menu was eating the food off that menu. The garlic bread was superb – warm and crisp and flavourful, with just the right amount of sweet tomato bits on top… and for mains, Cam ordered the lamb with caramelised onion, mushroom and bacon with a potato mash. I got to try a piece of the lamb – one which required both knife and fork and some skill to transport to my lips, so tender it was! I could not decide between the “Char Grilled Fish, Lemon Beurre Noisette Sauce w Capers & Tomato, Jasmine Almond Rice” and “Duck Leg Confit, Haricots White Bean Casserolette, Red Wine Plum Sauce” – thankfully, the charming maître d’ came to my rescue – I went with her recommendation.

I do not regret taking her advice – my dinner was beautifully cooked and plated. When it arrived, I saw a bouquet of green beans tied in a carrot ribbon; white beans bubbling merrily in a ramekin; and the prize duck confit, bless its soul, standing proudly on the right, lightly bathed in sauce. Wonderful. I stared at it for a while, trying to commit the sight of it to memory… I can still see it now. The flavours met and embraced on my tongue…

And, Cam treated me to dinner this evening – which was really so generous (thank you Cam!)… and sparked a mini idea…

If you have been reading my most recent blog posts, you may have read that for nearly no reason at all, various friends have lately decided to bless me with meals fit for a King. My cup runneth over! I have wined and dined at three top Auckland establishments in two weeks – and had my meals paid for, and my heart filled with their friendship and conversation.

So – I’d like to offer you the chance to win a $50 voucher for any New Zealand restaurant/café of your choice ($60 if they only sell vouchers in $20 instalments), as long as they offer vouchers for sale.

What’s the catch, you ask? Ah, yes, there is a catch.

You will do the work, and the voucher will go to someone else. No, don’t go away… read on, you’ll see why in a minute.

I thought of offering the voucher to readers directly, but I’m going to draw inspiration from Oxfam and UNICEF – and give you the gift of giving.

It’s easy –

1. Close your eyes and think of a beautiful meal you’ve eaten, and how much you smiled eating it.

2. Now think about giving a bit of that smile to someone… in the form of a voucher for a nice place they might not ordinarily visit?

3. Then leave a comment on this post, writing a sentence (or two) using the word “delicious”. Please type your email address in carefully, because I will need a valid way to reach you if you win!

The winner will be drawn at random – I will email you and get the name and postal address of your “giftee”, and the restaurant/café of your choice – and then I will purchase the voucher and send it on to your giftee anonymously. And, alright, I’ll sweeten the deal – you get a batch of homemade chocolate truffles (if in Auckland) or something equally nice/less fragile than truffles which will survive a courier ride (if elsewhere in NZ) from me. (By the way, I can’t guarantee you’ll love my baking, but I’ll try to make it loveable).

Sound good?


Questions, sing out… otherwise, thank you for reading – and good luck!

Please note that this is open to readers residing in New Zealand only – comments must be in by 11pm (NZ time), Wednesday 10 August.

PS. Visit St Tropez.

St Tropez Restaurant – 149 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland – Phone: 09 309 0996

And the winner is…

I’ve been lucky. I’ll be lucky again.
~ Bette Davis

First up, before I announce the winner of my recent giveaway, it was so much fun holding it. I’m not usually someone to gush over gifts, though I do appreciate them when they are thoughtful/significant – but oh, when it comes to GIVING presents… I always love it!

I really enjoyed reading the comments you left on my giveaway post – thank you everyone for entering! I hope to hold something similar again soon, and please do enter again next time.

Tonight, I wrote all your names on little slips, and got my flatmate Matt to pick my lucky winner… drumrollBeens! Congratulations!

Beens has just started her blog recently, and it seems so fitting to me now that she should have won the book so she can have a Kiwi-compiled cookbook on her bookshelf for her upcoming move to New Zealand ;-)

Also made some cookies (with Matt’s help in banging the almonds and chocolate into little pieces)… here is the recipe!

    115g butter, at room temperature (or microwaved in 3 bursts of 5 seconds, then chopped into small cubes)
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large eggs
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon ground clove
    1 cup quick-cooking oats
    2 cups chopped almonds
    1/2 cup cranberries (approximately – use your eyes to gauge quantity)
    200g dark chocolate, chopped
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with foil and lightly grease it.
    Beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla, and beat until well mixed, about three minutes. Stir in eggs, one at a time.
    Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in a separate bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter, mixing on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half.
    Stir in the oats, almonds, cranberries and chocolate chips. Drop the dough, by the tablespoon, onto the foil-lined tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack. I used the same piece of foil to bake all my batches.
    Yields plenty of cookies (more than 35… somewhere along the way, I lost count). Store at room temperature in a cookie jar or other airtight container.

Treehousekitchen Giveaway!

Joy is the feeling of grinning inside.
~ Melba Colgrove

Just because I can, I would like to hold my first blog giveaway…

To be in for a chance to win a beautiful copy of “Share, Indulge, Enjoy” (retailing for NZD$39.95), simply leave a comment on this entry by Wednesday 7 July, 7.30pm (NZ time)! Tell me about your favouritest dish in the world (real or imagined), or about your nightmare vegetable, or heck just say hello!… in as little or as many words as you wish.

This is open to all New Zealand and non-New Zealand residents, and it doesn’t matter whether I know you in person, or if you have commented before on this site. The draw will take place on Wednesday 7 July, 8.00pm (NZ time), the winner will be selected at random. I will contact him/her by e-mail to discuss postage (so please leave a valid e-mail address!), and announce the result soon after.

Have a great weekend!

Note: this is not a sponsored prize.