Tag Archives: Cookies

Pork with celery in egg & lemon sauce

It is a solemn thought: Dead, the noblest man’s meat is inferior to pork.
~ Mark Twain

Over the weekend, we went walking along the waterfront… we still needed our coats, but the sun made its welcome presence felt nevertheless!

(There is something marvellous about eating pizza on a wooden bench by the waterfront too)

Last night, dinner was from Tessa Kiros’ “Falling Cloudberries”:
#58 Pork with Celery in Egg & Lemon Sauce – Page 112

This was a dish that smelled wonderful from the beginning – even when it was just sauteed onions and pork chunks in the pan. With the addition of garlic and some frothy sauvignon blanc it took on extra character – by the time my fingers smelled of celery & fennel, it felt so good just to stand and breathe. This dish took some time (almost 2 hours) to cook – a perfect way to get some reading done in between!

Alas, the eggs scrambled a little in the pan – it’s so important to mix the eggs in well before squeezing in the lemon, I learned! We ate the lot with slices of Vienna bread. Jono liked it, I liked the soft pork and the sauce, but not the abundance of cooked celery – as for Matt and John, I am not sure! :-/

PS. Thanks everyone who has commented and/or entered the giveaway draw so far – there are still 11 hours to go before the draw, so join in if you haven’t!

Sunday mornings are for florentines

Beauty is a form of genius – is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon.
~ Oscar Wilde

Listening to an old Cirque du Soleil soundtrack now – and rapidly falling into a sort of brilliant milky way, if such a thing is possible to evoke from music – if I close my eyes, I can glimpse a million glittering stars in a pool of black silk, shoes sweeping across a polished floor, monkeys on a trapeze, costumes, music, masks, expressions, wide eyes, red lips, movement… I can smell smoke, I can visualise a troupe of dancers gliding gracefully across a carpet of confetti, I can taste a meringue, a cherry pie, a rich hot chocolate, I can see the torching of a crème brûlée… oh, at times like this, I love yielding to the invisible powers of music.

Anyway, I must just write quickly about these florentines and try to get some sleep before Monday morning rolls around once again, I want to be fully awake at work!

I’ve been quite inspired the last few days to bake for a few get-togethers/events – banana cake and brownies have been duly delivered, and what remains is something for French class tomorrow. I was very happy to chance upon David Lebovitz’s recipe for chocolate-dipped florentines the other day… it looked and sounded beautiful! I bought the necessary ingredients to make a double batch of it.

Orange zest, egg whites, sliced almonds, icing sugar, chocolate – oh what a combination of ingredients to put together! Mmmmm! Making the florentines was a breeze, the hardest bit being to efficiently lay spoonfuls of the mixture out in flat circles on the baking tray, and to watch them carefully at the 15 minute mark (they do go from being pale yellow to golden brown so quickly at that stage!).

I was glad for the cold wintry air flowing through the open window today, as it helped the cookies to cool quickly from the oven, and also to set the melted chocolate once I had coated the cooled florentines with it.

These are magic (thank you David Lebovitz!) The best way I can describe the process of making this: it’s like waving a wand and saying Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo, and watching the pumpkin swiftly become a coach. The florentines are, of course, your golden, sweet-soled dancing shoes. You’re off to the ball, my dear!

PS. Hamish has been visiting this weekend, yay – and we have all been eating sooooo much. Of note, we had a late brunch this rainy Sunday at Duke Carvell’s today before going CD shopping/meeting up with the others. For him: seared chicken livers with roasted beetroot and hazelnut; for me: picorino potato cake with poached eggs, chorizo, tomatoes. I really like their menu – it’s pretty evident that whoever wrote it has very good taste!

PPS. Also of note: hot chocolate with soy milk at Midnight Espresso tonight came flavoured with cinnamon and a coffee bean – dreamful.

PPPS. Promise this is the last one. Don’t miss Trade Aid’s jewellery sale… creative pieces for an excellent cause!

Duke Carvell’s – No. 6 Swan Lane, Wellington – Phone: 04 385 2240

Midnight Espresso – 178 Cuba Street, Wellington – Phone: 04 384 7014

Today’s meatballs and yesterday’s cookies

It rolled off the table
And onto the floor,
And then my poor meatball
Rolled out of the door.
~ Tom Glazer, The Meatball Song

Oh, meatballs. Whenever I see them, especially atop a plate of spaghetti, I think fleetingly of Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp”. Crazy how videos you watch as a kid stay with you for 17 years (and counting)…

These meatballs from Tessa Kiros’ “Falling Cloudberries” are almost too easy.
#46 Keftedes – Page 156

All you need to do is soak bread in milk, grate an apple, grate an onion, mix it all up with pork mince, eggs, herbs, salt, pepper – and voila! Meatball mix! You roll it into little balls, arrange them nicely on a tray, before frying them in about 1cm of oil (yes, the last step does make me feel less than good, but I won’t be making them often).

They did splatter a little, and I really don’t like cooking with lots of oil, but these are probably close to the best meatballs you can make for yourself at home (they even have healthy apple in them!). There is no good way to take photos of these unfortunately, as you can probably tell in this post! But the end result was mildly sweet, tender meatballs, and I served them with some penne dressed with a garlic, zucchini and tomato sauce.

Modifications: I adjusted the quantities of ingredients to make less meatballs, and used only pork mince (skipped the beef).

Oh and before I sign off. If you are in the mood for some seriously good chocolate chip cookies, don’t miss out on this recipe from Deb at Smitten Kitchen! I did modify the mix slightly, adding some olive oil and using less chocolate (in a bid to be ever so slightly ‘healthier’), and using more brown sugar because I ran out of white sugar midway, but they still turned out beautifully.

Good thing these were birthday cookies (tip: it’s dangerous sitting next to yummy chocolate chip cookies when you are on your own for more than half an hour).


It took me years to figure out that you don’t fall into a tub of butter, you jump for it.
~ Claudette Colbert

All good things start with butter it seems… so, this evening’s recipe was:

#6 Kourapiedes – Page 135

Butter, sugar, egg, etc… brandy substituted with rum + kahlua… sticky, gooey, sticky.

Browned in the oven, they then played in the icing sugar like frolicking dolphins…

Tessa Kiros said they melt in your mouth… well, she’s right. They do. :-)