Tag Archive: auckland

The ancient history decorated in tinsel

It was all about health, of course. It was a conspiracy. Why did they never find a vegetable that was bad for you, hey? And what was so wrong with onion gravy anyway? It had onions in it, didn't it? They made you fart, didn't they? That was good for you, wasn't it? He was sure he had read that somewhere.
- Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Oh man, it’s been a LONG time. So long that I can’t even remember everything that’s happened! I was trying to go through all my photos and it all got a bit much! I can’t believe it’s already two thirds of the way through February. Where is the year going?

I know it was months ago but the easiest place to start seems to be Christmasy stuff. Christmas time basically involves lots more cooking, baking, eating, socialising and all that kind of stuff.

The weekend before Christmas M and I travelled up to Auckland for the annual family get together. To start with we proceeded to eat our way around some of my favourite places in Auckland (as well as catching up with some of our favourite people) including lunching at Cosset...

No, I didn't eat ALL of that! But what I did eat was delicious!

We then had to devour lots of food at the family Christmas party that evening. I'd made my tofukey which always goes down well. It's nights like this that make me miss being back up in Auckland with my family. My aunts and uncles are like second parents and my cousins have become brothers and sisters.

Pancakes for brunch at Revel were the perfect way to recover from the food coma of the night before (okay, that's not strictly true but it seemed like an awesome idea at the time). They were buckwheat pancakes served with rhubarb...delicious.

Christmas eve was all about singing carols in the park whilst trying to keep the candle from blowing out (which we failed at miserably!).

Christmas itself was spent at M’s family’s house where we got to eat potatoes that were dug from the garden right before our very eyes and I ate peas straight from the pod (11 peas in one pod - apparently that's good luck).

I made tofukey and Christmas pudding (which was served with soy cream and fresh berries) for everyone. I love Christmas food. Christmas cake was also made...I think I might need to make another one now so we can enjoy it at all times of the year.

All in all I think it was quite possibly the best Christmas I've ever had. Yay!

Join me next time when I dive back down into the deep archives of time since my last post and find some other exciting things to tell you about! I promise it won't be far away.

Nutty Mornings

It was always there, just out of sight, waiting.
But what was it waiting for?
The Tangle Box by Terry Brooks
I have been doing a lot of eating out lately, which is not to say that I haven't been cooking (which also happens a lot...and in case you started to feel concerned, I have still been cooking
way more than I have been going out) but just that, well, there are reasons. But anyway, what you really want to see is some food and, with my crappy camera in tow, I have some...

So on Wednesday morning I met my cousin D at the Heritage Hotel Lobby Bar for breakfast because I'd managed to score a 2 for 1 voucher off Moira's blog. Well that wasn't the only reason but it helped! We both ordered the pancakes (there wasn’t a lot of choice in terms of larger meals although there are several small options) and fresh juices.

I have a favourite juice combo - carrot, apple, beetroot and ginger so naturally when I saw that on the menu (Liver Lover) I knew I had to order it and I have to say, this was the best version I've had. I loved how super thick and super gingery it was.

The menu was new and for some reason (of which I can’t remember now) we got one plate of pancakes before the other. To make up for it though they brought us out another dish as well, the soyurt parfait with cranberry muesli, grated apple. I thought this was really awesome but D thought the yogurt tasted a bit too much like soy (I'm pretty sure it was the Kingland Soy yogurt).

We both ended up ordering the pancakes (there wasn’t a lot of choice in terms of larger meals although there are several small options). To be more precise, berries, macadamia and buckweat pancakes served with maple syrup and grilled banana.

The pancakes weren’t very sweet which I loved and had an awesome nutty texture (both from the buckwheat and the macadamias). They tasted healthy...but in a good way if that makes sense. Plus they kept me full all morning and into the afternoon which was fortunate as I was so rushed off my feet at work I didn't get to have lunch until quite late.

I will be honest here and say that I didn't exactly expect that much when I went but I came away feeling very excited. Our waiter was excellent and the manager came over to have a chat with me and he seemed genuinely passionate about their new menu and the direction the food at the Heritage is going in. You've gotta love that.

But come back next time (or at least some time in the future) for an even more exciting meal at the Lobby Bar...

Desperate for vegetables

So there is all of my tale. I cannot die until my time is come, and who can know when that is? Until then I will be alone, alone as no mere man can ever be, alone with my wretchedness and meaningless evil and self-disgust until the world collapses and is born anew..."
Child of an Ancient City by Tad Williams and Nina Kiriki Hoffman
AGES ago (as in way back in January when I was back in Christchurch...although at least we are in the same year) B and I went to the
Welcome Chinese Vegetarian Cafe for dinner. I just did a quick check and yes, it is one of the few vegetarian restaurants that have managed to open after the earthquake. So go there if you are in Christchurch because they make great food.

I can't remember anything that we ordered so you'll just have to make do with the pictures!!! It was all delicious but as usual, too much food but better too much than too little!

I have to admit that once I got home though I was really feeling the lack of vegetables in the dishes we'd chosen. Hmmm, my tastebuds have certainly changed over time!

Back up in Auckland and only a couple of weeks ago I went to a vegetarian Indian restaurant with a couple of friends, Jai Jalaram Khaman after my flatmates raved about the place.

I ordered a thali (most options were vegan apparently) and also got some other random dish on the side that I forgot to photograph because clearly the lady serving us felt sorry for me not being able to sample on of my friend's dishes. It was good, whatever it was though! Actually, all the food was really delicious but again I came home really feeling the lack of vegetables. I think there might be something wrong with me!

Escaping with Big Boots

Christopher Robin was sitting outside his door, putting on his Big Boots. As soon as he saw the Big Boots, Pooh knew that an Adventure was going to happen, and he brushed the honey off his nose with the back of his paw, and spruced himself up as well as he could, so as to look Ready for Anything.
Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
So...I'm getting quite bad at this blogging thing and right now things are feeling more than a little stressful which is all rather understandable but doesn't change the fact that I have a whole lot of friends trying to live in a city that pretty much resembles a war zone. But I did have a beautiful weekend. M managed to fly up from Christchurch on Friday night (he requested that I bring water and food to the airport - just a hint at how desperate things are
down there) and was quite excited about having a shower since his place was still without water. After M showered and we had dinner we escaped up to my beach house for the weekend.

Somehow Auckland managed to turn on a beautiful fine weekend with no rain whatsoever which is a bit of a miracle! After lazying about and sleeping in (felt like the first time in ages) and going for a paddle on our archaic (but totally awesome) polystyrene surfboards and swimming I made us lunch...hummus, tomato and mushroom toasted sandwiches with a red cabbage coleslaw (recipe to come).

After lunch we did a bit more lazing about because we could and then wandered up the hill for some fresh air. The view from the top is always incredible (not that the view from out our front door isn't though!).

Then I made us an awesome green curry packed full of veggies, chickpeas and butter beans (my new favourite bean) on brown rice. We both went back for seconds.

I actually had some bananas I hadn't got around to eating or freezing (this is quite rare since I normally pretty much buy bananas, deliberately leave them on the bench for a couple of days and then freeze to make smoothies) so I decided I was going to make us banana bread. The one from
Veganmicon to be specific. I think I've got it down pat now and it's my favourite. It even toasts quite well a couple of days later too.

We had a slice each for dessert straight from the oven and then pretty much devoured the rest the following day. SO good! Of course, we needed delicious banana bread to fuel us for a run in the hot sun over in Tawharanui...

Apparently I am in this photo as a tiny wee pink dot halfway up the hill but I am too small to really make out

And then all too quickly it was time to go home again and for M to head back to Christchurch. It felt even harder than normal to see him go...

Shaky ground

How many men had their marriage vows witnessed by fire-breathing dragons and man-eating cats?
Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop
Oh dear! I'm getting very slack at this blogging thing of late but life has just been so super busy. I flew to Christchurch on Boxing Day then we went kayaking which you can read about
here and here.

When we got back I hung around in Christchurch for another 3 weeks. In amongst working (I can do some work remotely) and surviving aftershocks (there was a 5.1 one morning which was a rather interesting way to wake up) we had some more adventures as usual! Then it was back to Auckland...well, for about 5 or 6 days anyway until I flew back down for the weekend! Now I am finally back in Auckland again and attempting to settle back into routine but it is proving a bit difficult!

So in my last post you got to see some of what we ate kayaking. Here are some other holiday meals (you can probably see a theme to our camping meals by now!!). At a holiday park in Hamner Springs we cooked up an indian curry mix from a packet with a tin of coconut cream and as many vegetables and beans as we could cram in. Simple and delicious.

Another weekend we went exploring around Craigieburn and camped somewhere near Mt White Station with some friends. Dinner consisted of veges, beans and pasta sauce on, well, pasta. So good after a long day out adventuring.

Here's the view from our campsite that night. I love the brooding sky.

When we weren't out exploring we still ate pretty well. I got very slack in the picture taking though...

We also had M's parents round for dinner one night and cooked up a storm. I didn't take pictures on the night (feeling a little bit self concious!) but here are some photos of the leftovers...M made a massive vegan lasagna which was pretty incredible. I think he made it with a whole lot of veges (mushrooms, courgette, pumpkin and possibly a whole lot of other things!), beans and tinned tomato.

For dessert I made a crumble with rhubarb from M's Mum's garden, apple and sultanas. It was SO good that it was difficult not to dive in for seconds and thirds but I was way too full.

Another night we went round to their house and M's Mum cooked up a really wicked vegan feast of salad, pizza and black currant crumble. I couldn't believe the effort she went to for us, even finding vegan cheese and I wish I'd taken photos but rest assured everything was super delicious.

Chocolate karaoke

'Well, yes, but it's not about the football.'
'You're saying that football is not about football?'
Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
A few weeks ago (because I'm so organised like that) I went out to dinner with my awesome NZ brother (as opposed to the American brother 'cause going out to dinner with him might be a bit hard). I don't know that many people who are into Indian which is pretty sad so this was the perfect opportunity to hit up
Satya on K'Road again 'cause I hadn't been in ages.

We ordered an entree to share and I'm really trying to remember what it was called but I have no idea, even after trying to decipher it from the online menu. No idea how to describe it. It was okay but a bit weird. Like...no, I have no words that fit.

Anyway, onto my main which I think was the Vegetable Koorma but don't quote me on that. It was really nice though. You do need to ask the waiter which items on the vegetarian menu are vegan though because only one is labelled.

Along with rice, I had my koorma with a good old roti. Nothing special but really good for dipping (and making a mess everywhere).

When we went up to pay my brother was a bit embarrassed as the guy at the desk said to us, "you're the vegan table right?"

We were pretty full but I was craving chocolate sorbet despite already eating a fair bit of chocolate that afternoon (I blame the cravings on having recently gotten (got?) concussion) so we walked down into town to Giapo.

This stuff is like paradise on a spoon. Although you do have to put up with the crazy karaoke coming from inside while you eat!