Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eye sight thus far.

What eye sight?
It's going to take some time, apparently.

70% better.
Still can't see the computer screen without the 4x magnifying app.

Japanese style baked green mussels

I wasn't a fan of sushi when I first moved to the USA. We'd go to sushi restaurants and for 5 years I'd order the chicken teriyaki. When that got boring I broadened my horizons and tried a rainbow roll.
Baked Green Mussels, a popular appetizer at sushi restaurants, were a favoritemostly because they were listed on the menu as 'New Zealand Green Mussels', but they're pretty fantastic.

It took me a while to figure out the sauce .. but I managed.

Grill for about 5 minutes. Overdo it and the sauce will dry out and the whole mussel will begin to pop.

Bar the garnish, they taste the same.

Hoisin sauce is the brown sauce in the top image, which is optional. It's a sweet rich sauce almost chocolate like. Usually on unagi.

Friday, February 25, 2011


BBQ in NZ is very different to BBQ in the USA. Maybe it was just my family, but our BBQs consisted of meat patties (hamburger), sausages (brats), maybe lamb or pork chops and a few salads. The only sauce that was served was Watties Tomato Sauce. No meat was smothered.
I didn't know what BBQ sauce was until I was 21 and new to the USA.

Ribs USA in Burbank, CA (only) and Famous Daves BBQ were two of my favourite US BBQ restaurants. It was here I discovered true BBQ.

Famous Daves specifically had a selection of BBQ sauces that you could try at your table once your platter of food came. I liked Rich & Sassy, a sweet, thick, rich BBQ sauce from Famous Daves. Husband loved Devils Spit, BBQ sauce with a peppery kick to it.

I ordered mine from eBay last week and they arrived in the mail today.

When I have all the ingredients I need, I will attempt to re-create this dish.

Note worthy: The local Asian superette in town sells A&W Rootbeer, it's labeled Sarsaparilla.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cataract - done. Hearing - selective.

After waiting for 2 hours, he was finally taken into surgery.

45 minutes later he was back. He said it hurt pretty bad, the administration of the anaesthesia.

Doctors orders - Leave the patch on overnight and it will be removed at tomorrows follow up appointment.

We haven't been home for an hour and Larry's taken it off, so if the next picture I post is of him with a black eye, you know why.

Get in line for a cataract

6 people checked in for a 1pm appointment with Dr. X for cataract surgery. Despite being the first to check in, we're 5th in line out of the 6 waiting. Patient 2 was wheeled away 15 minutes ago.

They're cancelling surgeries and booking out theatres (ORs) to cater to the earthquake victims of Christchurch. We may not even be seen today. Unless someone has a serious eye condition as a result from the quake, I don't think our doctor will stop his line up of surgeries unless he has no where to do them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

New Zealand has cinnamon scrolls. I've only ever seen them at Bakers Delight. Apart from the cinnamon, there's no comparing them to Cinnabon.
Cinnamon Scrolls are not fluffy nor are they sweet and the one time I purchased one, it didn't come with frosting.

New Zealand doesn't have Cinnabon, so today I bought cinnabon to New Zealand.

It's a long process with the dough waiting for it to rise etc, two hours later ..

There's a secret method to avoid the caramelized brown sugar and cinnamon from leaking out all over the rolls while cooking.

Like a flower ...


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Earthquake.

We were not affected by this afternoons earthquake in Christchurch. If it weren't for my brother, in Australia, who called to ask me if I felt it .. I would never have turned on the TV to find out.

Thoughts and prayers to friends and family there.

Yo Quiero Taco Bell!

Pams brand make tortillas. Believe it or not, tortillas are more expensive than bread here in NZ.
Pams bread from Pak n Save = $1.78
Pams tortillas from Pak n Save = $4.58
Side note: I have no idea why things are not rounded off .. the lowest coin we have here is ten cents. The End.

This is a bean burrito from Taco Bell. The price of a bean burrito in Palmdale, CA Taco Bell - last time we had one (2 years ago), was 79 cents.
NZ don't have Taco Bell or any of the fantastical salsa's they serve.
You may remember the refried beans I shared yesterday. Today we needed tortillas.

It's a simple process with ingredients everyone should have, even NZ.

Too much baking powder aside, they came out fine and we had faux Taco Bell bean burrito's in rural Hawkes Bay, NZ.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Mexican Food

This may look like a bag of crap, very much so .. but it's mexican chorizo.
Fortunately, NZ has available MOST of the ingredients needed to make your own chorizo.

New World (supermarket) sell Spanish chorizo but it tastes like what the above looks like.

Mine is pretty close to the chorizo we'd buy from The Vallarta in California.

You must marinate it overnight for it to get that kick chorizo is popular for.
It breaks nicely just as chorizo should.

Add eggs and/or Tofu then cheese and you have yourself ..

A breakfast burrito in New Zealand.

You can buy this crap in the store.
Taste's like what I imagine creamed cardboard would taste like.

Any self respecting lover of refried beans needs to make it themselves and steer clear of the canned stuff down isle 4 in Pak n Save. It takes some time to make refried beans. I began these yesterday.

Looks like vomit, tastes fantastical.
Pinto beans aren't available in common supermarkets in New Zealand. Wholefood stores carry pinto beans in bulk.
In Hawkes Bay specific.
Cornucopia, Bin Inn, Chantals, Moshims and Asian & Indian Superettes.

Going Mexican

There's one Mexican Restaurant in Hawkes Bay. Holy Guacamole apparently did their research and discovered that us Kiwi's are pansies when it comes to spice and so their picante sauce is not picante at all.

They're ok when you need a Mexican food fill, however, I'm better.

Spanish blood runs through my husbands veins and he's the negative vibe behind the "NZ has primate food" attitude. I love my country most times, but I have to agree with him.

Quesadilla - Chicken, Onions and Cheese with the accompanying condiments. I have a sandwich press that fits a folded 9 inch tortilla in it. It's magical. Quick, simple and even my Maori family enjoy them.

Tostada de Pollo - Chicken Salad in a tortilla bowl. You eat the whole thing. My parents think tostadas are the rockstar of my Mexican cookery and I have to agree. I spent 6 years ordering tostadas bowls before I ventured out to fajitas and enchiladas.

Tostada de Pescado - Fish tostada. Once I wanted to order a Tostada de Camarone (Shrimp Salad) but instead said Tostada de Cabron (Bastard Salad). Innocent mistake.

Tamales - There's no other way to explain them other than to say that they resemble dumplings. They're made from Masa Harina, which I have to order online from an over priced store Tio Pablo, and steamed in corn husks, again a Tio Pablo product. Worth it.

So if you're in Hawkes Bay and you want Mexican food, don't go to Holy Guacamole, come to me.
I spent 20 years eating New Zealand food before my palate lost it's viriginity to the culinary arts that hailed from Los Angeles. I didn't know what pasta was until I was 18.

After 10 years in Los Angeles, we moved back to New Zealand, back to primate bland food.

This is me re-creating food from Los Angeles that New Zealand doesn't have, because I'd die of starvation if I didn't.

Catching up.

Unloading the camera.

He put it on his own head.

Not sure what she's wearing, but she liked it.

Going to visit Nan.


Just playing.

Larell and Uncle Larry

Evening in PA.

Raspberry Peanut Brittle.

3rd attempt at Tamales. They are muy fantastical.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hot Sauces

New Zealand has a fair share of hot sauces that are made locally and some of them, like the Matariki brand or the Orcona brand, are semi-respectable. There's a sweet little Kiwifruit/Jalapeno concoction someone attempted, but it tastes like relish.

I wasn't big on hot sauces in the USA until someone took WalMart away from me.

Franks Hot Sauce - A must have for hot wings.
Here in NZ, my US Born husband put's Franks in boil up and I'll discuss boil up another day, because it deserves it's own post.

Cholula Hot Sauce - Chili and Lime
A breakfast burrito must have. MexiCali Fresh, a Mexican restaurant here in NZ (that's a step down from Baja Fresh and not Authentic at all) sell these in their store for $10 each. It was worth it because they're not available here in stores at all.

Sriracha Hot Sauce - Vietnamese Hot Sauce
We fell in love at the Sushi Restaurant. This hot sauce is readily available because the Asian cuisine is popular here. It's a must have in your cupboard for noodles and is pretty fantastic with QP Mayo.

Tapatio - Picante!
Another one I picked up from Mexicali Fresh. I hate the stuff myself, but mixed with sour cream and over a quesedilla, it's not too bad.

The four must haves in your kitchen cupboard where ever you are. I utilize eBay because you'll always find that one seller who will ship to New Zealand for the price of the moon, and it's very much worth it.

Summer part 2

Nessa envisioned this shoot with my nephew Ellis. They pulled it all together very well. Hubs was supposed to be in it, but got stage fright...