30 Jan 2014

A little bit about the best dip I have ever tasted

Calci came over one night with a food hamper!
In the gorgeous basket was this curious packet of dip mix and a pot of sour cream to make a dipping sauce for chips, veges, crackers..
So I gave it a go!

As you can see, it contains onion, red pepper, sundried tomato, salt, garlic basil and chives.

Red Pepper Pesto Dip

250 gr (one tub) sour cream
1/2 cup mayonaisse
1 packet of red pepper pesto dip mix

Combine, chill and serve with carrot sticks.

The result?
We ate the whole thing between the 4 of us. Which, now thinking about it, is like eating a quarter of a tub of sour cream.

But it's okay cause we ate it with carrots, which cancels out the fat. (and btw TJ if you're reading this... this is what happened to the carrots that I was saving for carrot cake.) It tastes like aioli with a tangy, very addicting flavor.

I asked Calci where she got the dip mix from and she said Farro!!
I went to the one in Mt Wellington and they had other dip mixes there for $2.80, like Tzatziki, roasted garlic and taragon, dill and wild onion... For a full list of flavors click here.

I got 2 more sachets of the same flavor, because it was the simplest to make. The others required adding extra fresh vegetables so I just picked the fast and familiar.

I brought it to a day outing and I got asked for the recipe twice! So I thought I should let you all know... It was a packet mix.

On the back of the packet, it also has other recipes for a cheese ball and pasta sauce.
I had it with dinosaur shape pasta tonight!

Pasta sauce

250 g (one tub) cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonaisse
1 packet red pepper pesto dip mix

Mix together over heat and add a little milk (I added about a quarter to a half cup).

I then added chopped chorizo and stirred it in with the hot pasta.

And to conclude,

I have had lengthy discussions about this with the bf and the bffe and the mother but the question still remains:
To buy or not to buy?
That 250 though...



22 Jan 2014

A little bit about JAX Wine & Tapas bar

After a full on day of consultation, City Rail Loop presentation, and general this-and-that with only coffee and a bun to fuel me since 7am, it was time to grab a feed.

At 5pm, Newmarket was accommodating the last retail customers of the day, the buses carried the workers home and I sat down at Jax for after work drinks/ pre-dinner with jt.

I loved how we were practically the only customers at the time. Allowed us to chat properly about me managing a small part of a project, the dating hierarchy and The White House's current anticipation for a mormon visit.

Jax is a small espresso/ wine and tapas bar and had a sophisticated 'after-work Ponsonby' relaxed feel without the intimidating 30+ vibe.Their website says they hold private functions and photography exhibitions as well.

JAX Wine & Tapas
40 Remuera Rd
(next to the train station)

Open Tues- Sat 4pm-11pm

A White Russian for me and a Heineken for the simple man :)

White Russian, the manager explained to me, is vodka and Baileys. Which tastes amazingly satisfying especially in the humid evening. But I can definitely drink it all day.

We ordered 4 tapas. You can find the Jax menu here
Tapas is basically a shared platter. You order a few things to share over drinks.

The pate of the week is duck with orange and cointreau, served with toasted ciabatta.

I've never had duck before, but fyi it tastes like chicken with an after taste.

Beef eye fillet served with a mozzarella & potato fritter topped with a rich dark ale reduction.

THIS was absolutely EXQUISITE.

Firstly, the beef eye fillet.
I didn't know there could be such a difference between good steak and excellent steak.
I've had good steak before and this was definitely the excellent steak. Tender, juicy, flavorsome, not chewy and not dry.

The mozarella and potato fritter...
jt described it as amazing.
I said, let's try make it at home.

Butternut & Parmesan risotto cakes served on tomato salsa

Delicious. Love the texture, unfortunately not a fan of the slightly spicy (but almost unbearable in my mouth) taste.

Braised Merino lamb spare ribs on potato mash, fennel & drizzled port reduction

Fuzzy photo of "the best lamb ever" -jt

I'm not well experienced with lamb but it was specially tasty and the mash was perfect.
There was a moment of weird silence when I watched as jt closed his eyes to savour the food.

Food: excellent.
Service: impeccable, friendly, informative.
Price: only affordable for students if it's a special occassion or you have a voucher like us :p
Place: comfortable, quiet and sheltered from the busy Broadway intersection.

Must try: the beef eye fillet with the mozarella potato fritter. Must.
Next time: I'm keen for the goats cheese balls with herbs, coated with bread crumbs on fresh honey comb. Will definitely keep a lookout on grabone again

And to conclude,
The end of Sherlock season 3.



6 Jan 2014

Easy bruschetta

Long time since I last blogged.

I've been busy...

In October I studied hard core for my exams. November came and everything I learned was regurgitated- correctly or not, I passed all my exams.
Then I had jury duty and the next week; WORK!

I am an engineering intern at Auckland Transport- the job I've been wanting since the start of the year when I took CIVIL 360- Transportation Engineering and seeing AT at the engineering careers fair.

When I had a break from work, I went to chch to spend 10 days with the boyfriend's family... Lovely lovely, one of the best holidays I've had... Everything was so good. I didn't want to return yesterday :/
But fun times had to end.
We had a Christmas celebration, met one side of the family, the childhood friends, went blo karting, attended jt's cousin's wedding as the groomsman's date.
Everything was so lovely.

I missed it all so much, at work today I googled all the places we went to, hoping to catch the happiness I left behind.

One great food I had when I was there was the bruschetta(pronouned brus-ke-ta) that Gee and D-man made for us.
And I created the simpler (lazier) version for dinner tonight.

one baguette
garlic, crushed or chopped finely
2 tomatoes
one handful of fresh basil (I got one of those packets from the salad section in Countdown)
olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (I was meant to put balsamic or white wine vinegar but we didn't have any so I used apple cider vinegar instead, which worked just as fine)
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Slice the baguette into one-inch diagonal slices
3. Combine butter and finely chopped/ crushed garlic and spread on one side of bread slices to make garlic bread
4. Wrap the baguette in aluminium foil and bake for approximately 15 mins. Alternatively, you can place the slices on a tray if you like it really crunchy
Meanwhile, prepare the bruschetta topping
5. Core the tomatoes and take out the seeds. Chop tomatoes into cubes
6.Finely chop the basil- not as big as I did :/
7. Combine in a bowl with vinegar, drizzle over olive oil and sprinklings of salt and pepper
8. Spoon over top of baked baguette and eat :)

And to conclude,
Who enjoyed boxing day sales? I could finally buy something from Smith n Caugheys