Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Time to embrace cauliflower! And get down & funky with funghi!


Enjoy these crisp autumn daysYes, the weather has been brilliant, mostly, these past two weeks. Waiheke has shone with crystal clear air, blue skies and sparkling seas. The mornings are chilly, the evenings nippy, no two ways about that, but it is perfect weather for walking, meeting friends for a coffee and a catch up, idling in a sunny spot in the garden, or curling up with the cat and a good book in the late afternoon.
Food has ramped up a bit around here, be gone plates of salad till summer time!). But HEY, if you are reading this in the northern climes, don’t think this site is not for you – just hit the Link for Spring or Summer on the side panel on the
Home page of Shared Kitchen and cruise the offerings there. And you can gloat. While we are getting nippier by the day in New Zealand, you are starting to bask in the lovely spring sunshine with the glories of summer lying ahead.

So, to the recipes this week. Ilaria stopped by to help with the cooking. I was cooking mushrooms. She loves them. But she doesn’t eat cream or butter. Or ham. Hmmmm. Well, we just did a little fiddle-de-dee (that’s a wee mad dance on the kitchen floor!) and divided the seasonings and bits and bobs and added extra chopped mushrooms to her portion and a splash of olive oil, and there she had vegetarian cream-and-butter-free stuffed mushrooms. BUT, and I love big buts, you check out the pics and see whether you prefer the look of buttery mushrooms or her ones cooked with a drizzle of oil.
Mushrooms Baked with Ham & Parmesan
Once the mushrooms were cooked (preceded by pacing around the oven checking the timer), she gobbled up her two, and do you know what? Yep, she ate one of the cream, butter and ham mushrooms. After all that palaver! (“I didn’t really like it,” she said.) Kids. ‘nough said.
I’ve also included a recipe for
Mushrooms on Toast – a real humdinger version of mushrooms on toast! And you’ll find other mushroom recipes by typing in ‘mushrooms’ in the Search space on the Home page. For nutritional info on mushrooms, and how to store, prepare and cook to perfection, and for that vexing question (do mushrooms contain selenium or not), read here Mushrooms
After the mushrooms we moved on to a cauliflower dish. I’m rather partial to Pic’s peanut butter, not just because all it contains is peanuts and salt, but I love the story of Pic. Read about it here. We seasoned the peanut butter with ginger, chilli flakes and lemon zest and juice, then tossed it with cauliflower. The cauliflower turns golden, but not crisp, because it has semi-steamed in the peanut buttery marinade, but it will taste amazing. Cauliflower with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and we’ve got some great ideas for gifts for mum. A personally signed copy of my cookbook Julie Biuso At Home makes a great gift, as do the gorgeous olives, feta and preserved lemons. And Chocolate & Walnut Truffles.
If your mum has been battling with a blunt knife, now might be the time to get her a fabulous new knife that she will treasure. These FURI knives are fantastic, really well priced, and there's also a fail-safe sharpening system. They also come with a 25-year guarantee.
If you want to order any of these items and to receive them in time for Mother’s Day, you’ll need to hop on your bike. Email immediately so I can get them off to you.
Finally, a cooking class voucher is another lovely gift idea. I send out a cute little Waiheke-designed and printed card and your mum can choose a class that suits over the winter months.

I’m off for a walk now, to burn off some calories so I can have a gorgeous autumnal feast later on. Life is all about balance!
Speak soon!

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