smoked salmon and preserved lemon frittata

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Egg bakes are one of the easiest, most nutritious ways to make four portions of main meals. The additions of smoked salmon with the salty, citrus bite of the preserved lemon makes these eggs taste next level – to the point where I have brought this along for night shift and quite happily consumed it on four consecutive occasions.

I’m a huge advocate for lazy, one bowl situations for meal preparation, and this dish here is no exception. I’m obviously not coming up with anything new – a frittata is a frittata, after all, but I can’t overemphasise how great a combination the fish and preserved citrus are together. I’ve had the two things lying about in the fridge for a while (another bonus) – both bought on special and keep forever – and so ultimately very little effort was taken here. Previously when I’ve been throwing together egg bakes I’ve used cheese to cut through the obvious “egginess” of the eggs, but with the lemons finely chopped throughout, there’s really no need. I’m not just catering to dietary restrictions here (dairy free, paleo, primal, low carb, pescatarian) – this is simply delicious in general.

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cauliflower “steaks” on cauliflower puree

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Cauliflower with cauliflower.

There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, here. I’m not about to produce a vegetarian meal by halves.

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This recipe calls for an entire head of cauliflower to be consumed between two people. We are using the whole damn thing. If I was truly innovative, I would have crisped up the leafy fronds encasing the florets, but I’m afraid I was a little busy massaging my kale. Could I be more of a food wanker? Let me just add that this recipe can be easily adapted to be vegan, paleo or even both for good measure. I don’t often cook an entirely vegetarian meal, and so for some reason, making a dish based around vegetables in various disguises and then adding more vegetables to compliment it somehow made a lot of sense to me. Given that I absolutely love celebrating fresh produce, I’m seriously considering challenging myself to one meat free day per week. Once upon a teenage time, I was a vegetarian!

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cauliflower rice “paella”

This is not a paella by any stretch of the Spanish imagination, as it is clearly missing its integral rice component. To call it by any other name, however, and I couldn’t convey how it tastes nearly as good.

(Let it be noted, however, that it is in fact primal/paleo/keto friendly/low carb/gluten free/dairy free, but don’t let that put you off)

Evidently, it’s not all treats around here. I’ve subbed out rice for cauliflower – one of my favourite, fart-stench-creating-to-prepare low carb substitutes. I absolutely love the taste of rice – to the point where I have previously claimed it to be one of my favourite carbohydrates, but thankfully with the caramelised prawns and spicy chorizo to contend with, I don’t miss it here. It even reheats beautifully – however there was certainly none left when I served this to my parents while I was home for the weekend.

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banana chocolate praline crunch cake

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This is simply a celebration of how I think banana cakes should be.

We forever have overripe bananas in the freezer, overambitiously bought in bunches and then left to brown by the end of a week. I had all of the ingredients for this lying around but for the salted roasted almonds and impulse purchased Crunchie bar, but these are probably the two integral items that genuinely make the cake. The praline is like crack in the sense both that it is ridiculously addictive, and also perfectly crunchy. I’m big on flavour combinations, and I think the salty nuttiness is practically perfect, but even better is the fun texture it adds to offset the smooth fudge icing and moist banana cake – which unintentionally ended up with a deliciously crisp cake crust.

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chocolate marshmallows

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The only disclaimer I need to preface these with is that OMG they are amazing.

Rich smooth chocolatey taste from dark chocolate + fluffy lightness from marshmallows = the best (gluten free!) treat ever. One batch makes so many you won’t know what to do with them all. Put them in a jar. Save some for yourself and then spread the love.

These are inspired by chocolate marshmallows I had earlier this year at Milse dessert bar in Britomart, Auckland. So inspired I was to make the creation myself that I went out and purchased Valhrona cocoa powder for the expressed purpose. I’ve attempted once before without a sugar thermometer and without heating the syrup and it turned out terribly. Thankfully, my patience with these little lovelies paid off. I’ve eaten enough of them to assure you of that!

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Whittaker’s Creamy Milk chocolate fudge

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Sugar thermometers make the ability to give gifts your command.

Fudge is SO simple with one of these – it takes the guesswork out of heating the sugar, which is 100% the scariest part of making it. I’m so excited to have added this treat to my repertoire of quick treats. It has the perfect smooth but chewy consistency without any hint of grittiness from crystallisation. It also stores well at room temperature and so is perfect for sending away for friend’s birthdays! I would definitely recommend having an occasion planned for this wee one, mainly because it is altogether too easy to consume in vast quantities. Much easier to simply discount the extensive spoon licking and off-cut consuming afterwards as quality control for its final purpose.

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pear and ginger layer cake with salted caramel frosting

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This is a cake for people who don’t think they’re into cake.

I’m sure you all have one of those friends (or colleagues … or bosses). Well. This cake will turn them. To me, this is what cake is all about. There’s no fuss or fondant, and every element celebrates the others in a beautifully simple way. I made it up on a lazy Sunday afternoon in which the salted caramel set a precedent for me to be unusually productive.

Maybe it’s because I know my winter will be broken up by one month of glorious, European summer, but I am so enjoying the crisp autumn days lately, the wearing of sleeves and the changes in produce that the seasons bring. Now that I’m comfortable enough to essentially throw together a recipe of my own accord, it is so much easier to base what I make around what looks best at the farmer’s market. I’m reading that sentence now and realising I sound like an utter food wanker. But basically, the pears were cheap and fresh and this cake is delicious. You need to make it and experience it for yourself.

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