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The Well Travelled Spatula

Dec. 26, 2011 5:14 pm 
Updated: Dec. 29, 2011 2:04 pm
Food always tastes better when you are camping.  Why?  This has been the new riddle as we embark upon our new voyage of caravanning.For most people, I know that camp chow means simple – beans and wieners, made-ahead casseroles, and quick-fix meals with few ingredients.  But, alas, we are not… MORE
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Nov. 28, 2011 8:18 pm 
Updated: Dec. 28, 2011 6:33 pm
We were supposed to go away in the caravan a few weeks ago, but the weather had other ideas.  The day we had planned to leave was very windy, and the next day, we woke up to steady drizzle.  It IS Springtime here in New Zealand, but that generally means the weather is incredibly… MORE
Nov. 8, 2011 10:01 pm 
Updated: Nov. 15, 2011 5:37 am
Our life has taken a numbers of turns in the past three months, literally and figuratively.Back in July, the darkest and coldest part of our New Zealand winter, a young couple (backed by her parents) made an offer on our business.  It was low, but given the economy and recent earthquakes, we… MORE
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Jul. 27, 2011 1:16 am 
Updated: Aug. 5, 2011 12:24 pm
Okay, we all love food, but there are some things that all of us dread when it comes to food preparation.  There are just things that we think we don’t like, things we can’t bear to think about touching, let alone preparing, or things that just seem too professional or difficult to bother… MORE
Fresh Flounder
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Off with its head!
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First fillet off!
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A sharp knife 'following' the bones
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Apr. 10, 2011 11:24 pm 
Updated: Apr. 17, 2011 5:54 pm
I have been asked to explain myself, AGAIN! It seems that I keep making reference to ‘balance’ when discussing making dressings, sauces, and marinades with a certain someone.  This came from an e-mail discussion regarding the picture I took of Brad’s Basil Marinade of… MORE
Mar. 15, 2011 4:05 am 
Updated: Mar. 22, 2011 3:52 pm
PREAMBLE: Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to everyone in Japan  – and around the world – who have been so deeply affected by the recent earthquake, tsunami and impending radiation issues. I have had this blog post in the works before our recent quake, and today just fin MORE
Jan. 25, 2011 10:34 pm 
Updated: Feb. 23, 2011 5:08 pm
When we bought our house, we didn’t really buy a ‘house’, we bought a garden with a house in it. This is not the first time this has happened, but that's a different story. We seem to be attracted to properties that offer ‘good bones’ in both the house and the garden. “Jasmine Cottage” was no MORE
Dec. 14, 2010 10:05 pm 
Updated: Dec. 22, 2010 9:32 pm
T’was the Week Before Christmas And, all ‘round the Buzz, The cooks and the bakers Were busy because… There were dishes to cook and food to prepare And, it had to be done with the utmost of care! “Who knows about fondant?” ”What cookies should I make” ”Do you think I can sub this?” ”At MORE
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Dec. 8, 2010 9:56 pm 
Updated: Dec. 15, 2010 8:38 pm
“Ring the bells that still can ring Forget your perfect offering There is a crack, a crack in everything That's how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen I can hardly read that verse without my eyes welling up with tears. I’ve always loved the song, but in the last 6 months it has taken on MORE
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Dec. 4, 2010 10:27 pm 
Updated: Dec. 7, 2010 6:03 pm
As many of you know, we are obsessed with food, therefore, we are obsessed with anything on TV that relates to food or cooking or growing food or serving food or eating out, and so forth! At least once a week, The Man will say “Write that down!” as we watch one show or another. I usually do, b MORE
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Good EatNZ

Home Town
Yuba City, California, USA

Member Since
Jan. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Gourmet

Needlepoint, Gardening, Wine Tasting

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About Me
As a Californian, now living in New Zealand with 20 odd years spent in the Caribbean in between, my cooking style has had a lot of different influences. After several years in other businesses, we finally came to NZ 9 years ago, and with no experience other than eating in a lot of them, we opened a cafe! Our friends thought we were nuts, and in retrospect, we were. We have now sold that business and are trying to figure out what to do next! Watch this space...
My favorite things to cook
I love to play with Asian inspired marinades/ingredients - getting the blance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy just right. I also seem to be drawn to fiddly foods -- home-made pastas, tortillas, filled won tons and grape leaves.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother loved Mexican food, and definately passed the taste on to me. I always loved my mom's enchiladas and tacos, and often whip up something like that quick for dinner. When I have more time, I make home-made Tamales. It's time consuming, but worth it. We have a hard time getting decent whole roasting turkeys here in NZ, but there is nothing like spending a day preparing 'the works' for a holiday dinner.
My cooking triumphs
I recently catered for a group of 18 - 22 for 18 days straight. I had prep support from the cafe (they were able to make all the cookies, muffins, cakes, etc) but I single-handedly managed all the main dishes, plus the organization and ordering supplies. The group was so impressed they gave me a gift certificate and I had a real Sally Fields' moment: They like me! They really like me!
My cooking tragedies
Serving things at dinner parties, not realizing that they weren't things that everyone liked or had tasted before. I was shocked when an important client turned up for the lovely roast lamb and said he had never eaten lamb before! Corned Beef was another one.
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