Monthly Archives: September 2012

Dinner time – Indian Venison Burgers


This recipe is inspired by Al Browns “Stoked” cookbook. I initially bought the book hoping to inspire my husband to branch out from his “steak and sausage” BBQ mentality. It has worked – sort of. Now I make the amazing recipes up to cooking point, and he uses his sensational BBQ skills to cook my creations to perfection.

The other great section in this book is the “Fill the cake tins” part. The ginger crunch is fantastic, and the mint slice had rave reviews last time I made it – it was quite a revelation for a BBQ cookbook.

The recipe I made tonight was Indian Burgers, I use venison instead of lamb as we can get it on special at our local New World, and we all like venison for a bit of a treat. Venison definitely needs a bit of flavour so I think the spices mix in beautifully.

Once you have made the patties, you can make the burgers however you like, below you will see my “low carb” option, Joe’s “manly” option and Lana’s “halfway in between.” Each were delicious, I hope you enjoy.

xxx Tamzin


New Kitchen Dreams


I want a new kitchen. I really really want a new kitchen.

I should start by saying our kitchen isn’t actually that bad. It is the first picture below. I should also mention I am a bit precious, and I LOVE to cook and bake.

The size of storage in our kitchen is a big issue, when you have a fishbin sized tub full of cookie cutters, and another 4 tubs of cake tins you really need a bit of space. Currently all my baking things are stored out in the laundry, there is only space for cooking equipment in the kitchen, and don’t even get me started on the pantry size!

My dream kitchen would be light, airy and easy to clean. I dream of butlers sinks and wooden bench tops, country style cupboards and a scullery (ok so maybe not in this house) I would love pops of colour like tolix chairs and shiny white tiles, new pots and pans and more enamel than I could possibly know what to do with…

I think I will be dreaming for a while, but here are some beautiful pictures for me to admire until then.

For the love of fur


I have always been a fan of natural fibres. The idea of a cosy fire, a leather couch and a lovely knitted blankie fills my heart with warm feelings. At home, I am still trying to convince Joe that we “need” a reindeer rug or at least a cow hide one!

I think judging from many of the pics below, animal fur tends to go hand in hand with Scandi style (a whole new blog to come) but that is why I love it so much. Natural colours, a range of textures, and furniture & coverings which are tactile and pleasing to touch.

What are your thoughts? Pretty or primitive?

Friday Fling – Today I love… Tom Yum Soup


It has taken me a while to master Tom Yum Soup. I think I was always a bit daunted by the ingredients list. Over time I tried pastes and packets and never found a soup that actually tasted the same as a restaurant one.

Finally I decided to give it a shot, and I now have a recipe (or at least a list of key ingredients) that seem to fit well together. I truly believe that Tom Yum is a matter of taste so the following quantities are a guide only (the ripeness of the limes, or the heat of the chilli’s could have a large bearing on the taste)

Tamzin’s Tom Yum Soup (serves 4)


1 shallot (sliced)

a thumb size piece of ginger (grated)

2 stalks of lemongrass

2 red chillies (chopped) or 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce

5 kaffir lime leaves

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

2 tablespoons of rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon Tamarind paste

2 litres of chicken stock and 1 litre of water

Then whatever you want to add – prawns, chicken, bean sprouts, mushrooms, noodles, coriander etc


In a large pot saute the shallot, ginger, chilli, and lemon grass in a little tasteless oil. When softened add the rest of the ingredients up to and including the chicken stock and water. Once the soup is boiling add your meat. Once your meat is cooked through add any extra veges and simmer for a further 2 mins. Serve with coriander on top and an extra squeeze of lime.

I hope you enjoy

xx Tamzin

Favourite of favourites


I just stumbled across these wedding favours and thought what a great idea! Combining all the ingredients in a beautiful jar, with printed label and ribbon, for guests to take home and use! Brownies, cookies, cakes, pancakes…the list goes on as far as ingredients for what! And a great thing to get together with the girls for – to mix (drink wine…of course!) and fill jars with ready to bake deliciousness! Image

The Amazing ‘Made from Scratch’


Through another page on Facebook, I recently fell upon ‘Made from Scratch’. This is the brain child of the beautiful & talented Rachael. I instantly loved her page, her blog and all the delightful things she makes. The recipes are simple and easy but look amazing.

You can imagine my delight when I realised I was just in time for one of her classes. Tonight I attended one of Rachael’s ruffle cake tutorials. I could never imagine my cake could look so cool on my first attempt (but I will let you all be the judge!)

The classes are small and relaxed, Rachael is a fantastic teacher and we were even spoilt with a little goodie bag at the end, As well as our pretty little cake to take home (and maybe share)

Please pop over and like Made from Scratch on Facebook, I have also posted her website below. She has such beautiful ideas for your home, baking, events etc and I know she has some really exciting things coming up.

An underwhelming Entrance


My Husband and I bought our first house in Sept 2011. Number 9 is a cute little 1930’s cottage. All the hard work was done, she had been renovated beautifully, the second owners post renovation were keen gardeners and had fully landscaped the property. There is however, one major let down.

Clearly the front entrance has been an afterthought for both the initial renovators and the landscapers as the stairs are boring and impractical and the whole entrance is a bit blah. The rest of the garden edges are bricks from the original fireplace, the path is black asphalt.

My little cottage is attached, and I have added a few pics off Pinterest of ideas I am having. They range from using bricks to match the edging, or using stone or wood. There are even some coloured tiles in the mix, but I think my husband will vito that option!

Enjoy, and I would love your feedback



The High Tea Club – Nostalgia (Prohibition)


A few months ago, 3 friends and I started our High Tea Club here in Auckland. We all love food, enjoy tea and wanted to find a way to catch up on a regular basis that was easy to organise. The group is now

6 regulars, and the majority of High Teas have been purchased using daily deal sites. This has kept the cost down (an average of less than $20 pp)

I wanted to write about todays experience at the Heritage, but I thought I would start from the start.

Nostalgia (Prohibition) – Ponsonby Road:

The setting of Prohibition is delightful. Comfortable chairs, moody lighting and beautiful crockery and cutlery. I love the theme and envy the person who was allowed to purchase such delicious items. If it was me, I am certain some would have ended up at home! The service at Prohibition is subtle and gentle, they really make you feel welcome.

The food comes first equal (with the Langham)  There are three tiers, being ciabatta buns with various fillings (we had ham and mustard, egg, and salmon, from memory) Sweet and Savory scones with jam, butter and cream and mini desserts. The desserts here are a highlight (compared to other High Teas we have attended) There is a great range and wonderful flavours

The Tea Range, is the best so far. You choose a sweet and savoury option and have choices such as China Jasmine, African Bush Vanilla Cream and Turkish Apple Nut

Overall, Prohibition is coming first equal with the Langham – Auckland

Please note, picture below are from their website as I didn’t take any myself

Friday Fling – Today I love… Pratty’s Tea


I heard of Pratty’s tea through the NZ Herald Viva magazine and I had to try it. I have a bit of a tea fetish at the moment, a flow on from the High Tea Club (a post on this coming soon)

I was keen to recreate that special moment with a cuppa from home, so when I read the article I went online and splashed out a little.

My favourite so far has to be “Nutty Apple Crumble”. Who needs dessert when you can have pudding flavoured tea? This is followed closely by the others pictured below. I can’t wait to finish these and pick a few new ones to try