Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chambord & Hot Chocolate

Working in a hot commercial kitchen often drives a person to drink. At the bottom end of the scale, there's water, essential for coping with the heat; there's also soft drinks (I'm looking at you, Golden Circle Creaming Soda, damn your economically-priced, sugar-soaked hide), through to Red Bull, providing energy for many a flagging chef. And then there's the "heavy stuff", downed by the vat load by the more idiosyncratic members of the chefing profession.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Getting A Bit Chilli...


They've been a little slow to take off, but my chillis now seem to be flourishing. Keep an eye out for them in a post reasonably soon...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Remember My Blackberry Patch?

Well, some of the blackberries ended up in this!

First Apples Of The Season

Alkmenes, a type of Cox's Orange Pippin.

Alkmene's are lovely and crisp with an acidy bite, not dissimilar to a Granny Smith. These are a little over ripe, hence the beautiful candy apple red colour and bold fleck.

The next varieties of apple to arrive at the fruit department of your local supermarket are Cox's Orange Pippin, followed by Gala and Royal Gala. Late March/April will see Braeburn, Fuji, Jazz, Pacific Queen and Pacific Rose. 

Autumn's on its way, people. Make hay while the sun doth shine...

Back On Deck!

I lost a big chunk o' stuff off the laptop thanks to a weird power problem, but fortunately I make back ups on a regular basis - that is, except for the photos and written material I had for the next three posts (not to mention a bite sized piece of my music collection). After re-inserting the hair I pulled out of my head in frustration, I'll just simply have to re-trace my steps - ce'st la vie. Here's hoping you guys are still around - if you are, I really appreciate your patience. Normal service resumes now...

Thursday, February 18, 2010


A thousand apologies for the lack of posts - my laptop's thrown a major-league wobbly & I've been out of commission for the last week. Finger's crossed, it'll be sorted by tomorrow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

In Wellington & Want To Learn More About Wine?

Wine blogger and writer for M2 and Homestyle magazines Jules van Cruysen is teaming up with cult beer bar Hashigo Zake to bring Wellington a series of fun and informative wine tastings - the likes of which Wellington hasn't seen before!

First up is "Wine for Newbies!".

Be prepared to taste nine exciting cult wines over the course of an evening and learn

  • how wine is made
  • how age affects wine
  • what dirt-oir is
  • how to taste wine like a pro 
and much, much more.

All for only $25 and only at Hashigo Zake on March 2 at 6.30pm. Seats are strictly limited so secure yours by contacting Jules, or call into Hashigo Zake to make a booking.

UPDATE Jules is planning one for Hawke's Bay soon - I'll keep you posted...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

From The Kai Lab: Smoked Paprika (Part 1)

It's a bit rough, and certainly not a patch on the real thing but pictured above is my tiny batch (two whole tablespoons!) of homemade smoked paprika!

Smoked paprika has its origins in Spain, where it's called Pimentón. Easily identified by its strong smoky aroma and rich red colour, Pimentón is made by grinding chilli peppers smoked over oak for periods as long as three to four weeks. Its sweet, smoky smell and flavour is an essential ingredient in a raft of dishes in Spanish cuisine, such as paella, and most notably in the making of chorizo. The degree of heat and spiciness is manipulated by the addition (or removal) of the pepper's own seeds to the grind.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


I was visiting the mystery location of my blackberries, checking on their condition, when I came across these:

Created with flickr slideshow.

Where did they come from?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Now On Facebook (With Added Twitter)!

I've finally gotten round to putting the Kai up on Facecrack. Become a fan by clicking here - ta very much! I'm also on the Twitter should you wish to read my mutterings over the ether - clickety. I should point out too, that there are permanent links to Curious Kai on Facebook and Twitter over on the side bar (to the right of this sentence). Also, my smoked paprika experiment is drawing to a close - more on that later.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The New Old Aunt Daisy!

Remember the old Aunt Daisy Cookbook I bought a while back? It was in a pretty sorry state - ripped cover, itself in two pieces; loose pages and so on. This was it then:

And here it is now, back from the bookbinders!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Ooh, Shiny! Contest Coming Soon, Too...

Hello! Welcome to the new look Curious Kai. It's been a long time coming and now it's finally here - isn't it brilliant! The person responsible for the design is
Josh Morgan, a brand spanking new web designer based in Wellington. I had a few ideas in mind I've been carrying for a while - the look of the header and the logo is based on some old flour sacks I came across at a garage sale - and Josh turned them into the gem you see before you. There's still a bit of tinkering to do, so don't be alarmed if you see things come and go before your very eyes, but give it a few days and you'll see the resolved final product. My thanks to Josh for all his hard work; I still can't believe my luck at coming across such talent. Big love too, to my sister Heidi and her husband Rob for making this all happen - bless your little hearts :)

Woohoo! I feel like a proper blogger now! To celebrate the new look of t' blog, I've decided to run a little competition but more on that during the week - stay tuned! In the meantime, here's a little food related comedy: