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The Pounamu Prophecy - birth of a book Two women, two cultures and an ancient Maori prophecy that will change their lives. That's the tag line for The Pounamu Prophecy - my first novel. It has been a slow process, interrupted by moving...

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Can I eat mussels if I have high cholesterol?Can I eat mussels if I have high cholesterol? The short answer is yes - you can eat mussels if you have high cholesterol. Mussels are low in kilojoules, cholesterol and fat. The little fat they do have is mostly healthy unsaturated fat with plenty...

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Bran MuffinsBran Muffins These bran muffins (adapted from a recipe by Alison Holst) are super filling - a great snack when you are trying to control your weight. Enjoy these muffins with a cup of tea but don't expect to absorb...

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Beat the flu with Chicken Noodle Soup It’s Queen’s Birthday holiday today in New Zealand and thank goodness, the sun is shining. I’m sitting in a sunny room writing this post, sheltered from the icy wind blasting up from Antarctica....

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My nanna's recipe for homemade Rewena (Maori) bread Rewena Bread Step 1 1 c flour 1 tsp sugar 1 potato Peel and cut potato into small pieces. Place in pot with 1 cup water, lid on, and simmer to mashing consistency. Mash, cool and when luke...

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Walnut & fig rye bread

Posted on : 26-05-2011 | By : Cindy | In : Bread, My idiot-proof recipes

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This is my favourite bread to make. It tastes delicious on its own and even better with a hard Parmesan or soft goats cheese.  This loaf which I made a few days ago was not quite up to standard because I used ordinary white flour from the supermarket. It’s much more authentic if you use top quality flour – usually from a health food shop.

This is my adapted version of a recipe by Patricia Wells from her book ‘At home in Provence‘. She has great recipes. You don’t need to use the exact amounts of the dried fruit and nuts – just whatever you prefer. You make the dough in the evening, then leave it overnight in the fridge.

Sunday night fun at the bakery!

Posted on : 21-09-2010 | By : Cindy | In : Bread, Yummy recipes

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Razor blades, scissors and fermented raisins – in what type of place would you find all these? Answer: my favourite French bakery. On a chilly Sunday evening a few weeks ago a group of us girls got together for an evening of baking bread under the expert tutelage of Thierry – the fantastic baker at Paris-Berlin bakery (formerly known as Boulangerie L’Epi) in Michaels Ave, Ellerslie, Auckland. We kneaded dough, tossed dough for pizzas, and neatly wrapped up a huge chunk of butter in dough and sugar to make a traditional sweet bread from Brittany – delicious and deadly for the thighs.

If you want to learn how to bake bread, or if you just want a fun evening out with pizza and red wine to finish book in at the bakery for a Sunday night class. Thierry only takes six people at a time so you get individual attention, and best of all you get to take home all the bread you make – about four loaves, a pizza and the deadly delicious one.

And where do the razor blades, scissors and fermented raisins come in? Thierry uses fermented raisins to start his sour dough which is the base for all his delicious organic breads. And we used the scissors and razor blades to make pretty shapes on our bread just before we baked it. Check out our baking creations here.

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Rewena paraoa – delicious yeast-free sour dough bread

Posted on : 06-12-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Maori kai, My idiot-proof recipes, Traditions

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rewena pic

Here’s my question: Is it possible to make a wholemeal version of rewena paraoa (potato bread) that looks and tastes good? For the past month I have been experimenting. Rewena comes from the Maori word for potato – rewa, and paraoa means bread in Maori. Before Europeans arrived in New Zealand there was no potato, flour or sugar. Kumara, a type of sweet potato, was one of the main carbohydrate or energy sources for Maori. But this tropical plant was hard work to grow in New Zealand’s cool climate. Potatoes are different. Just throw them in the ground and they pretty much grow anywhere – my type of plant. So it was no wonder the potato soon took over from kumara as the staple food.

I figure the rewena recipe developed as most recipes do – by using the ingredients at hand – in this case potatoes, white flour, sugar and salt. I’d love to know how it started. Perhaps someone accidentally left a pot of boiled potatoes sitting in the sun for a couple of days and noticed that it had fermented. It wouldn’t have looked too great but maybe they recognised the yeasty smell and decided it could be made into bread. If anyone knows the true history, please let me know.

Rewena bread disasters {part 1}

Posted on : 29-11-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Maori kai, My idiot-proof recipes, Traditions

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rewena bread bookAm I the only one who is constantly tidying up recklessly discarded shoes from the front entrance? Here I am again picking up my son’s grubby, child-beaten school shoes. I open the shoe cupboard and am hit by the most awful stench. I sniff the shoes in my hands. Boy, my son’s feet must have stunk at school today. But no. The putrid smell isn’t the shoes; it’s coming from the cupboard. Oh no – it’s the rewena bread!

The other night I boiled a potato in unsalted water, just like the my Nanna’s rewena recipe said. I mashed it and added a teaspoon of sugar and some flour, then put it on the hot water cylinder to ferment overnight. Unfortunately the hot water cylinder is in the stinky shoe cupboard. Goodness knows what sort of spores are floating around in there. Whatever they are, they are NOT GOOD. One night in the stinky shoe cupboard and my innocent potato water, sugar and flour has fermented into a thick, stinking cheesy mass – gross.

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