Turkish lamb with yoghurt and tomato relish

When you are really struggling to find the energy to cook (been there), but you want something delicious (been there even more so), look no further. This is relatively quick as far as nice dinners go; little effort but with huge satisfaction and crowd-pleasing abilities.

I made this in about 15 minutes, because my hangry (hungry + angry) family were hissing at me to hurry up and feed them. This came at a price, though. My beautiful thumbnail which I had been carefully manicuring for the past few weeks was almost sliced clean off.

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Beef rendang with coconut and cucumber salad

Another day, another opportunity to eat until I hate myself.

Beef rendang is a rich, spicy curry made with plenty of coconut cream and coconut flesh. A slight sour taste from the tamarind juice is balanced out with brown sugar (or more traditionally, palm sugar), infused with kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass stalks and a hint of cinnamon.

Already you can tell it’s going to be great.

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Creamy feta and roast capsicum pasta

I actually stumbled upon this pasta while attempting to use up the leftover feta in the fridge before it all went off. My boyfriend was slightly dubious when he learned that I was going to make feta and roast capsicum pasta for lunch, however his attitude changed after the first mouthful.

The lemon zest adds a subtle zing among the salty, tangy creaminess of the feta cheese, and the hint of sweetness which comes from the roast capsicum. Though freshly roasted capsicum would be ideal, you can use jarred ones like I have which still tastes delicious.

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Tandoor birthday celebration

It was my Dad’s birthday, so he put on a dinner for the family and a few friends. You’d think that someone else would cook, seeing as it was his birthday, but if you’ve ever tasted his food you would see why it’s so easy just to let him do the cooking.

He has the luck of having his birthday at the end of January, which, here, is when the weather is the best it will be all year. While others in the Northern hemisphere are shivering around their fireplaces, wrapped up in winter gear, we in New Zealand are having a tandoor dinner outside in the sun. Feels good.

Dad built this tandoor himself, from scratch – including throwing the inner layer of clay. He also happened to build almost the entire house, and some of the couches, cabinets and cups and bowls. But that’s another story.

Unfortunately I don’t know the recipe to his feast (which is actually a very, very small feast in the spectrum of Dad’s feasts), but maybe if you’re lucky I’ll make it myself one day and share it on here.

For now, though:

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Dark chocolate fondant

Dark chocolate fondant.

It’s probably one of the easiest desserts you could ever make, and if you are partial to chocolate and all things sweet, it’s probably one of the nicest, too. It’s one of those, ‘I’m hungry and want dessert but can’t be bothered doing much to get it’ type of recipes.

It’s only cooked for about 10-12 minutes: this is basically so that the outside cooks enough to hold it together, but when you break into it, the inside flows out and tempts your spoon with it’s smooth, chocolaty goodness. Banana and berry coulis goes great with it, it’s a nice break from the intense chocolate of the fondant (never thought I’d say that).

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