Long Weekend Pit Stops

Where to now

NgateaThe Jam Factory

13 Orchard West Road, Ngatea 3503

Mon – Fri: 08:15 – 04:00
Sat: 09:00 – 12:00


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WaihiThe Waihi Beach Hotel Eatery & Store

60 Wilson Road, Waihi Beach

Everyday 7am – late

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PaeroaThe Refinery

5 Willoughby St, Paeroa

Wed-Sun 9:30am-3:30pm



46a Victoria Street, Cambridge

Mon – Thu: 08:00 – 17:00
Fri – Sat: 08:00 – 20:00
Sun: 08:00 – 16:00



Let them eat cake!

Where to now

This week I felt extra lucky to be in a class hosted by one my of absolute favourite bakers! Jordan Rondel A.K.A ‘The Caker’, who began her business from a passion driven blog (before they became the thing to do)

Producing such sumptuous looking and gorgeous tasting cakes meant she gained an instant following. One of her first clients was Karen Walker, which of course snowballed her into business at a record speed. As she dreamed up, developed and revealed each new flavour combination and recipe, it created an equally exciting adventure for us to follow her on too.


It’s obvious, I have been a total fan girl over the quality and ethics she puts into her baking from the beginning. The first cake I ordered, a ‘Marie Antoinette’ cake, perfectly fitting for my guests as I left for Europe – to explore Versailles in real life! Jordan strives to use produce that is fresh and seasonal, refusing to cut corners on quality, this is what makes her cakes the best in the biz and completely worth the treat.

Check out her beautiful cookbook for other cleverly divine flavour pairings (such as fresh mint and dark chocolate cookies) as well as vegan and gluten free cakes & icings. These more natural recipes are included not to buy into a latest craze, but because they actually do taste is so much better when you use natural, whole food ingredients –  you will discover this for yourself in the first mouthful!! I personally love this style of eating and cooking and it’s a joy to sit and hear her talk about why she chooses the ingredients and producers she does. Do this whilst sipping a glass of wine + trust me your own baking will be all the better for it too!

IMG_8633 These classes proved to be so popular they will become a frequent event at her gorgeous Caker headquarters on K’rd in Auckland. Keep an eye out if you want to nab a spot as they fill up fast! This style of class is a great weeknight out – take a friend along and gain inspiration to make something beautiful, before heading down the road to another favourite hang out, Coco’s Cantina, for further bubbles and a bite to share (you will only have room for a light meal after all of that cake..!!)

http://www.thecaker.co.nz/about/IMG_8656  Gluten Free Lemon and Lime cake with Rosewater – topped with a dusting of Icing sugar, drizzle of lemon curd and sprinkle of petals and pistachios.IMG_8635IMG_8640IMG_8646IMG_8650Double Layer Blueberry, White Chocolate and Orange cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing – topped with dollop berry compote, white chocolate drops and freeze dried rasberries.



Makes a 22cm cake to feed 12
150g unsalted butter, softened
150g Billington’s unrefined, golden caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 organic eggs
100g spelt flour
100g ground almonds
pinch sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened, full-fat Greek yogurt
zest of one large unwaxed orange
1 cup good qualty white chocolate buttons
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Maple vanilla cream cheese icing:
400g cream cheese
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp pure maple syrup
Optional topping:
freeze dried berries
berry coulis
white chocolate buttons
Edible flowers for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Grease and line 2 x 22cm cake tins.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between each addition.
Sift in the flour, almonds, salt and baking powder. Mix them in, along with the yogurt and orange zest. Stop your electric mixer once all the ingredients are combined, do not over mix.
Evenly divide the batter between the 2 tins and dot in the white chocolate and blueberries, pressing them down lightly with a spoon.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden in colour, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow the cakes to cool for around 10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together until smooth.
Once the cakes are cool, spread a thin layer of jam onto one layer and place another layer on top.
Ice the top of the cake neatly with the icing and garnish with some berry coulis, chocolate drops and freeze dried berries or edible flowers.
Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Ark Coffee

Where to now

What I like most about this little find; is that it was set-up & is run by two sisters, passionate about making coffee. Ark  is their relaxed roastery, cafe and gallery space, perfect for a good caffeine hit when you are in the neighbourhood.. although knowing someone is doing what they love to bring it to me, is the only justification I need for a detour!IMG_8080You will find them if you wander part-way down the driveway between Northcroft St + Byron Ave (next to the Department Store)


Ark Coffee Roastery

 7: 00am – 3: 30pm (Mon – Fri)
8:00am – 3: 30pm (Sunday)
Shop 6 461 Lake Road,
Takapuna, Auckland


Coffee + Market supplies + Smoothies from Hamilton

Where to now

This Sunday I was at the Hamilton Farmers Market. If you are in the area, it is where you should be heading to grab your weekly supply of fresh produce. With a firm ‘made and grown locally’ policy this is a small food market providing the likes of; fresh fish caught in Raglan, Prinz Oyster Mushrooms, Berries, Free-range hen & quail eggs, almond croissants and whitebait fritters..  an old fashioned ‘from the producer to your table’ experience.

Not only that, they also tick the box for the best coffee I have found at a market so far.. Great coffee is served from both coffee carts, Essenza and Luxe Mobile Espresso. Luxe Mobile Espresso serves Rocket Coffee, which is my usual pit stop whenever I am travelling through Hamilton. Rocket  is a roastery and coffee bar gem you can find at 302 Barton St, down a little alley (I love finding places down alleys!) on the river side of the street. Record player, friendly service, industrial, kicked back vibe and great coffee.

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Sweetree Raw Honey should be next on your shopping list, I bought some of their bee pollen too, which is collected from their apiary in Hamilton.

Bee Pollen is a supplement for sustained energy, enhanced immunity, reduced stress, relief of inflammation, more rested sleep and better skin condition. Also often used by athletes to improve strength, endurance, energy & speed, decreasing downtime after being sick. It may help muscles recover more quickly from exercise and increase mental concentration. It is also yellow, which makes you feel happy when you see it sprinkled over your cereal in the morning!

This recipe from Undone Journal combines bee pollen with powerful superfoods; ginger, tumeric, cinnamon, coconut & nutmeg to add an quick boost to the day.

Mango, coconut & bee pollen smoothie with ginger & turmeric


1 mango – peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup coconut milk, coconut yoghurt or live culture dairy yoghurt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
pinch nutmeg (optional)
pinch cinnamon
1-2 tsp finely grated ginger (start with one if you’re tentative about ginger)
1 heaped tsp bee pollen granules plus more for sprinkling on top
1 large handful ice

Place all ingredients except ice into a blender and process until very well combined.

Add ice and blitz until crushed.

* I like to make mine thick in consistency, pour it into a bowl and top it with fresh fruit, nuts and seeds and another sprinkle of pollen. Then find a sunny spot (or one by the heater) & enjoy every sweet spoonful!

Hamilton Farmers Market 

River Road Car Park, 204 River Road

Sundays 8am-12pm


Luxe Mobile Espresso


Essenza Coffee



Calabaza y Chorizo ​​Guisado

In the kitchen

At the Farmers market this weekend I picked up some Chorizo, which was the inspiration to share one of my favourite ‘meals in minutes’ style dishes.IMG_9124Spain is one of my most loved travel destinations, I completely adore being fed all sorts of tapas when on holiday here! This is how I discovered how special Chorizo can be & the taste instantly conjures up great memories. In winter time, this is an awesome alternative to soup PLUS all you need are four ingredients & there’s only one pot to clean – winning! It almost seems too simple, but trust me and let Chorizo charm you too.

I don’t usually eat a lot of meat, so when I do I try my best to make sure what I am choosing is sustainable, free range and without preservatives and fillers. This isn’t so easy, but I think it is really important we choose to think about the food we re putting into our bodies, especially when it determines the type of life an animal has lived to bring us our meal. So far, in New Zealand, I have found the Chorizo at Farmers markets to be the best tasting and to cook with, our supermarket range just doesn’t cut it. For this recipe to work, you really do have to use the best ingredients you can find!

Chorizo and Butternut Stew

Serves 4

Put on a playlist beginning with this energetic sprinkle of spanish flair from Shakira

140g Chorizo, thickly sliced (best you can find, if you have the luxury -Ibérico is my fave)

2 Tins chopped tomatoes or a large jar of passata

1 Chopped red onion 1 Butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped 1-2cm cubes


* Heat a large lidded pot & add your slices of Chorizo. Cook while watching carefully, for a couple of minutes until the red oil begins to seep out and coat the bottom of your pot. Turn it over so both sides are a little browned, then lift if out and place on a plate to the side. Add your onion and fry until it begins to soften.

* Pour in your tomatoes and chopped pumpkin. Bring to the boil and return the Chorizo slices to the pan, give it a stir and cover to cook for 15-20 mins. You want the pumpkin to be soft but not broken up. If you’re using passata, you may need to add a little water during cooking.

* Serve in bowls, season & sprinkle with parsley. IMG_7871

Mr. Miagi

Where to now


I love escaping for a weekend away & one of my fave spots to head to for a quick break is Mount Maunganui. Ever since my last visit; I have been craving the Japanese food I had down here at Mr. Miyagi


Tucked down a little lane behind the main Mount shops (look for a little tiled sign hanging next to ASB) is Mr Miagi’s  unassuming courtyard and restaurant space. I love the light and clean aesthetic they have created back here (though in winter a bit on the chilly side). In summer, it is a picture perfect place to perch with a bottle of Asahi and some fresh asian food.


IMG_7286P.S. no one ever understands how much they love Aubergine (Eggplant) until they order it at a Japanese restaurant covered in Miso. IMG_7287

Mr. Miyagi

147B Maunganui Rd, Tauranga

Karlie’s Kookies

In the kitchen

Supermodel worthy baking… yes please! Karlie Kloss has a much healthier version of an all time favourite treat for us to share! Karlie’s Kookies are her own wholesome recipe manufactured and for sale in the US. The best bit – a portion of the proceeds go to global charity FEED, providing those in need with meals.

I am a Choc Chippie lover from way back. My Mum’s cookbook even had a favourite character stuck in next to the recipe, so that I could always find it! I can see this healthier version becoming as numerously tasted, trialled and tested…


Karlie’s Kookies:

1/2 c dark chocolate chips
1/2 c gluten-free oats
1 c almond flour
1/4 c cup toasted almonds
1/4 c olive oil
2 tbsp agave
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp Xanthan gum*
4 tsp vanilla essence

(Double the recipe if you want to have large cookies or just to have some left to share…seriously)

First, preheat your oven to 150ºC and grease or line a baking tray with paper. 
Lightly toast the almonds.
Mix dry ingredients gently with a wooden spoon then add the liquid ingredients and mix until combined.
Squeeze dough into balls (they’ll be quite sticky) and gently place them on the paper (you should have eight even sized little balls) Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand to make a 3 inch round.
Bake for 20-25 minutes – until golden.

Listen to some more tunes while you wait for them to cool completely before inhaling them – they are insanely good!


* Xanthan gum is now available in some supermarkets as well as at nosh, Farro and Binn Inn stores around New Zealand.

Watch exactly how Karlie does it on this video with Jourdan Dunn, on Jay-Z’s Life + Times channel,



Where to now

Welcome to the tasty new eatery offering us a dose of fresh and friendly office escapism.

IMG_7501Welcome Eatery is a great all-rounder. The service is fab; they are quick, attentive and relaxed so it’s a great spot to hit even if you are time poor. The coffee is delicious + every second Friday at 9am they have a different brew for us to try. You can’t go wrong with ordering from the cleverly short and sweet menu, otherwise they offer a counter full of fresh and affordable options to be taken away too (I was eyeing up this Tofu Bahn Mi!)


We stopped in for breakfast before work and all left vowing we would be back soon.




If you’re after something sweet, I recommend the Best Ugly Bagel with their house made ‘rawtella’, banana & hazelnuts. It is so rich and delicious, if you’re not starving it might be a good idea to share!


They kindly catered to our request to make the Winter Porridge (red rice, oats, coconut, sultanas and toasted almonds) dairy free & it was satisfyingly, warm and nutritious.





Welcome Eatery

7:30 – 4:00

181 Grafton Rd . Auckland

Not Bad Bounty Bars

In the kitchen


Growing up my childhood dream would have been pretty close to living in a combination of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie, and Katy Perry’s California Gurls video clip. Unfortunately, this bubble was burst as I realised if this became a reality, it was more likely I would end up in the shoes of Violet Beauregard than Katy’s candy coloured back up dancers… Still where there is a will there is a way – so throw on some sickeningly sweet Katy Perry tunes and a twirly skirt & join in this Extreme Makeover – Candy Bar Edition.

With my previously confessed sweet tooth, the recent ‘healthy chocolate bar’ trend that has been doing the rounds quickly caught my attention..

The most popular (and most manageable to undertake) seems to be creating a healthier version of the Bounty Bar. Monday’s & Health Yeah  blogs both promised they were ‘easy’ so I finally decided to have a go. I used Health Yeah’s recipe and chose to dunk mine in a mixture of Lindt’s 90% and Green and Blacks 85% dark chocolate. If you are after completely sugar free treats, you can make your own chocolate coating too. The easiest way to coat them would be to follow the style of my favourite cake baker, The Caker.

The Caker – Bounty Bites  (Poppy and Olive recipe)


Mondays – version is gluten, dairy, sugar free,vegan and I love the way they put it: EATING CLEAN does not mean missing out on the best things in life! This recipe is super easy, and so close to the real thing – but better!


Health Yeah –  All Natural, All Vegan Version


My New Roots – All Raw Bounty Bars



Poppy and Olive – Bounty Bar Bites



Homemade Bounty Bars

Here’s what I did: 

Add 1 cup of full fat coconut milk,  3 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp honey + 2 tbsp maple syrup to a small pan and stir on low heat until combined.

Stir in 2 cups of desiccated coconut (sulphate-free is best) and press into a baking  dish lined with greaseproof paper. Press down until it’s all even.

Place in the freezer and leave until completely hardened.


Heat a block of Lindt 90% and Green and Blacks 85% chocolate and when just melted, pull your coconut mix out of the freezer.

Chop the coconut into whatever sized bars you’re after & dunk or drizzle in chocolate.


Now they are nearly ready to be devoured, put the kettle on while you wait for the chocolate to set. Enjoy under a cosy blanket with a cup of tea.

I love to store mine in the fridge so the chocolate crackles when you bite into them.

Feeling Pretty Chuffed

Where to now

Finding a cosy spot in the Auckland CBD, has been made much easier. There is finally a super rad cafe worth ducking into, amidst shopping or running errands on High Street.


Nestled slightly back from the street with a sheltered outdoor patio (complete with fireplace and blankets in winter time!) Chuffed feels like a brief retreat from the surrounding concrete landscape. We stopped by for a lunch and were immediately taken aback by how much we felt at home, providing the perfect setting for a quality catch up. Encouragingly what stood out was that we all had a really hard time choosing what to order – the menu is that good.


Once we had finally chosen, we ordered; a Salad of Cauliflower and Barley – (new favourite salad) a warm & textured plateful of cauliflower puree, covered in quinoa, barley and more cauliflower, topped with radicchio, pickled cauliflower & hazelnuts. Quinoa and Nut Granola, which was served on a swirl of citrus yoghurt topped with poached pear, honeycomb & soft herbs was another decidedly moreish choice to satisfy any sweet tooth. The beetroot & honey cured salmon was perfectly thick and delicious piled on top of house made (!!) crumpets with crème fraîche and soft herbs. We would have happily traded meals with anyone at the table and left wanting to sample everything else too.

IMG_7464I’m a sucker for attention to detail; the friendly coffee staff here won’t just charm you with their mad coffee skills & giant cold drip coffee filter, but look the part too in matching aprons!IMG_7467

P.S. Hot Chocolate fans: they make their own marshmallows 🙂


43 High Street,


Mon-Fri 7am – 4pm