• cooking,  essentials,  ethical shopping,  food,  lifestyle

    Extra, Extra Countdown Pork is ……….

    Countdown are rolling out the carpet so to speak. You will be pleased to know that Countdown are making the switch so their Pork is 100% free farmed.
    What exactly does this mean to us as consumers?
    Patoa farms have been independently assessed by the SPCA to certify them to be free farmed.

    It means no crates, no stalls and the piggies are bred outdoors in the North Canterbury air. Local farms and NZ pigs. Countdown is committed to supporting and sustaining local produce here in Aotearoa.
    100% free farmed pork is now available to all kiwis at no extra cost.
    Higher welfare is ALWAYS the best option and Countdown is the only supermarket retailer in NZ that is 100% free farmed pork.
    Now pork for me has always been one of those meats that gives me the heebee jeebees. Not because I don’t like it it’s because I am always terrified I am going to undercook or overcook it.
    Countdown has given me the challenge to create a delicious and easy family friendly meal cooking with their 100% free farmed pork loin.

    Moroccan pork loin with spring vegetable couscous salad.

    600 gm Pork loin
    2 tbsp Moroccan paste ( I used me ol’ fav Pepper & Me )
    Salt and Pepper
    Coat pork loin in moroccan paste.
    Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours.
    Preheat oven to 220 degrees.
    Score the pork fat.
    Massage in a little oil and salt and pepper.
    Reduce oven temp to 180 degrees or 160 degrees if using fan bake.
    Cook for 50-60 mins.
    Pork should be tender and slightly pink in the middle.
    At 60 minutes remove the fat and crank the over up to max.
    Cover the pork loin with tinfoil and rest for 15 mins.
    On the tray lay out the cracking and cook for 10 mins or until it’s crispy and golden.
    Slice the pork and the crackling.
    Reserve the pork juices.
    1 x Bunch of asparagus
    1 x Eggplant
    2 x Courgettes
    Tomatoes
    1 cup Couscous
    1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon sugar
    Salt and Pepper
    Slice and grill the courgette and eggplant.
    Half and grill the asparagus.
    Roast the tomatoes in a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper for 10-15 mins.
    Set aside.
    “Cook” couscous as per packet instructions.
    Combine the veges and couscous.
    In a separate bowl add pork juices, vinegar, mustard and sugar.
    Season with salt and pepper if required.
    Dress salad with the dressing.
    Serve the pork loin slices with the salad.
  • cooking,  essentials,  food,  lifestyle

    II REVIEW II Sunbeam Barista Max Espresso Machine

    A wise person once said “humanity runs on coffee”.
    They were not wrong.
    Sunbeam sent our family the new Sunbeam Barista Max Espresso Machine with Integrated Grinder to try.
    Oh and did we try!!
    This bad boy is the newest kid on the coffee block for Sunbeam.
    This coffee machine retails for $699.00.  
    This machine is really a one stop coffee shop.  It’s got a built in grinder which can be tailored to your very own grinding needs.  Pop the cafe head into the tap and go cradle, push down and your grinds fall directly into the head.  Tamp down and select from single or double shot. It really doesn’t much easier than that. Head to the right and get your foam on.  The powerful steam wand heats milk in a jiffy.
    Now all this is easy once you get the hang of it.
    Luke took it upon himself to watch a few YouTube videos on the techniques of the barista.  So we all know now that he is an expert!!
    I will put it out there …… he makes coffee 100% better than me now!!
    We had a few teething problems – but only because we were too scared we would burn the milk. So after a few lukewarm lattes we nailed the milk shenanigans and now we have a perfect cuppa joe.

    This is a good looking machine that deserves a place on the kitchen counter.  It’s not big and bulky so it doesn’t dominate the bench. Easy to wipe down and clean.
    This really is a great machine. Easy to use and easy to clean. Oh and most importantly is makes a bloody good coffee.
    Because we don’t get enough of a coffee hit with a morning mocha I tried to make a delicious breakfast alternative to boring ol’ french toast.
    I give you my friends …….

    Tiramisu French Toast

    ½ cup milk
    4 eggs
    1/3 cup espresso
    1.5 tsp vanilla bean paste
    1 tbsp cocoa powder
    400gm mascarpone
    Large sourdough loaf – cut into thick slices
    1 tsp Pepper & Me Baker’s Grind
    Add milk, eggs, espresso, vanilla, cocoa powder, Baker’s Grind and half the mascarpone in a food processor until well combined.
    Add the sliced bread in a large dish. Pour over milk mixture. Set aside, turning halfway, for 20 minutes to soak.
    In a fry pan add a knob of butter and a dash of oil melt over medium heat. Cook bread, in 3 batches, turning, for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden. Repeat with the remaining butter and bread, wiping the pan clean with paper towel between batches.
    Serve layered bread on a plate with the leftover mascarpone between the slices. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with berries if wanted.
    Voila!
    If your looking for a coffee machine that is easy to use, easy to clean and looks great in your kitchen checkout the Sunbeam Barista Max Espresso Machine with Integrated Grinder.
    You shan’t be disappointed.