Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Buy Local Showcase: Harraway Oats

I'm a lazy baker.

I like the food. I want to eat the food. I don't want to spend a lot of time making the food.

Bucky Bar Birdfeed-erific!
A little birdie told me that, legally, if you make 2 changes or more to a recipe here in good ol' NZ, you own that new recipe. If that's the case, I am gourmet genius because I cannot follow instructions to save myself.  I'm not sure if it's an attention span thing or a wildly inflated ego which leads me to rebel against harmless (and often helpful) transactional writing but the end results vary from mildly underwhelming to entirely edible.  This one is edible!! 

If, by any chance, my legal counsel (from not a lawyer) is inaccurate, and just for moral/ethical reasons, I'd like to reference the Minimalist Baker's 5 Ingredient Granola Bars. Not that I'm profiting in any form except getting to eat and spread the word of good food with more Kiwi friendly slang.  (Unless Harraway wants to sponsor me or send a free bag of oats- hint, hint. nudge nudge.)

Success Criteria: 
By the end of this recipe, you should be able to:
Cook from scratch, avoid buy individually packaged lunch snacks, spend less on groceries and avoid processed food chemicals and enjoy the general smugness of bettering the family's lunches.

Here we go.

Bucky Bars: Lazy, tasty, mostly healthy 5+ INGREDIENT Muesli BARS


  • 1 cup packed (200 g) dates, pitted (soak in water for 5 minutes or just add a tbsp to the kitchen whiz)
  • 1/4 cup (84 g) maple syrup for a Canadian kick (or honey-  but this will negate the veganism of the recipe)
  • 1/3 cup (64 g) natural peanut butter (great stuff made at Bin Inn on Crawford St)
  • 1 cup (112 g) roasted almonds/hazelnuts/chia/sunflower seeds and/or other bird-feed*, loosely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups (135 g) Harraway's Rolled Oats (I only specific brand here because I like to keep my town employed)  

  •  *bird-feed can include sultanas or chocolate chips if you're trying to trick small children (or yourself) into eating these wholefood, healthy bad boys  

  1. Pulse up the dates in a kitchen whiz (about 1 minute). Kids love helping and pulverizing dates can't be effed it up.
  2. Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw - I just prefer the toasted texture and having my oven on in winter (we live very close to Antarctica).
  3. Place oats, bird-feed mix and dates in a large mixing bowl - set aside.
  4. Warm maple syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to a stained Pyrex baking dish or other small pan lined with baking paper/a silicon mat;  easy to lift out and minimal washing.
  6. Press down firmly until uniformly flat - I get a child helper to press it down using a bit of wax paper and there's nothing uniform about it.
  7. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or, if in Dunedin, on the bench for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Cut up into nifty little rectangles which look store bought to trick your kids who will complain extra dramatically when they realise Bucky Bars are "no logo".  Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Apparently the bars freeze well but I wouldn't know because I am a champion eater.  (We all have our strengths.)

* For extra environmental smugness, wrap in reusable beeswax cotton. However, then you're enslaving the bees, you terrible vegan.
**If you don't like them, the birds will love them!! And if you love birds, you can use this recipe to make a feeder- just replace the maple syrup with any solid fat and mold into a ball. Hang from a tree!

Nutrition Information (if you can get 10 bars out of the tray and haven't added chocolate chippies)
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 217 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 31 g Sugar: 19 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 6 g

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Frills and Folly, King Edward Court, Stuart St.

Basically, Kathryn has opened her closet!

And lucky us because her closet is warm, interesting and affordable. Every piece has a story and ,if you're lucky, Kathryn will make you a cuppa and fill you in.

Cheapest fur in the city, I'm sure of it! Full length for $50

Temuka! $15 for the lot.
(No longer available, as it lives in my kitchen now.)
Forget about the blue, too.

My precious.
I also bought a leather jacket for $30. Meaning I totally splurged in the last 24 hours (yes, I went twice) and spent less than triple digits.  Still weighing up a beaded blue dress for $40. Very appropriate for a 1920s party or a glamorous dinner. Neither of which is in my immediate future, my middle future or quite possibly my ever future... Maybe if I run for Mayor, I'll need something special for the coronation under the red robes and gold chains.

 Is it called a coronation? Anyone? Cull? Chin? Bueller?

See the Facebook pages for opening hours.

Vanessa's Cottage Cafe, Hampden

This is a steak and mushroom pie. This is the best pie in the South Island...Nay, the world!!

Tim (Vanessa's other half) makes these pies with love. I know this because after about 4 trips through Hampden (read: 4 steak and mushroom pies), I demanded to meet the man behind the meat pie.  I explained to him what a big fan I am and he seemed quite pleased but I don't think he realised how much I LOVE THIS PIE.

I have intentions of trying other pies: the steak and oyster, the bacon and egg, the steak and cheese...but the best laid plans of bloggers...I don't get through Hampden very often, so I probably won't branch out and try another flavour until I have too.

Little known fact: Rates in Hampden are half of those in if you're looking to buy a crib...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hayward's Auction House, Carroll Street

I have new minor obsession.

Hayward's Auction is a weird new world for me but it is like wandering through a live action Trademe but way more satisfying. The staff and regulars are super welcoming and friendly about explaining how it all works and trying to shove standing lamps into the boots cars.

Auctions are on Wednesdays.  The show room is open for the week before the auction and if you can't be there, filling out an absentee bid is easy as pie.

People are selling weird and interesting art, furniture and knickknacks. I can't see why I'd ever buy furniture new again, especially because I know a decent upholsterer.

A gift for the whiskey drinker in your life!

Need a new fridge?

How much can I pay you to not have these in my house?

Cool but how does one hang a backwards painting?

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

Hayward's Auction is conveniently located across the way from Shop on Carroll and slightly uphill from Wolf at the Door and makes up what I like to call the Carroll Street Hat-Trick which is pretty much my perfect leisure morning at the moment.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Wolf at the Door, Carroll Street

Favourite new coffee shop for one reason: free video games.

Do you need another reason?

The coffee is good. The barista is warm, friendly and very competent. The clientele is cool. The roaster is churning. The menu is titled "Food for your Face" which is the best heading ever.

The only drawback was a super disturbing painting (no pic) which unsettled my coffee drinking and I actively had to turn my face away from it because it was so captivating. So good job artist but also, no thanks. If the painting is still there next time (tomorrow), I'll just sit in the front room next to the video arcade which will probably be the case anyway...

Cool art

Comic wallpaper in the booths

Cream Cheese Cetnre

Groovy spoons

Wallpaper asking for a portrait to be taken in front of it (photo op)

Wolf at the Door- you've just been DIFL-ed. Sorry it took so long!

p.s. Who is the talented artist of the super disturbing painting? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?