Where did the time go?!!!

Crikey I had a look to see when I last wrote on my blog and it was April!!! In my defence I have been keeping notes and writing bits and pieces in Windows Live writer but never actually got round to transferring them to the actual blog…so I’m going to put it right as soon as possible. In my defence I have been ill and there have been other major life events so not only have I not written here since April but there are big (actually gaping!) gaps since January and if I want to remember these things or be able to pass these things on to my kids I’d better get on and get writing.

As usual this will appear and later (hopefully) there will be posts and my boys will think what the heck was she going about she’s written loads….but this is just a testament to the fact I hadn’t!

Salmon Fish cakes …..


After hubby filleted the Salmon I thought I would try and get as much of the flesh off the rest of the fish before I put the bones in to make some fish stock.

I got a teaspoon and used that to scrape the bones (I saw a fishmonger talking about this technique on a programme and it must have stayed somewhere in the back of my mind to try it out…..in the end I got just under 500g of flesh (it was just  over a LB!!)

For the cakes…

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion – minced

  • 2 tablespoons red bell pepper – minced

  • salt and pepper to taste (I used Manuka Smoked Salt)

  • 2 tablespoon capers – finely chopped (I used 1 on this occasion and I don’t think it was enough).

  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh wild salmon, coarsely chopped.…I actually used about 700g which was just just under 500g of wild Salmon and 200g or cold smoked Salmon (shop bought I needed to use).

  • 10oz (300g) of mashed potato

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • A sprinkle of mixed herbs

  • Juice of one lemon

  • Beaten egg and Panko breadcrumbs to coat

Peel your potatoes and slice them into even slices (about 1cm). If using fresh salmon, rub the fillets all over with olive oil and a small pinch of the salt and pepper. Add the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and bring back to a boil. Put the fish into a colander, covered with aluminium foil, and place it over the pan of potatoes. Turn the heat down and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes and fish are both cooked (this was a tip from Jamie Oliver). Remove the fish from the colander and put on one side. If using canned salmon, drain and put to one side. Drain the potatoes in the colander, then return them to the pan and let them steam dry.

Once the potatoes have cooled down mix in a large bowl with all the other ingredients.

Shape into patties (I made 11 with this amount) and pop them in the fridge for 1-2 hours to firm up (unless you’re like me and was running out of time and so I stuck them in the freezer for half an hour…they could have used a little longer but hey they just needed a little careful handling).

Then take them out of the fridge then dip in beaten egg and then into panko bread crumbs and then into a hot frying pan with oil and heat through for 3-4 minutes each side.

I put them into the oven to keep warm whilst I did them in batches.

They were delicious !!

Salmon Roe….Hot Smoked…

The second way I decided to do the roe was to cook it or more specifically hot smoke it.


Washed and then sprinkled with a little sea salt and left for cure for 20-30 minutes. Put in the hot smoker for 30 minutes with Apple wood chips.

Salmon Roe "Caviar"…

I decided I would use the roe this time as I’ve never done it before with any fish we’ve used to be honest…. There were two ways that came up…this was the first. Keeping the roe raw and just brining it and then having it like caviar.


Made up a brine of 2 tablespoons of salt and 375mls of water. Bring down to 38deg C and then cover the Roe and leave for 30 minutes.
Once it’s brined rinse with cold water (the eggs go cloudy don’t worry).
In a sieve and with cold water running very gently break the eggs away from the membranes and keep just the eggs. I put them into this little jar then made a small amount of brine with warm water and put the eggs back in and they get there clarity back…..drain and into the jar.
They are like little watery jewels of Salmon that burst when you eat them…I hadn’t had roe like this before and they were really nice.
Apparently they will keep for a couple of weeks.

Salmon….and so it begins…

The Salmon was filleted put in to cure this morning…….Hubby will take it out tonight to rinse it off them it will go back into the fridge to form the pellicule before we smoke it. Cure is 1 cup of uniodised salt and 1 cup or packed brown sugar.


Hubby will take it out tonight to rinse it off them it will go back into the fridge to form the pellicule before we smoke it. Cure is 1 cup of uniodised salt and 1 cup or packed brown sugar.

Salmon …..


Hubby caught this 7lb 4oz Salmon last night so there’s going to be maybe hot but definitely cold smoked Salmon on the menu this week.

Simple Christmas Tree….

So Christmas is all done and dusted but I thought I would share about our “tree” .

This year as I was due to have surgery on the 20th (it didn’t happen by the way much to my relief…right before Christmas I mean…really!)…we decided we would go for a minimalist Christmas. Couldn’t face the thought of getting the tree up and down from the loft..not that my neck in it’s current state would have allowed such activity…so after seeing the effect at my lovely neighbour’s house we decided to do the same thing.

A string of lights and some Command hooks (these are in NZ and are the type you can peel them off after)…we had some Christmas deccies that hadn’t made it into the box last year and a load of Candy Canes …job done …no dogs knocking things off or trashing the tree and easy to put up and take down….I think I might be hooked although I don’t think our son was Thinking smile

Maybe next year I’ll see if I can get away with doing it again but using more lights with different colours perhaps and a bigger jar at the bottom to make the light “trunk” …still not sure the small person will buy it a next time but you never know.






I know the purest would say you shouldn’t mix Paella’s (seafood and meat..but I like seafood and meat and so does the rest of the family …so apologies purists Smile with tongue out


We all love Paella and so on that basis I bought a Paella pan …like you do….and because I’ve got a horrible ceramic hob at the moment used a small gas hob to cook on which gives a better heat for cooking Paella.

Apologies again but the mixing of the ingredients…. Chicken, Chorizo, Kalamari, fish (I used Hoki), King prawns with just a few peas and a small amount of peppers to give a little flavour and colour (again I know not authentic), saffron (which I’m lucky I was given…I know!!).  

It might not have been authentic but I have to say it was a unanimous decision that it was delicious.

Hunter themed cake …

I had a request for a hunter themed cake for a 21 year old….I’ve not done something like this before but I wanted to learn something else, which is what I try to do whenever I make a cake.

DSC00858Camouflage cake on the inside…well it’s got be interesting inside and out…the filling was Vanilla which was coloured Camo.


Stacked to create a hill side




Covered in fondant and then hand painted (I don’t have an airbrush….. yet)



DSC00866 DSC00867











I learnt something new and that was if you make your own piping gel you need to make sure that you make it so it will set…..because otherwise you have to go round to your friends house and create a rock pool to accommodate the overflow where the waterfall did what waterfalls do and flowed….it’s a pity I didn’t get a photo of it because it was quite inspired lol!!


DSC00815Pretty much says it all really doesn’t it. We grow our own meat and this is what happens when we decide the time for beef into the freezer has come.                                             There is nothing to match the taste of home grown meat- homekill as it’s known in NZ (well I don’t think so anyway). You just need to get your head around knowing the animal. I’m OK with that though because I know they had a good life.