Taste Of Home Food Blog

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My main food blog is located at www.tasteofhome.co.nz While there are many recipes on here you will find loads more at Taste Of Home.

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New eBook A Savoury Time

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Cover-Savoury-TimeNew eBook Release – A Savoury Time by Chef Jimmy Boswell 

New Years Release special NZ$ 5 (US$ 4)


Over 110 pages, 60 savoury recipes including starters, sides, brunch, mains, bbq, vegetables as well as a wine pairing section.

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Matching Nuts With Cheeses

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Cheese-and-NutsNuts With Cheese 

The crunch of nuts is a tasty contrast to the creaminess of cheese. There are a few nuts that pair especially well with cheese. If using nuts on a cheese plate remember that nuts have a slight bitterness to them that is enhanced when served raw. The best way to use them is either when they’ve been toasted or candied/caramelized. Pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds or pine nuts are usually best for cheese plates. 

Serve them next to a cheese plate or sprinkle the nuts around a platter of cheese. Nuts are also the perfect garnish for salad recipes that include cheese. 

Not all cheeses are a good match with nuts. Detailed below are my suggested matches. 

Soft Ripened Cheeses – Brie and Camembert 

Match with WARM PISTACHIOS—Warming the nuts brings out the lushness of the cheese while the salt and crunch offer a delightful contrast. 

Recipe: Roasted pistachios, shelled and lightly salted 

Preheat oven to 100 C. (200 F). Spread pistachios on an un-greased cookie sheet.

Toast nuts for 10 to 15 min. Serve warm with cheese. 

Semi-Soft Cheeses 

Match with toasted walnuts or toasted almonds 

This match heightens the texture contrast with cheese while enhancing their complementary buttery flavor and aroma. By adding a sparkling sugar coating to the nuts, the pairing becomes more complex, engaging every sensor in the palate. 

To toast, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until very lightly browned. Watch them closely. Depending on the variety, this should take from 3 to 10 minutes. Use them immediately or store them in a covered container in the refrigerator. 

Blue cheeses 

Caramelized walnuts or hazelnuts and toasted almonds. 


Caramelized walnuts or hazelnuts and toasted almonds. I also like Roasted pistachios. 

Smoked cheeses 

Toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts.

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Paring Nuts With Foods

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Nuts-PictureParing Nuts With Foods 

Rich in energy, protein, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and the much talked about omega-3 fatty acids. Crunchy yet buttery, nuts are a delicious and healthy addition to our daily diet. 

  • Nuts are rich in energy and nutrients. Nuts are an excellent source of monounsaturated-fatty (MUF) acids which help to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol.” Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in MUF to prevent coronary artery disease, strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile. 

One way I use nuts in my daily diet is to mix them with some dried fruits and have them as an afternoon snack. This helps off-set the 3pm blues (usually caused by a low blood sugar). 

Whether they’re whole, chopped, or ground, nuts add nutrition and flavor to meals and dishes and are also a great source of protein. 

Nut varieties include almond, brazil, cashew, chestnut, coconut, hazelnut, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pine, pistachio, and walnut. Most varieties can be bought whole, chopped, or ground; salted or unsalted; roasted or spiced. Generally, whole, unshelled nuts are the least expensive. 

Most unshelled nuts will keep at room temperature for up to six months, but shelled nuts should be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them from becoming rancid. Throw out any that have mold. 

To remove thin skins, place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until the skins begin to flake off. This will vary with the variety. Nuts can easily burn, so watch them closely. Remove them from the oven, wrap them in a heavy towel, and rub them against the towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. 

To grind nuts, use a nut grater or grinder and grind only a few nuts at a time to prevent them from becoming oily. 

To Toast Nuts 

Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until very lightly browned. Watch them closely. Depending on the variety, this should take from 3 to 10 minutes. Use them immediately or store them in a covered container in the refrigerator. 

Nuts and Matches 


Benefits They’re low in carbs but high in monounsaturated fats, which protect the heart.

Flavour match Plums, ginger, lemon, chocolate. 


Benefits High in potassium, protein and iron.

Flavour match Trout, lamb, apricots, figs, citrus fruit, honey and mint. 


Benefits One of the richest sources of selenium, which protects against prostate cancer. 
Flavour match Chocolate, bananas, dried fruit. 


Benefits Full of mono-unsaturated fats, which reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. 

Flavour match Chicken, pork, bananas, honey. 


Benefits Rich in vitamin E, potassium and manganese. Lower in fat than many other nuts.

Flavour match Apples, mushrooms, raspberries. 


Benefits Almost no fat, plenty of energy-boosting B vitamins and vitamin C. 

Flavour match Roast meat, red wine sauces. 


Benefits Polyunsaturated fat, preventing high blood pressure and cholesterol. 

Flavour match Figs, Roquefort cheese, goats’ cheese, coffee. 


Benefits Most calcium of all nuts and more protein, gram for gram, than eggs. 

Flavour match Apples, pears, apricots, ice cream, trout. 


Benefits High in zinc and in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats.

Flavour match Pears, maple syrup, apples, chocolate, figs, ginger. 

Pine Nuts 

Benefits Rich in protein and manganese, which helps break down fat.

Flavour match Spinach, Mediterranean veg, basil, feta cheese, lamb, pork.

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eBook Eat Drink Paleo

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Purchase your copy today Click here to visit Eat Drink Paleo.
From the creator of the hugely popular foodie blog Eat Drink Paleo comes this visually stunning cookbook, filled with delectable recipes based on the paleo diet.

Passionate cook and paleo enthusiast Irena Macri draws on her love of world cuisines and all-natural ingredients to produce over 120 gourmet recipes, created, taste-tested and photographed by the cook herself. From hearty feasts to healthy snacks and cheeky treats, Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook will inspire both seasoned paleo followers and curious connoisseurs.

All recipes are free from grains, gluten, processed sugar and other no-nos of the paleo philosophy. Far from being restrictive, they showcase the rich flavours, varied ingredients and fun, inventive cooking that can be enjoyed as part of thepaleo lifestyle. Peppered with personal stories and with a realistic approach (even the author can’t deny herself the occasional ‘naughty’ sweet or drink), the book takes home-cooks on a real-food journey from breakfast (hazelnut pancakes with blood orange syrup, anyone?) through to dessert (did someone say chilli chocolate mousse?).

Super-tasty dinners (hello, pulled-pork tacos), glamorous garden produce (zucchini carbonara… there is a god!), sauces and sides (mayo, dressings, butters and more), easy entertaining recipes (I’ll have oysters five ways, thanks!) and tasty tipples (mmm… lychee lemongrass sangria…) all await to blow your mind, no matter if you’re paleo or polyphagous.

Complete with an introduction to paleo nutrition and philosophy; a handy inventory of foods to focus on and avoid; and user-friendly recipes and measurements, Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook is a must-have for the modern-day hunter-gatherer.

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Making Nut Butters

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Nut_Butter-1000Nut Butters

As with peanut butter, other nut butters are also a rich source of high-quality protein and mono-unsaturated fat. I use the same method for making the following;

Almond butter, cashew butter, raw pecan butter, hazelnut butter and peanut butter.

Many kinds of nuts are also used to make nutritious butter. I buy raw nuts and toast them. Make sure you do not over toast them as this can make the butter taste slightly.

Making nut butter.

The first thing is to toast 2 cups of the selected nuts.

To toast, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated 175 C. (350 F) oven until very lightly browned. Watch them closely. Depending on the variety, this should take from 3 to 10 minutes. Once toasted, let them cool.

nuts-blender-1000Place them in a food processor and blend. If particles build up on the sides of the container, stop and scrape them down with a rubber spatula.

Continue processing until it begins to create a ball. You may have to break up the ball, but it is very important to be patient. Sometimes the ball will bang around a bit before it begins to break down and look creamy. This can take several minutes.

When it is balled up that I add a little olive oil. Add a teaspoon of oil and blend again. If the butter is creamy enough without it there is no need to add the oil.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge and use within 1 month.

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Porcini Soup

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Porcini-Soup-webI love mushrooms and eggs and this soup  recipe is a great winter warmer


4 tbsp coconut or extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp grass fed butter

Sprig of mint or oregano

4 large fresh porcini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped

5 cups vegetable stock (broth)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

2 free range eggs 


In a pot, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Throw in a sprig of mint or oregano. Add the fresh porcini to the pot and let them cook for a minute so that the mushrooms absorb all the flavors. 

Add a ladle of vegetable stock (broth) and allow the porcini to cook for another minute, or until the broth has been absorbed. Season with salt and black pepper, and pour in the remaining broth. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. 

Before plating, add the Parmigiano cheese and 2 eggs. Stir very well for a minute and serve hot.

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Creating a Balanced Life

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MichellePeople ask me all the time, “How do I get a good balance of daily work, functional exercise and healthy food in my busy life”

My answer is “Have a chat with Michelle Owen” www.michelleowen.co.nz There are loads of wellness newsletter downloads available from her website.

Michelle’s specialities include helping clients recover from long-term pain and discomfort, stabilizing and strengthening their bodies through skilled exercise, and making them fit and functional for life and leisure.

I met Michelle in the mid-2000’s and as a chef focused on good local, seasonal fresh foods I have gained a huge amount of inspiration from working with Michelle. Based in Auckland, New Zealand Michelle runs a well appointed functional training and holistic wellness centre. She is also well known as a keynote speaker presenting motivational
seminars helping people to get healthy balance into their lives.

I spent years working in extreme sports and over that time suffered many serious injuries. As a coach and mentor in corrective and functional training Michelle showed me how to train smarter and this relieved all the pain that I had been in for years. I am still pain free.

Many things lead people to her, from long-term posture problems, to sports injuries, surgery and accidents. Her expertise ranges from injury rehabilitation to high performance exercise and anything in between.


Michelle is on the committee of the National Speakers Association. She presents Wellness seminars to corporate bodies, conferences and groups on Holistic health and wellness energy, posture, core stability, pain free bodies for the long term.

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Appetite For Destruction by Gareth Morgan & Geoff Simmons

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 Cover-mainI recommend “Appetite For Destruction”, Gareth Morgan & Geoff Simmons. This great insight into eating habits and its effect on health while written in New Zealand is suitable for anyone in the world to read.

Purchase your hard copy or eBook by clicking here

We Kiwis are literally eating ourselves to death. In the move from cooking to convenience food we have given up control of what we eat. As a result our food is heavy on sugar, fat and salt, and light on the nutrients our body needs. This is causing a hidden health crisis that will swamp our hospitals just when the baby boomers want their hip operations.

Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons latest book cuts straight to the bone of what ails us, and what we can really do about it.

As a Chef that spends a lot of time working to encourage and teach people the benefits of getting back to the basics and eating real food, I am pleased with the release of Gareth Morgan’s new book, “Appetite For Destruction”

The issues that Gareth and Geoff tackle in this book are complex due to a “public perception” which is or has been generated by the mass advertising from companies hawking their products on the “our products are healthy” platform. 

“Appetite For Destruction” takes you through a step by step look at so many mis-conceptions that are or have been presented and talks about why they are wrong. It is a fresh look at our poor eating habits written in plain, non-technical way spelling out what I believe are the true facts.

“Appetite For Destruction” offers a well presented look at the way people think about food and also in my view, has a balanced and logical dialogue of why we as a society, need to get back to local seasonal fresh, “real foods”.

Purchase your hard copy or eBook by clicking here

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Antipasto Chicken Liver Spread

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chicken_liver_spread-webI often make this spread and keep in the fridge to form part of a snack. I love it spread in the middle of celery pieces as well a cucumber slices. This is also how I serve it as part of an Antipasto.

This can be made several days ahead and should be stored covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Serves 6 – 8 as part of an Antipasto 


3 tbsp chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
1/2 cup brandy
150g (6 oz) trimmed chicken livers
5 large egg yolks
1 cup whole grass fed milk or coconut milk
1/4 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
salt & fresh ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 170C (350F).

Heat the olive oil in a skillet, and cook the onions until lightly golden brown, then add the garlic and cook another minute or two.

Remove from the heat and add the brandy and then return to the heat and cook until the brandy has reduced by half.

Place the onion mixture in a food processor along with the chicken livers and egg yolks and blend until smooth.

Add the milk, flour, nutmeg, allspice, salt and pepper and blend until well mixed. Pour the mixture into


 a ceramic oven proof bowl (crock) large enough to hold it all, and then place the crock in a larger oven-proof pan and filled halfway up the sides of the crock with water.

Bake until the spread has set when a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 50 to 55 minutes.

Remove from the water bath, and cool to room temperature. This can be made several days ahead and should be stored covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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