About as fusion as I’ll go

IMG_9762.JPGI could apologize profusely for the terrible lack of posts on my beloved A Moa Life website. Or I could just ignore the fact that I have put writing about my cooking on the back burner and pretend like there hasn’t been a lag. Well, there has been a lag (an alarming one at that!), and I do apologize because I have a habit of taking on more than I can handle sometimes. You could say I occasionally run out hours in the day. I’ve been on a plane, I’ve been baking up a storm, I’ve been planning our wedding (only 2 months to go!), I’ve been making attempts to be brave and get skiing again (post bone breaking episode circa 2014) and I’ve taken up pottery (great as a winter activity, I can’t recommend it enough). So you see, I have been doing stuff, just not this stuff. I’m still here, my kitchen is still humming away and I definitely have a bunch of recipes up my sleeve to share with you all. So, on that note, in the form of a Slacker Blogger Apology of the highest order, here is my insanely easy and delicious chicken macaroni soup.

Read on, it’s definitely not what you think.

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Sir Quince A Lot

IMG_8551.JPGI (along with everyone else in Wellington) are currently experiencing the best autumn in recent memory (I’m not kidding, people were swimming in Oriental Bay two days ago and I saw many a sundress on the streets today). It is still deliciously warm in the daytime, the evenings are cool but not so cold you don’t want to leave the house, and it has hardly rained. I’m hoping this means that winter will be crisp and dry, which in my mediocre realm of weather knowledge means snow right? The other thing that is getting me all gleeful is the produce at the market, oh man. It is so good right now. The tail end of the stone fruit season is still going strong, and the feijoas, grapes and pears are plentiful. And quinces too. I feel like a quince is that mysterious something you see in the stores and think “that’s a weird looking pear”, and then realize it isn’t the familiar pear so you don’t buy it. Well, do buy some please. A quince is like a cheap cut of meat. Low and slow and you’ve got yourself a sublime treat to treat your dinner party guests to. Quinces are so delicious gently poached, the fact that they turn a light pink when cooked is pretty swell too. Get some quinces and try this recipe, the hardest step is peeling them, which isn’t actually that hard.

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Jumping on the spice route

IMG_8356.JPGOh my. My amazing mother is here for SIX WHOLE WEEKS people. Since touchdown Mum has plied Dr T and I with the most amazing fresh rice paper rolls, Thai green curry, steamed ginger fish and my favorite sticky soy pork stew. A cliche I realize, but my mother really is the best cook I know. And the rice cooker has been going non-stop. And the fruit bowl is constantly full of perfectly ripe summer fruit. And the washing is beautifully folded. And the garden is no longer woefully neglected. And our noodle supply have been replenished. I won’t lie, it’s pretty blissful around these parts right now. The only thing is the Moa kitchen has been taken over by a supreme culinary force of being that is my mother. There’s always something simmering away and bench space is more scarce now than ever before. I’m not at all complaining, but I still itch to cook and bake. So, this evening after work I hijacked the kitchen for an hour or so and thus present to you an embellished version of Al Brown’s ginger crunch. While absolutely delicious, it’s not that spectacularly special, but the warm comfort and familiarity that comes with a piece of ginger crunch is something even my mother (who doesn’t appreciate sweets as much as I do) would indulge in.

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Lend me your ears

IMG_8301.JPGThe one color that is all about summer is surely yellow. The brightest yellows that’s are all like hi, I’m summer and I’m the best season there is. I don’t really wear yellow things, but everything else yellow is so lovely to look at don’t you think? Yellow courgettes (how pretty!), burnished yellow sunsets pretty much everyday, the yellow middle of daisies – it’s all so cheerful and happy. You know what else is happy during summer? The friendly price of fresh, big ears of corn. I’ve been buying it in bulk and storing it in the fridge to snack on (sometimes I don’t even bother to cook it and just pick the kernels off raw!). Or corn and butter. Now there’s two yellow ingredients that were destined for each other. How can such simple ingredients be so good together? Destiny, that’s how. This chowder is cheap, easy and filling and gently lulls you into (falsely) thinking that the ensuing cooler months might not be so bad after all. You know, I actually have a friend who abhors the thought of fresh corn. I’m not sure what to do about it, maybe I should feed him this chowder so he can re-evaluate. Poor fellow, he really is missing out.

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Holler at me 2015!

IMG_8222.JPGHello sun seekers. It’s so good to be back here after a rather extended hiatus. I hope that wherever you are, the summer sun is still relentless and you’re still enjoying swims in the sea after work. Have faith, the summer dream isn’t over yet! I for one have missed pottering around my little kitchen and writing about delicious things. As amazing as it was to do nothing on the beach for a couple of weeks, it’s nice to be back in a routine and conjuring up new recipes to try out. When I think summer, unlimited amounts of fresh produce come to mind, I mean how good have the nectarines and watermelons been this year? At the moment, tomatoes are so good and cheap, so here is a recipe to celebrate the bounty of summer. It’s a super-easy but very versatile sauce which you really should try (step aside Dolmio). Make double and pop it in the freezer for endless dinner possibilities. Don’t be alarmed at the amount of olive oil, you’ll need it to make the sauce rich and delicious.

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