Monday 20 October 2014

Hastings Farmers Market and Hawk Hill Cottage

I had the good fortune to visit Hawkes Bay again earlier this month. I really love going up there. Not only for the company of our good friends Noel and Karen but also for the beautiful countryside and climate.
I have mentioned the B & B -  Hawk Hill Cottage my blog before. It is a magical  little place in Poraiti near Taradale in Hawkes Bay.
One of the many lovely views from the cottage
You are so well looked after by hosts Noel and Karen Hawkins.  Our friends have a little spot of paradise up on the hills (not far from Napier). We love it there. So pretty, peaceful and a perfect place to sit, relax, admire the view and chill out.
A cute little kitchen, just right for creating dishes with all your bought produce
It is a photographers paradise too, and if you like birds this is the place for you. It is not called Hawk Hill for nothing.I highly recommend a stay.
A view from the path to our home for the next few days

One of the highlights of our short holiday was a visit to the Farmers Market in Hastings. It is like a playground to someone like me. It was the first day of their summer market which meant it was held outside, nestled among the trees of the show grounds. The day presented us with brilliant sunshine and the trees were just holding the last of their blossom. The place had a lovely festive atmosphere. There was so much variety on the stalls and they were so well displayed, I could have spent a fortune on all of them.  But there were a couple of stand outs. The Gelato stand, where my friend and I had a lovely long chat with Cherry and purchased three jars of Carlo's famous pasta sauce. I just loved their stand, it was a visual delight under the blossom tree.
Marmalade on Gelato stand

I was also lucky to spot Seville oranges for sale. I knew the best made marmalade is made with Seville oranges, but I have never seen them for sale before. Unfortunately the stand had sold out. A quick chat with Phillip and Lesley (and with another trip in a few weeks) I will have 4kg waiting for me when I return. (They will ship their fruit around NZ too apparently). 
And I loved the Andrews Lime stand where I bought some gorgeous sauces.
Next time I will take more cash, while there is EftPos available, some stands only take cash.
Who can resist fresh flowers, they looked so beautiful!
 Take a trip to Hawkes Bay, you are never disappointed!

Friday 17 October 2014

Fabulous ham and cheese quiche

My quiche was one of those 'what is in the fridge moments?' It turned out to be one of the best I have made.
We had bought a large ham to provide a base for an election night gathering. Sadly what they ate from the rather large beast was miniscule and I was left to think about 'what to do with it leftovers?'
With Christmas just around the corner this is a very handy way to use up those bits of  ham we are invariably left with on Boxing Day.
I lined  the quiche dish with my favourite short  crust pastry, added a little grated cheese on the bottom, poured in the eggs, ham and cream mix, and topped it off with slices of tomato.
There is no real recipe, but I used about 5-6 eggs (depending on the size of your dish), 1 cup of finely chopped ham, and  a 'slug' of full cream. Yes, you could probably do without the cream but it adds that little bit of 'deliciousness' to your quiche.
Bake at about 200C (fan bake)  for about 30-40 minutes until the quiche is set and the pastry is cooked on the bottom. During cooking if the sides are getting a little brown - just protect your quiche with a cover of baking paper.  Ham is a little salty so only season to taste when serving.
We loved it, two helpings each later, there wasn't much left!
Use a spatula to check it is cooked on the bottom, there is nothing worse than half cooked pastry
Serve with a bold salad