Feeling a little blue now we've kissed daylight savings goodbye and it's dark before you get home? Well, spice up your evening meals with delicious Moroccan Chutney. Created by Maria's Kitchens in Karori, it's made with natural ingredients and is gluten free. Try it with lamb, in a burger, with cheese or try the recipe on the back of the packet where you mix it up with yoghurt and coat it on chicken. Now that sounds yum. $13.50 from Farro Fresh, 80 Lunn Ave, Mt Wellington, ph (09) 570 7071 or farrofresh.co.nz.
What to get the person who has everything? A bracelet made from champagne tops. Created by Auckland designer Alison Boyce, they're made from silver, retsin and, of course, the tops of champagne bottles. Must be fun sourcing those! $495. Ph (021) 868 707 for supplier information or go to figleafdesign.co.nz.
Dida's says that "any day now" its deli-cafe on Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna will be allowed to serve plated food to customers. Council regulations have been the hold-up, since the opening last month of the store formerly occupied by Rocket Kitchen and sited next to Glengarry's. The wine company owns Dida's and they also sit side-by-side on Jervois Rd, Herne Bay. The much-needed Takapuna food store plans to serve brunch and offers its cabinet selection to go or eat in, with customers snacking off takeout plates for the moment. There's also a good range of cheese, meats and other deli delights.
Taste of charity
More primary school children will be learning about growing vegetables and healthy eating thanks to a hook-up between Kiehls and the Garden to Table Trust. Trust chairperson Catherine Bell said the trust could now expand from the pilot programme it has been running at three Auckland schools. The trust has adapted its programme from the successful Kitchen Garden outreach begun in Australia by foodie Stephanie Alexander in recognition that some children know little or nothing about where their food comes from.
Long-established American company Kiehls has a company mission statement to contribute to the communities it serves, so the link with the trust appealed because it teaches children about sustainability and personal and social responsibility, as well as the basics of gardening and cooking. To find out more see gardentotable.org.nz and kiehls.com.
Here at Viva we can never get enough cupcakes, so that's why we were delighted when this cute book arrived in our office: Cupcakes (Hamlyn: $29.99) comes not only with more than 40 cute cupcake ideas but also with 12 funky-coloured silicon cupcake moulds. It's all just too sweet for words.
Across the ditch
It's always interesting to follow food trends from abroad. Spain, France, Thailand, India... they all get our tastebuds tingling. But what about Australia? Becasse, published by Hardie Grant Books, is by the award-winning New Zealand-born chef Justin North and named after his Sydney restaurant. It is full of recipes "inspired by Australia's great food producers" and takes the reader on a tour of Australia from a fishing village in Tasmania to a squab pigeon farm in Victoria. North was named Chef of the Year 2009 by the Sydney Morning Herald so expect to be tantalised by his recipes.