Friday, 24 May 2013


Federal and Wolfe - Voted Auckland's Best Cafe 2011 in the Cafe and Magazine Awards

I have eaten here many times but I must say, I have been overwhelmingly disappointed with my last few experiences. My most recent order was the vegetarian breakfast sans eggs, which on the menu sounded rather delicious but in real life was a tad lackluster. Described as something along the lines of the 'Big Wolfe Breakfast' (not 100% sure on the name of this) I was expecting a little more than what was placed in front of me. The breakfast consisted of one sliced up tomato, half a sliced avocado, two mushrooms, a scoop of lentils and a vigorous sprinkling of parsley over everything.

This is a picture of me, gazing out the window and dreaming of a place that serves great breakfasts.

Imma break this down for you... 

What it said on the menu: Vine ripened tomatoes
What I wanted: Deliciously red sweet tomatoes.
What I got: Raw watery tasteless tomato.

Now I may have been unlucky and received a dud tomato but I still think a raw tomato is an odd addition to a cooked breakfast. It was also listed on the menu as $5 to add to any meal and nothing gets me more peeved than cafes ludicrously overcharging for things e.g avocado - I'll get to this later.
*See below for my recipe idea that involves dud tomatoes!*

What it said on the menu: Fried mushrooms
What I wanted: Flavourful fried mushrooms
What I got: Mushrooms fried in their own juice, soggy but chewy at the same time.

Fried mushrooms with garlic, salt and pepper are one of my most favourite things to eat - add in some fresh herbs and maybe some spices and you have yourself a delicious meal or accompaniment. Unfortunately these mushrooms were a bit sad as they had basically boiled in there own juice, on a positive note they still had a great earthy mushroom flavour.

What it said on the menu: Avocado
What I wanted: Avocado
What I got: Avocado

Even the worst cook can do no wrong when it comes to a good ripe avocado. I love avocado in any form and I especially love avocado with a good squeeze of lemon juice and lots of salt and pepper. This was also listed as $5 on the menu! I actually almost hulked out and started flipping tabels and smashing everything in site. When did paying $5 for approximately six slices of avocado become acceptable?!

What it said on the menu: Wolfe lentils
What I wanted: Hearty tasty lentils
What I got: Hearty tasty lentils. Rejoice!

These lentils were the savior of this dish - a deliciously rich chunky homestyle tomato based sauce with a whole bunch of flavour! They lacked seasoning but I didn't mind as there was enough pink Himalayan salt in Federal and Wolfe to supply all of Auckland. I could have eaten a whole bowl of these lentils and I will definitely be ordering them again (they are also listed as a $5 side on the menu) sometime in the near future.

So far this has been quite negative and as it is my first attempt at a review I have precisely six good things to say.

Organic, free range and vegan friendly menu.

Good location.

Huge windows that let in lots of sunlight.

Serves Kokako Coffee.

All tabels are provided with fancy pink salt.

The service was alright.

Federal and Wolfe also have a range of fresh juices available. I ordered The Zinger which is a delightful combination of apple, pear, lime and ginger juice. So fresh! So tangy!

My advice to anyone planning to eat at Federal and Wolfe...

Order the toast with a side of lentils - the bread will soak up the lentil juices perfectly!

Order a fresh juice.

Sit in the window in the sun.

Don't go on Sunday - they're closed.

*Dud Tomatoes*

If you end up with some tomatoes that are a bit yuck don't dispair you can still use them to make this! Apologies for the terrible photos.

Lemon peel
Salt and pepper
Assorted spices
Brown sugar
Olive oil

Chuck everything in a roasting tray or cast iron pan and put in the oven until they have caramalised and reduced. Serve with warm crusty bread.

Saturday, 11 May 2013


This is my take on Belgium Biscuits, I don't know why they are called Belgium Biscuits but I do know that they are pretty tasty. Be sure to have a cup of tea handy when you eat these, they tend to be a little dry but they definitely make the cut to my Top 5 Biscuits list. 

Two deliciously crumbly spiced biscuits filled with thick gloopy raspberry jam and coated with rose water icing… 

Makes 8 - 10 large double layer biscuits

Large1/2 cup coconut/canola oil – a mix is fine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp black strap molasses – optional
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp cocoa

1 cup icing sugar
1 - 2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
2 -3 Tbsp strained beetroot juice/dark plum juice
1 - 2 tsp rose water

About 1/2 cup raspberry jam


Preheat oven to 180ºC. Cream oil/margarine and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add molasses and vanilla essence and mix to combine. Sift flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, and cocoa into the bowl and then mix into combine and make a firm dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or longer.

On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to about 4mm thick. Cut out and even amount of shapes or rounds – don’t go too small or intricate with the cutter you want them to be nice and big!

Bake at 180 C for 12 - 15 minutes or until cooked. Leave to cool on a baking tray. Once cooled cover half the biscuits with pink icing and the other half with jam, sandwich them together.

To make the icing, mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable. 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


Store bought pizza crusts are gross and weird. Why go to all the effort of assembling a pizza if you aren't going to make the base? This is an Alison Holst no fail (60% of the time - works every time) pizza base recipe that I have been using for years. You can also make it ahead of time and leave it in a warm place until you are ready to use it, for example - make it before work and leave it in the hot water cupboard. Better living everyone!

Top it with your favourite ingredients and it is guaranteed to be better than any pizza take-out you will ever buy! It's a great way to use up any left overs you have in the fridge and it tastes amazing eaten cold the next day! I somehow managed to get my hands on some delicious asparagus, although it's not in season at the moment I really felt like eating it.

Unfortunately I ate all the pizza before taking a photo of it, it was really good! Covered with chilli oil and served with a pile of blanched asparagus it made for a very tasty meal.

Pizza base.
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 Tbsp sugar/honey/agave
1 Tbsp dried yeast
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour - I used a combination of white spelt and wholemeal spelt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water then sprinkle in the yeast granules. Add the oil and then stir gently for a few seconds. Leave to stand for at least five minutes to allow the yeast to begin acting. Once the yeast mixture has begun to bubble and looks a little foamy, add the remaining ingredients. Stir everything together until the dough begins to come away at the sides of the bowl and form one large ball. Knead for a few minutes then place in an oiled bowl to rest for 20 - 30 minutes, although this is not necessary it is a good chance to start prepping your toppings. 

For this pizza I used: finely sliced potato (can be raw or cooked), asparagus, capsicum, red onion, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, cracked black pepper and lots of smoked salt.

Once you have prepared your toppings, roll out pizza dough and place on an oiled tray or pizza stone - I strongly recommend investing in a pizza stone they are amazing. Let the dough rest for another ten minutes then cover with your favourite toppings! 

Bake in a preheated oven at 230ºC for 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown and the toppings are cooked. Serve with blanched vegetables or a fresh green salad.

Makes one large or two small pizzas.

Some of my favourite toppings.

Leftover refried beans
Marinated tofu/tempeh
Red/white onion
Sun-dried tomato
Artichoke hearts
Thinly sliced potato
Roasted bell peppers
Leftover roasted pumpkin
Cashews, almonds, roasted pumpkin seeds
Fresh herbs - basil, rosemary, oregano

Monday, 6 May 2013


Ingredients - serves 4.

2 onions or 6 - 8 shallots
3 stems lemongrass
1 tsp ground or fresh turmeric
4 cloves garlic
3cm piece of ginger
3cm piece galangal
2 - 3 of your favourite hot chillies
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 large cup of diced pumpkin
1 large cup of trimmed green beans
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock - I use Rapunzel cubes
200g rice noodles
250g fresh noodles
200g deep fried tofu sliced

1 lime cut into wedges
Sliced chillies
Fresh coriander
Deep fried shallots


To make the laksa paste add the onions or shallots, lemongrass, turmeric, garlic, ginger, galangal and chillies to a food processor and mix until it forms a smooth paste. Fry the laksa paste for 3 - 4 minutes in a preheated large pan or wok with 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, it will sizzle and spit at you a bit but this is what you want! When it starts to smell really fragrant add the coconut milk and let it reduce down for a few minutes then add the stock. Season and leave it on a low heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Add the diced pumpkin to a roasting pan and lightly coat with oil and a generous sprinkling of salt place in a preheated oven at 220ºC and roast until soft, about 15 - 20 minutes.

Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 1 minute then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Follow packet instructions to prepare noodles. Add the sliced tofu and roast pumpkin to the laska and cook for a few minutes to heat everything through. To assemble, place noodles in a serving bowl and ladle spoonfuls of the delicious creamy laksa over them. Top with the green beans, fresh coriander, cashews, sliced chillies lime and fried shallots.

This meal is perfect for a cold rainy day and you can listen to this song while you make it. How badass does she sound? Her name is Ellinor Olovosdotter and she's Swedish. Her video is my idea of a good time (excluding 2.42 which is just a dog humping a random object) and I like to think this is how I look when I cruise round with my friends. Just riding horses amongst some frickin amazing scenery looking all moody and interesting and stuff.

"I need you to take all my shadows for a walk tonight"