October 2017

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and goodness knows I've spent the winter testing whether such a theory holds any such truth. There was a pretty last minute and mediocre chicken-broccoli-soba-noodle situation, and there were sticky date puddings, which after half had been eaten it was declared I'm going to be honest with you, I don't actually like dates. There was an attempt at pickled eggs, there was a near-perfect dish of salmon, and there was shortbread. 

A throwaway comment about a fondness for shortbread was dutifully stashed in my memory bank, only to be outsourced to my iphone notes section, where all important things (to-do lists, things to bake, life plans, invoices to send, random sentences which end up in articles, etc) get dutifully stashed. A few days later I googled recipes, purchased some fancy butter, learnt that my oven has a defect setting which burns everything on the bottom, bought more fancy butter, made a new lump of dough, and ate chunks of the aformentioned dough, before making the perfect batch and thus proving my love language is definitely acts of service. Let's just say they were melt in your mouth delicious, and they were very well received. I cannot recommend highly enough making these for someone who's heart you're paving your way into. 

Recipe inside!

Classic shortbread

Adapted from a number of recipes. 


250g butter, softened

1 cup icing sugar

1 cup cornflour

2 cup plain flour 

Cream the butter with the icing sugar until white and fluffy. Gradually add the cornflour and the plain flour. 

Knead the dough out onto a floured surface, then roll into two logs. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (but can leave for longer). 


Preheat your oven to 150C and line two baking trays with baking paper. 

Slice the dough into rounds and place on the lined baking tray. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden. Cool on the tray and serve. 

Note: slice leftover dough into rounds and freeze in a snaplock bag if you aren't making the entire batch at once. 



// Posted by Delaney at 12:47 PM

About a year ago I was asked by Penguin Random House if I would like to undertake the NZ Restaurant Cookbook - choosing 50 restaurants across the country, asking them politely for a recipe or two, and writing an intro about each one, and to the book itself. Flattered, I thought that sounded simple enough (and fun) so enthusiastically I said yes. What proceeded was a rollercoaster of a project - of wrangling spreadsheets, and harassing chefs (during Christmas when they're insanely busy and January when they're on holiday) and tweaking recipes and generally, well, pulling a book together. It's fair to say I nearly lost the plot on more than one occasion, but it happened and now it's here!

Liz Clarkson photographed the entire thing - she traversed the country and faced cancelled flights, ash clouds, flooding, and earthquakes - to get stunning original photography of the restaurants, the people, and of course, the food.

Now that the book is in stores and in my hand, I can safely say it’s beautiful and I am thrilled.

// Posted by Delaney at 9:00 AM