Archive for July, 2010

BrewNZ Beer Awards Beervana 2010

Friday, July 30th, 2010

August 26, 27 and 28, 2010
The Brewers Guild of New Zealand will be hosting the BrewNZ Beer Awards for 2010 at The Duxton Hotel, Wellington on Thursday, 26 August 2010. The evening consists of pre-dinner drinks in the Duxton Chambers, followed by a dinner in the Duxton Ballroom and an awards presentation. Features of the awards dinner 2010 include:
Celebrity MC, Paul Mercurio
Beer-related entertainment
Fabulous food matched with excellent NZ beer
Presentation by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery
This is an event not to be missed, which is open to both industry and public. Tickets will be on sale soon!
August 26, 27 and 28, 2010
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why what who

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

why do I fear
I do not fear
why do i fear
i do not fear
why do i fear
I do not fear
sometimes acknowledging what we are
allows us to be who we are

Lack of ticket sales dooms Dancing with Stars show

Friday, July 16th, 2010

The stage version of the popular television series Dancing with the Stars has been canned, with the promoter blaming poor ticket sales.
Dance fans were promised an extravaganza that would have seen the winners, runners-up and three of the judges of Dancing with the Stars reunited for a one-off stage show at Vector Arena on August 27.
But the performers, who included infomercial queen Suzanne Paul, weatherman Tamati Coffey, former All Black Norm Hewitt, Olympian Beatrice Faumuina, beauty queen Lorraine Downes and actor Shane Cortese, were told on Wednesday that the show, under licence from BBC Worldwide, had been cancelled.
Cortese was not privy to the reasons for the cancellation but told the Herald he had been looking forward to the show, although he had not danced since his marriage to his dance partner, Nerida Jantti, last year.
“It was going to be grandiose and something really special for the fans of the show but there comes a point where something like that is backed by financiers that got cold feet at the end and the guys had to make a decision,” said Cortese, who had been in training four times a week with Jantti for the past month in preparation.
“Upsetting as it is, it’s one of the risks you take in being in this job. It’s sad and frustrating but one door closes and something else opens straight away.”
Promoter Tim Groenendaal said he was disappointed with ticket sales but he remained open to the possibility of the show running in the future.
“It’s not in any way a reflection on the people who were going to be in the show. It’s just really sad news for everyone including myself but it’s one of those commercial decisions we have to make sometimes.”
Mr Groenendaal said the stage version had been successful overseas but he hinted that the show being off-air locally probably had not helped.
“I also wonder if New Zealanders are being very careful with what they are spending their money on. There are various things like the World Cup coming up next year which I suspect is drawing on a lot of people’s money, so it’s totally understandable.”
The show was to have stayed true to its television format, with judges Brendan Cole, Paul Mercurio and Alison Leonard providing comments and scores for the dancers.
Full refunds are available from the original point of purchase. The price of tickets bought over the phone or online will be automatically refunded to the original credit card.

Pretzels

Monday, July 12th, 2010

2 – 3 cups of plain flour or bread flour
2 teaspoons of dried yeast
2 teaspoons of sugar – raw or white
1 tablespoon of butter- unsalted or salted – softened
½ cup of milk
½ cup of water – hot
4 teaspoons of bi carb
4 cups of water
Baking paper
Salt flakes – Murray river salt or Maldon
Preheat oven to 230°c or 210 fan forced
Combine the milk and the hot water into a glass jug, the mixture should be warm but not hot. Add the sugar, yeast and the butter to the warm milk /water mixture and give it a stir then set aside. After about 5 – 10 minutes the yeast should be active and you will see lots of yeasty froth sitting on top of the liquid.
Using a cake mixer with a dough hook put 2 cups of flour into the mixing bowl and turn the mixer on. Give the yeast mixture a stir and then slowly add it to the flour and mix. The flour will come together but will be quite wet still so add some of the extra flour a handful at a time until the dough begins to form a ball. You do not want this dough to be too dry or stiff, it is very soft and slightly sticky dough. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and give it a knead for about 5 or so minutes until the dough texture changes to a more silky character. Put the dough into a floured glass bowl – I usually spray some oil around the inside of the bowl and then sprinkle flour around it as this stops the dough from sticking to the glass. Cover and set aside for an hour or two or until the dough has at least doubled in size.
Once it has doubled turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and shape it into a log. Cut this log in half and then each half in to three pieces. Roll each piece out to be about 30 cm long how ever there is a trick to this and that is – leave a fatter bit in the middle. Imagine a snake has swallowed a football (or an oblong shape) and that shape is sitting in the middle of this 30cm long snake. This fatter section is probably about 6 cm long. As this dough is quite soft you probably won’t be able to roll it on the bench so the easiest way to roll it is to pick it up and hold it between your hands – palms together thumbs pointing to the roof, and make like you are rubbing your hands together to warm them. Allow the dough to hang down and as you rub your hands together the dough will slowly fall down towards the bench as you stretch it out with the rolling action. This all makes perfect sense when you DO it. Let the dough drop to the bench and then repeat the process starting from the other end of the dough. In order to get the fatter bit in the middle start the rolling motion 4cm past the centre of the dough and when you turn the dough and do the other side start that 4 cm past the middle section and voilà you will end up with a 30cm long piece of dough with a fat section in the middle. With practice comes perfection!
To make a pretzel shape have your rolled ‘snake’ lying on the bench in front of you. Pick up either end and hold it above the bench so it forms a big “U” shape now cross your hands in a circular motion so that the “u” swings, turns and twists around itself and then lay it flat on the bench still holding on to the ends. Place one end on top and to the side of the fat middle section and the other end on the other side. Wet your finger and dab where the two ends rest on the fat section to seal them down.
In a fry pan bring the four cups of water and the Bi-Carb to the boil and then dunk a pretzel into the boiling water for about 10 seconds before turning it over and letting it sit for another 10 seconds. Remove from the boiling water and place on an oven tray that has a sheet of baking paper on it. Repeat with the other pretzels. Sprinkle the pretzels generously with the salt and put in to the preheated oven. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until pretzels are a dark golden brown.
Remove and try and wait until they are a little cooler before you devour them. Of course eat with your favourite beer.
Makes six

got to get cooking

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

My deadline is coming up for delivery of my first draft of my book so I have plenty to do!
Yesturday I toasted chestnuts – anyone do this often? I think I over cooked them and then left them too long before I peeled them so the skin wouldnt come away from the fruit. They went in the bin so I will be redoing those.
I made pretzels – which turned out fantastic!
I also made a sticky date pudding/cake which seems to have turned out however I havent cut it or tasted it yet. I will make sauce tonight and have it for desert.
Today I have been writing up some recipes and I also made some Beef Jerky which Andrea really likes!
Oh and two days ago I made a Crumbed Sardine and Sou’western pasta dish with a beer and lime dressing – surprisingly it was most yummy!
secrets to chestnut roasting and peeling appreciated!!