24 hour Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Freddie (17) has been on a search for the best chocolate chip cookie although I am not sure that he has done much of the baking, more provided me with the tips.
The quest was to find a really good fudgy, chewy cookie and much of this is in the technique as opposed to the recipe.  Refrigerating the dough for 24 hours after mixing is critical.  This give the flavours time to develop and also the flour a chance to meld with the egg and butter and produce a fudgier cookie.
Browning half of the butter prior to mixing gives an interesting nutty flavour and the splash of bourbon and vanilla add another flavour profile.
I go for the addition of nuts but that’s me.  Walnuts or macadamias would be my pick.


While I love summer I am finding the transition to autumn and all that goes with it quite calming after the summer heat.  Our feijoa and quince trees have all had masses of fruit and now it time to move towards citrus.  Our lemon meringue pots being a dessert to look forward to.
With Easter around the corner we are looking forward to our homemade marshmallow Easter eggs, they are the absolute best! he marshmallow is fluffy and luscious.
This week I made the most of autumn outdoor tomatoes and made a batch of tomato sauce, in other years I have doubled the recipe but this year’s single brew was much simpler to manage.
Happy Easter!

Eat, Drink and Cycle Hawkes Bay


Join us for a delicious 5 day/ 4 night exploration of glorious Hawkes Bay from April 27th 2023 – May 1st
E-bikes are provided for your comfort, these are extremely simple to ride and make
everything just that much easier – we are on a Tour de Food not Tour de France!
When not cycling we will travel by comfort in a shuttle.
From Thursday morning when we meet in Napier we will take care of your meals through until Monday afternoon (most drinks are at your own cost).
We have taking care to select comfortable accommodation throughout.

 Price is $2695 p/p  twin share.
Single supplement required if uneven numbers or on request
Price includes;
*All meals
*Some wine tasting
*Shuttle support and airport transfers
*Full back up support while on trails
*e-bike hire

Day 1 (25km cycle). 
10.30am Meet and greet at Napier Airport or at Takaro Trails Ahuriri
We start our tour with an easy cycle south through the Ahuriri Estuary, view the
variety of protected birdlife in this Department of Conservation Wildlife Sanctuary.
Arriving in Taradale we will visit renowned Church Road winery for a wine tasting and shared platter lunch.
After lunch we follow the scenic bike path along the Tutaekuri River to the Puketapu
Hotel, a classic rural pub.  After a cooling drink we will be transported by shuttle back to our
Platter Lunch at Church Road Winery
Dinner Ahuriri
Accommodation Crown Hotel Ahuriri

 Day 2 (46km cycle). 
A day of diversity!  From the Art Deco glamour of the Napier CBD to the moody
coastline of Marine Parade and the mouths of the regions three rivers the scene is
ever-changing. We will cycle out to Cape Kidnapers and visit Clearview Estate for a
relaxed delicious seasonal lunch.
We will then cycle the scenic Tukituki river trail past Akarangi Winery, we will stop to
taste a myriad of honey and learn to identify queen bees at the iconic Arataki Honey
(NZ’s biggest manuka honey producer), before cycling onto our accommodation in
Havelock North.
Lunch Clearview Estate
Dinner Alessandro’s Havelock
Accommodation:  Porters Havelock

Day 3  (46km cycle)  
Starting off with a delicious breakfast and coffee, we will explore both sides of the Tukituki
valley today. The ride starts along quiet country roads before dropping into the river
trail and heading out to Cape Kidnappers then follow the Tukituki Rive back on the
other side, through orchards and vineyards, to Black Barn Winery.
Lunch today is at the home of cheese expert Juliet Harbert. Juliet is Master of
Cheese, judge of the Britch Cheese awards and author of The World Cheese Book.
Expect to learn different aspects of cheese (and wine) tasting before cycling back to
our accommodation in Havelock North and a little relaxed time before dinner.

Lunch: Craggy Range Cellar Door
Dinner::  Piku Havelock
Accommodation: Porters Havelock

Day 4 (43km cycle) 

In the morning we cycle to the Hawkes Bay Farmers
Market for breakfast and browsing the stalls.
We will then cycle to Bridge Pa. We will cycle the banks of the
Ngaruroro River where we will explore the river trail before reaching the Bridge Pa
Triangle.   Enjoy the ambience of the many cellar doors offering tastings and winery
style food. There’s much to enjoy as you visit the cellar doors of some of the regions
finest wineries including Sileni Estates, Oak Estate, Trinity Hill and Villa Maria. We
will then shuttle to our accommodation in Napier
Lunch: Oak Estate
Accommodation:  Masonic Boutique Hotel
Dinner Sai Thai

Day 5: (23 Km cycle)
Breakfast today will be at the infamous local cafe Mr D.
From here you will have an our or so to wander around central Napier.
We will cycle the Bayview Loop with a paper bag picnic lunch..
Cycle up the coast from Napier City, through Ahuriri, passing the popular surf beach of Westshore and out to Bayview. Cycle through the lagoon farmland and Ahuriri estuary back to Ahuriri Village. As you cycle through this unique wildlife sanctuary, reflect on the fact that before the big earthquake of 1931 all this area was a vast tidal inlet encompassing thousands of hectares of wetland, marshes and mud banks.
After our cycle we will be returned back to the airport at around 3.00pm to make our
way home.
Breakfas:t Mr Dr
Lunch: Paper bag picnic

For enquiries and bookings please contact me [email protected]

Eat, Drink and Cycle, Nelson Great Taste Trail

After a lovely cycle in November 2022 we are now exploring dates for 2023.
Please email if interested in being added to our database.

Prepare yourself for the festive season with an unwind and join us for a delicious 5 day/ 4 night cycle in the Nelson area.  The Great Taste Trail provides great off road cycling paths and when we are on road the traffic will be minimal.

We provide e-bikes (regular bikes for those who would rather) which are extremely simple to ride and make everything just that much easier – we are on a Tour de Food not Tour de France!  As our distances are light and day 1 and 2 flat, you are very welcome to choose a regular bike if you feel you would like more exercise.
March is a busy time in the Nelson area as the hops are harvested, does anyone else love the fragrance of fresh hops?  Grape vines will be lush and the weather should be warm but not scorching hot.
Accommodation is a mix, we have the beautiful Pear Orchard,  B&Bs and Kimi Ora eco-resort.

Price for twin share $2550 twin share
Single supplement plus $550. 

Numbers strictly limited to 12.
Your package includes:
Door-to-door transport
Our exclusive Good Things Maps
4 days bike hire. Low step e-bike, charger, lock & toolkit
4 x nights’ accommodation
4 x breakfasts, 5 lunches,4 dinners
wine tastings
Wilsons Abel Tasman Open Day Pass, including picnic lunch

 Day 1.   Kohatu to Hope Approximately 40km cycle
Our Eat, Drink and Cycle Nelson starts in Stoke this morning (ideally at 9.30am) where we meet and greet (we will arrange airport pick ups) before jumplng aboard our van and off to Kohatu to start our cycle back towards Richmond.
It is pretty much a down hill cycle today, we like that.  Through the Spooners tunnel to Wakefield, Brightwater and on to The Pear Orchard for the night.  There will be lots to taste and wine to sip as we meander our way through this glorious area of Nelson.
Tonight Helen is in charge of cooking dinner and there will definitely be a glass or two of local wine on offer.
Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation for the night will be at The Peach Orchard

Day 2.  Pokororo to Kaiteriteri  30km cycle
This morning we start the day in the van and get dropped off to Pokororo to start our cycle toward Kaiteriteri.
The glorious Motueka river will be our cycling buddy for large sections of the cycle and if the weather is right there are spots for a swim.  Hop gardens will be alongside as well as grapes.
Dunbar estate is our stop for lunch and we will also do an ice cream stop in Riwaka before we do the last little cycle into Kaiteriteri.

Dinner Riwaka hotel
Accomodation Kimi Ora Eco Resort

Day 3.  Kaiteriteri/Abel Tasman

Today we head out in a water taxi to the beautiful Abel Tasman area, armed with a picnic lunch, we will be dropped at a designated point and then after a walk we will be picked up from a different point later in the afternoon and returned by boat to Kaiteriteri.
For those who would rather relax at Kimi Ora (you may want to book a massage) or the gorgeous Kaiteriteri beach then that is of course your choice.
Accomodation Kimi Ora Resort

Day 4  Kaiteriteri to Mapua 42km cycle
Today we head back the way we came to Riwaka and then head towards Motueka  for a great coffee and morning tea/early lunch at Toad Hall.
From here it is 26km easy cycle to Mapua, we meander past orchards and craft studios with time to browse.
Tonight’s dinner is at one of the reputable restaurants on the picturesque Mapua wharf.

Breakfast/morning tea/lunch/dinner
Accomodation: BnBs in Mapua

Day 5 Mapua to Nelson 25km ish cycling
Fondly known as the Tuscany of New Zealand, Upper Moutere is as lovely place to spend a chunk of the day exploring with vineyards, art galleries and cafes.
Today we head into some rolling hills with one 2km gradual climb.  The cycle today is on-road, we are off the Great Taste Trail but the traffic should be mild. We will pass vineyards and apple orchards as well as fields of fragrant hops.
Lunch will be at Forsters a beer at the charming Moutere Inn (the oldest pub in NZ) and a wine tasting at Neudorf vineyard, recognised internationally as this regions’ premiere vineyard.
From here we are transported back into Nelson to Gentle Cycling Depot or the airport to return home











Delicious Ways with Kea Cookies

Kea Cookies batch-bake premium great-tasting gluten, wheat, dairy and egg free cookies. All are New Zealand made.
There are 10 varieties of gluten, wheat, dairy and egg free cookies available in 250g packs in:
Chocolate Chip; Double Choc Chip; Macadamia; Vanilla; Hokey Pokey; Gingernut; Almond; Peanut Brownies, Lemon Coconut and Coconut.
Kea also have an organic range of  Chocolate,  Peanut Brownie and  Lemon Coconut cookies.

As well as enjoying kea cookies as they are we also have some great ideas for incorporating them into your summer entertaining.

*Ice Cream Sandwiches – grab a tub or more of your favourite ice cream, be it coconut or dairy and make some little ice cream sandwiches using our cookies. Freeze again after making and serve them at your next party.

*Berry Vegan Cheesecakes are not just those who can’t eat dairy, gluten or egg (although of course they are friendly for this) but also for anyone who loves a sweet treat.  The new (almost out) vanilla cookie crumbs are perfect for this.

*For any recipe that requires crushed biscuits then substitute for your favourite Kea Cookie.

*Also perfect with the vanilla cookie crumbs (or make your own crumbs) is our Banoffee Pots, these are great for those who are gluten free and of course everyone else.


















* Hedgehog Slice is so easy to convert to gluten free using Kea cookies.

* For a lovely Fruit Crumble idea, simply sprinkle Kea cookie crumbs that have been mixed with a little coconut oil (plus coconut and chopped nuts if you like) on top of cooked fruit and bake for 15 minutes at 180 C.

* Kea S’mores are an awesome gf treat.  Sandwich toasted gf marshmallows and chocolate between your favourite kea cookies.

*Freestyle your own pretty glass of dessert by layering Kea cookie crumbs, coconut yoghurt and your favourite fruit syrup e.g. passionfruit.

*Who doesn’t like Apricot Truffles? Make your gluten free friendly version this Christmas with Kea vanilla cookies.

Let us know your favourite way of enjoying Kea gluten free cookies!



As we head towards summer and reduced restrictions for those in the Auckland area I am guessing there will be lots of enthusiasm for some socialising. Our Finger Food recipe selection has some fantastic ideas.  Arancini are probably the most popular of them all, a bit time consuming to make but I prep ahead of time and then freeze.
Quick Pickled Red Onions are so easy to make, taste great and look very pretty.
Remember if you have any questions or advice to offer then come and visit our foodlovers discussion forums.
Happy Cooking!

Penati Nut & Seed Crackers Giveaway

Available in 3 flavours – Parmesan, Nude and Black Pepper, Penatii nut and seed crackers are all natural, high in protein, low in carb and honestly delicious!
High in healthy fat, they’re packed with nutrients so a little goes a long way.
And of course they are Penati are proudly baked in New Zealand.
We have one box of 12 packets of Penati crackers (4 of each flavour) to give away.
Just in time for your summer entertaining.
To enter into the draw simply fill out your details below

    Prize to be delivered to NZ address only. Competition open to NZ residents.