Lick Your Plate

Lick Your Plate

Cooking & writing all things delicious

Recent Posts

Unholy guacamole

Unholy guacamole

What I am about to share with you is deeply unorthodox. It’s my own recipe for guacamole, cultivated over the past two decades as I have developed a fully-fledged love of avocados. I always thought the way I made guacamole was pretty standard. You know, […]

Garlic-infused oil

Garlic-infused oil

Sometimes you just need some gently savoury food in your life, for comfort’s sake. I have felt this way recently. Freshly-baked bread, cheese scones, pulses and hot drinks are the order of the day. Infused oils are an excellent way to pep up most of […]

Gluten-free chocolate brownies

Gluten-free chocolate brownies

I truly love posting about dessert.  I am a huge fan of baking – we have a rich and rightly-celebrated baking culture in our little country and I am happy to leap in, butter, cream and all.  It feels particularly necessary right now, as Winter clings to the bitter end and another round of fertility drugs has me breaking out in shivers, aches and pimples.  Despite the whole point of my little blog being cooking and sharing, it wasn’t until recently I realised that I might be excluding treasured friends and readers who can’t tuck into on gluten and diary with quite such gay abandon.  I am sorry my lovely readers!  And so today I am bring you my very own gluten-free chocolate brownie.

I have developed this over the past couple of years for my beloved little nephew who has suffered much unexplained ill-health, resulting in a spell as a tube-fed tot.  Next time you spot a little one with a tube, give a smile to their parents – it’s damned hard work, tears and sadness.  Happily our lovely little tyke is much better these days.  He has a lot of gluten-free food, both for the sake of his little system and also because ground almond-based baking helps him to pack in much-needed calories.

Now, you will notice I call this gluten free, but not dairy-free.  I have not experimented with replacing the butter with non-diary spread, but I reckon you could.

Give it a try – it really is pretty simple for a gluten-free bake and deliciously rich for pudding, warm with a little cream.


250g chocolate- either all dark, or half dark and half milk

100g butter

2 C ground almonds

1/3 C brown sugar

1/8 t salt

3 eggs, beaten together

1 t vanilla essence


Set the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 20cm x 30cm baking tin. Set a pan of water to simmer on the stove.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl over the simmering water. This is honestly my favourite bit, I love watching the butter and chocolate swirl and melt together.

Once melted and combined, take the bowl off the heat. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Add the eggs and vanilla, mix it all in and pour into the prepared tin.

Bake for 25 minutes or until just firm on top.

Apple shortcake squares from the Edmonds Cookbook

Apple shortcake squares from the Edmonds Cookbook

  Apples apples apples everywhere I look right now.  So it’s a good thing I like them so much and an even better thing that I am still resolutely in the apple recipe section of the Edmonds Cook Book.  Today I bring to you Edmond’s […]

Chargrilled broccoli and butter bean salad

Chargrilled broccoli and butter bean salad

  One of the delightful things about days off, along with gleefully sitting around in your pants for as long as you fancy and not removing your slippers EVER, is ample amounts of time to whip up special treats for favourite people.  My lovely Mum’s […]

Smoked kahawai pâté

Smoked kahawai pâté


Some things are meant to be.  I’ve been thinking about Kahawai for a while now.  Common in our waters, it seems to me – and correct me if I’m wrong – that people can get a little sniffy about them.  Kind of like they’re thought of as some kind of second-best fish.  Tough, people say.  Or flavourless.

I’m always up for a food-related challenge.  Determined to find out for myself, and with the entire month of February on enforced bed-rest plus all of the internet at my disposal, I’d been googling all manner of Kahawai-related things.  I had just decided on ordering some smoked Kahawai from this lovely-sounding little outfit when…..

…my husband was invited on a fishing trip.  He is not a natural outdoorsman and to be honest I suspect he accepted the invitation largely due to FOMO.  I wasn’t particularly convinced we would be getting any fresh fish at all.  But, doubter that I am, he proved me wrong and returned with two big, silvery, glistening Kahawai (along with some rather cute little gunard – more about them in another post).

The downside to this little story that the Kahahwai were completely whole.  Not skinned, not gutted, and looking up at me from the kitchen sink.  Thank god for Youtube, and several messy, sweary hours later, we had some neat little Kahawai fillets at our disposal.  By this time I was a bit sick of looking at fish, so it was over to the husband, aka Kahawai catcher extraordinaire, to smoke them.

It seems that for as many people who get sniffy about Kahawai, there are as many who sing Kahawai’s praises, especially as either smoked or curried.  I adapted this recipe from our beloved National Radio to smoke the fillets, and gosh, they were gorgeous.  Lush, flaky and flavoursome, and most definitely fine all by themselves.  I do love a dip, and so used one of my precious fillets to make this simple pâté.  It’s lovely with some toasted tortilla or flatbread and goes very well with a nice dry cider.  I reckon you could substitute another type of smoked fish too, but I have to ask, why would you?

Smoked Kahawai fillets:

For four fillets:

5 T honey

2 T maple syrup

2 T brown sugar

Flaky sea salt

Marinate the fillets overnight in the above mixture.

Cook for half an hour or until skin flakes away with a fork.  We did ours on our Weber barbeque using a smoking box and manuka wood chips .

Smoked Kahawai pâté:

1 fillet smoked Kahawai, flaked into chunks.

150g tub of sour cream

2 T mayonnaise

Juice of one lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl.  Use a stick blender or masher to combine until smooth, or to your taste (some people swear by a chunkier consistency, I like mine a little smoother).

Serve with toasted tortilla or flatbread.


Cheese and tomato one-pan feast

Cheese and tomato one-pan feast

Well hello there.  Tomato glut?  Yeah, me too.  Much of it not my own harvest on account of abdominal surgery recovery and whatnot, so I am doubly grateful for all of the tasty goodness that has been kindly coming my way of late.  All gifts […]

Nectarines and recuperation

Nectarines and recuperation

  Now here’s the thing….I am at home recovering from abdominal surgery.  It’s good news – I am doing fine and the surgery will improve my quality of life.  I have had lots of surgery in my life and have always come through it like a […]

Where have I been?  And please enjoy some warm lentil salad topped with poached egg.

Where have I been? And please enjoy some warm lentil salad topped with poached egg.


Hello!  Sincere apologies for my absence.  I needed to take a break from blogging.  The reason?  Because I had started heaping pressure on myself, setting expectations about perfect photos, on-trend and original recipes, and copious tweets and followers.  This diminished my enjoyment of Lick Your Plate significantly.  I had lost sight of why I started my blog, which was to provide time and space for thinking, cooking and sharing my love of food.

I thought a lot over 2017 as to whether I wanted to blog again.  I knew I didn’t want to spend any more time fretting it wasn’t good enough or interesting enough or perfect enough or Instagram-worthy enough. My garden is a barely controlled jungle and surely nobody wants to see photos of anything that comes out of that?  Often what I’m cooking in the kitchen is something I’m trying to whip up quickly because I’m hungry and in need of something satisfying, so therefore boring? Of course there are times when I’m delicately icing a cake for a special occasion or experimenting with something new and enticing, but not all the time, so why would anyone care?

These are all of the wrong questions.  Ultimately, the only question I had to answer was did I miss blogging because I miss writing and sharing how much I love food?  The answer to this was a resounding yes.  So here I am.

I’ll be blogging from the front line of my house and garden and whatever happens to be going on in there that week.  This will include simple nourishing bites I whip up to quieten a demanding stomach, weird recipes from my growing collection of old-school cookbooks, special treats and of course the Edmond’s Cook Book.

I’ve missed you all!

To start the year as I mean to go on, here is a tasty little something I enjoy when I need for something soothing and nutritious that uses up the pesky left over cabbages and carrots my fridge seems to abound with. I hope you enjoy it.

Warm lentil salad with poached eggs

Serves 1


1 T olive oil

1 clove of garlic, crushed and diced

1 t each of smoked paprika, ground cumin and coriander

1 carrot, peeled and grated

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 tin of lentils, rinsed and drained

2 eggs and a pan of water for poaching them  (optional) **

**equally tasty without the eggs, and also quite nice topped with feta instead of eggs

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over moderate heat.  When heated add the garlic and spices and stir.
  2. Once the garlic and spices are fragrant, add the carrot and cabbage.  Stir and cook until starting to soften, 3-5 minutes.
  3. During this time, boil the water for poaching your eggs (if using).
  4. Add the lentils and stir thoroughly to combine all ingredients in the pan and lower the heat.  Put your eggs in the boiling water to poach.
  5. After 4-5 minutes remove all the frying pan from the heat, stir and serve into your bowl or plate.  Season to taste and top with the poached eggs if using.


Make cake, not war

Make cake, not war

Happy 2017 everyone!  I think we can all agree that the year we have just ushered out was rather bruising, whether you’re talking politically, artistically, or for many of us, personally.  So, what we really need to ring in the New Year is not cucumber sticks, […]