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Showing posts from 2013

From the Tropics to Taranaki

Having lived all over the world, the owners of 202 Heta Rd had plenty of ideas on what they wanted their new build to look like. With near-dizzying vistas across the forest-clad valleys of Merrilands, a sneak peek of the sea on one side and a mountain backdrop on the other, Belinda and Hamish Brown have finally found home. “We’ve thrown away the boxes the appliances came in,” Belinda confirms. “We’re staying.” It’s a welcome statement for the family of four who has spent the last 15 years in South East Asia. The couple met in London and moved to Brisbane before starting a family in Kuala Lumpur. The latter location was where the family oversaw the New Plymouth build from, something they were surprisingly not rattled about. “We were either na├»ve, stupid or trusting, I’m not sure which,” Hamish jokes. “We took a lot of faith in the fact that New Plymouth is a town in which reputation is everything.” An appreciation for the natural is evident from first glance. Outside, the house

Makeup Envy

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I envy men. Not in the power-grabbing, pants-wearing, pay-raise kind of way - though the latter would be nice. No. It’s the no-fuss lifestyle which sees me turn green when I see my other half showered, spruced and ready for work in minutes while I scramble around with cleanser, concealer, mascara and GHDs for an hour before feeling ‘presentable’. I have heard of women who sneak out of bed early in the morning to apply makeup so their partners don’t catch them - shock horror - looking normal see here . And I remember as a child watching my Mum countless times applying a plethora of makeup products just to head to the supermarket. I may be a little slow to catch on, but I’m finally grasping with both hands the no-makeup trend that swept through Hollywood last year see here . Battling with mild acne for the first part of my teenage years, and then the pockmark scars in the latter part, I always longed for a day when I would feel comfortable sans makeup. I would lo

Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Chocolate. The comfort of those in the throws of emotional upheaval; the sneaky under-the-desk classroom treat; the 3pm office pick-me-up; the easy-chair-in-front-of-the-telly snack. New Zealanders' love affair with the gooey brown goodness dates back to the 1880s when biscuit-maker Richard Hudson set up the country's first chocolate factory in Dunedin and soon joined forces with the British firm Cadbury. Back then, chocolate was synonymous with good living - the Cadbury family set up the model town Bourneville in the UK and sold tea, coffee and hot chocolate to keep workers away from the dreaded alcohol - but now the tasty treat is associated most with indulgence. We enjoy milk chocolate, which dominates the market at 70 per cent. But we prefer dark, which holds 20 per cent of the market, to white. So what is it about chocolate that we find so addictive? Here's the science. Chocolate's natural form, the cacao bean, contains the amino acid tryptophan which

Giddy Up! Horses for Main Courses

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While scandal continues to swirl in Britain over horsemeat discovered fraudulently swapped for beef in ready-made meals, Kiwis are going out of their way to knowingly buy and eat horse. Chopped up and bagged horsemeat intended for pet food is sold in South Auckland's Saturday morning Mangere Market. But people are buying it to eat themselves. Olive Fahamokioa bought an 18kg box worth $50 yesterday, enough to last her extended family of 10 for a month. She let the Sunday Star-Times try some. Our verdict? A rich flavour, sweet and delicate. Quite different from the mundane lamb or beef. After cutting the meat into 600- to 800-gram slabs, Fahamokioa oven-roasted the horse on high at 250 degreesC for more than an hour. She then shredded it and added salt, onions and coconut cream, wrapping it in tinfoil to boil until soft. The result?A popular Pacific dish known as lo'i hosi, which is eaten at community gatherings. Fahamokioa said it's leaner and healthier tha