Cupboard Love: Monday March 26

01:31, Mar 26 2012
Cottage Lane
While we're on the subject of cheese toasties, this is THE bread to make them with. It's got a crunchy crust and a strong, but not overpowering, cheesy flavour. The Cottage Lane Cheese Batard (RRP$4.99, see for stockists) is also really good with jam. Oh, and the 'batard' refers to the shape of the bread, not its parentage.
Yes, we know we should be making our own pesto by hand, but sometimes life's too short for that sort of carry on. Anyway, it's unlikely anything you made at home would stand up to this full-flavoured brew. Sabato Pesto all'arrabbiata ($8.50 for 180g, available online from is a blend of tangy sundried tomatoes, garlic, fresh herbs and chilli. Toss it through pasta for an instant dinner, stir a spoonful into a salad of tinned white beans or chickpeas (drained and rinsed first) or use it to transform a dull ham and cheese toasted sandwich. It does cost more than the average shopbought pesto, but that's because it tastes better. In any case, a little goes a long way.
Hokey Pokey
Forget Marmageddon, the thing you should be worried about now is when your local store will have the Whittaker brothers' latest invention. The Porirua chocolate factory will be sending out deliveries of its 33% Cocoa Hokey Pokey Chocolate Block (priced around $3.50 for 250g) this week. Want a serving suggestion for this one? Lie on sofa, rip open gold paper, apply to mouth. Repeat.
This beer came out in November but with the nights drawing in, now's the time to really enjoy it. The dark, chocolatey taste of Epic Epicurean Coffee and Fig Imperial Oatmeal Stout (priced around $19 for 750ml, see for stockists) won't appeal to everyone, but that only leaves more for the rest of us. Serve chilled or pour a splash over some good vanilla icecream for a stout affogato.
belkin chef
Spilling tomato sauce on a cookbook is bad enough, but it can mean real disaster if you give an iPad the same treatment. Enter the Belkin Chef Stand and Stylus ($52.95 from, the gadget you never knew you needed until now. The stand holds the tablet at the perfect angle for cooking while the stylus means you don't spread greasy fingers on the screen. Genius.

Hungry? You will be when you've seen the foodie treats and kitchen gadgets we're in love with this week.