Water cooler talk: Doggy couture and cake culture

This week thisNZlife office we were talking about greyhound couture, cake culture, popcorn for breakfast.


Smokey modelling his swanndri.

Smokey modelling his Swanndri.

The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one – well I have a problem. I keep buying clothes for my dog, Smokey. The thing is, he isn’t just any dog – he’s a retired greyhound. He not only looks adorable in doggy pyjamas but to maintain his body fat, he actually needs them. It started with a lovely blue rocket-decorated, polar-fleece robe, and has moved on to a Swanndri coat for the chilly Auckland mornings. Now every time a courier package arrives at work, I have to hide it under my desk before the rest of the team threaten to take away my credit card. Wait until my matching Swanndri jacket shows up, then they’ll REALLY start to worry… Get one for your pampered pooch here:

Want to learn more about adopting  a greyhound  visit greyhoundsfor pets

-Cheree Morrison
Staff Writer



If you love rice bubbles, but want to eat a more healthy breakfast, check out what Susan and Phil Bearsley do. Each year they grow 400 popcorn plants, carefully dry and process it, kernel by kernel, choose the best kernels for next year’s seed, and eat the rest. Over the years they’ve worked to get the perfect popcorn – good flavour, easily removed from the cob – and each morning they air pop a small scoop, add dried berries and macadamia from their orchard and eat the best breakfast in the world.

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-Nadene Hall
Editor NZ Lifestyle Block


Sunset and sunrise

Sunset and sunrise

When you are an inner city dweller you lose sight or connection with the sky – well I had anyway. But after recently purchasing a beach house one of the pleasures other than having a view of the sea has been the every changing sky particularly at the beginning and end of the day.
I drove out to the beach very, very early on the Saturday of Queens Birthday to avoid the Auckland traffic and had an unexpected bonus of really enjoying watching the sun come up (photo on the right). And then later that day seeing it go down again (photo on the left).

Lynley Belton
-Commercial Director


Te Henga Walkway

Te Henga Walkway

Attention Auckland readers. If you want to get away during these short rainy days, head on out with a weekend backpack on the Te Henga walkway, North West of Auckland. With the white foam of the waves crashing on the mussel-covered rocks below, it’s a very dynamic experience. There are birds diving for fish, paddocks of sheep and gullies with nikau, pohutukawa, giant flaxes and ferns. The bird-life and the bush make it feel far from civilisation -but it’s so close to the city.

The walkway is named for the bay at the northern end of the walk which marks the mouth of the Waitakere River, the site of Maori settlement dating back more than 1000 years. It was, before the damming of the Waitakere River in 1908, the only west-coast harbour between the Manukau and the Kaipara and therefore a valuable pa site for Te Kawerau a Maki, the tangata whenua of Waitakere City.

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WHERE TO START: At Bethells Beach (Te Henga), the track is signposted near a bridge 1km before the end of Bethells Road opposite Lake Wainamu car park.

Yolanta Woldendorp
-Creative Director NZ Life & Leisure and thisNZlife


Gluten-free spiced apple cake.

Gluten-free spiced apple cake.

This week the Faculty of Dental Surgery, at the Royal College of Surgeons issued a report saying office “cake culture” is fueling obesity and dental problems. At thisNZlife, we are quite fond of cake, and we know our readers are too – our data gremlins tell us you really liked this gluten-free apple cake recipe, this banana peel cake and this deconstructed cheesecake.

Our office celebrations wouldn’t be the same without staff writer Cheree Morrison’s chocolate cake and I personally believe a little buttercream icing can change the world. Not to downplay the seriousness of the obesity epidemic – and I totally agree brushing your teeth is a smart move – but like Marie Antoinette, I plead to the Faculty of Dental Surgery “let them eat cake in moderation!”

The Faculty suggest cheese or fruit for the bring-a-plate day. In the interest of making their perfectly-capped pearly white teeth light up in a smile, I’ll play along and offer a non-cake suggestion. How about making some Edmond’s Cookbook cheese straws for your next do (always a crowdpleaser). The recipe is below, but remember sometimes it’s okay to have your slither of cake – and eat it too.


1 cup flour
2 teasp baking powder
1/8 teasp dry mustard
pinch of cayenne pepper
75g butter
3/4 cup grated tasty cheese
1 egg

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Sift flour, baking powderd mustard and cayenne pepper into a bowl. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in cheese.
Lighty beat egg with a fork and add. Stir until mixture forms a stiff, pluable dough. On a lighty-floured board roll out dough to 5 mm thickness.

Cut into 1 times 5 cm. Place onto a greased oven tray. Bake at 190 for 10 min or until pale golden. Transfer to a cooling rack. When cold store in an airtight container. Serve with dips or spreads. Makes about 30!


Emma Rawson
thisNZlife editor

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