I have been cooking, on an almost daily basis for many years. And most of the time I cook with what’s in my fridge and pantry, because I like to create something delicious from what’s there, rather than running to the shop for that one ingredient that I’ve run out of. So after bringing home some lovely fresh romanesco from the markets recently, and deciding it would be perfect with pasta, I discovered I’d run out of anchovies (a classic partner) so out came dried shrimp, coriander and fennel seed.Read More
I came across a recipe a couple of years ago when I was browsing through Stephanie Alexander’s wonderful book The Cook’s Companion that intrigued me. It was for a carrot tart that she had adapted from an eighteenth century recipe of the English cook, Hannah Glasse.
I tried it, omitting the sugar, and found that it became neither savoury nor sweet, but oh so delicate and a joy to eat, each mouthful a discovery of beautifully balanced flavours. We ate it, not even bothering to sit at the table, but at the kitchen bench, greedily devouring each morsel. Joy.Read More
My family knows my obsession with pizza and my love is completely genuine, and perhaps irrational at times. I’m more than happy to go out for it, but also extremely happy to stay in and make it myself. In fact, when I do it’s pretty much non-stop pizza for two days and any leftover dough I make into grissini. For years now I’ve used the same dough recipe (one of Jamie Oliver’s) with no problems. I don’t have a pizza stone (just preheat your baking sheet with your oven and slide the pizza in) you will find the dough holds well enough to last for two days.Read More
Every now and then, if you’re like me, you get a craving for meat: maybe because we don’t seem to eat as much of it as we used to. Well anyway, a few weeks ago, as mentioned in an earlier post, we had a very pleasant food and wine weekend in the Southern Highlands with good friends. And one of the places we always visit when we’re in that part of the world is Maugers (pronounced Majors) – a small, family owned, butchery in Burrawang – and the perfect place to delight that craving.Read More
Every once in a while you get a really fun brief from a client. Best Skin (UK) asked if I could style and photograph four very different smoothies that they had created. It was a hoot recreating, and shooting them - and tasting them was just as amazing. These are well worth trying, you can feel the Goodness Police flowing through your veins.
To get the rest of the recipes go to www.bestskin.co.uk.Read More
On a recent food and wine trip, with my husband, to the Southern Highlands* for a few days I had the good fortune to visit a very special apple orchard – actually a farm consisting of three separate apple orchards: the oldest of these dating back to the late 1800s – that today produces a truly yummy, vintage, organic, sparkling cider. It’s called Pomologist Cider. The current owners purchased the property, not far from Robertson, almost 20 years ago and after a subsequent trip to England, where they sampled some locally made, organic ciders, returned home and set about creating their own Southern Highlands’ version.Read More
Recently I’ve been testing recipes for a client, who has been very specific that they be either vegan, or paleo based. It’s given me a lot to think about, and at times has been challenging, as of course there are guidelines to both these diets. But a challenge is something I’m always up for, and I love it when a recipe with such strict parameters comes together beautifully.Read More
This recipe came about following frequent visits to the Castagna Vineyard in Beechworth, Victoria, where my habit is to arrive with two or three Peking ducks, pancakes, green prawns, and other ingredients that you simply can’t get in rural Australia. On our first night we usually have a bit of a Chinese feast, and sometimes (only sometimes) there are a few things left over.Read More
From Nick and Nora Charles to James Bond, from gin to vodka: unintentionally, Hollywood elevated the simple martini to the ubiquitous phenomenon it is today. And unfortunately, for my clarity of mind, you can number me among its admiring fans. A libation that has inspired a thousand artists: John Register’s 1994 painting, simply titled Martini, my very favourite.Read More
Whether you’re young or old, we all love a pretty little cake. And I’ve never needed an excuse to bake these, and watch with pleasure as a small child gobbles one up: icing sugar and whipped cream on pink noses and tiny fingers, and crumbs everywhere. Lately I’ve been baking these, not for small children, but for Hazel, my dear 91-year- old mother in-law.Read More
For me, using produce when it’s at its seasonal best, and a good price, is just common sense, and I very rarely shop with a recipe in mind, taking inspiration from the fresh produce in front of me. When I see plums I always buy some, just a few to start when they are expensive, and as the season progresses, I purchase buckets. Then after I’ve made jam, and a few cakes, I start to think of different and savoury ways to use themRead More
This summer has been an unusually hot one, and I’ve sort of lost my appetite for anything that needs time to cook, even the barbecue has lost its appeal, there’s only so much charred food that I can take. I fluctuate between wanting to eat food with gentle flavours, a little something poached in a flavoursome broth, or perhaps a spiced dish that will tickle my taste buds and wake up my palate, but without fiery heat – there’s enough of that happening outside. I’m finding we’ve been eating more vegetable based dishes, accompanied by some sort of grain. They fit the mood right now, and the vegetables around have been gorgeous, particularly from organic Moonacres Farm.Read More
Over the past year baking homemade grissini has become a regular occurrence in my kitchen. I’ve been making pizzas for my family for years, but it wasn’t until I was looking for delicious, well-priced grissini, that I realised there weren’t any. So that started a bit of a trend, and a habit that I thoroughly enjoy. They last well in a sealed jar for two weeks, are perfect on their own with a glass of wine, even more delicious when wrapped with prosciutto or thin slices of grilled courgettes, or served with a bowl of homemade tapenade.Read More
The New Year has begun, and I’m easing myself into it very gently. Last night I woke to the constant drumming of rain on the tin roof outside our bedroom window. Today it’s actually starting to pelt down, the temperature so cool I’ve put on my favourite oversized sweater and am curled up on the sofa slowly going through emails that have been piling up, unanswered, over the Christmas period. These are the days I love, be it summer or winter; for me they are food days. And on these days I like to have something cooking slowly in the oven, or simmering on the stove.Read More
As Christmas approaches, I start to think about family, and how important it is to have them, whether they be blood relatives, or close friends, who are always there for you when you need them. From the moment we are born, we start making our traditions, at first with our parents and siblings, and then, as we grow older and leave the nest, with our partners, children, and friends. These little traditions, whether they be silly or serious, pop up every year like clockwork, and don’t I love them, particularly at this time of year.
One of our traditions is to drink Daiquiris at Christmas, and this started years before our children were born.Read More
I know I’ve talked about Elizabeth David here before, and what an inspiration she has always been for me, her food and writing evoking a satisfyingly delicious life, filled with fresh ingredients and flavours that were a part of her every day living. Her descriptions of what she was cooking and journeys to local markets and quiet provincial villages has always made me want to dive into the pages and be apart of her journey of discovery with food and wine.Read More
I discovered this tart whilst reading The Alice B Toklas Cook Book first published in 1954. For those who aren’t aware Alice shared her life with Gertrude Stein in the first half of the 20th century living in Paris. Fredrich (not his real name), an Austrian, was employed as their perfect servant and cook, and was engaged to Duscha, a friend of Gertrude and Alice’s. According to Alice, one day, the devil, in the guise of a dark eyed beauty, met and fell in love with Fredrich, and threatened to kill him if he didn’t marry her instead. On the day of his disappearance (it seems Fredrich was quite weak) we find Alice, Gertrude and the weeping Duscha, enjoying the Tender Tart he baked as a parting gesture, with a cup of tea.Read More
I can’t get enough of this pretty and delicious vegetable. Its beautiful colours bring sunshine into my kitchen. Cooking turns the leaves silky, and the stems soft and oh so pretty with its rainbow-hues of pink, orange, yellow and red. And I like to keep my preparation as simple as I can, and not play around with it too much, just enjoying its colourful beauty, lemony flavour, and its rustic charm. So the simple addition of tomato walnut crumble and a creamy burrata makes it a perfect antipasti dish.Read More
Mushrooms hold a very special place in my heart. I have many memories of dishes lovingly prepared by my mother, and mushrooms were quite often on our table, as my father adored them. Some Sundays, we would go for a drive and find ourselves at a mushroom farm where we would pick big fat, meaty field mushrooms and then take them home for lunch where my mother would fry them up with garlic and parsley, finally adding a large dollop of sour cream. They would then be consumed with thick slices of toast, dripping with butter. Heaven, it doesn’t get much better.Read More
You just know Spring is here when the markets start to fill with new-season produce: everything’s so wonderfully green, crisp and fresh. Although I’ll miss winter and her cold, grey days, it’s lovely to be able to throw open the windows and let the warmer breeze gently blow in: the perfume of Jasmine wafting through the house every now and then. At the moment I’m enjoying cooking and eating Moonacres Farm Spring organic produce; particularly the young garlic and Cavolo Nero flowers, in a very quick and easy pasta, combined with some of Salumi Australia’s ‘Nduja.Read More