Since returning home from Chateau de Gudanes in the south of France I’ve been dreaming about, and missing, the intensely flavoured and perfumed fruit of the area.
The heirloom tomatoes were extraordinary. I’ve never tasted anything quite like them, and the stone fruit, every bite a joy. It was produce at its best, seasonal, ready to be enjoyed without elaborate preparation, or presentation. Read More
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, not intentionally, as it’s been a busy year. I’m off next week overseas for about 7 weeks for business, so the family aren’t coming, and I’ve been slightly worried about how my husband is going to feed himself (opening a bottle of wine is not a problem). But when faced with a saucepan and the stove, he’s confused, and takeout is not an option in our family. We just don’t do it. Read More
Recently my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting Quicke’s in Devon: the makers of our favourite cheddar cheese. And, even better, were invited for a private tour of the Home Farm. For me it was like being a kid in the world’s best lolly shop.And inspired by their cheese I’ve included a recipe I developed after returning home. Read More
Russian Easter has always been one of my, and my family’s, favourite times of the year. Unlike Christmas, we eat the same dishes every year, and there is something so comforting about that, anticipating flavours embedded in my memory, and quite possibly my DNA. We make Paskha, a pyramid of cream cheese impregnated with dried fruit and toasted almonds to be eaten with Kulich, a domed cylinder of sweet bread and dried fruit. I boil eggs, and then dye them the colours of the rainbow. Read More
I was introduced to ‘Nduja a couple of years ago while I was working on a project for a boutique butcher. He had just started stocking the brand Salumi Australia; they were making it as part of their range of delicious salumi. He asked me to come up with a recipe using ‘nduja, and so I did. Read More
‘What does everyone want for dinner?’ A question I ask my family when we’re all together and staying in for the night. Usually the response will be for a family favourite, something that I’ve made many times before, a big dish that’s placed in the middle of the table, to be enjoyed with enough for second helpings, that’s not tricky or trendy, but evokes memories of good times spent together as a family. Read More
I’d like to share a visit to an extraordinary dairy with you. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I ventured off on a nine-day food and wine trip – the main reason to drop in at Meredith Dairy. For the last year or so I’ve been creating recipes for their website and recipe cards. The only reason we hadn’t visited sooner was we live in Sydney and Meredith is in Victoria. Read More
I’m a bit behind in posts at the moment, and thought I’d leave this recipe until next winter, but as I’ve been on a road trip in Victoria and the weather was decidedly cold, I thought I’d carry on. So, here is my Chilli, a one pot dinner, and total comfort food for those cold rainy nights. Read More
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 them Read 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