Thursday, December 15, 2011

Favourite Finds

Carla from Favourite Vintage Finds has featured me a few times on her beautiful blog recently. Once showcasing my kitchen and the 2nd showcasing my Etsy Shop. SO very kind of her to do so plus it got me thinking. I like people who get me thinking ;)

I started thinking about things that mean something to me. I took a walk around our house and I can remember why I bought something or who owned it before it was ours, who made it or why something means so much to me. It’s nice to be surrounded by things we love. Our Favourite finds....

Heres a little sneak peek into my daughters room. This huge framed alphabet is actually a cross stitch that my Mother in law made when my husband was a toddler. It is phenominal! The hours that went into making it. I love it. And I have it right in the centre of the main wall in my daughters room. Everyone who takes a look in there is always drawn to it.

Here is the top of my daughters small wardrobe. The buggy and basket are sweet vintage finds. The shoes were actually mine when I was 1. My Father bought them for me when we were at the Blue Mountains. He died when I was 15 so these few items that I have left of him mean a lot to me. The mosaic is a piece I bought when I worked at an Art Centre many years ago. It was by a student whose name I still remember … I loved the use of old china in amongst the shiny mosaics…..she called it, “After Chagall”……I just fell in love with it!

Here is the main wall in our bedroom. We have an old chest of drawers that were made in the early 1900s and on top of this – an old wooden box which belonged to my husbands father. Some beautiful vintage glassware that I’ve had for years and years and a pretty toile covered memo board that holds many memories indeed. A card that our good friends gave us from America after we’d had our 2nd child; our first Valentines cards to eachother; the last Christmas card my Grandmother gave me before she passed away; a postcard from the movie, Frida – inspiration for my weddinghair! are just a few.... The art works on the wall to the left are beautiful postcards from Newspaper Taxi, a gift from my friend Caroline. To the right, some little bird matchbox covers from Raemj on Etsy and above this a beautiful print by Botanical Artist, Lesley Elkan. While I was at the art Centre she took a printmaking class once a week and this was one of her works. Apprently it had printed incorrectly while on the presses and for whatever reason she wasn’t happy with it. For once in my life I was in the right place at the right time!

So Thank you Carla for featuring me on your beautiful blog. It really means a lot to me and it reminded me of all the things around me that I love...

Have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends everyone.

Eat, drink and be Merry!

maria xx

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

broad bean and haloumi spring salad

It's been a while, I know. I wont bore you with the details ;)

We had about a million broad beans growing in our vegie patch.......ok, one million might be stretching it....but it was close!
What to make?, what to make? They can be a little fiddly the ol' broad bean but I think they are spectacular! Pod them the day before or whenever you have time. Boil them for about 5 minutes, cool slightly and then take the tough outer skins off. This part can be done a couple of hours before serving too - just keep them covered in the fridge.


approx 1kg broad beans (once podded you will need about 300 - 350g)
180g haloumi
basil leaves
mint leaves (optional)
toasted pine nuts (optional)
olive oil
sea salt and freshly grinded black pepper

how to make your broad bean and haloumi salad

Put some oil in a frying pan and place over a mid to high heat. Cut your haloumi into your desired shape. When oil is ready place your haloumi and brown for a minute or so, turn over and brown the other side. Take off the heat and add the broad beans that have had the tough outer skins taken off. Warm through. Add a handfull of torn basil leaves and 1 or 2 mint leaves if you have them.Add a good dash of sea salt and freshly grinded black pepper. Toss gently. Once plated add a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some toasted pine nuts, if using.


maria xx

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Double comfort, double happiness - Fetta Pasta

I am still tweaking that recipe that I keep rabbiting on about! It better be good, right? Gee, I hope so!

Anyway, for now this is a recipe that I grew up with. This was my ultimate fast food. Piping hot spiral pasta mixed with grated fetta cheese that had been left out at room temperature while the pasta was cooking. HEAVEN. Yep, That was it. These days I drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil over my bowl and add a dash of pepper - but the flavours remain the same.....see what you think.


for 4 people

about 250g greek fetta

about 500g spiral pasta

extra virgin olive oil and pepper to serve, if preferred

How to make your Fetta Pasta

Pop large pot on to boil. When boiling add salt and pasta. Grate fetta cheese and set aside. When pasta is ready. Drain quickly, trying to retain heat and throw it back into the pot. Throw in the fetta cheese, reserving some. Mix through and pop into bowls. Drizzle with oil and pepper if using and top with reserved fetta cheese. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

handmade - pasta and chocolate - b/day

I was planning on posting a new recipe today but alas I am still tweaking it so hopefully next has been flat out here!

You know the beggining of Glee where they go over what happened in last weeks episode really quickly. well, here goes.

The fox and the spoon is having a sale and everyone loves a bargain! Maria is thinking about Father's day; she bought a sterling silver guitar pick...will it be enough? She also thought yesterday was Monday so she's lost a day and that's why the new recipe isn't ready to post. And no poisons this week but the kids raided the fridge and ate chocolate for breakfast.......and that's what you missed on maria's life!

A couple of months ago Caroline from FoxDrinkWater and her family came over for her birthday lunch - we made Jamie Oliver's Pumpkin, Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo from his Italian cookbook and an incredibly rich chocolate tart, or Torta Nera as it was called in the magazine (Gourmet Traveller - The Italian Cookbook) are the pics.

drool, drool, drool.......


Caroline and her husband made their own pasta and the dish tasted and looked spectacular. The chocolate tart.....was a killer! It was so rich! I'm sure you could feed at least 20 people with tiny slivers (it's all you can eat it is that rich) enjoy it with some delicious whipped cream. And if you do make it - pop it in the fridge and eat it completely cold. After it has settled a bit the flavours don't seem as intense as when the tart is at room temperature.

It was a lot of work but as always, so much fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

High School Lasagne

For me one of the weirdest things about getting older is not the sudden crows feet that appeared after the birth of my first child; not the crazy, sleep deprived look that came with my second child and not even the fact that some things on my body now hang a little lower - no - for me it's saying things like, "I have this lasagne recipe from high's 22 years old! YIKES!". now that completely freaks me out. High school feels like yesterday to me. it's me listening to Eric Clapton, it's me doing drama, it's me thinking a boy a year above me named Adrian Ross is the bees knees and it's crazy 14year old me buying a bottle of wine, getting away with it and then realising I didn't have a cork screw!

In my first year in high school I took Home Science and loved it so much I took it for the next 5 years. From that 1st year I kept 4 recipes, typed by a typewriter no doubt, and have lovingly used them over the years. They are browned, torn and splattered here and there which made me think about how old they are and yes, they are 22 years old. That is so weird!


1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
500g mince
good dash of dried rosemary
good dash of dried oregano
dash of sugar
good dash of salt
2 x 400g tin tomatoes

cheese sauce

25g butter
25g plain flour
1 cup milk
100g mozzarella or tasty cheese
salt, pepper, nutmeg

dried pasta sheets

how to make my high school lasagne

Pre heat your oven to 160C.
Pop your saucepan over a mid to low heat. Add some oil. when hot enough, add the onion and garlic. Sweat it down. When ready turn up the heat and add the mince. Cooked until browned. Add the herbs, salt and sugar to taste. After about 30 seconds add the tinned tomatoes. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the butter to a saucepan. Melt gently. Take off the heat and add the plain flour until combined. Put back on the heat and add the milk gradually, incorporating everything as you go. When the milk is all added, keep stirring over a low heat until the mix thickens. The whole process whould take about 10 - 15 minutes depending on your stove. When it is thick, turn off the heat and add your mozzarella. Stir and add your salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg.

grab your square, 5cm height dish. Place a little of the meat sauce to cover the base. Add some dried pasta sheets. Cover these with some more meat sauce. Add half the cheese sauce. Layer over some more pasta sheets then again with the reast of the meat and the rest of the cheese sauce.

I love to cook this slowly for about an hour on 160C. I like lasagne really well done (as you can see in the photo) and I don't like a huge amount of cheese sauce in my lasagne. If you do, just double the cheese sauce quantities. I've adapted this recipe over the years. The original had tomato paste which I'm not really a fan of and it also had dried basil but I didn't think this was really necessary. I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

rustic lemon clouds

Whenever I visit a close friend of mine she always gives me a few of her Aunt's lemon bicuits that she has stashed away in the cupboards. You know the kind, lemon flavoured, crunchy, spicy hard icing - DELECTABLE. I even found a store-bought variety when we were living in the inner west. Whenever I'm in that way I always manage to buy a box....or 3!

here is my version of that recipe. They are not as crunchy, these are quite light but still delicious with that hint of lemon. There's no egg or nuts so anyone with allergies can devour these too!.......enjoy!

Pre heat oven to 200C. Line a biscuit tray with baking paper.


150g self raising flour (approx 1 cup)
20g caster sugar (just over 1 tablespoon)
70g unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) lemon zest

1/2 cup icing sugar mixture
1 teaspoons boiling water
2 teaspoons lemon juice

how to make your rustic lemon clouds

Mix flour and sugar together in a large bowl. Make a well and add the butter and sour cream. Incorporate with a dessert spoon. The mix will be quite crumbly. Now you can knead it with your hands in the bowl. When you've brought it toghether in a ball (try not to overwork) break into smallish balls (I usually get about 12 balls) place on your tray and gently push down a little with your thumb. Pop them in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Don't discard your baking paper!!! Place this under a cooling rack and take your biscuits off their tray and cool them on your rack

When cool enough for the icing, mix together and spoon over about a teaspoon over each biscuit. It will drizzle over the sides but the mix should be quite thick too. When the icing has hardened they are ready for popping in a container or devouring. They also taste fine the next day after they have been overnight in the fridge...if of course they last that long!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Quick Crumble

Hubby and I had a weekend away recently - no kids for the first time in 2 and a bit years! It was heavenly. We did nothing! except I did drag him to a Country Thrift store and found the old school desk you can see in the photo. I fell in complete love with it....Now I have to find a couple of old school chairs to go with it!

The desk is so low and tiny and yet, as you can see in the photo, someone has carved, Skool sux, into cute!

ingredients for 2 people

1 ripe beurre bosc pear, peeled and diced
1/2 punnet ripe strawberries, washed, stalk taken off and chopped in half
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon water
cream or icecream for serving


4 Shredded wheatmeal biscuits, crumble them in your fingers (which is what I did or if you are after a more uniform look, whizz them in a processor (I'm sure you could use savordi biscuits or anzac biscuits too - I used what I had in the cupboard)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (I only had desiccated in the cupboard - doesn't alter the flavour, just the look)
1/4 cup oats

how to make A Quick Crumble

Under your griller, lay some baking paper or foil and lay out the crumble mixture. Pop on a medium heat and toast lightly. When you smell the coconut and the biscuits, mix it around again. Keep doing this, while not letting it burn, until everything is a light brown.

Mean while, throw the fruit, water and sugar in a medium saucepan and warm over a medium heat. Keep it moving and add a touch more water if the fruit is catching on the bottom. When the fruit is soft enough add it to your serving bowls, top with crumble mix and your choice of cream or could even add a dash of dessert wine to the cream if you like!

perfect for easing yourself back into parenthood!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pea and Fennel Crostini

Thinking about this combo now I'm sure it has already been done.....however, I am always a little slow with these things!

I was getting dinner together, the usual scenario, and I was was thinking about what vegetables I was going to serve with my sausages. In the fridge there was: half a carrot, a few cobs of corn and a bag of peas in the freezer.........that was it! So I had a look at what was ready in our vegie patch (sorry for not updating pics of our vegie patch. It is in full swing as usual but I am just so busy keeping up with everything else - so apologies to everyone) Anyway, the fennel was looking gorgeous..........what to do, what to do!


360 - 380g fennel (not including fronds) fronds removed and fennel chopped into thin wedges
200g frozen peas
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Rustic baguette

How to make your pea and fennel crostini
Pop your oven on to 180C. Grab a heat proof dish and throw in the fennel with some extra virgin olive oil. Pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes. Make sure the fennel doesn't char, you want it to be lovely and silky soft. With about 20 minutes to go, grab another heat proof dish and throw in your chopped rustic baguette and drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil. When both the bread and fennel are ready, pop the fennel in a bowl. Meanwhile, pop your peas in a microwave proof dish with about 2 tablespoons water and microwave for about 3 minutes (depending on your wattage) drain and add to the fennel. Grab your bamix and blend roughly, till your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!
I haven't tried it but roasted garlic pureed through might be nice too.....let me know if you try it!
Grab a large plate and throw on the warmed chopped baguette. In a small dish add your pea and fennel puree.
Great mixed with Tuna and salad or enjoy instead of mashed potato! YUM

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Buckwheat Pikelets with Manuka honey and orange syrup

Friends sometimes ask me how I work out my recipes, where do the ideas come from. Well,I love pouring through cookbooks, magazines - especially those ones at the Doctors from 1998! Sometimes it's a word like, pie - something so very homey about that word to me. Sometimes it's a namelike , Gwyneth Paltrow - what? Ms Paltrow has written a cookbook? ok, ok,ok - let me have a look

the girl can cook!

Notes from my Kitchen Table is a really lovely cookbook filled with a nice mix of things from soups, to salads, to mains, to sweet treats and breakfast ideas. She talks about her Dad, her family, her little ones and really if you didn't know who she was you would just think she is like every other Mum wandering what to cook her kids for dinner....

She explains a few things about brown sugar and flour and it got my mind turning and whirring until today I popped into the shops and found my self in the health food aisle and discovered they actually had what I needed - Buckwheat flour!!!

I followed my friend Carolines recipe guide for pikelets at her blog here with a slight variation and I've teamed it with a delicious honey, cardamom and orange syrup.

And make sure you are pretty liberal with that syrup too as these pikelets are just too darn healthy without it!


1) 1 cup buckwheat flour (160g)
2) 1 cup soy milk (240g)
3) 1 egg, beaten
4) 1 large tablespoon of raw sugar ( 15g)
5) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

ingredients for syrup

2 large tablespoons of manuka honey (approx 90-95g)
3 cardamom pods
a small amount of orange zest, you don't want to overpower it.

how to make your buckwheat pikelets with Makuka honey and orange syrup

Throw the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl and whisk. Set aside for 10 mins, as Caroline does. Meanwhile, make your syrup.

In a small saucepan add the 3 ingredients together and warm over a low heat for about 6 minutes. Sieve into your sauce pourer.

In a large saucepan add some butter and when heated enough add small scoops of your pikelet mix. I could fit 4 per batch and made in total - 10 pikelets. Wait till they start to bubble and then flip over. They are pretty quick! kids totally loved these.....smothered in the syrup of course!
I think these would also be delicious with some creme fraiche mixed through the syrup!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Apple and Rosemary Jelly - Sweet or Savoury?

well, to answer the question - both!

I've created 2 versions of this recipe. The first version is with less apple juice and more rosemary - Once it has set, leave it out of the fridge for at least half an hour prior (nearly room temp) to serving with your roast lamb.


The second version is with more apple juice and less rosemary - perfect for a refreshing dessert! Serve it with some hazelnut shortbread perhaps...

ingredients for the first version

1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 cup apple juice, not a chilled variety, I used Dewlands
approx 10cm piece of rosemary stork, stripped of its leaves

1 tablespoon of powdered gelatine softened in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of cold water

How to make your Apple and Rosemary Jelly - First version

Place the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan and bring it just to the boil. Take it off the heat and add the softened gelatine and stir to combine well, ensuring there are no lumps! Strain into 3/4 cup capacity ramekins. (I used little jars that previously held GÜ cheesecakes from Woolworths - I find they are the perfect size for jellies and look pretty too!)
For decoration you could add a sprig of rosemary into the jelly prior to popping in the fridge. Pop in the fridge until set.

ingredients for the second version

1 1/2 cups apple juice, not the chilled variety, I used dewlands
1/2 cup boiled water
approx 10cm sprig of rosemary
1 tablespoon of gelatine softened in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of cold water

How to make your Apple and Rosemary jelly

Boil the kettle and measure out a half cup of boiled water. Add the sprig of rosemary and steep for at least half an hour.

In a saucepan, add the apple juice and the steeped water (discard the rosemary) bring it just to the boil. Take off the heat and add the softened gelatine and stir to combine well, ensuring there are no lumps! Pour into 3/4 cup capacity ramekins. (I used little jars that previously held GÜ cheesecakes from Woolworths - I find they are the perfect size for jellies and look pretty too!)
For decoration you could add a sprig of rosemary into the jelly prior to popping in the fridge. Pop in the fridge until set.

Makes 6.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Yummy Casserole with no name

I've been trying to think of a name for this casserole for the last 2 weeks! My husband suggested, "Earthy Casserole".....and then I told him to shush. Actually, my ideas weren't any better........Beef Casserole with risoni, chickpeas, tomatoes, spinach and lemon.......Rustic Casserole with lemon........then I told myself to here's my Yummy Casserole with no name.

Just a heads up....Our kids weren't a huge fan of the spinach in this dish but they loved everything else....but our kids are weird.....they like sucking on lemons....**


500g beef chuck steak, cubed (approx 2 - 3cm)
approx 6 eschallots. peeled and kept whole
1-2 whole cloves (optional)
5 peppercorns
1 litre beef stock
1 tin of chick peas, drained
about 10 cherry tomatoes, whole, preferably ones on the vine, vine removed
1 cup risoni pasta
1 - 2 bunches spinach (after the stems and the middle membrane have been removed and you are just left with the green bits you should have approx 130 - 180g
1 lemon

how to make your Yummy Casserole with no name

Pre- heat oven to 180C. Grab a large roasting pan and line with baking paper if necessary.

Drop some oil into a high sided pot and bring to a mid heat. When the oil has heated up enough add pieces of meat. Brown the meat in 3 batches otherwise you will crowd it and the meat will stew and not brown. I use my BBQ tongs here so I don't get spat at by the oil. If the meat is burning turn the heat down otherwise you will get a horrible vegemite flavour in your end result. Brown each side and set aside on a plate when done. When you have browned off all your meat add the eshallots and garlic if using and keep moving over a low flame. When they have softened a little add the meat again and throw in all your stock. Bring to the boil. Once boiling take off the heat and pour carefully into your roasting pan. Cover with 3 layers of foil tightly and pop in the oven.

Now you can cook this for 1.5 hours or up to 2 hours. It's up to you. I've done both and the only difference is: the meat is a little more tender with the 2 hour time and there are less juices.

If doing the 1.5: Take out of the oven (Don't discard the foil) Add the risoni first, then the chickpeas and the tomatoes. Pop the foil back on and cook for another 35 mins.

If doing the 2: Take out of the oven (Don't discard the foil) Add the risoni first and a half cup of boiling water, then the chickpeas and the tomatoes. Pop the foil back on and cook for another 35 mins.

After 35: Take out of the oven (Don't discard the foil) Add the spinach over the top of the whole dish. No need to mix it with the juices. Pop the foil back on and cook for another 5-8mins until the spinach is cooked.

Pop the spinach on the plates first then pile over the top the remainder of the casserole. Serve with Lemon wedges. (The lemon juice goes perfectly with everything on the plate and just adds that little extra something) Enjoy!

**Ok, you are not weird if you like sucking on lemons.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sweet Things - any way you like them....

Golly, is all I can say! I can't believe it has been so long since my last post. Quinces are all ready gone for another year....I often wonder if I would love quinces as much if I could have them all year round. I wonder? and Winter is here....again! and we are enrolling our big little guy into kindy for next year so finding his birth certificate proved to be a bit more of a challenge then expected.....but it was eventually found.....with last years enrolment form! and I lost my voice for a few days too......Life is never dull here!

I've adjusted the following recipe from one I found in a Country Style magazine. The original was a savoury version but I have much more of a sweet tooth (as I'm sure you're all aware) so I re-jigged the recipe accordingly. I'm sure you could use all sorts of fillings if you like. I've tried milo and cream cheese; diced fig, ricotta and honey and I've also tried diced pear and honey too. Use whatever you have in the pantry I say. Make things easy for yourself and just see what happens! have fun!


2 cups plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons caster sugar
40g butter, chopped
up to 1 cup of milk

fillings of your choice

How to make your sweet things

Pre-heat oven to 180C fan forced and grab a few biscuit trays and line them with baking paper.

Place flour, baking powder and caster sugar in a bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles bread crumbs. Make a well and pour in the milk, slowly, (Don't add all the milk right away it depends on the flour) Use a flat blade knife to bring it together. Turn onto a floured bench and knead until smooth. Sprinkle some more flour onto the bench and roll out with a rolling pin into a rectangle with a 1cm thickness. Now you need to get your fillings ready. I normally cut into 2 rectangles so I have 2 different fillings. When adding your fillings just remember to cover the whole rectangle otherwise you might miss out on the flavours!

Once you've added your fillings you need to roll your rectangle (kind of like a swiss roll I guess - the long part gets folded over. Now cut into approx 1.5cm slices and lay each sweet thing onto your tray, leaving a small space around them. You should get at least 30 or so. Pop your trays in the oven and bake for 30 to 35mins or until golden brown. (just be careful when using honey it tends to brown the bases quickly)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quince and Cinnamon Risotto

Well, you all know I am obsessed with quinces around this time of's yet another way to enjoy this endlessly delicious fruit!
1 large quince, peeled, cored and chopped into quarters
4 cups water
1 cup sugar (I used caster)
1 large cinnamon stick

1/2 cup arborio rice
2-3 tablespoons cream (I used Bulla Thickened Cooking Lite Cream)
mint leaves or candied quince for decoration (optional)

how to make your Quince and Cinnamon Risotto

Peel, core and chop your quince and pop in a medium saucepan with the water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil then simmer rapidly. Give the quince about a 15 minute head start as the liquid will be used as your stock so you want the flavours to have developed a little.

Lightly warm a small heavy based saucepan, add your rice and 1/3 cup of your stock (either place your cinnamon in some muslin or use a tea strainer to strain the liquid as you go)As the process goes, add a 1/3 cup of liquid each time, before it gets too dry on the bottom. This will take about 15 - 20 minutes of stirring and adding stock before your rice is cooked properly. The quince will be soft and you can turn the heat off. They will still be slightly tart but it makes a nice contrast to the sweetness of the risotto. Just keep the quince warm in the liquid until the end.

Now get your serving cups, etc ready and chop up half the quince into pieces and half into slices on a chopping board. When the rice is ready add your cream, just be careful not to over-do it. Stir over low heat until nice and creamy and take off. Into your tea cups drop in some of the quince pieces, add the risotto and top with the sliced quince......finish with mint leaves or candied quince.

Serves 4 small but delicious portions.....enjoy!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sweet Potato, Parsnip and Rosemary Soup

Our good friends over at Fox Drink Water are taking little short breaks for their honeymoon instead of 1 big one. I think it is such a lovely idea - why go one place when you can go several? Why go straight after the wedding when you can stretch it out over a year or even two? When Caroline asked me about Tasmania (where we went for our Honeymoon) I pulled out my travel diary and started reminiscing about the most romantic time of my life - snow at Cradle Mountain, a secluded old farmhouse on Bruny Island, A Honeymoon cottage overlooking the Bay of Fires, A trip to the Theatre and many, many delicious meals and log fires........this dish of course came from our Honeymoon. We were at the Tavern Bar at Cradle Mountain Lodge and having eaten non-stop all day I felt like a simple but warm soup for Dinner. This delicious meal was exactly what this newlywed required, here is my version....

1 large piece of sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces
4 small to medium parsnips, peeled and sliced in half length ways
2-3 tablespoons chopped rosemary
extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part sliced finely
1 litre chicken stock

How to make your Sweet Potato, Parsnip and Rosemary Soup

Pop your oven on to about 170C. Throw the sweet potato, parsnip and rosemary in a roasting pan and toss with some salt and extra virgin olive oil. Roast for about 40 mins or until everything is lovely and soft. be sure they don't char too much.

Melt about 20g butter in a saucepan and add the leek.Throw in a little salt and sweat down until soft. Add the roasted vegies and a little stock and puree with a stick blender. Pop back on the heat, add the remainder of the stock (or until it reaches your desired consistency) and heat through. Check seasonings and serve with some snipped chives if you like and some warm crusty bread. Enjoy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Quince Quirkcake

My Mum came across this recipe a little while ago and mentioned that it sounded nice. Since it is nearly Mothers Day and we won't actually be seeing my Mum on the day I decided I would make today Mother's day, for her. I pulled out Margaret Fultons recipe and thought, instead of making the Strawberry Shortcake that was in front of me, what about, Quince Quirkcake?

Well, it worked!! H-E-A-V-E-N can only describe this cake!!!!!!

If you would like to make this using quinces just use my recipe here While the quinces are going follow Margaret's recipe and make the cake. When the quinces are done, leave them in their stewing liquid but pop everything into a large lidded container so it can cool down.

Once everything has cooled down you are ready to assemble. Just ensure that you are ready to eat it as this piece of heaven is best eaten fresh!

Cut your cake in half and seperate the 2 halves. Pop the bottom half on your serving plate.

Whip the cream. When done, add quince pieces to the base then top with half the cream

Add the top part of the cake, the remainder of the cream and the remainder of the quinces. Cut into large pieces and devour!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spicy Apple Cakes


100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup milk
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

1 large apple, peeled, cored and sliced into thin pieces

1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

How to make your Spicy Apple Cakes

Lightly butter a 12 cup capacity muffin tin. Pre heat oven to 170C.

Combine melted butter, sugar, beaten egg and milk. Sift in the flour and ground cinnamon and salt. Stir gently until just combined. The mix will be lumpy not smooth. Spoon mix into tins. ( you should get about 11 to 12 cakes from the mix) Lay apple slices over the top. combine cinnamon and sugar and then give each cake a good sprinkle. Bake for 15 mins. then turn up the oven to 200C and cook a further 10 mins.

Crispy on the outside, soft in the middle.....YUM!

hope you all had a lovely Easter with family and friends!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Slightly Tweaked Scones....

I was all ready to put up a Scroll recipe this week but then I got distracted (as I do) and here I am throwing around this old chestnut......This recipe first appeared on the blog on the 24th April last year. It's hard to believe that I am already a year old. The very first recipe along with the first dodgy photo appeared on the 6th April 2010.....hopefully my pics are a tiny bit better now!

I really wanted scones for breakfast. I don't know why or where I pulled that idea from but there I was on Sunday morning thinking I had everything and d'oh, no buttermilk. Then I spied 2 little tubs of Vanilla yogurt, just looking at me.....So here's the same recipe but instead of the buttermilk I've used 2 x 200g tubs of Jalna yogurt in Vanilla flavour. The result: YUM!

3 and 1/2 cups Self raising flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
pinch of salt
60g chopped butter
2 x 200g Jalna yogurt tubs

how to make your slightly tweaked scones

Pre-heat oven to 200C (fan forced). Place baking paper over a tray, set aside. Place 3 and 1/2 cups Self raising flour, 2 tablespoons caster sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Combine. Add 60g chopped butter and rub through with your fingers until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the mix and add your 2 tubs of jalna yogurt. Using a flat blade knife, stir until dough almost comes together. Place on a floured surface (or another piece of baking paper on the bench). Give it a really good knead until dough comes together then using a rolling pin, roll out to a 3cm thickness. Then cut out rounds and place on your tray. Cook for approximately 18 - 20 mins, until golden brown on top and they sound hollow when tapped. Makes approximately 12.

I made a simple caramel sauce with equal amounts of butter and brown sugar and then added some chopped figs.........perfect start to Sunday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kitchen Love Part 2

Here's a little sneak peek into our very simple kitchen.....these gorgeous pink glass cups and saucers I bought about 10 years ago....I love the light reflecting through them...

Originally I had open baskets under this beautiful old table that we use as a chopping block, however with my mountain of cookbooks, it was looking like a big mess. So I bought these gorgeous old suitcases.....problem solved!

This is one of my favourite spots in the kitchen....It's actually the top of the fridge. All my old china, platters, butter dish and my gold teapot live up here...just hanging out and looking pretty. I also love the old painting too. I saw the painting, without a frame in Vinnies but bought it anyway and a few weeks later I was in my favourite place in Newtown, Newspaper Taxi and saw this gorgeous gold frame...meant to be!

Speaking of Newspaper taxi......this was their christmas party invitation for last year....I just love it and think it looks gorgeous paired with this old cake tin by Willow. My Mother-in-law was going to throw it out but asked me if I could use it for it takes pride of place in my humble little kitchen....

In our previous place the kitchen was a very vintage - pink and grey. I saw these and snapped them up! but I think they look equally as good in this kitchen too....especially with an unusual pink vase with home grown camelias and 2 old german milk glass cannisters....

So that's our kitchen - old, wooden, simple, nirvana.......oh, and that little nook near the water purifier....that's where I stand with my cup of tea, thinking about the day ahead....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Individual Pear and Blueberry Lemon Crumbles

1)50g plain flour
2)1/4 cup oats (24g)
3) 1/4 cup shredded coconut (18g)
4) 1/4 cup brown sugar (45g)
5) 50g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

2 pears, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces(I used beurre bosc)
125g blueberries
lemon zest, about 1/4 teaspoon
lemon juice, about 1 - 2 teaspoons
caster sugar, about 2 teaspoons

How to make your Individual Pear and Blueberry Lemon Crumbles

Preheat oven to 190C. This recipe makes 4 individual servings using 3/4 cup size ramekins - perfect size for dessert.....the kids will love this! Mix the pears, blueberries, sugar, lemon zest and juice in a bowl and set aside. Pop the first 5 ingredients into a blender until the mix resembles a fine crumble. Place the fruit in the base of each ramekin. Top with the crumble. Place the 4 ramekins on a tray and pop it in the oven for 30 mins, until the topping is golden brown and the fruit tender.
Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream...............enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kitchen love and Kids Casserole

I heart my kitchen, especially first thing in the morning when it's still clean and the morning light touches everything so softly. I love to just stand in there surrounded by my pretty things drinking my morning cup of tea thinking about the day does not get anymore perfect than that, does it?

Wherever we have lived we have been blessed with beautiful rustic kitchens and by rustic I mean, usable! Our current house we bought in 2009 and I remember when I first saw the kitchen the walls were painted in an awful khaki colour with a suede effect.....I remember thinking, "How could you even feel like eating!".......but we looked past that, bought it anyway and painted every wall in the house a milky white! (Did I mention that the lounge room was orange and lavender and the second bedroom, the darkest in the house, was painted a deep navy blue. We called it the cave).....The kitchen has been my favourite room in the house ever since......which is a good thing since I love to cook! and your kids will love this kids can't get enough!


750g (approx) chicken drumsticks
750g (approx) chicken thighs
salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic,peeled and halved
3/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup water
10 cherry tomatoes from the vine
2 dried bay leaves
fresh thyme leaves, about 3 or 4 teaspoons
750g pumpkin, peeled and chopped into smallish chunks
300g green beans, topped and cut in half
1 tin of cannelini beans

how to make your kids casserole

Pop your oven on to 180C. Line a large baking dish with baking paper and pop it in the oven to keep warm until ready. Grab a large saucepan and pop about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in it. add salt and pepper to the chicken. Put your pot over high heat and brown off all the chicken. Make sure they don't burn. Set aside. Lower the heat and add the onion and garlic, cook until softened. Add the water and wine and get all the lovely bits from the base of the pan. Add the cherry tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, some salt and pop the chicken back in. Bring to the boil. Transfer to the roasting pan you have in the oven. Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins. Add the chopped pumpkin and the cannelini beans and bake for 30 mins. Add the beans and cook for a further 10 mins. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the yummo juices!!!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Roast Carrot Hummus

I've been wanting to make this for years and seeing as though it took me about 40minutes to make from go to woe I really don't get why it has taken me this long....

Things like mayonnaise and hummus are forbidden in our house because both our kids have allergies to sesame, eggs and nuts - so that pretty much rules everything out except for chutney.....and if I even look at chutney again I'm going to barf!

Anyway, I saw the words "carrot hummus" somewhere along my travels, I never saw the recipe, not even a pic but those words have always stayed with me and today I finally brought it to fruition.

This recipe is so simple and it's easy to add your own artistic flair to it as well if you are serving it as a dip with some oven crispy lavosh bread......drool...


2 large carrots (approx 175g each)topped, peeled and chopped into batons (not too skinny though)
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
1 can chickpeas
coriander leaves and pine nuts (optional)

how to make your roast carrot hummus

Pre-heat your oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Chop the carrots into batons and lay them individually on the baking paper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, scatter with some salt and the fennel seeds. Bake for 30 mins (don't let the carrot burn)

Rinse the chickpeas in a colander under running water. If using as a dip, keep a handful aside for decoration. Pop all the carrot along with the accumulated juices in a bowl and add the chickpeas. Using a stick blender, pulse to a thick puree. Add some more extra virgin olive oil to give it a nice consistency. It's up to you if you want to add the honey or not. I think it tastes delicious either way. Just be careful the honey can make it too sweet so use it scant and see how you go. DONE!

If serving as a dip pop the hummus in a dish and drizzle with a little extra oil, scatter over some chickpeas, pine nuts and coriander leaves......YUM.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

4p pie

It's nice to back in the world again! Our laptop died 2 Fridays ago and we only got hooked back up to the net a few days feels like it's been years! One good thing came out of it....this recipe! I own lots and lots of cookbooks but really I know them inside out.However, these books I hold onto so that one day I can pass them on to my children, so I can say,"you can feed an army with this Sweet potato curry recipe!". My Mother-in-law always passes on her Country Style magazines to me when she has finished with them....usually up to a year later. I decided to dig them all out and flick through them when I had some time to myself (since there was no Internet to distract me) It was such a good thing to do, I surprised myself. I saw things in peoples homes that I have for sale in my little shop, it got me thinking about display and memories and how these two things are always linked; it reminded me that simple things give small joys and the recipes, well, they weren't half bad! The following one is actually inspired by a recipe I found in one of these Magazines. They were named Shiraz Pies (How cute is that...I'll have a lamb and shiraz pie please...and hold the lamb!) but I've changed the whole dynamic of the recipe to make it my own. The 4p doesn't relate to the price or even an English heritage it's because of the ingredients: pork, parsnip, pumpkin and pastry. Enjoy! it's nice to be back....


1 onion,chopped
4 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped length ways
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
500g cubed pork (I used forequarter chops but you can use any suitable cut)
1 cup white wine (I used a Riesling)
1 cup chicken stock

1 cup plain flour
125g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/3 cup sour cream

1 fennel, cut the white part into wedges (discard green bits)
1 large piece of butternut pumpkin, chopped into cubes (discard skin)

how to make your 4p pie

Saute the onion in a large saucepan. Add the parsnip and garlic and sweat for a few minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the pork and brown well.Turn up the heat. Add the wine. Wait a minute then add the stock and the pop the vegies back in. Simmer for 40 minutes. Cool. Cover. Refrigerate until needed or at least 2 hours.

Put 1 cup plain flour in a bowl and add the cubed butter. Rub it through your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream until a smooth pastry forms. Wrap in glad wrap and pop in the fridge for at least 1/2 an hour. Stand at room temp for about 10 mins before rolling out.

Pop the pumpkin and fennel in a roasting pan and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil. Bake at 180C for about 30 - 40 mins or until soft. Puree with a hand held blender. Cool slightly before assembling your pie.

Roll out the pastry. Depending on the size of your dish. I only had enough to cover the base and sides so that is how the pumpkin topping came about.Over the pastry add the pork and parsnip mix. Over this top with the pumpkin mash. Pop in the oven for at least 45 mins at 180C or until the mash has a bit of colour to it.

Serve with some peas scattered over the top and sea salt and freshly grinded pepper.

Note: You could omit the home made pastry and use store bought and you could leave out the pumpkin mash and top with pastry instead. It's up to you. Have fun!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Years ago while I was working full time at an Art Centre a friend suggested I should sell my cakes because they thought they were that good. (a very nice friend indeed!) It was a fairly involved process: working out which cakes I would make; photographing them; creating a catalogue, etc,etc. The easy part was the name! I was flicking through a magazine and read an article about a girl who while at Uni was making cakes part time and walking around to offices and selling her treats for morning tea. She was in England and she called herself, "Honeybuns". Well, I thought that was the cutest name ever and figured she wouldn't mind if I borrowed it seeing as she was half-way across the world! So I started selling my sweet treats at markets and even sold them to the students where I worked as, honeybuns. Funnily enough the boss never actually found out I was doing this. I figured it would most likely be frowned upon so I never said anything and as for the students well, they were getting their sweet fix, they weren't about to jeopardise times!

But strangely enough this recipe actually emerged from SBS Tv and not from honeybuns. There's been a series about a guy in Tasmania who touches on all things food such as making his own cured meats and rearing his own chickens...looking at organic ways of living. In this particular episode he got hold of some organic Tasmanian honey and made some honey biscuits. Well, hubby and I thought they looked heavenly as hubby turned to me and said,"Why don't you make something like that?"....ahh men, they have a way with words!

I'm including a couple of versions of my recipe as I have been playing around with it a bit; trying out different honeys and flour,etc. I'm really happy with the result and I hope you like them too!


2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey of your choice ( I used Golden Nectar Organic Real Leatherwood Honey by R.Stephens 25 Pioneer Drive, Mole Creek, Tasmania)
130g unsalted butter, melted

how to make your honeybuns

Pre-heat oven to 200C fanforced and line 2 trays with baking paper.
sift the flour, bicarb and the brown sugar and mix together well.
add melted butter and add honey and mix with a spoon until mix comes together.
Roll into smallish balls (I get about 22 balls from this mix) and space them out well on your trays (I put 3 to a row)You can also squash them with a fork or leave them as is. Pop the trays in the oven and bake for 10 mins.
Take them out, cool them on the trays for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.


1 cup Lighthouse Cake, biscuit and pastry with cream of tartar Self raising flour
30g caster sugar
75g unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup honey (I used Lavender honey by Bees in Bowties)

how to make your honeybuns

Pre-heat oven to 200C fanforced and line 1 tray with baking paper.
sift the flour and the caster sugar and mix together well.
add melted butter and honey and mix with a spoon until mix comes together.
Roll into smallish balls (I get about 9 balls from this mix) and space them out well on your tray. You can also squash them with a fork or leave them as is. Pop the tray in the oven and bake for 10 mins.
Take them out, cool them on the trays for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

A little note:The flavour of the honey really influences the flavour of this biscuit. You may like a more mild flavour or a really strong flavour....have a play around!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Orange Granita

Man, it has been hot! The kind of hot where you've had a cold shower and then dry yourself with a towel that feels like it's been sitting in a kiln....damn hot!
We have been enjoying ice cream every night for dessert just so we can cool down for a few minutes. 2 weeks later I've noticed that there's not a lot of healthy options out there. I know healthy and ice cream sound ridiculous together and I'm really not a fan of low-fat! So I was thinking about something refreshing and cold and full of flavour.........hello Granita!


5-6 oranges (enough juice to give you a little over a cup)
1 cup water
1/4 cup caster sugar

how to make your orange granita

Grab a small saucepan and pour in the water and sugar. Over a low heat stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a wide container with a lid and pop in the fridge.
Now you can juice your oranges. Pour the juice through a sieve so there is no pulp. When you have just over a cup pour it into the container with the sugar water. Give it a little stir and pop in the freezer. Check on it every hour or so and give it a rake with a fork. When it's reached the right consistency (think slushie!) pour it into little cups ( I used pretty little tea cups which looked soooo cute) and serve!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Leek and Sage Scones

It took me a while to get these little suckers right. At first they were too dry, then they were as damp as a wet sponge........finally, I got there!
I happened to flick through an old Welsh recipe book a wee while ago and saw a bread recipe with leek and sage. It sounded like an interesting combination so I thought I would try and make them into scones (hence the trial and error!) These scones are super easy, quick and taste delicious. Perfect for brunch or a picnic......just don't forget some yummy salty butter to serve!


225g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
salt and pepper
60g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
50g grated tasty cheese
1 egg
100ml milk

40g unsalted butter
1 leek (approx 100g worth of white part finely sliced)
about 5 small sage leaves, (about the size of your little pinky or smaller)chopped finely

how to make your leek and sage scones

In a saucepan slowly melt the butter then add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook slowly until lovely and silky and they smell sweet. Add the sage, stir until cooked through then set aside to cool. (for at least 30 mins)

Pre-heat oven to 220C

Put flour and baking powder in a bowl. Mix.
add butter until mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. stir in cheese and leek and sage mix. make a well and pour in milk and egg mix (making sure you reserve about a tablespoon for the tops)

Bring together into soft dough. Knead on a floured bench and roll out to a 2cm thickness. Use a scone cutter. Place scones on a tray lined with baking paper, close together without touching. Brush tops with leftover milk/egg mix. Bake for 12-14 mins.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rustic Sour Cream Slice with Passion Fruit Drizzle

I love thinking about sweets. What will I make? What will I add to this and what will I mix with that? What will I serve it on? Who will I invite over to enjoy said sweets? Which tablecloth will I use?????? I love every little thought it takes to create them......and this one was no exception. Passion fruit is a favourite of mine but it wasn't always that way. As a kid I didn't like passion fruit one bit. I can't really remember why but it took a lot of pavlova to get over it. Finally, now, I can say I love it. It's so refreshing and versatile and nothing says Summer more than fresh passion fruit drizzled over something delicious....


110g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 and a 1/2 cup self raising flour
2 fresh passion fruit or 1-2 tablespoons tinned passion fruit
1 cup icing sugar mixture

how to make your Rustic Sour Cream Slice with Passion fruit Drizzle

Pop the oven on to 180C. Line a slice tray with baking paper and set aside.
In a bowl add the softened butter and the sugar. beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat again until combined. Add the sour cream, zest and flour and mix well with a spoon. Then spoon into your slice tin. Level out. The mix is fairly wet but don't worry. Pop it in the oven and bake for 18 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

When it's ready take out of the oven and leave out to cool. Cut into slices and prepare icing just prior to eating. So you could make the slice earlier in the day (don't pop it in the fridge) just place a tea towel over it and keep in a coolish spot. Prior to serving, sift the icing sugar mixture into a bowl and add the passion fruit. Stir through. Cut into slices, place on your serving plate and drizzle a little of the 'drizzle' over each slice. Serve. The slice is best eaten on the day it is made. It will go hard if kept in the fridge so keep it out and enjoy it!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Australia Day Salad

Australia Day is less than a week away. Usually everyone gets out their blue, red and white - shirts, shorts, thongs, everything.........I thought I would focus on green and gold - the colours we Aussies normally wear to the Olympics. This salad would go beautifully with another Australian tradition - barbecued lamb......mmmmmmmmm. Have some friends over and celebrate!


2 small zucchini, sliced thinly
3 golden squash, sliced thinly
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cob of corn, kernels cut off
3/4 cup cous cous
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1and a 1/2 tablespoons honey
a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
about 8 baby mint leaves
salt and pepper

250g haloumi

how to make your australia day salad

This salad will make a good side at a bbq or will serve 4-5 people for dinner with some lamb.
Boil the kettle. pop the cous cous in a saucepan, throw over the water and put the lid on. set aside for 5 mins.

In a bowl, put together the lemon juice, honey and mint leaves. set aside.

Grab a large frying pan and pop in some olive oil over a medium-high heat. Now throw in the zucchini, squash, peas and corn. Keep stirring, you want it all to cook through without burning.

Add some oil or a tablespoon of butter to the cous cous and over a low flame, stir it through until well combined.
Add the dressing to the vegetables, turn down the heat. Give it a good stir. Take off heat. Add the cous cous and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. stir to combine.

Slice the haloumi thinly and throw on a hot bbq or hot oiled frying pan, about 1 minute a side. Place the haloumi over the top of the salad.

Serve with some lemon wedges.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

treasure chests

....or cupcakes with cinnamon apricots and sweet clotted cream....

Apricots this season have been incredible. I'm not usually such a fan but they have been consistently yum! so, so sweet! and here I am again popping them in a dessert. As you know I'm a HUGE fan of pretty cupcakes. I especially love butterfly cakes. They remind me of my childhood when I was allowed to pick my very own sweet treat for afternoon tea. Butterfly cakes were always top of my list! The last time I made them myself was for my husbands birthday in 2006. As co-incidence would have it, Caroline from Fox Drink Water and her family were about to pop over to help us celebrate. The salads were made, the bbq was ready and the butterfly cakes were about to be assembled and then my waters broke............4 hours later (and 16 days early) our first child was born. SO yes, I haven't made them since and then these little cakes kind of morphed into little chests of buried treasure. They are delicious though and if you are a big kid at heart, well, I'm sure they will even transport you back to your childhood, when you were allowed to pick your very own afternoon tea treat.


1) 1 ½ cups plain flour
2) 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
3) 110g softened unsalted butter
4) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5) ¼ cup milk
6) 2 eggs
7) just under 2/3 cup caster sugar

1 cup water
½ cup caster sugar
6 whole apricots,sliced in half
1 cinnamon quill

250g Clotted cream

how to make your Treasure Chests or cupcakes with cinnamon apricots and sweet clotted cream

Pop the oven on to 180C. Line a 12 cup capacity muffin tin with cases.

This part is best done about an hour before serving. Wash your apricots. Make sure they are ready to eat; not too ripe and not too unripe. Cut them in half, discard seed and set aside. Grab a wide based saucepan and pop in the water, sugar and cinnamon quill. Put over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, making sure all the sugar is dissolved. Once simmering, add the apricots and simmer for 3 minutes. Take out the apricots with a slotted spoon and pop on a plate in one layer. Set aside. Pop in the fridge when cooled down a little until needed. Strain the syrup and set aside at room temp.

Pop the first 7 ingredients into a bowl and mix with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until mixture is smooth. Place large spoonfuls into cases and bake for 18 mins or until cakes are cooked through.

Place them on a cooling rack and assemble about 10 - 20 mins before serving.

Take out ingredients from the fridge. Grab your knife and at an angle cut the tops out of each cupcake. Using a teaspoon, scoop a little of the cupcake centre out and discard. Grab a bowl and add about 1/2 to 3/4 of the cream and add about 2 - 3 teaspoons of the syrup. Give it a really good mix together until it's well incorporated. Time to taste test! If you think it needs it add a little more syrup. Now, give each cupcake a good dollop inside (the buried treasure!), top with an apricot (cut side up) then replace the top of the cupcake over the apricot. Give them a good dusting with icing sugar. Serve.

*Instead of clotted cream you could use marscapone.
*Instead of adding the syrup to the clotted cream or marscapone you could simply use a half teaspoon of rosewater or even a sweet dessert wine.
*Instead of apricot you could use pear
*If you're not a fan you could omit apricots all together and just fill with the clotted cream


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year! - cabbage, fennel and celery salad with apple juice dressing

Hey there everybody!! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, New Year, time off from work and time with your loved ones...
Life has been super busy (as always!) We have had lovely catch ups with friends and family and have had some amazing food. (My fave? - you can see it here).....then our dishwasher died. There's nothing like overflowing grimy dishes to take the shine off cooking! Hubby tried fixing it but alas a 15 year old dishwasher is a bit like a never does what you want it too! So off we went and bought a newbie. It was installed today and it is sooo shiny and new and CLEAN! I felt bad about putting my dirty dinner plates in there. Almost embarrassed............But I'm sure I'll get over it by ooooooooo tomorrow!

Enough about me, How are you?


1 small baby fennel, finely sliced
Reserve the fronds from the fennel to use the greenery on top of the salad
2 sticks of celery, finely sliced on an angle
Reserve some of the leaves of the celery, finely chop about 1 tablespoon
about 100g of red cabbage, finely sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of apple juice (the best you can afford - you can enjoy it with the dish too!)
a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

how to make your cabbage, fennel and celery salad with apple juice dressing

Make sure your celery, cabbage and apple juice are cold. Doesn't matter so much with the fennel.

Have everything sliced and ready to go. Now it just depends how you are going to serve it - in a large bowl for everyone to help themselves or individually.
Mix the vegetables together along with some salt and pepper. Just before serving drizzle over the apple juice and some extra virgin olive oil. Lightly mix together. DONE!!