Monday, 17 November 2014

I’m here again, and so soon! Please don’t get used to it. But I figured you guys deserved an actual recipe from me, it really has been a while.

My main aim in the kitchen these days is to start putting together a store of recipes that I can fall back on. Simple recipes, recipes that require as little time as possible in the kitchen. I have always approached the kitchen with a desire to stretch myself as a cook, to challenge myself and grow my understanding of food and flavors. My work at the E.C.M. Kitchen has really kept me quite driven in that quest. Out of that work, a growing passion for food has also encouraged me forward. On the upside, in the past, I always had the time to explore, test and experiment in the kitchen. I am a great dawdler in the kitchen, not that I don’t get the job done, but I like to take my time, I like to enjoy the process, to savor watching (and smelling) the dish come together.

This is a luxury I no longer have. Dawdling that is. And with a the added pressure of ongoing morning sickness I feel a need to start adjusting how I cook for our family now, before there is a second baby and the time limit is even smaller. I almost feel an urgency about it.

You see, with all this pushing forward on the quest, I’ve discovered a big gaping hole in my repertoire. Simple recipes that taste good. This is strange because I love simple food. I adore avocado on toast. I think a poached egg is heaven. And don’t even get me started on pesto pasta. But quite honestly, that’s it, those three things are about as big as my simple food recipe pile stands.

There is another side to this. I can’t stand mac and cheese. There are few things on this earth I could pair with the word ‘hate’, but that would be on the top of my list. Most of the simple meals for families being batted around out there just aren’t to a standard of flavor that I am used too now. I can’t do mac and cheese. In fact I am not even a big fan of pasta bake full stop. Or casseroles. Has anyone else noticed that when you make a stew everything tastes the same? The carrots, the meat, the potatoes, they all take on one the flavor and there is no….oomph. Oh help, I just sound like a whiny child now. I just want layers or flavor. Even if it’s just like the slight tart change you get between the flesh of an apple and its skin. Tell me please that someone understands this.

I want simple dishes that still rock in flavor. 

A new quest has begun. 

And with all that out of my system, I give you recipe number one. A twist on Maggie Beer's Pumpkin Bruschetta. 
A very dear friend sent me one of Maggie's books a while ago, signed and addressed appropriately by the dear Maggie herself, but it has since been sitting on the shelf due to my lack of time to give it a proper introduction to the kitchen. Pouring over her starters this week, I pulled out this recipe as it appealed to another problem I have in the kitchen right now. Not being able to cook. Or at least, not being able to stand over cooking food. I can cut pumpkin and bung it in the oven and walk away from it. That, I can still do well. I can see this dish becoming a great fall back dinner for us in the future, and it was actually very good too. Simple of course, but good. And for myself, not being able to eat the goat’s cheese whilst pregnant, the roasted pumpkin smashed onto the toasted ciabatta by itself, was still totally lip smacking. 

Roast Pumpkin on toast
(slightly tweaked from Maggie Beers Roast Pumpkin Bruschetta recipe)

  • Butternut pumpkin (as much as you like)
  • onion (optional) 
  • good quality olive oil
  • fresh rosemary
  • sea salt
  • cracked pepper
  • Verjuice 
  • about 3 garlic cloves (more if you are making a big batch of pumpkin)
  • a loaf of ciabatta bread
  • soft goats cheese
  • a lemon

preheat oven to about 240C

Cut pumpkin into small 1cm-2cm pieces and place on baking tray, throw on some smashed garlic cloves (hold one garlic clove back for the bread), thinly sliced onion, and the fresh rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and season well. Bake till the tips of the pumpkin start to caramelize. 

Take tray out and drizzle over verjuice. Maggie recommends a 1/4 of a cup for only 200g, so I think you can be quite generous with your drizzle :)

Place it back in the oven for about 5-10 minutes. 

The ciabatta loaf can be sliced and toasted, grilled or fried in a little oil (as I did), if you grill or toast you can drizzle with a little oil, but when cooked, rub with the set aside garlic clove (cut in half first to get max flavor of garlic on the bread) 

Then place goats cheese onto toast, and serve the hot silky pumpkin on top. I added some more sea salt and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice to really help make the dish pop.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

A journey of motherhood through photographs

I am far from the worlds greatest photographer, I'm not even sure you could call me a 'good' photographer, but I can say that in photography I have found a sort of solace. That is probably not the right word when I think about it, but may be it is. May be acceptance would be a better word. Acceptance of where I am, acceptance of motherhood, acceptance of the fact that I don't have to get it all perfect. 

Some how, when you cut out all the details and focus on homemade cookies, you remember that she talked about cookies for the next week non-stop. She played 'making cookies', she feed me fake cookies, she squealed when cookies came on the TV. It's not that I want to create these perfect memories and forget that actually making these cookies with a 2 year old was a messy and frustrating experience, no, not at all. She has far too many emotions and far too little patience for that to be an overly joyful experience. No. But you do remember that you made an effort to invest into her childhood, to make it something special, something that can stimulate her, grow her (grow us both) and you invested in that bond between mother and child. 

It has also kept me accountable. 

If I haven't taken photos for a while, it means there was nothing worth photographing. It reminds me to get her outside, to take her to new places and do knew things and it probably means she has been watching too much TV again. 

It reminds me to say, 'yes' to meeting a friend at the beach, even though it would be easier to say 'no'. It reminds me that most of the time, those magical moments don't just happen, you have be intentional about them, that you can't just sit around and wait, you have to choose to invest. 

I can say that being creative, taking photos, no matter how bad the photograph is, if I look back on them and feel joy, it makes it easier to learn how to love the journey. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


I recently read this post by Mama Watters and thought I might take a little inspiration for my husband’s birthday this year. My daughter is pretty focused when it comes to cake, it’s her favorite food item and she talks about it A LOT. So I thought giving her a chance to decorate a cake for daddy’s birthday might be just the sort of activity she would enjoy. 

We made a ‘daddy’ garland together earlier in the week which turned out to be a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon together. But Sunday morning, I guess we just caught her on the wrong day. 

Her first word of the morning was; ‘cake’. I tried to cover her relentless asking by telling my hubby she just wanted pancakes and convinced him to stay in bed. Did I mention it was meant to be a surprise? She yelled ‘CAKE!’ all the way down stairs getting more and more excited the closer we got to the kitchen.  I spent a few minutes convincing her she needed breakfast first, set her up in the high chair, then set out our cake decorating station and hung the bunting.  

Come time to decorate the cake the poor girl just about had a melt down when I placed the store bought sponge cake in front of her and she realized she wasn't just allowed to just dig in. Second meltdown attempt happened as I was desperately trying to smear icing on the top as quickly as I could; she asked if the cake was hers and her fool of a mother said, ‘no honey, this is Daddy’s cake’. Fool. Another meltdown.

The decorating itself was almost fun. She took to it like a pro, although she did take a bite out of several lollies before adorning the cake with the half eaten goodies. We had another melt down when we were finished and I took the cake off her. And another on the stair well when we tried to go up to wake daddy- which meant walking in the opposite direction to the cake. Sigh. You made it look so easy Mama Watters. 

All that aside, daddy loved his cake and afterward we all hopped in the car and headed off to the beach for a coffee and to run off the morning’s sugar. Sadly we had a few more mini melt downs at the beach; the seagull was too close, she didn't want her hat on, she wanted her hat on, mummy forgot her shoes, mummy forgot to order her a baby chino (although daddy forgot to order mummy something to eat and mummy felt like having a bit of a meltdown herself- so I can understand that one) and we decided to call it quits early and head home. Not surprisingly the wee one fell asleep early AND slept long (which was perhaps the best present of the day). Not surprisingly mummy will probably attempt to do it all over again next year. Because she is a little bit foolish like that. 

Friday, 19 September 2014

New Zealand

As some of you may know we recently took a trip across to New Zealand. It was a long overdue trip to see the in-laws and introduce our wee little princess (who is about to turn 2!) to all the family who hadn't met her yet. 
Coincidentally, we also landed in the middle of Aucklands restaurant fest! One thing I was really looking forward to doing on this trip was to sample the local produce and food industry in NZ, long admiring it from afar it was going to be a real highlight for me. Alas, we hit a rather significant snag before we even set off. I was starting to feel a bit ill, in a strange kind of, “I can’t even look at chicken”, sort of way. And after heading off to bed one night because I couldn’t take the smell of dinner I decided it was time to confirm what becoming increasingly obvious. 
Yep, Pregnant. 
Although we are actually quite excited, it comes with a little apprehension towards the actual pregnancy itself. My last pregnancy had me vomiting for the full 9 months, a trip to the ER, lots of bed rest and lots and lots of very expensive anti-nausea tablets. I came out of that pregnancy shattered (both physically and emotionally). So the thought of heading back into that zone, only now with a toddler to take care of, I won’t lie, it’s a little scary. How am I supposed to take care of a 2 year old when I can’t even take care of myself? I will admit; knowing what I was getting myself into this time has helped. I told people straight away knowing I would need both prayer and support to get through this, I booked myself into the doctor to get on the Zofran, I started drinking copious amounts of water, knowing I had to keep as hydrated as possible for as long as possible and stocked the cupboards with  A LOT of snacks. The rest would have to be just ‘figure it out as you go’. Consequently though, our NZ trip was a lot less food focused and moved a much slower pace. The whole trip slowed right down and became less about traveling and experiencing NZ for itself and more about family time. Which quite honestly, is not at all a bad thing.

Monday, 21 July 2014

For the love of a good description......

A Quote;

“It was a meal that we shall never forget; more accurately, it was several meals that we shall never forget, because it went beyond the gastronomic frontiers of anything we had ever experienced, both in quantity and length. It started with homemade pizza - not one, but three: anchovy, mushroom, and cheese, and it was obligatory to have a slice of each. Plates were then wiped with pieces torn from the two-foot loaves in the middle of the table, and the next course came out. There were pates of rabbit, boar, and thrush. There was a chunky, pork-based terrine laced with marc. There were saucissons spotted with peppercorns. There were tiny sweet onions marinated in a fresh tomato sauce. Plates were wiped once more and duck was brought in... We had entire breasts, entire legs, covered in a dark, savory gravy and surrounded by wild mushrooms.

We sat back, thankful that we had been able to finish, and watched with something close to panic as plates were wiped yet again and a huge, steaming casserole was placed on the table. This was the specialty of Madame our hostess - a rabbit civet of the richest, deepest brown - and our feeble requests for small portions were smilingly ignored. We ate it. We ate the green salad with knuckles of bread fried in garlic and olive oil, we ate the plump round crottins of goat's cheese, we ate the almond and cream gateau that the daughter of the house had prepared. That night, we ate for England.” 
Peter Mayle
, A Year in Provence

A Link;

Another Quote;

“To the cauliflower and onion, she suggests that you add a few sprigs of thyme and a few whole, unpeeled cloves of garlic, all of it slicked with some olive oil. Then you chuck it in a hot, hot oven, and after barely half an hour, the cauliflower winds up velvety, meaty, even rich, and the onions relax and soften into sweetness, and the garlic is tender enough to spread on toast, and a dark, savory, somewhat bewitching smell has filled your kitchen - or your entire house, if you’re me and your house is small and the exhaust fan doesn’t really work, even though it roars like the engine of a semi scaling a mountain pass. Then you grate some Parmesan over the whole pan, slide it back into the oven, and pull it out when the cheese has melted and crisped into crisp, lacy, frico-like webs and shards.”
Molly Wizenburg, Orangette, 21.3.14

 I will keep coming back to this book, I have to. It settled something in me. More than enjoying cooking, more than enjoying serving and eating, and yes more than the community that forms around a good solid meal. Because what makes A Year in Provence so special is the documentation of both a good meal and of the community around it. See a good meal ends, but a good writer or photographer can solidify the memory by making your saliva glands wet, you happy hormones pump, and your right-brain inspired to spur on to the next good meal.

I discovered a very small, seemingly insignificant fact this month. My favorite reads are all written by journalists. At first this was nothing more than a little, “Ha! Isn't that interesting”, moment, but after a few days though this little thought turned to something more, something I should have really, quite honestly, figured out a long time ago. Despite almost failing high school English, I really enjoy writing. Despite my fleeting photography attentions, I really enjoy taking photos. I really REALLY enjoy capturing a moment. Something special, be it a mood, a conversation, a group of people laughing, or just a really enjoyable meal. I think I should go back to school or something…..HA!

On that note; Broccoli. Broccoli Pesto to be specific. 
I have taken on a quest to work on my daughters appreciation for Broccoli. This involves having a little bit served to her on a regular basis, not so much as to completely put her off, but so she gets used to seeing it. I’m also serving it in different forms, such as pesto- which I must say she wolfed. 
I’m such a big fan of pesto. I’m not sure what it is about it that makes it so irresistible to me. And I can’t better it, I have to eat it tossed through hot pasta and adorned with fresh Parmesan so that it melts slightly into the green mess. EVERY time without fail I ponder tossing through chopped cherry tomatoes or some grilled zucchini and EVERY time without fail I shake my head and bury my fork, it’s always just perfect as it is.

Broccoli, Rocket and Green Pea Pesto.

1 head of Broccoli
1 cup of Rocket
½ cup of Peas
½ a Lemon
1 Garlic clove
¼ cup of Pine-nuts
a good amount of salt
oil (about a quarter to a third of a cup)
shaved Parmesan (third of a cup for the pesto and half a handful for on top of the pasta)
Cracked pepper

Wash and roughly chop broccoli head, place in food processor with rocket, peas, garlic, lemon juice, pine-nuts, salt and oil. Process till smooth paste. Toss through hot pasta and serve with Parmesan and cracked pepper.

Friday, 23 May 2014

I Heart Chick-a-peas

Hi all

How are you doing this month? We are doing very well here at myprivatedining, despite picking up a few colds, we have managed a steady flow of visitors, outings, new projects and a few decent sized pots of curry. Every month I feel like we are finding better balance and flow as a still fairly newish family. Just coming more and more into ourselves really.

One of my new projects this month involves a ripper of an  interview with a friend (which I will post as soon as I can manage) about the cultural and food consumption changes she has been making in her own household recently. It’s a wonderful insight into the effort and challenges involved not only changing how you eat but changing the approach of the whole family. I’m really looking forward to sharing that with you.

I have also learnt how to crochet this month. Don’t ask me why, more just a desire to do something with my hands I think, and in all honesty I expect it to fall flat on its face at any moment. It’s just for a bit of fun really.

There are a few other things we are cooking up (excuse the pun) which I am very excited about, but I will share them with you later as they progress.

This month’s recipe is a simple one for you. If you are anything like me, you always have a can of chickpeas tucked away somewhere in the back of the pantry. I can’t get enough of chickpeas, they are cheap and easy and I throw them in everything. My husband even went so far as to ask if we could have a month long break from them some time ago, but, what can I say, he missed them more then he thought he would. So, he was very happy to receive them back into his life when I found a bag of dried chickpeas in the back of the cupboard last week. After a good soak, a little simmer and a somewhat therapeutic skin pulling session, we threw them on a bake tray with a little oil, a few spices and a good sprinkling of salt and into the oven. Before we knew it we were picking hot spicy chickpeas off the bake-paper and making windy noises with our mouths as we popped them down our hatches before they were properly cooled.
The only thing I can say is that you may want to eat them on the first day as the few we kept for later snacking really were a bit of a letdown.

Roasted Chickpeas
1 can of chickpeas, drained (you can grab a couple of handfuls of the dried and go the longer route as we did, but either is fine)
Cayenne pepper
Punch Poron (seed mixture)
Sea salt
Good olive oil

Lay drained chickpeas on a tray with bake paper, drizzle with oil and roll chickpeas around to coat them in the oil. 

Sprinkle with spices (according to your personal taste) and salt

Bake in moderate oven till they only slightly colour, you don't want to dry them out. 
I took them out a couple of times and shook the tray to make sure rolled around and didn't burn on the underside.

Enjoy warm :)

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Wild Rice Salad

These days most of my cooking experimentation is aimed at just getting dinner on the table.
As much as I would love to be hanging out at local restaurants or hunting down the latest coffee joint and as much as I would love to spend a whole day making some ridiculously complicated cake, the little spare time I have is usually spent cleaning, re-organizing or laying somewhat comatose in front of the computer flicking through blogs and pretending to read them.
I am however submitted to that for now. Perhaps that is why the house has seemed so much quieter recently, because my soul has quietened. I feel a little more settled in this season. I know one day I will be released again, but for now, I may as well enjoy what this space of time has to offer me.

And so my creative outlet has not so much squashed as just refocused. 
One thing that has caught my interest is inserting more grains and legumes into our diet. I have always loved my g’s and l’s and with a tightening budget and bend towards simpler eating there couldn't really be a better platform for trying out more of these recipes.

So that brings me to a wonderful wild rice salad. My dear friend ‘Mina first introduced me to this one, I’m not sure where she got it from but over time it has changed a little, and it will probably continue to the more I make it.  
Admittedly the photo attached contains the more hip-pocket-savvy mountain rice, but if you are happy to spend the extra coin I really recommend you try the proper wild rice at least once. 

As with all salads, they are really quite flexible depending on your pantry or the season. But there are 3 elements here that really make this salad what it is. 
Firstly, the rice. These alternative rice’s add so much more flavor and texture than just plain white rice. 
Secondly, the dressing. 
And Finally, a handful of finely chopped crasins. I love finely chopping things that are full of sweetness or just bolder in their flavor. They make such an impact on the dish but in a much subtler way, so that it goes from an, 'ok' dish, to a, ‘Oo that’s so yummy, but what is that flavor I can’t quite put my finger on??’.
Everything else is pretty much rattle (the cupboard) and bake (whatever falls out)


Wild Rice Salad (base recipe)
consider adding more seeds and grains to this recipe

Roast veg (I used sweet potato, cauliflower and mixed carrots, all chopped into small pieces and roasted with a bit of olive oil and seasoned well) about one baking tray full.
1 cup of wild rice
toasted corn kernels
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 bunch of asparagus 
a handful of craisins finely chopped
coriander (leaves, stems and roots)
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of honey
1 garlic clove
olive oil (for dressing), about 1/2 a cup (give or take)
1 teaspoon(ish) of salt

Cook rice as directed on packet

for corn fry kernels till they start to colour

Slice asparagus and place in a bowl, boil kettle and pour over, leave until asparagus brightens in colour then drain.

Combine mixed roast vegetables, asparagus, corn, craisins, chickpeas, roughly chopped coriander leaves with cooked rice.

to make dressing place lemon juice, garlic clove, dijon, salt, honey and the steams and roots of coriander(you may need to pre-chop them a little first) into a food processor with oil and blend till smooth (you may need to add more oil and salt if it needs)
combine with salad.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Tarte a la Tomate


I have been very excited to bring you this month’s recipe. But first things first, if you've noticed that the top of my page has had a little change, well done, and I have to pass credit to my dear friend Eleta, who by chance has this great little online jewelry store (plug, plug, plug) and if you happen to live in Perth she also shows up at various markets around the city (thank you hon’ xoxo)

But back to food. I feel like I should have some wonderful story to share with this recipe, like a back story to place emphasis on just how special a recipe this is. Truth is I have squat. Nothing. I found the recipe, I tried the recipe, I slid the recipe into my ‘favorites’ file and there I think it shall stay for quite some time. It is simple, (or at least as simple as French gets) it is buttery, it is sweet and salty and something you want to eat with your eyes closed and a sultry French songstress wooing you in the back ground. It is Tarte à la Tomate. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Perfect for dinner parties, picnics or sneakily chowing down whilst sitting on the kitchen floor and hoping no one is looking so that you don’t have to share.
So without further delay, here she is…….

(Adapted from Food of the world’s The cooking of Provincial France)

Tarte à la Tomate


140 grams of butter
170 grams of plain flour
1 teaspoon of salt
3-5 tablespoons of cold water

Combine and chill for 3 hours

Butter and dust lightly with flour a false bottomed quiche or cake tin (8-9 inch) then roll out pastry (may need to take out of fridge for 5-10 minutes before rolling out) lay pastry in tin, cut off over hang and return to fridge for an hour


Cheese: Combrè, Swiss or Gruyere (I’m sure you can put in whatever you like or can get from local shops) about 500 grams
2-3 large tomatoes (I used about 600 grams of cherry tomatoes)
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh basil, about 4 or 5 leaves
30 grams of Parmesan cheese- grated
30 grams of butter

Slice tomatoes and sprinkle with a good amount of salt and leave to drain for 1 hour.

Bake pastry (using blind bake method) at about 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven, remove baking paper and weights, prick pastry with fork all over and return to oven for another 5 minutes.

Lay sliced cheese over pastry, then lay tomatoes on top.
Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle the Parmesan across and a little of the basil- finely chopped.

Melt butter and pour over top of tomatoes and return to oven for around 25 minutes till starting to golden.

Adorn with some freshly chopped basil and serve.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A Little More Time at Home

This month has been a little cooler and a little slower.

A big part of the ‘slower’ has been me trying to refocus my time. Less trying to ‘make more’ time for things as if I can possibly conjure up more hours in the day from deep within the earth and more ‘taking time out for things’, only a slight difference but a world of difference in my head.
Most certainly a more realistic approach.
So I am spending more time in the garden, which relaxes me somehow, having more coffees at home instead of braving cafes with an overly energetic toddler. Then there’s taking slow walks with the wee one around the block, (usually stealing flowers from the neighbors) instead of packing lunches and taking car trips to parks. I’m even allocating more time during the day to the basics like housework instead of trying cram it all in just before bed.
Mostly it’s just going out less and staying in more.
Oh, and then there is breakfast.
Yes, breakfast.
And by that I mean actually eating breakfast rather than just thinking about it.
While it is my favorite meal of the day it is also my most abandoned meal. But that’s motherhood right?

In an attempt to correct that though, I have joined in with those doing the Cooking Cure via the Kithcn, to push my home cooking habits back towards a healthier mark. I figure the only way to really stop my meal skipping is to get inspired again.
And so, I bring you granola.
Actually granola’s.
Whatever the plural for granola is……granoli?
Ahem, I bring you two recipes for granola (better?)
The first is a raw sprouted granola from Green Kitchen Stories- but I need to add a note that I very stupidly overlooked. If you are from a crazy hot or humid climate, you may find that your sprouts, like mine, ferment very quickly.
Take two of this recipe was done in only four hours instead of the recommended 36-48 hours.
I think these guys are based in Sweden? Need I say more?

The second granola was less a recipe and more a pantry raid/sneaky appetite trick.
I know from experience that eating something small and sweet can kick start my appetite. I’m sure there is something scientific there about stimulating saliva glands, but that aside, the thought of something small and sweet can lure me into sitting down to a meal instead of getting distracted by other duties. For breakfast, it has to be granola. This recipe is a little loose, like I said it was more of a pantry raid than an actual recipe. Half packets of nuts, chopped and thrown together with handfuls of whatever else I could find floating in the cupboard and tossed with warm maple syrup and mixed spice, roasted and voila’! Homemade granola.
Now to work on lunches………..

Maple nut granola.

I love granola but can’t eat too much, especially first thing in the morning. A tablespoon or two on top of muesli and fruit or Greek yoghurt and fruit salad is my favorite way to eat it.

Approx. 2 cups of mixed nuts (I used mostly hazelnuts, with some almonds and pistachios to mix it up)
Half a cup of coconut
A third of a cup of sesame seeds
Mixed spice to taste
Half a cup of pumpkin seeds/mixed seeds
Half a cup of oats
Two tablespoons of brown sugar
8 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt to taste.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees (Celsius)

Soak pumpkin seeds and coconut for one hour

Roughly chop nuts, mix with sesame seeds, mixed spice, oats, brown sugar and drained pumpkin seed mix.

Heat maple syrup and oil in a saucepan until combined

pour over and stir through granola mixture. Spread mixture out on baking tray and put in oven and roast till golden (stirring regularly) 

Remove and season- allow to cool before breaking up and storing.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Everything is Gold (Yogurt and date smoothies and link to raw choc raspberry tart)

>Spiced stone fruit on yogurt with fresh raspberries and toasted pistachios
>Chocolate raspberry tart with (an attempt at) dairy free chocolate
>Princess Squirmy 'gardening', aka moving dirt from one pot to another and back again (can keep her quite busy for some time with this)
>Kale smoothie

Everything is gold.

I feel like, somehow, I have been transported to the outback with its hot dusty winds and its vast golden paddocks. Except that I’m not in the outback, I’m in suburbia- Inner city suburbia I might add, and that beautiful wheat gold is actually a collaboration of streets and streets of dead lawns. Summer is here and in full force!

The last few nights we have moved all our bedding downstairs onto the tiled lounge room floor (the only room with air-conditioning) The port-a-cot is now a fixture in the entry way, and all our bedding has been rolled up next to the couch with a throw rug tossed over for effect.  Each night we roll our doona-swag, and toss a coin to see who gets the couch and who settles for the floor.
I believe my point is this: I am really just making more excuses as to why I haven’t been cooking. It’s too hot!

That said, it’s not too hot to BBQ! And boy do we love a webber meal in this house! It’s also not too hot for yogurt with spiced-cinnamon-stone-fruit. Nor is it too hot for green smoothies, date and yogurt smoothies, (well actually any sort of smoothie really) watermelon icy-poles, homemade muesli’s, spoonful’s of hummus or green-olive-chimichurri on everything, and it is never, NEVER, too hot for raw cake!
It’s my personal opinion that raw cake could and should take over this town. It is just perfect for Perth. It’s healthier, super tasty and it’s at its best served straight out of the freezer! And because of that great freezer element, you can chop it up and store pieces in your freezer taking out only as you need. No wasted stale cake! At this point I’m wondering if I should be selling the stuff. I’m not trying to do that here. Honestly. I’m just in-love with the stuff.
If you haven’t had it before and are a little cautious, think of it as more of a no-bake slice. Technically, it’s nothing new- perhaps just the name? I know my Grandmother has been making versions of it for years. However I think with improved home kitchen appliances, the recipes too have improved.
I have linked a raw-cake recipe below, but if you have any great recipes you would like to share with me, please don’t hesitate too! I've also shared the date and yogurt shake I have been having a lot of recently. It’s been a wonderful power-pop for when I can’t get to a proper breakfast/lunch, which is, at this stage of the motherhood game, still far too often.

Chocolate and raspberry tart. (Thank you to Kellie for introducing this one to me)

Date and Yoghurt Smoothie
1 cup of Greek/plain yoghurt
1 cup of milk
4 ice cubes
12 pitted dates
1 tablespoon of ground almonds

Throw it all in a Thermomix or good quality smoothie blender until smooth.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014



There hasn't been much kitchen action around here the last couple of weeks, at least nothing worth writing about. 
Eggs on toast. 
A few shamefully bad curries. 
Twice a day muesli. 
Moving house, Christmas Banquet for 160, a fundraising event to oversee and just the general hoo-hah of Christmas business all round. It's been an exhausting end to the year. 
Not to mention that Summer is peaking. I glisten all day long and not because I am a vampire but because it is 30+ degrees and I can not handle the heat the way I did pre-pregnancy (one of the odd side effects of baby-creating). 
Lord knows how I will handle it when we work up past the 40's. 
On the upside, the webber has come out in full force! 
Before we left the last house we celebrated with a couple of pear ciders,  a packet of mixed vegetable chips and Chimichirri on steak cooked to perfection the way the webber always does. It was a wonderful way to farewell that house and the season we had there. 

As far as the new place goes, life has moved forward as if nothing really has changed. Princess Squirmy has adapted to her new environment with much ease- mostly I think she just loves the new staircase- and now that we are meeting the end of the unpacking, the place is already starting to feel like a home. It's smaller, but better designed, there is not much garden, no grass, but some terrific parks close by and an enclosed courtyard that P.S. Can run around in relatively unsupervised which is a new and wonderful experience for me. 

I dare say I am ready for 2014 now. Finally.