Village life can be frustrating. You know by now how I feel about the limitations when it comes to food, but there are other basic services that life outside of the city simply cannot provide. Namely sharpening services for kitchen knives. … Continue reading →
When I lived in Sydney dumplings were never too far away. They could be bought at an Asian grocer and cooked up at home or found in a nearby Chinese restaurant in one of the many Chinese hubs around Sydney. … Continue reading →
I’ve made loads of lemon tarts… but I’ve never felt moved enough, confident enough to share a recipe. It’s all been a bit hit and miss. Sometimes grainy, sometimes too tart and often too flat. But, I made a lemon … Continue reading →
It’s salad mayhem here. This will be the last one for the season. I promise. This raw broccoli salad is the jewel in the crown. The first time I tried it was at my turkey-carving masterclass at Copas Turkeys last year. They had put on a lunch for the visitors and this was one of the salads on offer. It’s been 6 months – and finally I got my hands on Brenda Copas’ raw broccoli salad. It’s similar to a popular American recipe that features bacon and raisins and fried lardons was an option for this dish but I left it out. If something tastes great without bacon, always best to leave it out really. I know that sounds frugal but bacon is the last thing I need these days.
It might come as a surprise from someone who talks a lot about healthy eating and vegetables, but I’ve never liked raw broccoli, I only sometimes like it steamed, so this recipe was a stretch for me. But let me tell you – it is a salad miracle that broccoli tastes so good in this salad. I think the secret is in the dressing and the marinading. You can feel free to make this salad and eat it up straight away – but if Brenda says to marinade the broccoli then I’ll marinade it because whatever it is – it works.
Sweet and creamy, this amazing dressing contains a confronting amount of sugar, but it’s so delicious it’s worth every calorie. Needless to say this is more of a celebration salad than a virtuous daily meal type of recipe.
Broccoli, Cheese and Roasted Nut Salad Recipe
1 x head of broccoli
1 x cup of nuts/seeds (hazelnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds)
1 cup grated cheese
1 bunch spring onions, sliced Dressing:
1 cup of mayonnaise
2 tbs cider vinegar
Roast the nuts, leave to cool.
For the dressing, mix up the mayo, vinegar and sugar.
Cut the broccoli into small florets and grate the stalk.
Toss the broccoli, cheese and onion into the dressing and leave over night.
When you’re ready to serve give it a mix, stirring in the nuts.
I recently tried Applewood Cheddar for the first time and while I don’t make a habit of eating cheese unless it’s mouldy, I couldn’t resist seeking out a recipe for this much-loved British cheese. With its subtle smokey flavour and creamy … Continue reading →
I don’t know if it’s my impending beach holiday or the heat, but I’ve been eating lots of salads lately. Who am I kidding, I eat salad everyday because if I didn’t then I don’t know what. This is the … Continue reading →
The only time I buy cereal is when Kellogg’s have their annual Grown-ups Go Free promotion. Last year we used them to take the boys to Lego Land for the first time and I’ve got my tokens on the fridge ready … Continue reading →
When I moved to Britain I wanted to make sure my blog also felt like it had moved and changed to reflect my life here. So many things are different about life here compared to back in Sydney. Surprisingly the availability … Continue reading →
Sweet dips for fruit is always a popular search on my blog, and so I thought I’d share this recipe just in time for those super summer strawberries. So often the sweetness of a perfect strawberry needs nothing else, but after … Continue reading →
6oz of butter, 6oz flour, 2oz of sugar and 2oz of custard powder is all you need to make one of Britain’s favourite snack time treats. Custard Creams have been one of the nation’s favourite biscuits since Victorian times, and while … Continue reading →
“Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be” so says the Wiccan Rede. If you want to cut an elder you must ask permission of the Elder Mother, the spirit said to inhabit the tree, “Old girl, … Continue reading →
It’s something I’m rather proud of that didn’t involve feeding my face, so I’ll begin by saying that I walked over 14 miles on Sunday from Salisbury to Stone Henge. If you’re curious about the route, it’s something I found … Continue reading →
I’ve tried making bread at home for years. The loaves have always come out too dense, or stodgy, or the results simply weren’t worth the effort. I’ve come to realise that bread-making is more of a habit than anything else. … Continue reading →
There’s a plethora of chopping woods, blocks and sheets available today, which makes choosing the right board difficult. However, if you’re not sure about what the best kind is, consider that wooden chopping boards have natural anti-bacterial properties in the wood that … Continue reading →
I’ve just been to Edinburgh to visit my brother. Lucky for me we had a personal tour guide to take us around and select the best places to eat; and lucky for us Edinburgh has a vibrant and varied food scene … Continue reading →
Labneh is not something you might think to make for snack or to go with a meal, and admittedly, I made mine as an afterthought to use up some yoghurt. But after making it for my middle-eastern lunch, I am … Continue reading →
When it comes to salads, I follow the American school of thought where it’s more about the dressing than the actual contents of the salad. And when it comes to dressings – you can’t get any more delicious than blue … Continue reading →
I’m always looking for interesting cuts and ways to cook meat, and to introduce my kids to new flavours. Even as little boys, they’ve always loved middle eastern food and so it’s within those areas that I try to improve my … Continue reading →
Sometimes I just know it’s time to make something lemony. In amongst the choc-chip cookies, caramel slices, brownies and various baked beauties, it’s time grab a bag of lemons and get squeezing. In the past there’s been Honey & Lemond … Continue reading →
I’ve been missing the food from home a bit lately. This week I wanted to make a seafood soup, with a variety of shell fish and prawns and was so disappointed that I had to use a pre-cooked selection. I … Continue reading →
After pursuing a recipe that used 6 egg yolks, I had a moral duty to rescue at least some of the egg whites I had set aside. My inner-thrift simply wouldn’t let me throw away perfectly good egg whites, but … Continue reading →
It’s no secret that I love the food of Yotam Ottolenghi. His approach to vegetables is exciting, his flair with cake is inspiring and I have absolute faith in his palate which means that when I see a recipe for … Continue reading →
To an Aussie – the word ‘fatballs’ could only have one possible meaning, and it’s not until I moved to the UK that I encountered the use of this word in relation to wildlife and birds. If you want to … Continue reading →
After a much needed break this Christmas, I’m looking forward to a good year. I hope 2014 is treating you all well so far, for me it’s been a great start. We moved. Again. But this time it’s a little more permanent, we bought a property in a nearby village called Cookham. The move was hectic as it happened just before Christmas but we got settled in time to enjoy our first Christmas in our new home. I am still tinkering with the arrangements in my new kitchen because it’s huge. I mean huge, for British standards anyway. It covers half of the bottom floor of the house and is home to a massive fridge and more importantly a monster Rangemaster gas and electric cooker complete with 6 burners, 2 ovens, a grill and a warming tray.
I’ve been a bit distracted from cooking lately as I have some other projects that I’m working on, but rest assured, I have some great recipes to share in 2014. There’s some super salad ideas, vegetarian bakes, yet another scone recipe and even a little something for the local bird population and hopefully a few more reviews of some eateries in the area. Over Christmas my Festive Christmas Tart was featured in the launch issue of digital publication, Brilliant Baking Magazine. Plus the editors Andrea and Leigh have invited me back to write the forward for their February issue themed around family recipes and traditions. I’ll be sharing my bread and butter cake for that one also.
As far as music goes, I have had the new Arctic Monkeys new album AM on high rotation in the kitchen lately, with a healthy dose of QOTSA and spattering of the White Album thrown in for good measure. This winter has been incredibly mild as far as temperature goes but it has been raining almost none stop since Christmas. We have a conservatory and so it gets a bit loud when the rain gets fierce and makes it really hard to hear the telly.
Lurpak got in touch with me to try their new Slow Churned Butter, their new ‘fuller tasting’ butter has been churned in small batches over 5 hours to create a richer, full-flavoured butter to “excite any butter connoisseur”. I consider … Continue reading →
For Christmas I wanted to make shortbread, which is always appropriate at this time of year, but I wanted it to be a little bit special. I’m a bit unfair posting this recipe now when all the lavender has gone … Continue reading →
If you’re not overly confident to start your own chocolate factory just yet, why not try these little treasures. All you need is a microwave to create an endless variety of these pretty and festive sweets. You can create a … Continue reading →
For Christmas this year I’m baking another round of sweet treats for the teachers, neighbours and locals. Because things are a bit hectic around here, I kept this year’s selection simple and yet they’ve turned out to be the most … Continue reading →
On our journey home from Korcula to Split during our summer holiday in Croatia, we drove through the coastal towns and winding roads, even crossing into Bosnia-Herzogovina for a brief moment. During our stint in Bosnia we passed roadside stalls … Continue reading →
“Good friends are like stars…. You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there” I have a friend from Canada and together we used to enjoy swapping recipes, talking about food and embarking on oven-baked finger food … Continue reading →
I’ve always had a curiosity about suet, but never the confidence to actually cook with it. But since moving to the UK I’ve enjoyed some wonderful suet dishes and I finally got around to putting the suet I had in … Continue reading →
Everything from the pastry to the filling to licking the beaters covered in butter, rum and sugar, this recipe is smashing! With these proportions of rum and butter – how could this tart not be decadent and delicious? I make … Continue reading →
A few things first, I bought these brown plates thinking they’d look great on camera. I was wrong. Second, the spot of pink on the right corner of the cake is evidence of my experimentation, I threw in a few … Continue reading →
I am always looking for things to do with mince. As we all know, mince of any kind is a cheap and fairly nutritious way to feed a family. For some reason I don’t have a high tolerance for Asian mince recipes…I … Continue reading →
My Dad bought me this apron back from a trip to Zagreb. It’s a hand stitched motif of a pretty lady in the kitchen. It says ‘I’m sweeter than sugar, I’m your dinner’….which sounds strange but it’s a translation and … Continue reading →
As the name suggests, this slice is bursting with lemony goodness. It is similar to a lemon tart, but less creamy, less subtle. With a short, crunchy base this slice is topped with a lemon custard that can be adjusted to suit … Continue reading →
This recipe was given to my mother, from an old neighbour and it belonged her mother and I love making it. It’s moist in texture, subtle in flavour and deliciously crunchy on the top. You will notice the ingredient list is humble, and … Continue reading →
My uncle used to kill pigs for the village when he was a young man. He told me once how he could tell the difference between the pigs that ate oats and the pigs who didn’t. The ones who ate … Continue reading →
This pineapple upside down cake has an unusual texture that makes it somehow very luxurious. The recipe isn’t exactly easy but it isn’t exactly hard either. If I hadn’t eaten one of the pineapple halves, there would have been the perfect … Continue reading →
I always thought that making light, moist meatballs was out of my scope, but when I discovered the secret to success, thanks to my mother’s hard work and persistence, meatballs became part of our regular repertoire. You can really flavour … Continue reading →
This is an old recipe that was given to my mum by a neighbour. It is thoroughly different to a banana cake and an exemplary loaf recipe as it is moist and dense and perfect for slicing, toasting and serving buttered for … Continue reading →
To be precise, this meal, in today’s terms would be called ribbed penne with a beef ragu. But my mum never called it that, she called it macaroni and it was a regular on the menu in our house. It is a … Continue reading →
I am making a few home-made treats for the family for Christmas this year, and one of those will be some sugared almonds for my dad. Many years ago when I visited Croatia, we had stopped by an old family … Continue reading →
This recipe is almost fool proof. I actually don’t think it is possible to mess this one up. It’s buttery, sweet, moist and smells wholesome and comforting. It can be made with any fruit, I’ve had success with blueberries and adding … Continue reading →