Easter Egg Cake

14 Apr
April 14, 2014

I do like to keep things simple, and that includes entertaining at Easter.  Of course simple doesn’t mean dull or boring.  I wanted to create a dessert that would bring a smile to adults and children alike at the end of Easter Sunday lunch. 

A dessert, which resulted in a hazelnut sponge cake, filled with glorious chocolate cream, surrounded by chocolate tiles and adorned with more chocolate, Easter eggs.  For those entertaining the troops, there are a few do ahead elements, which will make your life easier on the day your guests arrive.

Easter Egg Cake Read more →

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Hazelnut, Orange & Chocolate Cookies, Vegan & Gluten Free

08 Apr
April 8, 2014

Last week I shared my little experiment in the kitchen making gluten free vegan choc chip cookies.  The experiments continued and the result are these hazelnut, orange chocolate cookies. 

A sweet treat for those with a gluten intolerance, as well as vegan for those that swing that way.  I do emphasis the ‘treat’, again there is sugar in these as they are not in anyway designed to be healthy.  They’re biscuits, very tasty ones at that.

Hazelnut, orange, chocolate cookies Read more →

Blackfish Café & Grill, Como

01 Apr
April 1, 2014

I really can’t express what a little hidden paradise, of The Sutherland Shire, Como is.  I recently shared with you all the The Como Grill located in the Como Hotel.  This would be the most obvious place to eat, as it is the most prominent building in Como.  Actually to those not familiar with the are, you may think it was the only place to eat in this waterside suburb.

Not true, there are actually a couple of other places to eat.  One, a Thai restaurant located at the entrance to The Pleasure Grounds, and the other options quite hidden, you need to know they are there.

Black Fish Cafe 7Blackfish Café is one of these hidden gems.  You have to know it is there, be looking for it, or luckily stumble upon it by chance while strolling through the park.  Located next door to the (free) local swimming pool inside The Pleasure Grounds.  The café has stunning views over the Georges River, Como Marina and the Como Bridge. Read more →

Zemnieku Brokastis, Farmers’ Breakfast

31 Mar
March 31, 2014

I love potatoes, give them to me baked, boiled or fried.  I have inherited having a continuous healthy stash of them in my kitchen from my mum, they are a staple.  It has only been in recent years, as I research more about Latvian culture and cuisine, that I am adamant that my love of potatoes is in my blood.

If you are like me, when you think of a potato munching country you automatically think of Ireland.  It seems, for all the same reasons that potatoes were important to the Irish, they were just as important to Latvians.

Potatoes are sometimes referred to as ‘the other bread’ by Latvians, and they feature heavily in the cuisine.  The hardy spud was an important introduction to Latvia from North America in the 19th Century.  No longer would peasants go hungry when the grain stores ran low in Winter and Spring, there was food to eat.

Peasants Breakfast Read more →

Choc Chip Cookies, Vegan & Gluten Free

27 Mar
March 27, 2014

Yes it is possible to make delicious gluten free, egg free and dairy free chocolate chip cookies.

It’s funny how recipes play out when you are experimenting in the kitchen.   Or at least how my mind works in any case.  Originally I was making gluten free choc chip cookies.  Then it occurred to me that if I swapped out the butter and used coconut oil and used cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips, these cookies would be both gluten and dairy free.

Dairy Free Choc Chip Cookies Read more →

The Darwin Ski Club, Darwin

26 Mar
March 26, 2014

There is one absolute must do when visiting Darwin, or any part of the West coast of Australia.  You must watch the sun set over the Timor Sea.

Unless you live on the East coast of Australia, the novelty of this would be probably a little lost on you.  There’s just something magical about watching the sun sink beneath the water, or at least appear to do so.

ski club darwinOne of my favourite discoveries from my trip to the Northern Territory is the Ski Club in Darwin.  So laid back and welcoming.  They are more than happy to have non members from out of town pay them a visit, just be sure to sign in at the bar.

ski club darwin Read more →

Madame Butterfly, Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

25 Mar
March 25, 2014

Only over the past few years have I discovered a deep enjoyment of opera.  As a child I was introduced to every other form of music and my parents were lovers of the theatre and live performance.   This explains my love for musicals.

My only brushes with opera were the Three Tenors and the movie Pretty Woman.  I have never forgotten the line, ‘Oh, it was so good, I almost peed my pants!’ exclaimed by Julia Roberts’ character Vivian, when asked if she enjoyed watching a performance of La Traviata.

Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is the perfect place to experience the opera for the first time.  In fact last for around 40% of those that attended HOSO’s performance last year of Carmen, it was their first opera experience.   I just wonder how many of them were as moved at Vivian?Handa_Opera_on_Sydney_Harbour_2014-MADAMA_BUTTERFLY_Photo_courtesy_of_Opera_Australia

Read more →

Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings

24 Mar
March 24, 2014

A bowl of freshly deep fried chicken wings are set down in front of you.  Knowing they’re hot does not deter you from picking one up.  You then proceed to do the chicken wing dance between your fingers.  Holding the wing between one hand before transferring quickly, almost tossing, it to the other, to avoid being burnt. 

You blow like a southerly on the outer crunchy coating in an attempt to cool the piping hot wing.  Just when you think you have succeeded you bite down with your teeth.  The coating shatters on impact with your teeth, resulting in a burst of steam released from the succulently tender meat inside.  You accomplish burning your mouth, which results in making panting noises like you have just gone into labour.  Theatrical short breaths in and out, along with something sounding like ‘hot hot hot’ in an attempt to stop your mouth burning while continuing to eat.

Deep Fried Hot & Spicy Chicken Read more →

Dylan Carter, A Culinary Tribute

20 Mar
March 20, 2014

If the name Dylan Carter rings a bell it may be due to reading about this aspiring young chef on Belly Rumbles last year.  If not you may be a Masterchef Junior fan.  I was invited to Dylan’s first ever pop up and was quite blown away by the then 14 year old school student from down Wollongong way.  I have continued to stay in touch and kept a keen eye on what he is up to.  If you haven’t read the original post, then please pop over and have a read, you will be amazed at what kitchens this young man has worked in.

A year gone by, Dylan a year older and it seems due for another pop up dinner.  The diner was organised under the wing of the Australian Good Food Guide’s (AGFG) Junior Development Program.

Dylan Carter Read more →

Chicken & Quinoa Salad

19 Mar
March 19, 2014

Don’t you love my rice paper rolls?  I personally think my brainwork behind them was ingenious.  As you have probably figured out from the photo, sadly the rice paper rolls didn’t agree and I present to you a salad.

Lilydale sent me a gift hamper with some fresh produce, goodies for Salts Meats Cheese, and of course some lovely fat Lilydale chicken breast fillets.  My problem was that the hamper screamed quinoa salad at me, and I didn’t want to make a salad.  I wanted to stretch my imagination and come up with something a little left of centre.

Orange Salad Dressing Read more →

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