peach pie and ice cream

slice it up

close up

Last night I made a peach pie. It wasn’t the best-planned of baking adventures, leaving me stranded at midnight with hot pie; this is often how my endeavours turn out, badly plotted and with a less than impressive musical score. With this particular pie, the timer went off while I was in the shower. The shower. I ask you, who decides to have a shower with five minutes to go on the pie timer? Me, apparently.

light up my plate

(And before you get all high-and-mighty on my showering time, that gave me one minute to get ready, leaving me well within 4-minute-showering rules. I’m environmentally conscious. Yep.)

pie

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flemington farmer’s market

A really lovely thing to do on a sunny summer Sunday is go for a walk at a farmer’s market. You could go with a friend who is really excited about the abundance of food and the experience of acquiring it from the people who grow it. You can talk to those people and really hear about their passion for food and plants and people and community. You can pet a really cute puppy and drink an ice-cold fresh orange juice slushy. You can taste heirloom apples and local cheeses and give them a party in your mouth.

I hope your weekend was as amazing as mine.

beetroot

beetrootcarrots

applesherbs

pear

 

aforementioned cute puppy

 

greek basil

 

alpine strawberry seedling

 

mini heirloom pumpkin

 

green tomatoes

 

apples

 

mini jonathons

hazelnut pretzel brownies

sunglasses because it's hot
Christmas, in Australia, is about the heat. It’s currently wavering around 40°C today, which is epically ridiculous, especially when you have to work in a kitchen. Yuck.

However, I love a summer Christmas. A long summer holiday with presents, time to read all those books you received from your family. What could be better? It’s true that a traditional roasted dinner can be a bit much, but a summer Christmas is also a great excuse to get expensive seafood and fresh summer fruit, all in the name of celebration. I have never known a white Christmas, although I would love to someday. For now I will enjoy bare feet and air conditioning. Continue reading

roasted strawberry buttermilk cake

It’s summertime, y’all!

No, I’m not from the South (of the USA) but it is practically summer, although not technically so for a few weeks. (Like, say, two. Eek!)

But the sun is shining, the plants are growing, the sweat is flowing and the strawberries are coming out. Yes, I said sweat. I’m not going to lie, I’m a lady but I still have bodily functions. That kinda overreact when you go running in the sun. Especially if you go for 14 kilometres. Continue reading

homemade barbecue sauce

I’m finding it difficult to figure out what to type here. Maybe it’s because it’s so hot here right now I could just melt into a puddle on my doona. Maybe because I’m stressed out with this moving situation.  Maybe because I’m getting over a cold and my brain is fried at the moment.

Maybe a lot of things.

Meanwhile, I can’t believe it’s the first day of February! Holy Moly, the year is going fast already. Let’s review New Years Resolutions quickly, shall we?

1. Be Healthier. Yep, I’m eating pretty well and loving the vegies and salads that are so fun to eat at this time of year (i.e SUMMER) and I even tried making a smoothie with spinach in it, which I’ll show you soon. It was amazing, let’s just say that.

2. Hang out on the blog more. Well, you may have noticed that I changed my header. Woohoo! But also, I have about five posts ready to be posted, so watch out for that! I’m excited for the new year and the motivation it gives me to post, so we’ll see how that pans out across the year.

3. Get creative. Apart from cooking heaps over the past few days, I have a bunch of sewing projects on the back burner and so many ideas for decorating/organising my new place, so I’ll update more as that goes on!

4. Get a church and mentor… not so much activity happening in this sector as of yet but I will be checking out churches in my vicinity once I’ve settled in a bit more.

How are your resolutions going? Do you have any? If not, what summer foods do you absolutely love? These plums came from my family’s tree back home and they are beautiful. I have at least two more plum recipes that I’m going to post, so keep your eye out! Our tree always produces so much fruit, it’s so awesome.

Peach Plum Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Adapted from nomnivorous.com

This is one of those recipes you can tweak any which way you like. More peaches? More plums? I wanted more onions in mine, and maybe more tomato. But that’s by the by. This stuff is amazing, you’ll never want to buy barbecue sauce again.

Makes about 2 litres. I know, but it’s so good you can give it to your friends and they’ll beg you for more.

1.5 kilos peaches & plums, halved and pitted [can be any combination of the  two. I used about a kilo of plums and 500g of peaches, which was three big peaches and about 15 small plums]

2 medium onions [but like I said, I would have liked more

1 – 2 chillies, chopped finely [depends on heat tolerance]

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp chopped ginger

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup bourbon

1/3 cup honey

50 g tomato paste, about 1 heaping dessert spoon

3 tablespoons molasses

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon dijon mustard, whole grain or smooth

1 teaspoon salt

Place the peaches, plums, onions and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan and simmer for about half an hour, until the fruit and onions are soft and can be mashed with your wooden spoon. Stir occasionally.

Add all other ingredients and simmer a further 20 minutes. Bring to boil, stirring, and then simmer another 40 minutes. Having it all cook together like this really melds the flavours together. If it’s too thick, add more bourbon or water. If it’s too thin, simmer for longer although remember it will thicken as it cools. Stir occasionally as it simmers.

Take off the heat and let cool about 20 minutes. Bottle and let cool completely, then refrigerate and send to your friends, waiting for the praise to pour in :).

guacamole

I went to Luna Park the other day and ate cake and ice cream. That was pretty much my food for the day (after a muesli bar and a cup of coffee for breakfast, a mango macaron for morning tea and another cup of coffee with the cake). It was a fantastic day and sometime later in this blog I will wax rhapsodic about Acland Street and its history, the beach at St Kilda, that one time we went to cold rock and took funny photos and the market along the esplanade. But this post is not about those things.

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avocado orange salad

Just a quick post because I’m supposed to be writing a novel.

This post is about SALAD! Salad is good for you. Spring and summer are all about the salad, kind of like winter is all about the soup.

[It’s good to be writing something that has nothing to do with my novel. I’ll be getting back to it soon, though.]

I love this salad so much I’ve had it three times since I discovered it on Joy the Baker’s beautiful site.  There’s so much you can do with it!

I don’t have a photo of the first time because I took it from my sister’s camera and I forgot to get it from her. But it had sesame seeds scattered over and buttermilk in the dressing. We kind of had to scoff it down though because we went to see a movie together, after we’d been to Camberwell Market and bought pretty shoes. And daisies.

The second time, I had it for dinner. As did I the third time. (watching episodes of Firefly for the first time. Where were you my entire life, please?)

The dressing makes a lot but that’s an excellent excuse to make it again. And again. And again.

The first time we went pretty traditional, just swapping the romaine for baby spinach (I heard you kinda like it) and switching up the dressing a tad, adding some of the thousands of sesame seeds she had in her cupboard. The second time, I had greens from the garden and an orange and half an avocado and it was really good.

The third time, the ONLY photos I have because I just discovered I lost my photos from the second time, I had baby avocados and blood oranges and flaked almonds and rocket from the farmer’s market.

I love farmer’s markets. This one, I was kinda tired because I’d had a girl’s night the night before. [girl’s nights are fun. Also, bourbon gives you courage. It’s a good thing.]

So make salad. If you need a pep talk, try Tea and Cookies. Joy has some good salads too.

Or you can just make this one a few times, or a few times more or a few times more after that.

Avocado and Orange Salad

Adapted from Joy the Baker

As you probably could tell from the descriptions I gave you of my other salads, you can do a lot with this one. I still want to try it with romaine lettuce, maybe with some different citrus. Grapefruit, lime, tangerine, mandarin. Chuck some cashews on top? You’re a genius. I love you. Put an egg yolk in your dressing? (Just as long as you aren’t pregnant! If you are, congratulations, but don’t eat raw eggs. Yet.) I’m going to give you Joy’s recipe, my method, and implore you to use your own imagination.

Have fun, salad eaters!

For the salad:

1 large head of romaine lettuce

1 navel orange, segmented

2 ripe avocados, sliced

a handful of fresh, chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)

For the dressing:

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 small garlic clove, finely minced

2 teaspoons honey

1 egg yolk (or 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt)

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

To segment the orange: Slice off the top and bottom of the skin so that the flesh shows. Use a knife to slice the skin off the sides, moving from the top down. Slice in between the natural segments at an angle, and you will find a segment pop out.

Roughly chop and rinse the lettuce, and shake dry. Scatter the segmented orange, sliced avocado and any other bits and pieces you want to over the top. Drizzle with dressing, and scoff down voraciously.

To make the dressing: Place all ingredients except olive oil, salt and pepper in a jar. Place the lid on and shake well. Add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Twist the lid tight and shake well. Drizzle over your salad. The dressing will last a few days in the fridge, probably up to a week.