cook | eat

this salad has simple yet sophisticated ingredients that are really so effortless to pull together.

we had this on a Friday night after a long week at work. we wanted something light yet decadent, and we didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen; relaxation, wine and chats were needed, and this dish pairs perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • Bunch of watercress; washed & trimmed
  • Prosciutto; roughly torn
  • Camembert; the best quality you can afford
  • Fresh figs; washed, dried, halved and grilled for a couple minutes each side (2 per person)
  • pistachio nuts; shelled and dry toasted in a dry pan (handful for two)

All these ingredients don’t really have measurements; just add to taste or increase/decrease according to numbers of people eating.

No dressing is needed because the figs caramelise on the outside and stay juicy on the inside which lends a lovely liquid to the salad.

Method:

Assemble in pretty layers of ingredients, the smaller more delicate ingredients towards the top. Serve with or without a glass of crisp, slightly sweet rosé or a mature Blanc de Blanc champagne.

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make :: blueberry lemon icebox cake

We’ve just had the hottest three days on record in Sydney. Much of the state is in critical weather condition with many towns and areas being evacuated for fear of total devastation by bushfire.

Seriously, I don’t know how we’ve been functioning in 47°C heat (117F).

This cake was a great distraction; it’s no-bake, so you don’t need to inflict more heat on your poor living space, and it makes the perfect summer dessert; light, creamy, citrusy and most importantly,  cool.

It needs to feeeze overnight, so make it a day ahead.

Blueberry lemon icebox cake

Recipe is from Tastemade.

mornings

I recently heard an interview with a chef on a random radio station (can’t remember where or with who!) but I loved the questions enough to write them down when I had a chance.

Here’s my answers to these fun quiz questions!

What time do you get up?

  • weekday exercising it’s 6.15am, otherwise 7am for work and on the weekend I sleep in as long as possible!

Coffee or tea?

  • coffee coffee coffee coffee. there is a time for tea but in general I prefer the black gold

coffee from my local Fix in Crows Nest
coffee from my local Fix in Crows Nest
How do you have your toast?

  • when Im eating grains, I have sourdough with avocado and squeeze of lemon with salt & pepper. delish!

avocado on sourdough
avocado on sourdough (pic via cupofjo.com)
Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch?

  • Lunch. I’m not particularly a fan of breakfast food; it’s just not that exciting.

Favourite restaurant in Sydney?

  • Gowings Bar and Grill

Gowings
Gowings (pic via Gowings website)

Dine @ Gowings
Dine @ Gowings (pic via Gowings website)

our lovely waiter pouring my fave beverage!
our lovely waiter pouring my fave beverage!
What’s the only thing that’s always in your fridge?

  • butter and wine! can’t really make a meal out of that combination but it’s what’s always present in my fridge!

***

Now, what about you?

Happy Thursday!

food glorious food

this is what i’ve been cooking lately



roast chicken & veggies for a dinner with friends


lamb shanks for the cold winter nights


paleo big brekkie


mussels en provence


mid-week paleo chicken fajitas


weekend steak, scrambled eggs & veggies


buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce for footy night


chicken & date tagine

flourless, sugarless chocolate cake

🍒🍎🍌🌽🍆🍠🍕🍔🍗🍪

have you been cooking up a storm? what’s been on your plate of late?

weeknight feeds | chicken cacciatore 

I love the simplicity of this dish; not only is it super quick and easy to make but it bursts with delicious Italian flavours!

It’s a one pan weeknight wonder! Just adjust the ingredients for however many people you’re feeding.


Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • a punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup deseeded kalamata olives
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • handful fresh thyme leaves
  • sea salt & ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • flat-lead parsley

Optional:

  • couscous to serve
  • garden salad to serve

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180•C.
  • Drizzle an oven proof dish with olive oil, sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place into dish.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients in a haphazard manner
  • Cover with foil and place in oven for 40-45 mins, removing the foil for the last 10 mins.
  • Sprinkle with parsley before serving
  • Tastes best with couscous and garden salad
  • Serves 4

whole30 | two weeks down

Jay and I are doing the Whole30 program.

What is Whole30 you might be asking?

It’s a revolutionary way to change your life; you’re health, your emotional attachment to food and your relationship to your body and exercise.
You can read all about it [here]

Basically we are doing away with alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, dairy and healthy-treats (referred to as Sex With Your Pants On) for a full 30 days!
But don’t focus on what is being avoided, focus on the positive; whole food, healthy – as close to nature as possible – food, detechnofying (is this actually a word?!?) and simple movement for a month.

It’s been a little challenging. The no alcohol is what’s really got me. I usually have a glass of wine or a martini every night. And not snacking between meals has been challenging (snacking avoidance is also about temperance) although I’ve still been having at least one snack a day, like late-afternoon I have some beef jerky or a handful of nuts.
I’ve also gotten a little sick, Jay calls it the “carb flu” but Whole30 says its not unusual to get a little sick as your body is trying to rid itself from all the toxins in the first week or so, the immune system is a little overloaded. So days 7-11 I struggled with an ear and sinus infection which was not fun.

Today is Day 14. And you should see my skin and eyes; clear and sparkling! I’ve always had pretty good skin, but I can really see a difference. And my clothes feel a little looser. I am enjoying the food; eating naturally but all the cooking is pretty intensive! Last night was the first time we ate out since starting to program; we went to Mumu Grill which specialises in grass-fed beef & free-range pork/chicken. It was weird not having a glass of wine with the meal (especially on a Saturday night) but we made great food choices and left feeling satiated, not bursting at the seams and with dessert, wine & the other extras, dinner was so cheap!

Here’s a few pics of our food over the past week:

homemade paleo muesli
homemade paleo muesli

made with no grains; just seeds, nuts & coconut. I have this with coconut milk or homemade almond milk.

brekkie; bubble & squeak with poached egg
brekkie; bubble & squeak with poached egg

a great way to use left over veggies; bubble & squeak fry-up topped with a poachie

breakkie; scrambled eggs with hamburger beef pattie & kale salad
breakkie; scrambled eggs with hamburger beef pattie & kale salad

grassfed beef patties with scrambled eggs and a kale & tomato salad

lunch; mince fry-up & salad
lunch; mince fry-up & salad

super quick to prepare; grassfed beef mince & onion with a salad of kale, tomato, jicama & blanched broccoli

coconut chicken 'nuggets' with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad
coconut chicken ‘nuggets’ with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad

so yum! chicken nuggets made with freerange organic chicken mince, Thai spices & rolled in coconut then shallow fried, served with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad (without the blue cheese and made with paleo mayo)

dinner; mushroom burger with sweet potato wedges
dinner; mushroom burger with sweet potato wedges

mushroom bun, grassfed beef pattie, salad & paleo mayo served with sweet potato wedges

steak, sweet potato & zucchini grilled on the bbq with salad
steak, sweet potato & zucchini grilled on the bbq with salad

grassfed scotch fillet barbecued with sweet potato & zucchini and served with a quick salad of blanched broccolini, green beans, pepitas & cranberries

meatloaf muffins & zoodles
meatloaf muffins & zoodles

grassfed beef mince with chopped veggies & herbs to make a ‘meatloaf muffin’ served with zucchini noodles and homemade basil pesto

#rightnow

Melly & Harley
Melly & Harley

#rightnow
raspberries
presents in the mail
aviator sunglasses
80’s music
short stories
sparkling water
concert t-shirts
daydreaming
freshly vacuumed carpet
happy memories
fresh cut flowers
new adventures
possibility
double espresso
smell of bbq
sunshine
driving with the windows down
gold aztec jewellery
driving nowhere
kanye west playing loud
the circus
breakfast as lunch
doggy cuddles

banoffee pie | recipe

Broadsheet published Cafe Sopra’s famous banoffee pie recipe which I replicated about a month ago!

Banoffee Pie
Banoffee Pie

Ingredients:

2 x 395g cans of sweetened condensed milk
180g unsalted butter, chopped
375g digestive biscuits, halved
600ml thickened cream
2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped out
75g icing sugar, sifted
4 bananas
30g dark chocolate, finely grated

stages of assembly
stages of assembly

Method:
Place cans of condensed milk in a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, adding water if necessary to ensure cans remain covered, remove cans and cool in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Meanwhile melt butter in a small saucepan, and then cool slightly. Using a food processor, crush biscuits to fine crumbs, add the butter and process briefly to combine. Press crumb mixture over the base of a greased 28cm loose based tin then refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm the base.

Open cooled cans of condensed milk and spoon caramel evenly over the biscuit base and refrigerate overnight to firm.

To assemble pie: Using an electric mixer whisk cream, vanilla bean seeds and sugar to stiff peaks. Cut bananas into thin slices. Remove pie from tin, loosen base and place on a plate. Spoon or pipe half the whipped cream over the caramel filling, then place bananas in an overlapping circle working from the outside in. Top with the remaining cream and sprinkle with grated chocolate.

Cut into slices with a hot dry knife and serve immediately.

Tip: To stop noise of cans rattling in the saucepan, place a folded tea towel in the base before adding the water.

Caution: extremely sweet & requires 6 or more people to eat it!

a slice of banoffee
a slice of banoffee

memorable meals

Food glorious food.

How I love to eat!

And I’ve eaten some delicious fare of late, which I thought I’d share with you.

some have been delectably healthy…

51120138419 green smoothie made with coconut water, kale, celery, apple, cucumber & mint

5142013143845 make the best of this seasons ripe creamy avocado; with lettuce, tomato & salmon

6172013214128 I’ve been experimenting with the paleo recipes.
I created paleo chicken nuggets; chicken mince, coriander, chilli, shredded coconut & then rolled in coconut flour & air fried in my Philips AirFryer!

617201321412 snacking on roasted almonds with Japanese chilli salt & paprika and coconut oil

And then the not so healthy…

6122013201432 celebrating my husband’s success (uni post-grad) with Bollinger champagne and homemade coleslaw & American-style pork ribs!

530201315265 a socialicious dinner party with friends!

614201303054 a French bistro style dinner with my girlfriends (I ate the meal on the top right; duck & celeriac mash) at Felix at The Ivy

But it’s not all about me….Harley bear had a birthday! He turned 3 years old and he had a birthday party with a few doggy friends at the dog cafe. He had a delicious lunch of mince, rice & veggies and a dog friendly birthday cake!!!

5152013121440

What memorable meals have you eaten of late???

swedish meatloaf | paleo recipe of the week

Recently I bought the most awesome book;
Primal Cravings
by husband wife crossfit duo Megan & Brandon Keatley.
It’s endorsed by Mark Sisson, one of the godfathers of the modern paleo movement, so you know it’s going to be great!

primal

Last night I created my first recipe from it’s pages…the only issue is that all the recipe measurements are in Imperial metrics, so I have to convert each ingredient to metric. I think I’m going to be writing all over my book!

Swedish Meatloaf

Swedish Meatloaf
Swedish Meatloaf

Ingredients

For the meatloaf

  • 1 pound ground pork (aka 500g pork mince)
  • 1 pound ground beef (aka 500g beef mince)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, grated (aka 1/2 large brown onion)
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the sweet & sour cherry jam

  • 12 ounce bag frozen cherries (aka 500g bag of frozen cherries)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°F (aka 175-180°C).

Place all of the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl and using your handy-dandy hands, mix to combine thoroughly.

Shape the mixture into a loaf and plop it into a standard loaf pan.

Bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, combine the jam ingredients into a small sauce pot. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the liquids have reduced by about a third. Use a fork or potato masher to smash up the cherries.

Serve the meatloaf topped with the cherry jam.

I served mine with cauliflower mash and roasted brussel sprouts & more cauliflower.
I served mine with cauliflower mash and roasted brussel sprouts & more cauliflower.

Recipe from Primal Cravings cook book.