Poached Dried Fruit

poached fruitI discovered poached dried fruit at this random deli in Melbourne about a month ago and I have been trekking out on my bike each weekend to get my fix. I have been buying a container-full and adding a spoonful or two to my fruit and yogurt each morning, its my new favourite way to start the day! Anyway, yesterday it was pouring with rain and I couldn’t justify riding my bike in the thunderstorm just to get my container of poached dried fruit. So I thought I would investigate how to make it myself – turns out its ridiculously easy and quick and actually tastes way better than the bought-stuff (mainly because I can adjust the sweetness for my liking). I love having this for breakfast but could also be great with dessert on icecream or panna cotta. It keeps beautifully in the fridge.

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Saganaki

saganakiThis is the easiest, most fail-proof dish to impress the socks off somebody. It takes about 5 minutes to cook and the cheese turns the most beautiful golden colour.  The sesame seeds (either white or black) do make it a little bit more special and it does look great on a black plate.

 

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Pumpkin Pie for a Happy 4th!

paleo-pumpkin-pie-13907-1I started writing this blog- post 6 days before the US election last year (when I was still living in D.C.) but never posted it because I wasn’t completely happy with the recipe. I’ve now made it a few more times and I love it, so I thought now would be the right time to post it with the original text, on this day – July 4 – Happy Independence Day, America.

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Creamy carbonara with zucchini noodles

zuchini2I recently got into this home-cook called, ‘Deliciously Ella’. It was actually my house-mate
that introduced me to her – he kept cooking all this yummy and healthy food and every time I asked where the recipe came from he would say, ‘Deliciously Ella’. After a few months, I decided to find out what all the fuss was about and jumped onto her blog. Well it turns out that she’s absolutely gorgeous – no wonder my house-mate is obsessed with her, and that I now want to be her (she is like a glowing beam of health and happiness).

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Sven’s Barbecued Salt & Pepper Squid

salt-pepper-squid-2719_lIts summer time in Australia – the sun is shining bright, the BBQ is getting a real workout and everyone is lounging around watching Australia kick ass in the cricket. Its wonderful to be back (and this time for good!) and, to celebrate, we had a few friends around to bring in the new year. As this is a special occasion, my brother, Sven (no, my parents are not Swedish), is making his famous Salt and Pepper Squid.

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Banana Bread

Banana bread reminds me of home. I always used to go to cafes in Australia and order it because I banana-bread2thought it was the healthy alternative to cake…

My family don’t understand why I love banana bread – because I absolutely hate bananas. Not being able to smell means that ‘texture’ is really important to me and I think we can all agree that the texture of bananas is disgusting. But if they are blended into a ‘bread’ batter – then they don’t bother me at all 🙂

There is no sugar in this recipe. Instead I use honey which I think adds a much more floral and rich sweetness and darkness to the bread. The added step of heating the bananas to extract their liquid is a bit of a pain but totally worth it for a strong banana flavor with no gumminess. Serve warm with espresso, cinnamon butter (what else are you going to do while waiting for the bread to bake!).

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Chocolate chip cookies for the Party Bus

party-busAll aboard the party bus! Its time to visit the wineries in Virginia and what better way to get there than on a party bus?? The bus we found is actually a retrofitted submarine (as you can see) and decked out with neon lights and sound system. As you can imagine, we were the envy of all the other winery visitors.

The vineyards we went to were fantastic, in particular, I highly recommend Stone Tower Winery (stonetowerwinery.com) for great wine, beautiful views and wonderful ambience.

But since the wineries are a good 2 hours drive in the Party bus, we of course needed munchies. These chocolate chip cookies were perfect. They are deliciously chewy and chocolate-rich. The secret is to let the cookie dough chill for 24 hours to allow all the rich flavours to intensify and to ensure that, when baked, the dough firms but remains soft inside. Also don’t skip on the sea salt before popping them in the oven!

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Classic roast chicken

chickenAnyone that knows me, knows that I have a severe fear of birds. That goes for live birds and ones that I am about to eat.

It started when I was 5 years old – I was strutting across the playground trying to catch the eye of my crush, Joel Einfeld – when a pigeon flew into my head, knocking me to the ground. I don’t know what happened to the pigeon but there were feathers everywhere… in my hair, mouth, etc.

Since then I have had several other awkward encounters with pigeons and other types of birds. Needless to say, I absolutely hate them – dead or alive. As a result, I’m really squeamish about handling whole raw chickens. If you can’t find someone to make this for you (a parent, partner, neighbour, child), this recipe is worth the discomfort of handling the chicken. The meat is tender and juicy and the skin crispy. Perfect for sunday night dinner.

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Corn Chowder

Looks like baby food in the picture but is so delicious! I’m always amazed how sweet the corn ‘milk’ is that is scraped from the husks, definitely give it a try!corn chowder

INGREDIENTS

  • 8ears corn, husks and silk removed
  • 3tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1onion, chopped fine
  • Pancetta chopped
  • 2teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4cup all-purpose flour
  • 5cups water
  • 3/4pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1cup half-and-half
  • Sugar
  • 3tablespoons chopped fresh basil

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Vietnamese dressing (nuoc mam cham)

A classic Vietnamese dipping sauce that is perfect with fresh rice paper rolls, or as a dressing over Vietnamese Snapper with Turmeric & Dillnuoc-cham

Ingredients

Makes 1 cup

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) water
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

Method

Place fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and water in a pan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring mixture to just below boiling point, then set aside to cool. Add garlic, chilli and lime juice, and stir to combine.