Tea, toast and Tumbarumba

Tea, toast and Tumbarumba

A few weeks ago Adam and I decided to set aside a few days in July for a little mini-break. We wanted somewhere not too far home, where we could switch off for a few days but still take advantage of amenities. We settled on Tumbarumba, a small town in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, about an hour or so drive from Wagga Wagga. Initially we thought we might check out the town’s new rail trail and perhaps visit a few picnic grounds surrounded by bush, but as the days to our departure date inched closer it became apparent our visit was going to coincide with some wet, wintry weather and outdoor activities would be difficult, especially with a toddler.

Despite the lack of blue skies we had a really lovely time away and even managed to give Paul his first experience with snow…

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Adam’s jacket potatoes

Adam’s jacket potatoes

This weekend just gone has been a tough one for many people in Australia. COVID infection rates are on the rise again, there’s been new lockdowns announced and restrictions affecting day-to-day living are back. The situation is evolving rapidly and perhaps that, combined with the fact that it’s been chilly, wet and dark for a few days has got me craving comfort food.

Comfort food is highly personal. For some it might be sweet,but for me it’s savoury and specifically in the form of a potato. Yes, the humble spud whether it be mashed, roasted, in the form of a hot chip or a crunchy crisp, makes my heart sing.

In recent years the jacket potato has triumphantly made its way to near top of my potato products line-up. For years I was of the understanding a jacket potato was any potato in its skin, generally boiled, and then often cut open and served with sour cream, bacon and spring onions. Then I met Adam and he introduced me to jacket potatoes of the English variety and I’ve been a convert ever since…

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Old fashioned lemonade

Old fashioned lemonade

On a grey, cool morning just the other day I decided it was time to pick the first lemons from our tree. Big, bulbous fruit had been ripening on the branch for a few weeks and the lemons looked and felt just right. If you’ve been around here for a little while, you’ll know I love pretty much anything lemon-flavoured and normally when our tree bears fruit I gravitate towards making a dessert. After trawling recipe after recipe though, I just couldn’t find anything that really whet my appetite. Then one night I got a real hankering for proper old fashioned lemonade. The type that’s a cloudy lemon colour and not too sweet. The type you’d drink out of a straw from a nice glass, sitting under a tree on a sunny day while picnicking, Enid Blyton The Famous Five style. Again I trawled through recipes until I found one that had minimal ingredients and could easily be rustled up with little notice.

The end result hit the spot perfectly…

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A long weekend in Launceston

A long weekend in Launceston

Last month I took a little solo holiday in Tasmania. The purpose of the four day break was to make a surprise visit a dear friend of mine, who I hadn’t seen in nearly two years. The trip was a little momentous for me too, as it marked the first time I’d ever been away from Paul overnight, and it the first time I’d properly travelled since the COVID pandemic erupted.

In the lead-up to the mini-break I won’t deny that I was a little nervous about it all, but I came home refreshed and rather excited to return with Adam and Paul in tow, as Tasmania really is something quite special…

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Raspberry and chocolate hazelnut swirl muffins

Raspberry and chocolate hazelnut swirl muffins

I woke up the other day and the morning light outside looked different. The harsh, bright light of the summer had gone, and in its place was a slightly mellower, more golden glow. Right on cue, the change of season had arrived. The time of year where there are cool mornings and warm afternoons; bare legs and long sleeves; and golden leaves and green grass. That change of light also changed my mindset about food – suddenly frozen icy treats didn’t seem appealing, but something warm and pudding like – yes please.

So one afternoon I whipped up a batch of muffins. Half trusted recipe, half made up recipe and I’ve discovered they’re just the thing for these early autumn days…

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Pesto pasta with meatballs

Pesto pasta with meatballs

Not long after Paul was born my mum, dad and brother all came to visit. One night my brother whipped up this pasta for dinner. Still recovering from childbirth and breastfeeding around the clock left me very hungry in those early days and this dish just really hit the spot that night. I can remember going back for seconds and then tucking into another bowl again the following day for lunch.

It’s become a regular meal at our house since and when my brother was in town recently he kindly offered to make this pasta again, knowing it’d be a winner. It really is a very simple meal, but it’s quick (can be thrown together in around half an hour), satisfying and toddler friendly…

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What’s been making me happy: December

What’s been making me happy: December

Well, here we are in the last month of a year that I think no one will forget for a very long time. The last 12 months have been incredibly testing for many and while 2020 will be farewelled with much gusto, the challenges that come with dealing with a global pandemic won’t magically disappear when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. I sincerely hope however, that we take away a few lessons from this last year: the importance of family and friends, of of fresh air and being outside, and of good health. Simple pleasures, but ones that fill your heart and head with joy.

Here’s what’s been making me smile this month…

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The Station Collective

The Station Collective

I think it’s fair to say 2020 has been a tumultuous year. Life as we know it has been turned upside down and we’ve had to confront isolation, lockdowns and uncertainty. What I love about my little part of Australia though, is despite it all, new shops, cafés and restaurants have managed to open and thrive.

One such example is The Station Collective, a beautifully appointed coffee shop with a super unique location…

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