Baked ricotta with olives

Baked ricotta with olives

The other weekend I was invited to a housewarming, birthday party and farewell gathering all rolled into one.  We weren’t having a proper sit down meal, rather a selection of small bites, with each guest asked to contribute something.

Knowing the fail safe cheese board was probably taken care of, I decided to take a flick through one of my most reliable cookbooks – The Australian Women’s Weekly Best Ever Collection. There, I discovered the recipe for baked ricotta and olives, and decided to give it a go…

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Adam’s bolognese sauce

Adam’s bolognese sauce

I find there are some dishes Adam and I make over and over again for dinner, and bolognese sauce with pasta features quite near the top of that list.  After a long day, nothing quite beats coming home to a comforting bowl of al dente pasta smothered in a rich, tomato dense bolognese. It’s never the most Instagram-worthy meal, but it’s darn tasty and sometimes that’s all you need right?!

I spent years tinkering with my mum’s recipe and testing out others in Italian cookbooks (this was a favourite for a long time) but then Adam came into my life, and with it his bolognese recipe.  It tastes decadent, but normally we’ve always got all the ingredients on hand.  Adam normally makes a double batch which ensures we’ve got plenty of leftovers.  It freezes exceptionally well and tastes just a great dolloped on a steaming jacket potato or on a bit of toasted sourdough as it does pasta.

Adam has kindly shared his recipe if you’re keen to give it a go yourself…

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Plum and vanilla slice

Plum and vanilla slice

A few months back I treated myself to a copy of the National Trust cookbook.  Adam and I had National Trust membership while we were living in England and I have so many fond memories of spending days exploring the Trust’s beautiful old houses and stunning gardens.

We hosted a group of friends this weekend gone for a summery barbecue and I turned to my National Trust cookbook for some seasonal inspiration when it came to dessert…

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A frolic at the Fayre

A frolic at the Fayre

I can’t quite believe Christmas Eve is here already – with the wedding and our lovely holiday back in the U.K., the last few months just seem to have whizzed by. I spent the weekend deep cleaning the house, finishing up the gift shopping and buying lots of delicious food.  Adam and I welcome my parents and brother this afternoon and we’re looking forward to spending some one-on-one time with them all over the coming days.

I sometimes think the build up to Christmas is more lovely than the day itself – am I the only one?! You’ve got time to ease yourself into the festive spirit and special moments manifest themselves when you least expect them.  This year I got to experience the pre-Christmas buzz in both Australia and England, so today I want to take you back to early December – when trees were just being decorated and lights switched on and Christmas markets were in full force…

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The farm shop

The farm shop

One of the lovely things about being back in England is having the opportunity to visit the dozens of farm shops that surround Malvern.

Farm shops are usually independently run and generally sell locally grown produce and meat as well as baked goods, pantry staples like honey and preserves, as well as regional beers and ciders.  They’re like tiny little farmer’s markets dotted all over the countryside and if you love your food, they’re an utter joy to nose around…

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