Sweet potato salad

Sweet potato salad

The festive season is upon us and in Australia that means hot days, cold drinks and lots of alfresco eating. When the weather’s warm, I crave salads – not so much the stock standard lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and carrot variety with a basic supermarket vinaigrette, rather ones with cooked vegetables and pulses, nuts, herbs and creative dressings.

This sweet potato salad was first introduced to me at a family gathering many years ago. The recipe from another family, but so impressive at its first tasting that it’s been written down and recreated by my grandmother, mother and myself ever since.

I’ve taken it to barbecues, picnics and Christmas Day celebrations and it always receives rave reviews, so if you’re after a new salad to try this summer, perhaps this is one to consider…

Continue reading “Sweet potato salad”

French toast with carameralised peaches and thyme

French toast with carameralised peaches and thyme

This recipe came about a couple of years ago, when Adam and I were gifted a huge basket of home grown peaches. The fruit had been picked a little too early and as a result the peaches never ripened properly. It felt wasteful to just toss the peaches into the green waste bin, so I decided to show them a little love.

With a little time, butter and sugar I was able to transform those peaches into something soft, sweet and syrupy. This dish has now become a well-loved favourite in our house, particularly at this time of the year when the days are long and warm and the stone fruit is abundant. The thyme seems like a slightly odd addition, but its subtle, earthy flavour works wonderfully with the sweet peaches.

This is definitely not an ‘everyday’ breakfast, rather best savoured on a slow Saturday morning, in pyjamas with a cup of coffee in hand…

Continue reading “French toast with carameralised peaches and thyme”

Spring vegetable and goat’s cheese tart

Spring vegetable and goat’s cheese tart

This tart is one of those dishes I don’t make nearly often enough. I always thoroughly enjoy it, its ingredients are fresh and flavourful and it’s surprisingly filling. It’s a wonderful combination of crunchy pastry, creamy goat’s cheese, crisp greens and herbs. For me though the standout ingredient is tarragon with its almost aniseed like flavour. It’s herb I don’t use often, but it gives this tart such a wonderful lift.

The creator of this tart is Wagga Wagga based commercial cookery teacher, Sara Morley. Sara shared it, many years ago, as part of a regular ‘foodie’ segment she had on ABC Riverina. I can remember tasting a sample on the day she spoke about the recipe, telling Sara how delicious it was. Sara kindly shared the recipe with me, so now I feel it’s time to share the recipe with you…

Continue reading “Spring vegetable and goat’s cheese tart”

Lemon and blueberry squares

Lemon and blueberry squares

Over the last few days it’s really felt like spring. The air is just that little bit warmer, the afternoons just that little bit brighter and there are blossom covered trees on just about every street in town. After such a quiet autumn and winter, where staying in was pretty much mandatory, spring feels like a season of optimism .

I’m envisaging small, but exceptionally jovial socially distant gatherings, outside in the fresh air – underneath trees with brand new leaves. Those sorts of get-togethers deserve a treat – something colourful, crunchy and creamy. Something like lemon and blueberry squares…

Continue reading “Lemon and blueberry squares”

Parmesan and rosemary biscuits

Parmesan and rosemary biscuits

Now that I’m back working again, I’ll be bringing a packed lunch from home most days I’m in the office. I find (especially since I’m still breastfeeding in the mornings, evenings and sometimes overnight) that I need something substantial to eat in the middle of the day and a few smaller snacks for mid morning and mid afternoon.

Lunch itself is normally pretty easy to get together – leftovers from dinner the night before, a salad using whatever’s in the fridge, or soup and toast on cold days.  However, I always struggle a little bit with finding different types of snacks, especially ones that can be eaten both at my desk or out and about.

Enter Parmesan and rosemary biscuits.  They’re delightfully savoury, have a wonderful cheesy flavour and pair beautifully with fruit…

Continue reading “Parmesan and rosemary biscuits”

Madeira cake with passion fruit icing

Madeira cake with passion fruit icing

The grey clouds rolled in this weekend past bringing with them rain, fog and thunder –  rather apt given the southern hemisphere saw in the winter solstice on Saturday night.  As it often does when the weather is moody, I got a craving to bake. Whilst something dark and decadent would’ve probably suited the conditions best, I felt the need for something bright and light.  So with a little inspiration from my fruit bowl, I whipped up an easy loaf cake, which filled the house with the heady scent of summer…

Continue reading “Madeira cake with passion fruit icing”

Granola biscuits

Granola biscuits

I love a homemade biscuit.  There’s something so deliciously moreish about biscuits that are slightly misshapen, crunchy on the outside and a little soft on inside. While chocolate chip ones are always welcome, sometimes you crave something more savoury and dense.  I whipped up a batch of granola biscuits the other week and they’ve proven to be a rather satisfying snack….

Continue reading “Granola biscuits”

Birthday apple cake

Birthday apple cake

January is a busy month for birthdays in our family and with that comes a lot of cake.  While sponges and chocolate cakes are always favourites for special occasions, sometimes it’s nice to celebrate with something a little different.  So for Adam’s birthday this year he decided he wanted to bake his own cake, and an apple one at that…

Continue reading “Birthday apple cake”

Orange and cranberry granola

Orange and cranberry granola

One of my favourite things about living in ‘Australia’s foodbowl’ is being able to access so much locally grown produce.  It also means lots of average backyards often have vegetable patches and fruit trees, which deliver a bounty of goodies at certain times of the year.  Friends, Sophie and Tim, have a particularly healthy orange tree in their yard and last year we used a big bucket of oranges to make marmalade (there’s actually still a few jars sitting in the pantry!)  When they kindly gifted us another load of oranges a few weeks ago, I started browsing recipes to see what I could whip up with this year’s bounty.

My favourite use so far: orange and cranberry granola…

Continue reading “Orange and cranberry granola”