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…

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Chocolate slice

Chocolate slice

The other day my brother and I were reminiscing about some of the food we used to eat after school to keep us going until dinner was served. It was always a meal I looked forward to, ravenous after a day of learning, and usually consisted of toast or savoury biscuits with cheese, some fruit and maybe something a little sweet. It got me thinking about other childhood favourites and immediately chocolate slice sprang to mind…

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Pasta melanzana

Pasta melanzana

Adam’s been working interstate this week, so I’ve been using his absence as an opportunity to cook meals that’s he’s not so fond of.  One of those is pasta melanzana – a favourite solo supper of mine for many years.  It’s an easy mid-week meal, that’s vegetarian, quick to assemble and generally provides enough for leftovers for lunch the next day.  Its star ingredient is eggplants – a vegetable I love, but that Adam’s rather ambivalent about….

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Saag paneer

Saag paneer

I’ve always quite enjoyed Indian food, but it wasn’t until I moved to England that I gained a full appreciation for the cuisine and its myriad of tasty dishes.

Having a ‘curry takeout’ or going for a ‘curry’ is one of the most beloved of meals in the U.K and it’s reflected in the number of Indian restaurants that can be found in any one location.  In the small Worcestershire town that Adam and I lived in, there were at least half a dozen places you could get a curry.  Over the months I quickly developed a deep love for saag or palak paneer – most commonly, a mildly spiced spinach dish served with chunks of cooked paneer cheese.

The versions I’ve had so far here in Australia haven’t quite matched up to what I’d eaten in England, so the other week I decided to have a go at making the dish myself, adapting a recipe from the BBC’s Good Food website

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Ribolitta

Ribolitta

That first taste of autumn arrived at the weekend.  Stormy rain rolled through on Friday night, lashing windows and dropping the temperature.  By Saturday that’d broken up into scudding showers that blew in with force along with a cool wind. It resulted in lamps getting turned on early, candles being lit and my favourite cosy clothes being pulled out of the cupboard for their first wear of this year.

That sort of weather always make me crave warm, hearty meals and one of my favourites is ribollita – a Tuscan bread soup. It’s packed full of vegetables, is bursting with flavour and is my go-to recipe whenever someone says they feel poorly…

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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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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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