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…

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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…

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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…

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The quest for crumpets

The quest for crumpets

I’ve had a long love affair with crumpets. To me, they’re the perfect snack – just enough to curb your hunger without spoiling your next main meal, and you can eat them with both sweet and savoury toppings (honey + butter and grilled cheese are my two recommendations).

Adam and I have consumed quite a few packets of supermarket crumpets over the last month, so when a recipe for homemade crumpets popped up in one of my social media feeds the other day, I took it as a sign that we needed to try making them ourselves…

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Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

The Easter weekend was a combination of brilliant sunshine and windy, grey days – the epitome of autumn weather in our part of Australia. It felt good to hunker down at home, binge watch a bit of television (Sky One’s Trollied on streaming channel Stan) and tuck into warm, comforting food. Hot cross buns are a favourite in our house in the lead-up to Easter but instead of buying them this year, Adam decided he wanted to bake them…

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The week that was

The week that was

How’s isolation life treating you?  I find have days where I enjoy being within in the confines of four walls – warm, content and protected from the outside world.  Other days I feel claustrophobic and yearn for normality and the ability to just go and do as I please.   It is what it is though and like all challenging situations I know this too will pass.

Here’s how my last seven days have looked…

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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….

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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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Orange and poppyseed muffins

Orange and poppyseed muffins

The other day a colleague of mine brought in a huge bag of freshly picked oranges to the office.  As I opened the bag, I was overcome with that heady, citrus smell and knew I had to use those oranges to make something special.

Winter officially began in Australia over the weekend, and while the dying days of May were cold, foggy and damp, June has started with crisp blue skies and mild temperatures. With the sun shining outside, and those homegrown oranges glistening in my fruit bowl, I decided that orange and poppyseed muffins were the order of the day…

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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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