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…
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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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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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A few weeks ago Adam declared he was craving pasta for dinner. I love pasta, so it didn’t take much convincing to get me on board too! It was as the weather was starting to warm and neither one of us fancied a rich tomato or cream based dish. Searching for some inspiration before heading into town to do some food shopping, I started poking around online, looking for something that would meet our pasta craving, without the decadence of a ragù.
I stumbled across a recipe from BBC Food and it was a hit the first night I made it. I’ve since whipped up the same dish a few more times and I’ve got a feeling it’s going to become a firm favourite in our house…
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The other day as dinner time drew closer, I began to have a think about what I would make and I drew a bit of blank. It feels like over the last few months Adam and I have got into a bit of food rut – making tried and trusted meals we know we enjoy and can rustle up fairly quickly. We both love getting into the kitchen and trying out new things, but somehow life just got in the way our creativity disappeared.
In a strange twist of fate within a day of me having this realisation, my friend Sonya wrote about food blogs and recipes she’s been enjoying lately, and it got me all enthused about cooking again.
Continue reading “The cool weather kitchen”