The Cook Better '16 theme for the month of May is PRESERVING! And just in the nick of time, a beautiful new cookbook just arrived in my mailbox that is allll about preserving things, and I'm so excited to get into it. It's called Not Just Jam. We're talking jams, jellies, chutneys, fruit pastes, cordials, sauces. I'm going to go out on a limb and say things like ice cream and smoked meats can . . .
Historically, I have a very bad relationship with chia pudding. In May 2014, three of my girlfriends and I took a trip to New Zealand together. Our flight was due to leave Brisbane at 6 am so we were up at a ridiculous hour, having slept over in the same house. Tara had the sense to make a small breakfast for us: a banana chia pudding. God love her, but I could not finish my chia pudding . . .
I didn't mean to be offline for 10 days, but I forgot how terrible, horrible and stressful moving house can be! Isn't it just awful? I mean, I enjoy unpacking the kitchen and planning the layout of furniture, but it's the feeling that you've been working for days and still haven't made a dent, and there's all of that shit you just don't know what to do with that builds up in each room, until you . . .
Sunday afternoon has me listening to the same, short Spotify playlist on repeat whilst finishing off some work and nomming some leftover risotto (speaking of nomming, have you met Nommable yet? One of my favourite new blogs that I discovered via Wednesday's virtual pumpkin party?? Gimme all the pumpkin moon pies and pumpkin pepita cranberry bread). And ~spoiler alert~ Maths dude and I also woke up . . .
This weekend I'm going to Socktoberfest, where we will drink the prized home-brewed bock that Maths dude has been hiding from us, and we will eat ginger cookies and pretzels and cheese kransky and be merry whilst wearing ridiculous socks. If it sounds silly, it definitely is, and I'm really excited. I made this salad to try and at least be healthy for the days leading up to Socktoberfest, . . .
In my cooking comfort zone are things like cake, brownies, cookies, fritters, casseroles, one-pot meals, scones, my vegetarian grilled nachos. In the zone of trepidation are croissants, meringue buttercream, macarons, lots of kinds of meat, many-layered cakes, deep fryers (and lots of other refined techniques) - tell me I'm not alone in at least some of these?! - and Indian curries. I love to eat . . .
The other Sunday, I cooked a big batch of fritters up for dinner, and Mark, my housemate, commented in between mouthfuls that he considered fritters to be my specialty. At first I didn't know how to feel. Not my pound cakes or my brownies? Not my risotto? Just my fritters. Oh, okay. The truth is I make fritters on the regular. Once a week if not more. Leftover curry? In it goes. Cans of beans? . . .
I find myself in the deepest south of New Zealand, where it is blisteringly cold, and I am a cold and whiny sookie-la-la, and people talk with funny accents (ok, I was kidding about that one, New Zealand) and yet I am posting a recipe for the most summery, light, opposite-of-warm-and-comforting rice paper rolls. I know I am crazy. Or maybe I'm not. It turns out it is possible to crave these even . . .
I have a thing for stuffing vegetables with other vegetables. In the case of eggplants, you not only get to stuff them with other vegetables BUT WITH THEMSELVES TOO! That's why I love eggplants. For this recipe, I used to slice the eggplants in half, sprinkle with salt, and roast them for 30 minutes or so. Then I'd spend a good 20 minutes trying to hack out the middles and always end up . . .
One thing about autumn is that mandarins start popping up in abundance in the supermarkets and markets! Mandarins are wonderful - the superior citrus fruit compared to oranges - oh don't even try to argue with me on this - and they are deliciously juicy and sweet right now. I've been smashing them in as snacks for the past few weeks. Did you know that we grow most of Australia's mandarins here in . . .