Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Cabbage and Visitors.

Helllooo my lovely trusted readers, I am currently sitting in the dark. It's early. My little one still snoozes, Tris has left for work and Arthur is snoring next to me on the couch. I am sorry for the radio silence. I wish I could tell you I have lots of delicious recipes from beautiful cookbooks to share with you but unfortunately it feels like I've been playing a bit of catch up, catch up of what? I am not sure. In truth, I do have beautiful cookbooks to share with you that were kindly gifted to me but, time. I will get there though, they may be a bit late, but the books reviews and delicious recipes will come. Slow and steady wins the race right? 


What have we been up to since last past? well, my mum came to visit for a month and oh my, our washing basket has never been so empty and draws so full of clean clothes. You'd be ashamed of us at the moment mum with our pile of clean clothes we are living out of on top of the spare bed. My sister also visited for a week and we tried to jam everything there is to do in Weipa (except fishing and camping) into her stay. We got the token picture in front of the Weipa sign, swam in a waterhole, went to the local pool, drove to Mapoon and had their famous burgers on the beach, went to the splash park, had dinner at the pub, went for a walk around our little area and saw a croc. Which was also the first croc I have seen since we arrived as it's been mating season and they've all been up river so that was pretty cool. 

Oh and I almost forgot. We got chickens. I think we have two hen's and one rooster. Kenny is our rooster, we are going to pimp him out to others who have chickens and want more but currently don't have a rooster. Out two hens are Marylands who is super feisty for food and pecks your toes and our quiet achiever, and hair footed, Bilbo. Rory LOVES them. Even if we don't get any eggs from our hen's, just seeing him chase them around the garden has been worth it. I am sure, with time, and as the chickens get older and bigger that will change and it'll be the chickens chasing him around the garden.


We all have to eat so what have I been cooking lately? Cabbage. The woolies here isn't renowned for their great produce of full shelves but considering we are in a remote community, they do pretty well. Also, now that it's the dry season up here, trucks can make it over the rivers so we aren't solely reliant on the barge for everything. But cabbage seems to travel well and doesn't cost an arm and leg so each week we end up with a cabbage in our shopping basket. We aren't cabbists, the red or the green are equally good. 

A simple coleslaw of shredded cabbage, grated carrot and red onion or spring onions with a yoghurt based dressing (this Jamie one is great and simple!) is delicious with fish, on tacos, with steak or on cold prawn buttered rolls. Cabbage is also a great one to throw in a quick stir-fry which we had last night for dinner (using this really delicious marinade for the sauce - super yum) or wrapped up in some rice paper rolls which is my latest lunch time fix. I know, most of you at home are going. These foods doesn't even sound remotely comforting. There is no winter up here dear readers, only the wet and dry. If you do find a cabbage in your grocery haul, and you are in the colder states, this recipe for cabbage soup is fantastic and very comforting. And I know you may not want to hear this, but I envy your cold weather right now. Oh to be wrapped up in winter warmers, it sounds glorious!

I hope you are all staying safe and well. Until next post x.

Friday, 29 April 2022

Slow cooked beans with Ham Hock from Around the Kitchen Table by Sophie Hansen

Around the Kitchen Table | Slow-cooked beans with ham hock | Sophie Hansen | salt sugar and i blog

You know those books that give you the warm and fuzzy's and go perfectly with a cup of tea, curled on the couch but just as good splattered with food in your kitchen. Sophie Hansen's books are just that. I have them all and I need to confess before rambling on any further. I am a Fan Girl. So when I was kindly sent her newest book Around the Kitchen Table: Good things to cook, create and do - the whole year through which she wrote with her mother, Annie Herron, excited was an under statement. 

This book is different to any other cookbook I own or have read. Not only is it a cookbook but also a bit of an art journal. Annie, Sophie's Mother is an artist and runs an Art School. Like all Sophie's books, it is divided into seasons and within each of these chapters is not only mouthwatering recipes but arts and crafts for example; how to paint a bird, mono printing, collage, craft ideas like making a Christmas wreath and drawing prompts throughout it. You don't need to be an artist to enjoy or use this part of the book at all, just like you don't need to be a chef. It's for the at-home creatives out there. 

The photography, as always, is just magical. Sophie is based in Orange NSW so gets the hot summers, filled with green meadows, sandy beaches and vibrant coloured fruits but also the chilly winters with frosty mornings, thick socks and baked goodies that you just know will taste delicious... mmmm still warm out the oven. Oh I dream of cold winter days, but they are far and non existent here in FNQ. It really is just hot and hot up here. But in saying that, it didn't stop me from pulling out the slow cooker the other week and making a call to the butcher to check they had a ham hock in their deep freeze I could buy. 

Slow cooked beans with Ham Hock. The hardest thing about this recipe was finding the ham hock. Such a simple recipe to put together, it's the time that does all the work while you can go off and attempt your hand at some mono-printing maybe or just put your feet up with a cuppa knowing dinner is sorted. Such a satisfying feeling. 

Around the Kitchen Table | Slow-cooked beans with ham hock | Sophie Hansen | salt sugar and i blog

Around the Kitchen Table | Slow-cooked beans with ham hock | Sophie Hansen | salt sugar and i blog

Around the Kitchen Table | Slow-cooked beans with ham hock | Sophie Hansen | salt sugar and i blog

Around the Kitchen Table | Slow-cooked beans with ham hock | Sophie Hansen | salt sugar and i blog

I used canned beans like Sophie suggests you which eliminated cooking dried beans for an hour and although I haven't tried this recipe with dried beans to compare, using canned were perfect. It's smokey and rich and salty and a real belly warming dinner. I will be hitting up our local butcher again to get more ham hocks thats for sure. I served it for dinner, ladled over a baked potato, topped with greek yoghurt and fresh parsley but this would be amazing on some thickly sliced sourdough toast with a gooey poached egg on top. And another great thing, it freezes well and knowing we have a portion of this in the freezer that can be nooked in the microwave at a moments notice for a quick dinner or a special breakfast is a very lovely thought.

Around the Kitchen Table | Slow-cooked beans with ham hock | Sophie Hansen | salt sugar and i blog
'Images and text from Around the Kitchen Table by Sophie Hansen and Annie Herron, photography by Sophie Hansen. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99'

Slow-cooked beans with ham hock

Recipe from Around the Kitchen Table by Sophie Hansen and Annie Herron

Serves 6

Prep time: 20 mins, plus overnight soaking 

Cook time: 6¼ hours 

I try to regularly make a batch of these through winter so that there’s always something healthy and hearty in the fridge ready to reheat. We all love this on toast and it’s a great filling meal to start the day, especially on those long, cold days when we don’t get home until late in the evening. These beans are also good for lunch and dinner, as per my serving suggestions below.

2½ cups (500 g) dried white beans, soaked overnight in cold water

1 smoked ham hock

2 brown onions, diced

3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 cm (½ inch) rounds

2 thyme sprigs

400 g (14 oz) tin cherry tomatoes

2 cups (500 ml) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)

Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender and cooked through.

Turn the slow cooker to high. Drain the beans and tip them into the slow cooker.

Put the ham hock in the saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the ham hock and place it on top of the beans in the slow cooker.

Add the onion, carrot, thyme, tomatoes and passata. Pour in 1 cup (250 ml) water, or enough to just cover the beans and ham hock. Gently stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, mustard and pomegranate molasses, if using. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours (or for up to 7 hours if that suits you – perhaps add a little more liquid towards the end as those beans can get thirsty!).

Remove the ham hock and shred the meat from the bone, then return the meat to the beans and gently stir.

Notes:

You can use 2–3 x 400 g (14 oz) tins of white beans instead of dried beans. They won’t need soaking or pre-cooking – simply drain and rinse them, then add them to the slow cooker with the ham hock.

Serving suggestions:

  • Pile the beans on top of baked jacket potatoes and finish with a little plain yoghurt and chopped parsley.
  • Divide the beans among small ovenproof plates, make a dent in each, crack in an egg, dot with feta and parmesan cheese and parsley, then cook in a hot oven for 15–20 minutes or until the eggs are just cooked through.
  • Thin out the beans with stock and serve them as a stew or soup.
  • Use the beans as a jaffle or toasted sandwich filling.

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Whisky & Orange Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding from The Comfort Bake by Sally Wise


Whisky & Orange Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding from The Comfort Bake by Sally Wise | salt sugar and i blog

When you move into a new home it can take a little while before home feels like home. Sometimes you need a good hug from a friendly face and something warm and decadent to treat your self. Lucky for me I have recently had both. The something warm and decadent came first.

A couple of weeks ago I was sent Sally Wise's new cookbook 'The Comfort Bake'. This is the kind of book where you go oooo, ahhh, yummm, oh I want that, I'm hungry. And then if you're like me you rustle around your pantry and work out you have everything you need for a gooey self saucing chocolate pudding and all you're missing is ice cream. Which, luckily, the new home is right around the corner from the servo.

This gooey self saucing chocolate pudding I made has an offical name, Whisky & Orange Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding. Have you skipped down to the recipe and are you rustling around your pantry yet? 

It's a recipe that you just have to trust Sally and follow her simple instructions without too much thought. It will work. I find most self-saucing recipes really test my trained background because everything about me says that pouring 300ml of boiling liquid over a cake batter means it will turn into soup, but it doesn't. The cake batter cooks and rises through the hot liquid which turns into a spoon licking chocolate sauce you can't get enough of. You don't end up with undercooked cake batter which you aren't sure if it's meant to be sauce or cake  or a bit of both (I am not a 'lick the beaters' kind of baker). You very much get a rich warm pudding and a chocolate sauce that goes perfectly with some vanilla ice cream or double cream. It's a perfect recipe for the cooler nights where you find yourself on the couch, curled up watching season 2 of Bridgerton. May I even say, it's been positively 'cold' up here in FNQ... perfect!

Every recipe in The Comfort Bake screams home, warmth, love and full bellies. From the Very Ginger Gingernuts biscuits which I cannot wait to bake, to the Plum Crumble Cake which Sally says can easily be serves as a dessert with custard or the Savoury Pull-apart Loaf which is high up on my 'to-bake' list. They are recipes which will make you happy.

Whisky & Orange Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding from The Comfort Bake by Sally Wise | salt sugar and i blog
‘Images and text from The Comfort Bake by Sally Wise, photography by Samuel Shelley. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.’

Whisky & Orange Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding


Serves 4–6

While a chocolate self-saucing pudding is always a favourite, this recipe takes the concept to a whole new, supremely delicious, level.

For the sponge
150 g (5½ oz) self-raising flour
pinch of sea salt
100 g (3½ oz) white (granulated) sugar
25 g (1 oz) cocoa
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
60 g (2¼ oz) salted butter, melted
125 ml (4 fl oz) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the sauce
100 g (3½ oz) soft brown sugar
20 g (¾ oz) cocoa
300 ml (10½ fl oz) boiling water
60 ml (2 fl oz) whisky
40 ml (1¼ fl oz) orange juice

To make the sponge

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F). Grease an 18–20 cm (7–8 inch) round baking dish, 10 cm (4 inches) deep.

Whisk together all the sponge ingredients until smooth.

Spoon this batter evenly into the dish.

To make the sauce

Sprinkle the combined brown sugar and cocoa over the sponge mixture.

In a separate bowl, mix together the boiling water, whisky and orange juice and pour carefully over the sponge mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes until the sponge has risen and is firm to the touch.

Sunday, 20 February 2022

2022. A new home.

So here we are. Far North Queensland. It's been almost two months. It's gone quickly.

We arrived safely and our stuff arrived kind of safely. We didn't think about the friction that would happen driving 300km on a dirt road with pot holes and the jiggle. Not all the boxes made it in one piece, mostly my books got a bit misshaped and all the furniture have love nudges. 



It's still not quite home yet but it doesn't feel like a holiday. I'm sitting somewhere in the middle right now. A kind of hover. I've started back work which has brought back a little of the pre-baby normality and is nice to use my brain for more than just nap times, awake windows and bottles. Although the juggle is real working from home during nap times with a little one.

There has been quite a bit to get used to here in FNQ. It's very different to Sydney. It's hot. There are no traffic lights, there are no house numbers, there are no letter boxes. It's quiet. And red. Did I mention? it's hot.


We had our first cyclone warning during our second week here which fizzled out to nothing. I was quite excited for the cyclone to pass by us, I had gone and bought UHT milk, candles, 2 min noodles, tonic water, gin, limes... you know. The essentials. It wasn't meant to be bad, but enough that the boats got moored and others lifted out of the water. I thought we'd get a bit of wild weather pass by but nada. There is talk of a low pressure system coming in next week so we shall see.

Even though we are in Queensland, there is no swimming at the beaches. Too many things with sharp teeth. We did go for a drive to swim in a fresh water creek and ended up with a flat tyre. But don't worry, we checked the creek for crocs first... a new normal. Bonkers.

Grocery shopping here is not normal but then with all the shortages I'm hearing about in Sydney, it sounds quite similar. The shelves are kind of empty. During the wet season a barge comes in twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays (I think) which means everything is either reduced with the little yellow sticker but still perfectly fine to eat or there the shelves are bare. Or you've timed it perfectly and all the fresh stuff has been put out. Just a bit of getting used to really. 

I am car-less right now. Well, we are not car-less, I am just car-less as the only car available for me to drive is a manual and after one lesson from Tris, that was enough for both of us. Booking professional driving lessons is on my list of to-do's. Safe to say those lessons won't end in tears and yelling. 

Our home is nice, simple. It's long and flat, on quite a big block with a shed that is almost the same size as the house. We have a big backyard which means there is a lot of grass to mow and holly moley, does the grass grow quick right now. Everyone says it's because we're in the wet season and it slows down when it's dry. It's all so green. We're attempting to grow dragon fruit from some cuttings we got but if it's anything like the papaya tree we planted, they'll be dead in a week. Our kaffir lime tree seems to be doing ok (it's tiny) and we have a mysterious citrus tree which was already here and growing like wild fire. I'm keen to see what that will be when we get some fruit, from my googling I think it might an orange or grapefruit tree. We've also got lemongrass and ginger growing.

We are a short walk to the pool, park, gym and servo which seconds as a chicken shop/deli so I have been going for daily walks. Weather permitting. It's so quiet. I'm not sure if I am going walking during the wrong time of the day which could be quite possible but there aren't many people out and about. One of our first walks was to the local pool. I felt so proud of myself, I'd packed the pram up for a swim and lunch at the pool and walked there in the blistering heat to only get to the pool and find out it closes for 3 hours in the middle of the day. Since then we have acquired a blow up pool for the out the back which we can all fit in and cool down. 

Cooking wise, we've been so spoilt with homegrown giant papaya's, fresh caught mud crabs, prawns and fish, homemade spring rolls and papaya salad. Food seems to be the way people look after each other here. We often go for a walk, end up stopping in and saying hi to people and coming home with a pram full of goodies. We are being well fed which is warming. We've also been cooking more than we would before as there is no local thai or sushi restaurants or any food delivery whats so ever. We've made our own versions of a chicken parmy (don't worry, the bowlo does make a mean parmy), sushi rolls, papaya sorbet, thai curry from scratch with homegrown lemongrass, pizza with fresh dough, burgers and Tris has even made a home brew beer. I need to crack out my cookbooks and share some recipes soon. It's a bit daunting with writing a shopping list for specific ingredients when you have no idea whats going to be in the shops or not. 

I think we're all getting used to the heat a bit more. The little one is still a sweaty mess every-time we are outside or in the car and ends up just in a nappy outside or having a nudie splash in the shell pool. But that seems to be the norm around here. Nudie kids. Oh and his favourite thing right now is the tupperware cupboard.

Lots to get used to but lots to enjoy. 

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Drunken Dumplings from Every. Night. Of. The. Week. by Lucy Tweed

salt sugar and i - Drunken Dumplings - ENOTW

So I have been meaning to share this delicious recipe with you for a few weeks now... actually it's more like a month. Back in July I was sent a copy of Every. Night. Of. The. Week by Lucy Tweed by the lovely people at Murdoch Books and boy is this book a keeper. 

The book is entertaining and quirky which I love. I mean come on - this recipe is called Drunken Dumplings and the optional ingredient listed is noise cancelling headphones. Midweek - whether you are working and spending all day looking at a screen or you've spent the day singing silly songs that you STILL get can't get the words right - its exactly what you need. I also think that right now, we all need a little quirky and fun in the kitchen and at home. Thinking about what we're eating next is exhausting when we are currently spending so much time inside. Lucy has brought the colour back into cooking and she shows how it can still be fun and you don't need a hundred ingredients or hours spent prepping. It's real food.

If you follow Lucy on Instagram everything she cooks just makes your mouth water and you instantly want that for dinner. Her instagram live's are worth rewatching as she cooks from Every. Night. Of. The. Week. and shows you how friendly her recipes really are. It's a cookbook that's for midweek meals but is anything but boring which I find most midweek cookbooks to be. Each recipe its bright and bold and the recipes I've cooked - so full of flavour.

So for something fun and different but highly delicious on a regular Thursday night and while we're all stuck inside with waaaaaay too much time on your hands thinking about whats for dinner. I'd suggest making this recipe one night or picking another which she's shared on her instagram or one step further, grabbing yourself a copy of her book - I think you'll thank me. With all the cookbooks I own, I can truely, hand on heart say - this is is the one I've gone to most over the past month for inspiration and dinners. Its exciting and fun and exactly what we all need right now.

Images and text from Every Night of the Week by Lucy Tweed; photography by Lucy Tweed. Murdoch Books RRP $35.00.


Drunken Dumplings

Recipe from Every Night of the Week by Lucy Tweed

Serves 2

For when you can’t commit to the idea of either a soup or a stir-fry.


Images and text from Every Night of the Week by Lucy Tweed; photography by Lucy Tweed. Murdoch Books RRP $35.00.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 chicken breast fillet (around 220 g)

8 frozen dumplings
180 g somen noodles

2 tablespoons tom yum paste

400 ml tin coconut milk

2 heads of bok choy

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1–2 teaspoons chilli paste

Optional ingredients

noise-cancelling headphones

At some point every week I completely lose track of time. This happens so commonly on a Wednesday that it should act as a reliable time stamp.

There’s always someone at some kind of sport practice and usually a child in the house who belongs to another family in the neighbourhood.

It’s a comfortingly confusing day, Wednesday.

Mainly because there are often leftovers for the kids from yesterday, which means a compilation dinner of spices and flavours, dumplings, and some vegetables, blossoming and undisguised. The world is your drunken (somewhere between soup and sauce) bowl.

Just the way a Wednesday should be.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over high heat and pan-fry the chicken breast for 2 minutes each side. Place in the oven for a few minutes to finish cooking through.

Boil the dumplings for 1 minute or until thawed. Add the somen noodles and cook according to the packet instructions. Drain. Remove the pan from the oven and set the chicken aside.

Fry the tom yum paste over medium–high heat for 2 minutes, then pour in the coconut milk. Add ½ cup (125 ml) of water to the tin and swish it around, then add to the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to combine with the tom yum paste.

Meanwhile, lightly steam the bok choy.

Slice the chicken and divide among two shallow bowls, then add the noodles, dumplings and bok choy.

Pour the broth over the top. Drizzle with sesame oil, then the lime juice and top with as much chilli paste as you can handle.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Happenings - July 2021

Making: the most of every minute with our boobi and with Tris being home.

Cooking: Pies. More on this below.

Sipping: Tea, microwaved at least once.

Reading: Every. Night. Of. The. Week by Lucy Tweed. Such a fun cookbook.

Looking: Forward for lockdown to end so boobi and I can see our little mates again.

Listening: To Disney songs.

Enjoying: Scotch Fingers.

Appreciating: How lucky we are.

Eating: Crumpets. With butter and honey.

Liking: The kitchen door we have recently reinstated. It means Arthur, our cat, gets a room all to himself and doesn’t tap and meow and claw at our bedroom door. It’s a sleep revelation!

Loving: Sunny walks. 

Buying: Puff Pastry. Because it’s winter and PIES.

Managing: Pelvic floor exercises. 

Watching: Our boobi change so much each day. Where did our newborn go?

Hoping: I can resurrect Bab’s (my sourdough starter).

Wearing: Pyjamas.

Following: All the sleep school’s on instagram. 

Noticing: How quickly my little Rory is growing up and becoming more aware of everything around him.

Sorting: The spare room cupboard.

Bookmarking: Pie Maker recipes. Yes, we bought a pie maker. K-mart. Do it!

Coveting: Beauty & The Beast on Stan - we’re in lock down. Don’t judge. I love it.

Feeling: Like a big fuzzy ball of love and also very tired - all at the same time.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

A new member.

 It's been a little while but I have a very good reason... 



Sunday, 5 April 2020

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta.

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta | Salt sugar and i | Dani Elis


Thought I'd quickly jump on and share what I had for dinner last night. It was a riff on the Alison Roman's Creamy Cauliflower pasta from NYTimes Cooking which is what I had intended to make but then opened my fridge to find a leek that desperately needed to be used and I also didn't have any panko breadcrumbs to make the crunchy topping she calls for. I also couldn't be arsed to get the food processor out to blitz some bread to make my own, sue me.

So instead of following her recipe, I used it as a base and made my own and it was rich and creamy and comforting and delicious. It won't give you abs, but it will fill your belly with the warmth I think we all need.

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta

Serves 3

1 leek, washed and sliced (you can use an onion, shallot or even spring onions instead)
1 medium head of cauliflower, leaves removed and sliced/roughly chopped
A good splosh of olive oil
A knob of butter
1 cup of white wine (you can use a stock cube + 1 cup water here if you don't have white wine)
1 lemon, zest and juice needed
300ml cream
300g short pasta (I used rigatoni)
Parsley (optional - I didn't have it but it would have been a delicious addition)
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan, to serve

Heat oil and butter in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the leek and a pinch of salt and cook for about 3-5 minutes until it started to soften. Add the cauliflower, breaking up any large pieces and cooking for a further 5 minutes.

(Get your salted water boiling for the pasta.)

Once the cauliflower starts to soften, add the cup of wine and lemon zest and cook until all the liquid has been cooked away and you start to hear a sizzle again. This can take about 8 - 10 minutes, you want to cook all the liquid away until it starts frying again so you get a little bit of colour and caramelisation on the vegetables.

Start cooking your pasta, according to the packet instructions. Make sure you keep about 1 cup of pasta cooking water.

Once the cauliflower starts to colour, turn the heat down to low and add the cream. Cook on low until the sauce thickens.

When your pasta is cooked and the sauce thickened, add the pasta to the sauce along with some of the pasta cooking water bit by bit and give it a good toss. You may not need to add the whole cup, depends on how much your sauce thickened. Turn the heat off.

Add the juice of half the lemon, the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve piping hot with parmesan and maybe a squeeze more lemon juice.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Hold on.

How are you? I hope you are well. I hope you are holding on. I hope you have someone to hug. Because hugs in this weird time we currently live in are needed. So give the people/furry friends you live with a hug today, just because you can. And those you can't hug right now, remember it's because you love them and it's only temporary, so you can hug them on the other side of all this.
And those of you who like me feel like the internet is full of doom, gloom and everything you can't do, I've got some links that will (hopefully) make you smile and fill your bellies.

Let's start with some Instagram stuff. One of my longtime favourite blogs which like most blogs these days, has taken a hiatus but still going on Instagram, @WednesdayChef. She is Instagram story-ing her lunch and dinners every day from Berlin where she lives. If you have kids and are stuck with what to feed them and are losing your mind with food ideas, then I suggest watching her stories. It shows the simple ideas of feeding a family and that each meal doesn't need to be gourmet, sometimes bagels with cream cheese for dinner is perfect.

Another account I have been following which I may be biased about because she is a good friend who I grew up with is @The_Guilty_Environmentalist. She recently made an Instagram story on how to make gnocchi from scratch which is what I'll be doing with my sprouting potatoes soon because, YUM.

#fliptheswitch and @CelesteBarber for some fun and also, but I am sure you've all seen it... Rudy (sound on!).

I'm also a bit of a nosey parker and like to see what people are making in their kitchens at home so any of the Bon Appetit family are also great to follow. @csaffitz and @mollybaz are my favs.

If you're up for a new hobby, may I suggest you order yourself some knitting needles or a crochet hook and some yarn and get your fingers moving? It's very satisfying. Meet me at Mikes has some great crochet projects and How-To posts. I personally have started this little blanket from, Purl Soho although my Carpal Tunnel lets me get through three-quarters of a line before my fingers go completely numb. But I am getting one line done at a time with plenty of tea and crunchie easter egg breaks in-between.

I am watching fun stuff on You-Tube and so should you. I like the Bon-appetit channel right now. They are a New York based test kitchen but everyone is cooking from their homes right now. I suggest go back and watching the Pastry Chef Attempts episodes, the one below in particular but make sure you have ice cream on hand. Another great cooking person to watch on You-Tube is Alison Roman from the NYTimes cooking channel. I think I'm making her creamy cauliflower pasta tonight for dinner.



Healthy-ish, which is a sister brand of Bon-Appetit online has released 'The healthy-ish guide to being alone' today which is something I am going to follow. Although I am not alone, I currently live alone with hubby being stuck in QLD and this week especially, since being off work (surgery but then cancelled and all that jazz). The days are quite long but also go quickly with not much accomplished except a lot of browsing the internet and wishlist shopping. I think this will be a good thing to follow.

I'm currently reading this YA Fantasy series - it's a great escape. Booktopia are still delivering books if you don't have a 'to-be-read' stack collecting dust at home (like me) and delivery times are quite good. Oh gosh and the smell of a new book - mmmmm mmmmm drool**

Cooking. Actually making dinner, not just reading or watching the stuff (which I am totally guilty of). Making a delicious dinner. And I know the grocery shops are not the nicest places to be right now, actually, they are damn straight depressing. But if you do go to the grocery store (only because you have to and under 70 years old) and you choose not to wear a mask, smile. It can remind people that we are all in this together. Here is some of the food I want to cook right now: One-Pot Gingery Chicken and Rice with Peanut Sauce, One-Pan Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese, Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread, Salty Chocolate Caramel Bars, Potato Tuturuga with rice (because carbs are life), Kimchi Fried Rice with an egg, and One-Pan Pea Lemon and Asparagus Pasta. Hmmm I see a trend... one-pan... salty chocolate... guilty.

And I will leave you with this... remember to check on your friends with cats. Stay safe people x


p.s. if you'd like to delve into the past, I've un-archived my old blogs and linked them on the side...

Monday, 2 March 2020

Why.

Whatever happened to blogging as a hobby? Where have all the 'I do this for nada' bloggers gone in the abyss of the internet?

My theory - they've either turned their blog into a money-making website and no longer call it a blog or the internet is so full of content where people get paid that the free blogging voices have become lost. Where have all the voices of people's favorite recipes gone? The ones where they share what for Tuesday dinner or their favorite recipe from a book that 10 years old and not a pre-al/new release?

I say this and I am guilty too - I have received a handful of free cookbooks and even (most of the time) asked for them in return for posting about them. However, there are some books I've received that did not make the cut because I felt like I would be lying. They were books I'd never buy with my own money, never cook from or worse... a diet book.

When I started this blog, all I had was the many cookbooks I already owned and loved, my growing wishlist on booktopia.com.au, a really really ugly kitchen with an oven older than me and a love for cooking and writing. Which, apart from the ugly kitchen, I think most food bloggers start with the same base. So how do they end up with these zooped up sites that no longer resemble a blog? Is the time and space for blogs gone? Am I loving in the '00s still? Is that what Instagram is now? Or is it the side hustle movement? everyone needs a side hustle these days. Or so social media tells me.

There are a fair few blogs I go to still in hopes they have written a post since the last time - which in most cases is once a year now. And I cannot talk since this is the first post I've written in 2020.

It's been quiet on this space because I feel like a little lost sheep in the huge world of online recipes, fancy food websites, self-made photographers, filters and big online personalities. I've lost the reason I started this. A place where I get to record my favorite recipes and share them with my fifteen loyal readers and closest friends. So when they go camping they've got that one-pot pasta recipe fingertips away, or when they want that comforting buttery tomato sauce for dinner they know where to look, or when plums come into season, the plum torte recipe which is plastered over the internet isn't so overwhelming and is easy to find while putting the plums in the shopping basket.

In 2020 this space is going back in time to 2014, to when I started this little online space. It's for my friends who I don't see or talk to nearly enough and for me, who has forgotten how much I enjoy sharing these brain fart posts with you all.

To catch you up on what's been happening since my last post, here's a bunch of terrible iPhone pics.























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