Thursday, August 25, 2011

gluten-free kumquat friand recipe

It seems that this year in Perth has been an exceptionally good one for citrus. Everywhere you look trees are laden with branches almost breaking under the weight they are holding. A quick stroll around our neighbourhood reveals all sorts, from the usual NZ backyard staple lemon tree to oranges as big as my two fists, mandarins and kumquats. It seems that the later are mostly planted over here as ornamental trees, with most people letting the sour-sweet fruits drop to the ground to rot.

Now you all know how much we hate to let food go to waste… if something can be eaten and isn’t being, we’ll pick it. So when Si arrived home last week I couldn’t myself and had to ask his boss if we could pick another bag of kumquats from out the front of their head office. This isn’t the first time we have asked, and we were greeted with the same puzzled look as we had seen on their faces initially. What do you do with those? They asked. They aren’t very nice to eat. Yes well that all depends on tastes doesn’t it. In small amounts they are lovely as is. Sliced thinly and added to salads they add a nice little burst of flavour. Or the freshly squeezed juice with a little honey added and topped up with sparkling mineral water is one of our favourite things on a sunny afternoon (there’s been many lately, hooray!). 
Sunday, August 21, 2011

vegan chocolate rice crispies recipe and birthday party hangovers...

After today I am undecided which leaves you feeling more shattered… a night out on the town or two 5 year-old birthday parties in one weekend?

Both leave you tired, dehydrated and sporting a rather sore head. While I can’t really remember what it feels like after a big night out, it’s been way too many months, years even; I have to say that after attending two 5 year-old birthday parties back to back, I’m leaning towards the later for leaving you feeling more shattered! Phew!

I can’t imagine how full-on it must be if you have anymore than two kids. Not only are there your own kids parties to organise, but there’s all their friends parties to attend as well! One of the mums from kindy that I got talking to the other day said her friend has 5 kids; they had 7 parties to attend this weekend just gone. Seven. Can you imagine that?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I think it’s awesome that Ada has such a close kindy class and virtually everyone gets invited to everyone else’s parties. The kids always have a great time, that’s a given. Let’s just say that next year I’m thinking we might just make do with a special dinner or something small for our kids on their birthdays and we may even have to politely decline the odd party invitation too? We’ll see.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

gluten-free chocolate tofu peanut butter pie recipe #apieformikey

This month has been a hard one for me, for many reasons that I won’t go into here. I've had my fair share of moments of feeling sad and overwhelmed, but at least when Si's working away we get phone calls every night to say sweet dreams, I love you, goodnight. And at the end of his shift, he comes home.

Sadly Jennifer Perillo and her girls don’t have those things to look forward to anymore and my heart breaks every time I think about it. I only know her through reading her blog (one of the first ones I subscribed to via email and one that I read almost every post of) but hearing the news that her husband died of a sudden heart attack has shaken me, big time. I am lucky enough to have never had to experience grief, thus far. I have all my friends and family members still with me, including both sets of grandparents. I know this is rare and I am truly grateful for it every day.

I’ve scarcely been able to think of much else since I read via twitter of her life-shattering news. At first I didn’t know who all the tweets were about, then I checked my email. Waiting there was Jennie’s post one last dance. As I clicked through my heart sank. There were no words, but I got it. It all made sense now. I didn't know what to say. I mean what else can one say when they don’t even know the person they are writing too, but feel they as though they do. What does one write when someone has just lost the love of their life? What does one write when as a mother of two you feel their pain as if it were your own, knowing how you too would feel if it were you, in their shoes.
Monday, August 15, 2011

new beginnings...

It’s been a huge week here in blogosphere. If you write a blog or read any of the big food blogs you will know what I am talking about, if not… stay tuned.
While I attempt to gather my thoughts and put them into words in a few days (along with a very special recipe), I thought it would be nice to have an Aussie garden update.

So you may remember our dilemma with our new house? The tenancy agreement was pretty damn strict and digging in a garden was never going to be allowed. We seem to have found a loop-hole. Once the trees out back were trimmed they unveiled the perfect little garden bed which up until now had been used as a dumping ground for lawn clippings and leaves. Perfect!  Once we cleared the wild blackberries, dug through a few bags of sheep manure and a few handfuls of blood and bone, our sand was looking all good to go. Yep sand. You did hear me right. It is the strangest thing to see when coming from Raglan (New Zealand) where you are more accustomed to digging through clay than sand. But basically everywhere you look in Perth, there is sand. Every backyard, sand. Every front yard, sand. The sides of the motorway, sand, sand, sand. 
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

spice roasted cauliflower with black quinoa, feta and almond recipe

In light of current events in London… it now seems quite fitting that today’s recipe was inspired by a true English geezer, the one and only Jamie Oliver. As we don’t own a t.v, the little bits and pieces I’ve glimpsed at via the net today are pretty damn crazy and incredibly sad. I mean, how anyone thinks that by doing what they are doing, they will change anything beats me? Madness.

I’ve had Jamie’s recipe for roasted cauliflower bookmarked for quite some time now. Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that I always seem to buy with good intent, only to let it soften and wilt in the bottom of the vege draw until almost in-edible. I'm trying hard to get out of this habit and on the odd occasion when I do use it up quickly, I like to make a simple cauliflower curry, or a variation of this salad. Using raw cauliflower in place of the cabbage. Just like my Dad does.
Thursday, August 4, 2011

gluten-free princess cake with raspberry butter-cream icing recipe

I was so close to calling this a “Barbie” cake, but it isn’t really one is it? Ada was actually given the perfect Barbie doll for her birthday to use in a cake like this, but it seems the new dolls don’t have removable legs like the old ones, where you could pop them out and place them back in again after. So rather than completely destroying her new doll, we opted to something that is more us anyway. We went out to the op-shop and bought a 2nd hand Brats doll, which had half her legs missing already.

So this past weekend we finally celebrated Ada’s 5th birthday. Only three weeks late! You see Si was away up north working on her actual birthday and we couldn’t well have it without him. Then when he came home it was raining and we wanted to go to the park… the following week we called it quits and with the rain still falling decided to have it at home. 16 adults, 15 kids. Phew. Ada loved it. She specifically asked for no party games (I never got the reason for that one out of her) so we simply made food, hung out and ate. Pretty perfect I say!

About a year ago while flicking through an old Australian women’s weekly cake book, Ada spotted her first ever Barbie cake. She decided right there and then, that her 5th birthday cake would be a princess. I have no idea where this girly girl came from (I’m so not one), but hey who am I to stand in the way of a girl and her bright pink princess cake? 

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