Friday, September 30, 2011

a few of my favourite things... {september 2011}


This photo above is one of my favourites from the thousands taken on my camera this past month. I wish I could take credit for it (especially as I've tried to take a photo very similar to this and failed). But I didn't take it. Ada did! She captured this little corner of our lives perfectly. And so aligned! She loves taking photos and has already put an order in for a little camera of her own for Christmas. She also told me the other day that she wants to start taking photos of my food for 'the blog'. I like the sound of that, haha!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hulbert St Sustainability fiesta, faerie wings & mango ice creams




Last Saturday we spent the morning in Fremantle at the Hulbert St sustainability fiesta. It’s something I first heard about when a reader emailed (thanks Verity!) to let me know about a few cool thing happening around Perth.

I think I’ve mentioned it a hundred times already, but coming from Raglan (and spending a good amount of time also living in Byron Bay, NSW where Si and I first met) I crave being around like-minded people. Even though we don’t live in Fremantle itself, we are only a quick 20 min drive from the bustling alternative world of Freo and I try to make a trip at least once a week to hang out there. I kinda figure, if we can’t afford to live there; we can at least hang out there all the time so it feels like we do!
Friday, September 23, 2011

gluten & dairy-free black bean chocolate brownie recipe



I made these black bean brownies a few weeks ago and have been hanging out to share the recipe ever since. I kept going to post it, but every time, another (more seasonal) recipe seemed to sneak in front. Actually, I’m not quite sure why it’s taken me so long to make these, full stop. I mean, chocolate, gluten-free, dairy-free! What was stopping me? It’s been on my ever expanding “to make” list for well over a year and at one point I even bought a tin of organic black beans while still back home in New Zealand with full intentions to bake. But it never happened and I think we either ate the beans for dinner one night in the mad blur of weeks leading up to our big move or I gave them away in one of the many food boxes I prepared and divvied out to friends and family at the last minute after cleaning out the pantry. I don’t remember. Anyway none of that matters now, I've made them and my god, they are amazing.
Sunday, September 18, 2011

gluten-free lemon, ginger & almond cookie recipe {guest post}


Today I have the pleasure of doing my first guest post, over at Healthy Alternatives New Zealand. I've been following Kris and her insightful links for quite some time. I hope you will head over there to read my post about why I choose to make most of our food from scratch as opposed to buying pre-made gluten-free products. Below is the recipe I shared for chewy gluten-free cookies, sweetened with pure palm sugar. They are pretty special. Go on...
Thursday, September 15, 2011

chickpea curry recipe


I thought it might be quite nice to post a savoury "dinner-type" recipe after all the sweetness of last month. You must all think that we live off sweets! It is actually far from the truth believe it or not. Yes I do bake often, but mostly just once a week, occasionally twice if I have a special reason to bake more. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a sweet tooth and love for nothing more than to set aside the morning to bake, but more than that it's practical right now for me to post mostly sweet recipes. See cakes, cookies and slices are forgiving. They don't freak out if left to cool for half the day before I get around to taking photos. They don't go limp or discolour. And it doesn't usually matter if half of them are eaten before the camera is pulled out; in those times just one or two of the end product are photographed!

You may even sometimes wonder if we ever eat a proper dinner as most of the savoury recipes I post are well, kinda light. Salads etc (usually made for my lunch). Here's the thing. We have two young children. And my fellow parents will know this well... kids don't wait for you to get "the shot" if they are hungry and need feeding, now. So while we do eat savoury foods 99% of the time and a cooked meal every night, I'm not mad enough to try and stand in the way of the kids and their dinner, taking photos so I can blog about it! That and I shoot using natural light, which is pretty much gone by dinner time.
Monday, September 12, 2011

preparing homegrown salad greens...


So after my last post where I used home-grown salad leaves from out the back in my shaved fennel, nasturtium and radish salad, I thought it might be the perfect time to give you all a few tips on how best to prepare your salad greens before use and my favourite way to keep them once picked.


Like I mentioned last post, the rocket (arugula) and mizuna are growing like crazy! I'm quite excited to see just how fast things are growing here in Perth compared to back home in NZ. I'd say the lovely warm sunny weather has something to do with that? (Don't hate me fellow kiwis!). I've been filling a large bowl everyday with greens and have started giving it away to family just to keep up with it all! The kids and Si love mizuna, but find rockets peppery taste a little too full-on so I'm the only one eating it... at every meal!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011

shaved fennel, nasturtium and radish salad with honey mustard dressing



Fennel is one of my all-time favourite things to eat. Shaved thinly and dressed with a little lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper it’s something I crave, often. It's all I yearned for while pregnant with Ada (okay, cottage cheese and tomato on toast also tasted like the best thing on earth) and it seems both our kids have developed a taste for fennel too. They fight over who has the biggest bowl of salad if it contains fennel, making me the proudest mum in the world!

Thankfully for us, fennel bulbs are ridiculously cheap in Perth. I pick up 3 large bulbs for only $5 from our local vege store and even though I do love them cooked, we generally eat them raw. I make salad most days and at the moment we are picking a large bowlful of fresh rocket and mizuna leaves everyday from the garden to add to these. I totally recommend growing salad greens, nothing beats the instant gratification you get from growing your own (all within only 4 weeks of planting!)
Friday, September 2, 2011

gluten-free vegan double chocolate cinnamon cookie recipe




I've shared many cookie recipes over the past year; sweet quinoa anzac cookies, nutty lemon chia cookies, fragrant rosemary and lemon cookies and my personal favourite speckled kiwi mesquite cookies to name but a few. But lately I've had my heart set on trying to come up with a gluten-free chocolate cookie recipe that also caters for dairy and egg-free readers (the vegan bit is a bonus!). I didn’t want a short-bread style cookie, simply replacing butter with margarine but more of a thick chewy one and I'm always stoked to use oil in place of margarine in dairy-free cooking. If you’ve been reading for awhile you will know that we actually do now eat butter, sometimes. But I still try to avoid dairy as much as possible. I LOVE butter, always have and always will. Which is why, when we were strictly dairy-free I found it so hard to eat margarine. See I was bought up eating butter and taught from a young age to fear the butter-wanna-be. Margarine is fantastic for when you seriously can't touch dairy and there is a really great (as natural as you can get) brand called Nuttelex over here in Australia, but if I have a choice (thankfully we do now) I will always go for butter, ghee or oil over margarine. 

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