Monday, February 27, 2012

vegetarian sushi recipe and tips...

So usually I only post recipes if I think I can add a new modern spin on a classic, or have come up with a combination I think it really amazing. But occasionally it's quite nice to just highlight a dish that is perfect, just how it is. Sure, I went through a phase of making brown rice sushi when I was younger and I've been intrigued by quinoa sushi for some time, but mostly I just love to eat my sushi straight up, made with sticky white seasoned rice, a selection of vegetables and omelette or tofu. A little wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce on the side, of course.

I've spoken before about how much we love sushi in this house. And recently when I posted ideas for school lunch boxes, which included sushi, I had a bunch of people asking how I make sushi. So today I'd like to share my recipe along with a few tips I learnt over the years...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

beetroot and aubergine pilau recipe

We eat rice in some form or other pretty much every day, whether it's rice porridge for breakfast, rice milk smoothie, rice flour in baking, rice as a side or rice as the shining star.
This dish is definitely the later. Rice forms the basis of this deceptively tasty dish, along with meltingly tender spiced aubergine (eggplant), fragrant curry leaves and beetroot.

This is one dish that keeps you coming back for more, in one mouthful you may chance upon a spoonful of tender spiced aubergine, cumin seeds and mustard. The next you taste earthy beetroot and cashew. And if you're like me you'll search out the curry leaves and eat them up first, their 'curry' flavour is undeniably good. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

a few of my favourite things {feb 2012}

It's been a big month so far in our house, so many changes. Si starting back at work, Kye starting kindy, Ada starting school... and losing her first tooth all in the one week! I've had to turn into super mum and have started cooking dinner at lunchtime to help ease the melt-down madness after school. So, sorry folks but I haven't had a whole lot of time to cook anything worth blogging about today, my kids have needed me...
I will however leave you with a bunch of links to enjoy over the weekend, my lists seem to be getting longer and longer every month! So many good things. 
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

red currant and rose lassi recipe

Pushkar... colourfully adorned camels, streets lined with delicious sweets, mountain monkeys swinging outside my window, rose and amla lassi...  is what my dear friend Grace wrote while on a recent trip to India. I remember it well, even though it's been well over 10 years since I stepped foot on Indian soil. I remember with great clarity the camels, their smelly breath and lolloping stride. I could never forget the towers of sweets almost too pretty to eat. I remember the monkeys coming out to play, especially when the rain fell, but rose and amla lassi? How mad was I not to try this, and... what's amla?

A little searching later and I had uncovered that amla is in fact an Indian gooseberry, a fruit the size of a lemon with a very sour, astringent taste that is sometimes even used to straighten hair! Knowing I'd probably never get my hands on amla here in Australia I still went on thinking about the wonderful rose lassi Grace had spoke of with ideas of making my own.

Being a rose lassi I wanted a touch of pretty pink (nothing to do with the fact it's Valentines Day today, really) and after inspecting my freezer for usable berries I set eyes on a bag of red currants. Bingo! Sour, yes. Astringent, yes. Pink, yes
The red currant and rose lassi was born.

Friday, February 10, 2012

gluten-free peach & mulberry cake recipe

It's been one of those weeks. You know the kind where every moment feels like you're trying to catch up? On chores, on work, on sleep. Sleep. Mostly sleep. Every parent out there knows the feeling of insomnia caused by tending to sick children. It's a killer.

After a promising start to the school week everything went down hill rapidly after the kids got chilled at Ada's swimming lessons. Runny noses, sore throats, the works. Last night was a blur of coughing fits and little legs flung over mine as both kids crammed into bed with me, while Si got the single bed treatment. When I was younger, having a late night simply meant sleeping in for the best part of the next day to recover. But see here's the hardest part... as a mother that choice, sadly is not yours.

Monday, February 6, 2012

black bean, corn and coriander salad recipe

As I've watched each of our jalapeno chillies grow and ripen I've been thinking about what I might do with them first. This time last year we were packing up our life in NZ all ready to make the move over the ditch so I hadn't bothered planting much in our garden that summer. The year before I pickled most of our crop and then savoured each one throughout the year adding them to salads, sandwiches and pizza's alike. If you have been reading for some time you will have noticed I have a thing for chillies and while I often go for the almighty knock-out effect of birds eye chillies it is the jalapeno that I love the most. It's mellow heat means you get to taste the actual chilli and are perfect added to all sorts of dishes, especially those with ties to South and Central America, namely mexico.

With that in mind I put together a fresh summer salad recently, filled with a bunch of my favourite things; freshly cooked black beans, pan-cooked corn, coriander (cilantro), fresh jalapenos, avocado and feta, all tossed around in a good dose of freshly squeezed lime and extra virgin olive oil. Yes I know, you may be wondering where the avocado is in these photos?! I totally forgot to add it when taking these photos only to remember later as I sat down to eat...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

what to do with strawberry runners...

Ever wondered what those long dangly bits are that grow from your strawberry plants? They're called runners and basically what they are is the plant trying to expand. If you look closely you will see that underneath each bunch of new leaves growing on the runner, there will be a little root trying to shoot out the bottom. This is a new plant trying to grow. They usually try to throw out runners twice during the strawberry season and my advice (via my very knowledgeable mother) is to pick off the first set as soon as they start to shoot and toss them, otherwise the plant will throw all of it's energy into growing the runners instead of the strawberries. Not good. The second set of runners that appear after most of the fruiting is all over however, are the good ones. These are gold to a gardener and mean free plants! 

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