For the love all things grilled and good for you: My Grandmother’s Aubergine

In the late 1960’s, counter-top microwave ovens began to appear in the kitchens of trendy, modern families. They became the new, revolutionary and very fashionable cooking appliance. Cookbooks published at the time will tell you how to cook a ‘roast’ dinner in the microwave, a souffle, and even ice-cream! Don’t believe me? Check it out. My mum’s microwave cookbook would have you believe that anything can be made in one (it also fails to mention the high risk of lumpy custards and gravies, and porridge volcanos). Basically, the world went a little batty over the invention of the microwave oven.

The sandwich press is my microwave oven. Continue reading


Escaping to the Blue Mountains: two soups and a spicy curry

For the past few days we have been staying in an adorable cottage in the Blue Mountains. We’ll staying the entire week.

Reading a lot, writing a lot. And taking photos.

Today it’s about zero degrees (or so it feels to us, softies that we are), and drizzling rain.

We’ve been pottering around the house in flannelette shirts, red wine in hand, nibbling rum’n’raisin chocolate and playing rummy in front of the fireplace.

While confined to the house, I’ve had the luxury of simmering soup for hours, slow-cooking a curry, and generally appreciating all that is warm and comforting.

Today I’ll share with you the hot and sour soup I whipped up yesterday, a more traditional vegetable and bean soup that sat on the stove for a good two hours before making it’s way into our tummies at lunchtime, and a spicy, creamy, slow-cooked mushroom and eggplant vindaloo. Continue reading

Ash’s smokey chunky tomato sauce. On an eggplant base with grilled asparagus and a simple salad.

At work last week I got an email from Ash, saying that he wanted to cook dinner one night and that he had an amazing recipe idea. And it was amazing. I actually stopped, a number of times, during dinner, to say ‘wow, this sauce, just wow’. It was that good. Continue reading

Roasted red capsicum risotto

This risotto may seem sort of labour intensive. I’m not going to lie, there are two main steps here, and you’ll have to give each your full attention. But as with many things, more attention reaps a higher reward. Here your reward is a smoky, nutty, herbed risotto, which not only looks beautiful, but tastes incredible. An added bonus is the subtle crunch of pine nuts and walnuts. All in all, it’s not too time-consuming either. And if you buy your grilled capsicum, easy peasy. Continue reading

Two cold days, two warming soups

Summer is properly over. These last two days have been freezing (by Sydney standards). Today I wore a jumper and a scarf – all day – even inside the office! What a happy coincidence that this week we’re doing soups.

The first one we had last night, and Ash summed it up in one word, “restorative”. It’s a deep red, richly flavoured, chunky soup, and it had us each going back for seconds. Continue reading

Mama mia!

I was always under the impression that egg was necessary for fresh pasta. A quick Google search showed that eggless fresh pasta is actually quite common, ridiculously simple and was a popular way to make pasta during food shortages the World Wars. So, despite my general aversion to things grain-based (other than the odd muffin or two), I had to try it out. Continue reading