Thursday, December 24, 2015


Tis the season to be jolly indeed! My favourite season of the year, allbeit, kind of silly. It doesn't have that reputation for nothing, I suppose.

Food Club has been a rarity of late with only a few being held in 2015. Such a sadness as we all do love Food Club so much! So, as we hadn't celebrated in a while (and were all stupidly busy), we had a laid back Christmas Food Club with finger food and nibbles so we didn't have to spend too long in the kitchen preparing. As a result, lots of snacking, drinking and laughing was had.

Melissa, our gorgeous host, had the table looking divine with a holly centrepiece, gorgeous bonbons and fairy lights. She even had treats in a box (a zumbo macaroon) and a gorgeous sparkly Christmas decoration for each of our trees.

Katie, our local farmer and creative extraordinaire surprised us with gifts - little jars of honey made by her farm of bees at home.

Our clever cake maker, Melanie, unfortunately is leaving for Vietnam, so this was her last Food Club with us. We will miss you Mel, and look forward to the odd occasion you can come back for Food Club. We are especially looking forward to a Food Club at your place sometime soon ;)

Our Christmas menu included:

Iced tea (in Christmas baubles!)

Cheese platter (with homemade quince paste)
Prawn kebabs
Mini cheese bakes
Spinach cob
Nuts & bolts
Bauble and ribbon salad

Toblerone mousse
Malt mint slice
Kate's gingerbreads

It was all delicious!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015


I watched this footage and cried. Yes, actually cried. It's beautiful, it's sad, but most of all, it's true.

Because there's a part of me that relates so much to the wisdom that is shared. I'm not yet at the end of my life, but feeling the pressure to perform, to outdo, to be perfect.

Turns out, I'm not alone. Did you know:
  • Four out of 10 women (over 12 million) feel that they are about to burn out
  • Nearly half of all women are feeling ‘moderately or extremely’ stressed at the moment (around 15 million women)
  • 88 per cent of women believe that brands and media put too much pressure on them to be the perfect woman
  • One third of women (nearly 10 million) feel they do not have their work-life balance right
  • 80 per cent of women say they put too much pressure on themselves to be perfect even though they accomplish an average of 26 tasks a day
  • The biggest source of pressure on women is themselves - almost three quarters (72 per cent) of women revealed that this pressure is completely down to them
It's time to let go. Where there is opportunity for you to take some control, I grab it with both your capable hands. Hug your children for that bit longer, extend those goodnight kisses, and dance until you can dance no more. As one woman concluded, “This is simply about you as a human being; there's the most important word: being.”

How are you going to stop doing and start being?

Monday, September 07, 2015



I have two words for you: cinnamon donuts.

Yes, those are the two beautiful words that describe these amazing biscuits. No deep frying necessary, just yummy, tasty, delicious biscuits! The original recipe was found here and to say that the original maker of this biscuit raves. She has every right! The question is: how many can you stop at?

2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs plain greek yoghurt

Rolling mixture
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

1 Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and salt in a bowl, and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
2 With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed until just combined.
3 Chill your dough for three hours or overnight in the fridge.
4 Morning! Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Once dough is chilled, measure about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Meanwhile mix 1/4 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place dough balls on baking sheet, 5cm apart.
5 Bake the biscuits for 8-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. They will look a bit underdone in the middle, but will continue to cook once out of the oven. Bake longer if you like crispier cookies. Cool the cookies on the sheets for at least two minutes. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets after a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Friday, July 17, 2015



Quinoa has been quite the superfood the past two years. It's packed full of protein, is really filling, and so good for you. It also smells funny when it's cooking, is a little bitter if you don't wash it properly, and difficult to get right the first time. But I have persisted despite a few quinoa disasters (and now am a self-declared Quinoa Queen).

All credit for this salad goes to one of my favourite local restaurants, The Firehouse. I first had this salad there a couple of years ago, and while this item has been off the menu for some time (they change their menu with each season), my tastebuds lust for it time and time again. While it's not completely exactly what they did, I think it's pretty close!

With the crunch of the hazelnuts, the nuttiness of the quinoa, the sweetness of the honey and dates, the salty of the feta, and the peppery bite of the red onion and rocket; it's the perfect combination. Plus it's so filling all by itself. If you're a salad lover, then this salad is for you. You can fiddle with the ingredients so the balance is right for your taste. I hope you like it as much as I do!

1 cup quinoa
1/2 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
6 tbsp beetroot, quartered (we used our own garden produce)
6 tbsp goat's feta, crumbled
500g rocket
20 hazelnuts, roasted and whole
10 dates, chopped in half lengthways
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp warm water
sea salt to taste

1 Rinse quinoa thoroughly until water runs clear. Cook in 2 1/2 cups of salted water until it comes to the boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa grows little tails. Season it with sea salt.
2 While quinoa is cooking, mix the warm water and honey together until combined. Place all other ingredients in a bowl, add quinoa once it is cooked, and mix through with honey dressing. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Makes two large adult serves on its own, or makes a side salad for six.

NOTE Now, that I have a few quinoa recipes (more to come!), I find that cooking up a large batch and then cooling it in the fridge is much better than cooking a small batch every time. Once the quinoa is cooked, it seems to be a bit gluggy when it's still warm, but after it has been in the fridge, you can just separate it with a fork. It's light and fluffy. This salad doesn't have to be warm, in fact, it's perfect to prepare for the evening before and put it together for a work lunch.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Last weekend was a beautiful weekend in Sydney. I know this because I was there, enjoying a rare, lad-free weekend.

Apart from my annual school reunion dinner, was one other plan - to spend a morning with the most loveliest girls I know, my beautiful step-daughters. I was happy to do brunch at Darling Harbour (where I was staying), but they insisted on taking me somewhere amazing.

And they did.

The Grounds at Alexandria is simply breathtaking. Photogenic at every turn, I found it difficult to put my camera down. So many pretty places, so many delicious treats, so many good things to enjoy. It was truly a treat for every sense. I'd never been anywhere like it before. A place where you could take a pizza making class, grab a coffee or a fresh nutella donut, visit Kevin Bacon the pig, or sit with friends among the fairy lights and beautiful, green grounds. You could sample hand made marinated olives, gourmet burgers, or pick your own bouquet at the florist. Drink some home-made lemonade, eat a toffee apple, or even see bees making honey in ready-made jars. The treats were unlimited.

And then there was the food. Did someone say I should eat my way through The Grounds? Yes please! The hour and a half wait for brunch, turned into a lunch truly worth waiting for. Too many desserts to choose from, and a fabulous coffee bar.

Yes, this place is worth going to again. And I'm so glad my girls treated me with a visit there. I think I might need to find another excuse to visit Sydney again, just so we can pick up where we left off (dessert and afternoon drinks, anyone?).

If you wish to see more of The Grounds, go here.

Wearing: DRESS, Boom Shankar. SCARF, Katies. DENIM JACKET, Lee Cooper. BOOTS, Ivylee Copenhagen. BAG, Thrifted. EARRINGS, Port Fairy Markets, RING, Southbank Markets, SUNGLASSES, Collette Dinnigan.

Have you been to a place like The Grounds?