Mushroom and potato stir-fry

mushroom potato stir-fry 1

Mushroom and potato stir-fry, tucked inside an omelette, on a pile of fluffy rice – if this was my last meal on earth I’d be happy.

It was how I felt yesterday after I took the omelette photo and tucked in. Was I just really hungry, or enjoying the first quiet moment of sitting down by myself in a number of days? Actually I think the food was just really, really good. Continue reading Mushroom and potato stir-fry

Custard apple and lime drink

Custard apple and lime drink

In autumn I have a slightly expensive habit, which is buying unusual fruit! I suppose if I didn’t live in a city with great markets and green grocers nearby, I’d have to find another pastime. And moving to the country is definitely tempting, but I think I’d find it too hard to turn my back on all the produce, restaurants and inspiring mix of cultures around us.  Continue reading Custard apple and lime drink

Stir-fried zucchini and seasonal greens with soybean paste

Stir-fried courgette and seasonal greens

We grew a great zucchini (courgette) in our garden this year – as soon as I saw its first baby fruits in pre-flower stage, like long curved pencils drooping downwards, I knew I liked this fellow a lot! It’s an Italian heirloom called Tromboncino and it appealed because it could climb up a trellis, and also because regular zucchini hasn’t worked for me in recent years … Continue reading Stir-fried zucchini and seasonal greens with soybean paste

Spring soup with green garlic

Spring soup with green garlicHomegrown green garlic bulbs

I’ve been watching a bird make a nest in our lemon tree through our kitchen window. First I made sure it wasn’t a nasty Indian myna (it turned out to be a more benign but still imported suburban blackbird), then thought to myself, this is going to be good viewing – a touch of David Attenborough in our own backyard. Continue reading Spring soup with green garlic

Baked barley

Barley, tomato and vegetable stew

My husband can make a pot of homemade baked beans with his eyes closed – the beans are soaked and blanched; mixed with onion, tomato, spices. After hours of cooking, the end result is tweaked with honey – white beans suspended in a rust-red liquor. These were a breakfast staple at our old cafe and my husband still tends towards making a mega load, filling lots of containers for the freezer. We pop them out every so often at weekends … Eating them on top of melted cheese toast, scattered with plenty of chopped parsley, takes me straight back to having our first baby. Those were hungry, busy, yet beautiful days, and I remember eating this for lunch, sometimes with one of us with our little girl asleep in the Baby Bjorn, the odd bean landing on her head! Continue reading Baked barley

Smashed cucumber salad

Smashed cucumber salad

My vegetable garden seems to have a mind of its own. This summer it decided that tomatoes and basil would not be the frontrunners. Instead it’s been the cucumbers and spring onions, and just when I was about to give up on them, our super slow beans finally started producing. While technically this is my garden, I feel like I’m really just along for the ride and am happy with any result – as long as there is one! Continue reading Smashed cucumber salad

Eggplant, tomato and basil pasta

Eggplant, tomato and basil pasta

The veggie garden is looking decidedly bare and wintery now that I’ve finally pulled out the tomato bushes and collected the very last ripening tomatoes. It’s the end of a process of watching the garden build up and up in a frenzy over summer – the plants growing taller as the weather gets hotter – then watching things come down again piece by piece as the sun slips back in the sky and it starts getting chilly. Continue reading Eggplant, tomato and basil pasta

Sweet potato, green bean and smoked paprika salad

purple and green beansSweet potato, green bean and smoked paprika salad

In April 2012 the Hungry Girls were invited to do a guest blog for American website Design Sponge, and we settled on this favourite salad. It’s a jumble of soft-roasted chunks of sweet potato and regular potato, caramelised onion, crunchy green beans and juicy tomatoes – plus lashings of parsley and just enough Spanish smoked paprika for an element of spice.  Continue reading Sweet potato, green bean and smoked paprika salad

Chinese peanut and celery salad

Bunch of cut celeryPeanut and celery salad with boiled pork dumplings

The Hungry Girls had a guest blog on The Design Files in January 2012. We included a recipe from each of our books accompanied by photographs by Leah and and illustrations by Katherine. Follow these links:

Monday – the story of the Hungry Girls

Tuesday Cherry tomato, herb and chilli fish (Volume 1)

Wednesday Chinese peanut and celery salad

Thursday Quick Spanish dinner (Volume 2)

Friday Yoghurt and white chocolate pannacotta (Volume 3)

The Wednesday recipe was a new one, so I’m including it here too … Continue reading Chinese peanut and celery salad

Tomato kasoundi

Jars of red and green tomato kasoundi

Last weekend was the final hurrah for our old kitchen and bathroom. Now our weatherboard worker’s cottage has been stripped of its lean-to addition and reduced to four very cosy rooms, each one really having to pull its weight. We have a study/kitchen, two bedrooms/storage, and a living room/everything else. We’ll be spending the next few months building a new kitchen, bathroom and larger living space, and I’m aiming to be very calm and graceful and to take our chaos in my stride! (A wry smile from my husband.) Continue reading Tomato kasoundi