Cheese souffle + best-dressed French salad

Cheese souffle and best-dressed salad

December cooking is the best, isn’t it? Christmas, obviously, plus all those extra get togethers with good friends and family … That feeling it’s the end of the year and time to mark and celebrate it in lots of ways, including through the food we eat. Some of the things that may happen in our house:
Chocolate pavlova smothered with cherries
Mussels split open and grilled with salsa
Spanish pickled vegetables (with bread/cheese/pâté)
Peach leaf prosecco or other easy but festive sparkling wine cocktails/spritzes …
Continue reading Cheese souffle + best-dressed French salad

Okonomiyaki + homemade sauce

Simple cabbage okonomiyaki, homemade brown sauce

Okonomiyaki ­– I doubt I’d heard the word 10 or 12 years ago, but at some point this Japanese pancake made its spectacular entrance, bursting into our kitchen, our love for it totally sealed after we had kids. Throwing back to the good old ‘vegetable fritter days’, when our two children were babies and each went through that tricky stage of not wanting to be fed from a spoon, but not having the skills to spoon-feed themselves – carrot fritters and pumpkin quinoa fritters (and others; I made a list!) were the TOP way to eat vegetables and also be happy at the dinner table. Okonomiyaki, essentially a big cabbage fritter, with its bonus smothering of mayonnaise, brown sauce and seaweed, has always been the queen of all fritters, and the one I still make regularly, and it’s probably quite cagey of me that it’s taken this long to bring the recipe here. Continue reading Okonomiyaki + homemade sauce

Chipotle potato tacos, pepita salt

Chipotle potato tacos, pepita salt

A pile of potatoes = money in the bank if you ask me (or any of the other small/large humans in my house). This is not the same as declaring love for quinoa or kimchi, is it? I’m pretty sure spuds have never been named a super food, but eating organic ones with the skin on might get them just a little closer …?? They make up for any shortfall with the delight they have to give in so many ways. Continue reading Chipotle potato tacos, pepita salt

Broccoli mallum

Broccoli mallung

I fell for broccoli hard as a teenager, lusting after its crunchy, healthy greenness, which, when I moved out of home to go to uni, probably also had something to do with how easy broccoli was to cook and how dependable it was to find in the supermarket … But something happened along the way, and years later (okay, close to decades later) I notice that broccoli is virtually missing in action on this blog! I’m remedying this right now with a recipe that has made me love broccoli all over again. Continue reading Broccoli mallum

North African grilled capsicum and egg salad

Boiled eggs and grilled green capsicum salad

Choosing green capsicum (bell pepper) over red is some kind of step into true, post-30 adulthood. All through my younger years I barely took any notice of green, always making a beeline for fire-truck red: so happy and sweet. But now I see that green capsicum isn’t just an unripe version of red, but a brilliant thing in itself – its sweetness balanced out with zing and depth. It’s become my go-to for paella, and I love it in this salad. Continue reading North African grilled capsicum and egg salad

Paneer makhani

Indian paneer cheese in spiced tomato sauce with cardamom sweet potato roti

Tomato and cheese – a classic Italian combination, yes? Well here is its Indian cousin. Cubes of paneer cheese cooked in a spiced tomato sauce, creamy with butter and cashews. A bowlful of comfort that has become a huge favourite in our house, particularly in combination with this cardamom-spiked sweet potato roti (optional; rice is also great). Continue reading Paneer makhani

Japanese buckwheat soup

buckwheat kernels, tofu, carrot and pine mushrooms – ingredients for Japanese buckwheat soup

This soup makes me ridiculously happy, for a lot of reasons. A sure first is remembering the day last year when we hired a car and drove deep into the mountains of Shikoku, Japan. It was a big day in the car, punctuated by pockets of time spent in the quiet little villages of the Iya Valley, and at our final destination before we turned back, which was the double vine bridges suspended high above a turquoise river. Continue reading Japanese buckwheat soup

Greek-style stuffed tomatoes

Greek style vegetarian stuffed tomatoes

When my mum talks about food, I listen. It isn’t usually on her radar – she’s much more of a book and movie fiend, an avid follower of current affairs, a lover of indigenous cultures, a keen traveller, and an amazing woman in general … For food to rate a mention, it has to be beyond good. Like the broad bean and ham dish she once had in Spain and still talks about, and the stuffed tomatoes she had in Greece. Continue reading Greek-style stuffed tomatoes

Pasta salad with olives and roasted garlic

Pasta salad with olives and roast garlic

I started out making pasta when I moved out of home, at age 17, featuring a crisper worth of vegetables plus some pesto from a jar. (Wry smile thinking about the strange tiles of pumpkin I used to cut, and the undercooked eggplant. But I was doing a good job of eating vegetables at least!) Continue reading Pasta salad with olives and roasted garlic