Crank out the pasta

Whenever you need some cooking therapy to break the work monotony, settle nerves jangled by irritating neighbours, or sooth away the rigours of, say, dealing with mindless bureaucracy, my strong recommendation would be to crank the handle on a pasta machine.   Embrace your inner Italian soul to make as complex or as simple a sauce as…

(No) rush

On the way to Easter (in both traditions), we’ve had the fun of working our way through various breakfast possibilities in no rush at all, so I thought I’d keep going in that vein by posting the ‘how to guide’ for a few favourites. First up – slow cooked baked beans and rice. The recipe is simple…

Sunday: Cuando una puerta se cierra, ciento se abren.

Spanish: When one door closes, a hundred open. To wind up my look at how we revive each day, so we might try again with the being a good person and making a happy life, I thought I’d share my three part take on slow cooking.  There is something for all moods, whether it’s to…

The actual bread

In among a bunch of posts about cake masquerading as ‘bread’, I thought I had better pump up my baker credentials by showing that I do make the actual bread from time to time – at least to the extent of setting up the bread-maker! Over the years, I have made bread of various kinds…

My kind of wrinkles

When it comes to oven-roasted tomatoes, the wrinkles are where the flavour is!  In anticipation of a future post about slow cooked breakfasts, I thought I would share this pearler of a dish that will be welcome anytime you might eat brekkie.  (If the two-legged locusts are away, leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the…

Exiting kitchen now

When our backyard weather station went north of 40°C a couple of days ago, I went literal not metaphorical on the old saying: if it’s too hot, get out of the kitchen!!!  But there is a limit to how many scratch meals you can have before that starts to take a toll, so I have…

Another year, another experiment

  Part of my schtick as a cook is not be limited by the tried and true winners, and to make real food that may not be picture perfect like the show cooks, but it gets eaten enthusiastically – leaving the pattern on the plate is fine, but otherwise love to see it cleaned up!…

‘Tis the season – to harvest lavender (in Oz at least!)

When a colleague visited New York City a few years back, a bus driver was thrilled to have Aussies on board in a very wintery January, during the slower post-new year tourist season.  Asked how it was in Oz just then, my colleague said ‘Lovely, it’s pretty warm since it’s summer there’ – no word…

‘Quiche’ muffins

Quiche has a bad rep for being heavy from the pastry and hard to do for those not skilled in pastry making.  So this recipe solves several ‘issues’ at once by not having pastry. Sometimes known as a ‘shake & bake’ quiche, this works on the same principle as an ‘impossible pie’.*  A modest amount…

What are your staples?

While I think up a string of items to talk about in the Cupboard Cooking stream, I was hoping that readers would have ideas from their own experience of life-saving items to have on hand. 22 November: So far tinned tomatoes wins the prize as the most popular choice, while other frequent pantry fliers are…

Risotto cakes

These risotto cakes are a surprisingly easy, and very tasty, lunch or lunch box item that can also make a pleasant light dinner with salad or veggies on the side.  When I first tried them, however, I was a bit apprehensive.  Risotto itself can be tricky if you are not careful – sticks to the…

Zucchini slice

In another place this might be called a frittata (especially if some cream was added to the ingredients), but we went with the more responsible version and anyway, we don’t want to be gilding the lily, or, as Aussies say, putting on the dog! Basically it is eggs and cheese introduced to your choice of…

Eggie muffins: the how-to version

When our younger son, Andrew, was aged 4- ish, a Saturday morning TV show included a segment on showing kids how to make simple nutritious food. From memory, Andy later described how to make ‘bread pizzas’, basically using a slice of bread instead of a pizza base. Another time he did the same for something…

Thyme ‘shortbread’

Okay, call me old but Simon & Garfunkle were huge in my teenage years and later a real highpoint was seeing them live at the Adelaide Oval. So of course ‘Scarborough Fair’ herbs for me are parsley, sage rosemary and thyme!  Just in case you don’t trust your sense of smell, this photo shows  them…

Lavender

A classic old world plant, culinary lavender is just one in a genus that is part of the mint family and embraces 39 species of lavender.  Lavendula angustifolia, often known as (old) English lavender, is the only species suitable for cooking because it is very low in camphor.  Though I love the look of it,…