Saturday, 9 June 2012

Eating Out in Paradise

Night 1: Temple of Tastes
Grilled Barramundi with pureed peas, potato rosti and chilli and corn salsa. Accompanied by a lovely fruity Crowded House Sav Blanc from New Zealand.

Night 2: Vivo
Natural Oysters followed by Crab Linguini while Sweetpea enjoyed the Seafood Tagliattelli with Mussels

Night 3: L'Unico at Trinity Beach
Natural Oysters (again) followed by an unnameable local reef fish with winter roast vegetables. Sweetpea got stuck into the Bugs with Chili and Spaghetti. We shared the gelati dessert.

Night 4: Apres Bar and Grill
Surf and Turf (steak and prawns) with mango salsa for me. Reef and Beef (steak and bugs) for sweetpea. Then across the road for a shared Mandarin Sorbet and Chocolate Gelato dessert.

Day 1: Lunch courtesy of QANTAS therefore completely forgettable.

Day 2, 4 & 5: Lunch by the pool at the Sea Temple Pool Bar - Garlic Prawns washed down delicately with a Cosmopolitan or Margarita. Sweetpea loved the Barramundi Wraps and Temple Cocktail.

Day 3: Lunch by the water at Port Douglas - Fresh prawns with seafood sauce followed by a shared Bounty Bar!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Home Gardening 101

After a summer of constant rain and cool nights I had resigned myself to the fact that my eggplant was only going to be ornamental this year.

So imagine my delight in early March when I discovered 2 baby eggplants emerging from their blossoms!

I love watching eggplants grow. They are so shiny and smooth and so elegantly designed.

Planting them next to the back door was a superb idea. I can check on their progress every day. They brightened even the darkest of moods.

And the anticipation! The moussaka recipes flitting through my mind! Oh joy.

Monday, 5 March 2012


I have a new love.

His name is Bill.

Bill Granger.

It was love at first sight.

Just look at the cover of the book, then imagine every 2nd page with similiar mouthwatering, pretty pictures....what's not to love!

I've been eyeing this book off for ages, but it wasn't until Fennel pointed out the brief methods for each recipe that I was hooked. And I suddenly knew what my birthday present to myself was going to be.

The last few weeks I've enjoyed browsing through the pages imagining what I would cook. And in the past 10 days I've cooked 3 of the recipes very successfully, to much acclaim and requests for more from sweetpea, both chickadees and a brother-in-law!

Cashew & Chicken Curry with naan

Fish baked in a bag with lime butter and potatoes

The fact that little ol' me can make my dishes look almost exactly like Bill's is very satisfying and gratifying. We can also highly recommend the chicken and mushroom croquettes - we ate them too fast to take a photo! The chickadees were completely unaware they were eating mushrooms and even asked for seconds :-)

Happy eating
Love Aubergine

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Quack Quack!

This just in: Duck fat makes anything and everything completely amazing! Or, to be more precise: amaaaaazing!

Eggplant and her Sweet Pea gave me their tried and true mushroom and leek risotto recipe almost a year ago and I have since made it about 20 times, often with slight variations.  A couple of nights ago I made it again to nothing less than the utter the triumph I have come to expect when following this recipe.  This time, I used duck fat along with the olive oil, and stock saved from the duck I roasted for my Urban Family Christmas in late December last year.  

Just smelling the stock took me back to that night – my first home roasted duck and a fantastically fun evening. Tasting the finished risotto led to eyes rolling back in head, swiftly followed by second servings.  The risotto is always delish but using homemade duck stock over carton chicken stock raises it to another level entirely.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

All Beef Patty

This is one of those cases where I will let the pictures tell the story!!

Sweet pea & the youngest chickadee prepared the patties.

We watched sweet pea cook them.

Then we all devoured the end product!


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Plenty More Where That Came From

I am not dishonest enough to plagiarise myself, but I am lazy enough to write one post only about a cookbook I love (Plenty by Yottam Ottolenghi).  Since I got to it first on my other blog, I have put the link up HERE

It really is a wonderful cookbook!

Edit: hopefully I have now fixed the link so that it, you know, actually LINKS!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Broad Bean and Fennel: A Love Story

Broad Bean came over to cook and eat with me last night and it was FUN!  I don't usually cook with someone, although I love to cook for people.  It probably ended up being a lot more relaxing because it was a shared effort, rather than a presentation that it going to be marked and measured.

Funnily enough, we used neither Fennel nor Broad Bean as ingredients for our meal (it felt a little too much like cannibalism) but there are so many other vegetables to choose from that we were in no way impaired by this restriction.  In the end, Broad Bean worked on the entrĂ©e and I took care of the main.

Both recipes came from my beloved Moro East cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark.  We started with fried spiced cauliflower served with a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon juice and ate it from a shared plate in the kitchen, with me jumping up now and again to stir….

… the “Courgettes and Almonds” which also contains yellow squash, tomatoes, garlic and shitloads of fresh basil (unlike the mint which the recipe actually suggests).  Because I was busy chatting and eating cauliflower, the C&A was a tad overcooked but still delicious.  We took bowls of this and some rice, along with our “Moppity” merlot, outside and ate in the garden.

Then, back upstairs we listened to Nina Simone and ate cake and drank almond tea and giggled quite a bit.