Sunday, May 26, 2013
We have had a big week. It started with my sister's baby shower, then a trip to Bendigo and has ended with gardening and cooking at home.
We love Bendigo. The highlights of this visit were shopping at Bendigo Wholefoods, trips to Castlemaine and Maldon, seeing Nana and Pa and meeting up with one of my dearest friends in the little town of St Arnoud (an adventure for all).
We left Bendigo Wholefoods with everything from loaf tins, to quinoa flour, black rice and dried paw paw. I was in love and wanted to move to Bendigo just so I could shop there all the time. We got a wonderful old Mason jar from Castlemaine and delicious lollies from the Maldon Lolly Shop. The trip was over too quickly, but we are already planning another visit next year.
Images: One of Maldon's beautiful buildings. Flowers left over from the baby shower. Snippets of Bendigo, Nana's garden and St Arnoud. Nana's poppies – Nana's mother ordered this for her from the Women's Weekly and she has had it hanging in her bedroom since she was nine! A lovely old building in Castlemaine.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
When I was first offered one of these Chickpea Biscuits by a fellow pre-school mum, I thought 'oh great, I bet they taste like they've been poured through an old boot', but to my surprise they were delicious and I got the recipe then and there! They are one of the best gluten free biscuits I've ever had, and even my fussy four year old is hooked.
I'm thinking I might even get a little creative with the recipe and turn them into jam drops, or add some caraway seeds to the tops. Yum. The possibilities are endless.
Even if you're not gluten free they're worth a try.
2/3 cup besan flour (chickpea flour)
125g Nuttelex lite or butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch or arrowroot (I use arrowroot)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
Pre-heat oven to 180 ˚c. Add all ingredients to a mixer and beat until creamy in texture. Add extra rice flour if needed. Dollop teaspoonfuls onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Ensure there is enough space for the dollops to spread. Bake until golden around the edges, 10-15 mins. Cool on rack.
Monday, May 13, 2013
1 large eggplant, sliced length-ways
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tsp of cumin powder
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
1/2 tsp of red chilli powder
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes (I used a mixture of red and yellow)
1/4 cup of parsley, chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with sesame seeds
1/4 cup Tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
(Note: My Tahini dressing wasn't smooth like the original recipe, it was more like the consistency of hummus. I'm not sure why. It still tasted good though.)
In a small mixing bowl, add juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, cumin powder, smoked paprika powder, chili powder, minced garlic, pinch of salt & pepper and stir to combine. Place eggplant slices on a baking sheet and thoroughly coat in the marinade.
Marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat a large non-stick grill skillet on medium high. You can use a proper grill or fry pan if you don't have a skillet.
Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the hot skillet or pan. Add slices of marinated eggplant. Do not overcrowd the pan.
Depending on the thickness of each slice, cook for at least a minute on each side. If you like it soft, cook for a little longer.
Prepare tahini dressing in a small bowl, by combining all of the above ingredients. Set aside.
Remove grilled eggplant and put on a plate to cool slightly. Chop into bite size pieces.
In a mixing bowl, add halved tomatoes, chopped parsley and grilled eggplant. Lightly toss everything with tahini dressing or serve the dressing on the side. Garnish with some toasted sesame seeds.
You can find the original recipe here.
The days have been warm and the evenings cool. My loves and I have spent countless hours gardening, toasting marshmallows in our pizza oven and enjoying being outdoors.
There has been plenty of fruit picking and cooking. We have had the pleasure of visiting a friends amazing orchard, and sampling some of the fresh fruit. The Figs and strawberries were delicious. I have orchard envy.
Driving through the Blue Mountains is particularly special at this time of year, and I have loved admiring the Autumn colours from my favourite Blackheath cafe, 'Anonymous'.
Further west is just as delightful, and I have enjoyed making trips to the lovely Portland to get my Sister's cot quilt quilted.
Autumn, please never leave.