Root Vegetable Slaw with Butternut Squash & Tahini Dip

If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen one of my updates earlier in the week… the excitement of my latest purchase, the Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

The other day I popped into my favourite independent book shop The Hill of Content to have a little look around. As soon as I spotted Jerusalem, and had a flick through, that was it. I had to have it. It has the most amazing looking salads and even a ‘stuffed’ section. So good. All week I’ve been reading through it and soaking up the delights of Israel (and remembering our travels through that area), so I’ve been dying to make something from it. I can’t urge you enough to go out and buy this book (through your local book shop of course – we’ve got to support our small businesses!). It wont disappoint, I promise.

 

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If you live in Melbourne (or even just eastern Australia) you’ve most likely been enjoying this amazing weather we’ve had! What winter? We’ve even had our dinner al fresco the other night (well maybe with the help of a little fire-pit going for warmth). Anyway, the antipasto dinners and BBQs are just around the corner… I can feel it!

What did you guys get up to in the warm weather (if it was warm in your neck of the woods).

x e.

 

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Root Vegetable Slaw

Inspired by Yotham Ottolinghi & Sami Tamimi

2 medium beetroot (450g in total)
2 medium carrots
1/4 cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp caster sugar
25g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
25g mint leaves, shredded
20g flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
salt and pepper

1. Peel the beetroot and carrots and then slice them thinly into matchstick-like size. Alternatively, if you have a mandolin or food processor with a julienne attachment use this – it’s much quicker! Place the chopped vegetables in a bowl and cover with cold water.

2. Meanwhile, place lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, one teaspoon of salt and sugar into a small saucepan. Place on the stove top and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.

3. Drain the vegetables, pat them dry with kitchen towel and return them back into the same bowl. Add the chopped cabbage and pour the hot dressing over the vegetables and mix well. Let cool and place in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.

4. After this time, add the chopped mint, coriander, parsley, lemon zest and a sprinkling of salt. Toss and serve with the Butternut Squash & Tahini Dip and torn up Turkish Flat bread.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash & Tahini Dip

Inspired by Yotham Ottolinghi & Sami Tamimi

1 large butternut squash (about 1.2kg before peeling) cut into cubes
olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
70g tahini paste
120g Greek yoghurt
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp date syrup*
salt

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

2. Place the pumpkin in a well oiled deep tray with cinnamon and a good pinch of salt. Turn the pumpkin over a few times to ensure it is completely covered in oil and cinnamon. Roast in the oven for roughly an hour or until the butternut squash is soft.

3. Once the pumpkin has roasted and cooled, place it into the food processor with the yoghurt, tahini and garlic. Blitz until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor use a potato masher to combine everything.

4. Pour the dip into a bowl, drizzle a little date syrup and sprinkle a few sesame seeds over the top.

 

*I found date syrup quite hard to find. I eventually found it at Cedars Bakery on High St Preston although it was called Date Molasses. Ceders have delicious take away food and a great range of Turkish/Middle Eastern cuisine ingredients. Cheap and AMAZING!

Beef Empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce

As we’re moving into the last few weeks of winter (thank goodness) everyone around me seems to be getting sick, and last week I was no exception. Oh my, I was completely out of it. Bed ridden and full of chicken soup. My apologies for not posting last week, I was absolutely knocked for six.

This week I decided to make some empanadas. Earlier this year we were invited to a friend’s Argentinian themed party where they had an amazing selection of traditional food. Amongst these local treats were delicious beef empanadas served with a chimichurri sauce. This was all brand new to me, and they were so good I couldn’t stop eating them. Unfortunately this was a while ago now, when the days were long and warm, so I thought I’d make something that reminded me of these summery days. I made these from a friend’s amazing retro Time Life cook book that I borrowed recently. I tweaked the recipe a little and served them with a fresh, green, zesty chimichurri sauce. Now the sun is starting to come back out, they’ll make a perfect starter for your next BBQ shindig.

Mmm.

x e.

 

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Beef Empanadas

From Latin American Cooking by Jonathan Norton Leonard

1 onion, finely chopped
good quality olive oil
1/4 cup water
500g mince beef
1/4 cup currants
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup butter into small cubes
1 tsp salt
1/3 chilled water
1 egg
1 tbsp white vinegar

1. To prepare the filling: into a small bowl, add currants and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 10 and drain. Heat olive oil in a frypan and add onions and water and let cook until water has evaporated. Add meat and cook, stirring continuously until the meat has browned on all sides.

2. Add raisins, chilli, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper and stir through thoroughly. Set the filling aside and let cool.

3. Meanwhile to make the pastry, add flour and butter into food processor and pulse until it resembles powdered breadcrumbs.

4. In a separate bowl, add egg, chilled water and vinegar. Add to flour mixture and pulse lightly to combine. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured workbench and knead until the mixture just comes together. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

5. Once pastry has chilled, roll out the pastry to a few millimeter thick and cut out the pastry into 15cm diameter circles. If you don’t have a large enough cutter, use a saucer and cut around with a knife. Add a small amount of mixture to the center of the circle, wet the sides with some water and fold over and press down all sides. Start from the left and pinch the pastry down and fold over. Pinch the last section you just folded over and continue. (Check out my instagram video to see how to shape the edges.) Shape the pastry into a crescent shape and place on a baking tray. Continue with the rest of the mixture and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup parsley (packed)
1/4 cup coriander (packed)
4 garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt + pepper

1. Add all ingredients into the food processor and blitz until smooth. Keeps for a week in an air tight container.

Coconut & Lemon Celebration Cake!

Such a lot has been going on behind the scenes lately (so I apologise for the sporadic posts). Over the last few months I’ve been lucky enough to go on not one, but two holidays… lucky duck. As you may remember from a couple of posts ago, my last trip was to New Zealand (pics here). However in late May we went to Bali. I haven’t shared these photos yet so I thought I’d share them here today! I didn’t take many as our holiday mainly consisted of sitting next to the pool, reading, snoozing and playing pool basketball (sounds pretty tough right?). We did however take a great day trip to Ubud and a few spectacular temples, which is what you can see below.

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This week I decided to make a celebratory cake as there’s a little bit of news that I haven’t shared with you yet (and I feel terrible for not disclosing sooner). You see, our holiday to Bali was all very exciting for a number of reasons. Not only did I have an incredibly relaxing holiday, but I was also proposed to! After 13 years together (yeah we were totally high-school-sweethearts… Seb actually asked me out at the school fair, pretty cute huh!). Anyway, he finally popped the question. I’ve been asked quite often if I was expecting it… but, no. Sure, after 13 years I was hoping, but Seb loves a surprise and I honestly didn’t realise it was happening until it was actually happening! So this cake is a celebratory engagement cake. Ta-daaaaa!

 

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Over the past few weeks we’ve had the pleasure of telling friends and family, throwing a small engagement party and finding a location for our wedding, which I can now tell you will go ahead in March 2014, the day before our 14 year anniversary.

The cake is also to celebrate another milestone – Adeline & Lumiere’s second anniversary! How did this happen? Those two years have passed so quickly. So here’s a toast to the future of the Adeline & Lumiere blog! Perhaps I’ll put together my favourite posts over the last two years…

Until next time my chicken lovelies… x e.

 

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The amazing Istana Tampak Siring temple (holy springs) on the way to Mt. Batur and the volcano

 

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Top: Finn’s Beach Club Ulawatu, rice paddy fields on the way to Ubud, locals selling the teeny tiniest bananas and a little
visitor on our balcony!

 

And now for the recipe…

 

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Coconut Lemon Cake

1 1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 tbsp grated lemon rind
3/4 cup caster sugar
125g butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup milk

400g icing sugar, sifted
3 tbsp coconut cream
125g Philadelphia cheese

desiccated coconut to decorate

 

1. Preheat oven to 160ºC (fan forced) and grease a 20cm cake tin. I doubled the recipe and used a 20cm, 14cm and a cupcake mould.

2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until smooth. Pour mixture into a tin and bake for 40-50 minutes.

3. Whilst the cake is baking, add icing sugar, coconut cream and philadelphia cheese in a bowl and mix well.

4. Once the cake has cooked and cooled, ice and press the desiccated coconut into the icing.

Broadsheet Lunch: Super Easy Lemon Meringue Pie

The weeks are flying by waaaay too quickly these days. So much to do with the Deja-View cinema, constant tweaking of the blog and trying to sneak in a catchup with friends. BTW – did anybody notice the blog has had a little facelift? All photos now are a super big 700px wide (instead of only 500px) and they look soo much better (if I do say so myself!). Making these small tweaks has been on my list of ‘things to do’ for about a year now and thanks to a lovely friend, we finally got it done. Big shout-out to Ash Winch; your web wizardry never ceases to amaze me -  thank you. If anybody needs any web work, he’s your guy.

 

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I’ve also updated the ‘about page’ with a little bit about me, how the blog started as well as a new ‘tech’ section where I’ve listed all the camera gear I use. I’ve had quite a few questions about what I use so I thought I may as well put it all up on the blog for everyone to see (not that I’m hiding it or anything!).

Anyhoo, this week I’m posting my super-duper-easy Lemon Meringue Pie (of sorts). I say ‘of sorts’ as the filling isn’t really like a lemon curd filling. The best part is that there’s no need to make pastry (this just uses crushed biscuits) and there’s no left over egg yolks or white (a recipe pet peeve of mine!). I decided to use ginger snap biscuits as lemon goes quite well with ginger (thanks to the Flavour Thesaurus again). This combo went down really well according to my friends, so if you’re looking to impress at your next dinner party (with a super-easy recipe) this is the dessert for you!

Take care my pretties!
x e.

 

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Simple Lemon Meringue Pie

95g butter melted
200g ginger nut biscuits
1 tbsp lemon zest (roughly two lemons)
150ml lemon juice (3 lemons)
3 large egg yolks
400g condensed milk
3 egg whites
80g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Crush ginger nut biscuits in a large bag with a rolling pin (or blitz with a food processor). Place biscuits in a bowl, add melted butter and mix well. Pour butter-crumb mixture into a tart tin and press the mixture down firmly and evenly around the base and sides. Place the tin in the oven for 10–12 minutes or until just golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, add egg yolks and lemon zest to a bowl and mix with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Add condensed milk and whisk for further 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and mix until just combined.

3. Once the base is golden brown take it out of the oven and pour the lemon mixture into the base. Place the pie back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until it feels slightly firm to the touch.

4. Meanwhile, in a spotlessly clean bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar a spoonful at a time ensuring it’s mixed in well. Once all the sugar has been added, beat until stiff peaks form and the sugar has dissolved. Spread the meringue over the lemon filling and place back in the oven for 12–15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before serving.

Broadsheet Winter Lunch – Pulled Pork Chipotle Pies & Roasted Beetroot, Goats Cheese and Candied Walnut Salad

Whilst everything seems to be pretty relaxed around here, there’s been a lot of activity behind the scenes. I’m like a little duck sitting on the water, all cool and calm whilst my little legs are going a hundred miles an hour. I’ll share a little more with you later on, but in the meantime here are a few photos I took for a Broadsheet shoot a few weeks ago. A friend of mine has been writing a few articles for Broadsheet and asked if I’d be interested in collaborating on a story. She wanted to write about the fact that it’s cold and miserable outside so why not celebrate the fact and invite some friends around for a nice winter weekend lunch. Of course I jumped at the chance, and all in all I think it turned out pretty well!

 

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Seb and I have been making quite a few pies this winter. They’re just so damn delicious! For this lunch I knew I wanted to make pies, but I also wanted to pair two of my favourite discoveries from this winter – pulled pork and chipotle chillies. Yesssir! These pies proved to be so popular at the lunch; all the plates were licked clean! Even though it’s winter, you still have to eat your greens, so I made a tasty winter salad to go with the pies. This was a salad recipe I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ve never really cooked with fresh beetroot before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it was all super delicious. The candied walnuts were really the icing on the cake with little hits of sweetness throughout the rocket, beetroot and goats cheese.

You can see the full article on Broadsheet here.

I hope you enjoy.

x e.

 

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Beetroot, Goats Cheese & Candied Walnut Salad

2 bunches baby beetroot, trimmed
Olive oil, to grease
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 cup walnut halves
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
2 bunches baby spinach
80g goat’s cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place beetroot on a baking tray, prick with a fork and bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, let cool, peel skins and halve.

2. Meanwhile, brush a wire rack with oil and place over a sheet of baking paper. Place sugar in a non-stick fry pan and place over medium heat. Let it cook without stirring and once the sugar begins to melt, tilt the pan around to catch all sugar crystals. Be very careful with the sugar – it’s hot! Once the sugar has melted, add walnuts and cover in the melted sugar. Place onto the oiled wire rack and once cooled, separate and sprinkle with a little salt. Let cool.

3. Place rocket and beetroot into a large bowl and sprinkle with goat’s cheese. Combine oil, vinegar and mustard in a jug and drizzle over the salad adding the candied walnuts last.

Pulled Pork Chipotle Pies

1.5kg pork loin
400g crushed tomatoes
1 bottle White Rabbit Dark Ale
2 large potatoes, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
250g peas
2 tbsp corn flour
puff pastry
1 egg

For the pork rub:
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2–3 chipotle chillies (tinned)
2 tsp cracked pepper
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin
1tsp Italian herbs
1 tsp garlic powder

1. Place the slow cooker on low and pour a can of tomatoes into the base of the dish. Meanwhile add all rub ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Place the pork into the bowl and cover the entire surface with the rub, then place it into the slow cooker with the fat facing upwards. Pour and spread the remaining rub over the meat. Slowly pour the Dark Ale into the side of the slow cooker (not directly on the pork as you don’t want to wash off the rub). Place the lid on top and let cook over night or for 12 hours.

2. Once the pork has cooked for 12 hours, take the fat off the meat (it should peel off easily with tongs). Place the pork in a large bowl and pull the meat apart with two forks. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and place on medium heat. In a small glass, add corn flour and a little water and mix well. Pour this into the sauce and mix through. Cook well, stirring continuously for 10–15 minutes until thickened.

3. In a large pot, use a good glug of olive oil, add onion and let brown. Next, add carrots and potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until carrots are soft. In the same pot, add sauce and the pulled pork and mix thoroughly. Lastly, stir peas through the filling and then let the mixture cool.

4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Once the mixture is cool, take your pie tin (or ramekins) and brush with a little melted butter or oil, then line them with puff pastry. Spoon enough pulled pork mixture level with the top and add the pastry topper. Brush the top of the pies with a beaten egg and place in the oven for 20–30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a tomato relish.

The pulled pork for this recipe should ideally be cooked over night. The sauce will need to be made in the morning, as it will take at least 4 hours to cool.

New Zealand Holiday Pics

I’ve been one very lucky girl this year. I’ve just got back from a wonderful skiing holiday in New Zealand which was incredible! After last years group trip to Mt. Hotham we all decided to go to NZ for our next dip in the snow. Lucky for us we have one super duper organised friend who did all the groundwork for us and found all the best deals. I have to say, New Zealand surpassed all my (already ample) expectations. I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled to quite a few countries in the past 10 or so years, but NZ would have to be one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen.

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{Top} View from Wanaka {Bottom} Drive to Mount Aspiring
{Bottom} Our drive to Mount Aspiring

 

The skiing/snowboarding conditions we had were absolutely perfect – ‘blue bird’ days as they call it and not a cloud in sight. After only two days of previous skiing experience I started off with a ski-class to try and get the skills back again. I was a little bit of a scaredy cat and stuck to the easy ‘green’ runs… until Seb talked me into going down a harder blue run on the last day. No broken bones = success!

 

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Drive to Mount Aspiring

 

Although it was predominately a skiing/snowboarding trip, us-girls did take some time off the slopes for a couple of day trips. I was pretty keen to take the camera out and get some snaps. Shot after shot it really was stunning. It wasn’t a challenge to make this place look good. We first drove to Wanaka and set west to Mount Aspiring. The 50km drive was just so beautiful, I had to stop the car quite a few times to get these shots. We also got to drive through 18 ‘fords’ (parts of the road where water runs over) it was pretty exciting stuff! We had decided that we’d go tramping (as the NZ’ers say) through the National Park to see a glacier. None of us really had appropriate footware however that wasn’t going to stop us! We’re Tasmanian and we go bush walking all the time… (but not quite in conditions like these). Frost and ice covered the path making a good 70% of it pretty darn slippery but hey, 10km – no probs. A 6 hour return walk. Yeah right, National Parks are always quite conservative with their walking times, we could totally do it in 3. So on we went. Over the suspension bridge, over the black ice, over the icy mud and frozen grass. We had walked for a good hour when we passed two park rangers. They looked at us, in our dress shoes. They were encouraging enough but we saw the doubt in their eyes and we were only a third of the way there. As it turns out, New Zealand hiking estimate times are pretty spot on. Needless to say we turned back around. BUT not all was lost. We still had the beautiful scenic drive back to Queenstown.

Augh, such an incredible country. If you have a chance, do yourself a favour and make the trip to NZ. It’s seriously amazing.

New recipe and photos next week folks! Keep your eyes peeled.

x e.

 

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{Top & Bottom} Our treacherous walk through the national park!

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Drive back to Queenstown from Wanaka

 

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So many activities! {Top} Gondola ride to the top of Queenstown and Luge rides
{Middle} Paragliding – although I didn’t try this it did look like fun
{Bottom} The Luge track high above Queenstown

Chilli Chocolate Popcorn, Cinnamon & Coconut Popcorn, Paprika & Garlic Savoury Popcorn – a special post for Deja-View Cinema!

Well well well! Yet again it’s been a busy week and it’s been a bit of a strange week making curtains, screens and popcorn. Yep I’ve been helping Seb (my other half who’s one third of the design studio Open Season) with his passion project – Deja View Cinema. He’s had this idea to set up his own little pop up cinema for a while now but he’s always so busy with work, he just hasn’t had the time. Over the past couple of weeks Seb has managed to put in a bit of time into designing the website (with the help of the Open Season Studio) and fine tuning the carefully curated films and now it’s opening very soon! It’ll be held in the front section of the Magic Johnston Studio with screenings every second Thursday night throughout winter. You can read the Thousands’ little blurb on Deja View here and you can find details of the sessions and movies ::here::. Friends at Little Creatures Brewery have very kindly sponsored the event so their extremely delicious beer with be on offer along with Punt Road Wines and of course POPCORN!!!!!

 

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The usual butter popcorn will of course be available but we also wanted to offer something a little different. This weekend I started experimenting with all sorts of different flavours to give the corn that extra pop! First up I made a Chilli Chocolate Popcorn which has a delicious subtle chocolaty flavour with little punches of chilli – it’s unexpectedly good and is Seb’s favourite. The second flavour I made was a cinnamon and coconut (I may have referred to my Flavour Thesaurus for inspiration!). These two flavours really do pair really well; I never would have thought these two would marry well together but they do! I seriously love my flavour thesaurus. If you love experimenting in the kitchen I’d recommend it. It’s an interesting read too. The last flavour I made was a savoury sort with paprika, garlic, onion and herbs. It was nice to have a savoury flavour to mix up between the sweet flavours too.

These popcorn flavours will be on offer at the John Candy Bar, along with Everyday Coffee choc-tops, lolly bags and chocolate bars. Finally! I’ll get to work at a cinema candy bar (my teenage dream job!) Hope to see you there.

Ps. Unfortunately I wont be posting next week (life is too hectic!) but keep in the loop with what I’m doing via instagram.

x e.

 

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Paprika & Garlic Savoury Popcorn

 

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Chilli Chocolate Popcorn

 

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Cinnamon & Coconut Popcorn

 

Chilli Chocolate Popcorn

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup corn
  •  kernels
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 tsp brown sugar

1. Place a large saucepan (that has a lid) over medium heat and pour in oil. Wait until it’s hot and place 2-3 kernels of popcorn in and once they’ve popped, add the remaining popcorn. Add salt, corn kernels and place lid over the top leaving it slightly ajar so the steam can escape. Shake the saucepan to ensure the kernels are covered in oil. Let cook, shaking the pan every few minutes to prevent sticking. Soon you’ll hear the popcorn popping like mad! Take off the heat once the popping has slowed to a stop (roughly 5 minutes) and pour the popcorn into a large bowl (preferably one with a lid).

2. In a small bowl add cocoa, cayenne pepper and brown sugar and mix. Pour melted butter over popcorn and then sprinkle the cocoa mixture over the top. Place lid over the top and shake to try to distribute the flavouring evenly. Uncover, serve and enjoy!

Paprika and Garlic Savoury Popcorn

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup corn
  •  kernels
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme

1. Place a large saucepan (that has a lid) over medium heat and pour in oil. Wait until it’s hot and place 2-3 kernels of popcorn in and once they’ve popped, add the remaining popcorn. Add salt, corn kernels and place lid over the top leaving it slightly ajar so the steam can escape. Shake the saucepan to ensure the kernels are covered in oil. Let cook, shaking the pan every few minutes to prevent sticking. Soon you’ll hear the popcorn popping like mad! Take off the heat once the popping has slowed to a stop (roughly 5 minutes) and pour the popcorn into a large bowl (preferably one with a lid).

2. In a small bowl add garlic powder, sweet paprika, onion salt, oregano and thyme and mix.  Pour melted butter over popcorn and then sprinkle the savoury mixture over the top. Place lid over the top and shake to try to distribute the flavouring evenly. Uncover, serve and enjoy!

 

Cinnamon & Coconut Popcorn 

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • kernels
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp coconut finely desiccated 
  • 3 tsp brown sugar

 

1. Place a large saucepan (that has a lid) over medium heat and pour in oil. Wait until it’s hot and place 2-3 kernels of popcorn in and once they’ve popped, add the remaining popcorn. Add salt, corn kernels and place lid over the top leaving it slightly ajar so the steam can escape. Shake the saucepan to ensure the kernels are covered in oil. Let cook, shaking the pan every few minutes to prevent sticking. Soon you’ll hear the popcorn popping like mad! Take off the heat once the popping has slowed to a stop (roughly 5 minutes) and pour the popcorn into a large bowl (preferably one with a lid).

2. In a small bowl add cinnamon, coconut and brown sugar and mix. Pour melted butter over popcorn and then sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the top. Place lid over the top and shake to try to distribute the flavouring evenly. Uncover, serve and enjoy!

 

Winter Tabouli Salad

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaack! It’s been a while since I posted here – over a month – and I’m sorry for such a long break but so much has happened in those 5 little weeks. I’ve been so busy lately, even this post was a bit of a rush (hence why I haven’t written much) but I figure you’re all here to see the pretty pictures and read the recipes anyway. Right?

One of the projects that’s been keeping me busy has been a very special wintery dinner party which I hope to share with you soon. It turned out really well and styling it all was really great fun. I’ve also been away on holiday for a week. It was a REAL holiday; eating lots of amazing food, drinking cocktails and swimming (didn’t really want to come back to be honest!). I’ll share some photos I took whilst away soon, BUT here’s a delicious winter tabouli recipe I made last week. I highly recommend you try this – even if you just try the dressing. My friend Amy (the head picklette of the Pickle Club I’m part of) got me onto pommegranate molassas. Melbourne people, you can find this at Sonsa Foods on Smith st. It’s worth the trip!

Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s sooo good to be back! Yippee!!!

x e.

 

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Winter Tabouli Salad

1 1/2 cup cracked wheat
3 cups hot vegetable stock
1/2 fennel bulb thinly sliced
1 bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
seeds of half a pomegranate
1 lemon juiced (30 ml)
100ml extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp pomegranate molassas
2 tsp honey
salt + pepper to taste
1 garlic clove

1. Boil stock in a saucepan and add cracked wheat. Reduce heat and let simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl add thinly sliced fennel, parsley and mint.

3. After 10 minutes, drain the excess water off the cracked wheat by either using a strainer or muslin cloth. Add the cracked wheat to the bowl and mix with the other ingredients.

4. To make the salad dressing add lemon juice, oil, pomegranate molassas and honey into a small jar. Peel a large garlic clove and bruise with the side of a knife and add to the jar. Tighten the lid and shake it like a polaroid picture.

5. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the top of the salad and spoon a few tablespoons of dressing over the top.

Delish!

Duck Pancakes with Asian Slaw

I had the best ‘work’ day ever on Friday. Our first port of call was to the ACMI to see the Hollywood Costumes exhibit. This is a must-see for anyone who loves movies, costume design or fashion. Tim Burton’s Catwoman costume, the Marilyn Monroe dress (you know, THE dress) and the period costumes were amongst my faves… BUT it’s not just for the girls; Seb’s ears pricked up when I told him about the costumes from The Big Lebowski, Terminator and Batman. Definitely worth checking out. It’s open until August 18th 2013 and you can buy tickets here.

After the Hollywood Costumes exhibit we then got a VERY special sneak peak at the theatre show King Kong. Let me tell you – this looks absolutely incredible! The King Kong puppet is huuuuuuuuge! It weighs a massive 1.5 tonnes, it’s facial features are all controlled by animatronics so it can snarl and blink while huffing through it’s nose. It’s chest also moves as if it’s breathing. It’s main body is suspended from the roof (the whole theatre roof had to be completely reconfigured especially for the show) and his appendages are controlled by 10 puppeteers (also known as the Kings Men). I hadn’t heard much about the show but after seeing the sneak peek I booked my tickets STRAIGHT away! Preview shows start from May 28th.

 

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After King Kong we then went to see Monet’s Garden as part of the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces at the NGV. It was really interesting to read about Monet and his travels around France, Norway and the UK. It was also interesting to see his artworks in the period where he had lost the majority of this eyesight. If you love art you should take some time out to see it. It’s open until 8th September and yes, you can buy tickets here.

Phew! So Seb’s mum Leonie (hi Lone!) happened to be over here on the weekend and her absolute favourite dish in the world is duck. We popped down to the deli at Vic’ Market and picked up a whole duck along with our slaw ingredients. Anyway, I thought I’d put a little spin on the classic hoisin-duck-pancakes dish. This really was phenomenal, and we had oodles between the four of us.

x e.

PS: FYI – I’m not being paid for any of these endorsements. These are my own thoughts and opinions. :)

PPS: I’m having a few weeks off from the blog for a much needed holiday (the kind where you sit by a pool all day!!!) and I’m also working on some other projects I’ll be sharing with you shortly. I’ll be back in a jiffy but you can follow what I’m up to on social media if you’re really interested :) Speak soon lovelies…

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Duck Pancakes with Asian Coleslaw

Roast Duck

whole duck
2 oranges (to use both zest and juice)
olive oil
sea salt
2 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp brown sugar
orange segments from one orange

1. Preheat oven to 180ºCRinse the duck cavity with cold running water and then pat dry with kitchen towel. Drizzle with a little olive oil and grate the zest of one orange over the entire body of the duck.

2. Place duck on a wire rack placed over a roasting pan (this will help the duck’s fat to render off) and roast until skin is golden (roughly 1 hour). After an hour, reduce the oven to 150ºC until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife (about 1.5 hours). Meanwhile, orange juice, brandy and sugar in a saucepan over high heat until reduced by half (8-10 minutes). Season to taste and add orange segments. With about half an hour left in the oven baste the chicken with the orange sauce.

 

Pancakes

1/2 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons cornflour
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Combine flour, cornflour, water, milk, eggs and half the butter in a mixer and mix until smooth. Let stand for 15 minutes.
2. Heat a frypan over medium heat and brush with a small amount of butter. Pour a tablespoon full of batter into pan and spread the pancakes out to about 16cm wide. Cook for 2 minutes each side or until light golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Note: if you’re really hungry you might need to double the quantities!

 

Asian Slaw

1/4 purple cabbage
1/4 white cabbage
1 large carrot
handful of beansprouts
sesame seeds

Dressing

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 a small chilli diced finely
1. Add finely grated purple, white cabbage, carrot and beansprouts into a large salad bowl and mix through with your hands. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients into a jar and shake vigorously to mix. Just as you’re about to serve, dress the salad with a few tablespoons of dressing. Ensure you keep some aside if you wish to pour a little extra over each pancake.
To serve: carve up the duck into small pieces, place a small amount of duck and salad on a pancake. Drizzle with a little extra salad dressing and enjoy!
Pancakes – recipe by Recipe by Dixie Elliott from Food Ideas.
Roast Duck – Inspired by the recipe of Rodney Dunn from Gourmet Traveller
Slaw Dress – inspired by the recipe of Dave Lieberman form Food Network

Pea and Pancetta Risotto

This weekend we dog-sat our friends beautiful puppy Olive. She is so ridiculously cute, she’s a long legged dachshund (sausage dog) rescue puppy. You can see some photos on my instagram feed along with all my other dog snaps (including Seb’s ‘step brother’ Bowzer).  It’s amazing how friendly people are when you have a dog. Everybody wants to stop you for a chat, it’s nice. Makes me want a dog even more :)

Last week we made a good ol’ Sunday roast. It’s becoming a ritual when ever we have a roast, we’ll boil up a good stock from the bones and follow it up with an amazing pumpkin and bacon risotto within a couple of days.  Ahh, good old roast chook… the gift that keeps on giving. This time I thought I’d mix it up and try a new recipe. I came across this one in Gourmet Traveller and had most of the ingredients in the cupboard (which is always a bonus!). It’s really quite simple and tasted green and fresh (a perfect spring recipe for all Northern Hemisphere readers). The pancetta gives it bursts of saltiness, topped off with some quality parmesan cheese and this recipe is a keeper!

What’s your favourite risotto recipe?

x e.

 

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Pea & Pancetta Risotto

Gourmet Traveller

a good glug of olive oil
40g butter
1 onion finely diced
300g alborio rice
200ml white wine
750ml chicken stock
 
100g diced pancetta
good handful of baby spinach and rocket
1/2 cup each mint and flat leaf parsley
200g peas

 

1. Place olive oil and butter in a large pot and wait until butter has melted. Add onion, pancetta and cook slowly until the onions are translucent and slightly browned. Place rice in the pot and stir to ensure grain is well coated. This will help ensure the rice cooks evenly.

2. Add wine and stir until the alcohol has cooked off. Once it has been absorbed, add a ladle full of the warmed stock. Stir slowly until absorbed and add another ladle full. Continue until the rice feels al dente.

3. Meanwhile, blanch spinach, rocket, parsley and mint in a saucepan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and squeeze out any excess water in a sieve. Place in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add half the peas and pulse until coarsely chopped.

4. Add herb mixture into the risotto adding the remaining whole peas. Add parmesan cheese and season to taste.

5. Serve with another good sprinking of parmesan cheese on top and a nice glass of wine! Augh. Heaven.