Thursday, 28 March 2013

So much good

This week I have worked super hard to concentrate on the good.

Things that nurture.

I have been focusing on :






Those things are super important to me.

I have taken out the complicated this week and focused on the simple.

The things that really matter to me.

I ran and ran and felt as if I could just keep going.

It was the best feeling I have had in a long time.

My midget legs are good to me.

There is so much good.

I had a sick 12yo at home with me this week.
End of term-itis. Pure exhaustipation. He needed a restorative broth.
This broth takes about 15 minutes.
It is easy & super nutritious - great for a quick lunch.
You could also use chicken frames instead and freeze it as a stock for your thai curries.
And add what ever vegies you like.

This was just kept simple for my poorly little lad.
It would make a great starter for a Thai meal too. 
Cleansing, fragrant & fresh!
Cooks Note: Did you know you can freeze Kaffir Lime leaves in a zip lock bag and just take them out of the freezer, cut and use? great tip huh!

This recipe makes enough for 4 large serves

  • 3 chicken thighs or 1 breast ( or chicken frames if just making stock)
  • 1 1/2 litres of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves 
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 clove garlic
In a large pan add all ingredients (except chicken) and bring to boil.

Slice chicken finely.

Once liquid boiling add chicken and cook for 10-15 minutes (if adding other veg add about 5-6 minutes before serving.

Adjust seasoning if necessary & serve.

Love this ~

Monday, 25 March 2013

Laying myself bare & baking cakes

Uh Oh.

I'm baking.

Old readers know that means something is up.

You can find out about what I mean here.

We hit a bit of a bump last week.

Some news of the not so nice kind.

It reminded me of how transient things are.

Always in flux.


And bad.

And all the in betweens too.

But it was after reading this post by my lovely friend that helped me be reminded of how in amongst all the bad there is SOOOOO much good.

It is this hammock of good that helps support us when the bad hits.

I love her words.

These were the ones struck a chord: "They keep me FORTIFIED".


In the last few years I feel as if I have worked super hard to surround myself with good people.

People I can lay myself bare to.

And it is times like this that I know that work has paid off.

I have felt loved by my crew of good.

And for that ~ THANKYOU.

Love is all there is.

GOURMET GIRLFRIEND'S ORANGE & POPPYSEED CAKE with Caramelised Orange & Cardamom syrup:
When I am seeking comfort from a cake it always tends to be the syrupy luscious ones.
I wanted to add a little fragrance to this - hence the cardamom.
You could omit them if you are a not a fan.

  • 1/3 cup Poppyseeds
  • rind of 2 oranges
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 200g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
For the syrup
  • 1 orange sliced fine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 whole cardamom pods
Preheat the oven to 160C.

Add the poppy seeds to the milk.  Set aside.

In a mixer beat the sugar and butter till light & fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time.

Now add the flour, baking powder & almond meal.

Slowly add the milk mixed with the poppy seeds.

Grease well a 20cm spring form tin.

Put the cake batter in the tin & spread evenly around the tin.

Bake for 60 mins or until skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes in tin then turn out onto cooling tray.

Place onto a serving plate.

While cake is baking make the sugar syrup by combining Sugar, water, juice & orange slices in a pan over a medium heat.

Stir until the sugar has dissolved and now only jiggle the pan rather than stirring until the syrup begins to thicken and go golden- this will take about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat immediately & using tongs place the orange slices onto the top of the cake.

Strain the syrup to remove the Cardamom.

Pour syrup over cake.

Serve Hot or Cold.

i LOVE listening to these guys anytime but this week it has been PERFECT ~

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


I was lucky enough to grow up in a house that ate great food.

As a child we always had good bread in the house.

I would sometimes look on in envy at the kids with the 'square bread' sandwiches as we called the loaves that were available at the Supermarket but really when I tasted it, it is very like cardboard and I wasn't so envious after all.

Adelaide has a strong migrant population and good bread was easy to come by even in the 70's and 80's - well before Artisan bread became a 'thing'.

Over the years I have taken more and more interest in the Art of Bread.

It is an Art.

Not just a science but an ART.

No two loaves of bread are ever the same.

Every baker has different skills, different hands, different reasons to be baking, different ovens, different recipes......the list goes on.

I admire baking so very much.

I have never though been able to bake bread successfully before now, and I think this has increased my admiration for those that can, time after time, bake delicious loaves of goodness.

This week after trying (over many years) to make Sourdough starter no less than 20 times and failing dismally every time, I googled NY Times No-Knead after talking to my friend Michelle,  of the joys of 'Scarpetta'.


Here we are.

Four days.

Four loaves.

Each and every one a total and utter success.

And I am forever changed.

the feeling of baking a really really good loaf is exhilarating.

I want EVERYONE to join in.

Make a loaf.

Even just ONCE!

Learn to get back to eating REAL bread.

No Numbers.


Just the best ingredients you can afford.

See how great it feels to make something so magnificent out of 4 basic ingredients.





The most basic sustenance.

But the most soothing & comforting of foods.

And with good butter like my Butter making buddy Naomi's slathered all over it.....sheesh.

It doesn't get better.

For those of you that want to play along I have started a hashtag on Instagram where everyone can post pics of their breadmaking.
Tag your loaf pics with #ggbreadrevolution
I have put a GALLERY of the pics over on the Right Hand side in the sidebar. Look what people have already made!

Here is the link to the original NY TIMES no knead bread recipe.

Below is my interpretation.

GG's No Need to buy BREAD ever again recipe:
This is really just my retelling of the above linked to recipe for which I will forever be eternally grateful.
After years of WISHING I could master sourdough and failing and hearing every now & then about this bread recipe, I finally did it.
And my kids LOVED it.
We all did.
I have memorised the recipe and have worked out the timing so that when today's loaf is doing it's final prove I am making the fresh dough for tomorrow's loaf.
Here it is:

  • 3 cups Organic White Flour (buy the best flour you can afford- it definitely will give you a better result)
  • 1 5/8ths cup water- (this measurement from the original recipe is confusing everyone-it is JUST over 1 1/2 cups!)
  • 1/4 (yes ONLY a QUARTER) teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Place all ingredients into a large bowl.

using the fingers of one hand spread apart sift the ingredients through your fingers till they are amalgamated. Messy and stringy but amalgamated.

THAT IS IT!!! ALL the work you have to do is now DONE!!!

Cover with cling wrap and leave for 14- 18 hrs. 

(this is when the magic happens- the yeast activates and brings the dough to life, the activity over these hours is doing ALL the work that you AREN'T- I mean AWESOME or AWESOME?!!!)

Flour the bench, remove the dough (it will be quite wet- this is fine) and fold in the sides onto the top (it will look weird, DON'T PANIC).

Turn over onto the floured bench, cover lightly with cling wrap & leave it to sit for 15 minutes.

Dust a cotton tea-towel well with flour.

Shape dough into a ball and place onto floured tea-towel.

Dust dough surface with flour and cover with another tea-towel.

Let prove for 2 hours (this is when I make tomorrows new dough).

When 1 1/2 hours have elapsed pop a cast iron pot (without the lid) into the oven and turn it up to 245C.

After half an hour remove pot (carefully!!) from oven and transfer the dough into the pot so that the messy underneath is actually facing up- it will create a lovely top to your loaf.

Pop the lid on the pot and place back into hot oven  for 30 minutes.

Now remove the lid for the last 15.

Remove bread from pot onto a wire rack.

And now listen carefully.......

Can you hear it talking to you?

The cracking?

It's actually clapping at your aceness and the fact that YOU made REAL bread.

You really really DID!!!

Go YOU!!!!

It's alive!


and I bet it won't be the last time you bake bread.

I HAD to post this song didn't I?!
Indulge me........

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Happy times with my fellow Clogger Blogger.

It's been relentlessly hot here for way too long.

There is a city full of troppo grumps.

And my small house is full of them too.

But I was happy.

I was catching up with a fave gal.

A fellow clogger blogger.

I picked her up from the airport and we went here, and met another fave to chat about how camping is the bestest ever.

Then we went back to her fancy accommodation & stayed up way too late and chatted and chatted and giggled and sipped tea and gazed at Melbourne's glorious cityscape lit up sparkling. If i didn't leave then I reckon we might have been still chatting till dawn interrupted.

I was reminded of why I LUBS this gal.  She of the solid gold heart and the quietly spoken wisdom. A special special sort.

Plus she makes Australia's BEST jam. Totes fosshizzle.

The next day we went to the Pop Up Patch & were inspired.

I found the solution for my vertical kitchen garden,

Then we headed to the Arts Centre to see another mate chat about things held dear to our hearts as part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.

And then it was time to take her back to the airport to go back to her gorgeous family.

I'm already missing her.

Friends, food and family.


Yesterday on my travels on le interweb I came across this- a recipe for KIMCHI butter from Jake Nicolson, Chef at Circa.
I immediately fainted at it's awesomeness.
And then HAD to make it.
i LOVE Kimchi- i know, I know- it is one of those ingredients that divides the lovers & haters.
Me, I'm a lover. maybe even an addict.
Luckily I had all the ingredients I needed.
Make haste GG- make haste!
I popped on my super cape (aka my apron) and in ten minutes this baby was in the fridge.
Y to the UM.
It was ready to go on our rare Tuna steaks for dinner. And now I am imagining all the ways I can use it......
NB: Kimchi is readily available at Asian Grocers in the fridge section.

  • 250g butter
  • 100g kimchi
  • 20g Sriracha
In a food processor whizz the butter till white and creamy.

Now blitz the kimchi and sriracha to a paste.

Add together and blitz till well combined.

Place some cling wrap on the bench(about a 30 cm length.)

Spread the butter onto the cling wrap in a rectangle.
Now roll carefully and twist the ends like a Xmas cracker to get it nice and tight and eliminate air bubbles.

I wrapped the buter roll in alfoil and placed in the freezer to harden.

Once set, move to fridge ready to cut small slices as required.

Here are two ways I have used it so far......
Rare Tuna steak with Kimchi Butter & Soba noodles
Zucchini, Green Chilli & Thai basil fritter with Kimchi Butter.
OMG. two of my all time faves jamming. best ever.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

It's not that I have forgotten about you it's just that......

Times here are SUPER DOOP busy.

I am sorry the blog is a little quiet...and it may be like this while I manage this other project.

It's not that I have forgotten you it's just that.......

This is happening.

I am project manager of the build of a (much needed) addition to our house that I have designed- in between project managing my family of seven.

Busy does not even cover it.

Exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.

But on the weekend we made some time to take the kids to Heide Museum of Modern Art- one of Melbourne's treasures.

We needed to take a deep breath.

There is an astonishing exhibition of Louise Bourgeois's work on at the moment.
I remember studying her both at school and at Art school. A truly amazing woman.
She died two years ago aged 98. What a full life.

DO go and see this exhibition if you can.

I LOVED this piece.
PROFOUNDLY beautiful in it's simplicity.
And it contains my new manifesto.
"What are you missing?
I am IMPERFECT but I am lacking nothing"

This week I haven't had time to do my run - not one day! OMG I never thought I would be the person who worried that I wasn't getting time for a run! Who even am I?!!!
But....I am still giving myself time to eat a good breakfast.
The farmers Markets have GORGEOUS tomatillos at the moment.
We have been having them with a few things (DIVINE in tacos) but I LOVE them with eggs.
This salsa was this perfect for this mornings brekky- just an egg and some green habanero chile sauce-so so good.

  • 8 tomatillos (peel off the papery skins and cut into quarters)
  • 1 avocado cut into chunks
  • 1 radish sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • fresh coriander
  • lime juice
  • olive oil
  • S & P
Heat a non stick pan to medium heat.  Add olive oil.
Pop the garlic in and fry for a minute or so.
Add the tomatillos and fry till you can see a tinge of brown- 4-5 minutes.
Add the cumin powder, stir through and remove from heat.
Pop in a bowl and add the chunks of avocado,  sliced radish,  chopped fresh coriander and a good squeeze of fresh lime juice.

You know already by now of my family's love for the ukelele.
And I LOVE this band. Perfect egg eating music.