Friday, 30 May 2014

Clever Clogs Cooking Club

Today in my newsletter I announced a new GG project.
(The first newsletter has already been sent but you can subscribe over on the top RHS of the blog so you don't miss out on the next one!)

I would love you to join in!

Every month you will be sent a cute gourmet goodie bag made by me.
Each pack will Ingredients and a super gorgeous Recipe card with ideas of how to use the ingredient/s included.
The recipes sent out to my Cooking Club are exclusive and will not be published elsewhere.
Subscriptions are available on a 3, 6 or 12mth basis & are designed to get you excited about being in the kitchen,  to encourage you to try new things & to save you a bit of time!
Some months there will be extra bonus goodies or special discounts on other items in my store.
You can head over here to look at the prices & plans. I will let you know when it is all ready to go but I am planning for a JULY start!

There are very LIMITED places available to my Cooking Class this coming Wednesday for Steps Australia at Hobba in Prahran.
You can read a review of the last one here.
We had SUCH a fun time. I hope you can come to this one!
Tickets are available by clicking on this link.
I hope you all have some nice plans for the weekend and enjoy some happy feasting times with those you love.
Toodle-oo till next time!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

GG's New look


Today is the first day of my lovely new look blog.
There is still a bit of tweaking to get it just right but we are well on our way!

The GORGEOUS new blog header is the work of Swedish illustrator- Anna Lindsten.
I commissioned her to redesign my header after falling in love with her work in Anorak Mag, where I contribute my recipes in each edition.

Quick- go have a look at all her other work here.
How ace is all of her work?
SOOOOOO clever right?!
I gave her a brief outline of what I wanted & left her to it.

The polka dots on the apron are an element you see across my branding that relate to the wedding rings that Mr Girlfriend and I wear made by our very clever friend - five different colour polka dots on a red enamel base, each dot representing one of our five boys. There is a Figgjo pot in there that is a little nod to the ever present Swedish influence in my life.  To long time readers the presence of clogs is self explanatory- the only shoes I own and wear.  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
Thankyou so much Anna!

And I have had lots of help from my super ace friend Bec.
I can't thank her enough for sticking by me despite my tech fail whale sensibilities.
You can visit her online store here.
But I really recommend that you visit her in real life because shopping in real life is totes awesome- just like her.

And also to all the gorgeous 'keep on keeping on' messages of love from my hand-holding buddy over the strait who tells me to keep going when I felt like tossing it all in. Thankyou,  a very big smoochy kiss & a piece of cake too!

I have also started a newsletter which will feature some things that are not shared here on the blog, links to inspiring things and other Good Stuff!  You can subscribe at the very top RHS of the blog.  The first one will go out TOMORROW!  Don't miss out as there is a special announcement about a new project I am putting together!
Be sure to return the complete subscription email to activate your Newsletter too, otherwise you won't get it!

Yay for new improved, changey-moving forward ways!

Shall we celebrate with cake & coffee?

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Chasing the Void

18mths ago I started running.

It wasn't until I started running that I really found something that was just for and only for ME.

Something that wasn't for any other reason than itself.

It has been a life changing gift.

I have been a long time fan of Haruki Murakami's writing but it was when reading his book 'What I talk about when I talk about running' that I really thought about the concept of doing something in order to do nothing.

I guess it is a kind of meditation really.  A way of clearing the mind.

When I started to run I needed to do ALL I could to distract myself from the fact that I was as unfit as I was & that taking part in running was merely a way of getting fit.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

I listened to music at first to try and make the time go faster but when I did this I seemed to start trying to run in time to the track playing which has near dire consequences when one is running on a treadmill.

Think: Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.
Not pretty but very funny.

So I started listening to podcasts - my faves are This American Life & Freakonomics. 

Then slowly over time as my fitness improved I realised I had stopped listening.

I had stopped listening to anything at all.

It was just me & my breathing.

“I just run. I run in void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void.”  (Murakami- What I talk about when I talk about running)

I was chasing the void.

“When I'm running I don't have to talk to anybody and don't have to listen to anybody. This is a part of my day I can't do without.”  (Murakami- What I talk about when I talk about running)

The need for me to have something in my life that was nothing at all had become one of my very favourite things of all.

I would never have believed that 18mths ago I could tell you how much joy running gives me.

I would never have believed that I could tell you I was actually fit. Fitter than I have ever been my entire life.

I would never have believed that what I chased was solitude and emptiness and that the end result of finding those meant also finding a sense of fulfilment.

“What’s most important is what you can’t see but can feel in your heart. To be able to grasp something of value, sometimes you have to perform seemingly inefficient acts. But even activities that appear fruitless don’t necessarily end up so. That’s the feeling I have, as someone who’s felt this, who’s experienced it.” 
(Murakami- What I talk about when I talk about running)

It is still hard.  I have learnt that it will never stop being hard & that same 'hard' that stopped me once upon a time has become a reminder that most things are hard and that is ok. 

Everything will be ok.  It will.

I ran today after quite a long break due to family illness and plain lack of mojo.
During this time I looked longingly at my treadmill and knew it would give me joy but I just couldn't seem to get myself on it.

It was so great to get back on.

Losing myself to the void so I could find myself again.

This is one of those "cook something out of nothing" meals that is a total gem you know you will make again & again.
I made it a couple of weeks ago when I felt like something hot & I needed it quick!
A quick look in the fridge & the garden and hey presto there it was 15 minutes later.

  • 1 x 200g packet frozen spinach
  • 1 bunch Italian Parsley
  • 3 cups chicken or veg stock
  • S & P

Chuck the spinach into a saucepan and cook in the stock till defrosted.
Add the Parsley (stalks and all!) & immediately BLITZ till smooth.
Check seasoning and serve.
(I added Aleppo pepper and a dollop of Yoghurt to mine as I served)
Seriously scrumptious.

I think these dancers of awesome are in the void too.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Things I am loving: May 2014

On the weekend we watched some more episodes of Small Spaces- a show from the UK about clever ideas people have to transform or create new spaces in small and challenging ways.

We fell in LOVE with the Tree Hotel in Sweden.

I am totally going to go there.

I mean look!

images via Tree Hotel

So so great.

As if I needed any more reasons to go back there.....

You can read more about this amazing place here.

I have been reading (ever so slowly!) & loving  this gorgeous and timeless book.

I am wanting to go to this exhibition at the gorgeous Heide Museum about Mirka Mora.

Do you love Mirka too?
image via William Mora Galleries
She is such a smart, complex and interesting woman. I am excited to get to know a little more about her via her own collection of bits n bobs.

I am also loving the Autumnal magnificence that Melbourne always offers up. Gorgeous crisp starts leading to clear blue gorgeousness. Sigh.

What have you been loving lately?

This cake is so moist & tastes rich yet light.
So super yummy for morning tea with a bowl of coffee.
I baked one cake (for home) and a tray of 6 large muffins (without the nuts on top for allergy reasons) so the kids could take them to school for morning tea.


  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (separated into two halves)
  • 125g softened butter
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup flaked almond


Preheat oven to 175C.

Put dates & half the baking powder into a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Mix and set aside to cool down.

Pop butter & sugar into a bowl and mix together till creamy.
Add the egg and mix well.

Now add the flour, remaining baking powder, cacao and stir.

Now add dates and water and mix till combined.

Add mix to a greased and lined 20cm loaf tin. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake for 40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
I'm impatiently waiting for Jane Tyrell's solo album....
in the meantime this will do just fine....

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A significant moment.

Last Saturday night was a real milestone in our family.
Mr Girlfriend & I left our big two at a large Arena music gig ALONE.
Sheesh.  We are involved in a whole new ball game and I feel as if it is one I don't know the rules to.

We had given the tickets to them for their Christmas present. They have been very patient waiting for the gift to materialise. Nothing wrong with teaching patience right?
We had lots of chats leading up to it.
Lots of the "This is what you might expect, this is what I expect of you...." etc etc.
Music is a HUGE part of our family life and so it makes sense that getting to see a band they love in a big concert was a great way of celebrating that.

We let them go through the gates and then waited for the text from them to say "We are in our seats" before we walked hand in hand away.
It felt weird. We felt nervous.  Were we doing the right thing?  Were they ok in there? Are we letting the reins loose too soon?
We stood in silence for a while both staring, wondering to ourselves "At what point do we start walking?" Neither of us wanting to be the one who started to walk away.
A significant moment.
I felt a little panicked that I should be a bit more grown up too seeing as I had nearly grown up children. But what does being 'more grown up' even mean?

We took ourselves off to seek comfort with Wes at The Grand Budapest Hotel.
We sat looking at a group of couples in the foyer of the cinema and Mr Girlfriend said to me "Are we the same age as them?'
I nearly spat out my drink.......they were in their 70's.
We started talking about having a kind of an age dysmorphia.
Of how hard it is to pick how old people are.
But it left me thinking....... when do we grow up? When do we become 'old'?
Aren't I the same age as when I had my first baby nearly 16 years ago?
How is it possible that I am so old that my eldest kids can go out like this at night ALONE?
It feels as though the clock stopped then.  When my first baby appeared 16 years ago.
It was as though I had learnt everything I could ever learn right there at that very moment.
What I really learnt was that I knew nothing at all and never would ever again.
And so it still is.........

As parents we are laid bare. Completely and totally vulnerable. Everything we knew is forever changed. And we are left knowing nothing at all.

We sat there on Saturday night with all the same questions no doubt that all of our parents had as we entered the years of early adulthood.  And all the same emotions and doubts.
But...... our eldest children ARE becoming young adults.
We are entering a very different part of parenting.
The bit where we get to see if all the things we have offered up as preparation to let go of them works.

Before my very eyes I see the physical reminder that my children are becoming adults.
Our (very nearly) 16yo is as tall as his dad and our (very nearly) 14yo is as tall as me.
But it is the way they behave that is more of a reminder.  The deep level of their thoughts & their conscience.  Their understandings of social & world issues.  Their independence.

And their ability to go to a music concert alone.  Without us by their sides.  Just each other. They love music so much and this makes me so very happy.
Music, like  food, is made to be shared. And I love that they share this passion with each other. They play their instruments together often (I have included a short sound clip of them playing at the end of this post).
It was utterly fitting that their first real celebration of this stage was going to a music concert.

It has always been on my radar that one of the best things we can give our children is our trust.
I hope that in all we do and in all the ways we behave in our house, that we have been guiding our children to live with morality and integrity.
And I hope that they know I trust them to make the right decisions.
I have made it clear endless times that I don't expect them to always get it right. And I have told them too, that NO MATTER how badly you get it wrong we will be there to lift you up again.

I hope I have taught them to know it is ok to ask for help- no matter how big or how small.
I hope that they know that it is ok to stumble.  And I hope I have given them the fortitude to get back up again if they do.
I hope they choose things in life that inspire them and fill their hearts.
I hope I have given them the gift of laughter and joy.
I hope that I have given them the courage to stand up for what they believe in even if it is not popular.
I hope they continue to enjoy the things they are passionate about.
I hope they find love.
Most of all I hope they find themselves.

As they enter early adulthood I can't help but burst with pride at the humans I see before me.
These kids are kind, compassionate, big hearted, gutsy, humble, multi-faceted, funny & clever.

I am crying as I write, thinking about how terribly fast it goes, constantly reminded by the fact that we also have children who are very young and SURELY they were all this age just yesterday?
But no........ it is time to start letting out the line.
A time of excitement at what lies ahead but also of reminiscing and feelings of sadness.

I feel positive about the future when I see them and their friends.  Despite the negativity surrounding teens, I see NO evidence of this whatsoever.
These kids & all of their friends are thoughtful, sensitive, clever, forward thinking, community minded people who want to take care of things and of each other.

So while I don't have a rulebook as to how we go about this big and important phase I can know that it is ok for me to stumble and get it wrong and that what matters here is that it is love that will guide me.
So far it hasn't been a bad guide.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Lamb, Kale and Potato Saag

We eat a lot of curry at our house.

There are endless variations & styles of curries and I never get sick of them.

Some are hot and spicy.

Some are fresh and zingy.

Some are slow cooking and unctuous.

Some are crisp and fresh.

I love eating curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Melbourne is deep into Autumn.

My fave season of all.

Crisp, chilly starts sometimes with a descending fog which lifts to reveal a crystal blue sky and a delightfully warning sun.

It is also Brassica season.  My favourite veggies come from this family.
One of which is Kale- it hit the runway big time at the Veggie Fashion awards a couple of years ago jaunting it's rebellious ways like a classic Vivienne Westwood strutting it's stuff.

It has become a bit of a hipster veg and so it is also in the firing line for abuse. I am here to stick up for it. I won't have a bad thing said. Let it be known here that......


I fell in love, in particular with Cavolo Nero or Tuscan Kale, when we lived in London in the late 90's.
We were lucky enough to live near an amazing 'hole in the wall' Italian deli where we could buy incredible ingredients.  I bought a bunch from there one day and was instantly smitten. I wanted to cook it and use it in everything.

When we returned to Australia it was nearly a decade before I saw it here- my long lost love! I was so happy to be reunited.
Now you can find it everywhere & this makes me very very happy.

My boys all LOVE green veg and are also very happy to eat this any old way.

This curry is more usually made with Spinach but seeing as my Kale is growing super happily at the moment it made sense to give it a try using Kale.

It did not disappoint.

LAMB & POTATO SAAG (using Tuscan Kale):
While this recipe includes meat- there are far more veggies than meat as you will see by the quantities I use.
You could very easily remove the meat all together and make this a Potato & Kale Saag.

This recipe heartily fed 7 people.

  • 3 chump Lamb chops, chopped into large chunks 
  • 8 potatoes, diced into large chunks
  • a bunch of Cavolo Nero, chopped (no need to remove stems) 
  • 3 teaspoons fenugreek leaves (available at Indian Grocery stores)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (omit if you like)
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 inch piece ginger, chopped finely or grated
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 1 cup stock 
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (substitute a mix of butter with a little oil if you don't have any)
  • S & P
Add 1 tablespoon Ghee to a non-stick pan on medium high heat.
Sear the meat so it is brown on both sides (doesn't need to be cooked through).
Set aside.

Place a large heavy based pan on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of ghee.
Add onion and cook till browning on edges.
Add garlic & ginger and stir for a minute.
Add spices & combine. And then add the chopped Cavolo Nero.
Add stock and bring to boil & cook for 8-10 minutes.

At this point you can blitz the Kale mix with a stick blender if you want a smooth sauce (I do this but it is entirely up to you).

Add the reserved Lamb and the potatoes.

Reduce the temp to low and cook for an hour.

Season well.

Serve with steamed rice.

It was all over when the Bearded Lady sang.
It was the best thing I have seen all year.

I introduced my big kids to the joy of Eurovision this weekend- an event that belies words.
To say we were THRILLED about Conchita Wurst winning would be an understatement.
How GREAT!!!!! So so happy!
It was also a proud parenting moment when my boys were happy, proud & thrilled that a bearded drag lady won this International award.

Did you watch?

Friday, 9 May 2014

Date, Banana & Coconut cake

A while ago on this blog I wrote a post about how me and baking are not friends.

It's true.

I know! there really are things I am not super in love with in the kitchen.
Baking and all it's 'wear your skirt at the knees, hair tied in bows' kind of school rules are just not my thing.

I've always been a kind of 'do it my way' kind of gal. You can see it in the way I dress. Everyday I am in mismatching patterns and colours that others may tell you don't go together. Pffffft to that. I love colour and I love patterns and I love to wear them all at once.

So when I bake I just kind of have a go and see what happens in my 'do it my way' kind of style.

Often there are mistakes- because well really, baking does involve science and rules that kind of need to be adhered to. Dang it.

So the other day when I first made this cake,  the result was a little well......moist. I did some tweaking and the second one was delish!

I had bananas in the fruit bowl that were going brown and didn't want to make my usual banana loaf.

Here is what I made.


What you will need:

  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 2 cups SR Flour
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp bi-carb soda
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut (plus a little extra to pop on top)
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 170C.

Place dates and water in a small saucepan and bring to boil.  Add bi-carb, stir and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl mash bananas. Add eggs, coconut, dates, sugar and flour and mix well.

Grease and line a 25 square cake tin.

Sprinkle some shredded coconut on top of cake and place in oven for 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Delicious still warm!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

How to make Pakoras

Many years ago.....I'm talking about two decades ago, I made some Pakoras for some friends who had come over to dinner.

I was making a curry feast & the pakoras were the starter. Years later one of my guests told me she had never forgotten those pakoras, yet I hadn't even remembered what I cooked.  Amazing how food can etch memories isn't it, leaving a lasting impression.

Pakoras are one of those super delicious foods that you might eat when you are out at an Indian restaurant and think is too hard to replicate at home. These friends thought I was amazing that I could make these but really they are one of those dishes that are deceptively simple and once you have made them they will become a FAVE because they tick the boxes of being super simple, healthy AND DELICIOUS.

The basic batter is the same and you can add whatever vegetable you like.  The flour that is used is Chickpea flour (also known as Besan or Gram flour) which is gluten free & readily available at good Asian grocers or Health food stores.

I make Cauliflower pakoras most often but as my Kale is growing so beautifully I thought I would give that a go.

It made the most delicious quick lunch on a cold cold Melbourne day when I was craving hot comfort food.

It took me about 15 minutes from Whoah to Go.

The trick with the batter is to get it thick without being too thick that there ends up being more batter than vegetable.
I liken it to a thick pancake batter. 

For this recipe I added the chopped kale & coriander to the batter and then grabbed a handful to fry- if you were using larger cuts of vegetables such as cauliflower florets you would dip the floret into the batter before frying.
The batter recipe remains the same regardless of the veggies you choose to dip so play around and try different ones to find your fave combo.

For larger veggies I often deep fry but these were able to be shallow fried.


For the Pakora batter

  • 1 cup besan flour
  • water 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • a couple of handfuls of kale chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander
  • rice bran oil

In a large bowl add the Besan four, spices and salt.
Now slowly add water using a whisk to combine to a thick batter.

Pop the Kale and coriander into the batter and coat well.

Heat rice bran oil in a non-stick pan to medium high.
Add a handful of the mix to the pan. I fired 3 at a time.

When brown flip and fry till both sides are nicely brown (3-4 mins each side)

Serve hot.

(I made a quick dipping sauce with some Greek yoghurt, a squirt of Sriracha chilli, salt & chopped coriander)

Monday, 5 May 2014

Please re-think the way you buy your food for the sake of our Planet.

During the cooking class I gave last week I spent quite a lot of time talking about why I buy our meat direct from the Farmers.

Eating ethically is very important to me and this is a major reason I choose to buy direct from the producers. I know the people I buy meat from treat their animals with the utmost care & love.

Just because we choose to eat meat does not mean that the life of the animal we will eat does not deserve to live a quality one. Conversely it is all the more important to treat it with love and care. That animal is giving up it's life for the sustenance of my family. Not only does the way it is raised affect the flavour and quality (and I care about that) but it is also a recognition that we are taking the life of something for our sustenance.

It is important we think about that & acknowledge where our food comes from.
One of the things I focussed on in the class was that we have a responsibility to our environment and to each other as a community and that our food choices directly affect these things & each other.  We should feel a little uncomfortable about this.  It means we are thinking about it.  It is a big thing. And we NEED to not only think but ACT.

Rather than shy away from these topics, I talk about it with my children a LOT.  I encourage you to do the same. We owe it to all of the world to think and act with integrity in terms of our food choices just as we should in everything we do. Our planet is dying as a result of the choices we are making. It is well and truly time we re-think the way we have been behaving.

I asked people at my class the other night to re-think the way they buy their food.  Instead of buying 1kg of chicken legs- which equates to the killing of 4-5 chickens, why not change the dish you had in mind and buy just one chook- you end up having the same amount of meat to eat but you have made a much more ethical choice in the way you created that meal.  We have become both selfish  & lazy in our food buying.  Mixed with a lack of skill sets that would have once given us the knowledge to make different choices.  My hope is that my classes will help give these skills back to people.  I hope that I can enable people again by teaching and encouraging you with these skills to help you change your buying behaviour.

One of the things I talked about was how many new cuts of meat I have discovered since buying direct from the producer. There are so many cuts that never make it to supermarket shelves and are disappearing from local butchers too as the skills in how to cook them slowly disappear & the demand is not there to have them available.  So much unnecessary waste. The producers are armed with the most incredible knowledge. What a font of knowledge, right there in front of you, ready to talk to you about it! Go grab that knowledge and make it your friend.

These people are not the hard Aussie Farmer stereotype a lot of us have invented in our minds & that we see on Television, but instead they are smart, kind, sensitive and thoughtful people just like you & me. They have children they are trying to feed and put through school, they have mortgages to pay and (ENORMOUS) petrol and car costs to cover, some of them working other jobs to keep afloat.  They have exactly the same kinds of daily stresses and worries that we all do.

Buying from them helps us remember that our food chain is real.  We CAN make a difference, a very REAL difference to our world and to our local communities by supporting these people.  And we can make an enormous difference to our own lives by eating the quality food they produce.

To my amazement the people at the class heard how rarely I buy meat- we don't eat a huge amount of meat compared to most Australian families.  I make things last.  The class last week was all about how I can make ONE chicken last our family of seven for FOUR family meals.  I only buy meat every few months & when I do I buy it form people I know. We have a large freezer and fill it to last a few months.  And we use what is in it and our cooking and eating is determined by what is in it, not by a list I write each week.

Added to that we probably only eat meat 3-4 times a week at most.  We LOVE meat but  I think as a nation we eat far too much of it. Our family eats a lot more vegetables than we do meat.  But when we eat meat we choose to eat really great quality produce.

Below is a list of links to some of the meat producers I support.
This is not an exhaustive list - there are more out there but these are some of the Victorian meat farmers I buy from.
Many of them home deliver. If not, their produce is available at Farmers Markets.  
If you order from them let them know I sent you.  They are all ace people. And you will be pleasantly surprised by how affordable it is. Please see the costing of the recipe below to give you an idea.......

I encourage you to change the way you buy. Visit a Farmers Market and ask questions!
We did and we are never going back.

Please have a look at buying from these ace peeps:

Plains Paddock Lamb

Warialda Belted Galloway Beef 

Bundarra Berkshires Pork

Jonai Farms (Pork & Beef) 

Isola Chianina Beef

Greenvale Farm (Pork & Lamb)

NB: this is not a sponsored post but just something I feel really strongly about. It is not the first time I have talked about it and it most certainly won't be the last.....

Braised Intercostal Burgers & Buttermilk Burger Buns:
We bought a pack of Intercostals from Warialda Beef some time ago.
One of my children in particular makes it his business to choose things he has never heard of (I let my children choose things- it is important to give them this opportunity with food buying to encourage their knowledge and understanding). He had chosen these.
I had never heard of this cut before. Lizette (the producer) explained to me where it is from- the meat between the ribs.
Delicious and PERFECT for slow cooking.

I went home and did a bit more research.
I stumbled upon the following recipe from Guy Grossi's OMBRA (published on Gourmet Traveller) and decided to give it a go.  Below is my slightly changed recipe.
I am not a fan of the latest fad of Brioche burger buns- I don't like sugary buns with my Burgers. I was so happy to read this article this week and didn't feel so alone! Phew!
I encourage you to seek out this amazing cut of meat and cook this dish- if not at least cook the buns - they are AMAZING!
And so easy.

(And to give you an idea of the cost of this AMAZING meal - this meal cost me $20.  And we ate it two nights in a row as it was so darn GOOD! Each of us had two sliders each time. So that works out to be 28 Gourmet burgers for a grand total of $20.)


  • 60ml olive oil
  • 300g beef intercostals
  • 2 golden shallots
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 celery stalk
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 5 tblspns Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 1/2 bunch italian parsley
For the Buttermilk Rolls:

  • 5gm yeast
  • 290g bread flour
  • 190ml warmed buttermilk
  • 60ml rice bran oil
  • 1 1/2 tblspn sugar
  • 1/4 tspn baking powder
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 egg and a little milk for eggwash
For the Coleslaw:

  • 60gm each of purple and white cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch of Italian parlsey
  • 1 tblspn white wine vinegar
  • 1 tspn horseradish
  • 70ml extra virgin olive oil
Place 40ml oil in a large heavy based pan on medium-high heat, fry the intercostal in small batches till nicely brown (3-5minutes). Do not overcrowd the pan. Remove and set aside.

Add shallots, carrot, celery, garlic, rosemary and parsley with the remaining oil and fry on a medium heat  till tender.  This will take about 10 minutes. 

Add the Balsamic vinegar and cook for a minute or so. Now add the stock and the beef that you have set aside.

Lower the temperature and cook for 4-5 hours.  Add more stock/water if necessary. 

Once meat is tender enough to shred easily, remove beef and increase heat to medium high to allow the sauce to thicken.

Shred beef and return to pan. Season and set aside.

Buttermilk Buns:

Stir yeast & sugar into 35ml of warm water. Let sit till foaming (about 5 minutes).

Add flour to a large bowl along with yeast mixture, buttermilk, oil, baking powder and 1 tsp salt flakes and mix to a dough.

On a floured surface, knead the dough till nice and elastic (about 10 minutes).

Place in a lightly greased large bowl and cover.  Allow to sit in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours until it doubles in size. 

Knock back (punch) the dough, divide and roll into 12 evenly sized balls.

Preheat oven to 200C.

Place balls of dough onto baking paper about 4cm apart. Top with a few sesame seeds if you like.  Let rest till doubled in size (about 30 minutes).

Brush rolls with eggwash and place in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove and set aside to cool.

Combine cabbage, parsley, horseradish and other ingredients into a large bowl and combine well.  Season to taste. 

Once buns are cool, assemble burgers and enjoy!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

How to portion a Chicken


Have you ever wondered how to portion a chicken without butchering it unrecognisably?

Well I have the perfect class for you!

On Wednesday this week I presented a Masterclass for Steps Australia that they included in their short courses & masterclasses series.
It is such an HONOUR to be asked by them to deliver these classes.  One was held last Wednesday and I am doing another on June 4th.

It was held at Hobba in Prahran. A GREAT venue- available for private hire at night after operating during the day as a super doop cafe with DELICIOUS food offerings.

So after a bit of a wobbly start to the week (horrid illness going on at our house!),  I headed here on Wednesday night and was reminded about what I love to do.

I LOVE to share my kitchen knowledge.  For years I have been doing it via this blog.

And this year I have learned that I LOVE to teach.  I REALLY,  REALLY love it.

I was teaching the students on the night how to portion a whole chicken and how I can make just one chicken last for four entire meals for my family of seven.  And then the students went home with an extra four of my chicken recipes to use with their new skills learnt on the night.
Ingredients ready to use in my dishes.
I will be repeating this class on June 4th if you want to come.
It will be another GREAT night!
Hobba Prahran
We had such a lovely time.  What a great group of people they were.
In such a beautiful venue.
Thanks Ashley for the pic of my students portioning their chooks like old hands!!
It was so lovely to have people ask questions & tell me their stories on the night.

And THEN.....well then the best came the following day when pictures kept rolling in from people that had attended the class showing me what they had made with the chickens they had portioned themselves & how proud of themselves they were that they were doing things they never thought they would be able to do!

What an utter JOY!

For me to be able to give people the ability to feel as if they can do things in the kitchen they never thought possible is possibly the most wonderful thing I could ever do.

Thankyou SO MUCH to those of you that came along- keep those pics a coming of your chook cookin'!

And I hope to see some of you who couldn't make it to this class at the June class!
Thanks again to Steps Australia and Hobba.

I LOVE this song and I just can't help myself adding it here..... so wrong yet so right! x