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Articles on this Page
- 02/15/15--19:56: _Taste of Sydney
- 02/15/15--20:02: _Gary Mehigan - Smok...
- 02/15/15--20:58: _Melbourne Tomato Fe...
- 02/15/15--21:07: _Stonefields Private...
- 02/15/15--21:16: _Science of Styling
- 02/15/15--21:25: _Styling Inspiration...
- 02/25/15--20:37: _Amina's Chicken Tag...
- 03/08/15--22:07: _Family in Paris PB ...
- 03/08/15--22:11: _Amina Slider
- 03/08/15--22:28: _Chef Gets Healthy S...
- 03/08/15--22:32: _Gretta Anna Slider
- 03/08/15--22:36: _Maggie's Kitchen PB
- 03/08/15--22:39: _Meredith Slider
- 03/08/15--22:48: _SpiceIAm Slider
- 03/09/15--20:11: _Correction - The Wh...
- 03/10/15--22:03: _Home Cooking with A...
- 05/05/15--00:09: _Introduction: A lif...
- 05/05/15--00:15: _My last minute chri...
- 05/05/15--21:13: _Food, Fashion, Friends
- 05/05/15--23:17: _Citrus tea and coco...
- 02/15/15--19:56: Taste of Sydney
- 02/15/15--20:02: Gary Mehigan - Smoked Meats
- 02/15/15--20:58: Melbourne Tomato Festival
- 02/15/15--21:07: Stonefields Private Tour
- 02/15/15--21:16: Science of Styling
- 02/15/15--21:25: Styling Inspiration with Megan Morton
- 02/25/15--20:37: Amina's Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Green Olives
- Place the ginger and garlic in a food processor and process until minced. Add the olive oil, spices, coriander, lemon juice and salt and blitz until the coriander is finely chopped.
- Transfer the marinade to a tagine (see page 8) or a heavy-based flameproof casserole dish, and add the chicken. Massage the marinade into the chicken pieces with your fingers so that the chicken is thoroughly coated. Cover with plastic film and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Remove from the fridge and arrange the onion and preserved lemon and olives on top of the chicken. Gently pour the stock over. Place the tagine over low heat and bring slowly to the boil, gently increasing the heat to high, then boil for 5 minutes. Cover with the lid, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes so the chicken does not stick to the bottom.
- Remove the tagine from the heat. Serve immediately with buttered couscous, if you like.
- 03/08/15--22:07: Family in Paris PB Slider
- 03/08/15--22:11: Amina Slider
- 03/08/15--22:28: Chef Gets Healthy Slider
- 03/08/15--22:32: Gretta Anna Slider
- 03/08/15--22:36: Maggie's Kitchen PB
- 03/08/15--22:39: Meredith Slider
- 03/08/15--22:48: SpiceIAm Slider
- 03/09/15--20:11: Correction - The Whole Pantry
- 03/10/15--22:03: Home Cooking with Amina Elshafei
- 05/05/15--00:09: Introduction: A life in the country
- 05/05/15--00:15: My last minute christmas cake
- Place the butter in a saucepan large enough to eventually hold all the cake ingredients and melt over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir to partially dissolve it so it's wet and slushy.
- Meanwhile, slice any large pieces of dried fruit (such as prunes and dates) into two or three pieces.
- Now, tip all the dried fruit, the bicarbonate of soda, rum, port or muscat, water and cognac into the pan with the sugar mixture. Increase the heat to high and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring and bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 4 minutes. You need to keep an eye on it and adjust the heat at this stage, as it froths up considerably because of the bicarbonate of soda. When it's ready, turn off the heat and leave the mixture to cool in the pan. I often make this in the evening and leave it to cool overnight. However, if you do this, cover it well - I once left the lid slightly askew and woke to find an army of very inebriated ants weaving their way to and from the pan!
- Preheat your oven to 150°C. Butter a 23 cm x 23 cm x 8 cm square cake tin and line the base and sides with a double thickness of buttered baking paper.
- Add the nutmeg, cinnamon and egg to the dried-fruit mixture and stir them in well. Mix in the flour, then leave the batter to sit for a few minutes. Scrape it into the prepared tin and give it a gentle shake to level the top.
- 05/05/15--21:13: Food, Fashion, Friends
- 05/05/15--23:17: Citrus tea and coconut ice
- Combine the tea leaves and zest in a small bowl. Place the tea mixture in a large teapot and add boiling water.
- Infuse the citrus tea for 2-3 minutes before pouring.
- Lightly grease a 30 cm x 20 cm slice tin and line with baking paper.
- Sift the icing sugar and cream of tartar into a large bowl. Add the condensed milk and coconut, and stir well. Transfer half of the mixture to the prepared slice tin and press down, levelling well. Add the food colouring to the remaining mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour the chocolate over the white coconut ice in the tin and use a spatula to spread evenly over the top. Carefully spread the pink coconut ice over the top of the chocolate and press down, levelling well. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
- To serve, turn out the coconut ice and cut into small squares.
Frank Camorra at Taste of Sydney
Frank Camorra, author of MoVida Solera, brings his delish food to the Taste of Sydney festical between the 12th and 15th of March. Rub shoulders with Sydney’s top chefs and like minded foodies as you graze through your dream tasting menu designed by Sydney’s latest, greatest and hottest restaurants.
The Smoker & The Butcher
As part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, hosted by Gary Mehigan, watch and engage with the surgical precision of Master Butcher Gary McBean, owner of Gary’s Meats, voted Melbourne's Best Meat trader 2013 & 2014, and the talent of 32 time Pit Master Andy Groneman from Kansas City USA. Tickets $125, 27th Feb and 3rd March 2015.
P: 03 9326 3333
Melbourne Tomato Festival 2015
Guy Grossi has started the Melbourne Tomato Festival which will be a gathering of local farmers selling produce, speakers, agriculturalists, master classes, Italian food, artisan producers, special guests, history, workshops, entertainment and passata making. Lantern authors involved are Frank Camorra, Karen Martini, Richard Cornish, Teresa Oates and Simon Rickard.
P: 03 9614 7688
Stonefields Private Tour
Experience the garden at Stonefields in each season through the eyes and words of its creator Paul Bangay. Each garden tour will be conducted by Paul personally, with tour numbers around 30-‐40 only to personalize the tour. Book as a single or small group. Following each tour, Paul’s current ‘in print’ books will be available for purchase and signing, and morning tea will be provided, where you can mingle and chat with Paul on a more informal basis. This is a special opportunity for passionate garden lovers to enjoy the garden in the company of the designer. Your own transport to the garden will be required.
Sydney Science of Styling class with Megan Morton
Being a stylist is a strange phenomena. It’s one part collector, one part editrix and a whole lot of know-how. So what is the key to styling? And is it something you can learn? I think so. Come find your inner stylist and learn about the visual language that is styling - through theory and the practical. Perfect for those who are interested in styling at home, or professionally.
P: 02 9693 2782
Melbourne Styling Inspiration with Megan Morton
This clever workshop will go beyond just inspirational images and show you how to turn your tear sheets, clippings, pinned pages and inspirations into beautiful workable ideas. Note this is not a ‘how to make an inspiration board’ workshop, it’s about how to make your wish list into a bonafide reality and gain mastery over your own style!
P: 02 9693 2782
This Moroccan-inspired dish is from Amina's first cookbook Amina's Home Cooking, celebrating her unique culinary heritage (photo by Luisa Brimble).
Summer is wonderful, but as the days get shorter, the evenings get cooler and the leaves start falling off the trees, I look forward to the warming dishes I'll soon be making again - slow-cooked, oven-baked or just slowly simmered on the stovetop. And there's the perfect autumn dish in Amina Elshafei's new book, Amina's Home Cooking - Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Green Olives.
Amina shares this recipe's origins: 'A few years ago in Fes, I was sitting in a beautiful riad (Moroccan residence with an interior courtyard), amazed by the architecture, waiting for dinner to be served. Suddenly, a beautiful terracotta tagine arrived at the table, and when the lid was removed the contents were revealed – chicken braised with preserved lemons and green olives. The aroma intoxicated me and that dish inspired this one, which is one of my favourites. I am very lucky – my mother preserves her own lemons from a lemon tree that has been growing in our backyard for over fifteen years. I love to use her preserved lemons in this recipe.'
Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Green Olives
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons ras el hanout
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
small bunch of coriander, stems and leaves
1/3 cup (80 ml) lemon juice, strained
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 kg chicken thigh fillets, trimmed of fat and halved
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 preserved lemons, rind only, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 cup (120 g) green olives, pitted and rinsed
2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock (or water)
Buttered couscous, to serve (optional)
Jane Paech's A Family in Paris is a frank, intimate and beautiful account of living in this most famous of cities - now out in paperback
Amina's Home Cooking showcases the MasterChef contestant's multicultural cuisine which is made to share and savour - photography by Luisa Brimble
Tobie Puttock and his wife Georgia share their favourite low-fat, low-carb, gluten-free recipes in The Chef Gets Healthy - photography by Sharyn Cairns
The Best of Gretta Anna with Martin Teplitzky is a fabulous collection of classic and new recipes such as Racks of Lamb with Garlic, Lemon & Rosemary - photography by Ben Dearnley
Maggie's Kitchen is full of easy-to-prepare, seasonal dishes the whole family will love - now out in paperback - photography by Earl Carter
Let artist Meredith Gaston set you on a path of wonder, joy and mindfulness with 101 Inspirations For Your Journey
Southern-style Fish Curry and Stir-fried King Prawns - two of the tantilising recipes from Sujet Saenkham's Spice I Am - photography by Rob Palmer
Please note the following revisions:
Buckwheat pizza with olive tapenade and zucchini, page 112
For the buckwheat pizza bases, when processing all ingredients in a food processor, also add 1 cup of warm water.
Home Cooking with Amina Elshafei
Join us for an author talk and a live food demonstration with Amina at Kinokuniya in Sydney! Merging the cuisines from her Korean mother and her Egyptian father, this beautiful book will set the tastebuds alight with traditional dishes, and exciting new recipes as well.
P: 02 9262 7996
Looking over the pages of my journal that chronicle our move to the country in December 2002 brings it all flooding back to me.
'Who would have thought it! That somehow things would finally come together and we would find ourselves packing our belongings into the back of a truck and heading off to a new life. We had talked about it for years but somehow it seemed to be a carrot that always dangled just beyond our reach, something that other people did. What finally tipped the scales and sent us on our way? I suspect a number of things coming in fairly quick succession.
We had all but decided towards the end of 2001 that, if we were ever going to move, now was the time. We weren't retiring (we are a long way off being able to do that) but we really wanted our lives to change. Clive travels a lot with his work as an industrial auctioneer and valuer, but his head office is in Sydney, and he was taking longer and longer (often up to three hours a day) to do the return journey and it was slowly taking its toll. I had given up my television career the year before, much to everyone's surprise, and was hoping to make a living from writing and teaching. We both found the pace, noise and just the sheer numbers of people in the city were starting to overwhelm us, and we were longing for something quieter, more peaceful. To help us decide, we set off on a trip up the coast to revisit some places we hadn't been to in years and stumbled into what for us was paradise . . . Paradise Mullum(bimby).
We returned to Sydney all fired up to get things under way, but as is so often the case, we both got bogged down in our work again and tended to put things on hold for a bit. I was finishing my second book; Clive was busier than ever at work. Slowly, but inexorably, time was slipping past. On the weekends we looked at houses and land on the internet, yet still felt unable to commit to the Big Move. It was always next week, next month.
We were both brought up short when, in May 2002, I was diagnosed with the early stages of breast cancer. (It's the first time I've written those words, and seeing them on the page makes my stomach feel quite hollow.) I was fortunate that it was picked up very early so although I had surgery and radiation treatment, I didn't have to undergo the gruelling rounds of chemotherapy. The cancer diagnosis wasn't the reason for our move, as we had long before decided to go. However it is one of those events in life that really does focus your attention on what you are doing and where you are going, and we realised we didn't want to put things off any longer.
That was June. By the beginning of December we had sold our house; Clive had resigned from work; we had sadly farewelled our family and friends, and were heading up the highway to who knows what?
That's a scary, yet exciting, feeling. For the first time since our twenties, when we had travelled around Europe in a Kombi van, we had no real ties anywhere. All our worldly goods were in the back of a truck and it would be a few days before we could move into our rented home. It was actually rather wonderful, a no-man's land where anything seemed possible.
That first night we stayed in a motel at Brunswick Heads and walked up the road by the river to have dinner in the beer garden of the lovely old Brunnie pub. It was a warm evening and, as we sat underneath the blossoming poinciana and frangipani trees watching the sun dip behind the hills, we toasted each other and, with some awe, said the words we've repeated over and over since then 'We live here now'.
And so began our new life.'
Extract from Belinda's journal, which first appeared in
Scorched: Penguin Australian Summer Stories (2004)
It's hard to believe that I wrote those words seven years ago. So much has changed in that time. As I write this now it's early morning, and I have to pinch myself when I look out onto the hills and hear the cows in the distance, remembering that in our city life I would have quite probably been stuck in a traffic jam on Military Road at this hour – and feeling ever so grateful that I'm not.
I really don't know what on earth possessed me when I proposed writing this book. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time! However, I can only conclude that I must have been of unsound mind when I suggested it, since what I thought was going to be a small book about living here has grown like Topsy into the rather large volume you hold in your hands.
In my defence, I so love the area we've moved to, and our life here, that it just seemed as natural as breathing to write about it. But now, as I read my words about birds and bees, flowers and food, people and places, I do wonder if anyone will be remotely interested. But then again, if I think of the regular phone calls we get and the questions we are asked about our move, I figure that many of our friends and colleagues are feeling much the same as we were seven years ago and wondering what a move to the country may mean.
Truth be told, like everything we do in this life, moves like ours have their highs and lows. The 'ups' for us have far outweighed the 'downs', but it hasn't all been one easy ride, and our initial struggles to survive financially put a big strain on us. Fortunately, I can write about that in retrospect now (at least
I hope so!), however for the first few years it was really hard and many times we wondered if we would be forced to sell our home and perhaps even return to the city to get by. I'm happy to say that to date this hasn't been necessary.
In many ways I find it difficult to answer the question: how is life in the country (or perhaps more truthfully worded, away from the city)? For I can feel the yearning and hopes behind it; the hope that we will say, yes it's true that life in the country is more peaceful and calm, people are more friendly, there is more time. However, it's not really possible to give such a simple answer, for it's not that straightforward. Life here is just different. Certainly not quieter (oh goodness, now there's an understatement!); richer – yes, I think so; more closely linked to the environment – a resounding yes; peaceful – well, that's definitely stretching things a bit; kinder – yes, perhaps that's the best way to put it. For us, life here is kinder, simpler and more how we hoped to live our lives. Perhaps that's the biggest difference of all: we both feel in our bones a contentment that we didn't have before.
So although this is fundamentally a book about food and cooking, it also goes far beyond that. For me it is a celebration of, and a grateful thank you for, the life we have here.
And so to the food around which much of our lives revolve...
Although I published a version of this recipe in my last book, Mix & Bake, I couldn't leave it out here as I invariably end up making it every Christmas. Truth be known, I make it all year round as fruitcake is my favourite cake of all, and this one is lovely and dense, chock-a-block with fruit and fragrant with spices. However, I would have to say that each time I bake it, it's slightly different as I am forever varying the dried fruits and liquids that I use in it. One thing that doesn't vary, however, is that you won't find one scrap of mixed peel within cooee of it. I can't bear the stuff; never could, actually. Much to my mum's despair, I would pick out every piece of mixed peel in her Christmas cake before I ate it...although the fact that I persisted with such a finicky task should tell you something about my love of fruitcake.
When I was finishing off the cake, I couldn't resist gilding the lily with some gum blossoms from the flowering red gum on the corner of our street - they just seemed so perfect and appropriate.
300 g unsalted butter
420 g dark brown sugar
1-1.2 kg mixed dried fruits (such as raisins, pitted prunes and dates, sultanas, currants and lovely smoky sun-dried apricots - use whatever you have in your pantry)
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 cup (250 ml) rum, port or muscat
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
1/2 cup (125 ml) cognac
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
2 heaped teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups (400 g) stone-groundwholemeal plain flour
about 150 g pecan halves and 120 g whole blanched almonds, for decorating
apricot glaze (see note overleaf), optional
Cookbook, style guide and photographic tour de force, this is a gloriously indulgent celebration of the pleasures of frocking up, decking out and cooking up a storm.
Fashion designer and passionate home cook Fleur Wood shows us how to create the kind of event that delights the eye and ignites the imagination, from a wild-child birthday party to a winter solstice fondue dinner and afternoon tea in the greenhouse with the girls.
'A stop-you-in-your-tracks book unlike any we've seen before. Full of fresh styling and food ideas for your next dinner party, birthday, event ... ' Real Living
'Fleur Wood's Food, Fashion, Friends is the ultimate guide to entertaining with glamour, sophistication and fun.' vogue.com.au
'A stylish fairytale volume with luxe allure for grown-up girls with parties to plan.'Cosmopolitan
Photography by Adrian Lander, Anson Smart, Anthony Ong, Jordan Graham, Kane Skennar, Nerida McMurray and Pierre Toussaint
Clean citrus tea - sipped from your best china, of course - is the perfect accompaniment to this decadent feast.
Such a pretty old-fashioned favourite loves a modern twist. Try adding rosewater to the pink coconut or replace the dark chocolate with white for an even sweeter treat.
80 g (1 cup) black tea leaves
zest of 2 lemons
zest of 2 limes
zest of 1 orange
320 g (2 cups) pure icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 x 395 g can sweetened condensed milk
320 g (3 1/2cups) desiccated coconut
6 drops pink food colouring
150 g good-quality dark chocolate, melted