Lemon & Walnut Linguine with Roasted Broccoli

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It’s been threatening to rain for a few weeks now, and this weekend it finally did. Not quite soon enough though; most of South-East Queensland is now officially in drought. After our first summer up in Brisbane almost four years ago, where it rained relentlessly for months on end, where everything was mildewed and floods wreaked havoc across the state, it has been conspicuously dry. Our grass is now brown, dry and dusty, and no longer needs to be mowed. It is perpetually sunny up here (hence the moniker the Sunshine State).

Except for this weekend. It started slowly on Friday, and when we got to the markets on Saturday morning amidst the drizzle it was much quieter than usual; even half the stall holders hadn’t made it along. We got what we came for, but forwent our customary coffee-and-croissant on the grass as it was all too sodden. The rain built up over the day and by the afternoon was coming down pretty steadily. It is rare to see Brisbane beneath a cold grey wet cloud; I almost liked the change in scenery. Continue reading

Roasted Cauliflower & Lentil Salad

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When S and I drove out of Melbourne and up to Brisbane we packed the car full of our worldly belongings and hit the road. We had sent a few things ahead of us – bed, bikes, kitchen table, bookshelves – but otherwise it was whatever we could fit in the backseat. We closed the door to the house we had lived in for the past two years, handed in our keys at the real estate agent, and pointed the car north.

For the first few days in our new Queensland house we slept in sleeping bags, had picnic meals on the living room floor, and hung out in camping chairs. Even after our furniture arrived and we’d bought a few more things for the house it was always minimal, sparse. We kind of liked it like that. Continue reading

Oven-Roasted Rhubarb & Vanilla Spiced Labneh

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Rhubarb season is one of my favourites. There are a few fruit seasons that I always look forward to – cherries, blueberries, pineapple – and rhubarb is definitely right up there. It is my ultimate winter fruit (or vegetable, to be precise); perfect in baked goods and pie, delicious poached or, as I’ve recently discovered, most delectable when oven roasted. Although please be warned, this will not be the last rhubarb recipe this winter! Continue reading

July Favourites

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I am just about to head into what will be the busiest month of the year. At the end of August is the Queensland Poetry Festival, of which I am director, which means that most every spare minute of the month leading up will be thinking, planning, emailing, and doing all manner of last minute things. When I wake up in the middle of the night, my first though is usually shit, I need to email Freddy first thing tomorrow! Of course I do love the festival, so am excited as well as anxious. Also a little bittersweet, as it is the final one that I will direct after four years. When I do find spare minutes, I am often to be found planning holidays. We’re heading down to Melbourne in September visiting family and friends, which will be lovely but busy. So we’re planning another getaway in November. Undecided as to where – maybe Japan. Or Vietnam again. Or Thailand, perhaps. Any suggestions? In the meantime, here is some of what I’ve been reading/listening to/eating/wanting in July.

Enjoy!
Sarah x Continue reading

Pumpkin & Broccolini Pasta with Oregano Pesto

pumpkin-broccolini-pasta

I slept in this morning. Such a momentous thing is actually worth repeating. I slept in this morning. All the way until 8:15am! I had woken up a couple of hours earlier with W but still felt exhausted (despite falling asleep last night on the couch at 9pm). S needed to get up for work anyways, so he got up to hang with W while I stayed in bed. Usually if I try and lay in while S and W are up making brekky and all kinds of noise I only lightly doze, but this morning I fell back into a deep sleep and probably would have stayed that way had W not come in and sat on my head.

When I did finally get up it was lovely and sunny, so W and I took a nice long walk through the streets then came home where W had her standard bowl of porridge (plain, no honey), and I had a bowl with honey, chia seeds, and the rest of the oven-baked rhubarb (recipe coming soon!) from the weekend. Now I’m sitting on the couch typing this, while W is sitting on the floor playing her latest game which involves folding blocks into a cloth, unfolding them, repeat. And again. Continue reading

Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

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The day last week that I made this Peanut Soba Noodle Salad turned into a bit of a madhouse. The noodle salad is a variation on a dish that I make regularly and can do with my eyes closed, so my plan was to whip it up and photograph it while W was having her nap, and then when she woke up we’d share it for lunch.

Things didn’t quite go according to plan. Firstly, I had a bunch of rhubarb in the fridge too, so on a whim I decided that I’d also put together a crumble (recipe coming soon!) and that while it was in the oven I’d make the peanut soba noodles. Two birds, one stone. By the time I got around to making the noodles, the kitchen was already quite a mess (I hadn’t cleaned up the breakfast dishes yet) and bench space was becoming scarce. Rather than stop, do a quick load of dishes, and clear a space, I decided to forge ahead with the noodles, making even more mess and balancing bowls and all manner of things precariously on top one another. Continue reading

Lemon & Lentil Soup

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About three years ago I had the pleasure of travelling across western Queensland with the food writer Matthew Evans, on a food writing tour. We drove 800km inland under flat blue skies into cotton country, where green fields stretched into an endless horizon and at every door we were greeted with fresh scones.

After trading in his life as a Sydney food critic, these days Matthew lives on a small farm in Tasmania with his partner and son, where he grows his own veges and raises pigs. Matthew believes in good food – fresh seasonal ingredients grown yourself or sourced from your local farmers market. He believes that mass-produced food and industrial farming sacrifices both quality and ethics. During the many hours spent driving across Queensland, listening to his passion for, and knowledge of, food and food production, it was hard not to agree. Continue reading