Roasted Cauliflower with Caraway Seeds

roasted-cauliflower-plate

This week past was a bit of a comedy of errors. W had been pretty sniffly over the weekend prior, and by Monday morning both S and I woke up with sore throats. We were feeling hopeful though, confident that if we dosed up with honey & lemon tea and stayed home all day, we’d knock it on the head and be fine. We were wrong.

By Tuesday morning we were both feeling pretty crook. It’s the first time I’ve been sick since W was born; it didn’t matter how much I wanted to stay in bed drinking tea until midday, W was up and ready to play at 6am. After brekky I sat down at my desk with a cuppa to check my emails. W was crawling around and wanted up, so I scooped her into my lap. In a split second, the tea was all over my laptop. Continue reading “Roasted Cauliflower with Caraway Seeds”

Goat Cheese on Toast : 3 Ways

Tomato & goat cheese on toast

Stuff on toast – a staple in every diet! Avocado on toast is probably the most popular one in our house. There are few better breakfasts than fresh toasted sourdough spread thickly with ripe avocado, a squeeze of lemon juice, cracked pepper, sea salt, and a sprinkling of dukkah.

Another staple at our place is goat cheese – chévre – on toast. There is a small French stall in the market we go to that sells baguettes and croissants, home churned butter, and the BEST cheeses. While I was pregnant a role of their brie was all that I craved. They also have fresh goat cheese which they sell by the container. We often get some during our Saturday morning market run and then it’s goat cheese on toast for the rest of the weekend! So easy, and so good.

Continue reading “Goat Cheese on Toast : 3 Ways”

Grilled Persimmon & Wild Rice Salad

persimmon-wild-rice-salad

branches down there
in the mist, of luscious
red-orange, ripe-in-their-thin-skin
persimmons, pulpy
– transparent with frost.
Improbably festive

From ‘Persimmons: Campagnatico’, David Malouf

Before we moved up to Brisbane we lived in Brunswick, Melbourne. One of the great things about that part of the world is the network of bluestone alleyways that wend their way through the suburb. They are fantastic for shortcuts, for getting lost; like secret pathways, they indulged the childhood part of me that loved stories of labyrinths and hidden world. Best of all, they are fantastic for a spot of clandestine fruit picking. Continue reading “Grilled Persimmon & Wild Rice Salad”

Autumn Pasta Salad with Fennel & Goats Cheese

autumn-pasta-salad-fork

I recently bought a new bicycle after having my old one stolen from under the house (I’ve no luck with bikes – that was the third one I’ve had stolen!). Although I used to ride daily to and from work, it had been over a year since I’d been on a bike; once my pregnant belly started getting in the way at about seven months I had to stop cycling, and since W was born there was never the chance. Now that she is almost one, though, I can steal a few extra hours for myself on the weekends, so on Saturday mornings I jump on my new bike and head into work while S hangs out with W.

From our house to get to my work I cycle alongside the river, sun reflecting off the water, in and out of the shady trees. I had forgotten how much I love bike riding; the sense of freedom in movement, the ease of propulsion. Cycling is both rhythmic and effortless – legs go up, legs go down – a meditative motion. Much like swimming laps, I find the physical exertion clears my mind. Daily life is so full of stimulus; while I’m on my bike though, my mind is free to wander as it wants, letting the debris settle. It promotes untethered thinking, that balanced space where ideas and dreams rise to the surface. Continue reading “Autumn Pasta Salad with Fennel & Goats Cheese”

Brown Rice Salad with Miso & Sprouts

brown-rice-salad

“We are either going to have a future where women lead the way to make peace with the Earth or we are not going to have a human future at all.”
– Vandana Shiva

This weekend just past we celebrated International Women’s Day. A day to honour, acknowledge, and pay respect to women and women’s movements, both historical and present day. I’ve spent most of the week reading the work of the wonderful poet Judith Wright. Not just a poet, Judith was also an avid environmentalist and activist for Aboriginal land rights; only a week before her death, she was marching for reconciliation. One of my favourite Judith Wright poems is South Of My Days – the following lines always move me:

Wake, old man. This is winter, and the yarns are over.
No-one is listening
South of my days’ circle
I know it dark against the stars, the high lean country
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep. Continue reading “Brown Rice Salad with Miso & Sprouts”

Israeli Cous Cous with Heirloom Carrots

cous-cous-salad-fork

It’s great when a dish unexpectedly comes together. I’d picked up this Israeli cous cous at Mick’s Nuts (!) a couple of weeks ago with no plan for it in mind, but just because I love it and don’t come across it all that often. It’s the texture that I love – like eating mini-marbles! Then at the market on the weekend S casually pointed out a bunch of heirloom carrots at a stall we were strolling past, and while I was at the register about to pay for them, a big pile of sunset-coloured pomegranates tempted me, so I got one of those too.

The rest came together pretty easily. I’d been wanting to whip up a batch of date syrup to use as an alternative sweetener for a while now, and we always have fresh parsley and mint in the fridge. My mum had just sent me a bag of rose petals (which I had in mind for a whole other dish that I haven’t gotten around to making yet), and we had some baharat spice mix left over from the meatballs that S cooked a while back for our Middle Eastern Feast. Continue reading “Israeli Cous Cous with Heirloom Carrots”

Kale & Purple Cabbage ‘Slaw

IMG_1040

Living with a baby is both wildly exciting and totally mundane. From a bird’s-eye perspective, each day is a repeat of the one beforehand. We wake, eat breakfast, play, W sleeps, we go out to the shops or the park, eat lunch, W sleeps, S comes home from work, dinner, walk, sleep. There is washing to be done and nappies to be changed.

But from up close, everything is unexpected. From week to week W develops new skills so that it feels like only yesterday she could barely roll over, and now she’s standing at the coffee table, grinning like a fool. And when she’s awake W is a ball of crazy movement – she’s crawling everywhere, getting her hands into all the tiny bits of dirt and electrical sockets she can find, standing up and falling back down again, pulling books off shelves and stuffing leaves into her mouth, demanding attention and being irresistibly cute. Continue reading “Kale & Purple Cabbage ‘Slaw”