Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

peanut-soba-noodles-chopsticks

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 “Peanut Soba Noodle Salad”

Bean & Fennel Salad

bean-fennel-salad

We just got home from a lovely long weekend down in Sydney. We stayed in the heart of Surry Hills where we walked the streets, ate a ton of good food, visited markets, and even took a ferry ride in the Sunday morning sunshine. As weekend trips often are it was both relaxing and exhausting in equal measure, but it always feels good to be away from home and exploring someplace new. I’ll post some pics and food tips from the trip later in the week, but in the meantime this post is going to be short and sweet coz a warm cozy bed is calling my name!  Continue reading “Bean & Fennel Salad”

Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad

Potato-Brussels-Sprouts-Salad-Birdseye

I’ve recently discovered the enjoyment of the journey. Normally, getting from one place to the next, like from the bus stop back home, is about functionality, the necessity of moving from one space to another. I’m often listening to music or checking my phone, composing work emails in my head or thinking about what to cook for dinner. Not paying much attention to what is going on outside of me.

Lately, though, W is just full of curiosity. Her favourite game is to point at the sky, a bird flying overhead, a car, a tree, all with a sweet questioning sound, prompting me to pay attention so that I can talk to her about the world around us. She is also full of beans, and more often than not on the way back from a walk to the shops or the park, she’ll start wriggling and decide she wants to get down and walk. Suddenly a five minute trip home becomes a twenty minute amble as we stop to play with some bright red berries growing on a bush on the nature strip, lean against a sun-warmed rock, pick up some smooth strangely-shaped sticks from the gutter, or back track to examine a particularly interesting collection of stones. Continue reading “Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad”

Kale, Strawberry & Pear Salad

kale-strawberry-salad

The night assigns us its magic
task. To unravel the universe,
the infinite ramifications
of effects and causes, all lost
in that bottomless vertigo, time.
Tonight the night wants you to forget

From ‘Sleep’, Jorge Luis Borges

I’m writing this curled up in the corner of the couch, late at night, wearing a pair of S’s thick woolen socks and drinking a cup of lemongrass tea. The house smells like toasted oats from the muesli bars I just baked, and is otherwise quiet and peaceful now that W and S are both in bed. It has been a long week, full of deadlines to meet for work, a government to be angered by, and a wonderfully energetic daughter. I spent much of today in the kitchen, making salads, baking lavender scones (recipe coming soon!), steaming veges for dinner. I’m tired, but feeling satisfied too, and it is kind of nice being awake while everyone else sleeps. Continue reading “Kale, Strawberry & Pear Salad”

White Bean, Fennel & Dill Salad

white-bean-salad-bread

If anyone should ask, tell them mandarins.
Tell them eucalyptus sap that rubies on the bark.
Tell them snow crunch and grass burn
and skipping a hosewater rope.
If anyone should ask, tell them
bluebottles, cuttlefish, sea glass
and wild raspberries that charge
blood for fruit…

From ‘Such riches’, Michelle Dicinoski

Continue reading “White Bean, Fennel & Dill Salad”

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

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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”