Raw Cacao, Orange & Fig Energy Balls

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Girraween National Park in Queensland sits on the border with New South Wales, and is a spectacular display of tumbling granite boulders and a hundred shades of green. Girraween means ‘place of flowers’ in the local indigenous language, although we’ve never actually been there in spring to see the wildflowers in bloom. There are fresh water streams running through the park, and a zig zag of walking tracks to stroll and plenty of mountains to climb.

This year was the third time we’ve gone out to Girraween to camp. Usually we shoulder our packs and spend two or three days hiking through the bush and camping by streams. This year though, with a 12 kilo baby to carry as well as all of our gear, we decided to hike in an hour to Underground Creek and make camp there, taking day walks and hanging out. Continue reading “Raw Cacao, Orange & Fig Energy Balls”

Goat Cheese on Toast : 3 Ways

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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”

Espresso Nut Muffins

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S and I are both pretty particular about our coffee. I drink espresso coffee, and I like it straight up – black and without sugar. When you’re drinking coffee with none of the fixings, if the beans are burnt, or if the brew is bitter, it ruins the taste. That said, between pregnancy and breastfeeding it’s been almost two years since I actually drank a coffee (ahh, how I miss it).

S, on the other hand, is somewhat of a coffee connoisseur these days. Over the past two years he’s been trying a variety of different coffee beans which he grinds at home, and experimenting with various ways of making coffee using an AeroPress. Given the blistering heat that is Brisbane these days, he’s mostly been drinking 12-hour brewed cold press coffee – it is the colour of rich dark amber, and smells wonderful.

Continue reading “Espresso Nut Muffins”

Roasted Carrots with Tahini Drizzle + Middle Eastern Feast cont…

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And for the final part of the Middle Eastern Feast, the humble carrot.

I really wanted to make a dish that featured the carrot front and centre. Carrots have long been one of my favourite vegetables. What’s not to like? Crunchy and sweet when fresh, earthy and sticky when roasted, plus good for your eyesight. It’s a win-win situation. Continue reading “Roasted Carrots with Tahini Drizzle + Middle Eastern Feast cont…”

Hummus + Middle Eastern Feast cont…

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No Middle Eastern Feast is complete without a plate of hummus. And this is one of the easiest and tastiest homemade hummus recipes that I’ve ever made.

Growing up, we used to get dinner from a Lebanese restaurant, Almazett, around the corner from our house almost weekly. Most of the time it would be takeaway, but every now and then we’d eat at the restaurant, and if it was a Friday night, there would be belly dancers. As a young girl I was entranced by these women in their jingly gossamer costumes who could make their bellies and bums vibrate SO FAST. To be honest, I’m still pretty impressed by belly dancers. Continue reading “Hummus + Middle Eastern Feast cont…”

Wattleseed & Macadamia Cookies

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A few weeks ago I bought some wattleseed with no particular plan for it. At first I wanted to bake it in scones, but it isn’t scone weather here for a good four or five months yet. I tossed up a few other options but ultimately decided on a big batch of cookies so I would have enough baked treats to give as gifts.

I made the dough for these cookies a few days ago, but didn’t get around to actually baking them until today. W woke up early from her nap, so she happily played with a finished carton of soymilk on the kitchen floor while I rolled and sugared and photographed. Once I got the first batch in the oven, the whole house started to smell nutty and buttery and sugary and all types of good. Continue reading “Wattleseed & Macadamia Cookies”

Homemade Muesli Bars

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Last weekend the rains came down in the way that they only can in the tropics. The afternoon skies grow darker and darker, bruised by the clouds rolling in. Then all at once the rain comes down hard and heavy and releases the building heat of the day. There is something wild in tropical rain, like living on the edge.

Our generous front verandah is the perfect rain-watching spot – sheltered from the wet but open to the smell of rich earth and the touch of cool breezes. The tin roof echoes the falling rain delightfully through the house. So we sat and watched the rains come in, and when we went to bed they were still coming. And when I woke up in the early hours to give W a feed and cuddle her into our bed, it was still raining. Continue reading “Homemade Muesli Bars”