Summer Bircher Muesli

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A few weeks ago on a lightning trip down to Melbourne, I visited my friend’s lovely cafe. We sat out under the white umbrellas in the courtyard, and chatted as our respective children sleep angelically (hers) and crawled around the grass (mine). I’d already had breakfast, but I did have a bite of her apple-y, cinnamon-y bircher muesli. It was YUM.

Bircher muesli is easily one of my favourite breakfasts, but for a long time it was only one that I would have in cafes. We used to go to a cafe in Brunswick that served their bircher with cream and pistachios – overly decadent for brekky but oh-so-goooood. Another Brunswick cafe around the corner from our house served their bircher in a tall glass, the muesli and poached fruit arranged in layers, topped with yoghurt and toasted almonds.  Continue reading “Summer Bircher Muesli”

Israeli Cous Cous with Heirloom Carrots

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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”

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Kale Pesto

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Summer in Brisbane is not for the lighthearted. By the time W wakes up from her morning nap and we get ready to go out, it’s so hot. We walk slowly down to the pool, the parasol our traveling circle of shade. After lazing in the water and playing in the grass, we walk slowly back home, one of us drinking icy-cold coconut water and the other craning her head back to see the crows in the trees.

The best time of the day is early in the morning, when the sun is still low and hasn’t built up to its midday strength, when everything feels fresh and clean, and not yet wilted beneath the sun. We like to get to the market early on the weekends, take our time with the shopping. By the time we’re finished up and heading home, the sun is strong and the market is busy. Continue reading “Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Kale Pesto”

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…”

Herbed Quinoa with Almonds & Cranberries

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Over the last couple of months, since the weather has warmed up again, we’ve been in the habit of taking W for an evening stroll through the streets around our house. Sometimes it’s a quick spin around the block, other times we’ll walk for an hour or more as the light settles slowly into the horizon.

On Friday night as we were strolling through the park on top of the hill behind our house, the sky in front of us was blazing pink and it was all so steeped in lovely that we decided to come back the next evening for a picnic. Continue reading “Herbed Quinoa with Almonds & Cranberries”

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”