Kale & Purple Cabbage ‘Slaw

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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”

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…”

Chickpea Tabbouleh + Middle Eastern Feast

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Cooking during a heat wave is a real pain in the arse. Queensland spent the weekend being baked to a crisp. The temperature in Brisbane crept up into the high 30s, although other parts of the state had it much worse. The bushfires on Stradbroke Island are still raging as a I type this; 60% of the island has burned and a smoky haze has swept over the city, turning the moon ripe orange.

During the heat of Saturday our house was practically a sauna. And that was while we were sitting still – with the oven and stove-top on it would have been outrageous. Poor W had her afternoon nap drenched in sweat. Wisely, we ate lunch in an air-conditioned pub and then spent the afternoon at the pool. W went crazy for the water, kicking her little legs and laughing her little arse off at S and I diving and splashing around. Continue reading “Chickpea Tabbouleh + Middle Eastern Feast”

Roast Beetroot & Feta Salad

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“The beet is the most intense of vegetables…The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip… The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized.”
From Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins

Since we moved to Brisbane, Saturday mornings are spent at the West End Markets. We like to go early, before the tourists start coming down and the lovely meanderings are hampered by the crowds. We always stop partway through our shop – S will get a coffee and I’ll get a green juice, and we’ll share a gozleme or get freshly baked croissants. W stares around taking it all in, happily chewing on the kale leaves poking out from the bag. Continue reading “Roast Beetroot & Feta Salad”

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”

Coconut Almond Muesli

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I could happily eat muesli every day; it tastes like early autumn and is full of my favourite things. S, on the other hand, only eats muesli occasionally and definitely not on the weekends. He says that it’s a workday brekky. To that I dismissively say, pffft! Besides which, muesli is so easily jazzed up if you’re feeling fancy – tropicana with fresh mango and pineapple, in winter with poached vanilla pears, with thick greek yoghurt and maple syrup for a decadent breakfast.

I first learned to make my own muesli when I was eighteen and living out of home. I was the only girl in a big share house in St Kilda; it was like having four big brothers. We shopped communally and ate together – no left-over pizza and instant coffee breakfasts in my uni student days! Continue reading “Coconut Almond Muesli”