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

Peach Cardamom Cake

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Not long ago I came across this famous plum torte, via Deb on Smitten Kitchen. It looked both simple and delicious; a winning combination. So I made it. And it was worth the fuss – buttery dough interspersed with jammy cooked plums, not too sweet, but just sweet enough.

There were two things that won me over to this cake. The ratio of dough to fruit meant that the fruit was an integral part of the cake and never got lost amidst the batter. And it is super-easy to make which, when you’re trying to bake with a small person clinging onto your legs imploring you to pick her up, is incredibly helpful. Plus it was delicious – I mentioned that, right? Continue reading Peach Cardamom Cake

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

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

Coconut Banana Bread

Coconut Banana Bread

Bananas are the ultimate tropical fruit. Growing in tight bunches on trees with thick green leaves, and big purple flowers, all ready to eat in their own bright yellow wrappers. Creamy and full of things that are good for you.

Truth be told, however, I’m not actually a huge fan of bananas. I’ll have a banana every now and then on my muesli – and usually I’ll enjoy it, ladyfingers especially – but I’m more likely to reach for an apple, or a peach, or whatever else fruit we’ve got laying around. My problem with bananas is the timing; not ripe enough and they’re inedible, too ripe and they give me the shivers, in the bad way. W, it seems, has inherited this particular taste from me; whenever we try giving her some banana she tastes it, curls her lip, and throws it on the floor. It’s all cherries, fresh figs, and quinoa for W! Continue reading Coconut Banana Bread

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…