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
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
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
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…
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…
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
“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