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”

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”

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”

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”