A Beautiful Winter Coleslaw

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We went out to the bush last Sunday. It turned out to be the kind of winter’s day you wish all winter’s days were like; cold and crisp, bright and just warm enough in the sunshine. W waded into the shallows – shoes and all – so that she could set leaves afloat into the current like miniature boats and T took the greatest of pleasures throwing handfuls of pebbles into the water.

We feasted on coffee cooked over the trangia, thick slices of homemade kale & potato pie that our friends brought, humus and rice crackers, crunchy apples, and sticky fruit buns that we picked up on the drive over from Sourdough Bakery in Seddon. We strolled through the bush (alternately carrying or chasing after small people), and ended the morning lying on the banks of the creek in the midday sunshine as the kids splashed in the stream. Continue reading A Beautiful Winter Coleslaw

Golden Beetroot, Shallot & Grilled Apple Salad

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My kids have decided that they will no longer nap at the same time during the day. My hour or two of midday quiet is gone. I won’t lie – I was pretty upset at first. I relied on that hour or two. But they’re both still damn cute, and I roll with the punches.

So yesterday morning, while T had his long morning sleep, W and I holed ourselves up in the kitchen. She helped me slice and roast and grill and photograph and then we sat on the floor and ate. W had avocado on toast and slices of grilled apple. I had goat’s cheese on fresh rye bread and great delicious big forkfuls of this salad. Continue reading Golden Beetroot, Shallot & Grilled Apple Salad

Semolina Porridge & Maple Baked Apples

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When you go to the supermarket you usually find three or four types of apples – golden delicious, granny smith, pink lady, fuji. Sometimes you might come across a jonathan, or a red delicious. Truth is there are scores of different heirloom apple varieties – sundowner, jazz, alvina, cameo, eve, royal gala, winesap, bramley… These days, though, commercial apple farmers grow the apples for their look and their ability to be stored and travel well. Taste, sadly, is not on the top of the list. If you want to delve into the many different apples available, you need to head down to apple country and find yourself some growers.

We’re pretty lucky to have found a grower down at our local market who comes up from Stanthorpe – Queensland’s apple capital – every week. Each week he’ll have some 8 – 10 apple varieties to choose from, along with – season depending – pears, quince, persimmon. I tend to go for crunchy not-overly-sweet apples, and for ages I was loving the alvinas until they went out of season. Lately it’s been cameos, but they are now at the end of their season too. Continue reading Semolina Porridge & Maple Baked Apples

Brussels Sprouts, Radish & Apple Salad

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I’m going to keep it short and sweet today. Light on the words, heavy on the pictures.

It has been a long week – the whole family has been sick at various stages and sleep has been hard to come by. I’ve barely had any time in front of the computer, and even less time without a child in my arms (in fact my son is sitting between my legs this very instance). Continue reading Brussels Sprouts, Radish & Apple Salad

Bircher Muesli

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Breakfast has always been one of my favourite meals of the day. I’ve never been able to skip it. I love taking my time over breakfast – eating, reading, chatting. I also heartily approve of second breakfasts. In fact, one of the best things about weekends is second breakfast. Followed by brunch, then lunch. And then you can start planning dinner. But I digress…

I tend to get into breakfast grooves. As a uni student living in Carlton, most every day for about two years I would have a big bowl of muesli for brekky while reading my school texts, followed by a percolated coffee and a cigarette sitting on the green bench in our freezing cold courtyard. When S and I were first hanging out, getting to know one another, whenever he would stay over breakfast would be down at the uni cafe – almond croissant for him, orange poppyseed muffin for me, long blacks and hand-rolled cigarettes for both of us. Continue reading Bircher Muesli

Nectarine, Pistachio & Cauliflower Couscous

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Lately I’ve been waking up in the early hours of the morning, needing to get a drink and go to the toilet. I love walking through the silent house. We leave the blinds and windows open at night so that the cool air and moon shadows drift through. The cold water from the fridge is like honey nectar to my parched mouth, and before crawling back into bed beside S, I always open up the mosquito net around W’s bed and check in on her, fast asleep, snoring ever so softly.

I suppose that moments alone are far and few between these days. Some people recharge through company, others through time spent alone, and I’ve always been someone drawn to solitude. I have also always been an early riser and used to love the quiet of the house before anyone else was awake, whether it was doing yoga with the morning sun, or drinking a cuppa and reading the news in the garden. These days W also wakes nice and early, which of course is its own kind of lovely. Continue reading Nectarine, Pistachio & Cauliflower Couscous

Chai Spice Apple Cake

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About a month ago now – after our camping trip in Girraween National Park – we spent a few nights in a wooden cabin in Stanthorpe. Autumn had just started and the leaves were turning all shades of copper and gold, perfect for catching the morning sun. The cabin had a wood heater and a deck hidden amongst the trees. There was no internet connection and no phone reception; we watched movies, ate chocolate in bed, and marveled as W took her first proper walk across the room. It was a most lovely way to spend a few days.

We also ate copious amounts of apple pie, went apple picking, and drank the best apple cider EVER. A big old tin shed filled with mismatched wooden tables and chairs, Sutton’s serves sweet and savoury pies and a selection of apple-themed takeaway goods – everything from apple juice to apple cider vinegar. The three of us strolled through their orchards, leisurely tasting apples right off the tree, slowly filling up a bag to take home with us. W definitely loved it – gorging on apples and falling over in the soft grass. Continue reading Chai Spice Apple Cake