Fig, Cardamom & Sesame Seed Kefir Smoothie

kefir-smoothie-closeup

I’ve been down in Melbourne all of this week house hunting for what is turning out to be a very imminent move down south. Which means I’m equal parts excited, tired and anxious. So I’ll leave keep it short here and leave you with this loveliest of smoothie recipes – the ideal meal when your house is half packed and your head is buzzing with to-do lists.

If you’ve not had it before, kefir tastes kinda like yoghurt, but is a lot tangier. It is thicker than milk, but thinner than most yoghurts, the consistency of a smoothie, more or less. It is also damn healthy, chock-full of probiotics to make your gut happy. You can drink it straight up, use it over muesli in place of milk, or do like I’ve done here and add it to a smoothie. Plus, it’s easy to make yourself. The¬†kefir bandwagon is a good one to get on. Continue reading “Fig, Cardamom & Sesame Seed Kefir Smoothie”

Banana & Rosemary Loaf with Tahini-Vanilla Glaze

banana-rosemary-bread

I spent Monday driving out to Boonah (or being driven out, as it were). Boonah is about an hour south of Brisbane. An easy drive, we left under heavy grey clouds and drove through until the skies were clear blue, studded with long cotton-wool wisps of white. The country is dry at the moment, shades of brown intersected by the highway and copses of deep green trees. Before we left on our way back, we picked up takeaway coffee and cake from the local cafe The Story Tree. I got a slice of lime and coconut cake and by the time we had walked back to the car, it was gone. And it was delicious.

We spent the day in Boonah launching a storytelling program for the region, an exploration of memory, truth and history. Author Kristina Olsson (whose book Boy, Lost is a heartbreaking and incredible read) spoke eloquently about the slippery nature of truth, about the way that when we tell the stories of our childhood, our families, our histories, everything is filtered through our imperfect and inherently subjective memories. That any single event or moment from the past can have multiple truths, depending on who is doing the remembering. Continue reading “Banana & Rosemary Loaf with Tahini-Vanilla Glaze”

Cashew & Cacao Bean Smoothie

cashew-cacao-bean-smoothie-spoon

During our recent Balinese sojourn we stayed in Penestanan, an area just on the outskirts of Ubud. Our house wasn’t accessible by car – to reach the area from the main road below we had to climb a long flight flight of stairs shadowed by tropical plants. Once up the top everything was interconnected by concrete walkways that were bordered on one side by a shallow flowing stream, and on the other side by houses, or greenery, or long drops into fern-studded ravines. The area also had its own little assortment of shops, cafes, and fruit stalls.

On our first day in Bali, after the long lines at customs and the drive from the airport, we arrived in Ubud just before nightfall. W was tired and S and I were fucking starving. Only a few minutes walk from our place, we discovered the Yellow Flower Cafe, having its weekly Balinese buffet. The food was all kinds of delicious – laden with tempeh, peanuts, green beans, toasted coconut. Continue reading “Cashew & Cacao Bean Smoothie”

Hummingbird Cake

hummingbird-cake-sunlight

A few weekends ago my brother and sister-in-law came up from Melbourne for a weekend visit. It was the first time they’d been up since W was born and it was especially lovely to watch them play and laugh with her. We didn’t do much – went to the market, cooked good food, ate good food, talked. My kind of weekend.

On the Saturday we spent most of the morning on the front verandah. S cooked us all up homemade baked beans and freshly brewed coffee and we lazed in the warm mid-winter sun. Having been up here in Brisbane for almost four years now, I’d forgotten what an incredible luxury hot sunshine in June actually is. Continue reading “Hummingbird Cake”

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”