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”

Chia Bowl, 2 Ways

chia-seed-pudding

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

– from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Imagining the impossible is a wonderful thing to do. Children are, of course, experts at this. Ground down by reality, us adults need a little more practice. Cooking is, I find, the perfect conduit to the creative. In the same way that the paradoxical ‘going forward and standing still’ of train travel lets the imagination break free, so does the paradoxical ‘action and waiting’ of cooking. A flurry of cutting and slicing and chopping followed by a slow methodical stirring; sifting and stirring and kneading and then sitting by the oven, waiting. Plenty of time to imagine the impossible. Continue reading “Chia Bowl, 2 Ways”

Homemade Oat Milk + Stovetop Granola

oat-milk-granola-spoon

Given the refugee crisis engulfing Europe – and the world – at the moment, writing about milk and oats seems totally trivial. The first time the heartbreaking image of little Aylan Kurdi lying dead on the beach came up in my feed I couldn’t look away. There was something about the way he was lying that looked just like the way my daughter sleeps in her bed at night and I couldn’t stop thinking of how scared he must have been in the ocean, alone, at the end. Of how he deserved to be safe and warm in bed, just like my kids.

It only makes me all the more angry at Australia’s punitive and heartless refugee policies. This is the supposedly ‘lucky country’, and it has been transformed over the last century by immigrants from Europe, from Asia, from the Middle East, from Africa. Made a richer, and a better, place to live thanks to the diverse cultures and hard work of so many refugees and migrants. This is my personal history – my grandparents came over as refugees after World War II – but it is also our collective history, our collective culture. We shouldn’t stand by as cruelties are perpetrated in our name. We may not have voted for this government, but this is our shame. We need to demand better. Continue reading “Homemade Oat Milk + Stovetop Granola”

Blueberry Buckwheat Porridge

blueberry-buckwheat-porridge

On Thursday S suggested that we go camping on the weekend. And so we did. We chose Springbrook National Park, mostly as it is close by and we were only going away for the one night. After a quick market run to stock up on supplies, we packed the car and drove up early Saturday morning. W snoozed in the back for much of the drive and we arrived at the park in time for lunch.

Once we turned off the main highway, the bush around us was all tall trees disappearing into the sky, pale green leaves dry and dusty, trunks blackened by an old bush fire that ripped through the region some fifteen years back. After we set up camp we took a stroll through the bush, along the ridge line looking down at the waterfall, clouds skimming across the sky drawing us in and out of the sunshine. Continue reading “Blueberry Buckwheat Porridge”

Summer Bircher Muesli

summer-bircher-bowl

A few weeks ago on a lightning trip down to Melbourne, I visited my friend’s lovely cafe. We sat out under the white umbrellas in the courtyard, and chatted as our respective children sleep angelically (hers) and crawled around the grass (mine). I’d already had breakfast, but I did have a bite of her apple-y, cinnamon-y bircher muesli. It was YUM.

Bircher muesli is easily one of my favourite breakfasts, but for a long time it was only one that I would have in cafes. We used to go to a cafe in Brunswick that served their bircher with cream and pistachios – overly decadent for brekky but oh-so-goooood. Another Brunswick cafe around the corner from our house served their bircher in a tall glass, the muesli and poached fruit arranged in layers, topped with yoghurt and toasted almonds.  Continue reading “Summer Bircher Muesli”

Rosewater, Pistachio & Cardamom Cake

IMG_0212

The Melbourne summer is markedly different to the Brisbane one. Up north the heat is well settled in by Christmas time, and the days follow one another predictably hot and steamy. Down south though, the heat is dry and crackly, and a sweltering day can easily be followed by a grey drizzly one. Needless to say, I know I’ve been away for a while when I come to Melbourne without a cardigan or jumper!

W, S and I flew down a few days before Christmas to spend the festive season with our families. I do love coming down to Melbourne, despite how busy our visits are – W is in high demand by the grandparents and assorted family members. It does feel like a holiday nonetheless, and I love walking through Melbourne’s timeworn streets and green parks, partaking of her delicious food (we’re off to Tiamo for lunch today!), catching up with people. Continue reading “Rosewater, Pistachio & Cardamom Cake”