Coconut Turmeric Noodles

“…balance of humors, coconut liquor thinned / by broth, sour pulp of tamarind / cut through by salt, set off by fragrant / galangal, ginger, basil, cilantro, mint, / the warp and woof of texture…”

– from ‘Hot’ by Craig Arnold

Lately, both kids have been climbing into our bed at various points through the night, so by the morning all four of us are squeezed in together. We’re not sure if it’s these cold winter nights that have them seeking extra body warmth, or just that natural childish desire to be close, but either way it is a habit that is equally parts endearing and exasperating (much like parenting more generally, in fact).  Continue reading Coconut Turmeric Noodles

Toasted Coconut & Green Mango Salad

green-mango-coconut-salad

Whenever I go someplace new, I seek out the markets. Not the tourist trinket traps, or even the quirky weekend crafty markets (though I’ve a fond spot for those as well). I seek out the produce markets frequented by locals, where they sell the fruit and veg and, if you’re lucky, some damn fine street food. Usually you have to get up good and early to catch markets at their bustle-y best, but each place has its very own rhythms. No matter my feelings towards a new town or city, discovering the markets will inevitably allow me to tap into the heart and the beauty of a place.

A few years ago in India I arrived in Jaipur late one afternoon. After checking in and stuffing my face with delicious aloo paratha I took a stroll around the streets. I turned a corner and stumbled across the most colourful market sprawled in the narrow alley between two rows of buildings. Although I associate produce markets with early morning, this one was doing a brisk evening trade. Baskets heaped high with gleaming purple eggplant, plump sweet peas in their jackets, mounds of turmeric and fiery red chilli, were being picked over by elegant women in saris and salwars, tiny bangle-clad children underfoot. I bought myself a street-side chai, found a perch, and drank it all in. It was during that moment I fell in love with India. Continue reading Toasted Coconut & Green Mango Salad

Bircher Muesli

bircher-muesli-figs

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

Coconut Cacao Granola

 

coconut-cacao-granola-milk

When I was growing up all I ever wanted was coco pops for breakfast. They looked so enticing and candy-like, turning the milk chocolate brown. Of course at home it was all healthy cereals and grain toast for us. And here’s the thing, the first time I did have coco pops – at a friends place the morning after a sleep over – it was such a disappointment. They were totally bland.

This granola, on the other hand, is totally not bland. It is, in fact, totally delicious. It is no secret that breakfast is one of my favourite meals of the day – all types of porridge in the winter, and various styles of muesli in the summer. This granola is perfect for the in-between seasons, for autumn and for spring. It is kind of like a treat (and it does indeed turn the milk chocolate brown), but also perfectly healthy and reasonable to have for breakfast. Continue reading Coconut Cacao Granola

Raw Apricot, Coconut & Tangerine Energy Balls

raw-apricot-coconut-tangerine-energy-balls-closeup

The past few weeks have passed by in a blur. A couple of weeks ago we took a lightning trip down to Victoria that involved driving all across the state visiting various family members and hanging out with friends. It was both lovely and exhausting in equal measure. By the time we got back W had caught a cold, which myself and then S both proceeded to catch as well. This coincided with a really busy work week for S and a number of work deadlines for me, plus a couple of new teeth for W. Needless to say, it wasn’t my favourite week.

This week though, promises to be a helluva lot better. We’re all recovered from being sick. It is warm and sunny, and yesterday the three of us strolled around New Farm and Teneriffe playing in parks and eating gelato (W’s first ice cream!). It’s a public holiday today so S has taken W off for a play in the park and I’ve had a quiet morning home alone to do things like take a long shower, drink a cuppa on the verandah, and now write this blog post. We’ve also got a trip to Ubud coming up on less than two weeks to look forward to.

Continue reading Raw Apricot, Coconut & Tangerine Energy Balls

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

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