Roast Butter Parsnips with Thyme Polenta

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Do you like our new table? It’s the one in these photos. Rough dark-brown pine, full of knots and flaws. We especially chose something a little on the rustic side, where a few spills and knocks will only add character. Because we’ve got two little kids, and while we don’t want them to trash the house, exactly, we’re never going to be the kind of family that keeps the kids away from the furniture. We’re simply not that precious.

And besides, in the end we won’t love the table because it looks good. I mean I like things around the house to look good – I’m not immune to the simple pleasures of aesthetic beauty – but in the end we’ll love it because it will become imbued with our memories, our stories. We’ll sit at that table every night, all four of us, eating good food, talking about our day, aggravating one another and making each other laugh. Over time the narrative of our family will be deep in its cracks and its crevices. Continue reading “Roast Butter Parsnips with Thyme Polenta”

Simple Spiced Pilaf + Roasted Carrots

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South of my days’ circle, part of my blood’s country,
rises that tableland, high delicate outline
of bony slopes wincing under the winter,
low trees, blue-leaved and olive, outcropping granite-
clean, lean,  hungry country…

From ‘South of my Days’, Judith Wright

It’s the first day of winter today. After a warm weekend the cooler weather finally seems to have settled. The skies are overcast and there is a cold wind blowing. I pulled out the warm baby doona from the cupboard for little T and have all the windows closed even though it is the middle of the day. I’m drinking a pot of tea as I write this, S’s big woolen socks on my feet. Winter brings with it a strange sense of melancholic satisfaction, at once the desire to stay still and go internal, and at the same time to escape to far-flung places. I’m in the mood for watching movies, going to bed early, drinking red wine, listening to jazz, writing stories. And eating all things roasted. Continue reading “Simple Spiced Pilaf + Roasted Carrots”

Spice-Roasted Chickpeas, Herbed Freekeh & Moroccan Carrot Salad

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This is a special post – it is part of the wonderful Cooking for One series! The very lovely Katie of Whole Nourishment invited me to get involved in this project which will see different bloggers all week posting recipes and tips around cooking for one. Before I get into my tips and recipe, let me just say that if you haven’t stumbled across Whole Nourishment before, then you most definitely should pop over for a visit. Katie has a real enthusiasm and passion for good clean food, which comes across in her wholesome and delicious recipes. And while you’re there, you should check out all of the other Cooking for One bloggers: Food To Glow / She Likes Food / To Her Core / Lynsey Loves Food / Earthy Feast / Nourished Roots. Continue reading “Spice-Roasted Chickpeas, Herbed Freekeh & Moroccan Carrot Salad”

Radish & Preserved Lemon Wild Rice Salad

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Firstly, apologies that this post is a couple of days late! This weekend past was crazy busy for me and by the time Monday rolled around I was too exhausted to do much more than lounge and stare. I hope this delicious salad makes up for my tardiness…

Monday was the first day of spring. And Brisbane sure did turn it on. Clear blue skies, easy golden sunshine, bare feet and the smell of jasmine wafting through from the backyard. It’s a funny thing but at the end of summer, when the autumn leaves start falling, I love the coziness of thick socks and red wine. But at the end of winter there is nothing better than warm evenings and going to bed in nothing but underwear! Continue reading “Radish & Preserved Lemon Wild Rice Salad”

Lemon & Walnut Linguine with Roasted Broccoli

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It’s been threatening to rain for a few weeks now, and this weekend it finally did. Not quite soon enough though; most of South-East Queensland is now officially in drought. After our first summer up in Brisbane almost four years ago, where it rained relentlessly for months on end, where everything was mildewed and floods wreaked havoc across the state, it has been conspicuously dry. Our grass is now brown, dry and dusty, and no longer needs to be mowed. It is perpetually sunny up here (hence the moniker the Sunshine State).

Except for this weekend. It started slowly on Friday, and when we got to the markets on Saturday morning amidst the drizzle it was much quieter than usual; even half the stall holders hadn’t made it along. We got what we came for, but forwent our customary coffee-and-croissant on the grass as it was all too sodden. The rain built up over the day and by the afternoon was coming down pretty steadily. It is rare to see Brisbane beneath a cold grey wet cloud; I almost liked the change in scenery. Continue reading “Lemon & Walnut Linguine with Roasted Broccoli”

Lemon & Lentil Soup

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About three years ago I had the pleasure of travelling across western Queensland with the food writer Matthew Evans, on a food writing tour. We drove 800km inland under flat blue skies into cotton country, where green fields stretched into an endless horizon and at every door we were greeted with fresh scones.

After trading in his life as a Sydney food critic, these days Matthew lives on a small farm in Tasmania with his partner and son, where he grows his own veges and raises pigs. Matthew believes in good food – fresh seasonal ingredients grown yourself or sourced from your local farmers market. He believes that mass-produced food and industrial farming sacrifices both quality and ethics. During the many hours spent driving across Queensland, listening to his passion for, and knowledge of, food and food production, it was hard not to agree. Continue reading “Lemon & Lentil Soup”

Bean & Fennel Salad

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We just got home from a lovely long weekend down in Sydney. We stayed in the heart of Surry Hills where we walked the streets, ate a ton of good food, visited markets, and even took a ferry ride in the Sunday morning sunshine. As weekend trips often are it was both relaxing and exhausting in equal measure, but it always feels good to be away from home and exploring someplace new. I’ll post some pics and food tips from the trip later in the week, but in the meantime this post is going to be short and sweet coz a warm cozy bed is calling my name!  Continue reading “Bean & Fennel Salad”