Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad

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I’ve recently discovered the enjoyment of the journey. Normally, getting from one place to the next, like from the bus stop back home, is about functionality, the necessity of moving from one space to another. I’m often listening to music or checking my phone, composing work emails in my head or thinking about what to cook for dinner. Not paying much attention to what is going on outside of me.

Lately, though, W is just full of curiosity. Her favourite game is to point at the sky, a bird flying overhead, a car, a tree, all with a sweet questioning sound, prompting me to pay attention so that I can talk to her about the world around us. She is also full of beans, and more often than not on the way back from a walk to the shops or the park, she’ll start wriggling and decide she wants to get down and walk. Suddenly a five minute trip home becomes a twenty minute amble as we stop to play with some bright red berries growing on a bush on the nature strip, lean against a sun-warmed rock, pick up some smooth strangely-shaped sticks from the gutter, or back track to examine a particularly interesting collection of stones. Continue reading “Potato & Brussels Sprouts Salad”

Roasted Cauliflower with Caraway Seeds

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This week past was a bit of a comedy of errors. W had been pretty sniffly over the weekend prior, and by Monday morning both S and I woke up with sore throats. We were feeling hopeful though, confident that if we dosed up with honey & lemon tea and stayed home all day, we’d knock it on the head and be fine. We were wrong.

By Tuesday morning we were both feeling pretty crook. It’s the first time I’ve been sick since W was born; it didn’t matter how much I wanted to stay in bed drinking tea until midday, W was up and ready to play at 6am. After brekky I sat down at my desk with a cuppa to check my emails. W was crawling around and wanted up, so I scooped her into my lap. In a split second, the tea was all over my laptop. Continue reading “Roasted Cauliflower with Caraway Seeds”

Autumn Pasta Salad with Fennel & Goats Cheese

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I recently bought a new bicycle after having my old one stolen from under the house (I’ve no luck with bikes – that was the third one I’ve had stolen!). Although I used to ride daily to and from work, it had been over a year since I’d been on a bike; once my pregnant belly started getting in the way at about seven months I had to stop cycling, and since W was born there was never the chance. Now that she is almost one, though, I can steal a few extra hours for myself on the weekends, so on Saturday mornings I jump on my new bike and head into work while S hangs out with W.

From our house to get to my work I cycle alongside the river, sun reflecting off the water, in and out of the shady trees. I had forgotten how much I love bike riding; the sense of freedom in movement, the ease of propulsion. Cycling is both rhythmic and effortless – legs go up, legs go down – a meditative motion. Much like swimming laps, I find the physical exertion clears my mind. Daily life is so full of stimulus; while I’m on my bike though, my mind is free to wander as it wants, letting the debris settle. It promotes untethered thinking, that balanced space where ideas and dreams rise to the surface. Continue reading “Autumn Pasta Salad with Fennel & Goats Cheese”

Israeli Cous Cous with Heirloom Carrots

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It’s great when a dish unexpectedly comes together. I’d picked up this Israeli cous cous at Mick’s Nuts (!) a couple of weeks ago with no plan for it in mind, but just because I love it and don’t come across it all that often. It’s the texture that I love – like eating mini-marbles! Then at the market on the weekend S casually pointed out a bunch of heirloom carrots at a stall we were strolling past, and while I was at the register about to pay for them, a big pile of sunset-coloured pomegranates tempted me, so I got one of those too.

The rest came together pretty easily. I’d been wanting to whip up a batch of date syrup to use as an alternative sweetener for a while now, and we always have fresh parsley and mint in the fridge. My mum had just sent me a bag of rose petals (which I had in mind for a whole other dish that I haven’t gotten around to making yet), and we had some baharat spice mix left over from the meatballs that S cooked a while back for our Middle Eastern Feast. Continue reading “Israeli Cous Cous with Heirloom Carrots”

Chickpea Tabbouleh + Middle Eastern Feast

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Cooking during a heat wave is a real pain in the arse. Queensland spent the weekend being baked to a crisp. The temperature in Brisbane crept up into the high 30s, although other parts of the state had it much worse. The bushfires on Stradbroke Island are still raging as a I type this; 60% of the island has burned and a smoky haze has swept over the city, turning the moon ripe orange.

During the heat of Saturday our house was practically a sauna. And that was while we were sitting still – with the oven and stove-top on it would have been outrageous. Poor W had her afternoon nap drenched in sweat. Wisely, we ate lunch in an air-conditioned pub and then spent the afternoon at the pool. W went crazy for the water, kicking her little legs and laughing her little arse off at S and I diving and splashing around. Continue reading “Chickpea Tabbouleh + Middle Eastern Feast”

Herbed Quinoa with Almonds & Cranberries

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Over the last couple of months, since the weather has warmed up again, we’ve been in the habit of taking W for an evening stroll through the streets around our house. Sometimes it’s a quick spin around the block, other times we’ll walk for an hour or more as the light settles slowly into the horizon.

On Friday night as we were strolling through the park on top of the hill behind our house, the sky in front of us was blazing pink and it was all so steeped in lovely that we decided to come back the next evening for a picnic. Continue reading “Herbed Quinoa with Almonds & Cranberries”