Pear & Strawberry Muffins

Now the leaves are falling fast…

– from ‘Autumn Song’, W. H. Auden

The day we made these Pear & Strawberry Muffins last week was unexpectedly lovely. The morning was the first really cold one of the year. Thick socks and hot cups of tea kind of cold. Frosty breath in the morning air, clear blue skies, thin yellow sunshine turning the autumn leaves still clinging onto tree branches all the shades of gold there are no names for.  Continue reading Pear & Strawberry Muffins

Chocolate Cake with Cocoa-Tahini Frosting

chocolate-cake-birdseye

“We are all a great deal luckier that we realize, we usually get what we want – or near enough.”
– Roald Dahl, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

Given how much chocolate I eat, it seems remiss that this is the first chocolate cake recipe to appear on the site. Likely it’s because my favourite way to eat chocolate is straight up – a square or two of dark chocolate (90% is my fave) after dinner. I’ll admit that until reading this fantastic essay about Mast Brothers chocolate I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to the origins of cocoa beans in the way that I do to coffee, or eggs, or almonds. Now, though, I am doing my best to eat ethical and sustainable chocolate. Which isn’t too difficult, given the increasing popularity of artisanal products, but can be rather pricey if one has an excessive chocolate habit (umm…). Continue reading Chocolate Cake with Cocoa-Tahini Frosting

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

Rhubarb Rosewater Crumble

Rhubarb Rosewater Crumble

This is my last rhubarb post for the year. I do love rhubarb; its tartness, its vibrant colour, its all-round deliciousness. But the weather is starting to get warmer up here in Brisbane and new fruits are beginning to appear at the market, so I think I’ve had my fill of rhubarb till next year rolls around.

This is a straight up crumble – easy to make and the perfect comfort food. Though I usually try and use coconut or olive oil in much of my baking these days, when it comes to crumble I’m all about the butter. I’ve tried it a few different ways, but I just think buttery-crumble is superior. I’ve spiced this particular crumble up with a little rosewater and cardamom, but I’ve made an equally delicious version replacing the rosewater and cardamom with the rind and juice of one orange, or even by replacing the ground almonds with ground hazelnuts. Unlike a lot of other baking, making crumbles isn’t an exact science, so go ahead and experiment! Continue reading Rhubarb Rosewater Crumble

Kale, Strawberry & Pear Salad

kale-strawberry-salad

The night assigns us its magic
task. To unravel the universe,
the infinite ramifications
of effects and causes, all lost
in that bottomless vertigo, time.
Tonight the night wants you to forget

From ‘Sleep’, Jorge Luis Borges

I’m writing this curled up in the corner of the couch, late at night, wearing a pair of S’s thick woolen socks and drinking a cup of lemongrass tea. The house smells like toasted oats from the muesli bars I just baked, and is otherwise quiet and peaceful now that W and S are both in bed. It has been a long week, full of deadlines to meet for work, a government to be angered by, and a wonderfully energetic daughter. I spent much of today in the kitchen, making salads, baking lavender scones (recipe coming soon!), steaming veges for dinner. I’m tired, but feeling satisfied too, and it is kind of nice being awake while everyone else sleeps. Continue reading Kale, Strawberry & Pear Salad