Teriyaki Mushrooms

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Oh, man, it’s been forever, right? I’ve been super dooper busy, what with the PhD I’m doing (maybe you didn’t know) and family staying and just this week an old uni friend came up from Melbourne. Yay: friends! The other thing that’s been taking up my time is crochet! Sarah taught me a couple of weeks ago and I am hooked (LOL – good one). So, I’ve been eating pretty simply when at home and not really photographing anything.

But! I do have these mushrooms up my sleeve… Which is an interesting tactile sensation for all involved.

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This is another simple one. But, I’ve realised that’s probably OK. In fact it’s great. I’m still regularly making the pumpkin porridge I posted over a month ago, because it’s simple and nutritious, which I daresay predisposes it to actually being made by you guys too. So, here we are: teriyaki mushrooms. Something to pile on a good steak or maybe sauté with other veggies, tofu and some rice for a vegetarian dinner. Personally though, it doesn’t get any better than mushrooms on toast. And these ones go down a treat on a hardy dark rye with a generous smear of avocado.

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I got these swiss brown mushrooms at the Eveleigh Farmers Market one Saturday with Sarah and Mum. The ‘shroom salesman was very chatty, showing us pictures of the mushrooms being grown and also one of his wife, “The Mushroom Queen of Woy Woy”. We also picked up some goat’s curd, a few phenomenal Billy Kwong pork buns, bunches of kale, purple carrots and beetroot and a huge slab of beef rump (which served as the innuendo portion of the trip). We hung out and ate amazing market purchases all weekend, but when my family finally cleared out, the fridge was still chock full of food. I didn’t want to waste these mushrooms on something where they would only be an accompaniment, so mushrooms on toast it was!

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Taking garlic mushrooms and giving them a Japanese twist is probably the least stupid idea I’ve ever had concerning mushrooms. Garlic and ginger are pretty sensible additions during these cooler seasons (good for colds ‘n’ shit) and, quite frankly, are too delicious not to put all over your mushrooms. Which you would then be an idiot not to put all over your everything, er, toast. Hop to it.

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Ingredients:
2-3 large swiss brown mushrooms
two cloves of garlic
tsp of grated ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sushi seasoning (or 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar)

Directions:
Saute mushrooms, garlic and ginger for ten minutes on medium heat until softened on the outside. Add liquid ingredients and let reduce for five minutes. Serve on some really freaking rustic toast.

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Ginger Wieners

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Believe it or not, I have only used this dachshund cookie cutter once since buying it about a year and a half ago. Luckily, not only is my sister’s enthusiasm for sausage dogs equal to my own, but her enthusiasm for gingery baked goods is unsurpassed. So, when she was visiting last week we set out to bake some ginger wieners and stegosaurus.

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Setting out to create a dairy free gingerbread, I googled a few recipes. But in the end we turned to my old favourite, substituting a few of the ingredients for dairy free/heathier options. We went for coconut oil instead of butter, which tasted weird in the batter (some of which we may have eaten raw, with icing), but which when baked blended in perfectly. For the flour we used a combination of almond meal, wholemeal flour and plain.

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Actually I had to make this recipe twice, since the first time I only photographed the finished product. The second time I had no eggs in the house so used chia as an egg replacer, making them vegan, which turned out great.

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Miraculously this recipe results in some of the best gingerbread I’ve ever made. The combination of ingredients makes the dough easier to handle, which means less extra flour for rolling, resulting in a softer biscuit. Plus, the almond meal and wholemeal give the gingerbread an appealing speckled appearance, and a chewier more robust texture, which holds the oodles of spice I like to put in my cookies just perfectly.

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Because when it says 1 tbsp of any spice you always put in, like, twice that, right? I know I do. This recipe uses the real amount of spice you should put in. Dial it back a notch if you’re not into the potent tasting things. Anyway, Sarah and I ended up only wanting to eat one each, but didn’t want to miss out on trying them both. So we broke them down the middle and made little mutant gingerbread things!

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The second batch were just boring old teapots. But they were just as delicious and appropriate as study fuel.

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Ingredients:
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 egg yolk or chia egg replacer
1 cup almond meal
1 cup wholemeal flour
½ cup plain flour
1.5 tbsp ground ginger
1.5 tbsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarb soda
plain flour to dust
vegetable oil for greasing or baking paper

Royal icing:
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg white
food colouring
decorations (like sprinkles or smarties!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to about 160 fan forced. Combine coconut oil, sugar and molasses. Add egg yolk. Gradually add in dry ingredients until mixture forms a firm dough. Refrigerate dough for at least half an hour, until firm. Roll out dough with a rolling pin, or a big cylindrical jar or glass. Cut and lay out on baking trays. Cook for 10 minutes and lay out to cool. Keep the oven on.

While the cookies are cooling beat egg white until it forms soft peaks. Sift in icing sugar. At this point you can set aside a spoonful if you want to give your critters eyes. Add food colouring of your choice to the rest of the icing. At this point Sarah made a second batch of icing with cocoa replacing some of the icing sugar and we used that to ice the dogs. Just have fun with it. To make the eyes we used toothpicks, which we first dipped in the white to put a blob where we wanted an eye and then dipped in the brown to make a second smaller blob in top of that. When your cookies are iced whack them back in the over for a minute to set the icing. Let the cookeis cool a little: and you’re done! Go make a cup of tea.

Pumpkin Pie Porridge

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I’m sorry. This isn’t really even a recipe. Just a suggestion, I guess, of how to make porridge even more delicious. And I’m sure there are plenty of other examples out there on the internet of similarly pumkiny oaty goodness. But this is the only thing I’ve been eating lately that isn’t some all-in soup concoction designed to ward off a virus that in the last two weeks has transformed my house into a den of dirty tissues.
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It was the autumn last week, and so the celebrate – and also to use up the last bit of pumpkin in the fridge – I whipped up this for breakfast. It turned out great! Warm, spicy and utterly satisfying.

Aside from using a fancy kind of “cereal” to make this, I think the pumpkin, maple syrup and spices really balance this meal. About once a year I get waaaay excited about cooking up a pot of oats every morning for breakfast, before realizing (on roughly the third morning) that it kinda just tastes like a big bowl of glue.
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But not these: no, Sir. The sweetness of the syrup is just delicate and complex enough for morning time and the pumpkin itself, though again not particularly strong, blends in perfectly to give the cereal extra dimension. I’ve enjoyed other fruits in porridge before, but it’s always been in contrast to the oats, never working together like this.
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Anyway, one reason I decided to share this one, aside from how much I enjoyed both making it and eating it, was that despite the plethora of sweet pumpkin recipes all over the blogosphere most of these recipes are American/Canadian. This means that (a) they get posted at the wrong time of year for Australian consumption; and (b) they often use canned pumpkin, which isn’t widely available here and, to be honest, doesn’t seem like my kind of thing. Fresh pumpkin all the way, baby!
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So, here’s to embracing all things Aussie autumn: cardigans, the only-occasional deciduous tree, and seasonal breakfast treats sans canned goods. Oh, and apparently none of these things. Apparently 30 degree days. Maybe wait it out til it actually is cardigan weather, but definitely, definitely try this.
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Ingredients:
1 cup oats/”cereal mix”
3 cups boiling water
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
200g roast pumkin
¼ tsp nutmeg
3-4 tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup sultanas

Directions:
The night before, or whenever you have time, roast 200g of pumpkin in the oven until soft. In saucepan combine salt, cereal, and boiling water. Heat on medium for ten minutes or until thickened. While cereal is cooking puree roast pumpkin (or mash as well as you can) and add to mixture. When mixture has thickened add spices and sultanas. Serve warm with extra syrup, sultanas or some nuts.

(Incidentally vegan) cranberry hot cross buns with mandarin cardamon glaze

IMG_7769I actually wrote this post over a week ago, but my, oh my, have I been busy. Sorry ’bout that, but narrative theory is, like, intense sometimes, and I’m kinda a slow reader. As an apology, here’s a picture of a vintage duck-shaped measuring cup I bought recently. There’s supposed to be a whole set nestling together, but the op shop only had the 1 cup. Also pictured: some terrariums I made and a tile my friend, Sally, gave me aaaaages ago.  IMG_7694

Anyway. First thing’s first: whenever I say buns in this post I want you to imagine me wiggling my eyebrows suggestively at you. OK, cool. Here we go.

Buns. Fresh buns.

No, but seriously, how good are they? Like, ten, right?

I’ve never made hot cross buns before. In fact, every year I find myself thinking that hot cross buns really aren’t worth buying, because when I was a student (last time) they seemed pretty expensive for what they are and quite frankly not that exciting. And again, like the fruit cake thing, I was turned off by the poorly executed citrus rind in so many commercial buns. But look, now I’m adult enough to have to pay for a parking permit to park on the street in front of the house I live in, so maybe I’m old enough to enjoy buns.

*eyebrows*

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And I do, I totally do. This year I even found myself buying buns and they were good. 10 points to Hufflebuns! But, you know, I still thought I could do better.

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So here we are: cranberries, mandarin, cardamon pods. Slightly hungover from the first proper sprawling house party I’ve been to in years. Slightly hungover from a night of primarily tequila-based drinks for the very first time and trying to figure out how to get the glaze on my buns without a pastry brush. Maybe I have time to shower and go buy one right now while the buggers are still rising.

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Buns. Adulthood. New recipes and new hangovers. Time might be ticking away too quickly to settle for sub-par buns. But also: you’re never too old to get drunk on something new. You’re never too old or too young to appreciate a pair of hot little buns like these.

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*eyebrows*

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BUNS

Ingredients:
2 cups water
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup SR flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Boil water, and combine with sunflower oil and sugar. Allow to sit for a few minutes to cool off. While still warm, but not scadling to the touch, add yeast and plain flour. Stir and allow to sit for one hour. When the hour is up and the dough has risen, add SR flour, salt, spices and cranberries. Knead until dough is elastic, and spices and cranberries are well distributed. Break off golf-ball sized pieces and roll into, well, a ball. Arrange on oiled tray. Leave to sit, covered with clean teatowel, in a warm place for an hour.

CROSS

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of plain flour
4 1/2 tbsp of water

Directions:

Combine flour and water to form thick paste. Spoon into ziplock bag/piping bag and use to draw crosses on your buns.

GLAZE

Ingredients:
1/3 cup mandarin juice (about 1 mandarin worth)
3 tbsp water
12 cardamon pods

Directions:

In small saucepan bring water, juice and cardamon to simmer for fifteen minutes. When cool and buns are ready for oven, brush over buns.

Cooks buns in medium over for 20-30 minutes, brushing occasionally with any leftover glaze.

Makes about 28.

Red radish and apple salad with smoked salmon flowers

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This recipe has been languishing around un-posted since last year. I know, I know it’s only February, but that’s still about two months of me not telling you about this. Two months, you guise! OK, so it may not seem like that much of a loss, because smoked salmon isn’t everyone’s favourite, because it sounds weird and because quite frankly it is a little weird. But in a good way. I promise.

The reason we’re in this mess in the first place is simple: radishes. To be honest I just didn’t know what you were supposed to do with them. And then I decided, well, I’m an adult, I should be able to deal with some radishes. So I bought some.

Speaking of buying things, I’ve also acquired a few new gadgets since starting this blog. Things I thought it was worth investing in if I was going to actually start *measuring things* like some kind of *fancy* gentleman of the kitchen. Guys, meet my measuring scales.

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I’m not sure what to call them. What’s a good name for a set of dapper red scales like these?

Anyway, I’ve gone off topic – we’re here for the funky salad. So, off we go! Fishy floral arrangements!

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It kinda looks cool, right? And yet there’s something off-putting about it. A retro-ish vibe that seems to highlight how quickly good taste can become suspect. Or maybe it’s just the thought of cured pink salmon flesh coiled into the shape of a flower that’s doing it. But something here works. Salmon, crunchy things, the addition of dill, which for some reason reminds me of holidays (perhaps because of all the potato salad and smoked salmon appetisers floating around at summer soirees). Paired with a weird-ass gris blanc from the Barossa it went down a treat (two months ago, when we were celebrating *Housemate Christmas*). Maybe it was all the wine that made it ok.

Maybe.

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Ingredients:
5 red radishes
2 red delicious apples
2 chat potatoes
1 cucumber
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tbsp dill
2 tsp sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 lemon juice
at least four slices of smoked salmon (120g)

Directions:
Cut potatoes into bite sized cubes. Submerge potatoes in water in pan and bring to boil. Turn down and gently boil for about 10 minutes until just tender. Set aside to cool. You’ll need a mandolin or a lot of time to cut all the apple, radish and cucumber into thin slices. Do this and toss together so they’re all mixed somewhat evenly. Serves four.

Lime, passionfruit and coconut celebration cake

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Last Tuesday it was my friend East’s birthday. So Patrick decided to invite him over to our place for dinner. Which, obviously, I had to cook. But that’s OK, Patrick was in charge of wine and there was going to be plenty of it. Also, cheeese. With four Es. Courtesy of April.

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I’d recently acquired a large amount of passionfruit from my mum’s vine, which I’d turned into passionfruit curd. In addition to this there was still a surplus of limes going on in my fruit bowl. Putting two and two together (or as the case may be, putting birthday and curd and limes together), I set out to create a cake that would utilise all these ingredients.
IMG_7374Starting with this recipe here I baked the actual cake part, substituting coconut cream for the buttermilk and adding the rind of some limes. When it was cooled I cut the cake in half horizontally and spread a layer of curd in there.IMG_7583

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Then I iced the bastard. I even did a crumb layer, which is explained in the directions below if you don’t know what it is.

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When dinner had been demolished, we turned down the lights, turned off the music and lit the candles. We sang a somewhat feeble three-voiced happy birthday and East blew out the candles.

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Then he cut the cake into enormous slices that no-one could finish.

And, inevitably, there was this:

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And then this:

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Perhaps soon I will share the recipe for the dinner I made. For now, start thinking of a reason to make this cake!

Ingredients:
250g butter, softened
2 cups caster sugar
4 large (or in my case 5 small) eggs
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 cup coconut cream
rind of two limes

About 1/2 cup passionfruit curd (recipe here will make about twice as much as you need)

For icing:
250g spreadable cream cheese, left at room temperature for at least an hour
3tbsp lime juice
1 1/4 cups icing sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs. Next, gradually stir in flours. Add coconut cream and lime rind. Bake for 1 1/2-2 hours or until firm when jiggled. Take cake out of oven to cool. When cake is cool, take a knife and mark a ring around the cake horizontally. Slice gradually through cake, turning as you cut, so that you have two layers of cake. Spread cool passionfruit curd between layers. To make icing simply combine lime juice and icing sugar. Then stir in softened cream cheese. Ice cake with a thin layer of frosting and put whole cake in fridge for half an hour or in freezer for ten minutes. Then ice with a more generous coat. Decorate as desired.

Beer bean stuffed chillies

 

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When life gives you ten limes for $2, make a whole bunch of mexican food. That’s what I always say. And by “always” I mean, just now. Because I did find myself in the situation of ten limes, some of which I had kinda planned on making into preserved limes before I realised how fast I was actually going through them. Especially once I started putting them in drinks.

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Here’s where these bad boys come in, because guess what? They’re giant green chillies perfect for stuffing withcheese and beans. And they were 50c each at the markets the other morning. I didn’t have my prime decision-making face on that day, but when I saw these I got excited, because I’d been wanting to try out a recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook that called for just this sort of thing. And limes. At least one of them.

I went and stood over the chillies, scooping four into my hands before pausing confusedly to look up at my sister. “I don’t know how many to get”, I explained, peppers spilling pitifully from my fingers (like larger, greener, gnarlier fingers on a large, green negligent hand).

“Six,” she said, “get six”. Which was actually the correct number for the recipe, as it turns out. Hurruh! I freaking love the markets. Take that giant hand!

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The only problem with this recipe is it can be kinda difficult to find these ingredients in Australia outside of a capital city. Even black beans can be hard to get your hands on. The point is: I have no idea what kind of chillies I used. I should have asked, but I was vague and fatigued and overwhelmed with market decisions. I’m sure you’ll forgive me. Banana chillies or whatever large chilli variety you can get your hands on are probably fine. Also, while I have seen canned chipotle somewhere in Sydney, I don’t remember where. I already had a small red chilli hanging around from mum’s garden, so went with that. The cheese I changed to more widely available cheddar, Jack cheese and cojita being pretty scarce hereabouts. Also, I added cumin, because I can’t help myself.

Below is my version of the recipe, which I’ve more or less translated into common Australian ingredients and measurements. And while this version differs form the original, these babies are still terribly delicious. You’d be awfully silly not to squirrel this recipe away in your brain, so that when the perfect chance arises to cook things inside other things you don’t miss it. And while you’re at it make a note to check out The Sprouted Kitchen for more whole food kitchen wizardry.

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Ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small to medium red chilli, chopped (with half the seeds removed if you’re chilli-sensitive)
250g dried black beans
375ml of dark mexican beer (I accidentally used a light-coloured beer and it was fine)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 large chillies
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:
Soak beans in large bowl of water for 6-12 hours.

Add olive oil to a large pan on medium heat. Saute onion, chilli and garlic until onion is just softened. Add cinnamon and cumin and fry for a few moments until fragrant. Drain the beans and add to pan along with 2.5 cups of water. Stir and bring to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, until the beans are just cooked. Add beer and cook for another 20 minutes, until beer has evaporated/been sucked up by the beans. Salt to taste and set beans aside.

Cut a slit down the middle of each chilli. Get rid of all the gunk inside: seeds, membrane, what-have-you. Set the chillies on a tray and use a brush or your hands to cover each in a small amount of olive oil. Preheat either the barbecue or actual grill or griddle to medium-high heat. In a bowl mix the cheese and lime juice. Stuff each chilli first with a few tablespoons of beans, then with a handful of cheese. Cook until the cheese is and chilli are both blistery, about 7 minutes. Then either turn down your grill/griddle or move to a less-hot part of the barbecue. Cook for another 10 minutes or until chillies are perfectly soft.

Serve with whatever mexican extras you fancy. I’ve gone with chunky guacamole, below.

 

For chunky guacamole:

Ingredients:
1 avocado
10 cherry or grape tomatoes cut into quarters
handful of fresh coriander
tbsp lime juice
salt

Directions:
In a bowl squish your avocado. Add quartered cherry tomatoes and coriander. Stir in lime juice. Add a few grinds of salt to taste.

Pumpkin, cherry tomato and blue cheese tart

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Awesomesauce: a term only suitable when referring to actual sauce. Or possibly, possibly, when referring to picnics. Which are, in my opinion, awesome, and which may contain traces of sauce. The only problem with picnics is how much room there is for things to go horribly wrong. The beauty of nature can be utterly demoralising, covering you in equal parts rain and ants. But it wasn’t nature that got the better of me last Thursday as I embarked on an evening of outdoor “dining”. It was my oven.

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Having assembled this vegetable tart well in advance, even remembering to pre-heat the oven, I was pretty sure I had things down. I checked on the tart about 20 minutes in. It didn’t seem as well cooked as I had anticipated, but if I turned up the heat it would still probably be done in plenty of time. So that’s what I did, returning another 20 minutes later to a still barely baked tart. Ugh. Clearly the oven had decided to quit making things hot. Well done, oven: 1 stars (It did attempt to cook the tart for a few minutes).

Going into fuck-the-picnic-is-in-15-minutes gear I shoved it in the microwave, cooked it for six minutes, then turned on the grill, took out the tray and let the tart sit in there with the door closed for roughly ten more minutes. For a moment it looked like the tart wouldn’t make it. The top was cooked, but when tilted to one side it would leak white liquid. I turned the grill off and left the tart inside while I hurriedly threw together some tomato and pesto salad instead. When the salad was assembled, I decided to check the tart one last time, just to be sure. And it was done! About 15 minutes late, I scurried off the park with my blanket, camera and miraculously cooked creation, to sit, eat and get overly enthusiastic about dogs with my friends.

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Shit: the park is a delight, the tart was a delight, I have no idea what I’m going to do without an oven, but maybe it’ll be OK.

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Ingredients:

1 sheet of shortcrust pastry
300g diced pumpkin
200g cherry tomatoes
1/2 purple onion
100g blue cheese
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
3 eggs
1 sprig rosemary

Directions:

Arrange one sheet of shortcrust pastry to cover surface of tart dish. Use more if you need. Or go wild and make your own pastry! Cut pumpkin into bite-sized pieces. Dice onion. Arrange tomatoes, pumpkin and onion in pastry. Crumble blue cheese on top. Whisk together eggs and cream with salt and pepper. Pour this over tart. Arrange rosemary on top.

Note:

I can’t accurately tell you how long to cook this for, but I’d guess maybe 40 minutes. Wiggle the tart around to see if it’s cooked all the way through. Or do what I did and tilt it, to see if it’s not just cooked on top. If it does look cooked on top but is not done on the bottom you can put foil over it to stop the top burning.

Crispy shark with tomato and tamarind

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Hey, erry body: I’m back! With peeling forearms, a collection of wines and some concerning double-billing on my debit card. Although my time at Woodford was marred by several unfortunate events, the least of which being a head-cold, I had a blast: several times abandoning my friends for running-around-to-see-everything, dancing like a big doofus to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings (among other things), and generally breathing in dust and good vibes.

New Zealand with Mum and Sarah was similarly awesome. On the Routeburn track we walked for three days across, through and up snowy mountain peaks. The weather was nice enough that we went swimming in the ice-cold streams alongside the trail. Oh, and we got a bit sweary at the scenery. Pretty fucking picturesque, ay?

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It was as though we got more Aussie the moment the plane hit the tarmac. I’m pretty sure I heard Mum genuinely use the word crikey.

I wasn’t really looking forward to coming home. What with adult responsibilities beyond the duty free alcohol allowance. But actually, it’s good to be back. The first day home I came across a van full of Labradors training to be guide dogs at the park! And I can cook again! Not just the economical soups and egg salads of hostel stays (everyone should stay on a sheep farm cum backpackers with their family at least once), but meals with tens of spices or ones that call for things from jars. Like this fish dish, which is extremely simple, but which calls for tamarind and fresh coriander and bean sprouts: ingredients not so widely available in Middle of Nowhere NZ.

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I know it’s all just a measure of time and ultimately meaningless, but I’m excited for this still-new year. It helps that I’ve had this time to recuperate from 2012. This also helps: at 4:00AM on new year’s day, with a meagre 1.5 hours sleep under my belt, I followed a congregation of fellow festival goers up a small hill to where monks were gathered to chant in the dawn. And despite the lack of rest, the head cold, the shitty year that had been: the first glimpse of 2013 was pretty spectacular. Pretty fucking picturesque.

The fish is pretty good too.

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Ingredients:

400-500g Shark or Barramundi
1/4 cup plain flour
2 tbsp sunflower oil
6 tomatoes
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp ginger
1.5 tbsp sugar
1 bunch coriander
bean sprouts

Directions:

Cut fish into cubes and roll in flour on a plate. Heat oil in a pan on medium. When pan is hot fry fish pieces one side at a time in pan until both sides are light golden brown. In the meantime cut tomatoes into large crescents. Grate ginger. When fish is done set aside. In the same pan (if you like) cook tomatoes, ginger and tamarind paste. Add 1.5 tbsp of sugar. Let tomatoes cook until reduced, but still holding form. Taste. Add more sugar if needed. Chop coriander roughly. Take tomatoes off heat and add coriander. Serve fish with tomato mixture spooned on top. Garnish with bean sprouts.

Note: This amount is probably enough for two. I like to eat it as is, but you could serve it with rice if cooking it for a larger group.

Orange and Pomegranate Hommus

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Hey, look, another magic post from magic land, where I’m not anywhere near my laptop and posts keep coming at you the way mosquitos inexplicably fly towards your head when you’re asleep. And, look, another colourful foodstuff, because I can’t seem to stay away from brightly coloured things.

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This hommus recipe is based roughly on the ingredients list of Paradise Beach orange and pomegranate hummus, which is so so delicious, but so so hard to come by. Also, expensive. Actually, if you live anywhere in Sydney it’s not that hard to get hold of (they sell it at Harris Farm), but otherwise you might have to get yourself a hommus mule. Or – and here’s the genius thing – you can make your own! This one isn’t exactly the same as its packaged cousin, but it’s just as complex and addictive as the original, with the added bonus of being really, really yellow.
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Ingredients:

800g chickpeas
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp orange juice
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 whole large red chilli (or chilli to taste)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp red onion
zest 1 orange

Directions:

Add chickpeas, garlic, onion, chilli, lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice to food processor and pulse until combined. Add remaining ingredients and pulse again. When all ingredients are well combined taste test and add more of any ingredient you think it might need. Serve with flatbread or crackers.

(I, of course, have no affiliation with Harris Farm or their delicious dip suppliers Paradise Beach.)