Category Archives: Citrus

Lemon Poppyseed Biscuits/Cookies

Lemon Poppyseed Biscuits/Cookies | Gather and Graze

The lemons in our garden are still a deep shade of green, but having almost reached a mature size, I catch myself daydreaming about what to do with them all once fully ripe. These lemon and poppyseed biscuits/cookies are a wonderful way of utilising some of the zest, while at the same time creating a beautiful, little treat to pair nicely with a cup of tea or coffee. Continue reading

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Lime, Coconut and Macadamia Macaroons

Lime Coconut Macadamia Macaroons | Recipe | Gather and Graze

The Primary School my youngest son attends has recently released a cookbook. It’s a beautiful compilation of family favourites from our school community, packed full of stunning food photographs taken by a talented local photographer. One of the recipes in this book (contributed by our Principal, no less…) jolted my memory of a biscuit/cookie that I used to make quite frequently many years ago, when we lived in New Zealand.

I’ve adapted her recipe here, almost beyond recognition, to try to re-create the fragrant, mostly healthful macaroon from my past. It comes extremely close to being just how I remember it. Continue reading

Halloumi, Orange and Bitter Leaf Salad

Halloumi, Orange and Bitter Leaf Salad | Gather and Graze

Now that winter is behind us and summer on the way, it’s time for salads to take their rightful place on the dinner table once again. Relinquishing all that hearty, comfort food and embracing a much lighter fare is something my body is already thanking me for. Continue reading

When life gives you Lemons… Four Recipes with Lemons

Four Recipes with Meyer Lemons | Gather and Graze

I mean that literally, not proverbially… life is actually pretty good around here, however it’s well and truly time that I got creative with some recipes for the glut of Meyer Lemons that my 3 little potted trees have produced this year. Since fully ripening, they’ve been waiting patiently in the fridge for the past couple of weeks, until I could find the time to make something wonderful with them. Not just one thing wonderful, but four different delights that can be created in next to no time. Continue reading

Seafood Filo Bonbons with Lemon Cream Sauce

Seafood Filo Bonbons with Lemon Cream Sauce | Gather and Graze

Some dishes remain etched in our minds… often linked to fond memories of the people who we ate them with or the places where we sat to savour and indulge in them. We may not cook them all the time… in fact years may trickle by before we find them on the table once again. In some ways comparable to beautiful, strong friendships that are created over the years. The ones that not only survive, despite the distance and life keeping us busy, but grow stronger… with no need of daily text messages or phone calls every week. The absolute joy of seeing these friends, after months or even years is like waking up on Christmas morning!

Seafood Filo Bonbons were something my mother used to make on occasions for grown-up Dinner Parties with their friends. They were usually served as an entrée/starter before the main meal came out. In the days where the table was beautifully laden with tablecloths, fine china and crystal glasses. Continue reading

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Blood Orange à la Ottolenghi/Tamimi

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar and Blood Orange à la Ottolenghi/Tamini

The partnership between Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi is one that I find truly inspirational. They both seem to have an intuition for creating beautifully balanced food, that delivers in not only flavour and texture, but visually as well. The fact that their friendship is stronger than politics (one being of Palestinian background and the other Israeli) is also something to be celebrated and admired. Continue reading

Lemon White Chocolate Cookies

Lemon White Chocolate Cookies | Gather and Graze

For those who I’ve managed to catch (just in the nick of time!) with their hand reaching out… hovering in guilty indecision… I ask you very kindly to leave that packet of cookies/biscuits on the supermarket shelf… step away from the cookie aisle… and gather up the ingredients listed below instead.  Continue reading

Two great uses for Cumquats / Kumquats

Two Great Recipes Using Cumquats / Kumquats | Gather and Graze

With 78 vibrant little cumquats/kumquats growing on my tree this year, I must admit to being a touch proud – my bounty is surprisingly up by 77 from last season! She is of the petite, potted variety, that until now has done little more than grow leaves and look rather sickly. This is my fault of course, for not always tending to her needs… water is usually helpful… as is a place to bask in the sun… Continue reading

Oh those Starbucks Memories… Lemon Pound Cake

Iced Lemon Pound Cake | Gather and Graze

Rituals allow us to feel somewhat secure in this crazy world of ours. I’m sure that many of you will agree that the simple act of preparing a cup of tea or coffee and taking the time to sit down and truly enjoy it, can be therapy for the soul. If brewed just right and sipped in either pure solitude or alongside a dear friend it can be more rejuvenating than any available medicine on Earth. Continue reading

No Bake Lemon and Coconut Slice

Lemon and Coconut No-bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

When life gets a little busy and you need a fast, easy pick-me-up to accompany a morning or afternoon cuppa, this Lemon and Coconut Slice is the perfect solution! It’s zingy, light and just that little bit moreish. What can be more simple than a no-bake slice? Let’s leave the Tim Tams on the shelf this weekend and make a little home-made zesty goodness instead.

Variations of this recipe can be found on numerous Australian and New Zealand websites (and perhaps even further afield). Slices containing condensed milk and crushed biscuits have been very popular in this part of the world over the years and thankfully they still taste as wonderful as they used to!

Once again I’m linking up this week with my friend Angie at The Novice Gardener for Fiesta Friday. Last weekend the party went off… the food was mouth-watering, the company was electric and for the first time in my life I was labelled as ‘rowdy and raucous’ (along with another gorgeous Australian girl, from the blog Saucy Gander)! Woohoo, it must have been a good party! Or perhaps I just indulged in one too many cocktails? I do remember the very stylish Johnny showing up in his magenta onesie… or is that the alcohol talking too? 😉

I’m hoping Angie will let me back in again this week… I promise to be on my best behaviour!

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: Makes Approx 20 Squares
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 250g Packet of Marie Biscuits (or Plain Sweet Biscuits)
  • 85g (1 Cup) Desiccated Coconut
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • 395g Can of Condensed Milk
  • 80g (1/3 Cup) Unsalted Butter (diced)

For the Icing:

  • 240g (2 Cups) Pure Icing (Powdered) Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 15g (1 Tablespoon) Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • Shredded Coconut (for sprinkling over the top)

Instructions

Crush the biscuits using a food processor (or alternatively place them in a ziploc bag and bash them with a rolling pin) until you have a reasonably fine crumb. Transfer the crushed biscuits to a large bowl and mix together with the desiccated coconut and lemon zest.

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Gather and Graze

Into a small saucepan, place the condensed milk and butter. Stir over gentle heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is well combined.

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Add the butter/condensed milk mixture to the dry ingredients, along with 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.

Press the mixture nice and evenly into a slice tin (I like to line the tin first with cling wrap, for easy removal).

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

For the lemon icing, sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl, along with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and the softened butter and beat well with a wooden spoon until smooth. Spread the icing over the top of the base and sprinkle with some shredded coconut. Refrigerate for approximately an hour until the icing has set.

Remove from the tin and slice into squares.

* Store the Lemon and Coconut Slice refrigerated in an airtight container for 4-5 days (if it lasts that long!)

Lemon and Coconut No-Bake Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Smoked Trout and Almond Linguine

Smoked Trout and Almond Linguine, Gather and Graze

With the slightly warmer weather enticing us to sit outside through to the early evening, it’s time again to bring out the nibbly platters. A little cheese, a few olives, some cured meats… all the things that go perfectly with a chilled glass of white or rosé! My current favourite is to include a fillet of smoked trout or salmon on the platter, from the ‘Eden Smokehouse’ (their beautiful smoked seafood products are available, I believe, throughout most of NSW and the ACT in Australia). Though I’m sure that in your part of the world, there will be something of a similar nature that will work just as well.

The other evening, I discovered that smoked trout also goes brilliantly tossed through with some pasta, and a few other simple ingredients. A quick, stylish dish, that requires minimal time cooking (something that will be much appreciated as it warms up even further throughout the summer months). The toasted almonds added at the very end, add a wonderful taste and texture to the dish, so be sure to have some on hand.

Smoke Trout and Almond Linguine | Gather and Graze

  • 400g Linguine (or other long pasta)
  • 15g/1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (finely sliced)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Wholegrain Mustard
  • 250ml/1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • 200g Fillet of Smoked Trout (or Salmon)
  • Handful of Chopped Italian Parsley (and/or Chives)
  • Large Handful of (Toasted) Slivered Almonds

Place a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.

While you’re waiting for the water to come to the boil, place the cream, lemon zest and mustard into a small mixing bowl. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper, stir to combine and then set aside for the moment.

Flake the smoked trout and also set aside.

When the pasta water has come to the boil, stir in some sea salt and add the pasta, cooking until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, place a frypan over low/medium heat. Add the butter to the pan and when the butter has stopped foaming, add the garlic and fry gently for a couple of minutes. Now stir in the cream mixture and allow to simmer gently for about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in the lemon juice and the flaked smoked trout and continue to cook for another minute or two, until the trout is warmed through. Check for seasoning and adjust with sea salt, pepper or lemon juice if required.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add it to the sauce, stirring gently to coat each strand.

Place into bowls or a serving dish and top with the fresh, chopped herbs and toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

Perfect with a glass of white wine and a loaf of crusty Italian bread on the side.

Smoked Trout and Almond Linguine, Gather and Graze

Easy Weekend Orange Cake

Orange Cake Gather and Graze

A quick little recipe post for my lovely Mum, who I think was worrying that I was worrying too much about the health issues of the world this week. An effortless yoghurt and orange cake to welcome the weekend and to wish you all much happiness (and hopefully a little sunshine to enjoy) over the next few days. Solving the obesity epidemic can wait ’til next week! 😉

Easy Weekend Orange Cake | Gather and Graze

  •  250g/1 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 220g/1 Cup Raw Sugar
  • Zest of 1-2 Oranges
  • 3 Free-Range Eggs
  • 300g/2 Cups Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 180g/ 2/3 Cup Greek Yoghurt
  • 80ml/ 1/3 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • Icing Sugar (for dusting over the top)

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 22cm round cake tin.

Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined.

In a measuring jug, mix together the yoghurt and orange juice.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Add the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 lots to the butter mixture, alternating with the yoghurt/juice. Mix each addition through gently, until completely combined.

Scoop the mixture into the cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes, before turning out of the tin. When cool, dust with icing sugar or decorate as you wish.

Orange Cake Gather and Graze

Cooking Notes:

  • Please note that this cake is best eaten on the same day it is baked. For some reason it becomes somewhat denser the day after it is cooked and even more so by the second day.
  • The raw sugar will also give a slightly denser crumb to the cake – feel free to use caster sugar if you prefer a slightly lighter texture.
  • Take care to watch the cake in the final 10 minutes or so of cooking, to make sure the top doesn’t brown too much. Cover loosely with a sheet of foil if you feel that it is.
  • This cake is lovely served with a dollop of Greek Yoghurt on the side.

Candid about Cumquat(s)

Perfect Cumquat | Gather and Graze

For a little while there, it was like having a third child… I gazed upon it, protected it, nurtured it and when it was fully grown and ready, I eased it out gently into the real world. Surely, there has been no other cumquat as well-loved and as well-photographed as this one here. You can more than likely tell that we don’t have many other fruit trees supplying us with nature’s bounty.

So, what did I end up doing with my one little cumquat? After requesting (and gratefully receiving… thanks girls!) advice on my previous post, thumbing through cookbooks and perusing numerous online images and recipes, a decision was finally made. Candied Cumquat was the unanimous consensus. A dear friend of mine mused that dark chocolate would be the perfect base… and as much as I knew that the flavours would work brilliantly together, I was unsure of the visual aspect in placing caramel-coloured candied cumquat atop the darkest of chocolate. I was picturing brown upon brown and felt that the cumquat might get a little lost. Lemon or orange syrup cake had entered my mind, but no amount of searching for attractive images online could confirm that this idea would create the beautiful result I was after. I searched and searched, but was surprisingly nonplussed by all that I came across.

In the end, flavour took priority and I decided on making some ‘Pots de Crème au Chocolat’ with a spot of cream to both highlight the cumquat and cut through the richness of the chocolate. I particularly thought to use a mixture of milk and dark chocolate in the Crèmes, to soften the flavour somewhat for my children’s palates… others may choose to work with purely dark.

I have a little confession to make though my friends… I have come to comprehend why our cumquat tree has hesitated in producing fruit for us before. It’s now really quite clear! Our family… all four of us it seems… DON’T actually like cumquats! Their appearance – yes! – by all means, what could be better than a fruiting ornamental cumquat to sit and admire? The candied cumquat that I made was all too reminiscent of the cloyingly tart marmalades I’ve tasted in the past. I ate it, but regret to say that it wasn’t altogether enjoyable. My youngest child passed his nibbled-at slice of cumquat to me, to finish on his behalf, while the others chewed furiously fast, just to make the taste go away… Thankfully the dessert sitting underneath was there and waiting. Within a moment the decadent taste of chocolate had wiped away the bitter ending to our prized cumquat.

This really wasn’t the outcome I’d hoped to be sharing with you today, but unfortunately it is the simple and honest truth. If we are graced by any more cumquats in the future, I will certainly try to find another way of enjoying them through cooking, in a savoury dish next time… like a tagine perhaps. Or maybe even amongst a salad…

The Pots de Crème au Chocolat that I prepared are adapted slightly from a recipe I found, by The Plantation House Restaurant in Hawaii (which looks an idyllic location!). Being way too generous and enthusiastic in my portion sizes of these, I’ll know now for future reference, that this quantity will provide dessert for six to eight people, instead of a greedy four. They are lusciously creamy in texture, rich in chocolatey goodness and go beautifully with a scoop of chantilly cream on top. An adornment of fruit is still I think required, though depending on what’s in season, perhaps the likes of raspberries (or any berry for that matter), kiwi or banana. A sprinkling of chopped toasted nuts would also be fabulous…

Pots de Creme au Chocolat | Cumquat | Gather and Graze

Pots de Creme au Chocolat (with Candied Cumquat)

For the Pots de Crème:

  • 100g Dark Chocolate
  • 100g Milk Chocolate
  • 4 Tablespoons Raw Sugar
  • 375mls/1½ Cups Thick/Heavy Cream
  • 4 Free-Range Egg Yolks
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt

Gently melt the two types of chocolate over a double boiler. At the same time, warm up the cream in a saucepan, until it almost comes to a boil (do not let it boil). Add the sugar and heated cream to the chocolate, stirring carefully until smooth. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl, then add a spoonful of the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine (this will hopefully help to avoid having scrambled eggs in the next stage!) Now add the egg yolks, vanilla extract and salt to the chocolate and again stir carefully until silky and smooth. If you feel at all that your mixture is a little lumpy, strain it through a sieve before it cools down.

Allow to cool a little before pouring into your chosen pots/glasses/ramekins. Refrigerate for about 3 hours, before serving with whipped (Chantilly) cream and a slice of candied cumquat.

For the Candied Cumquat: Cumquat | Gather and Graze

  • 2 – 3 Fresh Cumquats (if you happen to have that many…)
  • 125mls/½ Cup Water
  • 110g/½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Star Anise (optional)

In a small saucepan, stir the water, sugar and star anise (if using) over medium heat until it comes to a gentle boil, allow the syrup to simmer for a minute or two. Slice the cumquats thinly and add them to the syrup. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring gently every now and then.

Candied Cumquat | Gather and Graze

Remove cumquat slices (and a little of the syrup) to a bowl to cool down, ready to garnish the Pots de Crèmes…

Pots Creme Chocolat Cumquat Gather and Graze

Zesty Lime French Madeleines

Lime Madeleines, Gather and Graze

In it’s ideal state, food should be a feast for all of the senses.  Taste is almost always at the core and rightly so, as it is usually the flavour of things that keeps us coming back for more.  The visual, aromatic and textural side of food serves more to transform what could be just fuel for the body into an actual experience to be savoured.  For me, this sensory awakening often begins way before the food reaches the table. Continue reading