Frustratingly, I seem to be incapable of writing blog posts when my husband goes away. You would think I’d have more time on my hands (with one less mouth to feed, less washing to do and less picking up of stuff left around the house… hmmm). What I think actually happens is that I go into survival mode, cutting away anything extra that doesn’t fall into the ‘must-do’ category Continue reading →
Over the phone, I listened rather enviously as my Mum proceeded to tell me recently that she had passionfruit coming out of her ears… thankfully not literally, just figuratively! Unfortunately, my parents live about 1300km north from where we live, so helping her out with this glut of fruit was not going to be an option. It did, however, jolt my memory of a delicious passionfruit ice cream that I’d made about a year ago. Continue reading →
There’s a certain novelty to eating outdoors in the form of a picnic. The vigorous shaking out of the much-loved blanket… ours, a tartan one, made all the more nostalgic having been received as a wedding gift decades ago from English friends unable to attend our wedding. And there’s room on that blanket for three, four, five, six… is it not true that however many people there might be, enough space can always be created? Coffee slurped out carefully into cups from a thermos or two… complementing both sweet and savoury offerings, centrally placed, spilling from tins or Tupperware or preferably both… giving the freedom to eat with one’s hands! Continue reading →
Autumn is well and truly here… and my gosh, what a stunning season it is. Somehow, I never cease to be amazed each and every year, at the vividness of the reds, yellows and oranges of the foliage, giving out their last hurrah of the growing season. I’m thankful that there’s been a lingering warmth in the daytime… to soak up and relish for as long as it lasts; though eating al fresco of an evening has sadly come to a close.
Plums, figs and apples have been the highlight of the local farmer’s markets recently… Continue reading →
Having been firmly on the path of healthfulness and exercise for several weeks, I somehow managed to pull a muscle in my back. The week from hell commenced exactly seven days ago and is thankfully on the mend now, though still not back to 100%. For several days driving was out of the question… sitting upright a total agony… and even now, trying to get socks onto my feet creates the visual appeal of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. A number of close family and friends have suffered with debilitating back pain and surgery over the past twelve months… now I have a tiny inkling of what they’ve had to deal with.
Resorting to comfort food over this past week has seen a lovely fruit and nut slice, of my Mum’s, make an appearance. There’s often a tupperware container filled with this very moreish slice when we go to stay with my parents… ready to be picked up with whichever hand isn’t holding a cup of tea or coffee. There’s absolutely nothing like Mum’s food for a little pick-me-up when you’re not quite feeling yourself. The only thing I’ve adjusted is the amount of sugar… lessened by ⅓ Cup and is still beautifully sweet from the dried fruit within. Continue reading →
For a fast and easy no-bake slice (‘bars’ for my American friends), this apricot and coconut version is truly wonderful. Featuring sweetened condensed milk, this style of slice takes me immediately back to my childhood… and strangely enough also to Florida in the USA, where another Australian (who has become a dear friend), re-introduced it into my life… I’ve been making it regularly ever since! It’s citrusy cousin, which also gets made on a regular basis in my home, was featured here over a year ago. Continue reading →
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 →
This cold, grey, drizzly autumnal day suggested that the kitchen was the only sensible place for me to be today. With the warmth and aroma that comes from oven-baking, who could possibly argue that this wasn’t the best of ideas? I’d been contemplating a softly scented Apple Crumble with an Aussie twist for a few days now and despite the weather being completely lousy for food photography, it was the perfect Apple Crumble-eating kind of day! Continue reading →
‘Tis a fortunate thing to have friends with fruit trees… even more so when they quite generously wish to share them with you. Following on from my earlier post on Pear and Almond Upside-Down Cake, John has continued to bring along bags of pears each and every week for all who have met up for coffee on Wednesdays. They are sadly reaching the end of their season now, so this may well be the last of the home-grown pears… until next year. Continue reading →
Many moons ago, I think I mentioned that most Wednesdays I meet up for a coffee with a number of other parents from my children’s school. Yesterday was no different (though it was the first of the new school year)… hot coffees and teas sipped and relished, conversations criss-crossing the table, laughter permeating the air. Then, a wonderful surprise when John (one of the Dads) pulled from his bag a number of packages holding beautiful little pears, plucked from his tree at home to share with us all. The gift of produce or food is always something that excites me and that I’m truly grateful for. A couple of these sweet, ripe pears were munched as nature intended, but the rest were set aside in anticipation of making something extra delicious this morning. Continue reading →
The stone fruit has been spectacular this summer… the nectarines, the peaches, the plums! Mostly purchased from the farmer’s market, but even our new little peach tree managed to produce a small crop, to give us a taste of what’s to come – such a sweet little tree that he is! Somehow though the apricots never managed to make it into my basket. Something just wasn’t quite right with them… they never looked like they held any flavour. So as you’d expect I passed them by… that is, until today. When I saw these little blushed beauties, I knew exactly what I wanted to make – jam! Continue reading →
This may well be the easiest cake in the world to bake… but it sure is one of the most delicious Banana Breads that I’ve ever eaten. Ready for the oven in a matter of minutes and on the table ready to be sliced in less than an hour. The demerara spiced topping produces a beautiful crispy crust, which gives way to a moist and flavourful interior. It also keeps well for a day or two in an airtight container, if by chance the whole cake doesn’t get snaffled on the day that it’s made.
Possibly the last cake recipe for a little while on G&G… now that our days are getting longer, I’m looking forward to snapping a few photos of our main meals to share with you instead. Somehow I never seemed to get myself organised enough to cook our dinner at lunchtime to photograph in the optimum light… hmmm, terribly lazy I know!
Banana Bread with Demerara Topping | Gather and Graze
Topping: 1 Tablespoon Demerara Sugar mixed with ¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 23x13cm (9x5in) loaf tin.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the sugar, egg and melted butter and whisk well. Sift in the flour, spices and salt and stir until the dry ingredients are just combined. Now scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle with the combined Demerara sugar and cinnamon topping, if using.
Place into the oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before removing to a cooling rack. Perfect served either warm, cold or toasted with lashings of butter!
My fellow food bloggers are a constant source of inspiration to me… both in food and life in general. They really are a wonderful bunch of people who I consider my friends, even though we’ve never met in person. I set aside many recipes that they’ve created… for sometime down the track when time permits, or when the occasion or season is right. My ever-growing list is slightly bewildering with the sheer number of entries, but somewhat comforting in the fact that I know there will always be inspirational recipes to be found when I need them. Continue reading →
It has been said that ‘the apple does not fall far from the tree’. My love of baking (and of course eating) cakes, biscuits, desserts and sweets is shared equally by my mother. When I baked this particular dessert a couple of days ago it made me think of her. I know for sure that she would enjoy it… this classic French tart, with perhaps a spoonful of double cream on the side. Continue reading →
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 →
For a classic autumn dessert that embraces two stellar seasonal delicacies, this simple yet heart-warming dish is an absolute must. The lemon zest and sea salt work perfectly to create a balance with the sweet succulence of the figs and honey, while the walnuts provide textural crunch and a rich earthiness. This is not so much a recipe, but a celebration of seasonal ingredients while they’re at their peak. Continue reading →
My friend Azita, from the most beautiful blog Fig and Quince, is travelling overseas over the next couple of months… to her beloved homeland of Iran that she hasn’t seen in 35 years. Her excitement and anticipation for this journey is well and truly infectious! Continue reading →
Friends, you’re invited to help celebrate the 1st Birthday of Gather and Graze today! Hard to believe that a year ago, I pressed that ‘Publish’ button for the very first time, sending my heart and soul (along with a no-fail recipe for Perfectly Fluffy Scones) out there for all to see. Continue reading →
If you are open to it, food inspiration flies at you from all four corners of the globe. It enables you to explore far-flung locations in one of the most beautiful ways possible… by discovering what nourishes and brings happiness to the people who live there. To understand what warms their hearts and puts smiles on their faces. The multiculturalism that exists here in Australia is something I respect whole-heartedly and I seem to naturally find myself cooking a wide variety of cuisines because of it. Continue reading →
Weather in all of it’s extremes is often to be marvelled at… admired… but unfortunately not always enjoyed. The soaring heat that our part of Australia has been experiencing recently has been reason enough to stock the freezer with copious quantities of icy-poles, to serve up antipasto platters for dinner and to lunch on a variety of cooling salads.
We enjoyed this salad with dinner the other night, while catching up with a dear friend who we hadn’t seen in a while and it was so refreshing that I decided to make it again for lunch today. It is adapted from a recipe in Nigella Lawson’s book ‘Forever Summer’.
Watermelon Feta and Olive Salad | Gather and Graze