Category Archives: Nuts

Apple & Walnut Picnic Cake

Apple and Walnut Picnic Cake | Gather and Graze

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

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Macadamia Nut Honeycomb… and what’s in a name?

Macadamia Nut Honeycomb | Gather and Graze

It’s been way too long, my friends… and I apologise sincerely for my all too frequent lapses in blogging these days. All manner of excuses come to mind, mostly legitimate… others somewhat pathetic… in the desperate hope that you’ll forgive me and continue to accompany me on my food blogging journey (as sporadic as it may be). Continue reading

Living life upside down, with Maple Glazed Walnuts

Maple Glazed Walnuts | Gather and Graze

Despite the fact that I’m 4th generation Australian, I feel a strong, quite emotional pull towards European life. Such a rich mosaic of culture, history and food, that Australia (despite it’s many fine qualities) somewhat struggles to compete with. Don’t get me wrong, life is pretty darn wonderful here… there’s a lot to love… and I won’t be moving anytime soon, however it doesn’t change the fact that at certain times of the year, things just seem a little out of kilter. It struck me the other day, as I was making up a batch of these maple-glazed walnuts, that it felt like a Christmassy thing to be doing, yet a good seven months need to be worked through before the silly season hits again. Continue reading

Mum’s Fruit and Nut Slice

Barb's Fruit and Nut Slice | Recipe | Gather and Graze

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

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

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies

Sarah Bernhardt Cookies | Recipe | Gather and Graze

A few weeks ago, I shared with you a recipe for Afghan Biscuits, which I mentioned at the time, ticked all the boxes for biscuit perfection. Now I’d prefer not to retract that statement, as I really did mean it at the time… however, this little delight, the Sarah Bernhardt Cookie has to be the most celebratory, luscious and decadent of all the biscuits/cookies I’ve ever tasted. Continue reading

Afghan Biscuits / Cookies

Afghan Biscuits / Cookies | Gather and Graze

The Afghan Biscuit is an iconic and adored New Zealand biscuit/cookie, which in my opinion, ticks every single box of biscuit perfection. Not only do they look stunning, they have a taste and texture all of their own. Continue reading

Pistachio Shortbread

Pistachio Shortbread | Christmas Cookies | Gather and Graze

It gets a little crazy around here at Christmas time… our school year in Australia finishes up in the middle of December, so with Christmas following about a week later and all that that entails… along with plans and thoughts given to the long school break, one would hopefully be forgiven for being slightly absent from the blogosphere over the past couple of weeks. Continue reading

Belgian Almond Cake (Amandeltaart)

Amandeltaart (Belgian Almond Cake) | Recipe | Gather and Graze

Last week at a local second-hand book fair, I unearthed no less than 8 new cookbooks which all seemed to speak to me in some way and asked (in very polite voices) to come home with me. I’ll be the first to admit it… Continue reading

Home-Made Toasted Muesli / Granola

Toasted Muesli / Granola | Gather and Graze

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

French Apple Frangipane Tart

French Apple Frangipane Tart | Gather and Graze

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

Roasted Honey and Walnut Figs

Roasted Honey & Walnut Figs | Gather and Graze

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

(Persianised) Apple Crumble with a Rosewater Cream

Persian Apple Crumble with Rosewater Cream| Gather and Graze

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

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

Chocolate-Hazelnut Brownies

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies, Gather and Graze

Time slips away so incredibly quickly these days. I would dearly love to have the time to play around with food, more than what I do. To find time to re-create certain dishes with a little more of this, a dash less of that, perfecting and fine-tuning. Sometimes you desire just one more shot at satisfying your own somewhat critical palate and eye.

These brownies are decadent, rich and full of flavour. I’ve adjusted the quantity of ground hazelnuts after making this batch, as I am certain that they would benefit from an even higher level of nuttiness. With my youngest child known to side-step anything with obvious chunks of nuts in them, I can thankfully get away with these (using nutella and ground nuts); though I do feel that they could really benefit from some larger pieces of hazelnut thrown in for extra texture, if you’re keen to give it a try.

I’ll be making these again in the not too distant future, though with variety being the spice of life, one batch of Choc-Hazelnut Brownies this week will do…

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Chocolate-Hazelnut Brownies | Gather and Graze

  • Servings: 16 Squares
  • Print

  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 200g Dark Chocolate
  • 150g Nutella
  • 3 Free-Range Eggs
  • 175g/¾ Cup Raw (Caster) Sugar
  • 100g/½ Cup Ground Hazelnuts
  • 75g/½ Cup Plain Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • A little Icing Sugar (for dusting the tops)

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm x 20cm brownie/cake tin.

Place the butter and chocolate into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir to combine and remove from the heat as soon as they have just melted. Add the Nutella and stir gently until completely mixed in.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy. Stir in, spoonful by spoonful, the chocolate/Nutella mixture until incorporated and smooth. Then fold in the ground hazelnuts, flour and salt.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out fudgey, not gooey.

Allow to cool, before slicing into squares and dusting with icing sugar.

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies, Gather and Graze

Cooking Notes:

  • Consider adding 100g/½ Cup of Chopped Hazelnuts to the mixture as you add the flour, for extra texture.

 

Chocolate Crackle Cookies – Not a Rice Bubble in Sight!

chocolate crackle cookies Alice Waters

These are the cookies that almost never were…

Flicking through the pages of one of my favourite cookbooks, I almost paid off this recipe completely, by the mere title of it. You see, for Australians and New Zealanders, Chocolate Crackles are one of the mainstays of children’s Birthday parties. Rice Bubbles (the equivalent of Rice Crispies elsewhere) are congealed together using Copha (hydrogenated coconut oil), cocoa, desiccated coconut and icing sugar. No baking required – just show a little patience and that copha will re-solidify! I’m very well aware that many children (and adults) were delighted to find Chocolate Crackles adorning the party table… just NOT me! I was always more of a Honey Joy kind of girl… Continue reading

Asian-Infused Salad

Asian cabbage salad gather and graze

I know that we’re not out of the woods yet… our spring has a fickleness about it, that is known to throw us back into wintery weather with little warning, at any given time. We’re still a few weeks away from predictable warmth and sunshine.

Rather encouragingly though, this past weekend has seen us while away the lunch hour outside on our back deck with a rather different style of food than in the months gone by. No more of the heavy, comfort-giving winter fare. With the onset of spring my body seems to unsurprisingly be craving the freshness and lightness of salads, grilled meat and fresh fruit.

Asian-Infused Salad | Gather and Graze

  • ¼ Red Cabbage
  • 1 Medium Fennel Bulb
  • 3 Spring Onions/Green Shallots
  • 1 Medium Red Capsicum/Sweet Pepper
  • Large handful fresh Coriander
  • 1 Cup Roasted Unsalted Cashew Nuts

Thinly slice the cabbage, fennel and spring onions. Dice the capsicum. Chop rather roughly the coriander (including the stalks) and also the cashew nuts.  Combine all these ingredients together in a bowl and toss through as much of the dressing below as required. Top with a few extra chopped cashew nuts.

Dressing

  • ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • ¼ Cup Mirin (or Rice Wine)
  • 1 Tablespoon (Salt-Reduced) Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • Thumb-size piece Fresh Ginger (finely grated)
  • A good squeeze of lemon juice
  • A couple of grinds of Sea Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Sweet Chilli Sauce (optional)

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until completely combined. Adjust the amounts of soy sauce and lemon juice, as required.

Asian cabbage salad Gather and Graze