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Category Archives: what I’ve cooked lately….

Ham and pineapple pizza, the children’s favourite!

I had my lovely younger sister and her three children to stay for the weekend, it was a wonderful, busy and fun filled Sunday spent in Sydney city. The children reside in the country so taking public transport is somewhat of a novelty when they come to stay…. so we managed to travel by various means to and from my home on Sunday; train, tram and ferry all in the one day!

We visited the Powerhouse Museum and the boys loved the interactive Wallace and Gromit exhibition, I think that the planes and spaceships came a very close second! We then meandered through Chinatown to Cockle Bay for a late lunch by the harbour and after a few more adventures arrived home that evening… with three very hungry and tired children.

The children helped to make pizza for dinner [afterall it would be remiss of their Aunty to not serve their favourite foods!] It is always very hands-on preparation with multiple little hands vying for the toppings to assist and something that even the 2y.o enjoys creating. It’s such a quick and easy meal to make and every last piece is savoured by all…. win-win!

What is your fail safe, quick and easy crowd pleaser for children after a long day out & about?



Fruit celebration ‘cake’
























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creamy cauliflower soup with truffle oil

Creamy cauliflower soup, with truffle oil





















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Earth hour, green layered cake with buttercream blossoms

We recently had a morning -tea at work  to celebrate Earth Hour… the team that I work with love to bake so it was fun to make something sweet and colorful for this event.

The layered green cake was devoured very quickly and it seemed to travel well on public transport which was a relief!


On Saturday 23 March 2013 at 8.30pm, the global community of millions switch off their lights to show of concern for the environment for the 7th consecutive year.

Earth Hour has now become much more than a symbolic action. It’s evolved into a continuous movement driving real actions, big and small, that are changing the world we live in.

Check out the main Earth Hour website
Find the Earth Hour website for your country

Green cake, for earth hour

various shades of green, trio of cakes awaiting the hot oven.


the pretty pearl centered blooms trailing across the buttercream frosted cake were  easy to do, yet gave a wow factor to the simple cake


it tasted just as good as it looked….. all demolished in only 10mins, by the hungry work colleagues!

Cannelloni with spinach and ricotta

One of my favorite pasta dishes, easy to do and always tastes sublime.


I tend to make spinach and ricotta filling and use it for  lasagne with roasted pumpkin, or filled ravioli with browned sage butter ….and occasionally cannelloni with a tomato passatta.

Basically I just combined a large amount of fresh ricotta with wilted English spinach leaves, crushed garlic and Parmesan cheese and then I’m ready to fill whatever pasta sheets that I have handy…. in this case I had some store bought fresh lasagna sheets that I just rolled up with the creamy filling.


I then liberally added a tomato concasse to the filled pan of cannelloni and scattered a handful of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses on top, before popping into a hot oven to cook away until golden and bubbling.


Served with a simple leafy salad, this was an easy and delicious meal shared with friends.


Cooking with family…poached peaches with rosemary and honey cake

poached peaches with rosemary

I recently had my nephew to stay and on our journey from his home near Bathurst to my residence in Sydney we stopped by at various markets and pick-your-own orchards along the way.

We came away with a large bag of ripe peaches from a small run farm at Bilpin in the Blue Mts, it was wonderful to see that he was just as excited as I was to be picking our own fruit fresh from the farm.

A couple of days later once the fruit had ripened, we made a lovely afternoon treat with the homegrown rosemary from his mother’s garden, honey sourced from a local bee-keeper near my home on the North shore and the delicious peaches.

the benefits of cooking...licking the bowl!

We poached quite a few peaches so had some lovely options for dessert over the next few days, including a simple coconut and vanilla pannacotta which was sublime with the peaches!

coconut pannacotta with vanilla bean and poached peaches

Oysters with Margherita granita





This one of my favourite summer traditions, fresh shucked oysters purchased from the Sydney Fish Markets served with an icy cold and refreshing granita……. a perfect way to impress my dinner guests, with minimal effort from the cook!

1 cup white sugar

2 limes finely grated,  zest only

3 medium sized freshly squeezed lime juice

2 nips tequila

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt

doz. oysters

Lime wedges and fresh chervil, for serving (optional)

In a medium saucepan, heat cups water and sugar over medium-high heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute.
Stir in lime zest and juice, tequila, and lemon juice. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Pour mixture into a shallow dish; cool, then cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Freeze until set, 6 hours or overnight.
Using the tines of a fork, scrape mixture until flakes form. Freeze (covered) until ready to serve, place little mounds of granita on each freshly shucked oyster and garnish platter with lime wedges and shell fish with chervil leaves.