Lemon Curd Tea Cake

This was one of my mothers go-to recipes for afternoon tea with friends. She loved to serve in on the verandah overlooking the harbour when we lived at McMahons Point just behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Served with fresh whipped cream and a cup of hot Assam tea or good brewed coffee and watching the boats sail criss-cross up the harbour .. nothing better.

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Baking for a Cheese Platter

These two recipes are super simple to make and really tasty. Great as home made gifts for a hamper or to bring to a summer picnic. The Oatcakes deliver a perfect neutral balance for any savoury topping. The Fig and Walnut Paste wrapped in vine leaves is not only beautiful to look at but with the inclusion of toasted sesame seeds, warming spices, quince vino cotto and a little ouzo they are a sweet fragrant ‘friend’ to cheese.

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Too Tired to Cook? – 2 Easy Recipes

Sometimes no matter how we manage our life there are times when the joy of slow cooking using freshly market produce is beyond us and we just need to get something on the table quickly.

Here are two recipes to keep the “wolves at bay” while you work on the main meal or they can also work perfectly well as a delicious light lunch or dinner.

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The Classic Cookie … three ways

My grandfather (Papa) always had his meals at the same time every day and morning and afternoon tea were always the same combination. A mug of coffee and two of “Papas Biscuits”.
This recipe is a wonderful biscuit basic. You can add any filling or flavour to fancy it up a bit. I enjoy dividing the final mixture into three parts to create three different flavour variations.

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Devonshire Tea and Mum

Growing up Mum had a large cast iron cauldron that she made her jam in – strawberry, fig or marmalade, volumes of it, bottled and labeled and given away to everyone who walked in the door. And her scones were famous not the least because they were delicious with her home made jam and King Island cream but because of the conversations and company that accompanied them.

Everyone was welcome in our home no matter what age, region, or culture.

Mum passed away last week and I share her classic scone (biscuit) recipe in her honour.

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Cooking with Chickpea Flour

Made with healthy chickpea flour and lightly fried in good olive oil … what’s not to love about these salty nibbles?

At first glance, “Panelle” as they are called in Sicily, look a little bit like fat corn chips but these delicious puffy morsels are a revelation. They have a nourishing nutty taste and the flavour of olive oil without any greasiness.

Watching Fabrizia Lanza prepare this dish in the kitchen of Case Vecchie was a study in wonder. We watched, with our cameras and notebooks poised and, as each step unfolded, we were no closer to imaging the last.

The result served to us with a traditional Aperol Spritz in the courtyard of the old stone house, the late afternoon light receding over the hills. We could not stop eating them.

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Bringing Sicily Home

In Australia we call fava beans, in their distinctive large green spongy pods, broad beans. I always felt they were too much work until I tasted the authentic flavours of Sicily in Fabrizia Lanza’s fava bean soup … with an egg dropped in the middle and dusted with fresh parmigiana. I think you could taste the green goodness. And when I returned I waited to see them appear so I could bring some of that sicilian summer feeling into my Clareville kitchen.

Here I have used them simply … tossed into a raw zucchini salad and dropped into tomatoe and goats cheese tarts .. perfect for summer picnics.

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Sweet Potato Pie Base – Boom!

Following on from our focus to transition slowly (the 20% rule) to healthier alternatives for the traditional ingredients we love … Here is a pastry-free crust for quiches or savoury tarts that really works a treat. You can prepare this sweet potato crust in the pie dish or tin and freeze it so you always have it on hand when you need a quick and tasty lunch or dinner. Especially good when you’re wanting the whole family to eat just a little bit healthier. Enjoy!

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