monkey bread

The kids have been cooking … all by themselves. Monkey bread from The Baking Book by Jane Bull. Scarlett got this cookbook from Merryn as part of our second hand Christmas (last year I think).


The banana bread looks good (and tastes good) and the pot holders are lovely, aren’t they? I bought them in Hamilton at the op shop when I was visiting Merryn.

We didn’t have a loaf tin (I must have loaned it to someone) so they made round monkey bread. But that’s OK.  Round bread is cool right?!

They made it because we had some very ripe bananas. Here’s the recipe they used, with a sticky note addition by India noting their recipe modifications for future reference ( although perhaps the extra banana wasn’t needed).  How great are the picture instructions …

Good cooking kids.

a stocktake for the new year

I have had so many internet access problems these holidays.  So please forgive my erratic posting!  Anyway, today is a decidedly first world problems and generally super cheery stocktake. That’s because life is good. Which really IS good right? Here we go. I am:

loving summer and the view out the window


trying to take a long walk every day

catching up on movies with the kids, watching How To Train Your Dragon 2 and A Little Princess

cooking paella with my new pan (my Christmas present from Clive)

reading a lot. I have just started The Secret River

enjoying coffee from this cup. I bought it for myself for $2 at the op shop


dreaming about lemon curd ice cream (there’s a new ice cream shop open near the Aireys Inlet General Store and it’s GOOD)

listening to the surf

looking forward to the spending a WHOLE day swimming

wishing for endless holidays

contemplating what I could cook next. I am keen to try these recipes from the Australian Gourmet Traveller Seafood cookbook (another #opshopbook)


buying house magazines (new)


meaning to find out about yoga on the beach (I’ve seen inspiring posters from a distance, but haven’t followed up the details)

feeling happy

I hope the New Year is proving good for you too!

four vegies for christmas

Hooray, my Christmas responsibilities are over for another year. And Christmas isn’t even really here yet. From now on I’m just a guest … But for my extended family Christmas this year (our party was yesterday) I was in charge of … ‘vegetables’.  Elise did meat.  Merryn did pudding.

I made four dishes.  A bit of a middle eastern/italian fusion.  My old favourite Abla’s green beans, and then roast pumpkin (for my Dad) and baked tomatoes (for me). Oh, and smashed potatoes with rosemary and olive oil (for everyone).


The roast pumpkin (officially roasted butternut squash and red onion with tahini and za’atar*) and baked tomatoes (officially baked tomatoes with baguette) were my first attempts at Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes.

I made them because I went to Wendy’s the other week and she made a delicious pumpkin thing by him that had pomegranate molasses and was impressive. I was looking for THAT recipe and couldn’t find it in my last minute cooking rush, but I came across these.  They sounded manageable, and I had the ingredients, and so … ta da.


And they were delicious. And ideal if you have to take vegie dishes to someone else’s house for Christmas. Because they are perfect to eat at room temperature.

I’m a convert. What I liked was that although the recipes sounded a bit complicated, the dishes really looked pretty speccy, and the basics were very straight forward. I found it was very quick and easy to get the vegies in the oven.  It was just that you then had to make an interesting dressing that required a few ingredients.  But really, pumpkin takes a hour to bake right, and you just had to mix some stuff together …

I really think Yotam might become a new good friend of mine …


*I substituted pistachios for the recommended pine nuts on the top of the pumpkin.