Hazelnut Cacao Nib Biscuits

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This is the new chocolate chip biscuit. Healthier and seriously good. I've been experimenting for the longest time for an everyday biscuit, having never been totally satisfied with the end product until now. And I have cacao nibs to thank for this revelation as it provides that hint of chocolate without being over the top and that crunch which has delighted me in the past shines through in this biscuit. It holds together really well and is less crummy than other biscuits, important detail when sharing with kids. It's baked until the crust borders crisp whilst leaving the centre agreeably moist. I've made these with almond meal in the past and they are equally delicious. If you have a thing for hazelnuts and chocolate like I do than this will be like manna from heaven. Next time I think I will make them smaller, skip the nibs and sandwich two biscuits with abit of melted chocolate a la baci de dama.

Cardamon and Cinnamon Spiced Almond Milk

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Brrr...it's incredibly cold, I've been in shock this past week about the prospect of getting through a winter and it's still only autumn. After devouring salads for breakfasts these past few years I see how foolish that would be in the coming months. In a pinch a bowl of porridge with stewed apples is more like it, something warm to shake off the cold. It's okay but my big breakfast fantasy would probably be along the lines of scrambled tofu, tomato beans, grilled portobellos, and sautéed greens alongside warm quinoa. Best reserved for weekends I think. If that sounds like too much work for a morning meal then a warming glass of spiced almond milk has always kept the chills at bay. Actually it needn't be reserved for mornings and you can make it in advance as it lasts a few days in the fridge.

Beetroot Hummus

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I first tried beetroot hummus at an iftar meal at The One restaurant in Abu Dhabi. I loved it immediately, and many iftar meals in the following years, at the same restaurant, saw me seek out the dark pink spread. It never appeared on the daily menu. I even asked the chef on duty for the recipe, he was aghast at my audacious query. He vaguely prescribed some ratios should I try to experiment at home. Weary of failure I never attempted it. After landing in Sydney I was overjoyed to see multiple brands fighting for first place in the front row of deli counters. As my eyes waded through the line-up, casting aside those with added preservatives, I spied the Organic Indulgence brand. So good, even better than the version at The One restaurant. Several weeks later I was offered a taste of homemade beetroot spread from a beaming parent during a get together with our kids, she added mint to hers and it was lovely and fresh on the palate. A huge bag of fresh mint from my neighbours garden spurred me on, the result was better than I expected. Delicious. Aside from pita bread it's crazy good with ancient grain tortilla chips.

A New Home and Raw Caramel Slice

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I was already in Sydney before the packing began, the smell of freshly cut grass on a hot summer day, the sweetness of ripe mangos and peaches, the many meals at Iku or hours of conversation with family and old friends. We arrived at the tail-end of December, summertime, to our new life in suburban Sydney. My few months hiatus from this space was spent setting up house and acquainting the kids to the wonderment of wildlife in our backyard. The neighbourhood kookaburras enjoyed superstar status with lesser praise divided amongst the cockatoos, lizards, spiders (the less dangerous sort) and all types of creepy crawlers. Now weeks later the shrieks at any unidentified insect have been replaced with the social attentions of school life. After 8 years of privileged living in the United Arab Emirates it's great to be back home for a more permanent existence.