Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Postcards from the Zoo. And Oat Cookies - Now With Gecko!

We spent today at the Singapore zoo ... running between monkeys and big cats and elephants ... trying to keep dry.

And enjoying our morning tea almost as much as the gecko did.

(cheeky thing)

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Art of Effective Stalking*

*No, not that stalking.

I'm afraid I'm talking about all the stalks off all those greens you bought at the market on the weekend. And how we're going to use them.

(Hope I didn't disappoint you)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tropical Fruits

Here we are. Singapore.

Already we've walked down affluent Orchard Road and wandered the Botanical Gardens. We've eaten sushi, imbibed cold Tiger beer and hot green tea and steamy espresso. We've watched Nelle charm paper airplanes out of taxi drivers, bites of pork from food vendors, her own brand of sushi out of waitresses, and a stuffed panda bear out of the flight crew.

(she's charming, our girl)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Colombian-inspired Lentils

Every time I make this dish, I dream of Colombia. Of sun-bleached beaches and steep, dark rainforests and remote plantations studded with coffee bushes. Of noisy, crowded family dinners ... full of wine and laughter and - of course - food.

The only problem with my little fantasy? I haven't been to Colombia yet. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

DIY Hand sanitiser/deodorant/spill-cleaner-upper

In my opinion, the 'kills 99.9% of germs' thing is really getting out of control. Advertisers would have us spraying every surface in our houses and disinfecting our hands after touching anything in the public domain. Good mums sanitize. Bad mums let kids eat dirt, or touch the sides of escalators, or pick up food they've dropped on the floor of the Manly Ferry and eat it (uh ... not that I've ever done that ... ). Because kids are particularly 'at risk' of contamination by all the horrific germs out there.

Or are they?

Scientists know that the process of killing some (even most) bacteria on your benchtop/toilet seat/hands means that the bacteria left over are the tough ones.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dropping Things

I dropped a lot of things this morning. Nelle at pre-school. Nelle's lunch, snack, water, and sheets on the concrete outside of pre-school. Then Nelle's tears.


A metaphor for life, perhaps?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Need for Green

The countdown has officially begun ... a week from now we'll be feasting on market food in Singapore - finding Robbie's favourite chilli crab in Chinatown, bartering for scarves on Arab Street, and seeing if our favourite little cafe still exists in Little India.

I. can't. wait. It's been a busy few weeks (months?) for our little family, and sometimes we need a trip to re-set the equilibrium. And Sinagpore's only the beginning ... (I'll be posting lots from overseas in the coming weeks!)

But, before we go, I feel the need to binge on Green stuff.

Friday, June 17, 2011

How to Save Your Ginger

If you're like me, ginger is a bit of a boom or bust thing around the house. Sometimes, I have none. Sometimes, I have so much there seems no possible way to use it all. But, you know me - I hate waste ... so I've developed a few ways to use my ginger up, or store it for when I really need it.

And when - you ask - does one really need ginger?

We Made Waffles

Nelle and I make lots of waffles. I’m sure I may have mentioned that? (here? and here?) Seriously, they’re a favourite at our house. And if you have to ask why, then you obviously haven’t been living life to its fullest. (i.e. with waffles.)

They’re easy to make, can include lots of healthy, wholesome ingredients (like fruit puree, or grated veggies, or wholemeal flours, or coconut milk) and are the perfect medium for butter. What else has perfect, built-in butter catchers??

“Mummy, can we make waffles?” Nelle says.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pumpkin Soup with Miso

On a cool Sunday morning, we took a walk along the beach. We perused the mudflats. Skipped over the grassy lawns. Jumped in puddles. Waved to the pelicans. And then wandered home with sandy shoes - to warm up with soup.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Flourless Mexican Hot Chocolate Torte with Sweetened Sour Cream

My friends E and R recently had a taco night ... which may not sound like a big deal, but we are in Australia. A place renowned for its flawless beaches, its diversity of animals with pouches, its endearing accent, and its easy-going nature.

Australia is not known to produce good Mexican food. There are exceptions, but in my experience they are found in the kitchens of American friends.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to Eat a Dragonfruit (Insert Roar Here)

We fell in love with dragonfruit last year on our trip to Singapore ... a city that definitely takes its food seriously. Our hotel had a breakfast buffet larger than my townhouse, and we piled our plates high with fresh, tropical fruits.

Like this.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Whatever You've Got Muffins

Did you realise how much food we waste?

Ah, no well I hadn't either. But ... before I get to the stats, I have to tell you that this is in fact an archived post, with new elements. New photos, a new twist on the original ... because, after all, it's still my second favourite muffin recipe (after this one). Great for lunchboxes or morning teas.

 And it's now June, and freezing outside, and my little helper is oh so much older! I retook the two muffin photos with a recent batch - made as cake instead. And - I'm pretty happy about this - I recently acquired 10kgs of cooking pears from Food Connect (for only $15!). I've been making chutneys and crumbles and jelly ... which is how I ended up with a cup of pear puree that I couldn't bear to throw out (because you strain out the juice to make jelly). This is the perfect recipe for saving the puree, and makes me feel very awesome.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How to Raise a Vegetarian

Seriously, do not ask me. 

Yes, I am a vegetarian. And I was 12 when I decided meat wasn't for me. And I did live in a small town that grew soybeans but had never heard of soymilk - in a state that prides itself on having a population of 14-15 million hogs and only 3 million people.

But I don't believe in forcing my views on anyone ...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chilli Jam with Garlic

In my little courtyard garden – with its climbing tomatoes and herbs and endive and broccoli – our best crop is chillies. I have to admit, it's probably because they recover from even the most severe of human-induced droughts. … and, in fact, they punish our neglect by becoming even hotter.

(Ha! Little do they know … )

So now and then, we end up with hundreds of hot red and orange chillies; habeñero and Thai and jalapeño.