What is a Friday in summer without a long lunch shared between best friends made up of simple, approachable dishes and a glass of the most bountiful white (I’ve ever had)? Justin took me to Pei Modern, the new restaurant in Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel. Although the restaurant was bustling, it felt intimate and like, for a moment, the day had taken a moment to pause for us as the hot summer afternoon drew long into our desserts.
It’s the ninth day of Christmas and you’ve likely, at least once, thought about, or actually gone (I feel sorry for you) to the shops. I’ve committed myself to doing my Christmas shopping 100% online this year and, because not all gifts can be bought, I’m going to be baking and making delicious treats for my favourite people this year.
Here are cookies I’m planning on decorating, popping in some boxes and tying up with a ribbon.
//A recipe for vanilla sugar cookies Continue reading
If you don’t know already, you’re about to find out that I’m a total sucker for Christmas. What better excuse to try decadent desserts and lavish lunches? Saying that, decadent and lavish needn’t be complicated, and this salted caramel meringue is as easy as cracking some eggs, sprinkling sugar and whisking away while scrolling through your instagram feed. (Which is actually how I spent the ~20 minutes of whisking time.)
//A recipe for salted caramel meringues Continue reading
Last Friday I had the incredible pleasure of attending the delicious Love to Eat book launch and long lunch. It was held at The Grounds of Alexandria in the beautifully designed Potting Shed. The tables were blooming with deep magenta peonies, orange roses and pomegranates – a true hint of summer.
I regularly find myself on a Sunday staring into the shallow depths of my fridge wondering what I might be able to concoct for lunch or dinner. Add to that a rainy day, begging me to stay indoors and watch TV reruns instead of hunting/gathering sustenance, and what I’m usually left with is a can of chick peas, a too-ripe tomato and some cheese from that picnic we went on three weeks ago.
In the traditions of my family being completely confounded on December 25th (since we didn’t celebrate Christmas) without a service station open to sell us sausage rolls, I’ve learned that tins of asparagus and tuna, mixed together with a whole lot of imagination, can get you a pretty great lunch or dinner.
So here are my bare pantry meal solutions.
In the middle of Spring, yesterday felt like high Summer. It got to a crazy 39°C and all I really felt like were seven icicles and a really big bottle of water, but that’s probably not sustenance enough.
The afternoon cooled down with with sea breezes, and this layered salad was a fresh and, importantly, cool dinner solution.
//A recipe for layered summer salad
It takes forever to get to summer, but it’s always worth it. It’s time to breathe, take our watches off and just let it all soak in. Summer days stretch long into the night, warm and filled with old friends.
Easy summer dishes come hand in hand with the ingredients that are in season. Tomatoes are ripe, seafood is fresh and cool, crisp white wines pour freely. So here’s a recipe for a simple summer dinner to eat warm or pack up and picnic on the grass, in the sun that keeps our backs warm late into the night.
//A recipe for Marrakesh prawns with bulgur Continue reading
Hong Kong is a playground for the hard working to party harder. And even amongst the never sleeping bright lights of this big city there is some solace to be found. When we weren’t shopping or sipping on cocktails at rooftop bars we were eating, and the food in Hong Kong is truly heaven.
On our first day, in a darkened street in Sheung Wan we found a small pastry baker with steaming egg tarts on display. The pasty was delicate and the custard sweet and glossy. It was a small treat to end a full day of walking from one side of the island to the other.
The Hong Kong egg tart is more delicate in texture than the Macau egg tart, so I’ve used a shortcrust pastry. Also, Hong Kong egg tarts don’t have the bruléed, caramelised tops of the Portuguese tart that it originally derived from, and instead it should be smooth and glossy.
//A recipe for Hong Kong egg tarts Continue reading
I used to tutor a girl whose mother grew her own tiny little lemons and apricots. She’s the type of woman to imagine her old home new with a white picket fence, so she’d buy the pine and get on her way to realising that fence.
She’d take these apricots, sun dry them and make these incredible little chocolate truffles with them. She’d serve them to me with a mug of black tea sweetened with a touch of honey.
//A recipe for fruit and nut chocolate truffles
I jump in and out of books like a kid taking swimming lessons in the middle of winter. But these novels are like a long, cool drink of water after the steepest hike on the hottest day.
They have the kind of serenity that only summer can bring, all thanks to the author’s incredible command of narrative, ideas, language, and most importantly of us.