moreton bay bugs

Last week the very lovely people at Kirribilli Seafoods gave me two Moreton Bay Bugs caught that morning off Queensland’s coast. They were huge and freckled from the harsh Northern sun. The meat is found only in the tail. The succulent meat is sweet but bold and best cooked in the shell, where a lot of its flavour is held. I asked for the bugs to be halved lengthways as the shell is very rough and difficult to do at home.

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//A recipe for morton bay bugs Continue reading

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tiger prawns with filei calabresi aglio e olio

This incredibly fun dish is much simpler than its name makes out. The most important thing is that you buy yourself some great, fresh produce – especially when it comes to the seafood – and prepare your ingredients before you start cooking.

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//A recipe for tiger prawns with filei calabresi aglio e olio

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long lunch: pei modern, sydney

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.

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vanilla sugar cookies

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.

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//A recipe for vanilla sugar cookies Continue reading

bare bones pantry dishes

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.


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So here are my bare pantry meal solutions.

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marrakesh prawns with bulgur

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.

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hong kong egg tarts

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.

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petite madeleines

When I first learned about madeleines I was in a literature class reading Proust. A couple of months later, Michael and I were in Columbus Circle buying Christmas cards and trinkets from the markets. Cinnamon lingered in the air and Christmas was aglow with fairy lights.

A small bakery had set up shop selling pastries and small cakes, and, to my delight, petite madeleines. I bought a pair and two cups of milky tea, and in Columbus Circle we sat, watching teenagers in t-shirts skateboarding. New York was warm in the height of winter, and even the nose-numbing, bitter winds couldn’t dampen it.

//A recipe for petite madeleines
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