06 October 2015

Sweet potato, broccoli and quinoa salad


Taking a look back into the depths of my photo archives, I was shocked to see that this tasty little dish had not found its way onto the blog. For if I remember correctly, it was rather delicious – and a perfect lighter meal when the warmer weather hits.

Sweet potato, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with ground cumin and coriander. Roasted for 40 minutes at 200C. .


Combined with a cup of cooked quinoa, baby spinach, steamed broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes.


Piled high, and finished with a sprinkle of slivered almonds and dressed with this gorgeous spiced beetroot finishing vinegar. The perfect sweet / sour combination to pull the whole dish together.


Definitely a salad that I see us making more often now that Spring has arrived!

What about you? Discovered any delicious salad combinations recently?

01 October 2015

Chilli lemon chicken Banh Mi

I *could* bore you with stories about our lack of sleep this week, owing to a teething (?) bub and a generally overtired pre-schooler. But instead I want to take a delicious trip down memory lane, when this delightful little dinner made an appearance in our household.

Chilli lemon chicken Banh Mi.

Try saying that 5 times fast Winking smile 

A quick and easy dinner, thrown together in under 10 minutes. I kid you not.


Roast-chicken, reheated with a little oil, lemon zest and a tablespoon of chilli sauce.


Piled into a baguette spread generously with mayonnaise (jazzed up with a teaspoon each of minced ginger and garlic and a little squeeze of lemon juice).

Then topped with a carrot pickle (shredded carrot, 1/2 red onion, 1 tbs vinegar, 1tsp sugar and a pinch of salt).


Finished with a good amount of fresh coriander and some mixed lettuce leaves.


And dinner was served! I loved the lemony-take on an old classic, with the chilli chicken flavour shining through too. Definitely a great meal when short on time!

What about you? What is your favourite sandwich filling?

29 September 2015

A family weekend


There is something rather lovely about a long weekend. Particularly when Mr BBB has a whole 4 days off in a row (!!!) and a trip away is planned.

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And so we found ourselves on the road to Bundanoon last Friday. The car and camper trailer laden with all the bits and bobs that a 3 year old and 7 month old require. And then some more.


A few hours later, the rest of Mr BBB’s extended family arrived, and the reunion celebrations kicked into gear. For a Golden Wedding Anniversary for his Aunty and Uncle, and 70th Birthday for his Aunty, were the perfect reason to get the family together.

Aunties, Uncles, Cousins….the whole clan had an absolute ball.  We chatted, we caught up, and we ate. Oh how we ate!

The littlest cousins – ranging from 7 months to 7 years – did not stop from the moment they arrived. It didn’t seem to matter that they don’t get to see each other that often, for they wasted no time in making up grand adventures and generally just having a ball!


And while the youngest member of the family could not yet join in with the bigger kids, she lapped up the endless cuddles and attention that were on offer!


And as for us, well we opted to stay an extra day – and what a day it turned out to be! The rain finally stopped, the sun came out, and we jumped at the chance to explore a nearby National Park.

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You can’t help but feel a little lighter and happier after weekends like these. Even with the over-tired kids and multiple mounds of laundry!

What about you? What did you get up to this weekend?

23 September 2015

Asparagus and spinach soup


The lovely people at the Australian Asparagus Council surprised me with multiple bunches of asparagus recently. And, given that asparagus is one of my favourite Spring ingredients, I wasted no time in putting it to good use.


First up – was this delightful soup. Made one particularly chilly day – when time was short and comfort food was craved. And, as is the case with most homemade soups, it was so easy and speedy to prepare.


And despite being a comforting meal, this was also a healthy one. With lots of green!


I loved the little roasted spears on top, and the drizzle of natural yoghurt. And a good amount of black pepper. Never forget the pepper!


Asparagus and Spinach soup (serves 2-3)

  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed into 3cm pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 L vegetable stock
  • 60g spinach leaves
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • pepper, to taste
  • natural yoghurt to serve
  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add the asparagus, onion and garlic and sauté until the onion starts to soften. Remove a few of the asparagus tips for serving later.
  2. Add the potato and stock, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potato is tender.
  3. Add the spinach leaves and allow to wilt, before blending the entire mixture until smooth.
  4. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste.
  5. Divide among serving bowls and top with natural yoghurt and the asparagus spears to serve.

Oh and be sure to check out asparagus.com.au for more recipe ideas.

What about you? Are you a fan of asparagus?

18 September 2015

Spring vegetable miso risotto


Ever have one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that’ moments when you read a recipe? I sure did when I came across a recipe for a spring vegetable miso risotto in a recent edition of the Taste magazine.

It substituted miso paste + water for stock, and sake for white wine, transforming the usually Italian-influenced dish into one with a  Japanese feel.


And, well I am rather partial to Japanese food, and even had a bottle of Japanese wine in the cupboard from the last time we visited!



Needless to say, I wasted no time in adding the dish to our weekly meal plan, and no time in sharing the photos with you. For it truly was scrumptious, and thoroughly enjoyed by all in our household.


The other ingredients were rather Spring-like, with the addition of asparagus, corn and snowpeas.  I forgot to sprinkle the top with sesame seeds, although that would have been a great addition too.


I was so pleased with the flavour of this risotto, that I have already decided that I will be making it next time my vegetarian friend is in town!


Spring vegetable miso risotto (taken from Taste magazine, with some substitutions / alterations). Serves 2 adults + 2 kids.

  • 1L hot water
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1tbs rice wine
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 270g aborio rice
  • 1/4 cup Japanese wine (or sake)
  • 1 corncob – kernels removed
  • 1 bunch asparagus, sliced
  • 200g snow peas, sliced thinly
  • toasted sesame seeds and parmesan cheese to serve
  1. Combine water, miso paste, mirin and rice wine in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large frypan, heat the oils, garlic and ginger – stirring. Add the rice, stirring to coat.
  3. Add the wine, and allow to evaporate.
  4. Add the miso mixture, one ladle at a time, stirring well until the liquid is absorbed. Continue until all the miso mixture has been incorporated and the rice is almost cooked (this took me about 15-20 minutes).
  5. Add the corn, asparagus and peas, and allow to heat through.
  6. Divide among serving bowls, and sprinkle with sesame seeds and cheese.

What about you? Have you ever been to Japan?

15 September 2015

Mexican-inspired soup


I have this feeling that our household is feeling the strain of what has been a rather big year. Everyone is a tad under the weather  and Little J is, we think, cutting a new tooth (and waking up hourly overnight as a result).  The bags under our eyes grow, as does my reliance on caffeine, and we are definitely counting down the days until we can all take a nice holiday together!

In the meantime, though, we are trying to keep healthy and happy. At least in the kitchen – where dinner time is a lovely constant amongst the chaos.

Not that it needs to be fancy, though. For this meal was inspired by little more than a tin of condensed soup.


We’d had limited sleep the night before, and the littlest member of our family took only a short nap during the day. The change in season had also brought with it a barrage of sniffles and sneezes, and a general lack of energy. 

But dinner time was fast approaching, so I decided to get creative with that humble tin of soup. And it didn’t take much to turn it from a “plain jane” tomato soup, into something more exciting!

Onion, garlic and corn were added, as was a good amount of chilli. Blended until smooth, then finished with beans and more corn. And more chilli.


Topped with all the good stuff too – avocado, coriander, sour cream and spring onions.  Served alongside some cheese-topped corn chips that we’d oven baked for 10 minutes or so.


Who says canned soup has to be boring!!

Mexican-inspired soup (serves 2 – 3)

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 corn cobs, kernels removed
  • 2 red chillies, sliced
  • 1 300g tin of condensed tomato soup (+ 1 tin of water)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tin 4-bean mix, drained and rinsed
  • Toppings: avocado, sour cream, coriander, spring onions
  1. Sautee onion and garlic in a little olive oil in a medium saucepan until soft.
  2. Add half of the corn kernels, chillies, soup and water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes or so. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining corn, chilli powder and beans, and stir to combine. Heat through, and season to taste.
  4. Divide among serving bowls, and top with avocado, sour cream, coriander and spring onions (or a selection of these!)

What about you? Do you like to jazz up the humble tinned soup?

08 September 2015

Father’s Day 2015


This year, like most years, we celebrated Father’s Day with a little international flair. We’ve previously had Chinese, and Turkish, but this year it was all things Mexico!


We actually had a ‘linner’ in place of brunch, so that everyone could attend.  And we ate, drank and chatted into the early evening.


We served a variety of dishes – including slow-cooked pulled pork tacos, coleslaw, salsas and enchiladas.



While to drink, there were a few options on offer. From Mexican beers, to mango margaritas and Mexican softdrinks.


I had a lot of fun with the vibrant Mexican colours – with this pretty table runner and some potted cacti setting the scene.


Dessert was a little fun too – with our piñata cake revealing a secret sweet surprise inside.


And so our Father’s Day celebrations came to a close for another year. Deliciously filled with family and food (not to mention the extra addition to our family too!)




What about you? How did you celebrate Father’s Day this year?