This sign hangs in my kitchen and greets me every morning – Wake Up and Smell the Coffee – given to me by a dear friend, who also is passionate about good coffee. For me, coffee that is roasted in Australia wins every time. With the imported brands, not only are you paying for shipping, and often two distributors costs – the beans are not only expensive, but can be six months old. Fresh is Best, which applies to any foodstuff, and supporting Australian companies should be a pr...read more
Salt’s ability to preserve food was a foundation of civilisation. Roman soldiers were paid partly in salt. Salt is a mineral, obtained from sea water or from rock deposits. It is necessary for the survival of all living creatures and is involved in regulating the body’s fluid content and maintaining the electrolyte balance. Table Salt Table salt is your everyday white granular salt found in most kitchens and is almost pure sodium chloride. It can be harvested from the sea, but is generally...read more
Olives and their oil are some of the oldest foods around today. Cultivation of the olive has been traced back as far as 5000BC. Not only is it delicious, but being loaded with essential fatty acids and high in antioxidants, it is also incredibly healthy. There are a variety of olive oils available: Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the oil obtained from the first pressing of the olives. It is usually greener than other olive oils, and has very low acidity. It is ideal for use in dressings and marinades....read more
For the base: ½ packet chocolate ripple biscuits 50g melted butter Preheat oven 160C Process the biscuits in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Mix with melted butter. Press into a greased, baking paper lined, 26cm cake tin with removable base. Aim to have the base about 1cm thick. Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes. Cool. For the filling: 200g dark couveture chocolate 200g butter, chopped 1/3 cup caster sugar 6 eggs 70g Nutella, about I large dessert spoon Preheat the oven to 160C Microwave t...read more
I think of the freezer as an extension of the pantry. Used well, a freezer can be a cook’s best friend, as useful as your oven or cooktop. Good Packaging Using the right freezer packaging will help prevent freezer burn – those crystals that appear on frozen food due to the cold air getting in – which dries out and ruins the flavour of food. If you are freezing in plastic bags (great if space is a problem) squeeze out the air, but leave a little room if you are freezing soups or casseroles,...read more
Having run a successful catering business in Sydney for more than 20 years, providing the highest standard of food and service for private and corporate clients, I have more than a few tricks-of-the-trade to impart to help make your entertaining easier. Sharing good food with family and friends is one of life’s greatest pleasures – entertaining should be easy and fun for everyone, including the cook.