Isn't winter in Sydney glorious? Recent rain aside, there's something lovely about this time of year's crisp, sunny days and chilly evenings.
We Sydneysiders, who live in a warm climate for a solid 7 months of the year, don't take this frosty, snuggle-up weather for granted. This really shows itself in the food we enjoy over the winter period. Soups and stews, fragrant curries, shepherds pie…rich, hearty fare that we largely do away with in the stifling summer.
Baked treats all but disappear from my repertoire in summer. But June through August my oven gets a regular workout. Mostly sweet things like muffins and biscuits. The occasional cake if my children are nice to me.
But what about savoury baking? It often gets forgotten for the showier, sugary treats. But not today. If you're looking for something you can make in a flash, with ingredients we tend to always have on hand, will please everyone in your life whether they're sweet tooths or savoury lovers, look no further than cheese scones.
They're a cinch to make, I promise and guaranteed to secure you invites to every picnic!
What's the difference between semolina porridge and semolina pudding? What time of day you eat it! Comforting, creamy semolina can be enjoyed at the beginning or the end of your day. Or both:)
Semolina is fine durum wheat flour. Often used in pasta and pizza dough, it's been around since ancient Roman times. Around the world it has various names like cream of wheat, farina and malt-o-meal. It's famously used in the delicious classic semolina cake.
When we make this at our house we enjoy a funny little family tradition of serving the porridge on a flat plate rather than a bowl. A spiral of honey is drizzled from the outside into the centre, and we follow the spiral with our spoons, eating from the outer edge into the middle.
This recipe was born from a craving for classic New Zealand Afghan biscuits, coupled with a request for muffins from one of my children.
Afghan biscuits are a beloved classic, and generally only found in New Zealand. Ask a kiwi expat what they miss from their homeland and odds are, the answer will be the afghan bikkie.
We Australians have a solid track record of claiming New Zealand classics as ours - think pavlova, the flat white coffee, Russell Crowe and Lamingtons (they were originally called Wellingtons! It's true!). Rest assured we won't try that trick with Afghans.
Afghan biscuits are predominantly chocolate, walnuts and cornflakes. I thought, why not make some muffins with these characteristics?
It worked out beautifully. I added some goodness by way of yoghurt, wheat germ and bran flakes, which gave the muffins more grunt, while still remaining treat-worthy and delicious.
Note: the icing and toppings are yummy but aren't at all necessary. Feel free to omit - rest assured your muffins will stand tall and not look at all underdressed!
Here's a fun fact: farro is one of the most hunted ingredients that gets customers contacting us! With that in mind we feel like the humble farro grain deserves some of our time & attention, and so this week we've prepared a delicious farro recipe for you to try at home.
There’s a reason that Tuscans have enjoyed farro for hundreds of years. Farro is delicious, nutritious and an excellent stand-in for rice, pearled barley and other grains in so many dishes. This morish Pumpkin & Sage Risotto really showcases its nutty flavour, slightly chewy texture and warming appeal. The fact that it is packed with nutrients doesn't hurt either. Farro is a whole grain, loaded with B3, magnesium and zinc (and double the protein and fibre of quinoa, say what?!). You'll find that a risotto made with farro will be truly satisfying and a sustaining bowl of deliciousness.
Honey is a magical,wondrous thing. From how it's produced to how it tastes, looks and feels, we don't get over the marvel of it even as grown-ups! The English language even has a word inspired by it, an adjective that describes smooth and elegant movement, and sweet vocal tone: mellifluous. sweetly or smoothly flowing like honey. How neat is that?
Honey is loved all year round, but it really comes into its own in the colder months. It's almost an essential winter ingredient. Whether you're adding it to your morning porridge or drizzling it over a freshly made crumpet with lashings of butter, its rich fragrance, amber colour and pure sweetness just makes you feel warmer.
As good as honey tastes, it's also wonderful at absorbing other flavours, just as other ingredients added to it can enhance the honey itself. While finding the right balance takes a bit of patience, your taste buds will truly be rewarded.
I’ve been experimenting with flavouring honey for the past few months. Consequently my kitchen has become stacked with jars of honey and starting to look like a potions lab from Harry Potter.
Below are my top 5 combinations. We think you'll enjoy experimenting with honey as much as we have!