Monday, October 31, 2011

Good Things Spring 2011

(pearl barley and aduki bean salad with char grilled asparagus and salsa verde dressing)

This salad, adapted from the book pictured below. This book is so amazing, I feel like stopping people in the street to tell them.    Brilliant warm salads, lots of wonderful baked vegetable dishes and everything in between.  You do not need to be a vegetarian (I am not).  But if you want to reduce the amount of meat in your life (I do) and need decent interesting recipes this is the book for you.  

For example, quinoa with parsley pesto, cranberries, toasted hazelnuts and mushrooms, a divine raw vegetable and avocado soup, parsnip and rosemary rolls, baked red onions stuffed with toasted, spiced couscous and oven baked pea, barley and broad bean frittata.  She also has instructions for making your own sprouts from any seed (sprouts are a great super food), labne, yoghurt and tofu.    Buy it! 

This Phillip Treacy hat worn by Dita Von Teese to Derby Day, in defiance of the black and white rule of Derby Day.   I like Dita, but I have to ask: why do we Australians persist in importing celebrities from 'overseas' to the Spring Racing Carnival?  Are we so insecure that we need validation by a non-Australian?  Or does it make it a truly international day?  The imported guests over the years have ranged from a charming Rex Harrison to a very bored Paris Hilton.    The celebritizing of the races generally is part of the reason I gave up our Victorian Racing Club membership this year.  Read Francesca Cumani's take on it here.  

This house at 58 Millswyn Street, South Yarra.    I played in this house as a little girl when family friends owned it. It is now renovated and on the market for (no doubt) A Bomb.

Beetroot cheek and lip tint from Ere Perez.  Yes beetroot.  Better on the cheeks than inside the tummy, raw, I think! Great organic Australian makeup.  I also have their mascara. 

This fondue set.   Doesn't ship to Australia, sadly.

(from Jenna at Etsy)

This artist.  I love her.  She makes me feel like a little girl again.    And who wouldn't like a tame fox sleeping on their head? 

(Marisol Spoon on Etsy)

I think I am officially the last person on the planet to get Etsy.  I have browsed many times of course but never bought.   In a possibly fruitless attempt to de-plasticise my life I have bought some non plastic lunch bags for the children.  And sandwich bags.  And snack bags.   Coming from all around the globe, and all really good value. I will show you when they arrive. 

Oh, one more thing.  The children are obsessed with Star Wars at the moment and in a moment of idle googling I came across many people with a similar obsession. To wit:

(sorry couldn't find source)

At that moment, TK-788 and TR-114 made a pact to never speak of this day again to anyone (from


Friday, October 28, 2011

Cancer FAQs

Hi there - here's hoping you are all well on this blustery Melbourne day.

I have posted a new page, called cancer FAQs, which will  hopefully answer some or many of the questions I have had from you wonderful readers.   It's over on the right.  

Go ahead, read.  There is happiness even in cancer, I promise you.

xoxo happy weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Yesterday was a lovely day.  We had breakfast here (a place I highly recommend, and I am not the only one who is a fan - there was a queue out the door when we left) whilst the sun shined.  We went to the food market at my daughter's school, whilst the wind was cold and icy.  I came home and cooked lunch and watched a hailstorm begin outside.   The hailstorm then cleared and the the sky was blue.   Later on daughter went to a Halloween themed birthday party and it rained a bit.  And then a bit later the sky cleared up again.  Just a typical Spring day in Melbourne.

I bought these radishes at the market. Something new for me, I have never bought them before.  Ever.  I think I am scarred by memories of the crudites plus dips my mother served at her glamourous parties in the 1970s. Or something.  But they have a wonderful crispness.  

I have been dipping into the new Sophie Dahl cookbook and she has a very simple recipe for radishes.  I had no truffle salt so I improvised with truffle oil.

You take the radishes and slice them very thinly (I used a mandoline).   Layer them in a dish, allowing their ruby rims to show through.    In a little bowl mix up a tablespoon or so of truffle oil, some sea salt and some very finely chopped mint.  Pour over the radishes and let them sit a bit.  Completely divine.  I had eaten most of them by the time lunch was ready!

I know I have been in some weird places this year, medically, but these radishes reminded me of a brain MRI.

I highly recommend the Sophie Dahl book.   If not just for the chipped Granny's bowl and lace tablecloth photography, and lots of shots of Sophie in flowery tea dresses.  Seriously though, she likes my kind of food - soups, salads, hardly any sugar, chicken and lovely picky things to eat.   I feel that she would be a great laugh to have a drink with.    

Here's to another cancer free week.
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