Saturday, August 31, 2019

Chocolate Eggplant Brownies, a Father's Day surprise package

Eggplant in Brownies, what next? When I saw this Brownie recipe including eggplant, and I had a large glossy black eggplant languishing in my fruit bowl which needed to be used,  my interest was piqued. This is the result. I seem to be including fruit and vegetables into the cakes, and desserts I make more and more these days, reducing calories, adding fibre, trying to stay healthy,  which also means I can still feel as if I'm indulging on a regular basis  without feeling guilty. Do you know what I mean? There is a plethora of Brownies recipes in circulation now, some including cooked beetroot, pears, or whatever your little heart desires really. I wanted to make Mr. HRK something nice for a Father's Day treat, as our children aren't in town, and Father's Day is a good excuse to make something special.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Moroccan Orange Blossom, Cardamon and Yoghurt Bundt Cake

 This is a special occasion Bundt cake combining aromatic cardamon and cinnamon, with orange blossom water and yoghurt, and some pomegranate seeds for glamour.It might sound fancy, but it's a cinch to make as no electric mixer is required for this recipe just a whisk, a mixing spoon, a large bowl and a Bundt cake tin. It tastes so amazingly good, that I am tempted to change years of tradition at Christmas this year, and replace my fruit cake with this light and exotic taste sensation, or perhaps I will make two to suit all tastes.  Add some red ribbon, ornaments and other adornments and we could have a Christmas cake.  

A slice of Bundt Cake with Mahjong anyone? Regular readers will know that most Tuesday afternoons I play Mahjong with a group of ladies, and an important part of the afternoon's enjoyment is that we also enjoy coffee and cake made by our hostess. It was my turn this week to have Mahjong at our place and so I decided it was time to make this cake again.

Bundt cakes have a firmer consistency than a lot of cakes and so they release from the tin very easily. They are called Bundt cakes because they are baked in a fluted style of tin with a hole in the middle which originated in America, however the denser type of cake mixture has more European roots from countries such as Germany. My tin isn't as fluted as some of the ones out there so the Bundt shape isn't as obvious. By any standards though it is a delicious cake and only takes 30 minutes to bake in the oven. The whole cake can be prepared and cooked quickly which will be great in our Summer heat.

I mention Mahjong occasionally and some of my reader friends express an interest in it so I thought I would give you a glimpse of some of the winning hands from last Tuesday, a mini Mahjong Masterclass if you like. I was lucky enough to win two of the games. It is surprising how many people are playing Mahjong now, and it doesn't need to be as competitive or as time consuming as the game of Bridge. I am told though that playing Mahjong on the computer is very different to playing with other people in the Western style like we do. We learn amongst ourselves and have two excellent books to refer to written by Patricia Thompson and Betty Maloney called The Mahjong Players Companion, and The Game of Mahjong illustrated. Some community groups including U3A also teach it if you are interested. I thought you might enjoy the names of the various hands which were the winning hands for us last Tuesday. So after the very pleasant Twittering of the Birds, which is the name for the shuffling of the tiles as they click away, we built our wall of tiles, aka the Great Wall of China, which can't be broken or the bad spirits will enter apparently,  and then the games begin.

Crazy chows.
The range of winning hands is vast however this is one of our favourite hands, and possibly one of the easiest as it gives players a lot more flexibility to move the tiles on their rack around . The tiles on the board below are from a winning hand of Crazy Chows. The tiles on this rack are made up of the three Mahjong suits, Spots, Bamboos, and Cracks, and are all numbered. This was one of my winning hands. A chow is a run of three tiles eg 3,4,5, however in Crazy chows the chow is made up of a tile from each suit. 

Crazy Chows

Crazy Chows again
A player is only allowed to win once with a Crazy Chow on any afternoon.

Ordinary Mahjong Hand. This hand might be called an ordinary hand but it is far from ordinary, and here we have tiles all in the same suit. Bamboos, Spots or Cracks and also some Winds and Dragons are part of the hand if we are dealt them. Achieving this hand is very satisfying, and a lot of fun, and because tiles can be picked up from the discard pile to add to your hand, it means more control over the game for the player with an ordinary hand. Before trying to learn the plethora of other Mahjong hands, I think this is the first hand a player should try and learn, providing a good foundation for the game.

An ordinary Mahjong hand, one of the most popular hands

In this ordinary hand we have a Pung of 3 spots, a chow of 4,5,6 spots,  a pair of East Winds, 3 Green Dragons (F), and 3 South Winds (S). 

Triple Knitting, which is matching one from each suit with the same number. This was also one of my winnning hands. I have to say that I knit better at Mahjong then with knitting needles.

Triple Knitting

Three Philosophers. This hand is made up of a chow in each suit, a mixed chow, and a pair in any suit. We all like this hand and it is easy to remember.

Another winning hand of Three Philosophers
A serious game in Progress here

The tiles are being dealt out to the players here. Each player has 13 tiles, the dealer starts with 14.

Big Robert. Lou won this hand below with a Big Robert. I don't know who Robert was but there is also a hand called Little Robert.This hand needs three runs of 4 tiles with a run in each suit, and a Pair of Winds. It's not an easy hand to achieve.

The Wind tiles are East, South, North and West, E.S.N.W, and feature in a lot of the hands.

Big Robert
Other popular hands are Wriggly Snake, Gerties Garter, Moon at the Bottom of the Well, Five Odd Honours, Green Jade, Hovering Angel and many more. The challenge is to remember the various hands and choose the right hand to suit the tiles you are dealt. I am also very fortunate that Mr. HRK made my wooden Mahjong racks from scratch, and they are state of the art with indicators at the corners of each one to help with building the wall straight. He's taking orders if you would like a set made, he just doesn't know it yet:) I'm not sure what he would charge though. He really does a beautiful job.

Well after this little introduction to the game of Mahjong which I hope you enjoyed,  I think we should cook don't you?

Let's Cook:

This recipe requires a 2L (25cm)  bundt cake pan and Serves 6.

Moroccan Orange Blossom and Cardamon Yoghurt Bundt cake recipe

1 ⅓ cups (200g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup (125g) almond meal
⅔ cup (150g) castor sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup (280g) thick Greek-style yoghurt
150ml sunflower oil
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp orange blossom water

1 1/2 cups (225g) icing sugar, sifted
2 tbs milk
1 tsp orange blossom water
I decorate this cake to serve with Pomegranate seeds or chopped pistachio nuts

Let’s cook: 

Preheat your oven to 180 deg. C. Grease and flour a 2L (25cm) bundt cake pan.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, yoghurt and oil until well combined, then stir into the dry ingredients.

Fold in the lemon zest, and 2 tsp orange blossom water. 

An important tip to remember when using a bundt pan is that you must grease and flour every area of the baking dish before you pour in the cake batter. Then before placing the pan in the oven, thump it a couple of times on the bench to remove any air bubbles from the batter. (Don't worry if you forget this step, I did.) Spoon mixture into the greased and floured bundt pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cake slightly, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

The only thing I was worried about with making this cake was removing it from the pan when it was cooked. As it happened, this was simple. I eased a few of the edges away from the tin with a knife, tipped it upside down on a plate, and hoped for the best. It came out beautifully. 

Phew, out of the tin and it didn't stick to the sides at all.

The Icing on your cake:   

Stir the icing sugar, milk and remaining 1 tsp orange blossom water into a small bowl until you have a slightly firm but drizzling consistency.  Pour the icing into a jug, then drizzle over the cake, so that it covers the surface and drizzles over the side of the cake. This will also be easier if you rotate the cake slowly as you pour the icing over the surface.When the icing is nearly set, sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds, or even just chopped pistachio nuts, or both, then serve. 

Below is a photo of the same cake I made almost four years ago now, and I think this is possibly a better photo than my latest one, but not as much icing. Bundt cakes don't necessarily need any icing, but I do like icing with my cakes don't you?

My daughter is getting married in two weeks in Cairns to a wonderful young man, so yes I am in somewhat of a spin, and working through a list of things to do, and we are very excited. I sent her a photo of this cake thinking it would be nice for Christmas in Cairns suiting the warmer weather, and she has suggested it would also be nice to have in the house as a prewedding cake, so I will be making another one shortly. 

Warm wishes and stay safe,



Friday, August 23, 2019

A Simple Curry in a Hurry: Chicken Tikka Masala with Minty Yoghurt Raita

Just when we think Winter has gone for another year, another cold snap surprises us, and believe me, in the Tropics a minimum of 4 degrees has us snuggling, reaching for comfort food, and dreaming of a curry. Curries though can be high calorie, and at my stage of life I need to watch the calories in between celebrations.  This curry is a low calorie one, taken and adapted from Dr. Michael Mosley's suite of low calorie recipes, apparently this one only serves up 427 calories, not too bad eh? If you are not watching your calorie intake though, just add lots of different condiments and plenty of rice, because my friends  this curry isn't lacking in flavour or appeal in anyway. We are growing fresh ginger, chillies, mint and silverbeet, perfect for this meal,  so I have harvested these fresh from my garden for this recipe. And if you make your own yoghurt, use it in this dish and the raita, it will be perfect.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Orange Yoghurt Cake, Simply Sweet

Do you feel like whipping up a delicious cake for afternoon tea today, after all it is Sunday. I always feel that if there is any day you can justify indulging in morning or afternoon tea with cake, it's today. This is a traditional kind of cake, but with the addition of yoghurt and beaten egg whites, and topped off with delicious orange flavoured icing and grated orange zest. With all of the citrus around, and oranges in my fruit bowl, my choice of cake had to be orange. The yoghurt and egg whites give this cake a very light but firm texture and it will keep fresh in your cake tin for a few days, if you can hide it that is. In my house, cake never lasts long, but it's really nice to know it is there to offer our friends who might just call in for a cuppa.

I know I just said that Sunday is a perfect day for cake for afternoon tea, however I made this cake for last Tuesday afternoon when our weekly Mahjong "tournament" was being held at my place. We take turns in each others homes. So Chris, Marj, Jill, and Lou all arrived for Mahjong, we played a couple of games and then Mr. HRK my resident barista did his thing and made us all perfect flat white espresso coffees, with a little coffee art added as well, which went beautifully with the orange cake. Nobody wants tea when he makes coffee. Neil roasts the imported coffee beans himself at least once every week, and then using our Rancilio coffee machine, he  makes a very nice coffee. However he does say that it is really the Italian Coffee Grinder that makes the difference. I am very lucky, as each morning I am treated to a great coffee here at home. We rarely go out just for coffee here in Mackay, unless I occasionally meet a friend for a catchup. It certainly saves a lot of money and honestly I think that there are a lot of coffee shops around now serving very average coffee. Do you go out for coffee much my friends, or do you prefer to have it at home as well?

Orange Cake recipe


125 g butter
1 good tablespoon grated orange rind
1 cup castor sugar
3 eggs, separated
2 cups self raising flour
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup plain yoghurt


1 1/2 cups icing sugar
30g softened butter
2 tablespoons orange juice, or a little more if needed

 Let's cook:

Grease a 14cm x 21cm loaf pan, line the base and the sides with baking paper. Grease the paper well.

Cream the butter, the orange rind and the sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. ( I have a small portable mixer just for this kind of job. My kitchen aid bowl is too large to mix this quantity. )

Beat in the egg yolks one at a time.

Meanwhile mix together the orange juice and the yoghurt in a separate small bowl.

Transfer the butter, sugar and egg mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in by hand half the sifted flour and half the orange juice and yoghurt which you have mixed together. Stir in the remaining flour and yoghurt mixture.

Beat the egg whites in a clean and dry small bowl until soft peaks form. This won't take long at all at a high speed. Fold lightly into the cake mixture in two lots.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.

Bake in a slow oven (150 deg. C.) or (300 deg F.) for 75 minutes, and test it with a skewer to see if it is cooked.

Stand for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool. Spread the cold cake with icing.

Orange icing:

Combine the sifted icing sugar and butter in a medium sized bowl. Stir in enough juice to mix the icing to a spreadable consistency. If it is too moist, add a little more icing sugar until it is a spreadable consistency. Remember the cake must be cold before you spread the icing onto it or it will all slide off.

Have a great Sunday wherever you are.

Best wishes,



Friday, August 16, 2019

Roasted Cauliflower, Lentil and Pomegranate Salad

The humble but oh so versatile Cauliflower is in abundance at the moment and very reasonably priced,  and should be the star of the show in this salad. However, the pink pomegranate jewels are definitely trying to steal the limelight, but it's not a competition really. I was so taken with the perfect looking and reasonably priced caulis at the markets that two found their way into my basket, and that is how this recipe evolved. I roast cauliflower all of the time now with just a little olive oil, it is a very easy way of cooking that accentuates all of the wonderful flavours, and that forms the basis of this salad.

 Cauliflower is the perfect foundation for a beautiful salad, in Winter or Summer. However some colour was needed, and the baby spinach and glistening pomegranate jewels came to the party in that regard. All that was required then was a little more earthiness and substance, and lentils happily obliged. Add a light dressing of lemon juice and olive oil, some delicious coriander and my favourite Pomegranate molasses, and I had an easy but very nutritious salad. The quantities here will feed a crowd, so feel free to halve them at the very least, however this salad keeps very well for a few days in a covered container in the frig.

It won't be long before soups are out and salads will definitely be in here, as today the weather is quite balmy. Perhaps there is one more cold snap which will take us by surprise, but bring on Spring.


1 cauliflower (about 1 kg), cut into florets
2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
300g lentils (use brown or Puy) or whichever other variety you wish
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup coriander leaves
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 pomegranate, seeds extracted
Pomegranate molasses


Preheat the oven to 200 deg. c

Coat the cauliflower in olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes until golden.

Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the lentils. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until just tender. Be careful not to overcook them or they will turn to mush. Drain the lentils well.

Combine the roasted cauliflower, lentils, baby spinach, coriander, a drizzle of olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice and season well with sea salt and black pepper.

 Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and drizzle with a few drops of pomegranate molasses.

I'll give you a few ideas of other dishes that I  have made to go with the Cauliflower salad, however they are just suggestions.  When I make a new recipe, I also tend to go to a couple of other dishes which I know will work well for me and that makes life a lot simpler.

This salad is also delicious served simply with my smoky Baba Ganoush. You can find that one here, just leave the Pomegranate seeds off the Baba Ganoush if you are already serving them with the Cauliflower salad and substitute some chopped mint or coriander, or even toasted sesame seeds.

When I made Cauliflower salad the last time,  I also made a Moroccan Chickpea Salad, and my Curried Beef Lasagne which everyone seems to love.  All of the flavours worked beautifully together, and there were lots of delicious leftovers. What's not to love about leftovers?

There's a lot happening for us at the moment with the family, with comings and goings, so this is a rather short story today. I hope you have something really nice planned for the weekend and I'll be in touch soon.

Warmest wishes,


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Rustic Blueberry and Coconut Scone - International Scone Week 2019 - #ISW2019

I have just been reminded about International Scone Week from Tandy, who writes the wonderful Lavender and Lime blog.  ( Anyone can become part of #ISW, just go to Tandy's blog for information.) So my creative juices started flowing and I remembered this fruity scone recipe I had been wanting to try. Sometimes a wholesome, fruity and delicious scone is just what is required to have with a cuppa, a comforting reminder of a bygone era, except that blueberries weren't as readily available back then as they are now. Most people I know have a favourite scone recipe which they can create at a moment's notice when time is at a premium. Mine is my reliable Damper Scone recipe, very Aussie.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Rhubarb Fool with Crunchy Granola topping

This is an Australian version of Rhubarb Fool, and might I say a healthier recipe for this traditional British dessert. It also works well for breakfast, if you like yoghurt and fruit style breakfasts, even though rhubarb is technically a vegetable often served as a dessert. It is a simple dish to bring to the table, combining honey with the bright, tart flavour of rhubarb, and layering the rhubarb compote with yoghurt, or even thickened cream if you wish. The nutty granola topping exceeded  my expectations and has the wow factor, and is also great to snack on. Rhubarb is in season at the moment, so it is an economical buy and easily found at the supermarkets or Farmers Markets. It doesn't grow well where I live because of the mild Winters and humidity once Spring arrives, so I try to track down a supplier which sources well from down south.  However in cooler Australian climates and the Northern Hemisphere where you are spoilt for choice, good quality rhubarb will cook up beautifully. This is a cinch to make and a dream to eat.

When I saw the very talented Paul West, demonstrate this dish on the ABC lifestyle program Gardening Australia, I was fascinated as we have spent quite a lot of time in England over the years, but I have never been offered Rhubarb Fool to eat although I had heard of it. The Fool originated in England in the 15th or 16th century, so it's a classic. By now there are many interpretations out there of how it can be served. I like to eat elements of a dish separately, and then if I want to mix them together I can. Many of the recipes combine the rhubarb and cream or yoghurt together in the serving dish and that could be easier I suppose, but I like to be able to identify the individual flavours. How about you my friends, do you prefer to have them mixed together or served separately, and have you ever eaten Rhubarb Fool before? Is it too much of a pun to say that any fool can make this dish?

This recipe can also easily suit gluten free diets.

Let's cook:


Serves 4

6 rhubarb stems or a small bunch, leaves removed and base trimmed, chopped into 5 cm lengths
1/4 cup lemon juice (Half a medium sized lemon, half an orange will also work)
1/2 cup of water
2 tablespoons local Australian honey ( or your local overseas honey)
2 tablespoons Natural yoghurt or thickened cream (A ratio of 3:1 - yoghurt and thickened cream is delicious and still on the healthy side.)
1 tablespoon finely chopped Stem Ginger in Syrup (If you are passionate about ginger like I am, you can also add some interest and heat by adding some finely chopped and drained stem ginger in syrup to the rhubarb or through the yoghurt, about 1 tablespoon, more if you like it hot)  I love to make my own Stem Ginger in Syrup and here is the link to my recipe. LINK


Place the chopped rhubarb pieces into a cold fry pan, and arrange in one layer
Add the water and lemon juice to the rhubarb
Drizzle the honey over the rhubarb
Heat the fry pan to a medium heat, and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, or until the rhubarb is softened but still holding it's shape
Remove the rhubarb from the heat and allow to cool

Crunchy Granola recipe:

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons local Australian honey ( or your local overseas honey)
1/4 cup flaked or slivered almonds
2 tablespoons pepitas or linseed
3/4 cup Macadamia nuts, roughly chopped (a must)


Place your pan on a low heat and add the coconut oil and the honey.
Add the flaked or slivered almonds, the pepitas, and the macadamias. Cook over a steady heat for 5 minutes to toast the nuts.

Allow to cool.

So delicious
To serve, place two tablespoons of yoghurt into a small glass or bowl, and top with one generous tablespoon of rhubarb and a little extra syrup. Finish with one tablespoon of granola. I made this for the two of us and there were plenty of leftovers for the next two nights.

  • Doll it up at the end with a couple of mint leaves, or something pretty and edible. If you decide to go without the granola, traditionally it can also be served with a shortbread biscuit, just for something sweet and crunchy.
Best wishes, 


Monday, August 5, 2019

Perfectly Golden Passionfruit Curd

To my way of thinking, if you are lucky enough to have passionfruit growing or if you are given some by a friend like I was, then it's compulsory to not only eat some, but also to make some passionfruit curd. Here's how it went, and two delicious jars later I was thrilled with the result. This is a precious commodity, and the store bought stuff just doesn't taste like this does. Each month for me it's all about cooking with whatever is fresh and in season and whatever happens to arrive in my kitchen as a gift is a bonus. 

  It is only just August, but already there are little hints of Spring being just around the corner. There are occasional warm days in amongst our chilly ones and already shoots and tiny buds are appearing on our trees. Recently we pruned back our potted Mulberry tree, and already there are shoots and small mulberries appearing which is very exciting. Perhaps we will have a small crop of mulberries this Spring.  Unfortunately we just don't seem to be able to grow our own passionfruit well, so I rely on the local markets or donations. This recipe is from the wonderful Stephanie Alexander's recipe, her recipe book The Cook's Companion is never far from my kitchen.

Let's cook:

If like mine, the passionfruit you have aren't absolutely full of pulp, add the pulp of a few more to the saucepan. When I was stirring the eggs and pulp into the butter mixture waiting for the magic to happen I still didn't think there was quite enough pulp and seeds in the mixture, so I added the pulp of a couple more at that point and it worked perfectly.


1/2 cup sugar
60 g butter
2 eggs, well beaten
pulp of 6 passionfruit

  • Sterilise two small jars for this recipe and keep them hot in the oven.
  • Stir the sugar and the butter in a small saucepan over a low to moderate heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. 

  • Add the beaten eggs and the passionfruit pulp and keep stirring continuously over a low heat until the mixture thickens. This process might seem to be taking ages, then all of a sudden it happens quickly.

  • Pour into your hot, sterilised jars and store for up to 2 weeks, until used. However mine sometimes store up to a month in the refrigerator.
This recipe is suitable for making small batches if you don't have a lot of passionfruit or need a couple of jars specifically for another recipe. However if you want to make a large batch and have lemons as well, my recipe which I sometimes make and which is also delicious will make enough for gift giving as well. You can find my other recipe here. They both taste delicious eaten straight from the spoon.

If I can get my hands on some more passionfruit whilst they are in season,  I'll be making the long-time favourite, pavlova filled with unsweetened whipped cream and absolutely smothered with passionfruit. This dessert always brings smiles to faces around the world. 

Thanks for dropping by and have a wonderful week.

Best wishes


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Enjoying the Mackay beaches with Locky, our Chocolate Border Collie and an iconic biscuit recipe

Meet Locky, our beautiful chocolate Border Collie, who is taking a sabbatical with us whilst our Perth family travel overseas to the Falkland Islands to work and live for a few years. An early morning excursion to Far Beach at South Mackay with Locky, who claimed the beach and the tranquil Coral Sea as his own. With a tennis ball to chase, he was in doggie heaven.

Locky is 8 1/2 years old, and the thought of him travelling by boat all the way to the Falkland Islands, undergoing quarantine procedures which are even worse and more stringent on the return journey, worried Mr. HRK and me so much that we offered to look after him whilst they are away.

Locky not only looks very handsome, he also has a very placid nature and has adapted well to life on the North Queensland Tropical coast. After all he is originally a Queenslander being born in Brisbane. It's not as if he was coming to live with strangers as we have had a lot to do with him during many visits to Perth, and we also looked after Locky and Kali his sister, a black and white Border Collie during one of  our sons's overseas trips. Sadly Kali was run over and died a couple of years ago, so now it's just Locky and he is much loved and very precious to the family.

He flew back with us from Perth two weeks ago and handled the flight beautifully, after sad farewells.

Beach construction at Far Beach
One of the wonderful things about owning a dog is the exercise we find ourselves now doing.  Mr. HRK takes him for a walk around the neighbourhood on the leash most mornings, and I oblige most afternoons. He is very well trained in that regard. He doesn't bark at those other "naughty" barking dogs, and sits for us when its time to cross the road to look for cars before crossing, yes really :)

But as you can see from the photos, we have had more excursions to the beach in the last couple of weeks, than we have had in the last couple of months. It is a beautiful time of the year to go for walk along the beach, even in the middle of the day, and if Locky has a tennis ball to chase, he'll wade through the ocean to retrieve it.

We can't throw a ball as far as we used to be able to so a tennis racket comes in very handy and gives Locky a good run. However being 8 1/2 now he has a bit of arthritis in his hindquarters so we have to be careful not to over exercise him. Good excuse eh?

So peaceful

On this particular day at Far Beach the tide was in, it can go out for miles, so that was great for photos and also it's nice to be close to the ocean.

When Locky arrived home with us, he had a cold weather coat which needed some grooming. He seemed to enjoy his first haircut in the North Queensland sunshine.

Below, with Locky at beautiful Black's Beach, Mackay, a doggie beach, on another outing

Speaking of exercise, when we were at Black's Beach, I noticed these Fitness Stairs recently built by the Queensland Government. A challenge for next time, perhaps? I'm sure there is a beautiful view from the top.

However my friends, besides hanging out with Locky,  I have also been quite busy in the kitchen, perfecting a batch of Anzac biscuits for posting, and making Passionfruit butter. I know that Anzac biscuits travel well, being the original reason that there were no eggs in this recipe, so I thought I would send a batch to Perth before our family leaves the country, a farewell care package, along with a few other things. My second attempt worked perfectly, this time using only 1/2 teaspoon Bicarb soda instead of a whole teaspoon, who would have thought there would be so many different recipe variations to this iconic recipe. Do you have a favourite one my friends that you bake on Anzac Day? Anyway I am now well and truly prepared for next Anzac day on the 25th April, 2020, ha, ha. I will be making bucket loads full of them. After all, before they were even called Anzac biscuits, this is the biscuit that was baked by the women left at home during World War 1, to be sent overseas to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers. Much nicer than Bully Beef don't you think? The original recipe is available and can be downloaded for free here, if you are interested. This biscuit has a remarkable history. They are still a great fundraiser for the RSL and other groups around Anzac Day and continue to sell well all year round.

A batch of these biscuits are now en route to Perth in a Cadbury chocolate tin


This recipe makes about 24 biscuits.


1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar (caster preferably)
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons golden syrup
125g butter ( Originally, they probably used margarine)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon boiling water
pinch salt


  • Melt the syrup and butter together over a low heat in a small saucepan
  • Mix the soda with boiling water and add to the melted butter and syrup. Wait for it to froth up. If it doesn't, you know that the bicarb soda is old and needs replacing
  • Mix the oats, sifted flour, sugar, and coconut together
  • Add the frothy syrup and butter mixture to the dry ingredients
  • If the mixture seems to be a bit wet, just add a little flour and mix into the dough until it is a good consistency to form into balls
  • Place tablespoons of the biscuit mixture onto a baking tray, lined with baking paper
  • Press down the biscuits slightly with a fork which may need to be dipped in flour
  • Bake in a slow oven, 150-160 deg. C, for 20 minutes until nicely browned. They will crisp up when they are taken out of the oven to cool.
Makes about 35.
Crisping up
Oh what  difference a dog makes. 

Best wishes