Thursday, May 16, 2024

"Sunday with Mum" at Palooka Restaurant, Cairns, in Far North Queensland

 Mother's Day at Cairns Palooka Restaurant, in Far North Queensland, totally exceeded my expectations. They describe their food as contemporary modern European dining, or Mediterranean, and the French and Italian influences in their cuisine are very obvious. The restaurant is situated in the heart of Stratford village in Cairns, offering cosy seating inside or outside on the footpath, which is well protected from the weather by sturdy blinds if needed. The restaurant is very accessible, and parking along the side street is generally available.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Slow-cooked Italian Lamb Shanks

Italian lamb shanks are one of my favourite meals, and is often what I order when we are dining out. This recipe had a lot to live up to, however it is as delicious, even more so,  than any Italian Lamb Shank meal I have ever eaten. It's made from scratch, without the use of any packets of supermarket branded products, such as a packet of red wine jus. There's just no need.

Monday, May 6, 2024

In My Kitchen - May 2024

 It's May already, and I'm about to share with you what I've been cooking and enjoying in my kitchen during April, which is always a busy month. This year we were home for all of April, which was lovely. I resorted to making a few of my favourite recipes, and cooked up some new ones. April brings Easter, precious thoughts about loved ones during Anzac Day, and our wedding anniversary as well. All of these events are full of memories, as are so many food recipes that I cook. May brings the very welcome cooler weather, and that means that I start making delicious soups again.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Roasted pumpkin, beetroot, pearl barley and haloumi salad recipe


This is a hearty, vegetarian Autumnal salad, celebrating the in-season vegetables, jap (Kent) pumpkin and beetroot, which are in plentiful supply at the Australian markets and retail supermarkets right now. Photos can't fully portray the delicious flavours contained in this salad, with pops of maple syrup sweetness accentuating the warm crispy haloumi, and a refreshing mint pesto combining with all the ingredients.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Afghan biscuits, the traditional New Zealand Anzac Day biscuit and homemade Anzac biscuits


 ANZAC Day is remembered in Australia and New Zealand on Thursday the 25th April each year and is a declared public holiday in Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Norfolk Island, and Tokelau. To commemorate this sad occasion, many of us in Australia and New Zealand will be either making a batch of the traditional Anzac biscuits, or a batch of these delicious Afghan biscuits, which have no connection to the Afghan people or their country of origin. 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Bean, Ham and Kale Soup Recipe


This Bean, Ham and Kale soup recipe is perfect Autumn fare as the weather starts to cool down, and we begin to feel like eating soup, but we are still not ready to enjoy the heavier style of ham and lentil soups which are perfect for the middle of Winter. I don't buy Kale very often, I'll be honest it's not on my list of favourite green vegetables, but as Kale comes into season, and becomes less expensive to buy, it is perfect in this soup. It holds it's shape well and is very nutritious and colourful.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Malaysian inspired Chicken and Sweet Potato Casserole


This Malaysian style chicken casserole is lightly spiced with the chicken cooked in a succulent sauce smoothed by coconut milk. It can be as spicy as you like by increasing the spice measurement, however if you follow this recipe it will be perfect for most tastes. Simmered and cooked on the stove top you will be so pleased you made the effort as this is comfort food at its best. This is the perfect meal to make for a relaxing weekend dinner.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Bundt with Lemon drizzle icing

This Cream Cheese Carrot Bundt Cake designed by Donna Hay, is filled with an irresistible cream cheese frosting, the same frosting which is generally reserved for icing the cake with and which everyone loves. Instead, we have baked it in the middle of the cake, where it transforms into the dreamiest, lemony cheesecake filling. Combined with sweet, grated carrot and chopped pecans, and generously spiced with ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, this cake will also make a delicious dessert. 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Salmon, Spinach and Leek Quiche, it's low in calories and carbs and is delicious

This low calorie Salmon and Leek Quiche will be perfect to enjoy over Easter, to balance out all of the other delicious chocolate treats which will be on offer. It can be eaten hot from the oven with a large leafy salad,  or as a cold healthy lunch. You can also add some extra vegetables if you wish.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Self-saucing Economical Date pudding


Do you ever need a quick but delicious pudding for dessert just because you want some comfort food in a hurry, or for just no particular reason?  Dear Readers, this is a simple uncomplicated post, which I think is in keeping with a dessert that is very easy to throw together. A self saucing pudding always hits the mark. This post is laced with nostalgia. The recipe is based on a pudding that Mr. HRK passed on to me from his Mum whose name was Jessie, a long time ago when we were first married. I've swapped out the currants and sultanas for dates this time and we love the result. All of the ingredients were already in my pantry so that was easy. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Lamb Siniyah, a Middle Eastern Lamb Stew


Lamb Siniyah or stewed lamb cooked in a pot with a tahini crust are the stars of this delicious Middle Eastern version of Shepherd's Pie. A golden tahini crust replaces the potato topping to perfection. It's rich and comforting and laced with fragrant Middle Eastern spices. Who doesn't love a tasty Shepherd's Pie? Well, I promise you; this dish will exceed your expectations even further. Yotam Ottolenghi has created a very clever recipe here, one of many in his book "Simple".  

Thursday, March 7, 2024

In My Kitchen - March 2024

February was full of travel, birthday fun for me, friends, and good food. Everyone is in now in shock that it is March already, and it's always been a big month in our family. We have two family March birthdays, which has always meant celebrating our two children's birthdays,🎂 and sometimes parties, when they lived at home. It's been hot and quite wet here in the Tropics, so bring on the beautiful change of season that Easter always brings. 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Low-calorie Chocolate Beetroot Brownies

Eating Chocolate Beetroot Brownies doesn't need to be laden with guilt. Brownies are one of the chocolate lover's favourite styles of cake, and with this beetroot and dark chocolate recipe, if you are watching the calories during the week after an indulgent getaway, you can have your Brownie and eat it too.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Crème Brûlée


This classic Crème Brûlée is a very chic dessert to have in your entertaining food repertoire. Donna Hay's recipe was the one I used, but I added a couple of modifications to it which worked beautifully. A silky and rich custard has a topping of thin caramelised crunchy toffee. It's an absolute delight to crack through the toffee layer with a spoon to discover the rich vanilla infused custard waiting below. 

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Orange and Lemon Syrup Cake


A luscious orange syrup drizzled cake is perfect just served with a dollop of thick yoghurt. The sweet, sour, and refreshing flavour of fresh citrus fruits absolutely infuses this cake.  These are the flavours of our Summer and will brighten up any Winter blues in the Northern Hemisphere as well. This cake is happiness on a plate. Why not bake it this weekend?

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

In My Kitchen February 2024

January has flown by, and now I am mentally collecting inspiration for cooking events for February. We are still experiencing the peak of the tropical heat of Summer here, and this determines a lot of what I am preparing and cooking. However, let's start on a sweet note and there a few recipes in this post that I haven't yet shared with you. 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Lemon and Blueberry Yoghurt cake

 Lemon and blueberry yoghurt loaf cake can be the sweet and tangy ending to a meal, served warm with yoghurt, blueberries and a drizzle of honey, or served as the sweet component of a morning or afternoon tea with lemon icing or a dusting of icing sugar. It's versatile and delicious.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Eggplant (aubergine), chickpea, and tomato bake (Musaqa'a)

Do you have eggplants growing at home in your hot Summer garden? If you do, this is the Mediterranean recipe for you. If you also have some tomatoes growing, well you are really on a winner. Otherwise, buy the vegetables all preferably at the local market to guarantee freshness, and then this is the perfect vegetarian dish, or serve it as a delicious side with the meat of your choice. To my friends in the Northern Hemisphere, this is a very comforting Mediterranean style dish to enjoy in the middle of your Winter. It is a cinch to  make.

Monday, January 22, 2024

One Pan Salmon Kedgeree

Kedgeree can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or for an easy dinner. Because it can be eaten cold, it's also perfect for on-the-go lunches. Most of the ingredients in this recipe are staple items in every pantry. If you have a can of fish or some poached salmon, an onion, curry powder, cooked rice, and eggs, a simple version of this recipe can be made.  Or replace fish with roasted pumpkin, a vegetarian option. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Chicken and Apricot Tagine

 It's hard to beat a Moroccan style tagine or casserole for flavour and nutritional benefits. This recipe is great for the busy home cook, as once the chicken and onions are browned on the stovetop, all the ingredients are tumbled into a large casserole dish and the meal cooks itself in the oven. It can be served in a beautiful tagine utensil if you own one, or straight from your casserole dish or cast iron utensil, with a light garnish of attractive green herbs.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

The secret to this delicious Vietnamese style chicken slaw is the perfectly balanced dressing ingredients and the wombok cabbage which forms the basis of the salad. Oh, and the juicy shredded chicken is a pleasure to eat. I've tried a few different Vietnamese Chicken Salad recipes over the years, but with this recipe Nagi Maehashi has really nailed it. I know that a lot of you have her Recipe Tin Eats book "Dinner" by now, and this recipe is published in that, however I have given you a few extra tips and tricks for making this salad from the perspective of the home cook. 

Monday, January 8, 2024

In My Kitchen - January 2024

Greetings dear friends and family, and Happy New Year! As January saunters along, I hope that your 2024 will be healthy (health is wealth as they say) and fulfilling for you in many ways and include some travel if that's your thing. My Kitchen is one of my happy and most fulfilling places to be, and this year whilst I love to prepare the occasional "fancy" meal, and doesn't everyone, I'll be challenging myself to mostly cook from scratch with what's in season, and using minimal ingredients when possible. There is still a cost of living crisis in the community, and most people are watching their dollars, but I think there are ways to still eat economical, delicious and healthy meals and with a minimum of waste. It is so important to cook nutritious food that we really enjoy. Food is one of the great pleasures in life.