'Our family of seven ... lived in a wooden house built by my father — its stained glass windows greeted anyone who approached the front door. Drinking water came straight from the sky and into our tank, fruit and vegetables were grown in the traditional way and we collected raw goat's milk from a farm at the end of our winding gravel road, both to drink and make yoghurt. Looking back, it seems like a fairy-tale, but it's exactly the life I now want to give my own two children.'
'From the obligatory [special] dinner to the unexpected glass of fresh-squeezed juice, the act of preparing food for another (or with another) speaks louder and clearer than most words. It says, with no exceptions, I love you. I want you. I care for you. You are worth the effort.'
It is with great pleasure that I welcome my friend, Helene Dsouza, food blogger at Masala Herb, to Good Things. Helene's blog is a melting pot of global dishes: Austrian, French, Indian and fusion; and is a visual and culinary feast. You will find recipes as diverse as Semolina Dumplings (Grießknödel); French Yogurt cake (Gateau au yaourt); and Red Spinach stir fry (Tambdi Bhaji). Helene was born in Austria and her family has both French and Austrian origins. After graduating from hotel management and commerce studies in Salzburg, Helene decided to take a break, spread her wings and travel to India. It was there that she met her husband and they live in Goa, which is (according to Lonely Planet) 'a tiny, glorious slice of India hugging the country’s western coastline and bounded by the Arabian Sea'. In this guest post, Helene shares her recipe for a mushroom and pea pulao. Now, over to Helene...
This weekend I'd like to welcome to Good Things another passionate cook and friend in food, Manuela Zangara from Manu's Menu. I've been following Manuela's blog for some time, as week after week she posts the most inspiring recipes, all beautifully photographed. She has also just published her first ebook of Christmas menus.
Manu is married and has two little daughters (6 and 4 years old), and lives in Sydney, Australia, having moved there seven years ago from Milan, Italy. Her husband is of Indian origin, which is why she often presents Indian recipes. When it comes to food, Manuela says her parents are her greatest inspiration. 'Cooking is all about creating memories with your family... that's what my parents did with me and that's what I am keen to do with my little ones,' she tells me. Manuela says her parents are not chefs, but the family used to spend a lot of time in the kitchen together, especially on weekends. Her dad makes the best Sacher torte ever, he doesn't have a very sweet tooth, but apparently he's very good at baking and decorating cakes. What is her favourite food? Manuela says she has so many favourite dishes, but says Lasagne is on top of the list... pure comfort food, she says. It's the dish she makes to cheer herself up when she is down. 'Any kind of lasagne will do (with meat, vegetarian or with pesto)... as long as it has bechamel and cheese, and I am a happy woman,' she laughs.
Manuela has kindly stepped in with this sumptuous Good Things guest post and I know you are going to enjoy her recipe for
One of the things I enjoy most about blogging and social media is that you get to meet and make friends with a bunch of like-minded cooks and food writers from all around the world. Barbara Kiebel, who lives in Denver, Colorado and blogs at Creative Culinary, is a 'friend in food' across the miles and it gives me great pleasure to welcome her to Good Things.
Barbara started her online life 18 years ago when she began professionally developing websites. The first website she made for herself was in 1995 and was a place to feature her best recipes for family and friends. In the last few years she segued to a food blog, Creative Culinary, with the motto 'Eat, Drink, Repeat'. She prepares new recipes, photographs them and talks a bit about the store to table experience.
Barbara's specialty cocktails are making news on her ‘Happy Hour Friday’ column, where she occasionally pairs them with appetizers. Barbara is a mom to her grown daughters, Emily and Lauren, and precious dog named Abbie. She loves to create, cook, garden, decorate and read websites that inspire her each day. Barbara says she enjoys good wine and great cocktails, and when the weather is warm, nothing makes her happier than entertaining friends in her garden and feeding them barbecue and smoked favorites, along with a current favorite libation.
In this Good Things guest post, Barbara tells us about growing basil in water (!) and shares a delightful pasta recipe...
Food is central to the lives of Kathryn Elliott and Lucinda (Lucy) Dodds. A shared philosophy based on encouraging readers to cook healthy meals for themselves rather than eating takeaway food led to their collaborative blog and e-magazine titled An Honest Kitchen.
As you'll discover, in An Honest Kitchen Kathryn and Lucy discuss food and cooking in a delightfully relaxed and chatty fashion. The pair present inspiring and deliciously simple recipes, blended with practical cooking information and a good sprinkle of advice on healthy eating. If you're thinking lentils and broccoli, think again. The Autumn edition featured oven baked chicken schnitzel with coleslaw and sweet potato wedges, and a spiced orange rice pudding; the Spring issue included spicy pan-fried mackerel as well as berry and ricotta tiramisu. Yum! Now it's over to Lucy and Kathryn...
'An Honest Kitchen is all about real food that's good for you. Meals which are balanced, made of ingredients that improve health and served in realistic portions. Food with all its beautiful imperfections ... without the fuss.'
'Healthy omnivore with an occasional decadent twist' is the aim of Kellie Anderson's delicious blog, food to glow. As a mission statement for food to glow, Kellie says she strives to 'post the yummiest, most enticing plant-based recipes this side of a fairly decent cafe in a small town with no real competition.' [You've got to love that!]. Meat, fish, dairy and some truly divine sweet things have a look in, but Kellie points out that it’s really about the plants – their colours, tastes and versatility.
It was precisely this philosophy, not to mention Kellie's writing style and her vibrant and completely mouthwatering array of health-giving recipes and photos, that has made me a regular follower of her work. Once you've read Kellie's guest post here, you will too, I'm sure. And now, it's over to Kellie...
'Unlike a lot of Lizzy’s other friends and contributors, I don’t produce my own food. I don’t even have much of a green thumb, save for some herbs, kale, chard and the occasional stab at tomato growing. However, I love food – reading about it, shopping for it, cooking it and eating it – and as such I am indeed fortunate that food is my job... and that job is working as a health educationist and nutrition adviser with those who have a diagnosis of cancer.'
Regular readers of Good Things may already know of journalist and writer, Hilary Burden. Hilary is the author of A Story of Seven Summers - Life in the Nuns' House, a delicious memoir with recipes that captures Hilary's return to Australia from London and her discovery of a ramshackle old place in Tasmania that she would be delighted to call home.
Hilary shares a similar food philosophy to my own in that she relishes the produce that every new season brings and is a keen supporter of growers and farmer's markets; but she also says that for her an appreciation of food is not about being a cook, a chef or a foodie. It's more about having an appreciation for where things come from and knowing what makes something truly itself.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome Hilary as a Good Things guest blogger and I'd also like to thank my Peter for compiling this post for me as I recover from a bout of illness. I hope to be fit and well very soon. And now, over to Hilary...
'Looking back over seven summers, I know that who I am is where I am. It might not be the secret to life, but it is the secret to this life... I'll tell how you that came to be and that will be the story of the Nuns' House.'
Regular readers of this little blog might recall my Cherry Clafoutis recipe and reflections on cold winters, hot summers, a lovely Border Collie named Libby and a house that Peter and I rented once upon a time. While I've never been so hot nor so cold in a home in my entire life, I did absolutely love the dream kitchen with ILVE appliances. That oven put out the most beautiful sponge cakes and succulent roast dinners I've ever created. Yes dear readers, it was moi who invented the Sunday roast and freshly baked morning and afternoon teas on the leafy back deck, with a little help from ILVE of course. And that sentence segues nicely into this week's recipe for a nougat passionfruit sponge which appears on live with ILVE. I am truly delighted to be included on the ILVE blog (with not one, but two posts) and feel humbled to be featured with esteemed cookery writers and chefs such as Belinda Jeffrey, Bill Granger and Janet De Neefe. Thank you ILVE for this wonderful opportunity to share a great recipe. So dear friends, please pop in to the ILVE site, read a bit of trivia and history about sponge cakes and baking for shows, road test the recipe if you will and let me know what you think. Happy baking.
Allow me please to introduce my friend, fellow cook and food blogger, Kyrstie Barcak a.k.a. A Fresh Legacy. Kyrstie's blog is about what she and her partner, Mr Fresh, grow in the garden, what they cook with their delicious home grown produce and the simple pleasures they enjoy and share with their friends.
Kyrstie and I share the same food philosophies in that she also loves to explore her region and support local farmers and producers, and spread the word via Twitter and our web sites. Kyrstie cooks as much as she can from scratch and buys only a small number of items from the supermarket. So, let's take a stroll around the vegetable garden with Kyrstie and learn how her garden grows.
Join me as I share with you recipes for all seasons, postcards and morsels from my travels, conversations with cookery writers
and chefs, and news on food and cooking.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.