It's such a delight to be back in my kitchen after being away from home for several weeks galavanting across the UK and Europe. Spring has arrived in Australia, the days are gradually getting warmer and the sunshine now streams in through every window and French door in the house. My inner child is jumping with joy. ♥
The days and months are flying by and I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you a few good things in the form of food news and snippets that have caught my eye of late.
After a particularly cold winter (most of which I missed), the folks at the Australian Asparagus Council are celebrating spring and the bountiful harvest of new season Aussie spears. There's a whole new range of asparagus recipes featured on the Council's web site, including a few of my own. This asparagus with lemon herb pasta is next of my list of dishes to try.
Floriade, Australia's major flower festival, takes place in Canberra's Commonwealth Park from 12 September to 11 October. If you've been planning a trip to the nation's capital, now is the perfect time. Highlights of the 2015 program include a visit from award-winning chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter, Karen Martini, who will showcase her passion for food in The Kitchen Company Tasting Plate on Saturday, 10 October.
My lovely friend Viviane, pâtissier and chocolatier a.k.a. Chocolate Chilli Mango, loves choux pastry as much as I do. I've been fantasising about her exquisite salted caramel profiteroles with blood orange crème since I first saw them a while back. They too are on my list of things to bake.
Another dear friend, Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial cooked Beggar's Chicken recently. I have that Chinese cooking class cookbook! Must dust it off and give the recipe a try.
Speaking of blood oranges, I was chuffed to see my recipe for piri piri chicken with tangy blood orange on a Redbelly Citrus recipe leaflet! A very pleasant surprise. Blood oranges are in season now and the fruit from Redbelly is spectacular this year.
I mentioned in a recent post that I've been revisiting the idea of creating a family memoir and cookbook. This article from Diana Henry, one of my food writing heroes, might prove to be helpful in my planning.
Interesting to read that a team of plant biologists believes that common rice varieties, domesticated over thousands of years and now grown around the world, may have their ancestry in northern Australia.
Great news from Australian food producer, SPC Admona, who won the battle against two Italian companies found to be dumping tinned tomatoes into the Australian market. This is an important decision for the Australian food industry.
I enjoyed hearing restaurateur and food writer, Bill Granger, speaking on ABC Radio National about his philosophy on cooking and dining. Similarly, my number one food hero, Rick Stein, was interviewed on ABC RN about his new book, From Venice to Istanbul and the Isle of Torcello, in the Venice lagoon, a place that he says is close to his heart. He speaks so eloquently, don't you agree?
A new Australian study provides more evidence that junk food has a dreadful impact on our health. The researchers have found that a bad diet causes not only physical but also mental problems, particularly in older folk. I don't know about you, but I need all the brain power I can get!
CHOICE has released a 'free-range eggs buying guide' to assist Australian consumers and show which brands do and do not meet the recommended model of 1500 hens per hectare, and which brands are under investigation by the ACCC. This is a very good thing indeed, methinks.
Please stay tuned, as I have a feast of new recipes, postcards and traveller's tales to share with you in the fullness of time.
Note: lead image appears courtesy of Scrapologie.
So my dear readers, what good things have captured your attention lately? Do please tell.
Hello, I'm Lizzy, the writer, cook and traveller behind
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Weights & measures
I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes. Viz: one tablespoon = 20mls; one cup = 250mls. For detailed conversions click here.