The friendly (and may I say, witty) team at The Checkout are back on the ABC for Series 2 with an extended run of 20 episodes commencing on Thursday, 20 February at 8.00pm. Regular features include Product vs Pack Shot, showing some of Australia's most lovingly photographed products as they appear in real life; and 'If I Could Say One Thing': bite sized chunks of advice for consumers from some of Australia's leading consumer advocates. New segments include The Checkout Dictionary; Right On!; The Catch; The Checkup; and The Loving Pet Owner. Definitely worth watching!
In series one and two of Kitchen Cabinet, ABC political commentator Annabel Crabb, invaded the kitchens of Australian politicians in search of food and light psychoanalysis. This election year, she’s back for more, in a new prime-time home on ABC1. Each week Ms Crabb invites herself over to the home of a sitting Federal politician, offering dessert in exchange for a chat and dinner. Series three features Craig Emerson and Nick Xenophon, among others. Kitchen Cabinet screens on ABC 1 on Tuesday evenings at 8.00pm. It's interesting and delicious. Definitely worth viewing.
Having spent much time in Italy, Nigella Lawson has a passion for Italian cooking and is back on our TV screens with a range of quick and easy, no-fuss Italian dishes. Nigellissima screens at 8:30pm Thursdays from 3 January, 2013.
My mouth was watering as I watched Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall collect fist sized walnuts fresh from a nut orchard in Devon and then bake them into a walnut and honey tart, accompanied by creamy celeriac ice cream! (Watch this space, I'm going to try that recipe!).
Drop net prawn fishing is next, the most sustainable way of catching prawns. The prawns are cooked on the wharf to capture that exquisite 'sea fresh sweetness' and then, back in the kitchen, tossed into fiercely hot oil, with a pinch of garlic and chilli, a dash of cider brandy and a knob of butter. Served in martini glasses, this makes for a delicious prawn cocktail no matter what the season or what part of the world you're in, methinks.
Also on the menu, there's an array of bite sized canapés, including chestnut and sage soup, and tender free range wild boar with roasted Brussels sprouts, parsnip puree and boar stock gravy. And then those walnuts again. What a cracker of a Christmas get together!
The River Cottage Christmas Special will screen on ABC1 on Saturday, 22 December at 6.00pm.
If I had the opportunity to be reincarnated, I think I might like to come back as Maggie Beer. I've had the pleasure of meeting Maggie and bringing to her to Canberra some years ago. Her smile, her down to earth generosity and genuine warmth is so endearing. Not to mention she always looks so elegant, is modest... and one heck of a good cook!
To celebrate the festive season Maggie invites some special guests to the ultimate Australian Christmas Feast in the beautiful surroundings of her own property in the Barossa Valley. 'I’m simply a country cook who lives in the Barossa where I’m surrounded by fantastic product. This gave me the idea for a feast where I would think of my special local food producers and link their products to my favourite dishes, and then have the producers come to the table underneath my gum trees to celebrate.'
Maggie’s menu is inspired by her own family Christmas celebrations. There are two absolute traditions on the Beer family table. Yabbies from the dam, served outside and eaten using fingers, and a goose in the centre of the table. Maggie adds a perfectly glazed ham, slow-roasted lamb, pork, char-grilled beef, some fish and oysters, all accompanied by a variety of salads. Maggie's husband, Colin, also steps up to the plate! Top this off with a special surprise recital while three stunning desserts and a variety of local cheeses are served in the ‘top shed’ and this is a feast not to be missed.
Maggie Beer's Christmas Feast will screen on ABC1 on Tuesday, 18 December at 8.00pm. To set the scene, here's a preview. Season's eatings!
If you happened to watch ABC's breathtaking series, Great Southern Land recently, you will have learned that Australia eats the most beetroot in the world, and exports 70,000 tonnes of rice per year. On a continent with just 6% of precious arable land, we support almost 23 million people, and 120,000 farms produce almost everything we eat!
In episode one, titled Great Australian Bite, Professor Steve Simpson, explored how we satisfy an appetite for two of life’s vital ingredients: food and power - as seen from above. Simpson set off on a journey to unravel the network of food production by tracing the ingredients of a humble Australian burger, travelling from Roma in Queensland to Adelaide; from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and to Queensland’s Glass House Mountains. Viewers were taken from the stunning Snowy Mountains, to Tasmania, south west Victoria, Lake Macquarie in NSW, Burdekin in Queensland and the outback of Western Australia.
Seen from above how a vast nation is fed and powered is an eye-opening adventure... this is Australia as you’ve never seen her before!
The four-episode series of Great Southern Land is available on Blu-ray and DVD from 21 November and I have TWO copies of the DVD valued at $29.95 each to give away!
ENTER THE COMPETITION HERE!
To be in the running to win a copy of the Great Southern Land DVD, simply tell me about your favourite Farmers Market in the comment box below. What do you love about it? What makes you want to return again and again.
If you tweet about this competition to me @bizzylizzycooks, you will have a greater chance of winning.
The Great South Land DVD competition is open to residents across Australia. It closes at midnight on 12 December 2012. Winners will be notified by email and announced here. So make sure you enter and watch this space.
In the event you don't win, perhaps you can ask the family to pop a copy in your Christmas stocking!
Would you look differently at your roast lamb if you had to kill the lamb yourself? This is an interesting and thought provoking question, particularly in the light of the publicity given to recent incidents of animal cruelty in Australia and abroad.
Documentarian and meat-eater, Madeleine Parry, says she was taught how to kill, gut and cook a chicken by her grandmother. Now she wants to explore whether you can really eat meat and still care about the animals on the menu. So she enlists to become a meat-worker at a small abattoir, and works her way up the production line to the ‘killbox’.
After a week of shovelling manure and hosing blood, plus all the other dirty work in between, Madeleine learns how to stun and then kill a sheep. The following day, a cow. And later, a pig, on which she says pigs don't let you forget that you are killing them.
This is raw, totally down to earth reality TV that is likely to make viewers think long and hard about ethical eating. And that's a really good thing!
Meatwork screens on ABC2 on Sunday, 11 November 2012 at 9.30pm and is part of an ABC TV and Screen Australia initiative called Opening Shot, where five young filmmakers were given the chance to make a documentary to be broadcast on ABC2.
If the Twitter feed during the first episode of Poh Ling Yiew's new series on the ABC is anything to go on, Poh's Kitchen Lends a Hand has very quickly captured the hearts of the viewing audience. 'Watch it now, it will nourish your soul', and 'What an inspiration!' were among the many positive tweets. I loved it too!
Former MasterChef Australia contestant and television cooking show presenter, Poh, has taken the opportunity to lend a hand to people who are using cooking to help heal and inspire. The thing I like the most is that Poh has such a warm, effervescent and genuine way about her. Her compassion for the champions she meets throughout the series is truly touching.
Watch as Poh creates food for the homeless in her hometown, works with STREAT, a Melbourne community program getting troubled youths off the street and into the hospitality industry; helps a team of cooks with disability face up to their biggest ever test; visits a Victorian town where food is helping to heal after devastating bushfires; and takes on the role as camp cook for troubled teens on an outback adventure. The series concludes with a dramatic and life changing trip to the slums of Cambodia.
Poh's Kitchen Lends a Hand screens on ABC1 at 8.00pm on Tuesday for six weeks from 11 September.
Click through these postcards from the series:
Images appear kind courtesy of the ABC.
Meet Audrey Gordon, 'food writer, teacher, celebrity chef and someone who loves to cook fresh food, prepared with love'; and host of Audrey's Kitchen, a new comedy cooking series on the ABC.
The publicity sheet advises that Audrey's Kitchen 'is an irreverent antidote to the crowded world of celebrity chefdom, a tongue-in-cheek send-up of the cult of TV cooking... a series for anyone who loves food but is willing to admit that we might all sometimes be taking it just a tad too seriously'. How true, and what fun!
In three-minute segments, Audrey dishes up exotic recipes with whimsical spiel that includes 'whisking eggs till they are slightly giddy' and frying with a 'satisfying sizzle'. She compares snipping the ends off spring onions to 'docking a dog's tail' and answers questions such as 'Why do I cook' with the response, 'Why does a painter paint or a carpenter make carpet!'.
Full marks to Australian actress, Heidi Arena, who stars as Audrey Gordon. She has the plum-in-the-mouth English accent down pat and is a little bit ‘Nigella’ and a touch Margaret Fulton and a dash of Hairy Biker thrown in for attitude. I can't wait to see Audrey on MasterChef! Catch a preview of the series here or watch ABC TV on Saturdays and Sundays at 6.25pm.
The domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson, is back - in the stunning new series, Nigella Kitchen - a show that emanates from the heart of the home and is bubbling over with fast, fabulous, feel good food for every occasion. With her winning mix of passion, enthusiasm and greed, Nigella is in the kitchen cooking food for modern living that you can and will want to make all the time, whatever the situation.
Episode One, titled 'You Know it Makes Sense' screens on ABC1 on Tuesday, 29 November at 8.00pm.
Coming to the screen at your place. Book your seats on the sofa!