Mascarpone Cream with Morello Cherries and Amaretti

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of quick and easy desserts. I’d guess that my sweet tooth is at about medium strength. That is to say I tend towards savoury in general. For instance, I’m more inclined to order a starter than a dessert when I eat out (unless it’s a long and lazy evening of eating and I can fit in three courses).

But that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally indulge in something sweet and sinful. For all that healthy eating is an important part of our lives, there are times when eating has to be about pleasure only.

When it comes to choosing dessert for a dinner party I more often than not go for something quick and easy but that doesn’t necessarily appear so. When a pudding looks spectacular and tastes even better there’s no need for your guests to know it took twenty minutes for you to put it together. You can simply smile and accept the incoming praise gracefully while secretly thrilled that you were able to produce so much gorgeousness with such little effort.

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A weekend in Melbourne – day 3

And so we come to the last day of our weekend in Melbourne. If I’d thought the first two days were fantastic, day three only got better. Perhaps it helped that it was my birthday, which always makes the day feel a little special. But this was definitely a birthday like no other. One of the best ever, if not the best.

Brunch with friends seemed a great way to start the day. Our friends Karen and Craig recommended the café – Dr Morse Bar & Eatery in Abbotsford, which is only 2 kms east of Melbourne’s CBD. Easy to get to by train or a short taxi ride.

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A weekend in Melbourne – day 2

If you read my post from last week then you’ll know I’m completely in love with Melbourne. And that happened on day 1. Day 2 only strengthened my opinion of this fabulous city.

Considering the backbone of any holiday for me is the food it will come as no surprise that day 2 was kicked off with breakfast. We decided to go with a recommendation – thank you Karen! – and walked down to the river to have breakfast at The Arbory. Continue reading

A weekend in Melbourne – day 1

Melbourne, Australia. A city that lays claim to many accolades – the cultural capital of Australia, a culinary hotspot, first-class shopping; not to mention having been voted the world’s most liveable city on more than one occasion.

Let me tell you  – the praise is well deserved.

If you’re following my blog then you’ll know I travelled with my husband to Melbourne for the Easter weekend. I consider myself to be a well-travelled person but surprised myself at how excited I was to be “crossing the ditch” (which is how we Kiwis refer to making the short trip from New Zealand to Australia).

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Melbourne Calling!

I have always loved the Easter holiday. For me it has a wonderfully festive feel about it without the stress and craziness that comes with Christmas.

When I was a child we would often go camping for the long weekend. If Easter came in March the weather would often still be good. I have lovely memories of waking to the smell of my mother toasting hot cross buns. Dishing out the Easter eggs was my father’s job and he usually did this on Friday so we had them for the weekend.

This year Easter comes later in mid April. I’m more than happy with the late arrival as it coincides with my birthday. It’s been a while since my birthday fell over the Easter weekend. Seemed as good a reason as any to do something special.

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Basil Pesto – and the “king of herbs”

I don’t know how I’d cook without herbs. Whether they are being used as a star ingredient, a last minute scattering for freshness or simply as a garnish, these colourful and fragrant wonders of the culinary world have the ability to bring food to life.

If asked which was my favourite herb I’d be pushed to choose one above all others. But at the top of my list are: basil, Italian parsley, thyme, rosemary, mint, tarragon.

I’ll leave it there otherwise I’ll add every herb to the list.

Basil is at the top of the list simply because for me it conjures memories of food I’ve eaten in Italy – scattered over tomatoes, tossed through hot pasta, stirred through a rich meat ragù or simply garnishing a crisp bruschetta.

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Chicken, avocado & watercress wrap – a cold chicken hero

For centuries cooks have been coming up with creative ways to use leftover meat. A couple of months ago I posted a recipe for pulled pork burritos using leftover pulled pork. A fantastic example of how the meat’s second outing need not be inferior to its first.

But perhaps my ultimate favourite in the leftover meat department is chicken. A fabulous meal is never far away when cold chicken awaits me in the fridge. Do I want to keep it cold and make a salad? Perhaps reheat it in a spicy sauce and put together a Mexican feast? Toss it through pasta with garlic and mushrooms?

And it’s not only the evening meal where cold chicken comes into its own. It makes a fantastic lunch or light meal. Earlier this week I made a tray-bake with chicken legs and tomatoes (which incidentally is one of my favourite meals and you can get the recipe here).

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The Real Neat Blog Award

It’s been a rather exciting time for my family. My brother and sister-in-law’s new addition to the family arrived last week. My new nephew is gorgeous and a very special little boy.

So I felt this week was a perfect time to give back to our wonderful blogging community by writing up an award. I’ve been nominated for a couple of awards recently and today I’d like to thank the lovely Rini from Yes! All Roads Lead to Food (what a fantastic name for a blog, don’t you think?) for nominating me for the Real Neat Blog Award. Not only was I surprised and grateful but felt privileged to be named among her other nominees – a selection of fantastic blogs.

Rini’s blog is all about her gastronomic journey and is a joy to read so you definitely need to click on the link above and give her a follow. Her culinary adventures are such a great read. Every post is certain to put a smile on your face.

real-neat-blog-award

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