Giving veggies a hiding

My mum used to make me eat brussel sprouts. Not the tiny little gourmet buttered brussel sprouts with roasted chestnuts that you find on a lavish European Christmas table. Oh no – these were 1970s Australian versions – bitter, olivey-grey, egg-sized, boiled monsters of torture that would keep me sitting at the table twisting my…

Roasted Honey Pumpkin

It’s amazing how many of my my greater achivements in the kitchen have come from a desire to get good food into the mouths of my children. Mother is the necessity of invention, they say, and it is so true.  I love pumpkin. Soups, curries, roasted, scones, pie – all are great. But my children…

Za’atar

Living in the Middle East is a dream for a spice lover. It is of course, smack in the middle of traditional spice trails, and the trading hub for all the fragrant and piquant treasures of this world. Baharat, Sumac, Saffron, Cardamom, Oud, Roses, Za’atar. The list goes on. A trip to the spice souk…

No pain, no gain

I’ve always been more of a non-recipe cook. Don’t get me wrong – I love cookbooks, but after years of working in restaurants alongside chefs – some great, some mediocre, I have realized that once you develop some basic knowledge, and learn to trust your taste buds, anyone is capable of inventing a recipe (implementing…

Easy Baclava

I discovered a little about baclava while I was at the Al Samadi Bakery recently – the term “baclava” actually refers to the pastry, not the sweets. It’s a super-soft mix that is flattenend, then has more layers of the same placed on top, and then is flattened again and again and again until you…