From Food

Chewy caramelised onion and silverbeet flatbreads

FlatlayflatbreadSpring weather arrived, all of a sudden this week. So, what better way to celebrate than evenings parked around a campfire? You do need a bit of time to rustle these up and let them proof, but once the prep is done you’re over halfway there. They went down a treat- and were very forgiving of the haphazard cooking arrangement. There’s nothing more hunter-gatherer than cooking on an open fire, right?

All this smoke-infused goodness you get from a fire, I realise, is a certain privilege of living in the sticks. When your neighbour doesn’t call the fire brigade because you’ve got flames jumping and smoke billowing in your backyard- primarily due to the fact they live so far away! So, alternatively [and perhaps more sensibly] a BBQ will do just as nicely- and a heavy bottomed skillet/frypan will do just as well too. But maybe eat them outside, once they’re cooked? I swear it’s the best way to enjoy them.

I acquired a sourdough starter over a year ago [and have never looked back], this forms the basis of these breads- but you can absolutely whip these up minus the sourdough [just look for the brackets in bold below].

Flatbreads tray

F L A T B R E A D S :

  • 3/4 cup sourdough
  • 1 tsp dried active yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup warm milk

[Without sourdough: instead use 2 tsp active dried yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 cup warm milk]

  • 1 egg [lightly beaten]
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened yoghurt
  • 3 cups flour [you may need to add more as you go, so don’t put it away yet!]
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • about a cupful caramelised onions [or if you don’t have them, a few hearty spoonfuls of chutney]
  • 25g butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6-8 leaves silverbeet/spinach/kale/some kind of leafy green
  • Oil for cooking
  • Freshly ground salt/ground cumin to sprinkle on breads, the final touch
  • A stash of baking paper


Dissolve dried active yeast in water and milk- leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes, until fluffy.

Stir flour, salt and cumin together in mixer with dough hook [of course, you can do this with elbow juice- you will have the best looking biceps around!] Add sourdough, yeast in water/milk, egg and yoghurt and  beat/knead until incorporated. Once you get a smooth dough that pulls away from sides, cover and place in an oiled bowl. [I put it back into the cake mixer bowl- you’ll need to do more mixing later.] It should be a solid but soft dough- if it is too sticky, add more flour in gradually until you think it looks right. Leave to rest somewhere warm, until puffy and about doubled in size. [I walked away and forgot about it for a couple of hours, easy peasy].

[You’ve got a couple of hours to do this bit while the dough is rising- so just fit it in when you get a second]. Melt butter in saucepan, add garlic until lightly aromatic. I chopped the stalks off the silverbeet, rolled the leaves up together and with scissors, roughly chopped them straight into the pan. Heat through until wilted.

Once your dough has risen- add silverbeet mix [including any juicy bits] and caramelised onions [or chutney] to dough and mix through. It will turn slightly sloppy here, so once it’s all incorporated, add another 1/2 cup [or so] of flour until soft- but not so sticky that you can’t work with it. On a floured bench, divide dough mix into 12. Roll these into balls and leave to sit for about 30 minutes. Roll them out, sprinkle with flour as required to stop them sticking.



If you’re rolling and not cooking straight away, I found it easier to manage these breads with baking paper layered in between. So rip off a bunch of baking paper squares to get you started. As you finish each bread, place on paper and add a new sheet to the pile before adding the next. These breads can be frozen like this [so long as you give them enough time to defrost and sort of puff up again before cooking].  Heat a slosh of oil in your frypan/BBQ to medium heat, you’ll need to do the same before cooking each one. Place bread in frypan [if you can’t get the baking paper off, don’t worry- you’ll be able to peel it off as bread cooks]. Once edges are golden and bread puffy, flip over onto other side. Douse breads with salt/cumin mix- aaaaand they’re ready to eat!

We wrapped ours around some crumbed schnitzel and a 5 second throw-together salad. But serve with any salad or slaw, chargrilled meat/sausages [if meat happens to takes your fancy] and some cumin and lemon mayo. Yum!


ThatsawrapAnd, that’s a wrap! xx



Meet: Wunderbar. As Kristin has fondly called it.


A hearty slice with a fruity middle. The fruit and date combo means it requires very little added sugar. You won’t miss the sugar, promise! I sloshed a bit of earl grey, date and caramel sauce on the bottom [Just as an aside, whip some of this up, stash it in your fridge and keep it up your sleeve. One sauce, 101 ways. I swear!]

W U N D E R B A R :


  • 1 cup wholegrain oats
  • 1 cup coconut thread
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts [peanuts/almonds/pistachios or whatever takes your fancy. I used peanuts]
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g butter


  • 2 pears or apples
  • 8-10 chopped dates
  • about 1/2 cup earl grey tea [or just water will work fine too]


Heat oven to 180 degrees/160 fanbake. Line a 25 x 20 cm tin [or a brownie sized slice tin works just as well, mine measures 27 x 18cm].

Place dates in small saucepan with tea [or water] and simmer gently for around 5 minutes until most of the liquid has reduced and dates look sort of mushy. While dates are doing their thing, peel and finely slice pear or apple. Then add this to date mixture and allow to soften for a couple of minutes. If it’s starting to dry out, add a little bit more liquid- but you want it as thick and pulpy as possible.

Mix dry ingredients together. Melt butter, then stir through dry ingredients. Pour half of crumble mix into slice tin, spread evenly over bottom. You’ll need to push it down and sort of stick it together. Place in oven for around 8-10 minutes, or until golden on the edges.

The fruit mix should be done by this time, once you’ve pulled crumble base out of the oven, you can spread it on top of the crumble base. [I doused the crumble in a bit of that caramel sauce I mentioned up there prior to adding the fruit, but you could add chopped chocolate in it’s place- or omit it altogether. If you are using caramel sauce that seems a bit too runny, you can always add a bit of flour to achieve a thicker consistency].

Once you have your fruity magic on top of the base, you can crumble the remaining dry mix evenly over the top and place back in the oven for a further 8-10 minutes [or until golden on top]. It holds together best when cool, so best to chill before slicing.

Serve with yoghurt and a dusting of cinnamon. Wunderbar, literally!



Earl grey, date and caramel sauce


This has become one of my staples over winter. The earl grey really makes this sauce sing. It may not be the prettiest sauce you’ve ever seen, but it makes up for it in the taste department! The method is nothing short of cheating, but unlike a ‘proper’ caramel sauce, it lets the dates do most of the sweetening. It’s perfect poured over cake and desserts, stirred through a bit of yoghurt and we’ve even used it as a topping on donuts.

I’ve gone a bit mad adding tea to things lately, but I have got into making a pot of tea and ‘sharing’ it between cooking and myself! We drink an earl grey type mix in our house, but you could absolutely substitute for some other citrus-y, fragrant black tea.

S A U C Y   S W E E T N E S S :


  • 6-8 dates
  • 1/2 cup earl grey tea


  • 100g butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 50 ml cream
  • 50ml-75ml earl grey tea
  • 1 decent teaspoon vanilla
  • a pinch of salt [if you so wish]


Roughly chop dates and add to saucepan with tea. Simmer until soft and mushy and a small amount of tea remains. Transfer to food processor [or use stick blender] and blitz to a smooth consistency.

Melt butter in a saucepan, add brown sugar and dates, and stir until incorporated. Add cream and remaining tea and simmer gently for about 5 or so minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt [optional].

This makes quite a thick sauce when cooled- but will become more runny when warmed slightly. Just bung it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until it is the consistency you want. This sauce still has flecks of date in it- but I’m a bit rustic and okay with that. To make it prettier and fancier you could strain the the sauce once cooked to get those bits out. Saucy!



winner, winner: leftover dinner

I’m a big fan of leftovers. Half the prep has been done the night before- I mean, what’s not to love? Fried rice is a great way to jam in heaps of wholesome goodies, I swear if there was a dinner version of a lolly scramble- fried rice would be IT.

So, the remaining coconut rice and roasted pumpkin from last nights curry has become beef fried rice.



F R I E D   R I C E :


  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • chopped vegetables [I used carrots, celery, beans, peas, corn, but let your imagination run rife!]
  • about 2 cups of cooked rice [I used medium grain]
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 500g schnitzel [sliced and soaked in honey soy marinade], but just as delicious with chicken, prawns or without!
  • a few rashers bacon, grilled and crunchy and roughly chopped

EGGY GOODNESS [not compulsory, but tastes pretty damn delicious]

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

MUSHROOMS AND SPINACH [again, not required, but a nice way to include some extra veggies]

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Knob of butter or dash of oil
  • 10-12 diced mushrooms
  • good handful of baby spinach [or the big stuff even silverbeet, just slice it up a bit]


  • pile mushrooms and spinach on top of your rice
  • sliced radish, cucumber, roasted peanuts, coriander [if you have any], a few of those awesome crunchy noodles

METHOD: [lots of these things you can do in advance, so you can just put your feet up and eat crunchy noodles until 6pm]

Place rice on a shallow tray and cover with a tea towel [just to dry it out and help it stick together]. Clean and chop vegetables and place aside. Crush garlic, grate ginger and place aside in a separate bowl.

Heat a large heavy based frypan over medium heat. Add a dash of oil. Once hot, add your vegies and stir fry for a few minutes until bright and slightly softened, with a few crunchy brown bits in parts. Remove from pan and place aside. Pour half your eggy mix into pan and cook it as you would a pancake. Cook for a couple of minutes each side, then remove. Repeat with remaining egg mixture. Find a chopping board or spare piece of bench and slice this into long, thin strips and add to vegetable bowl. In another pan, turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the beef [bearing in mind it will all be heated through again, so don’t overcook]. Remove and keep warm.

For the spinach and mushrooms: heat butter or oil in a small saucepan, add garlic and brown. Add mushrooms- cook until softened, then add spinach and heat through until wilted.

In your large pan, heat 1 tsp oil and brown the garlic and ginger for 1 minute- then add the rice. You might need to add a bit more oil here, just to stop the rice sticking. Stir continuously so the rice is evenly fried and to stop it sticking to the bottom. Once it looks nice and golden, add the soy sauce and stir through. Finally, add the bacon, meat, egg and vegetables until mixed through and toasty hot. Season as required [although the soy sauce is pretty salty so it really only needs a sprinkling of pepper]. Serve with garnishy things, and eat!

This is not exactly an ‘authentic’ fried rice- but it tastes great and a leftover winner!