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Meatless Monday: Braised chickpeas and carrots

16 Feb

I have to share the most delicious vegetarian dish I have eaten recently.  This is a recipe from Williams Sonoma which I made yesterday as an accompaniment to a chicken dish but which is hearty enough to stand on it’s own.  I ate leftovers for lunch today- yum!

I halved the recipe to use as a side dish but I would recommend making the full amount even if serving as an accompaniment because it reheats well.  I didn’t add the yogurt, cilantro and toasted almonds but it was delicious regardless.

To see the full recipe click here for the Williams Sonoma recipe.



Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

9 Feb

Short on time and patience this evening I needed a quick, tasty healthy meal for the kids and myself.  Enter sausage and broccoli pasta.

I haven’t put actual amounts here in the recipe because I think it should be pretty easy to work out what you need for your family size.



Italian sausage (casing removed)

Penne pasta


Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Lemon juice

Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta in boiling water as per packet directions

Cook sausage in frypan, breaking it up into clumps, until browned.  Drain on paper towel to remove excess fat.

Meanwhile, cook broccoli in microwave (alternatively you can throw it in with the pasta for  the last few minutes.

Drain pasta, return to pan.  Add sausage and broccoli and stir through some olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Broccoli and Bacon rice bowl

2 Dec

I’m solo parenting again for a couple of weeks so spent the weekend in search of quick, family-friendly recipes.  I just made this one for dinner tonight.  It was quick, easy and the kids loved it.

Eating to feel better- combating chemo side effects

21 Aug

Sadly I have a family member undergoing cancer treatment so I recently purchased an ebook (also available in hardcopy) called “What to Eat During Cancer Treatment: 100 Great-Tasting, Family-Friendly Recipes to Help You Cope“.  I made the Raisin-Bran muffins (to help combat constipation) and seeing as though they were so easy to make and enjoyed by everyone) and not just the patient  (and who doesn’t need a bit of extra fibre?!)  I thought I’d share here.

Raisin-Bran Muffins

(makes 12 muffins)

1/2 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cups All-Bran or other 100% fiber cereal

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup canola oil

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup brown or golden raisins (or a mix)

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or fill with paper liners

-In a heatproof bowl, pour the water over the cereal and stir to combine. Set aside

-In a separate bowl, beat the egg.  Add the buttermilk and oil and stir to combine.  Add the cereal mixture, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and stir until just combined.  Add the raisins and stir gently to incorporate.  Spoon the batter evenly into muffins cups.

-Bake for 18 to 23 minutes, or until the tops just bounce back when touched.  Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Note:  I recommend making these with a mini-muffin tin (and cooking for less time) as chemo patients often don’t have a big appetite.



It’s not just about the food

2 Aug

I had a fantastic evening in my kitchen yesterday.  The boys were behaving themselves (not an easy feat at that hour of the day) soI took advantage of that and decided to pull out a recipe from my new Jamie Oliver recipe book.  But this post isn’t about the recipe (although FYI it was a delicious butterfly lamb with a rosemary, garlic and dijon rub); it’s about the experience.  The evening prior we had been to see one of my favorite bands the John Butler Trio so last night I put on a JBT CD, poured a glass of wine and cooked.  I am pretty sure that being barefoot in your kitchen, singing and dancing with your three year old and cooking a delicious dinner with good quality ingredients is up there with life’s great experiences.  I felt completely in my element and the experience was quite soul-refreshing.

From Paris with Love

31 Jul


I recently fulfilled one of my travel dreams and travelled to Paris.  Very decadent- just for four nights! For those of you reading this blog from Australia that will seem a little crazy but I’m making the post of living on the East Coast of the USA and the flight was only seven hours!!

I arrived early in the morning on a Saturday and caught the bus to Gare de Lyon station and then walked to my hotel in the 12 arr.  My trip was off to the perfect start as I turned down the street near my hotel to find it was one, long fresh food market!  I was so enthralled with all the fresh produce and the hustle and bustle of the early morning business I didn’t even pull out my camera but I can tell you it was wonderful.  The sights, sounds and smells were delicious.

I didn’t do a lot of tourist-sightseeing but I did walk, eat and drink (a lot) and had three days of soaking up Parisian culture.  From fresh baguettes from the boulangerie, to Moroccan food at a restaurant where my friend and I were the only English-speaking patrons to a yummy goat cheese salad in a quintessential French cafe in The Marais we ate our way around Paris and enjoyed every minute of it.

This was just a taste of Paris and definitely not long enough but I’m looking forward to returning.IMG_1100


Vanilla Cookies

30 Jul

We have six friend’s over for a playdate tomorrow (that’s six children plus their mums) so I set out to make cookies this afternoon.  My elder son loves the vanilla cookies from Wholefoods so today was my first attempt at vanilla cookies.

I began by googling vanilla cookies and found this recipe from Melissa on which is based on one that from a bottle of vanilla extract.

Very easy to make and they tasted pretty good.  And only 5 ingredients (although I sprinkled cinnamon on top because my son likes that on the Wholefoods version).

Vanilla Cookies

Chicken Pie

24 Jul

Tonight I am making a delicious chicken pie- sort of a cross between chicken and leek pie and chicken pot pie.  Sure to appeal to everyone in the family!

Continue reading

In Defense of Food

20 Jul

Have just started reading Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food”.  Halfway through and really enjoying it.  Recommend it if you are interested in understanding how people think about food and how our thinking has been shaped.

To be a better cook…

18 Jun

Had to share a great quote from Michael Symon (co-host of ABC’s “The Chew”)

“the first thing to do to be a better cook is to buy better ingredients”

And with that I need to make a plan to find a nearby farmers market that I can manage with two kids in tow over the summer 🙂

The Meat & Potatoes of Life

By Lisa Smith Molinari



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