I want to start posting on this blog more. I know I’ve said that a few times now and then completely failed to do so. Life keeps getting in the way. So I’ve decided that I will start with smaller posts called ‘rapid recipes’. Normally I try and post a full introduction and photo walk through of how to make the recipe. But I often forget to take photos while I’m cooking, and walk throughs significantly increase the amount of time it takes to write a blog. So i’m going to start just posting a quick intro plus the ingredients and instructions and a photo or two whenever I make something I want to share.
I know, and I’m sorry.
I’m not just apologising to the few of you who read this blog regularly, but to myself. I’ve been away from blogging for more than a month now. The combination of a seriously substandard internet connection (seriously Tonga, get your act together), and the mind-numbing work of copy-editing my novel have made me unenthusiastic about posting regularly. Hell, I haven’t even been cooking anything new recently. Instead, I’ve been returning to old favourites, most of which I’ve already posted about on here. But no longer. While my parents were away I had to get lifts to the gym (I don’t have a license), and I compensated for this favour by providing baked goods. I found some great healthy recipes, and rediscovered some old faves that I haven’t posted about on here. So expect some posts on those soon-ish. I’m not going to dedicate myself to a rigid posting schedule at this point. While I generally love structure, creatively I find it stifling, as it sucks all the joy out of creating new things when you have to constantly churn them out. So, I will try to post at least one thing a week. Whether it’s a complete recipe, or a link to someone else’s recipe spiced up with some photos and thoughts on the recipe, I want to post things that I’m happy with, rather than posting just because it’s a Wednesday.
I won’t make any promises (to you, or to myself), except that I’m going to try to do better.
I love cheesecake. Honestly, who doesn’t? These cottage cheese and blueberry bars hit all the same notes as cheesecake just lighter. It’s beautifully creamy, slightly sweet, with a little tartness to offset everything. While these bars aren’t exactly ‘healthy’, they’re not unhealthy either. So if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, and are looking for ways to satisfy it without going overboard, this is the desert for you.
The other day I decided I wanted a ploughman’s platter for dinner. For once we actually had enough deli meat, cheese, and assorted extras in the house for it to work. The only kink in my plan was the lack of nice crusty bread in Tongan bakeries. You can order it and Cowley’s bakery would make it for you, but it was a Saturday and I didn’t want to wait until Monday (almost everywhere is closed on Sundays here). So I decided to make some nice bread myself. I don’t have a bread maker, or even a decent stand mixer so my options were a bit limited until I found Ceara’s excellent no knead whole wheat artisan bread.
I love chai tea. There are few things more warming or satisfying than a big mug of chai. There is a cafe in Brisbane called The Three Monkeys which serves its chai in bowls. Safe to say it’s amazing. Unfortunately I haven’t seen chai tea for sale anywhere here in Tonga. The occasional cafe serves chai lattes but they’re normally the pre-mixed packet ones. Luckily for me some of the stores here sell tea masala. Brew up some black tea, stir in some tea masala, add milk and honey, and you’ve got yourself delicious chai. Tea masala is also an amazing addition to just about any kind of baking. So when I came across this recipe for chai scones I just couldn’t resist.
I didn’t really like fish that much before I moved to Tonga. In Australia it is so expensive to get fresh fish, and the frozen stuff just isn’t as good. Luckily in Tonga fresh fish is readily available, and relatively cheap. Pacific Sunrise is one of the best and most reliable places to get excellent fresh fish in Tonga, and I was able to go behind the scenes and see the process of how fish becomes food.
When we saw red cabbage at the maketi the other day we were very excited. Mum’s friend Dagmar had been looking for red cabbage without much luck for some time, so we bought two thinking we would give one to her. Turns out she’d already bought a heap. So that left us with two red cabbages, and no idea what to do with them. Enter trusty ol’ Google. After a bit of time spent bouncing around different websites I had a rough idea of what to do. I then went into the kitchen to stare into the depths of the fridge, looking for inspiration. After a while I pulled out some veggies and fresh coriander, grabbing an apple from the bench for a bit of variety.
Over the past few weeks I’ve seen quite a few recipes floating around for rice base casseroles. Mum and I have recently fallen in love with brown rice, so I thought why not give a rice casserole a try with our new favourite food. None of the recipes I found seemed quite right (not enough vegetables, ingredients we didn’t have, too much cheese) so this recipe is an amalgam of several different sources.
I wanted to take an opportunity to thank my kitchen hands aka: my mum and dad. Continue reading
I love cooking (obviously), but sometimes by the end of a long day I don’t feel like cooking dinner. So at the start of each week/fortnight I do up a meal plan, and stick it to the fridge. Continue reading