Soup nor mai

Have you ever had the experience of going to a much-loved restaurant only to find that your favourite dish is no longer on the menu? I have. Let me relate the story. It was a dark and stormy night… Actually, it was a warm November evening at our Thai restaurant*–the ‘secret’ suburban Thai place that…

Conquering a mountain with (samphire) salad

I can’t remember when or how it happened; it just did. One meal I didn’t pick up my camera to take a photo before eating. Then before I knew it, a day, a week, a month, three months had passed, with no food photos. And that coincided – or is that culminated? – with no…

Guest Post 7: A mindful business, a retreat & a recipe

When Nicole van Kan from Équilibre told me about their upcoming retreat, I thought it sounded fabulous enough to warrant its very own post. Thankfully, Nicole thought so too! One of the great joys in my life is the fact that I can pop out my back door and gather together a variety of edible…

Sweet, salty, pungent, spicy salad

Those of you who followed my recent Nusa Lembongan adventure will know that I fell in love with rujak (aka “rojak”), a sweet, salty, sour and spicy fruit salad that pregnant women apparently go a little nuts over. I went more than a little nuts over it, but I don’t think it was because I…

Guest Post 4: Mango & Avocado Salad by Joshua Jones

I am so excited to introduce my latest guest post – a delicious recipe by my very talented friend Josh. I am so proud of him for managing to stave off hunger for just long enough to take the accompanying photos! I know that you will enjoy this post as much for the reading as…

Cooking with Kate

I spent my Saturday in Chittering, a quiet rural town north-east of Perth, learning to make vegan salads from Chef Kate Meinck. Kate runs cooking classes from her secluded retreat. Some of you may be aware that she recently won a Maggie Beer recipe competition, so you can be fairly assured of culinary success if…

A return to strong, simple flavours

I have finally reattempted this refreshing salad after tasting all the som tum (Thai green papaya salad) that I could in Perth before going raw – and then chancing upon a pristine pile of organic green papayas at Organic on Charles. I documented my first som tum adventure in February 2009 and, looking back, I…

Worms for dinner

If you haven’t yet discovered kelp noodles, these transparent tendrils of sea vegetable are my second most recent discovery – and my most recent method for bribing a strong-willed toddler into eating his dinner. By the way, if you haven’t seen kelp noodles* before, this is what they look like on their own: Now to…

The difference between red and purple

When I made my red cabbage and goji berry coleslaw the other day, I remember thinking to myself, “Wow. That’s really red.” Then I made a salad out of beetroot, carrot and red onion. As it sat next to the coleslaw, I caught myself exclaiming, “Whoa – that’s red!” and I realised that red cabbage…

A seaside picnic

What I love most about a sunny winter’s day is that you can enjoy an afternoon out of doors without sweat and flies, and you have a good chance of enjoying yourself without getting sunburnt. I also love those meals that are absolutely, lip-smackingly delicious and inherently healthy at the same time. This crispy-skinned salmon…

Chicken & grapefruit glass noodle salad

One of the upsides of frequently cooking & eating by myself is the fact that I can put whatever I want [read: whatever is lying around] into my meal without feeling pressure to impress. Usually, my experiments work out; occasionally, they are awesome. This salad made my tastebuds sing. This was a meal inspired by:…

Pepper steak pies

For the most part, my lifestyle journey is styled as a sort of healthy living renaissance. Today, for instance, I ate virtuously at Tra Vinh for lunch [pho tai and braised beef pictured below] and cooked up some garlic pak choy for dinner. With the nights cooling down in Perth, however, I sometimes need a…

How to sprout

Firstly, I will spout about my first sprouted achievement: lentils. Ta da! Secondly, I should admit to the fact that I do not have a living garden. If anything, I have a brown thumb. That is, I kill plants. My plant killage is completely unintentional and is as often as not the result of too…

A Very Friendly Christmas

I hope your Christmas was merry and special; mine certainly was! I cooked for a few good friends who either did not have family in Perth or did not have lunch plans with family. I have done this once before, in Broome for Christmas 2003. This year, we had an outdoor Christmas tree, helium balloons,…

‘B’ is for Beetroot

I always thought of this sweet vegetable as a winter food, but my recent discovery of some very good-looking baby beetroot [not the ones pictured above; these are very much grown up] and a little internet research tells me that they survive well into spring in Western Australia. How to select & store beetroot. wikiHow…

So now I am going to tell you about the time I made my own cheese

I am willing to bet that you could guess the origins of Capri salad (aka “Caprese salad”) by its name. Some people add other ingredients but this basic tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella salad is, to me, the epitome of simplicity and style in food preparation. I featured it in my recent tapas menu as…

‘A’ is for Artichoke

There is nothing quite like a freshly braised artichoke. It is satisfying and tender, the perfect highlight in a pizza, salad or pasta dish without being an egomaniac. Choosing an artichoke. An artichoke is a flower, and selecting an artichoke is a sensory exercise: you are looking for a glossy sheen, heavy feel, squeaky sound…

Mum’s cold & flu remedy

I am fending off the flu and have fortunately had my mum here looking after me for the last couple of days. I say ‘fortunately’, but I am sweating pure garlic as a result. You see, mum swears by garlic – truckloads of raw garlic – to kill off the dreaded lurgy. This was yesterday’s…

Assiette de Hannah

With MasterChef Australia now going to air, the third of my related posts gets to see the light of day [here are the first and second posts]. Perth hasn’t yet featured in the series, but I realised that Day 1 of auditions is not getting a look-in, hence I thought I would feature my Day…

Best prosciutto salad ever

And it only takes 5 minutes. Recipe #32: Prosciutto & rocket salad. Serves as few or as many as you like. Start with some baby rocket leaves. Tear in some basil leaves and toss with a little shaved parmesan, wafer-thin prosciutto and semidried tomatoes. Now it’s looking like a stack! Sprinkle over some gorgonzola squares,…

My recent addiction

Star anise. I am enamoured with the shape, the smell, the texture, the exotic flavour it imbues into meat and vegetable dishes with a little heat-assisted coercion. It’s so versatile. Aside from its recent use in my quacking chicken, I also discovered it is an excellent aromatic match to pork belly. That’s right. The non-pork…

The much anticipated green papaya salad

I made this salad for dinner on Tuesday night, so the follow-up is a little late. I apologise for that. Now that I am back at work, my posts are likely to be a little further apart. First – the embarrassing bit. My green papaya of 30 January turned out to be a ripe papaya…