“Chewy Ginger Snaps” from “The Violet Bakery Cookbook”


Kirstin: I had to try out this recipe; it had such an interesting combination of spices. Even ground cardamom! And yes, these were totally worth it. They were a perfect combination of flavours. However, chewy they were not. But that’s definitely my oven and even though I cooked them for less time than she recommended, knowing that my oven would mess things up, I still didn’t get it right. Having said that, I would try these again and I’ve already amended the time in the book, which is always a sure sign that I will try these again. And next time they will be chewy!

“Chewy Ginger Snaps” from “The Violet Bakery Cookbook”

“Vietnamese Beef with Rice Vermicelli and Crispy Vegetables” from “A Change of Appetite”

Anna: This tastes and smells just like authentic Vietnamese. Or the Vietnamese food we used to eat in Sydney. Making this has taken me straight back to that restaurant we went to in Glebe with Edyta and Mark. We had the summer rolls and I’d never had anything like them before. Isn’t it brilliant that a smell can take me back to seven years ago like it was yesterday!

Peter: It does taste pretty authentic. It’s delicious.

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Anna: It is, isn’t it? I love this. I love this type of food. If there wasn’t so much bloody chopping involved I’d make it every week.

Peter: Well I do like a good noodle so I’m happy for you to make it any time.



“Vietnamese Beef with Rice Vermicelli and Crispy Vegetables” from “A Change of Appetite”

“Hot Chilli-Ginger Stir-fried Squid” from “A Change of Appetite”

Anna: Meh. I had such high hopes for this and I am disappointed. I’m sure if a personal chef had made it for me I would love it.

Peter: It wasn’t as hot as I thought it would be.

Anna: That’s the chilli’s fault. I could have left the seeds in and probably should have done.

Peter: Did the squid need marinating?

Anna: Why do you say that?

Peter: It was a bit dry I guess…..

Anna: Couldn’t you taste the lemongrass?

Peter: Yes. And I got the salty and sour. I’m not sure what it is that’s missing.

Anna: A professional chef. This would be perfect in a Thai restaurant. Somehow it hasn’t worked for me at home. It’s perfectly ok. And it was easy to cook. But I won’t be doing it again.






“Hot Chilli-Ginger Stir-fried Squid” from “A Change of Appetite”

“Speedy Chicken Noodle Soup” from “Easy Meals”

Want to make this yourself? The Good Food Channel has posted the recipe online here.

Maureen: Yum. This is great.

Tim: Yes. I agree. I like this.

Andrew (12): Me too.

Nicholas (8): I think it’s okay, but I do like it.

Maureen: When Rachel Allen says it only takes 7 minutes of preparation time and 5 minutes of cooking time, she’s not kidding.

Tim: Was it really that fast?

Maureen: Yes, although it stayed on the hob while we waited for you to get home from work. The thing that took the longest was soaking the rice noodles.

Continue reading ““Speedy Chicken Noodle Soup” from “Easy Meals””

“Speedy Chicken Noodle Soup” from “Easy Meals”

“Honey Ginger Cake” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

Elsa: It was très bon!

Kate: Yes, it’s very yummy indeed!

Tom: Mmmmm, there’s stem ginger in this too, isn’t there?

Kirstin: Yes, that’s why it’s called honey ginger cake!

Tom: I was expecting it to be more gooey, like a ginger cake. But it’s very nice.

Elsa: It’s a bit like gingerbread, with nests of yumminess in it…

Kirstin: It will be good tomorrow, I imagine.

Elsa: With a hot cup of tea.

Kirstin: Yes, except I don’t drink tea!

Tom: Was it a fiddle to make?

Kirstin: It was less of a fiddle to make than the brownies yesterday, because I didn’t have a hangover. So I actually remembered all the ingredients. I would definitely make this again!

“Honey Ginger Cake” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

“Keema” from “Feast”

This is from the menu for “Sunday Lunch after the Saturday Night Before.” We didn’t have it on a Sunday after a raucous night out. We just had it on a weeknight. I do suspect that Nigella lives a far more interesting life than we do. 

This really was quite good. If you’d like to try it yourself, Nigella has posted the recipe on her own website, so you can find that here.

Andrew (12): This is epic.

Nicholas (8): This is very good.

Maureen: The homemade naan bread that you made Tim is what really make this delicious.

Andrew: This is a nice summary of Indian food, with meat, spices, peas and naan bread.

Nicholas: Do you think we could get this at The Mogul?

Tim: Why would you want to do that when you could have it at home?

Andrew: Were the ingredients hard to get?

Maureen: Not at all. It’s all things I can find at the local store. Drings even had ready-made lamb mince. I thought they were going to have to mince it for me, but they had it standing by.

Continue reading ““Keema” from “Feast””

“Keema” from “Feast”