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A day of cooking in the woodfired pizza oven

On Xmas Eve last year my husband finished building our woodfired pizza oven and we cooked our first pizzas. It’s been great fun feeding pizzas to friends and family over the last 6 months. Today we decided to light the pizza oven before dawn, so that we could cook in it all day.

So the husband lit the fire at about 4.15am, and then went fishing. I went out just after 6am and put a few more logs on the fire.



I said good morning to the animals and gave them breakfast too.




after making a coffee I went back inside and starting preparing meals to cook




I made 2 lots of dough, one for pizza and one for focaccia. I made 2 different bean dishes, makings for 2 quiches, some Anzac cookie dough, and some dough to make some lovely chewy big salty pretzels. I’m never made them before and they were tricky to handle! I’ll make smaller ones next time. They were like bagels in that they are boiled briefly first, then baked. a new favourite I think.



BBQ beans, and a cannellini bean bake


leek and rosemary focaccia having it’s final rising

The last log was put in the fire at about 7.30am. so by 11am it was ready for pizza



5mins later it was ready to eat!


then time for the giant pretzels

they had 2 risings, a quick boil, then into the oven for about 10 minutes


hmmm not very pretzel shaped……..


some post lunch snoozing by the fisherman, and some reading and sewing for the rest of us


then at about 3pm it was in with the focaccia, the quiches and the Anzac cookies






after. kale, parsley and leek quiches.

then at 6pm, the freshly caught dart fillets with their secret recipe lemon “rub” went in for 15mins.


this was dinner with some salad. delicious.

and finally at 7.30pm. a vanilla cake took 15mins to bake.


The oven is still hot enough to bake, but we’ve run out of fridge and freezer space!

We have some meals and lunches for the week, some food in the freezer and all with an armful of wood, an early morning, and a relaxing day at home. t

Thanks for reading 🙂


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Easter – but with veges

(photo and recipe thanks to Dianne Summerville. Find her on Facebook as I Love Sewing – supplies, tutorials and sewing classes)

Here’s an Easter treat that has some hidden veges in it. shhhhh don’t tell the kids.

• 250 gms 80% chocolate
• 2 tablespoons butter or marg
Melt over double boiler until smooth
• 1 cup of puree veg (I used beetroot spinach and pumpkin)
• 1 egg or (2 egg whites)
… Put into a bowl and mix together
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup spelt flour
• ½ cup organic cocoa powder
Mix into egg and veg
Mix in choc and butter, place in square lined pan and bake in moderate oven for 35 minutes allow to cool in pan before cutting. I dusted with icing sugar for the kids and that’s it.


Friday’s favourites

There are so many things i am loving today!

First of all – the garden

daisy chains

3 weeks ago, they were just seeds,  the kids are loving the daily growth.

sweetpeas reaching to climb

picking lettuce and rocket for lunch and dinner each day is so great


and then there was some food

i'm addicted to this yoghurt, if i could make homemade so it was like this i'd be very happy

and it’s good plopped on leftover pikelets and blackberry jam

that's not cream, that's yoghurt!

and then there was a little shopping. This family calender as awesome, and really made me so much more organised this year. i remembered playdates, library days, school dress up days, and even some birthdays!

ready for 2012


helmet and gloves arrived just in time for cycling

 I had forgotten how much i enjoyed cross stitch

more xmas decorations like this are in progress in the PenPals studio (sometimes referered to as the couch)

 making felted balls is very therapeutic. what to do with them now?

rolling rolling rolling

 what are you loving today?

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Comfort food

I think all families have their comfort meals. meals for when everyone is tired, or recovering from illness, rainy sunday nights, and even as leftovers for breakfast (harvey’s favourite breakfast is lefovers from dinner).

I thought i’d share some of our favourite comfort meals. This is Harvey’s most requested meal.

Rice with Lentils (from Charmaine Solomon’s Complete Vegetarian Cookbook, a book i’ve had for about 20 years). In India this is a main dish and is accompanied by curries, chutneys, pappadams and some yoghurt, either plain or mixed with sliced cucumber, or sliced banana.

We have this with a green salad and some Indian chutneys.

This recipe can be halved.

1 cup dried red lentils

2.5 Tblspns oil or ghee (i use half olive oil and half butter)

2 large onions, sliced thinly

1 cup long grain rice

3.5 cups hot water

1-2 tspns sea salt

1/4 tspn each of ground black pepper, cloves, cardamon, cinnamon and nutmeg


Add oil/ghee/butter to a large saucepan with a good fitting lid. Fry the onions over medium heat, stirring at times, until golden brown (takes 5-10 mins). Remove half the fried onions and set aside. Add lentils and rice to pan and fry stirring for a few minutes. Add hot water, salt and spices. Stir well and quickly bring to the boil.

Turn heat very low, cover tightly with lid, and cook without lifting the lid for 20mins until the liquid has been absorbed and rice and lentils are cooked. Serve on a dish with reserved onions scattered over the top.


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come on Spring!

We’ve had weeks and weeks of single digit temperatures overnight here on the Gold Coast – which is very cold for us. Spring does usually arrive with a bang, and I am looking forward to waking up to a mild morning.

In the meantime I am celebrating my favourite colour GREEN. A quick look around my home shows an embarassingly large amount of it. I don’t wear it much though, except in jewellery. But I love to bring the garden inside with accessories, furnishings, functional stuff and of course food!

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soothing and sewing

we’ve all been sniffing a bit with this sudden cold snap. we seem to have gone from summer to winter, and skipped entirely over autumn. so 3 days at home over last weekend was time to start using up my fabric stash.

i found fabric i had totally forgotten about (ahem) i mean put carefully away. so i washed, dried, ironed, planned, and then sewed the requests that had been building up. “pets please” they always ask. so voila.

“she doesn’t have anyone to play with” really? have they looked around the playroom? and harvey wants an owl. a big owl. as big as a cushion. and cordury.

so by the time they were all named, shown around the house, fed, wrapped up, pushed around in the pram, put down to sleep, and cuddled – the sniffly days were over and everyone had been happily occupied.

and many bowls of Thai sticky black rice with coconut milk made everything good too.

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more secret veges

our vege crisper is empty. i used the last cucumber, lettuce, and some mint from the garden to add to the inari bean curd to make some vietnamese spring rolls for dinner. plus a bowl of noodles in vege broth. but that’s not enough veges for growing kids!

then i remembered the frozen pureed pumpkin ice-cubes in the freezer and instantly thought – icecream!

i called it “coconut and brown sugar icecream” and both kids had 2 bowls. can you hear my evil laugh?

pen’s pumpkin icecream

2 trays of frozen pureed pumpkin (this had been steamed then pureed last week)

1 tin coconut cream (i used light, but normal is fine too)

80 grams of brown sugar

1 tspn each nutmeg and cinnamon

put all ingredients into the Thermomix and turn gradually to 9, combine for 1 to 1.5 minutes. you could do this in a food processor too. put into container and freeze.

they ate it at soft-serve consistency, but i’m looking forward to a late night snack of more solid ice-cream.