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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 🙂



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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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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oh yes, the garden crops.
when harvey was 1 we planted a Longan tree (with his placenta beneath) and this year we had a huge crop. i mean about 200 longans. They are similar to lychees, less flesh, and more grape-like in flavour. we love them. last year we got no fruit at all (thanks possums), the year before we got 3. so you can imagine the excitement this year.
we pruned the tree as we picked, so there were branches lying around just laden with fruit. we bagged them up and visited all the neighbours and still ate about 50 each!
my tree my tree!


look at that bowl full!

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what i’ve been doing

i have worked out how to transfer photos from my phone to my laptop, so photos are back!

i’ve been baking. this is a 5 seed bread which is surprisingly like a cake mixture consistency before the 1st rising. it bubbles and doubles in size, then bakes for 40mins. i froze half of it, and the rest we’ll have with our dinner tonight. I ground some whole wheat, added some bakers flour, rice flour, potato flour and a mixture of seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, linseeds, oats) saving some to sprinkle on the top before baking. It’s a lovely soft airy bread (thankyou Thermomix)

by request, i made some steamed red bean buns for breakfast this morning. i made the dough last night and punched it down this morning, rolled the rolls up with a good dollop of red beans in the middle, steamed for 15mins. the kids couldn’t believe their eyes. such a favourite, but usually for sunday afternoons.

i’ve been sewing. this is a sweet little blanket for the newest baby in our street. i used the last of my organic hemp fabric left over from nappy-making days.
i’ve been reading, all these are going at once (as usual, i have 5 or 6 books on the go at the same time):
“Apples for Jam” by Tessa Kiros is a gorgeous cookbook with lots of wholefood homestyle recipes. it’s sprinkled throughout with kid’s drawings and photos and i love to open and cook something. we’ve had lots of dinners out of it already.
“Buddhism for mothers of schoolchildren” is also inspiring and comforting me in these hectic days.
“The uncommon reader” by Alan Bennett. I always chuckle when i read Alan Bennett, and this books makes me want to read and read and read.
“The crossing places” by Elly Griffiths. a bit of mystery and chills with this forensic archaeologist. pure escapism.
i’m -still – studying. i’m concentrating on my last 3 subjects.
i’ve been watching my favourite tv series on dvd – “The Eagle, a crime odyssey”. i love this part of europe and this a tightly constructed contemporary drama.
what have you been doing?

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we’re eating mangos it must be summer

we still only buying them a few at a time, but it’s nearly time for a tray of mangos under the sink, a permanent fixture in our kitchen until well into january.

the stone fruit has appeared and nectarines and blueberries are being consumed in embarrassingly large proportions.

our playroom (used to be the dining room until about 4 years ago) has been tidied up, cleared out and is ready for summer playing with the deck doors wide open. you’ll see my space-saving idea here of a table over a cupboard. so fabulous as the cupboard is my grandmother’s glory box, and now serves as our art cupboard as behind those doors are 3 wide drawers. perfect for storing all the art supplies, and easy for the kids to help themselves.

the blue ikea table (what did we do before we had this???!!!) is a moveable one, and can be moved well away from the carpet play time, the flurry of play-kitchen activity, and the stool is used to play comfortably with the dolls house. in fact i think it is standing on the stool to play with the dolls house that makes the dolls house sooooooo popular.

here they are, looking so much taller every day. twice-daily swims in the pool have started with both kids doing amazingly new things every day. today it was harvey swimming 2 laps of the pool underwater. amazing for such a lean little fella. his time in the pool is spent 90% underwater, 10% doing bombs into the pool. miss s has her new foam bubble firmly attached to her back and is breast-stroking her way around the pool, that face getting further and further into the water every day. we’ll see her underwater with marine boy before the end of november for sure. her very words.