Monthly Archives: June 2015

Monday Lifelines

Got an email from my friend Chantal with all these wonderful quotes…

I wish there was a way to donate fat like you can donate blood.

Sometimes the thoughts in my head get bored, and go for a stroll out through my mouth. This is never a good thing.

Never ask Google for medical advice. I have gone from mild headache to clinically dead in three clicks…

I have a brain like the Bermuda Triangle. Information goes in, never to be found again!

I may not be Wonder Woman, but I can do things that make you wonder.


This recipe is from Coles magazine.
I really like the crunchiness in this QUINOA, SILVERBEET AND FETA SODA BREAD and I have to admit to buying silverbeet for the first time ever. It worked in this bread. And no need to say, it didn’t last very long. Excellent with butter, and best eaten on the same day it’s made.


1/4 cup (50g) white quinoa
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
60g butter, chopped
1 cup finely shredded silverbeet
100g reduced-fat feta, coarsely crumbled
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
extra quinoa, to sprinkle


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the quinoa in a small bowl and cover with plenty of cold water. Set aside for 15 minutes to soak. Drain well.
  2. Place the flour in a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the silverbeet and feta and stir to combine. Add the quinoa and buttermilk and stir until a soft but sticky dough forms. (For a light textured bread, it’s important not to overwork the dough. It should feel soft but slightly sticky).
  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Shape dough into a 20cm-diameter disc. Place on the lined tray. Use a small sharp knife to cut a cross, about 1cm deep, into the top of the dough. Sprinkle the dough with extra quinoa.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 180°C and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on base. Transfet to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  5. Eat!
  6. You can also serve this bread with soup or a nice dip.

Tuesday Lifelines

From “F in exams”, for all of those who are in exam mode at the moment…

What is the name of the highest peak of the Alps?
The highest mountain is Blanc Mange.

Which artificial waterway runs between the Mediterranean and the Red seas?
The Sewage Canal.

Inhabitants of Moscow are called…

Name one of the primary products of the Hawaiian Islands.
Grass skirts and flower necklaces.

How high is Mount Everest?
Depends how much snowfall it has had since it was last measured.


I found this recipe for SPANISH STEW or COCIDO a long time ago in one of my favourite cookbooks, “The slow cookbook” from DK Editions. And as you will see, it requires a lot of different meats. So I suppose I was waiting for my freezer to be full of stuff to chuck in a pot and make this very simple but flavoursome stew. It will serve 6.


3 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, quartered
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 slices pork belly, about 550g, cut into large chunks
4 chicken thighs, about 600g
115g beef braising steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
115g tocino or smoked streaky bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 small pork spare ribs, 150g
100ml white wine
115g chorizo, chopped in 4 pieces
115g morcilla (Spanish black pudding) (optional)
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 small waxy potatoes, chopped into large chunks
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into large chunks
400g can chickpeas, drained
1/2 Savoy cabbage or green cabbage heart, cored and quartered
3 tbsp chopped parsley, to serve


    1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, add the onions and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and set aside in a bowl. Heat the remaining oil in the casserole and cook the pork, chicken, beef, tocino and spare ribs, in batches, until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to the bowl with the onions.
    2. Pour the wine into the casserole and reduce by half over high heat. Add the chorizo, morcilla, if using, and bay leaf together with the onions and browned meat. Season with salt and pepper, then pour in enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 ½ hours.
    3. Add the potatoes and carrots to the casserole, continue to cook for 15 minutes, then add the chickpeas and cabbage and cook for a further 15 minutes.
    4. Remove the bay leaf, bones, and chicken skin from the stew. Divide the meat and vegetables between warmed serving plates. Add a few spoonfuls of the hot broth and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with crusty bread.
    5. Eat!

I used skinless chicken thighs; speck instead of smoked streaky bacon; no pork spare ribs but extra beef (gravy beef) and I didn’t put morcilla.
And I had this with mustard.
It’s a very MEATY dish, so I think you could easily stretch this to serve 8, by also adding extra vegetables like turnips, green beans or pumpkin.