koskela - shopshoot

30 May 2012

My blogging is pretty much done at night after I get home from work. I'm at home today 'entertaining' a plasterer so it feels really weird to be writing this with the sun shining. I do need to get some chores done and the gym has yet to see me this week, so I won't be housebound all day. 

I thought it was time to share some of the photos I took of Koskela a few weeks ago. Some of them have already been seen on decor8 (thanks Holly) but I had so many more to show you. Koskela can be found in the suburb of Rosebery and it's a great shop which features Australian design. The building is on the site of the old Rosella canning factory and many of the industrial bare bones have been left in place, a feature I love.

Kitchen by Mike also shares the space.

As the space is so large, the furniture can be arranged in room like themes.

There are unexpected splashes of colour

like the on-trend neon.

As well as furniture, the area is the perfect place to display rugs, lighting and artwork.

I wish I had room in my place for this iconic Aussie windmill.

I love the old industrial windows and the great light in the building - a photographer's dream.

The store features some beautifully designed home and kitchenwares.

Koskela is part furniture showroom and part gallery space.

It's not all for adults though.

I loved the children's area.

Part toy display, part art installation.

Koskela and Kitchen by Mike can be found at 1/85 Dunning Avenue Rosebery, Sydney. Many thanks to Sasha and Renee for allowing me to take photos of their beautiful space.

See you all again next week,


macadamia nut tart with quinoa crust - an experiment

28 May 2012

In my quest to make proper passover pastry (ppp) I did some reading on quinoa. The jury's still out on it's suitability for Passover but I still wanted to try making pastry using quinoa flour. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with quinoa. I like the grain but I find the flakes completely unpalatable. I was a bit worried that pastry made entirely from quinoa flour would be a bit too overpowering for my taste buds but I went ahead and made some anyway. I needed to use twice the amount of water suggested to make the pastry and rolling it out was quite hard work.

Now that I had pastry, what was I to do with it? I had macadamias in the cupboard, so I decided to make a macadamia nut tart. Essentially it's a pecan pie but you use macadamias rather than pecans and I added a teaspoon of grated orange rind to the mixture. I hoped the tart filling was sufficiently well flavoured to neutralise the 'quinoaness' of the pastry. The pastry browned really quickly so I had to take the tart out of the oven before the filling was completely set.

I took the tart into work and didn't say a word. I waited for someone to comment on the nutty taste of the pastry or the dark brown colour of the crust or the slightly runny filling, well anything really but no, nothing at all. They just ate it and said it was delicious. I've just had a slice and really it does taste delicious but next time I'd use a combination of flours in the pastry rather than just quinoa flour.

MACADAMIA NUT TART printable recipe
1 cup Flour
60 grams cold butter
2 - 4 tablespoons water

Combine the butter and flour in a food processor. Gradually add sufficient water until a dough forms around the blade. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Roll out to fit a 20 - 23 cm pie tin or a rectangular tart tin then place in the fridge while preparing the filling.

3 eggs
½ cup light muscovado or brown sugar
1½ tablespoons cornflour
60 grams melted butter
1 cup corn or maple syrup
200g toasted unsalted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Combine the eggs, sugar, cornflour and the orange rind together. Stir in the syrup and the melted butter to form a smooth mixture. Place the toasted nuts over the base of the pastry case before carefully pouring the mixture over the nuts. 

Place the tin on a baking tray in case of drips then bake at 180ºC for 20 minutes before lowering the oven temperature to 160ºC. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the filling is well browned and just set. Cool on a wire rack before serving with a dollop of cream, if you're brave!

I'll be back again on Wednesday with a shopshoot so I'll see you all again then. 

Bye for now,


chicken cassoulet

23 May 2012

Last year one of my friends purchased a subscription to Donna Hay magazine for my birthday. One of my favourite issues was last year's winter issue. I've made quite a few recipes from that issue, including this one for chicken cassoulet. I've got quite a thing for cannellini beans and quite a thing for my new Le Creuset black satin casserole. Since the casserole dish arrived last month, I've used it almost daily.

I've adapted the cassoulet recipe slightly. I don't eat chorizo so instead I chop up a few slices of beef pastrami and put that into the mix. I also use chicken thighs and drumsticks instead of a whole chicken because they're the parts of the chicken I like the best.

I make the casserole the day before serving so the flavours have time to develop and I can remove the layer of solidified fat from the surface before reheating the casserole in the oven. Sometimes I top the cassoulet with a layer of sour dough crumbs and thyme leaves which I bake until the crumbs turn golden brown.

Here's the original recipe from Donna Hay Magazine, June/July 2011 issue 57 
Chicken and Chorizo Cassoulet 
printable recipe
1 x 1.7kg chicken, cut into 8 portions
plain flour (all purpose) for dusting
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chorizo, sliced
1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
1 x 400g can cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Crusty bread, to serve

Dust the chicken in the flour and shake to remove excess. 
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add the chicken and cook, in batches, for 6-8 minutes or until browned.  Remove from pan and keep warm.

Add the chorizo, onion, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further minute. Return the chicken to the pan and add the stock, tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes more, or until the sauce has thickened. Add the beans, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve with bread.

Guess what I'm having for my dinner tonight? 

See you all again next week for some more food and a shopshoot. 

Bye for now,


buttermilk scones

21 May 2012

A few weeks ago I professed my love for Bonne Maman blackberry confiture. Well that bottle is now empty so I was forced to open the jar of Bonne Maman raspberry jam that was in the cupboard, but what to eat with it? Well scones of course!

One of my former workmates, Jane, was the best scone maker I've ever met. I normally use her scone recipe but this time I decided to make lemonade scones, a recipe I'd not tried before. This recipe ditches the usual egg, butter and milk for cream and lemonade. I didn't want sweet scones so I used soda water instead of lemonade and as I can't eat cream I used buttermilk instead. With so many substitutions I wasn't too sure if the scones would turn out light and fluffy like a good scone should.

Scones are quick to make and need to be handled as little as possible before they're baked in a hot oven.

I like soft scones, so as soon as they're cooked I wrap the scones in a clean dry tea towel and let them cool a little before devouring.

I like to serve the scones with either ricotta and jam or a smear of butter and jam and a pot of tea, of course.

Scones don't keep well, in fact they turn into rocks the day after they're baked, so I froze the leftovers. The verdict - these were pretty good scones, which I'm planning to make again if only so I can have a little more of that raspberry jam.

I hope you all had lovely weekends. See you all again on Wednesday,



chicken with pumpkin and walnuts

16 May 2012

The weather has really started to cool down here and as the seasons change, so does my style of cooking. I've started making more soups, casseroles and puddings. Things look different in the fruit shop as well as apples, pears and pumpkins take the place of the summer fruit and vegetables. Just recently, one of my patients introduced me to a new food magazine, Australian Good Food. April's issue was filled with pumpkin recipes and as I had some pumpkin in the fridge, I thought I'd try their recipe for oven baked chicken with pumpkin and walnuts.

Apart from fresh sage, I had all the other ingredients in the fridge. You pretty much throw everything into one pan and leave it to cook, the kind of dinner I like to make when I come home from work.

The toasted walnuts make this a surprisingly rich dish. I'd be tempted to leave them out next time or perhaps use pine nuts instead.

I'm off to have some dinner so I'll see you all again next week,


Grandma's Apple Pie

14 May 2012

As promised yesterday, I'm going to share my apple pie recipe with you. 

I think I've been making this apple pie recipe since I was about 15 or 16, so you'll notice I use tinned apple rather than fresh in the filling, cos that's what we did then. Of course you can use fresh apples but you'll need about 1.5 kilos of apples, peeled cored and sliced, before gently stewing the apples for about 10 minutes until they've softened but are still holding their shape.

I bought the pie tin from Etsy last September and I've been itching to find a reason to use it, the same with the apple shaped cookie cutter I bought a few months ago.

I have to be careful with how much fat I consume but I was willing to risk it for a piece of pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

1¼ cups self raising flour
1¼ cups plain flour
185 grams (6 oz) cold butter
1 egg yolk 
 cup cold water (approximately)
1 egg white
extra sugar

3 400 gram tins unsweetened pie apple
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons marmalade or apricot jam

Pick over the tinned apple removing any lurking seeds, skin or core. In a large bowl, combine the tinned apples with the lemon juice and caster sugar. Reserve the jam or marmalade.

In a food processor combine the flours together.Pulse the butter in 30 second bursts until just combined. Combine the egg yolk and cold water together. Slowly add sufficient liquid to the food processor to form a soft dough. Remove the dough from the food processor and shape into a ball and wrap in plastic. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Roll out half the pastry on a lightly floured surface and line a 23 cm pie plate. (If you use a metal pie plate, you won’t need to grease it). Spread the base of the pastry with the reserved apricot jam or marmalade, then top with the apple filling.

Brush edges of the pastry with the lightly beaten egg white. Roll out the remaining pastry and cover top of the pie. Pinch the edges of the dough together, before trimming the edges of the pastry. You can make a decorative edge, either using the tines of a fork or your thumb and fingers. Cut a few slits in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape. Decorate the pie with rolled out pastry shapes if desired. Brush the top with egg white and sprinkle with the extra sugar.

Place the pie plate onto a baking sheet. Bake the pie for 25 minutes at 190ºC/375ºF before reducing the temperature to 180ºC/350ºF and bake for a further 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

As my Mum lives interstate I shared the pie with friends and it was consumed with relish. I guess just about every-one likes apple pie.

See you again on Wednesday,


Happy Mother's Day

13 May 2012

Growing up, Mother's Day meant a trip to my Grandmother's place for Grandma Sonie's annual Mother's Day morning tea. It always seemed unfair that the eldest female member of the family was the one doing all the work, but that was the way Grandma liked it.

The highlight of the morning tea was always my Grandma's Apple pie, which she baked dark brown before generously sprinkling the top with icing sugar. I baked an apple pie in honour of Mother's Day and I'll be back tomorrow to share my recipe with you.

Happy Mother's Day to all those Mums out there.


shopshoot - kitchen by mike

9 May 2012

Have you been to Kitchen by Mike yet? Well I have but not to eat. Instead I went there to take photos.

A few months ago I heard chef Mike McEnearney take the chef's challenge on Simon Marnie's programme on 702 ABC. He spoke about his new venture, Kitchen by Mike and the set up sounded quite a bit like Ottolenghi. As you know, I love all things Ottolenghi so I wanted to see it for myself.

The canteen is part of the Koskela complex in Rosebery, hence the cool, clean design aesthetic.

There's an outdoor dining area and a garden that's still a work in progress. I loved the old gate. Farmer Andrew has the same gates at his place in the country.

The menu changes daily depending on what's fresh and best at the market that day so you'll need to check the Kitchen by Mike Facebook page for the day's menu. 

You can take a little bit of Kitchen by Mike home with you.

A little rustic corner.

Onsite parking takes on a new meaning!

I've been to Kitchen by Mike twice now. The first time was during a busy Sunday breakfast service.

Last week I visited after the end of service. There was a different kind of energy.

Kitchen by Mike is at 85 Dunning Avenue Rosebery in Sydney and is open daily for breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake.

2016 edit - Kitchen by Mike has now closed. Mike is opening a new venue but as yet the location hasn't been announced.

See you all again next week,


ottolenghi berry and oat bars

7 May 2012

I've been meaning to make these raspberry and oat bars from Ottolenghi - The Cookbook for some time now but life kept getting in the way.

Sunday morning bright and early I made my way into the kitchen. Although I had all the right nuts in my cupboard I couldn't find the pecans anywhere so I used walnuts instead. I also didn't have quite enough raspberry jam so I used some blackberry jam in these bars as well.

It's one of those forgiving recipes where you can use whatever nuts are at hand and whatever jam you have in the cupboard. I really like this French jam and I may have licked the jar clean before washing it. It's such a pretty shape I'm keeping the jar to use again.

As I've been away and was busy last weekend, I've not brought anything into work for a while, so these went with me to work to feed the hungry troops. The recipe can be found below-

Berry and Oat Bars from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook
printable recipe
120g all purpose (plain) flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
100g unsalted butter, diced
60g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
80g whole rolled oats

220g berry jam

70g flaked almonds
70g walnuts, coarsely chopped
70g hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
70g brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
100g unsalted butter

75g caster sugar
40ml milk
1 tsp pure vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 170°C / 350°F. Lightly grease a 20cm / 8in square tin and line it with baking paper.

To make the base, in a large bowl whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add the butter, sugar and salt and rub everything together with your fingers to form crumbs. Mix in the oats then spread the mixture over the bottom of the prepared tin and press down lightly. Bake for 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven, cool for a few minutes, and then spread evenly with the jam. I warmed the jam for 30 seconds in the microwave before spreading it over the base.

To make the topping, place the nuts in a large bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then pour over the nuts and mix together. Pack the nut mixture evenly over the jam and press down before returning to the oven for 30 minutes or until the top has turned golden brown.

Leave the bars to cool on a wire rack, then remove from the tin. I cooled the slice in the fridge for 1 hour before cutting into bars. Store in an airtight container.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends. I was busy all weekend preparing images from a shopshoot and I'll be back again on Wednesday to share them with you.

So until then,



ganim's store - shopshoot

2 May 2012

Melbourne is  a great place to shop so I decided to do a shopshoot whilst I was down there. Now you know I only want to show you the best and the brightest on the blog, so when I heard Rae Ganim had opened a store, I knew I wanted to pay a visit. In a former life Rae was a well known fashion designer and if I looked carefully through my old things in Brisbane, I know there is a skirt that bears her name. Rae's fabrics were a riot of colour so I expected nothing less from her store in Fitzroy, one of my favourite Melbourne locations.

Rae and Joost Bakker collaborated on the floral display gracing the front window. Don't you just love the Dibbern pottery?

Rae told me that she likes colour so the shop's sunny yellow floor wasn't a surprise.

I spied some lovely things from Fog Linen Work and Paola Navone.

Wouldn't you love these textiles in your home?

Some more beautifully crafted, functional items on display.

You knew some more colour was just lurking around the corner

and I'll leave you with just a little bit more.

Ganim's Store is at 61 Brunswick Street Fitzroy, Melbourne. I'd like to thank Rae for allowing me into her beautiful store and for letting me babble on and on!

See you all again next week,


2016 edit - Ganim's Store is no longer open for business.
© DELICIOUS BITES • Theme by Maira G.