Black olive and parmesan focaccia

Who doesn’t love fresh bread? Seriously, who? The smell that takes over the whole house while it’s baking is actually intoxicating.

Today I decided to deviate from my usual bread recipe and experiment with focaccia. Little bit of trivia for you – focaccia is believed to have originated during the time of the Ancient Greeks and is considered the earliest form of the modern pizza.

This recipe is courtesy of the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook. Never fear, this method is easy peasy – even without a mixer. Continue reading

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Potato vs Ricotta Gnocchi

My mum says potato gnocchi is the best kind of gnocchi. I say ricotta gnocchi are much lighter and just melt in your mouth. Our family aren’t sure they can tell the difference.

The above is a summary of what was actually an argument at mum’s house, complete with dramatic hand gestures and a little foot stomping (the stomping might have been me…okay, it was me). You see, we get quite passionate about our food and gnocchi is no exception.

This discussion / argument led to the suggestion of a Gnocchi-off. Which is kind of like a dance-off but a lot more sedentary and definitely tastier. Continue reading

Food confessions of a new mother

Since having my first child in January, I’ve learnt a great many things.

The term ‘sleeping like a baby’ was invented by someone who had never met a baby, for one. And I will never again finish a cup of coffee while it’s still hot.

My appetite didn’t really increase during pregnancy, nor did I get any food cravings (much to my disappointment) so I was really surprised to learn that breastfeeding makes you hungry. Like insatiably hungry. As in, you can eat for an hour straight and you’re still hungry. Even freaking out the husband with the ability to put away twice the amount of food as him hungry. You get the picture – I was Hungry Hippo hungry. All the time. Continue reading

Mini curry quiches

My friend Melissa brought a plate of these delicious morsels to a quiz night last weekend. I was starving so I stuffed one in my mouth as soon as they hit the table. I was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected curry hit.

I was even happier to learn that they are super duper easy to make – perfect for any ‘bring a plate’ occasion or as a yummy canape to serve with pre dinner drinks. Continue reading

The missing ingredient

Recently I asked an older relative for her famous cake recipe that she’s been making for over 30 years.

I have since attempted it three times but it never looks or tastes like her delicious original. It’s been incredibly frustrating, but as I’ve had my fair share of kitchen failures (see my previous post on macarons) I chalked it up to my inability to follow a recipe and lack of patience for anything requiring skill or delicacy.

That is, until I told my mum about the failures and she said “oh, that’s not your fault. She’s notorious for giving out fake recipes.” Continue reading

A dishy affair

I enjoy having friends and family over for a meal. Although it is inevitable that I will burn at least one dish or myself during preparation, the compliments I receive (okay maybe actively seek out) manage to outweigh the negatives of playing host.

Whenever I invite people to dinner, they always ask the same question, “what can I bring?”. Maybe it’s my Italian heritage or maybe it’s my stubborn pride (which I will also blame on my Italian heritage) but my answer is always the same. Nothing.

Of course, social etiquette dictates that we’ll still bring something. The wise people at Cadbury teach us this important life lesson in their latest ‘Favourites’ advertisement. Although she might have been a bit loose on morals relating to adultery and murder, Bree van der Camp would never turn up to dinner without a gift for the host. Gosh I miss Desperate Housewives. But I digress. Continue reading

My kitchen addiction

Hi, I’m Alicia and I’m a kitchen addict.

To be clear, I’m not addicted to the kitchen itself, although the hours I spent picking out my granite bench top were some of the happiest of my life.

No, I am addicted to things that live in the kitchen. Mixers, blenders, slow cookers, cutlery, baking trays, dinnerware, cake tins – the list goes on.

Forget shoe shopping, a trip to the homewares department is my cardio. I run around like a headless chook, marvelling at the different colours, patterns, gizmos and gadgets. Given I possess the dangerous combination of zero willpower and a desire for instant gratification, I choose to leave the credit card at home on most visits. Continue reading