Pastry heaven


I’m actually wondering if I really need to write anything at all after the above photo? Is anyone reading or are you all like me and drooling over which one you’d like right now!?

I mean why would you bother making them when you can just pick them up from the local pasticceria? This is funny coming from me who has a business back in Sydney making High Teas for people. I would never in a million years make petite bites here in Italy……there is just no comparison and I’d be first in line to pick up my own bundle of joy!


The boys and I were around at Melanie’s last weekend, Melanie and I had been discussing food to be paired with a lovely bottle of wine she was sent from a wine company in Canada. We decided to put our creative minds together and see what we could come up with. After finalising our decisions we decided to make Sunday lunch and see if the families agreed with our food/wine pairing.

When we first tasted the wine all we thought of was chocolate. Somehow we came up with this…

IMG_0650Gorgonzola dolce whipped with truffle honey and served with a poached pear, cracked pepper and cinnamon compote. It sounds a little bizarre but the flavours complimented each other beautifully not to mention the wine. Mel and I kept on wishing we were sitting by a fire eating and drinking!

Of course we had to come up with a main dish so after a lot of ummming and arring we finally settled on this….


A very Tuscan bollito di manzo served with creamy polenta finished with pecorino cheese giving it a creamy bite.

Although many Italians would not serve the two together (Mel’s Italian husband pointed this out to me), they compliment each other very well. Once the wine opened up it complemented the dish, pulling all the flavours together leaving you hoping there were leftovers of everything!

This is when ‘working’ is the best job ever and I am always more than happy to work for wine so if there are any other wine purveyors out there who want recipes to match wines please don’t hesitate to contact me……

Anyway, after all the hard work was finished and bellies were full Melanie whips out a package of pastries to tantalize our taste buds, and if you think they look fresh and yummy you’d be 100% correct. All five boys were memorised

IMG_0670You’ve got to love the look of longing and wondering if you’ve chosen well all the while holding a plate full of delights!

My all time favourite was the one filled with crema and flavoured with orange rind……

IMG_0672After such an indulgent lunch we packed the boys into the car and took them mushroom hunting to walk off some of the delights, however, as I sit here and drool all over again I can no longer wonder why my jeans feel as tight as they do!

Really easy lemon and potato chicken


I just had to blog this dinner today as it was an absolute winner with the whole family last night. I was just going to make another roast chicken seeing as the first one was such a big success, but then Alex chimed in and thought that wasn’t such a good idea. He wanted chicken and rice.

‘You know mum, how about the yummy one with honey and soy sauce and the other stuff you use to make?’

Yep, I do know that one but I haven’t gone to the Asian grocer yet so no soy sauce (and yes you can buy soy sauce at the local store but it is that horrid black and extra salty soy that makes you suck in your sides every time you eat the stuff, I just need to zip down town to an Asian grocer now that holiday season has ended and the shops are open again). Actually while I’m here, I have never, ever heard of an Asian grocer going on holidays. This would have to be the first time I have tried to buy Asian supplies and read a sign on the door stating they are closed for holidays. When in Rome, I suppose!

For some reason, Alex’s question made me think of lemon chicken. This then made me think what else I could make in my teeny, tiny oven. For a meal that took about 10 minutes to throw together, and that was with me breaking down a whole chicken, it is one that everyone must try- Tarsh this is for you and all new mums with babies big and small!

Grab your roasting pan, preheat your oven to 200 degrees and slosh a bit of olive oil in the bottom of the dish. Get your chicken pieces (you can use anything, I used all parts of a whole chicken but seriously thighs, legs, wings, breast anything with the bone in otherwise the meat will dry out before the potatoes are cooked), season them with salt and pepper and toss them in your dish. Thickly slice enough potatoes that will keep your family/friends happy (my family loves potatoes so I usually do 2 medium ones each) and then toss in with chicken and coat well with the oil. Smash about 8 garlic cloves and toss in with chicken; grab one lemon and slice thinly leaving rind on. Add fresh rosemary then give it all a good toss through once more to lightly coat chicken and potatoes with oil (potatoes always cook better when tossed through some olive oil).


Spread it all out evenly in your baking/roasting dish and then add about a 1/3 of a cup of water and pop it in the oven and forget about it for the next 40 odd minutes. Actually it is really hard to forget about because it smells friggin’ awesome! The boys were watching Dr. Who and telling me the smell was driving them crazy and when can we eat already?? So I sat down and had a glass of wine then popped on a pot of beans and carrots in the last 5 minutes of cooking time to go with the chicken. When I poked my head in the window of the toaster…..I mean oven to see it browning up beautifully,  I decided we were good to go!

Seriously, give it a whirl, it is such an easy, tasty dish and the potatoes with the lemon going through them are simply to die for (Max’s words).

PS Don’t forget to drizzle the lemon juices over the chicken and potatoes once you have served it!