‘Tis the Season, for Cake!

Christmas is one of my favourite times of year, and why shouldn’t it be? Work is over for another year, there is food, friends and family everywhere; plus here the sun is out and I get to add a little colour to my office-pale skin.

This last semester was a trying one, but it’s now I can reflect at how much I actually achieved this year and feel a little accomplished. With all the students I had this semester, I felt buried under marking for most of my time at work, but outside of that, I did some pretty cool things too. I contributed to the writing of a book that will be published early next year; I completed some post-graduate studies (and took on further more) with quite reasonable grades; I moved into my own lovely little house by the bay and started a vegetable garden which I have been reaping the benefits of ever since; and apart from work pressure, this has been a pretty happy and satisfying year. Though there are many other things I am yet to achieve (and things I got to do this year which have to remain a surprise for a month or two yet), I feel this year has brought me closer to contentment than any year prior. It’s a good feeling to finish on.

Going back to my vegetable garden, I have to honour my promise to a few requests on Facebook and share one more recipe before the silly season takes over completely.

When I moved into my little house there were already a few gifts in the garden that I was able to collect over the past few months, one of those being some beautiful beets. As you know, I often make things for my students for their last class. I figure we have been discussing food all semester we may as well eat some. For one quite special morning class this year I decided to use up some of my beetroot and make them a beet and chocolate cake.

Fresh beetroot

75g cocoa powder
180g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
200g caster sugar
250g cooked beetroot (or raw grated)
3 large eggs
200mL rice bran oil (you could also use, coconut or avocado oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Boil beetroot (skin on) until just tender. Run under cold water and the skin should just rub off in your hands. Use gloves if you don’t want to satin your hands. Puree the beetroot in a food processor.

Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and oil and blend until smooth.

Sift the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the sugar.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the beetroot mixture. Lightly mix.

Pour into a greased and lined 23 cm cake tin.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is firm when pressed with a finger and a skewer comes out clean from the middle. If it starts to get too dark on top you can cover it with tin foil until it has finished cooking.

Cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar to serve.

This is a beautifully light moist cake with a slight twist in the traditional chocolate version.

Beetroot and chocolate cake

As I finish up for the year and blow my nose from my annual Christmas hayfever (which has afflicted me all year mind you but has now decided to really kick into gear), I’d like to wish you all a very safe and happy festive season and hope that 2013 brings you all lots of love, laughter, and good food!

Birthday Feast for Six

I can’t believe it’s been over two months since my last post. I have clearly taken on way too much this semester. The good thing is though.. it’s coming to an end. I have finished teaching for another year and all I have to do now is get down to marking the student’s final reports and exams. Yes. More marking. I feel like I haven’t stopped since August and I guess I haven’t. There is always something.

One thing I did manage to do last month though was cook a big feast for my gorgeous mother’s birthday. I won’t mention her age because not only is it irrelevant, but she will also never look it.

I decided to gather recipes from a few of my favourite places including Bill Granger, Jamie Oliver and a couple of my favourite blogs. I ended up with this menu*:

Chapatis with hummus – Yoghurt and spinach salad – Carrot salad – Whole roasted tandoori cauliflower with mint chutney – Indian meatball and rice pilaf – Rhubarb and pear meringue tarts with lemon thyme

The chapatis, carrot salad and tarts were adapted from Jamie’s new 30 Minute Meals cookbook. I was skeptical about this book at first but after watching the first series I’m hooked. The meatballs, rice and spinach salad were from Bill Granger’s Feed Me Now cookbook, which is great when you need menu ideas. I’ve done the meatballs from this numerous times and they’re always a big hit.

The Dinner TableThe thing that generated the most oohs and aahs from the guests was the tandoori cauliflower though. I saw this on the lovely Sarah Britton’s blog. She always has the most amazing recipes, photos and videos. I was inspired by the wow factor of her cauliflower and decided to give it a shot.

But before I could get to the cauliflower, I had to make the spice mix. Sarah’s spice mix had the following dried spices:

2 tsp. (4 grams) chili (or you could use cayenne)
1 Tbsp. (5 grams) cardamom seeds (or pods)
4 Tbsp. (20 grams) cumin seeds
2 Tbsp. (11 grams) coriander seeds
½ whole nutmeg, grated
2 tsp. (5 grams) whole cloves
2-3 (5 grams) cinnamon sticks/quills
2 Tbsp. (15 grams) ground turmeric
2 Tbsp. (15 grams) paprika

SpicesPlace all ingredients except for the turmeric and paprika in a spice mill, mortar and pestle or coffee grinder. I used a mortar and pestle in batches to begin with but it was quite hard work so I ended up putting it all in my little food processor. This worked well but don’t do it if you don’t want your processor stained! Grind until powdered. Mix in turmeric and paprika and transfer to a glass jar. Keep away from light and heat. Sarah says it should keep for up to six months.

Tandoori spice mix in a jar

On the morning of the dinner I trimmed the leaves off a head of cauliflower and prepared my marinade:

4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. minced of grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. tandoori spice mix
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
½ cup (120 ml) thick yogurt

In a mortar and pestle (or food processor) smash garlic and ginger into a paste. Add the tandoori spice, lemon and salt and mix until uniform. Fold in the yogurt.
Place the whole of cauliflower -washed and trimmed – in a large bowl and spread the marinade all over, including the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum 1 hour – maximum 12. As I said, I did it in the morning ready for that evening.
When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place cauliflower in the middle of a lined baking sheet or roasting tray and roast until tender (45-60 minutes depending on the size of the cauliflower). A skewer should be easily inserted into the centre if it has been in long enough. Garnish with coriander leaves and even some sliced red chilli, lots of lemon juice and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately with mint chutney.

Cauliflower with marinade

Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower

For the mint chutney (which by the way went great on cold roast chicken sandwiches the next day):

2 cups loosely packed mint leaves
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 shallot, minced
½ red chili, minced
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup yogurt (I used coconut cream which gave it an amazing depth and nuttiness)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
a couple pinches salt
1 tsp. honey

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it is a chunky pesto-type of sauce. Season to taste. This can then be served up as a garnish on the cauliflower, or whatever takes your fancy. It does pack a punch so if you don’t feel up to it you can leave the chilli out.


I was so happy with the way everything turned out. And so was Mum cx

*If anyone is interested in any of the other recipes be sure to let me know and I will add them.

The Nervous Forager

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently moved into a new house. I had been so excited to have my own space again, with room for a garden, my sewing and writing and other various projects. But the first few weeks here, as exciting as the possibilities were, I was starting to think I’d made a terrible mistake. As a child, and I hate to admit but also as a teenager and an adult, I’ve had a fear of someone coming into my house, my room, with the intention to bring me harm. I was fearful as a child, always fretting at the slightest noise, imagining a kidnapper climbing through my window and taking off with me in the night. It sounds crazy when I put it down on paper, but it was unfortunately what I felt as soon as the lights went out. I no longer have a fear of being kidnapped, but I’m yet to grow out of my habit of laying awake, listening to the noises and imagining the worst possible scenario. So my first few weeks on ground level, with windows that could be looked in, doors that could be opened and a rather large backyard that could easily house a multitude of shady characters, I struggled to relax.

But as time is wearing on I’m learning the noises of the house, the creaks and groans and the comings and goings of the neighbours. I know the latch on the power box near my window makes a weird scraping noise and the gate clangs when it’s windy. And I know my cat bangs against the window when he wants to come in! I still get nervous, but I’m also starting to get excited again.

So his weekend I had some ladies over for afternoon tea. I got out my antique cake plates and forks and my silver tea pot and hosted my first afternoon tea in my new place. It was lovely. As were the burnt butter and honey madelines I made (recipe to follow)

My antique platesBut I also got out into my garden and discovered some treasures. There are herbs like rosemary and parsley; veggies such as silverbeet and cabbage; and other goodies like broad beans and sweet peas. But the thing I was most thrilled by were the potatoes. In what I thought was just a bag of soil, I discovered some gorgeous purple gems that were baby potatoes.

Veggies in my gardenMy catConsidering I had Sunday lunch with Mr M’s family, I didn’t need a big protein dinner; so I decided to forage in my own backyard. I settled on potatoes, silver-beet and zucchinis (which to be honest I got the latter from the supermarket but the rest were from the garden).

My HarvestI boiled the potatoes and finished them off in the oven with some garlic and thyme until their skins were crispy.

Bakes potatoes and sautéed greensThe greens I sautéed in butter with some lemon zest and chilli.

Eating dinnerI have to say, I have never tasted potatoes quite like that before. I can’t wait to dig further down into that bag and see if there are anymore surprises buried deep in soil.

One Year Old

My humble little blog is one year old. Which makes me feel even worse that I’ve been neglecting it of late. It’s a little conceited of me to apologise for this as I’m pretty sure none of you have been sitting there with baited breath, waiting for my next post, but I do feel a little bad that I’ve been so slack.
I did mention earlier that I would be rather busy with more study, moving house and the start of the latest school semester, but honestly it’s likely my new found obsession with Pinterest is more to blame than anything else. This confession makes me cringe but it is a more honest reflection of how I have been spending my spare time.

Though as it’s been a year, it has made me reflect on just what I’ve achieved since starting this little project.

My initial motivation for it, apart from combining my love of food and writing, was that I needed a writing portfolio in order to be accepted into the Food Writing Graduate Certificate course at Adelaide University. I was accepted, and I have since matriculated. In fact my suitably embossed and overall expensive piece of paper should be arriving in the mail within the next month. Even though my initial reason was the course, I decided to keep up the blogging because I found myself really enjoying it. Plus it keeps my brain (and stomach) happy.

American Food pictures
I also visited family in the States this past year and realised just how much I love and miss them every day. They were amazingly fun when it came to food and drink, going out of their way to ensure I tried all the things Minnesota had to offer. I also met some beautiful people – some of which have made their own contributions to this project – who I have kept in contact with and vow to visit again. It’s amazing how social media and the like make us feel like we’re not so far away.
I also owe the last year to rekindling an old flame. I met my ‘man friend’ (let’s finally call im Mr M) in a crowded bar many years ago. I still remember experiencing the clichéd ‘eye-lock’ across the room. For whatever reason, it fell apart and we went our separate ways; keeping minimally in touch. But once again, thanks to social media, we are back in each other’s lives and things are looking up. We’re also about to celebrate our own one year milestone. Time changes people in different ways and sometimes that’s all it takes to realise what you may have been missing.

The Locavore officeI’ve also started more study; undertaking a Professional Editing and Proofreading course. I figure if I want to take this writing caper any further I need some nuts and bolts to hold it together. Along with working on my writing skills, I’m still working with the amazingly talented people at The Locavore Edition. We are almost ready to start the writing process for their next publication, The Field Guide to NSW Produce. Stay tuned! (The Victorian Guide is already available on the website)

My cat and my gumbootsAnd to round out my year, I moved into a house. Just me and my cat (but not in a crazy way). I felt it was time for some space for me to get out into a garden and back into my writing, photography and sewing; all hard things to do in a shared apartment on the 19th floor; though that type of living was an unbelievable experience.

Views from my old apartmentSo as I blow out the candle on my favourite salted caramel cupcake, I have but one wish: that you continue to enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it, and that I will be blowing out two candles in twelve months’ time. cx

Salted caramel cupcake

The Princess and The Peas

Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but she would have to be a real princess. Of course she would. Back then there was no such thing as a prenuptial agreement. But this aside, he travelled all over the world to find one, but nowhere could he get what he wanted. Sound familiar? There were princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real ones. There was always something about them that was not as it should be. Of course there was. So he came home again and was sad, for he would have liked very much to have a real princess. One evening a terrible storm came on … Suddenly a knocking was heard at the city gate, and the old king went to open it. It was a princess … But, good gracious! What a sight the rain and the wind had made her look. At this point it was hard to tell by looking at her if she truly was a princess, but for some reason the old Queen thought that by placing a pea under twenty mattresses and twenty eider-down beds they would be able to tell. On this the princess had to lie all night. In the morning she was asked how she had slept. “Oh, very badly!” said she. “I have scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It’s horrible!” Apparently this was how they worked out she was a real princess – all sexual innuendo aside – because nobody but a real princess could be as sensitive as that.

Cover of The Princess and The Pea by Hans Christian Andersen

When I was a child, I thought I might like to be a princess, and often acted like one I am sure; especially when it came to vegetables. As a foodie I find it astonishing the lengths I went to, to avoid consuming my veggies. I was often left sitting at the table, my plate of now cold limp vegetables in front of me, refusing to give in but not allowed to leave the table until I was done either.

Every now and then, on special occasions (my mother asked me to add this part to save her reputation as a good parent), we would eat in front of the television. Mum and Dad on the couch with their stable-tables and me on the floor between them at the coffee table. It was during these dinners I had the best advantage when it came to avoiding my vegetables, my peas especially. I would make sure no one was looking, take a handful and roll them behind me, right under the couch. It was genius. That was until Mum was doing a thorough cleaning one day and moved the couch to get under it. The peas made the loudest clanging noise as they shot up the vacuum hose and into the bag. It took her a moment to figure out what made the noise but needless to say, we ate at the table from that point on..

Peas in a pod

The fairy-tale is obviously not mine and I cannot take credit for it, that goes to Hans Christian Andersen, but I do want to clear up one point: my Mum was an excellent parent, and still is cx

Cheap Lunch

It’s Tuesday today which in my world roughly translates to ‘Market day’. This doesn’t apply to every Tuesday, but tonight I’m cooking dinner for two of my most lovely friends and need some quality ingredients. Now I know I’ve mentioned these before, but I really didn’t give them the attention they deserve. And so I found myself once again, elbowing my way into the crowd at the borek stand of the Vic Market; waiting patiently for the promised ‘one minute’ for the ever popular spicy lamb borek to be expertly transferred from the oven in the rear to the girls at the counter. Within less than a minute, these doughy parcels of lamb, onion chili and parsley are gone and the wait starts again. Today I got lucky though and managed to grab myself a steaming hot borek on the first round. Getting it back to the office is always fraught with juggling the supplies for dinner and the skin-scorching borek wrapped in just a paper bag, but I managed it.

Borek stall at The Victoria MarketNow this isn’t the healthiest of lunches, but at $2.50 a pop, it can certainly be considered one of the cheapest! And if you do try them for yourself, just a word of advice: Don’t be afraid to use your elbows, and always have the right change.

The end of a spicy lamb borekAs for my dinner guests, I hope they enjoy the gluten-free roasted pumpkin, spinach and caramelised onion lasagne and the raspberry and rhubarb crumble tonight.

Gin and Tonic on a Rainy Day

A little while ago I came across a recipe for a cake that had my name written all over it. It was a gin & tonic cake from Jessica at How Sweet It Is. I filed it away for a rainy day, excited to test it out. Well, this weekend it poured! It has been one of the wettest weekends in Melbourne for a while, so much so that my man friend’s roof started to leak; right above the toilet. Not so much fun on a cold night I can tell you. But on the upside, his lime tree in the backyard is brimming with limes. Lime and rain? What a good weekend for gin and tonic cake (and maybe some sneaky gin and tonics for the cook too).

Lime treeLimes and blossomI also have a new camera I wanted to test out. The colours in the garden were just gorgeous. Lots of cumquats were ready to be picked too though their big spikes were a little menacing. I also had a little watcher in the form of the recently rescued ginger cat Gooch. He’s still not sure about me yet so he kept a close eye.

Orange leaves, cumquats and ginger catGin and Tonic Cake

3 cups plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup butter, softened

1 & 1/2 cups raw sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 & 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest

1/4 cup gin

1/4 cup milk (or you can use tonic water)

Juice of 1 lime

Gin Glaze

1 & 1/2 cups icing sugar

*2-4 tablespoons gin

Juice of 1 lime

Mix icing sugar and lime juice together until mostly combined

Add 2 tablespoons of gin and increase until a glaze forms (a more liquid version of icing)

Pour over cake while still warm and put aside to cool

*If more liquid is needed you can use gin or tonic water

Gin Icing

2 1/2 cups icing sugar

*2-3 table spoons of gin

1 drop vanilla essence

Mix ingredients together until a thick (but spreadable) icing forms

Once cake has completely cooled, spread over cake

*Once again, if more liquid is needed you can use more gin or tonic water

Gin and tonic cakePreheat oven to 180 degrees c

Combine flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat on medium-high until fluffy, scraping down the sides if needed. Add an egg, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated until adding the next one. Add vanilla and lime zest and combine.

On low speed, add half the dry ingredients. Add gin, milk and lime juice, mixing until combined.

Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until just combined (I mixed until very combined and soft which made for a much denser cake but oh so smooth so experiment with what you like best).

Pour into a greased round cake tin and bake for 40 minutes (Due to my distractedly lengthly mixing, I had to bake this for just over an hour so make sure you keep checking it) or until golden and the centre springs back when lightly touched.

Carefully remove onto a cooling rack above an oven tray (to catch the drips!) and poke with a skewer or toothpick all over. Pour gin glaze all over and leave to cool completely.

Once the cake has cooled completely you can ice it with the gin icing. If you want to garnish it with limes, do this just before serving as the juice will dissolve the icing a little.

Limes in a bowl and bottle of ginGin and tonicsOf course we had to have a couple of gin and tonics while I baked. I couldn’t use it all in the cake!

Cake with gin glazeCake iced and garnishedCake and ginIt turned out so soft and dense, with just the right amount of tang and sweetness. It went over fabulously after our Sunday lunch with a nice espresso.

Pichinina the catI thought since I included Gooch in this post I had better add the little princess of the house too. Meet Pichinina. She has been sitting with me while I write this post. She’s such a pretty little lady.

The Frog Diner – A Memoir

The house I spent my teens in had a big courtyard surrounded on three sides by large windows that looked into the living areas. It was full of lush greenery including the impressive stag and elk horns, to which I was always instructed to feed my spent banana peels. Come nighttime, the greenery came alive; moths and bugs hovered around the glow of the outdoor lights, dancing beneath the beams and hanging plants. Bumping against the windows, the smallest would crawl through the fly wire only to be found scattered on the kitchen island come morning, misled by their ambition. It was when the lights went out and the bugs began this migration toward the glow of the indoors that things really came to life. Little tree frogs would start to climb the windows, feeding on the ample insects at their disposal, their feet suctioned to the glass until they leaped toward their meals, expanding their bellies before hopping back beneath the rocks to croak late into the night.

It was these little creatures that inspired my best friend and me to name our little cooking experiment Frog Diner. Looking back, it wasn’t the most creative name, but to us it was necessary for our latest game of “restaurant”. We would set up the large wooden pedestal with one of Dad’s old daybooks next to the entrance to our dining room and request that my parents take themselves off to get dressed up. On their return, they were prompted to give their name as we scanned the empty page of the daybook for their booking. We would seat them, offer them a drink, and sometimes a menu with very limited choice, and then leave them to their own devices while we took over the kitchen.

My parents weren’t huge meat eaters, and therefore, a meal with meat playing a starring role was rare in our house. I would often land on our neighbour’s doorstep, complaining that my hippy parents never gave me meat, and didn’t care if I ended up anemic. She would often feel sorry for me and invite me in for dinner. This meant the meals I generally cooked were heavily meat based; spaghetti bolognese, sausages, chops or steak.

I don’t really remember where I learnt to cook these things. I guess I watched Mum and Dad, often sitting at the island bench complaining about an upcoming teen party they were never going to let me attend no matter how hard I bargained. There was always lots of chopping and grating. A dash of this and a pinch of that from what seemed like an endless supply of dried herbs and spices from the walk-in pantry. The space it occupied was just large enough for my Dad to pull a stool into and sit on, unseen, while I celebrated my first teenage party with boys. He discovered it was the perfect vantage point for him to keep an eye on us from the reflection in the oven. Looking back, I hope he realizes this was one of those times he may have overstepped the father mark. He was uncovered when I walked in to refill the popcorn. I was mortified and banished him to the lounge where my mother could keep an eye on his over-protectiveness.

Those spices in that pantry were what shaped our ‘restaurant’s’ dishes. I had no idea what I was doing but I pinched and dashed (and often flat-out shook) those little bottles all over the pieces of steak I would inevitably overcook and toughen, before serving it up next to mashed potatoes, broccoli and carrots steamed in mum’s folding steamer. I remember it had one little flap missing, ensuring the smaller pieces would escape and boil in the water below.

The sausages and chops were always done in the vertical grill, designed long before George Forman decided to “knock out the fat”. We would cook them until they started to form crispy edges, the fat dripping into the tray at the bottom. The sausage skins would stretch and bubble; becoming taut, crisp and ready to burst under the slightest amount of pressure from a hungry bite, spilling the scalding escaped juices down an unsuspecting chin.

Dessert was usually an unimaginative bowl of ice-cream with strawberry or caramel topping, and if they were lucky, some slightly bruised fruit from the bottom of the crisper. My parents really were good sports. We would have them sitting in that dining room for almost an hour before they were able to eat. Every now and then I remember Dad requesting they move to the lounge while the ‘chef’ was still cooking but I always refused. I felt it would ruin the mood.

When dinner finally arrived, it was always met with the appropriate amount of oohs and ahs. They would both praise the flavours of the meat as they worked their jaws, chewing the toughened steak, smiling just the right amount so we didn’t suspect they were overdoing it. The vegies would disintegrate beneath their forks, often floating in some sort of powdery ‘just add boiling water’ sauce. But the praises continued until we excused ourselves to clean up, satisfied we were going to be the next big thing in food.

Since the days of the Frog Diner I’ve learnt how to cook a decent steak, how to make a béarnaise sauce from scratch, and how to host a respectable (or unrespectable, depending on the guest list) dinner party. What I did learn, though, is how good it felt to make something for the people that I love. And also, how grateful I was that mum and dad were smart enough to install a dishwasher.

Food Porn

I have been terribly lax of late with my posts here, and I want to first off apologise. Now I want to give a couple of lame excuses you are free to disregard.

  1. It’s assignment time, which means marking, marking, red wine, and marking
  2. It’s assignment time, which means I also have to write them for my own studies! (also involves red wine)
  3. I’m also beginning an internship with the Locavore Edition which is going to be used as an excuse more than once (just a heads up)

Which brings me to introduce you to the following video. I thought I’d try to satiate your desire with a little food porn. Yep. You heard me.

This is such an amazing video produced by the very talented Maria del Mar. Check out her mouthwatering blog here.

I told you.. yum..


It’s ANZAC day. The anniversary of the landing of troops from Australia and New Zealand on the Gallipoli Peninsula in World War I. It is the day we remember all Australians who served and died in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. On ANZAC day, ceremonies are held across the nation to acknowledge the service of our veterans. Most of these begin with a dawn service, which is where I found myself at 5:30 this morning, rugged up against the cold and rain with hundreds of other Melbournians to show our support and remember those that have fought and died.

Melbourne's War Memorial at dawnAnzac biscuits have long been associated with this day. It’s been claimed the biscuits were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients don’t spoil easily and kept well during naval transportation.

Anzac BiscuitAnzac Biscuits

(based on an original recipe by Bob Lawson, an Anzac present at the Gallipoli landing – recommended by the Australian War Memorial. You can’t get more authentic than that!)

1 cup plain flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup desiccated coconut

125g butter, melted

1 tbsp golden syrup

2 tbsp boiling water

1 tsp bicarb soda

Coconut, Oats & Golden SyrupPreheat oven to 180 c and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

Melt the butter with the golden syrup in a large bowl, add the water and bicarb soda, and then add the dry ingredients.

Mix until well combined.

Take heaped teaspoons of the mixture and roll into balls.

Place on the biscuit tray with room for them to spread and flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before removing.

Anzacs flattened with a forkBaked AnzacsTraditionally rosemary represents remembrance. It’s actually used  for memory in herbal medicine. On ANZAC Day, the wearing of sprigs of rosemary in the coat lapel, pinned to the breast or held in place by medals is synonymous with remembrance and commemoration. You can’t get much more Australian than a meat pie, but a lamb and rosemary meat pie, now that is as Aussie and Anzac as they come.

Pies and SauceLamb and Rosemary Pies

1 small bunch of rosemary

2 tablespoons olive oil

800g diced lamb, cut into 2cm pieces

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 carrot, peeled and diced

2 tbsp plain flour

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine

1 1/2 cups beef stock

Olive oil cooking spray

5 sheets frozen ready-rolled puff pastry, partially thawed

1 egg, lightly beaten

Pie IngredientsHeat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove to a plate.

Remove the leaves of 2 sprigs of rosemary and roughly chop.

Add onion, garlic, carrot and rosemary leaves to pan. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until tender.

Add flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Combine tomato paste, wine and stock in a jug. Add to pan and cook, stirring, until sauce comes to the boil.

Return lamb to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until lamb is tender.

Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Spray large muffin tray holes with oil.

Cut 3 pastry sheets into quarters. Cut a small triangle out of each quarter and shape into cups. Pree pastry into the muffin holes and trim excess from around the tops.

Fill with lamb mixture.

Brush edges with water and to with pastry rounds cut to fit the tops of the pies from the remaining pastry sheets. Press edges to seal. Brush tops with eggs and press in rosemary sprigs.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Cool for 5 minutes and run a knife around pie edges to loosen. Remove from pan and serve.

Lamb and RosemaryOnion, Garlic, Rosemary and CarrotPie FillingFill PiesTop PiesBake for 30 minutesPie and SauceI hope everyone enjoyed their holiday for Anzac Day, but remember to spare a thought for those who have lost their lives serving for Australia. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.