A contrary Spring, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Biscuits.

Spring is not behaving. I mentioned it before, when a sticky date decadence appeared earlier in October, but this is just out of control.  Miserable rain, blustery conditions have seen Sydneysiders unpack their recently mothballed winter clothes and grudgingly pull their heavy jackets back into service. Only to be followed mere days later by midsummer temperatures.

I am sick of it, and hearby announce my intention to switch up the seasons, to turn the hemispheres, to declare this Spring, Autumn. Ok, ignore the new flowers, the scent of jasmine wafting on the breeze, the light in the evening, the warm mornings… Ok, Spring, you’re welcome when you decide to appear, but until then, I’m eating for Autumn, too.

Eating Autumn means pumpkin and warming, earthy spices. My RSS reader has been full of pumpkin + chocolate desserts of late, thanks to the reality of Autumn, so here is my favourite: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Biscuits. And really other than some sunshine, what more could you want?

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Pasta Primavera

Springtime.

Springtime means new blooms, hayfever, the end of stewing for another season (and the start of salads) and new vegetables.

How better to celebrate Spring (and the onset of actual Spring weather, here in Sydney) than with a Pasta Primavera. Fresh, lightly cooked asparagus, colourful shards of juicy capsicum, underpinned with a classic soffritto and spiked with toasted pinenuts and slivers of sharp parmesan.

No recipe today, just a suggestion.

Fry some onion and garlic in olive oil. Loosen with a little water, then add sliced vegetables (I used asparagus, red and yellow capsicum). Fry until tender. Then mix through just cooked, still warm linguine (or other long pasta), loosen with a little more olive oil and or butter. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve topped with parmesan and toasted pine nuts. Enjoy!

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The most divine lemon cheesecake.

This cheesecake was a happy mistake. I wanted to make something for dessert, and for some reason had all the ingredients for this cake, except biscuits for a base. The idea of an extra lemony lemon cheesecake grabbed me, though, and a lack of biscuits couldn’t dissuade me.

I got the idea of making a chocolate cake base from the Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies recipe I wrote about a while ago, and decided it would do at a pinch (I just used the brownie recipe for the base).

I used to be a little adverse to the combination of chocolate and lemon, until I worked in an icecream shop. A double scoop of chocolate and lemon was such a common request, that I had to try it. And I was hooked. Just like I’m hooked on this divine most lemony of lemon cheesecakes.
Cook it gently and slowly, until just set and savour the combination of decadently creamy and sharp citrus acidity against the extra chocolatey dense cake base.

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Spiced Cauliflower Soup


It is a joy not to rush. A lazy Sunday morning, a relaxing summer evening, sleeping in, dawdling.
It is a beautiful thing to take things slowly, to simply enjoy the moment.
I feel the same way about discovery. To find everything out at once would be overwhelming, disappointingly leaving nothing for the future. This is why I am glad to have only recently discovered the joy of Cauliflower.

As a child, cauliflower was the unnecessary vegetable. Revoltingly pungent, squishy and grey. But recently I have started to love its subtle flavour, its different faces, its ability to transform in different situations.

Paired with chilli, cumin and cooled with coconut cream, this soup highlights and spikes the gentle cauliflower.

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Radish and Apple Salad.

A radish is a strange beast. Juicy and spicy and crispy. It is also a polarising vegetable.
I used to never buy them (though I did often eat freshly picked specimens at home), but I was yet to be converted to radishism. F, on the other hand was definitely in the ‘i hate radishes’ camp, he even shuddered when I picked them up at the supermarket.

Sometimes a little push, in the form of a light and refreshing salad, is all that is needed to switch sides.

It’s really simple, just finely slice some radishes (if you are still erring on the side of hate, you can lightly salt them then cover with water for 10 or 15 minutes, drain well. This will remove some of the spiciness). Mix radishes with sliced apple, picked coriander leaves and sliced lebanese cucumber. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Serve.

Spicy radish, paired with sweet crispy apple and gentle cucumber is complemented by the light viniagrette. This salad is simple and refreshing my even turn the most fervent radish hater around.

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