Oct
27
2010
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What are the native Australian spices?

wattle-seedsAustralian cooking generally follows the European style, with increasing influence from Asia. The European and Asian culinary traditions were settled before westerners colonised Australia in the late 1700s, but if you look beyond the long-established northern hemisphere spices you will find a fascinating range of native Australian spices. Dorrigo Pepper comes from Dorrigo in northern [more…]

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Oct
07
2010
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In recipes and cooking, how big is a cup?

how-big-is-a-cupMost modern recipes measure liquids in milliliters (ml) and solids in grams (g), apart from in the United States where ounces (oz) and fluid ounces (fl. oz) are still used. But many traditional recipes measure solids and liquids in cups. Presumably not 65 milliliter espresso cups, nor those 44-oz monsters used by Texan truck drivers. [more…]

Sep
01
2010
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Any recipes and suggestions for cooking sloes?

sloesIf your sloes are not all wanted for sloe gin, try making them into jellies, jams, or spiced conserves to go with savoury dishes. It’s more trouble than gin – you have to really cook, not just mix – but you’ll end up with attractive and flavourful jars of stuff you made yourself, and the [more…]

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Mar
17
2010
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How do you make Swedish bacon pancakes like Stieg Larsson's?

swedish bacon pancakeMillions of people in 32 countries have read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. In its homeland, Sweden, enough books have been bought for more than a quarter of the population to own a copy. There's a Swedish film version called Men who Hate Women, and talk of a Hollywood movie in [more…]

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May
28
2009
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How can I grow Chives to use in cooking?

These chives are ready to be split (photo by answerfinder CC-BY)Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are perhaps one of the easiest herbs to grow in your garden or in a container. They require little attention and bring a late-spring colour to the garden. Chives are part of the onion family. You can eat the bulb, leaves and even the flower head. Most people just use their leaves [more…]

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May
27
2009
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Can you use flowers in food and drink?

Nasturtiums on colourful composed salad  (Photo by Sancho Papa - CC-BY)The first flower salad I ever saw was covered with bright nasturtiums like the visual treat in the photo. It impressed me with the idea that some garden flowers are not only edible, but look wonderful on food. You can grow them as well as the better-known herbs to add interesting colours and flavours to [more…]

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May
13
2009
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How do you grow lavender for fragrance and cooking?

Lavender in full bloom (Photo by Per Ola Wiberg - CC-BY)Lavender likes a temperate climate with sunny summer days and cool winters. It will grow in most of Europe and in American zones 5-10. While it is happier on well-drained soils than on damp clay, it’s not too fussy otherwise. Mix sand into the earth round lavender roots to help it cope with heavy, wet [more…]

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Mar
22
2009
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Why buy a pizza stone?

Tiles acting as a pizza "stone" - steady, dry heat for a crisp base -   (Photo by shygantic - CC-BY)Put a large flat stone in the oven, leave it to get hot, and then cook pizza or other flat breads on it. Except that the stone is in a modern oven, this is pretty much like ancient ways of cooking dough on stones heated at an open fire. And it’s not unlike old methods [more…]

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Mar
22
2009
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Why buy a pizza peel?

Pizza on a peel, also known as a bread paddle or baker's shovel  -  (Photo by bucklava - CC-BY)A pizza peel could be handy even if you only cook frozen pizzas! But of course it’s more likely you’ll be interested in getting one if you make your own dough. And if you bake bread too, a peel will also be useful for getting that in and out of the oven. The peel helps [more…]

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Jan
28
2009
2

Why choose enamelled cast iron cookware?

Le Creuset casserole, also called a French oven - photo by WordRidden - CC-BYThis kind of colourful cooking pot is usually much loved by its owner. Is it valued most for its looks or does it pull its weight in the kitchen? Firstly, enamelled cast iron shares some good qualities with plain un-coated cast iron cookware. It’s solid, spreads heat evenly and retains it well. The enamel isn’t [more…]

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