I love sharing my passion for good food – food cooked from scratch using the freshest of ingredients.
Last weekend I had the wonderful privilege of leading a Greek f(easter) workshop with Essential Ingredients, Newcastle.
What fun we had – 12 participants eagerly wanting to create their own masterpieces that represented the recipes in my recently published Mediterranean cookbook.
Lamb souvlaki, Greek village salad, Feta & Leek scrolls and so much more that by the end of it, we were rolling them out of the kitchen!
I am passionate about a lot of things - sport, swimming in the ocean, writing and travelling around the world and right now...losing those extra kilos I somehow have found around my belly!!
And they are all fabulous pastimes but in my opinion, it’s got to go deeper than what I do.
Are you living your dream?
When we lived on the Central Coast in our cute little fibro cottage, during the winter months I struggled to drag myself out of bed. The air was so cold and I couldn’t bear to pull myself out from under my warm covers. I would lie there imagining myself in a large four-bedroom brick veneer home that was warm enough inside the house and it would never stop me from jumping out of bed in the morning.
Today, I live in a four-bedroom home that is warm enough inside the house and if I ever stay in bed, it’s because I am too tired to get up!
I had a dream of living in a warm house. My dream is now a reality!
What are you dreaming about?
I have many dreams! I am dreaming about writing the best children’s books for children all over the world, producing the best cookbooks, owning my own café by the sea, travelling around the world and discovering new recipes… oh.. and the best swimming spots…
But there is one dream that has quietly captured my heart as I watched my husband create our garden one day…
The area was desolate. There was nothing there except dirt. So he got to work and built a structure around this dirt. He made reinforcements on the sloping hill so the soil that was going to be placed there, would stay there. Once the structure was in place, he filled the sections with soil; good organic soil filled with nutrients. We purchased the seedlings, placed them in the soil, covered them with mulch and watered them. Day in and day out, the sun beamed down on them, we fertilized them, watered them and made sure they were doing well.
We created an environment where they could flourish and bear fruit.
I have a dream.
My dream is to see environments in all spheres of influence become places where people will flourish and bear much fruit.
I see an environment where people are welcomed and included.
I see an environment where people flourish and become all they are destined to be.
I see an environment where people are encouraged to fulfill their purpose.
I see an environment where people’s strengths are recognized and celebrated.
I see an environment where people’s weaknesses are recognized as learning opportunities for growth.
I see an environment where people from all cultures come together and celebrate differences.
I see an environment where people impact others lives for the better.
That dream starts with me.
So whatever I am doing, whether I am facilitating cooking workshops, or training teachers in a developing country or cooking the family meal, I dream of every environment I find myself in to be a place where people will flourish and bear much fruit.
Dreams become reality.
So here’s a recipe you may have been dreaming about which now you can make a reality! Perfect for dinner during these cooler nights!
Mussaman Lamb Curry
3 long red chillies, stems removed
3 long green chillies, stems removed
½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1dried bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cans (270g) coconut cream
2 cinnamon barks
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon palm sugar, optional
¼ cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons tamarind
1 leg of lamb, cut into 3 cm chunks, reserving bones
4 medium-size potatoes, cut into chunks
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Step 1: Begin with cutting up your leg of lamb into 3cm chunks and set aside with bones.
Step 2: Using a mortar and pestle, grind your chillies, toasted coconut, toasted peanuts and bay leaf. Add to this ground spices and mix through. Set aside.
Step 3: Heat oil in a large pot over low heat. Add onion and fry until transparent. Stir in spice mixture, adding tomato paste, coconut cream, cinnamon bark, grated ginger, grated palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind. Stir to combine all the ingredients. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a teaspoon of oil.
Step 4: Add lamb and bones to mixture and coat with cream and spice mix. Bring to boil, cover reducing heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Step 5: Add potato chunks to pan and coat with cream. Cook for a further 25 – 30 minutes or until potatoes soft. You may need to occasionally stir to prevent meat from sticking. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Step 6: 15 minutes before curry is ready, steam rice. Serve curry with rice and a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves.