Tuesday 23 July 2024

On The Road Again! Heading To Tamworth, New South Wales And Beyond - Part One

Mr P. and I love a road trip, as regular readers will know.  And we always try to get away for our birthdays, so off we went in late-ish June for mine.  This was to be an art gallery trip, as we knew of two new galleries that had opened recently - Tamworth Regional Gallery, and the Yarrila Arts Museum, both in New South Wales.  (And we snuck in a visit to NERAM - the New England Regional Art Museum.)  Funny how every gallery and art museum has to have an acronym these days.

a sculpture in Warwick QLD - on our way! 
 (Designer John Simpson, who sadly passed away before this was erected,
though his ashes are interred in the foundations.)

Bluff Rock, known for the massacre of the local indigenous tribe

Sadly, the local indigenous people were thrown off this rock by European settlers (so the story goes), most to die, and the rest injured and never seen again.  This massacre was in retaliation for the (supposed) murder of a shepherd on Bolivia Station.  But there are conflicting stories, and who knows the truth of it?  Tragic in every sense, anyway.

a bit of street art in Deepwater - a platypus!

Deepwater River - sadly, no platypuses seen :( 

and ... the bridge over the Deepwater River

You guessed it! It's Uralla, on Thunderbolt's Way (he was a local bushranger!)

the Uralla Institute building

and the Moonbi chook

the new Tamworth Regional Gallery (and Mr P. looking serious)

their fabulous new gallery 

in the small town of Manilla - old silo, and some old tractors

and the Manilla fish!

You can just see the stained-glass window to the left of the fishy mouth - which is a depiction of the Manilla fish!  Manilla is a small town on Fossickers' Way, apparently famous for fishing, paragliding and mountain biking!  Who knew?!!  Oh yes, and the best coffee, even at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon!

forgot to add Captain Thunderbolt (aforesaid famous bushranger!)

a wee train going by in the tiny town of Nemingha

the real estate agent of Manilla town

I just had to add in this photo!  Can this be real?  I laugh every time I see this.  Do we call him Purt for short?

That's enough for now; m
ore to come in another post!

c. Sherry M.

Tuesday 16 July 2024

Lemon, Green Chilli And Cheddar Tart

This recipe is from Easy Wins by Anna Jones, an English cookbook writer, well-known for her focus on vegetarian food.  Yep, another Cookbook Club book!  Mr P. and myself were vegetarian for a decade back in our younger days. 

I became one (at 16) because my friend became one, and she became one because her older brother became one!  Not sure why hubby was one :=)  It was pretty trendy back in the day.  And boy, did we live with a lot of vego and vegan crazies back then.  (He now tells me it's because I was one when he met me! - vego not crazy, hopefully.)

Mr P. had a harem living with him at the time I met him.  He had to teach more than one young woman how to cook, and live as an adult basically.  Thankfully, my mum taught me (and my sister) how to cook when we were wee sprogs.  And I could definitely change a lightbulb already!      

myself and Mr P. when youngsters

I decided to add sliced potato to this tart to make it a bit more substantial!  So slice the tatties, and either steam them, or bake them in the oven till just tender - or both! as in, steam then bake as I (probably) did.

herby, cheesy, potato-ey deliciousness

Serves 4:


(Action your spuds first!)

2 sheets of butter puff pastry, mostly thawed (but not completely)

1-2 Tbs of milk of your choice

150g./5 hefty ounces Cheddar cheese, grated   see Notes

1 red medium onion, finely sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1 Tbs EV olive oil

1-2 green or red chillies, finely sliced (heat level of your choosing)

2-3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced, and steamed or baked (optional)

1-2 big handfuls of herbs, chopped or torn - I used parsley (and dried mint)  see Notes

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place the sheets of pastry on a baking paper-lined tray (or 2), prick their little bottoms, score the edge about 1 cm/0.4 inch in, brush the bottoms with a bit of (oat or almond maybe) milk then bake them at 180C/360F for about 20-25 minutes till golden

Let them cool off for a bit (after pressing down gently on the middle to get rid of any puffage), while you grate the cheese and slice up the onion, lemon and chilli

Toss the lemon slices with 1 Tbs of EV olive oil and a big pinch of salt

Up goes the oven to 200C/400F, while you scatter the cheese over the bottom of the pastry, then you add the onion, potatoes, lemon and chilli slices

Bake for about 20 minutes till it's golden and the cheese is bubbling

Throw on the herbs and seasoning, and some olive oil if you fancy

Serve with salad or veg.


Anna says to use a mature Cheddar; here in Australia, we call it a Vintage or Tasty cheese

She also says to use 15g/0.5 oz mint and also of parsley and/or coriander (half a bunch of each) but I was happy with a bit less of the green stuff

Anna also says to first bake the pastry at 200C for 20-25 minutes, then when the toppings are on, to bake at 220C for another 15 minutes, but I found the slower temp. just fine - but you choose

slice up your tatties!

get slicing and chopping, my friends

put that tart together over the pre-baked pastry sheet :=)

and bake again with the cheese, onion, potatoes, lemon and chilli

throw on your herbs and seasoning

eat with a salad or two - we had coleslaw, and chickpea and couscous salad

c. Sherry M.

Tuesday 9 July 2024

Fragrant Coconut Chicken

Regular readers know I am a huge fan of Belinda Jeffery's cookbooks, and of her own lovely self.  I've done several cooking classes with her, before she moved to the Central Coast.  Some readers may remember that I sliced into my finger at one of her classes and swooned like a young lady from Pride and Prejudice (or Bridgerton?).  I had to go lie down and recover my senses.

I made her Fragrant Coconut Chicken one night 'cos it's easy and delicious, especially if you use chicken thighs rather than a whole chook!  I have to watch myself when it comes to cutting up a whole bird.  I fear my fingers would not survive - hehehehe.

splosh on some yoghurt and mango chutney ...

Start this recipe the day before (or at least early in the morning) you want to eat it!  It needs to sit and ruminate in the fridge for at least 6 hours but overnight is better (says Belinda using a whole bird).

Serves 4:  


1.5 kg/3.3 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs (or cut of your choice - wings, drumsticks, etc or a mixture) Or a whole bird if you feel like dismembering it!


1 small onion, roughly chopped

4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

2 Tbs fresh ginger, chopped or grated

2 Tbs Korma curry paste - you choose your fave   see Notes 

1 dessertspoon of tamarind paste = 2 tsp (optional)

250 mL/9 oz/1 cup coconut cream or coconut milk

1-2 small red chillies, finely chopped

2 tsp ground cummin seeds

2 Tbs lime or lemon juice

1 tsp sea salt flakes


freshly torn or chopped herbs (coriander leaves for instance)

lime wedges

Plain Greek yoghurt, for serving

Chutney, for serving (optional)


Chop your thighs into bitesize pieces and place them into a large food-safe plastic bag

Gather the marinade ingredients and bung 'em into a food processor or blender, and whizz the heck out of them

Once you have a lovely, thick purée, you pour the mixture into the bag with the chicken and give it a good shake and squeeze (make sure the bag is very well sealed first)

Stick the bag into a container, and let it sit in the fridge for as long as you can be bothered to wait, giving it a gentle toss every so often

Take the bag out, and let it come to room temp. (unless your room is sizzling hot or freezing cold)

Your oven goes on to 190C/375F to heat up, while you grab a large baking dish, and spread 1-2 Tbs of EV olive oil over the base

Tip the marinated chicken pieces into the dish, spread them out, cover the dish with alfoil, and bake for 25 minutes

Then take off the foil, and give it another 20 minutes

Take it out of the oven, and let it sit for a few minutes

And serve with the herbs, lime wedges, yoghurt and chutney

Steamed rice could be a goer here too


I am giving Belinda's recipe in full, though I halved it for myself and Mr P.  (I used 850g. of thighs - ok so a wee bit more than half)

Belinda suggests Tikka Masala paste though I used Korma - a fabulous fresh paste from Tasmania (those supermarket ones are disgusting!!)

chop up your thighs

pour in the marinade and give it a big shake

spread your thighs and cover with alfoil

smells delicious, my friends!

throw on some herbs

and eat with yoghurt and chutney

(Joining up with Min for her #WWWhimsy linkup on her blog Write of the Middle)

c. Sherry M.

Monday 1 July 2024

In My Kitchen - July 2024

Well - halfway through the year already, my friends.  Crumbs, I feel like it should be March at the most.  Mr P. and I had a lovely break, doing a roadtrip into country New South Wales.  I'm always amazed at how expansive and wondrous it is out in the Aussie bush.

We have a German friend who used to come out, and just drive off into the blue in his beach buggy.  He got stranded once driving across the top of Australia, and was very luckily towed all the way to Perth (or was it Broome?) by a kind, random stranger.  He adores the wide expanses and empty roads.  As do we.  His beach buggy did not :)

the moon rising as we drove along a gravel road for many kilometres!

We saw kangaroos (dead and alive), wild goats, wallabies and some stray cows.  Happily the crazy goats leapt across the road just before we got to them :=)  Anyways, here's looking at my June kitchen.  I am looking forward to seeing yours!

In My Kitchen:

limes bought from a roadside stall on one of our country drives

I love the way people have roadside stalls out the front of their property, and you just stick your money in the honesty box!  I bought the hot sauce at the pub where we had lunch one day out in the sticks.  And who can resist a ceramic chook?  Not this little black duck.

yep, another visit to the Japanese store!

I made a frittata (cherry tomatoes for the hubby of course)

delicious biscuits and chocs from our local providore Mumbleberry

interesting soft drinks and some organic chicken stock powder too

wondrous birthday gifts from my cuz!

a Scottish clan tea towel from my sis.  See the Mackay clan?

and another gift from the cuz.  These AWW cookbooks are the best!

So many recipes I want to make from this book!  The Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks are a staple of every Aussie kid's childhood.  Their birthday cakes cookbook is owned by most mums!

the curveball - a print by Poh Ling Yeow

Poh is an artist who became well-known from her stint on Masterchef Australia.  Her life is now a mix of art and cooking.  I love her work - in both arenas.  Framing is so darn expensive these days, I do it myself.  I buy the frame, drill the holes, add the screws and tie the wire on.  A painting this size would probably cost $500 to get framed!  I buy a $30 frame and it's a DIY!  Looks pretty good!

c. Sherry M.

Be a part of our friendly IMK community by adding your post here too - everybody welcome!  We'd love to have you visit.  Tell us about your kitchen (and kitchen garden) happenings over the past month.  Dishes you've cooked, preserves you've made, herbs and veg. in your garden, kitchen gadgets, and goings-on.  And one curveball is welcome - whatever you fancy; no need to be kitchen-related.  

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Sunday 23 June 2024

Pineapple Coconut Scones

Mr P. loves his carbs!  Even though his waistline does not.  We have been on a low-carb eating plan for a couple of years now, and we have both lost some of the avoir dupois from our waists.  Luckily for me, I am not a huge fan of breads or pasta so I didn't mind cutting down on the carby stuff.  Poor Mr P. though ...  Carbs are his bread and butter - literally :=)  (Or should that be metaphorically?)  If you were a baker, for instance ...

I'm always on the lookout for interesting scone recipes since I have been part of Tandy's annual scone blog-fest on her blog Lavender and Lime.  I can't remember how I came upon this particular scone recipe.  It's from a blog called Amy's Healthy Baking; she uses all sorts of low-fat, dairy-free, gluten-free ingredients.  I did not go down that route :=)  (Nor did Dino the baby dinosaur - hehehe).  

Dino watching over the (remaining) scones :=)


180g./6.5 oz./1.5 cups wholemeal flour - I used half wholemeal and half plain, but use whatever you have

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp sea salt

28g./1 oz. butter, cold and diced

120g./4.2 oz. plain Greek yoghurt

3 Tbs/45 mL pure maple syrup

55 mL/3 Tbs + 2 tsp milk - use your fave; I used regular cow's milk  see Notes

 1/2 tsp coconut extract (or use extra vanilla if you'd rather)

1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract

70g./2.5 oz. diced or crushed (tinned) pineapple, well-drained and chopped into (very) small pieces  see Notes

12g./2.5 Tbs/0.5 oz shredded, unsweetened coconut


On goes your oven to heat at 220C/425F

Grab a baking tray and baking paper, and line the tray

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl

Use a pastry cutter (really useful) or a fork or your fingers to combine the butter into the flour, till you have fine crumbs

Then you will stir in the yoghurt, maple syrup, the 3 Tbs of milk, and the 2 extracts

And gently fold in the pineapple and shredded coconut

Pat the dough (tenderly) into a rough round (in the mixing bowl), and then place it onto the baking tray  (mine was quite a wet dough)

Then shape it into a 2cm/0.75 inch high mound on the tray, and brush with the extra 2 tsp of milk

With a sharp knife, cut the mound into 8 triangles (leaving them closely packed on the tray) 

Bake for 18-21 minutes till lightly golden on top

Leave 'em sit on the tray for a few minutes to cool, then place on a wire rack

Serve warm, with lots of butter!


NB. I am using 15 mL tablespoons in this recipe (= 0.5 oz.)

Use whatever milk you fancy, tho' I think a full fat milk is best

Divide the milk into the Tbs and the tsp amounts

The recipe says to drain the (tinned) pineapple well; but you could get away with a light pressing thru a sieve, I think :=)

ingredients gathered

cut the butter into the flour mixture

stir in the yoghurt etc

and fold in the pineapple and coconut

a kinda (moist) loose dough! Pat it onto the tray, and cut 8 triangles

golden and warm and delicious

see the pineapple peeking out?

Mr P. about to hoe in - with a wee bit of butter

Dino the dinosaur keeping an eye on the rest!

Oh, and did I mention it's my birthday?  Yep, Mr P. and I are on a short break, doing a bit of an art gallery tour.  We headed west and south to Armidale, where the nightly temperature is minus 2!!  My Queenslander bones are a wee bit frozen :=)  Then heading back to the coast to check out another gallery, then home!

c. Sherry M.