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Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. The group was started by NewYorker Cheryl Tan, author of ‘A Tiger in the Kitchen’ , a food memoir of her Singaporean heritage. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, often by consensus, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world.

Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch.

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Turkish Sesame Sweet

A Recipe with 3 Ingredients?  Easy!

We are so excited to have just released our new book ‘The Feast Goes On’ in Australia and we are enjoying the feedback of what everyone is cooking from the book.

We love it!! It will be released in the U.S.A and the U.K in a few months’ time.

This month’s #letslunch is all about recipes with THREE ingredients, and we’ve chosen a lovely simple sweet which dates back many generations.

This recipe comes from the late Jack Sages. Jack was the sixth generation of his family to be born in Turkey, after his ancestors were driven out of Spain during the Spanish Inquisition. He loved to cook, having learnt from his mother and sister who were both great cooks. Jack lived in Sydney with his wife and companion of 55 years, artist Jenny Sages, until he passed away in 2010.

Jack’s memory lives on in the recipes and stories he left behind.

Thanks Alan Benson for the gorgeous photo of the sesame sweet (on the right) and the basboussa (a sweet semolina cake, recipe in the book!) on the left.

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. Check out the others’ posts right here over the next few days – they are always so wonderful!

 

Lemon Chocolate Bonbons at Free Range Cookies

Mac and Cheese and Peanut Butter Cookies at Tea and Scones.

Filipino Sticky Rice Logs at Asian in America.

Easier Chicken and Dumplings at A Cook and Her Books.

Turkish Sesame Sweet at Monday Morning Cooking Club.

Trinidadian Mango Chow at Spicebox Travels.

Mango Coconut Chia Pudding at HapaMama.

Peanut Butter Cookies at Hot Curries & Cold Beer.

Gluten Free Almond Cookies at The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook

Roasted Asparagus at Glass of Fancy

3 Ingredient Broccolini at Be a Wok Star

Continue Reading 9

Folk of the Faraway Tree…and Pop Cakes

Pop Cakes? We Need Heston!

Without a doubt, my favourite book of all time is The Folk of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. And this month on #LetsLunch we are talking literary inspirations for food. Easy!

I absolutely LOVE the story of the three children – Jo, Bessie and Fanny – who live near a forest that they came to call the Enchanted Wood. A magical place indeed! In the middle of the forest is the huge and very very special Faraway Tree — a giant tree inhabited by fabulous creatures and all sorts of fairy-folk. Is topmost branches lead to ever-changing magical lands above the swirling clouds.Some delightful and some frightening.

The three children make friends with Moon-Face, Silky, and the Saucepan Man (my favourite – in fact I still call my husband ‘Mr Saucepan Man’ when he misunderstands a word I have said), feasting with them on all manner of treats and sliding down the slippery-slip which spirals down inside the trunk. Climbing the tree involves dodging the dirty washing-water which Dame Washalot pours down the trunk and avoiding peeping in at the Angry Pixie, who throws things at those who do.

The most exciting part for me is all the magical and delicious-sounding treats they enjoy. The Toffee Shocks that grow in your mouth so that you can no longer speak and then suddenly they disappear to nothing. Hot Cold Sweets that become colder the more you suck and then suddenly become hot, and then, just before they become unbearable, cool down again. Pop cakes/biscuits always thrilled me – imagine a cake/biscuit/cookie that you can bite into and discover a hidden pool of smooth sweet honey. I am, and have always been, mesmerised by all these delicacies.

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“Silky was pleased. She sat there brushing her beautiful, golden hair and ate sandwiches with them. She brought out a tin of Pop Cakes, which were lovely. As soon as you bit into them they went pop! and you suddenly found your mouth filled with new honey from the middle of the little cakes. Frannie took seven, one after the other, for she was rather greedy.

We thought it would be a bit of fun to try and recreate our own pop cakes, in the form of pop biscuits. We decided to sandwich a piece of honeycomb in between 2 layers of German sugar cookie dough. As we imagined, the honeycomb melted and most of it ended up on the baking sheet. There was however a lovely residue of honey and the biscuits did taste delicious.

Mission accomplished? No, not really. We think we need Heston to help us!

But did we enjoy the honey biscuits? YES!!

Thanks to the Enid Blyton Society and bananamondaes for helping with the finer details and the quote.

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. Check out the others’ posts right here over the next few days – they are always so wonderful!

Lisa’s Pop Cakes from Monday Morning Cooking Club

Lucy’s Old Fashioned from A Cook and Her Books

Jill’s Orange Tarts at Eating My Words

Linda’s Homemade Tagalongs from Free Range Cookies

Annabelle’s Eggs for Bren at Glass of Fancy

Linda’s Oaxacan Mole Rojo at Spicebox Travels

Cheryl’s Hemingway Hamburger at A Tiger in the Kitchen

Betty’s Leche Flan from Asian in America

Grace’s Chinese Fried Eggs from Hapa Mama

Continue Reading 4

Caramel, Chocolate and Salted Peanut Ice Cream

Kummerspeck: What’s Your Grief Bacon?

Kummerspeck literally means ‘grief bacon’. I also had no idea what it meant! It’s explained really well at cracked.com and refers to the weight one might pile on from grief-based overeating. Obvious, huh?

We’ve all  been through it – those times where there is no better solace than indulging (or rather, over indulging) in fat-laden sometimes sweet often salty morsels of soothing deliciousness.

What’s yours?

How about crawling under the covers with a spoon in one hand and in the other, an entire tub of icecream studded with caramel, chocolate and salted nuts? That will definitely work for me.

[recipe]

 

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. Check out the others’ posts right here over the next few days – they are always so wonderful!

Caramel, Chocolate and Salted Peanut Ice Cream from Lisa at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Pot Stickers from Tammi at Insatiable Munchies
Sabaw ng Monggo: Mung Bean Soup with Bacon from Betty Ann at Asian in America
Dark Chocolate Vanilla Pomegranate Parfait from Linda at Spicebox Travels
Slap Yo’ Mama Brownies from Lucy at In a Southern Kitchen
“Hug-in-a-bowl” noodles from Vivian at Vivian Pei
Evil Grief Brownies from Annabelle at Glass of Fancy
Chicken Noodle Soup from Margaret at Tea and Scones
German pancakes from Cheryl at A Tiger in the Kitchen
Beef Bourguinon with kartoffelkloesse AND maple candied bacon from Karen at GeoFooding
Cold fried chicken and potato salad from Lucy at A Cook and Her Books
The Toast Truck will Serve Soft Ripened Goat Cheese from Rebecca at GrongarBlog

 

Continue Reading 8

Chocolate Almond Tree

Toblerone and Roasted Almonds, mmmmmmm…

Some years ago, before we had children and had a lot more time to spend creating ridiculously time-consuming dinners at home, we used to host an annual ‘festive season’ dinner. I would spend days and days choosing my turkey, debating stuffing versus no stuffing, scouring magazines for the best plum pudding recipe (and found it!), trying out various Christmas cakes and researching the perfect mince pie.

And all the while, searching for a decorative edible non-Christmassy Christmas tree.

I had seen a picture in a magazine of a chocolate tree and I was besotted with the idea – a textured chocolate to resemble bark, and nuts to hold it all together. That was it!!

You can make the tree a couple of weeks ahead, just cover it with foil and store it in the fridge. I have tried it with peanuts instead of almonds (great, except for the allergy factor) and chocolate crackle mixture (great, until it was put on the table in the Sydney summer heat and proceeded to fall apart before our eyes).

Be patient when making it. It is much easier when the chocolate is at room temperature. And make sure you allow enough time for each branch layer to set firmly in the fridge before assembling.

[recipe]

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. Check out the others’ posts – they are wonderful!

Lisa’s Chocolate Almond Tree on Monday Morning Cooking Club

Grace’s Spiced Shortbread Cookies at Hapa Mama Grace

Anne Marie’s Ornament Sandwiches on Sandwich Surprise

Betty Ann’s Mini Bibingka on Asian in America

Lucy’s Peppermint Candy Tray at A Cook and Her Books

Pat’s Lemongrass and Pandan Sugar Cookies at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook

Tammy’s Chewy Gingerbread Cookies at Insatiable Munchies

Vivian’s Festive Gingerbread Cookies at Vivian Pei

Linda’s Merry Kale Trees at Free Range Cookies

Annabelle’s Pecan Caramels at Glass of Fancy

Continue Reading 14

No Ordinary Meatloaf

Cooking for Family and Friends, Monday Morning Cooking Club Style

This month we are celebrating food for family and friends with the #LetsLunch crew in honour of the release (in the U.S.A) of our book, Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood. Woohoo – what a lovely thing to do!!

So here’s a bit of background about us, the girls of the Monday Morning Cooking Club, for those of you who have not yet met us.

I am what we call the chief pot stirrer of the group of six women (all from Sydney) who have been cooking together on Monday mornings since 2006. We started out with a seed of an idea to write a cookbook for charity by collecting the best recipes from some of the best cooks in Sydney’s Jewish community.

We are all nurturers and passionate cooks with varied backgrounds, from business to teaching and from law to charity work. Our combined heritage spans Poland, Hungary, Shanghai, Russia, England and South Africa. We first met through Sydney’s Jewish community, where our shared passion for food brought us together and cemented a lasting bond.

The girls and I have made it our mission to share the stories of our wonderful and diverse food-obsessed community, preserving recipes from past generations for our generation, and preserving recipes from our generation for the future.

With our goal ’to produce a book that could sit beside any great chef’s cookbook in any bookstore’, we published ‘Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood’ in April 2011 (2nd edition, March 2013). We have sold 16,000+ books in Australia and helped raise $400,000+ along the way for charity. The book is now available on Amazon.

Our book is full of recipes and stories from Sydney’s Jewish community – heartwarming stories such as Raie’s below.

One of my favourite family-style recipes in the book is ‘Aunty Raie’s Meatloaf’ on page 65. Not only for the AMAZING (best ever!) meatloaf, but for the story that goes with it.

The late Raie Rosenberg, a close friend of my family, was sixteen when her father moved the family to Sydney. She had already begun to develop a strong interest in food and cooking. She happily settled into life in a new city, married Ron and started a family of her own.

When Raie and Ron opened Aunty Raie’s Deli in Woollahra in the eighties, she lovingly cooked all the house dishes herself. Her specialties included chopped liver, egg and onion, a huge variety of frittatas and, of course, her meatloaf. With her chatty personality and sense of humour, she adored the local customers and thrived on the camaraderie that existed in the area. Raie passed away in 1997. She is remembered not only for her exceptional cooking but also for being an integral Woollahra village personality.

Raie’s best-known specialty was her incredible meatloaf. She sold it across Sydney to many cafes and sandwich bars, and customers would queue outside her deli at lunchtime to buy one of her famous meatloaf sandwiches.

I always remembered visiting Raie in her deli many years ago and tasting her meatloaf for the first time. When  I was thinking of all the recipes that ‘just needed’ to be in the book, this was one of them. I managed to track it down through Raie’s sisters, although no-one had an exact recipe recorded. So I guess this is the MMCC version of Aunty Raie’s meatloaf and I am so pleased it has now become part of my family’s range of easy weeknight meals.

It is served here with Marny’s potato salad (page 217) and works equally well with chicken or turkey. 

meatloaf
[recipe]

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. And check out the others’ posts – they are wonderful!

Eleanor’s Surf and Turf at Wok Star

Linda’s Pumpkin Pie at Spice Box Travels

Anne Marie’s Almond Cheesecake Sammy Bites at Sandwich Surprise

Grace’s Zha Jiang Mien at Hapa Mama

Jill’s Homemade Corned Beef at Eating My Words

Lucy’s Sweet Potatoes with Cane Syrup at A Cook and Her Books

Pat’s Red Curry Noodles at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook

Betty Ann’s Sisig Rice at Asianin America

Lisa’s No Ordinary Meatloaf at Monday Morning Cooking Club

 

 

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Time to Eat Your ‘Free’ Veggies…

A Perfect Way to Fill Your Belly with Goodness

This month’s #LetsLunch is in honor of Joe Yonan‘s new book ‘Eat Your Vegetables’.

It’s winter here in Australia and some of us (ahem….) have indulged (or rather, over indulged) these past months. But it’s cold. And I’m hungry. And I may have just eaten my annual allocation of pasta in July alone.

So what do we do?

We make soup.

Not just any soup, but a ‘free’ soup chock full of my favourite veggies. By ‘free’ I don’t mean it doesn’t cost money, I am alluding to someone’s old Weight Watchers days where the list of ‘free’ vegetables was an invitation to gorge on said vegetables.

I make this every week nowadays so that I can have a bowl whenever I am a little peckish, or to eat for dinner when just feel like something that won’t weigh me down. Feel free to add or substitute your own personal favourite veggies – celeriac, squash, celery, turnip, parsnip, beet, brussels sprouts.

[recipe]

 

Step One. Chop your veggies.

Step One. Chop your veggies.

Step Two. All in a pot, stock goes in.

Step Two. All in a pot, stock goes in.

Done. Just a little parmesan on top...

Done. Just a little parmesan on top…

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch.

The list of everyone’s #letslunch post is starting now, right here….

Annabelle‘s Farmer’s Market Gazpacho at Glass of Fancy

Cheryl’s Egg-Drop Broccoli at A Tiger in the Kitchen

Grace‘s Vegetable Tempura at HapaMama

Jill‘s Fusilli with Corn Sauce at Eating My Words 

Joe‘s Guaca-Chi at Joe Yonan

Linda‘s Chocolate-Zucchini Twinkies at Free Range Cookies

Linda‘s Gateway Brussels Sprouts at Spicebox Travels

Lisa‘s Totally “Free” Veggie Soup at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Pat‘s Umami-Laden Green Beans at The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook

Sonja’s Ukranian Borscht at Foodnutzz

Vivian‘s Kangkong (Water Spinach) with Fermented Beancurd, Chili and Garlic at Vivian Pei

 

Continue Reading 10

Got the Munchies? Read on…

Cheesy, Crisp, Hot, Spicy, Creamy, Quick: Nachos

A new book has hit the stores from the U.S, Jonathan Santlofer‘s The Marijuana Chronicles with (we like to call her our very own ‘LetsLunch’ co-founder) author Cheryl Tan being one of the contributors. I am already half way through  (having started it a couple of days ago, thanks iBooks) and it is really GREAT reading. I am not only enthralled, but I am learning a lot!

In honour of its launch, this month’s #LetsLunch post is all about the munchies. Munchies or no munchies, what do we REALLY want to eat when we are simply hungry – no, I mean RAVENOUS – and perhaps also lacking in time and  ideas, uncaring about diet or how we will feel tomorrow. I took a survey of friends who may or may not have had the munchies over the years, and the consensus was simple and clear. NACHOS. I tell a mistruth, nachos was actually second – after coco-pops (Australian cocoa crispies)!

So here’s my very basic version of nachos, the one we used to make for dinner parties when we were first married when no-one seemed to care if dinner was 3000 calories. If you want to go fancy, you could make your own Avocado dip and spicy hot salsa. Or not.

[recipe]

Image 13

A special thanks to Rachel Q. who helped me out by making and photographing (and eating!) the dish for me this week while I am travelling. 

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch.

Here’s the long-awaited list of everyone’s #letslunch post right here:

Annabelle‘s Scallion Pancakes at Glass of Fancy

Anne Marie‘s Pepper-Stuffed Tater Tot, Fried Pickle, Cheese Whiz and Garlic Bread Burger at Sandwich Surprise

Cheryl’s Spam Fries with Key Lime at A Tiger in the Kitchen

Emma‘s Homemade Pizza Rolls at Dreaming of Pots and Pans

Grace‘s Fry Sauce, with an Asian Twist at HapaMama

Jill‘s Stone Fruit Salad at Eating My Words

Jonathan‘s Chocolate Chewy Squares at Jonathan Santlofer

Linda‘s Heavenly Hash Popcorn at Free Range Cookies

Linda‘s Sam Sifton’s Trinidadian Chinese Five Spice Chicken at Spice Box Travels

Lisa‘s No-Time-To-Wait Nachos at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Pat‘s Sausage Rolls at The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook

Rashda‘s Farm-Fresh Corn Fritters at Hot Curries & Cold Beer

Vivian‘s Spam Bacon & Kim Chi Sandwich at Vivian Pei

 

Continue Reading 11

Campari Granita..ish

…and ended up a Campari Granita (ish)

In some parts of the world it is summer, but not where I am. I am lucky enough to have just returned from a little (almost) summer jaunt in Venice where I fell in love with the Aperol Spritz. Bellinis aside, I think it is THE aperitif of Venice. All you need is aperol (or campari), prosecco, a slice of orange and a whole lotta ice! You can put it in a wine glass, a tumbler, a martini glass. You can drink it straight out of the carafe. It is bitter and sweet, cold and refreshing, and warms the cockles of your heart.

Da Ivo. Classic with View.

Da Ivo. Classic with View.

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Il Ridotto. Modern.

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Cipriani. Expensive.

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Da Ivo. Rustic with Canal.

I am inspired by a beautiful food and photography blog the food dept and particularly their prosecco ice pops. Yes, there is a theme here. So I decided to make aperol pops. Then I thought about it and decided it is too hard without the right iceblock moulds, so decide on an aperol granita.

So I take one bottle sweet sparkling wine, 1/2 cup Campari (no Aperol in the house!) and 1 cup sugar and heat it gently to dissolve the sugar. I let it cool to room temp and then pour it into a large plastic tub and stick it in the freezer.

IMG_0358

Tastes great, but not an ice crystal to be seen.

Six hours later, nothing has changed. There is no freezing going on here.

Maybe too much alcohol is preventing it from freezing?

So I add two cups of fresh orange juice (to dilute the alcohol and encourage freezing and really wish I had blood oranges!) and stick it back in the freezer. Two hours later, nothing. So I leave it overnight.

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A few ice crystals but nothing to write home about!

In the morning we have some ice crystals. Yay. But not enough. So I add another cup of fresh orange juice and throw it back in the freezer for a couple of hours. Things are definitely improving and I do have a Campari ‘slushie’. Tastes absolutely and positively delicious but still needs more freezing.

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Getting icier, but not icy enough.

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A very drinkable slushie. Almost slushie. Nowhere near granita.

It’s now back in the freezer overnight.

The next day, I am so happy to find a frozen tub of Campari spritz.

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Not frozen solid, but perfectly frozen for granita.

And here it is…finally…..a Campari granita. Yum!

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Campari granita. Nice!

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch.

Check back in a couple of days for a list of everyone’s #letslunch post right here.

Lucy’s The Girl in a Hat Goes on a Picnic at A Cook and Her Books

Lisa’s Aperol Spritz at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Linda’s Escape from San Francisco Picnic at spicebox travels

Cheryl’s Mango-Key Lime Pie at A Tiger In The Kitchen

Monica’s Peanut Salad at A Life of Spice

Grace’s Mung Bean Shaved Ice at Hapa Mama

Pat’s Almost No-Cook Rice at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook

Linda’s Coconut Creamsicle Sodas at Free Range Cookies

Continue Reading 5

Beetroot and Horseradish

Inspired by Israel and Created in Australia – Salmon and Beetroot with Horseradish

I couldn’t be happier with the #LetsLunch topic for this month’s post: “Spring Break: foods from places you are going, have gone or wish you were going.”

It wasn’t quite a ‘Spring break’ for me, but I have just returned from an amazing trip to Israel where I found the food culture  in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem absolutely inspiring and so so wonderful. Every restaurant and cafe I visited had at least one dish that was a true highlight – memorable and worth revisiting.  I often had my notebook out, scribbling down ingredients and recipe ideas. The usuals and the unusuals. Creamy labne, fresh green almonds, tiny baby calamari, chickpeas a million ways, tahina straight from the vat, Romanian kebabs (meatballs), Kosher-for-Pesach laffa, hummus many ways, barley salad, brinza cheese, parsley and coriander galore, toasted pine nuts, roasted spices, sweet tomatoes, Indian-style ‘pizza’ with truffles, flaky druze pita…so many great things.

One of my favourites is North Abraxus in Tel Aviv. The restaurant is small, so book ahead. The food is innovative yet simple, with presentation that makes you smile. I have a wonderful beetroot and horseradish starter which is basically a pool of horseradish cream (yoghurt? labne? didn’t ask!) with beetroots sitting atop. It is so irresistible and delicious that I only remember to take a picture when it is almost too late. Apologies for the average pic but I am too busy scoffing it down. Once you start to eat it, the cream begins to turn pink and looks like coloured paint on an artist’s palette.

beet

 

The whole meal at North Abraxus is fabulous but more on that in my Israel post (coming soon).

On returning to Sydney, I have the lingering memory (actually more like a craving!) of beetroots and horseradish and I decide to make lunch around it. It’s pretty simple really – salmon on the BBQ, roasted beetroot and horseradish yoghurt. Perhaps the next version might have some greens and maybe some nuts, but the first draft will do for now.

 

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Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. Check back in a couple of days for a list of everyone’s #letslunch post right here.

Emma’s  Mickey Pizza at Kitchen Dreamer
Jill’s Basil-Infused Cotillion Cocktail at Eating My Words
Lucy’s Pepperoni Pizza Swirl Muffins at A Cook and Her Books
Lisa’s Beetroot and Salmon with Horseradish at Monday Morning Cooking Club
Linda’s Instant Carrot Cake at Free Range Cookies
Karen’s Sourdough Sandwich Bread at Geofooding
Linda’s Guide to Eating in Cancun at Spicebox Travels
Ann Marie’s Mofongo with Ground Beef at Sandwich Surprise

Continue Reading 5

Chargrilled Sourdough, Tomato and Haloumi Salad

A Luscious and Healthy Salad, Full of Goodness

This month’s #LetsLunch is celebrating the season of the (Northern Hemisphere) Spring as well as Daffodil Days in the U.S.A, supporting cancer awareness. In Australia we celebrate Daffodil Day  in October, our Spring.

It’s a time of hope, when we join together to help fight cancer by raising funds and increasing awareness. It’s a time to educate everyone across each country, to ensure that each and every person affected has the best care and support possible, and then to beat this thing once and for all.
We can all support this endeavour wherever we live, whatever we do and whichever season we are in!

At home, we try to nourish ourselves and our families with wonderful food. We  choose organic vegetables rich in colour and antioxidants, the best extra virgin olive oil we can find, and ingredients from sources we trust. And then simply put it all together with a good dose of love, the essential ingredient.

When I think of Spring, I think of bright, vibrant food that awakens the palate and the soul. This salad is a mouthwatering feast for all senses, full of colour, texture and immense flavour.

haloumi

 [recipe]

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the worldAnyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. Check back in a couple of days for a list of everyone’s #letslunch post right here.


 

 

 

Continue Reading 5

Pretzel Fingers

Pretzel Fingers for #LetsLunch and Halloween

Scary food? Nope, NOT AT ALL my thing! Well…not when I started my research anyway. Now I am right into it and have spent hours sifting through the copious amount of information on the web to find me a SCARY recipe for #LetsLunch and for the upcoming Halloween goings-on.

I could have made skeleton cookies, spider’s web cupcakes or chocolate spiders but I am in the mood for real food this month, not sweets. Something bread-y or biscuity or savoury. And gross-looking fingers with red nails seem to be a common theme for Halloween…so I am thinking breadsticks…baguettes…pretzels! But I don’t want my pretzels to look so scary and gross that no-one wants to eat them so I have come up with a compromise. I think Pretzel Fingers with Almond Nails should do the trick!

Line all your fingers up…

First, I need a soft pretzel recipe. Easy! An Australian recipe website gives me exactly what I need: allrecipes.com.au has a ‘German-Style’ pretzel.

[recipe]

Just by the way, I do love a good, salty, soft, glazed and golden pretzel. If anyone has ever been to Zurich train station and eaten a hot pretzel with cheese, they will know exactly what I am talking about. I can still remember the taste, and I am going back to 1986!

While I was playing with pretzel dough, thought I should also bake some real pretzels. But how on earth to roll them? I tried Auntie Anne’s YouTube video first. It started off with such clear step by step instuctions until the most crucial part which I just could not follow. So next I tried Wikihow which gave me a better idea of how to do it, although I don’t think my pretzels are exactly as they should be. But for a first go (if I may say so myself) they looked pretty nice…

After baking, brush the pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Why not!?

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. The group was started by NewYorker Cheryl Tan, author of ‘A Tiger in the Kitchen’ , a food memoir of her Singaporean heritage. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, often by consensus, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world.

Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. Check back in a couple of daysfor a list of everyone’s #letslunch post.

And maybe join in next month?

And for other scary stories and recipes from #LetsLunch on Twitter:

Linda’a Spiced Pumpkin Flan at Spicebox travels
Lucy’s fabulously spooky Halloween cakes at A Cook and Her Books
Annabelle’s Halloween Spice Cookies at A Glass of Fancy
Cathy’s Cowboy Black Bean Dip at ShowFood Chef
Rashda’s Spooktacular Stuffed Pumpkin at Hot Curries & Cold Beer
Joe’s Sloppy Vegan Joe with Mock Meat at Joe Yonan

Lisa’s Pretzel fingers at Monday Morning Cooking Club

 

 

 

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Polish Potato Cake

An ‘Ulnyik’ for #LetsLunch (from my late Bubba Esther)

One of the most important parts of the Monday Morning Cooking Club project is the preservation of recipes. To preserve those recipes from the older generation for ours. And to preserve ours for the next. And so on.

I grew up in Melbourne as an Australian Jew with pure Polish ancestry. My father was born in Poland, and came to Melbourne with his family in 1938 when he was only 7.  My mother was born in Melbourne, her parents arriving in 1927 from Bialystok, also in Poland. She married my father in 1954, the same year that her mother, so sadly, passed away.

 

A passport photo of Mum with Bubba Esther in 1936.

My mother did cook at home but my inspiration for cooking came from within, or perhaps from my genes.  I sometimes imagine that perhaps I am living in the wrong century and in the wrong place. I dream of stories of my late grandmother on my Father’s side, Bubba Sheindel. My father describes her cellar, a treasure trove of culinary delights and tantalizing aromas, bursting with barrels of her freshly pickled cucumbers, vats of pickled cabbage, apples and tomatoes, of schmaltz and pickled herrings, and preserved fruits and jams.  Strands of dried mushrooms and garlic, and hessian bags of potatoes and onions waiting to be made into the lightest latkes.

She rolled the thinnest pastry for the most perfect apple strudel (or, as my mother says, shhtroodel) without a cook book in sight. Many years later when she was living in Melbourne, my mother asked her new mother-in-law for the recipe, which of course had never been written down. So my mother stood in the kitchen with a measuring cup and scales and proceeded to measure and weigh every pinch, spoon and glass of sugar, flour and butter before it went in to the mix.

This was the only time Bubba’s strudel didn’t work out! The recipe is now long gone. How sad it is never to be able to retrieve it.

I never met my mother’s mother Esther, but every single year at Passover my mum makes an ulnyik, a spectacular crisp, crunchy, oily and generally FANTASTIC potato cake that she learnt from her mother when she was a teenager.

No recipe was written down.

Once I left home, and wanted to make my own ulnyik, I would call Mum on the phone so she could remind me how many potatoes, how many onions and how long to cook it for. Every year I asked the same questions!

So you can imagine my joy when the MMCC book provided me with an opportunity to actually write it down. And write it down properly…so that it would always work out perfectly. Well, most of the time anyway! Just like Mum’s it is sometimes a little overcooked, sometimes a little under – but we do love it all the same! It’s a way to have Bubba Esther sit at the table with us every single time we make it.

Below is a video of how to make the unyik (along with my mum’s brisket). The ulnyik starts at around 2.25 if you want to skip the brisket. Enjoy!

[recipe]

Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch) is a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. The group was started by NewYorker Cheryl Tan, author of ‘A Tiger in the Kitchen’ , a food memoir of her Singaporean heritage. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, often by consensus, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world.

Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. Check back in a couple of days for a list of everyone’s #letslunch post.

And maybe join in next month?

Here are the other posts…so far…

Charissa‘s Apple, Pecan & Raisin Gluten-Free Depression Cake at Zest Bakery

Emma‘s Irish, Polish & Korean Grandmothers’ Recipes at Dreaming of Pots & Pans

Jill‘s Stuffed Cabbage at Eating My Words

Karen‘s Semifreddo at GeoFooding

Linda‘s Taiwanese Oyster Omelet at Spicebox Travels

Lisa‘s Polish Potato Cake at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Patricia‘s “Many Grandmas” Asian Pickles at The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook

Renee‘s Chinese Grandmother’s Tofu at My Kitchen And I

Cheryl’s Gambling Rice at A Tiger in the Kitchen

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