A Food & Travel Blog

In My Kitchen April 2015

10/04/2015 | By

Food mags - In My Kitchen

Food mags – In My Kitchen

Yes folks, it’s that time of the month again and I’m hoping I make the deadline for Fig Jam and Lime Cordial’s In My Kitchen roundup – check out what is in kitchens around the world over at Celia’s blog!


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Brilliant & Bullet-Proof – Haigh’s Dark Chocolate Mud Cake

07/11/2014 | By

Haighs Chocolate Mud Cake

Haigh’s Chocolate Mud Cake

One of the things I love about food blogging is checking the post. Occasionally there are interesting-looking parcels waiting for me that I wasn’t expecting. If the parcel contains chocolate, well – my day is made.


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Exploring Chocolate in Montreal

27/10/2014 | By

Chocolat Privilège, Montreal

Chocolate makes me happy, so discovering that I was to spend a day exploring the chocolate secrets of Montreal was guaranteed to make me very happy indeed.


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Bourbon Brownies Lead me Happily Down the Road to Ruin

24/10/2014 | By

The image above is a picture of innocence, isn’t it? Fresh, home-baked brownies and a wholesome glass of milk – hardly the stuff that leads down the road to ruin. Unless, of course, one knocks of the whole batch of brownies in one sitting as I was in very real danger of doing.


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In My Kitchen – October 2013

09/10/2013 | By

Whoa – what on earth is going on here?!! It’s not like me to be organised enough to get an “In My Kitchen” post up to link with my friend Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, but nevertheless that seems to be what I’ve done. I wouldn’t want you to be getting used to this as any sort of a regular occurrence – I just had one or two things I wanted to show you, so here goes.

In my kitchen –


… are the very last of the lilacs. I just adore these flowers and the delicate way they scent the air, but their flowering time is so very fleeting. I thought I’d miss them this year as they were just ready to flower when I left, but they saved themselves for me and I had to share them with you.

Turkish table cloth

… is my new, Turkish table cloth. These designs and colours are found all over Turkey in different variations and, while I loved them, I just couldn’t see a way to fit them in with my (admittedly haphazard) home decor until I found this table cloth. I bought it from a delightful old couple who lived high up in a stone cave house in Cappadoccia (more on that at a later date). They very good-naturedly let a bunch of us troop through their sleeping, living and cooking areas and had a few souvenirs for sale on the way out. None of these people were wealthy so I was more than happy to pay my way and to secure a visual memory that I can enjoy every day in my own kitchen.

Turkish delight

… there is still just a little real Turkish delight in my kitchen. The taste of the real thing bears very little resemblance to what we get here and there is no way I was going to travel all the way to Turkey and not bring some back. I bought a few boxes as gifts and just a bit (okay, more than a bit) for us to enjoy at home, although you’d be surprised at how much that stuff weighs down one’s baggage allowance.

Greg & Lucy Malouf "Turquoise"

… down from the bookshelf and now on my table is my copy of Greg  and Lucy Malouf’s “Turquoise”, the beautiful book about their travels and eating inspirations in Turkey. Just the thing to keep the recent trip fresh in my mind and to help me share some of the amazing Turkish food with my family (who missed out, yet again).

Serge Dansereau "Seasonal Kitchen"

… waiting patiently for me to get to it is a copy of Sydney chef Serge Dansereau’s gorgeous new cookbook “Seasonal Kitchen”, from ABC Books, Harper Collins. My heart did a little leap when I found this in the post just before I left for my trip and I can’t wait to get my teeth into it – pun intended.

After Eight

… still in my kitchen, but not for long, is my secret addiction. For many years now I have had a distinct fondness for the wafer-thin, dark chocolate enrobed, post-prandial treats which used to be know as After Dinner Mints – that is, of course, when they were still available here in Australia. They vanished off the store shelves a few years back leaving me sad, bereft and just a little twitchy. Last year I was overjoyed to discover they are still available in North America under the name “After Eight” and I made sure I indulged whilst I could. I was equally chuffed to find them a few weeks ago in a candy store in Changi Airport in Singapore. The large box I bought on the way over to Bulgaria just lasted until I got back to Singapore on the way home and the whereabouts of these two boxes is a closely held secret. I won’t be sharing.

To check out all the other, more regular, “In My Kitchen” posts head over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

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Coconut, Cranberry & Choc Chip Cookies using Coconut Oil

15/01/2013 | By

I’m quite a creature of habit – a condition which tends to leave me largely immune to most passing fads, dietary or otherwise.  While I am happy to admit that I’m a greedy girl, for the most part I attempt to moderate my food variety and intake – I don’t miss out on things I love, but try not to pig out on them either.   (With the possible exception of pork crackling and potato chips.)  So, while things like Goji berries and Amaranth might be amazingly good for me, unless they taste gob-smackingly great or are easy to incorporate into my existing and already broadly varied diet they are unlikely to have much of an impact on me.  I’m only human, though, and occasionally something that’s making people talk will pique my curiosity and I give it a go.

Such was the case with coconut oil.  I already love the taste of coconut, in both sweet and savoury dishes, and when I saw all the remarkable health claims around the cold pressed oil I thought it might be worth giving it a try in some of my everyday dishes.  And what astonishing health claims they are!  I’ve done a little research on this product and have seen some extraordinary assertions, including suggestions that it can assist in digestion and metabolism, immunity, dental care, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and that it can reverse Alzheimer’s disease and has anti-microbial properties.  I’d suggest that, like many natural products, coconut oil has a role to play in any or all of these conditions and that it has a place in a broadly varied diet.  However, we need to remember it is still a fat and while I’m keen on fats (and have the hips to prove it)  – especially the tasty, heart-helping kinds – their place in our diet should be limited.

Purely in the interests of research ;-) I bought myself a big jar of cold-pressed coconut oil recently and set about experimenting with it.  I’ve very happily used it to replace olive oil (a personal favourite of mine) when frying chicken and fish and have been playing around with it as a substitute for butter when baking.  I was pretty happy with these cookies which I put together last week.  If more is better, then the combination of coconut oil and coconut cream, along with shredded coconut, must make them practically a dietary imperative – however, I suspect not.  They are very tasty and not too sweet though, and would be a great addition to the lunch boxes when school goes back.  I made mine in the Thermomix but, again, any food processor will do the job.  Do remember to refrigerate the dough before baking – it does make a difference.

Coconut, Cranberry & Choc Chip Cookies using Coconut Oil
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cookies
  • 2½ cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 160 gms cold pressed coconut oil
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1½ cup choc chips
  1. Place coconut oil, coconut cream & sugars into processor - whizz until creamy.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla paste, whizz to combine.
  3. Add flour, salt, baking powder & baking soda, whizz until combined.
  4. Stir through craisins, coconut and choc chips.
  6. Place coconut oil, coconut cream & sugars in TM - speed 6/20 seconds.
  7. Add eggs and vanilla paste through hole in the lid - speed 6/10 seconds.
  8. Add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder - speed 5/15 seconds.
  9. Add craisins, coconut & choc chips - Reverse speed 4/10 seconds.
  10. CONTINUE -
  11. Refrigerate dough for at least one hour before using, or overnight.
  12. Preheat oven to 180C. Line cookie trays.
  13. Place dessertspoons of dough on lined tray and bake for 12 minutes.
  14. Cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cake rack to cool completely.



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