One of my favourite fruits is mango, so I was really happy to buy a tray to help support my 4yo nephew's preschool fundraising efforts. These have taken a week or so to get to eating stage, but they are absolutely gorgeous now. I've been making frozen mango fruity dream in my thermomix for Mr12 who has just had braces put in, and will be using a few over the next day or so to make some mango chutney. My 7yo niece loves it instead of tomato paste on pizza. Of course, they are perfect eaten over the sink with mango juice dribbling off your chin.
Mango goes really well with coconut and I've been making a fair bit of coconut milk lately [also in my thermomix]. HUGE thanks to Jo from Quirky Cooking for giving me the idea and telling me how! I've been using the leftover coconut pulp in banana bread. If you're not sure about the wonders of a thermomix, check out Jo's blog - it's full of great meal ideas.
Our local fruit shop has a brilliant seconds table that I scour ever time I go in. Last week it was full of very ripe cherry, mini-Roma and other gourmet baby tomatoes. I grabbed a few packets and slow roasted them with a drizzle of olive oil and maple syrup [inspired by a recipe from Heidi Swanson's STUNNING book Super Natural Every Day. Her blog is one of my absolute favourites and a must read]. Pop them into a glass jar with a bit of olive oil on top and they will last for ages in the fridge.
I did a super cooking class with Jude Blereau a few weeks ago and was thoroughly motivated to eat more creatively. I was really excited to find her out of print book Coming Home to Eat: Wholefood for the family at my local lifeline bookshop about a week later. So many ideas packed in here.
Thanks very much to Roza's Gourmet Sauces for sending me a sample pack with three of their sauces recently. I've been a fan since first tasting them at the markets about 9 years ago. I think my favourites are their blue cheese dressing, blue cheese and walnut dip and the tomato chutney, but when I tried the smokey mayo I was pretty impressed too. Not opened the remoulade yet - might need a few prawns for that one. I've been dolloping the pesto on toasted chicken wraps - a quick and easy lunch.
I often wonder why I struggle to lose weight. Then I look at the massive pile of food mags and cookbooks I have. And wonder no more. Sigh. These are two of my favourites and I'm REALLY hoping someone gives me a subscription to Feast for Christmas [hint hint...]. My hubby was given a subscription to Healthy Food a couple of years ago and we've kept it up and it is full of great ideas.
I had a lovely few hours trawling through my favourite food places in Brisbane last Saturday. A quick trip to Inala, the Vietnamese capital of Brisbane, to stock up on fruit, veg and herbs, then home via Balaclava Street, Woollongabba to visit Pennisi and All India Foods. I've never tried paneer so thought I'd grab some. No idea what to make with it, so please let me know if you have any ideas. Finally I stopped at Samios Fine Foods to grab some of their wondrous homemade halva. This has been my favourite sweet treat since I was a little girl of about 5 years of age. It's made with sesame seeds, honey and this one has chocolate and almonds. The missing bit was gobbled in the Samios carpark. I just couldn't wait! I bought it for Christmas but will need to go back and buy more as there is only the teeniest of skerricks left.
I met Ben from The Stock Merchant at the Good Food and Wine show and had a very enjoyable chat about some of the challenges facing small food producers and suppliers. It certainly made me more aware of many of the challenges they face. I make a lot of my own stock, but I'm looking forward to trying these, especially the Master Stock, as I have heard many rave reviews about it. Ben and Kate have a delectable sounding recipe on their website for a free range chicken or duck braised in master stock, which I simply MUST TRY.
What is in your kitchen this month? Any new-to-you or exciting ingredients? I'd love to hear.