For One Night Only For One Night Only For One Night Only For One Night Only For One Night Only The Fragment of Dreams The Fragment of Dreams The Book of Love The Book of Love The Fragment of Dreams

3 June, 2010

For One Night Only

2 June, 2010

For One Night Only

1 June, 2010

For One Night Only

29 May, 2010

For One Night Only

28 May, 2010

For One Night Only

27 May, 2010

The Fragment of Dreams

27 May, 2010

The Fragment of Dreams

26 May, 2010

The Book of Love

24 May, 2010

The Book of Love

23 May, 2010

The Fragment of Dreams

Newest

In the Kitchen with Justine Ford.

Tonight I’m very excited to have a a non-fiction author in my virtual kitchen. The lovely journalist, TV producer and author Justine Ford. Justine has brought her teapot with her, and her favourite tea and I just happen to have some Vitawheats and vegemite, so we are set for a good old feast.
Justine wrote Missing You: Australia’s Most Mysterious Unsolved Missing Persons Cases which was published in 2012, and last year her book, One Piece of the Puzzle: Australia’s Most Chilling Homicide Investigations, was released by Five Mile Press and she has two more True Crime books on the way. Justine also used to be a presenter on TV’s Australia’s Most Wanted so she’s used to the dark side and writes about the darkness with intelligence and compassion. As a sometime sissy girl I cried when I read her first book, but if you like True Australian Crime, Justine’s books are a good place to start!

Justine Ford

What are your memories of your mothers cooking as a child?

Mum loved to throw a pizza sub in the oven, followed by a slice of Sara Lee Danish with custard for ‘sweets,’ and a long, tall glass of green fizzy.

What was your favourite dish as a child?

Anything made with mince! Was it because it required less chewing? I don’t know. But growing up, I spent a lot of time at my nan’s, and couldn’t get enough of her comforting savoury mince dishes.

Do you like to cook?

No! It requires an abnormal amount of concentration on my part. I am very fortunate, however, that my husband loves to cook amazing, healthy meals. He even did a three year part-time chef’s course just for fun, so he fires up the pots and pans most nights.

Who do you enjoy cooking for? If you don’t enjoy cooking, then what do you like to eat?

At home I enjoy curries, roasts, fish, stirfries, casseroles, steak, pasta – all the good stuff! And I do enjoy a nice glass of white wine. Eating out, Malaysian food is a favourite.

What are some of your favourite books about food?

I loved ‘The Beauty of Humanity Movement’ by Camilla Gibb. The cover describes it as, ‘A novel of contemporary Vietnam: life, love and pho.’
‘The School of Essential Ingredients’ by Erica Bauermeister also charmed me. It’s about eight people whose lives are transformed through a cooking course.

Is the food in your stories important?

Food in my stories is only important when it is a clue to a real-life murder or someone’s disappearance. In ‘One Piece of the Puzzle,’ I reveal how a Chinese takeaway meal was the crucial piece of evidence in the murder of a Sydney mum. You’d be surprised…

One Piece of the Puzzle_FULL COVER

Your favourite snack?

I don’t have a sweet tooth so I’m pretty happy with a couple of Vita Weats with Vegemite. A cup of Dilmah leaf tea is an essential part of any snack for me; I start the day with Dilmah and I write with Dilmah.

What’s your latest book?

My latest book is called ‘One Piece of the Puzzle,’ and it’s about some of Australia’s most chilling homicide investigations. I reveal information that has never before been published and ask the readers to play armchair detectives.

What do you love most about this book?

I love that the book gives readers the opportunity to come forward with information about unsolved murders, missing persons’ cases, and John and Jane Does. I maintain that even the smallest piece of information could be all that police need to crack a case.

Where can readers find it?

It can be found, or ordered, at all good bookstores, Big W, and online through retailers like Booktopia and Amazon.

Share one of your favourite recipes – anything you like, cake, martini, Peking Duck, cheese on toast …

I really am an awful cook but I make a killer cuppa!

Tea pic

Justine’s Killer Tea

Warm the pot
Put about 3 teaspoons of tea in a small to medium sized pot. The tea must be Dilmah – it’s super fresh and tastes like real tea.
Pour boiling water over the tea.
Cover the pot with your favourite tea cosy and let it sit for five minutes.
Pour into a cup, not a mug (it tastes better), and add milk or sugar as desired.
Settle in with a good read and enjoy!

Website: www.justineford.net
Facebook: Justine Ford’s ‘One Piece of the Puzzle’ and ‘Missing You’ page
Twitter:@JustineFord1

In the Kitchen with Pamela Cook

Pamela Cook has brought a lovely big lemon meringue pie to the Virtual Kitchen this morning. We shall make short work of it. Pamela writes women’s fiction with an Australian country feel, a bit of romance and lots of horses. Her books, Blackwattle Lake and Essie’s Way are published by Hachette Australia and available in bookshops and as ebooks. Pamela is on Twitter and Facebook too, as are we all ….

Pam-4

What are your memories of your mothers cooking as a child?

I have a couple of clear food memories from my childhood. We had an enormous mulberry tree in our backyard and every year when the berries were ripe Mum would make pies for everyone in the neighbourhood and I had the pleasure of delivering them. Not so pleasurable was the tripe she also cooked for the neighbours and had me deliver. I still remember the sickly smell wafting from the bowl of white, blubbery flesh.

What was your favourite dish as a child?

I love any sort of dessert but my favourite as a kid would probably be Golden Syrup Pudding with custard. I try and make one every year to relive the memories but it never seems to taste quite the way my mum’s did.

Do you like to cook?

I used to love cooking but lately I’ve been finding it a chore. It’s hard catering to different tastes in the family and the meal planning side of it really frustrates me.

What are some of your favourite books about food?

I love Jamie Oliver’s recipes – they’re hearty and easy to follow. And I’ve made a few things from Julie Goodwin’s first cook book. Apart from recipe books I don’t tend to read books centred on food but I did love the movie Chocolate – and it wasn’t just because of Johnny Depp.

Is the food in your stories important?

It hasn’t been so much in my first two books but I’m currently in the middle of writing my third novel and have written a couple of scenes that revolve around meals. My main character doesn’t have a family of her own and finds herself drawn to a family she meets in town who frequently get together and share good food.

Your favourite snack?

Coffee and snacks are great procrastination tools. Lately I’ve been indulging in the occasional Tim Tam and I do love a slice of raisin toast dripping with butter.

Essie's Way front cover copy

What’s your latest book?

My most recent book is Essie’s Way. It’s rural fiction with romantic elements set on the south coast of NSW.

What foods do the characters eat?

There are a couple of scenes involving coffee. And since my main character, Miranda, is soon to be married and watching her waistline she opts for a Caesar Salad when she lunches with her mother in the Queen Victoria Building in the first chapter. Considering the outcome of the lunch she might have been better taking a comfort food option!

What do you love most about this book?

This book has two main characters – Miranda and an older woman called Esther (the Essie of the title). It switches perspective and also takes the reader back in time to Esther’s youth via her diaries. I loved playing around with all these different elements of the story.

Where can readers find it?

Essie’s Way (published in December 2013) and my first novel Blackwattle Lake (published in December 2012) are available through Big W and local Bookstores. If you can’t see them on the shelf just ask. They’re also available through Booktopia and other online retailers, both in hard copy and ebook.

My Mum’s Lemon Meringue Pie

Pastry
2 cups plain flour
pinch salt
1 tablespoon icing sugar
185 g butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons water.

Filling
4 tablespoons plain flour
4 tablespoons cornflour
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
¾ cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 ¼ cups water
90g butter
4 egg yolks.

Meringue
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
pinch salt
¾ cup caster sugar

1. Sift flour, salt and icing sugar into a bowl, chop butter roughly, add to dry ingredients, rub in until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add lemon juice and enough water to mix to a firm dough. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Roll pastry on lightly floured surface to fit a 23cm pie plate. Use rolling pin to lift pastry onto pie plate
2. Trim and decorate edges. Prick base and sides of pastry with a fork. Bake in moderately hot oven 10-15 mins. Allow to cool.
3. Combine sifted flours, lemon rind, juice, and sugar in a saucepan. Add water, blend until smooth, stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens. This is important, the mixture must boil. Reduce heat, stir a further two minutes. Remove from heat, stir in butter and lightly beaten egg yolk, stir until butter has melted. Cool.
4. Spread cold lemon filling evenly into pastry case. Combine egg whites, water and salt in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beat well until sugar has dissolved. Spoon on top of lemon filling, spreading meringue to edges of pie to seal. Make peaks in meringue with a knife. Bake in moderate oven 5-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool then refrigerate.

photo-84

In the Kitchen with Lisa Heidke

I’m in the Virtual Kitchen tonight with Australian author Lisa Heidke and we’re eating one of my favourite meals, Spaghetti Vongole, with a bottle of something chilly and white. Lisa is the popular author of four books, all published with Allen and Unwin and she teaches at the Sydney Writers Centre.

Lisa Heidke Publicity A & U

What are your memories of your mothers cooking as a child?

Mum worked full time so I recall having lots of pressure cooked casseroles and stews Monday through to Thursday. Fridays, we usually ate fish. She made great trifles, pavlovas and golden syrup dumplings!
Mum also went through a bread making stage but gave up because the bread rolls were always rock hard and my brother, sister and I would use them as weapons between ourselves. They were effective and hurt like hell. I still have the scars.

What was your favourite dish as a child?

Definitely a prawn cocktail which I generally only got on special occasions like Christmas and birthdays.

Do you like to cook?

Honestly? Not overly.

Who do you enjoy cooking for? If you don’t enjoy cooking, then what do you like to eat?

I do like to eat! All seafood, pastas, salads. Japanese. Basically, I’ll eat anything but am not a fan of offal – haggis, chopped liver, heart, brains, tongue, tripe…you get the idea.

Is the food in your stories important?

No…unless the food’s been poisoned but so far poison hasn’t played a significant plot line.
Writing this blog has made me realise that none of the characters in my five books are gourmet chefs. They buy take-away and seem to consistently eat sushi, spaghetti, lasagne and other pastas.
Not creative at all. Isn’t that terrible?

Your favourite snack?

Sushi. Avocado on sourdough. Vegemite and tomato on sourdough.

What’s your latest book?

Stella Makes Good (Allen &Unwin)

Stella

What foods do the characters eat?

Barbeques, Japanese, pasta… I really need to step up re the food in my books!

What do you love most about this book?

I love that it is essentially about the importance of female friendship, warts and all.
At a swingers party, Stella and friends see someone who shouldn’t be there (they shouldn’t be there either!) and the story quickly develops into a conversation about whether or not they should reveal what they saw because the revelation will have dire consequences for all. Stella Makes Good is about the games we play, the secrets we keep and how to navigate the unpredictable nature of life.

Where can readers find it?

Bookshops, Booktopia and other online bookshops as well as Amazon.com
Share one of your favourite recipes – anything you like, cake, martini, Peking Duck, cheese on toast …

vongole

Spaghetti Vongole

Ingredients: 1 kilo pipis
4 whole red chillies
4 garlic cloves
1 cup parsley
500 gm spaghetti
Wine or water…depending on your preference
Method:
1. Boil enough water for the spaghetti
2. Finely chop garlic and thinly chop chillies
3. Roughly chop parsley
4. Cook pasta according to instructions
5. While pasta is cooking, sauté garlic, chilli, parsley and pipis in deep frypan for two minutes
6. Add a couple of tablespoons (or white wine) to the frypan and cover.
7. Steam pipis for approximately five minutes until all have opened.
8. Drain pasta and add to frypan…toss through…
9. Sprinkle parsley on top
10. Enjoy with a glass or two of chilled white wine.

In the Kitchen with Heather Garside

My guest today is Australian rural romance writer Heather Garside. Heather has brought a plate of muffins and the only thing to drink with muffins is tea, and I’m pouring as I write. Heather has a new book out, Tracks of the Heart, published by Clan Destine Press.

Heather

What are your memories of your mothers cooking as a child?

I grew up on an isolated cattle property and as we only had a 32 volt lighting plant, we had kerosene fridges. (This all makes me sound very old!) Therefore our food was mostly very plain but I used to love mum’s puddings – anything from plum and rice puddings to tarts and jam roly-polys etc., served with homemade egg custard.

What was your favourite dish as a child?

I remember the first time I tasted a cheesecake my cousin had made. It was so delicious and rated as my favourite food for many years.

Do you like to cook?

Yes, within limits!

Who do you enjoy cooking for? If you don’t enjoy cooking, then what do you like to eat?

These days I’m usually just cooking for hubby and me. I try to eat very little sugar and usually no white flours, although I do have some honey. In the winter time I love lamb roasts or lamb shanks with vegetables; hearty and warming food.

Is the food in your stories important?

Food is usually incidental rather than a feature in my books.

Your favourite snack?

I indulge my sweet tooth with homemade muffins, made with brown rice and buckwheat flours, and using honey to sweeten them.

What’s your latest book?

Breakaway Creek is my latest full-length novel but I have just released Tracks of the Heart, a collection of three rural romance short stories.

Tracks of the Heart

What do you love most about this book?

In Breakaway Creek I love the story of Alex and Emma, a couple from the 1890s who must fight the prejudices of the time to be together.

Where can readers find it?

At Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Booktopia and other online bookshops.

Share one of your favourite recipes – anything you like, cake, martini, Peking Duck, cheese on toast …

IMG_0067

Apple Currant & Spice Muffins

(This is a large recipe but I freeze and thaw in the microwave as needed)
1 cup almond meal
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 cups brown rice flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons mixed spice
1 tin apples (or use fresh chopped apple)
1 ½ cups currants
1 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup honey
2 teas vanilla (optional)
1 ½ cups milk or rice milk
4 eggs
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, add apple and currants. In another bowl, combine beaten eggs, milk, oil honey & vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir thoroughly. Spoon into muffin trays and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 30 medium-sized muffins.