Tuesday, 30 October 2012

baked italian lemon cheesecake

I'm back! It's been a very busy couple of years. I am excited to announce I am currently working on my first wholefood cook book, due for release by UQP in September 2013. I am still loving Tamborine Mountain and my garden is my passion. I have renovated my kitchen, and we are shooting the food and veggies both in the kitchen and in the kitchen garden.

OK, back to business ...

The lemon season is about to finish so I thought I'd post this delicious recipe.

Health Benefits
Lemon is found to be anticarcinogenic, which lowers the rates of colon, prostate and breast cancer. Lemons feature antibacterial properties that aid sore throats. Mix the juice from 1 lemon with a little warm water and gargle.

A cup of warm water with lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt helps with weight loss and lowers cholesterol. When applied to a burn, lemon juice will reduce the burning sensation as it is a cooling agent.

Baked Italian Lemon Cheesecake
Serves 8


300 g spelt flour
150 g rapadura sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
150 g chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 eggs
Iced water

500 g ricotta
1/2 cup spelt flour
2 lemons, zest
1 vanilla bean, scraped
4 eggs, separated
1 cup rapadura


Sift the flour and sugar, place in a food processor, add the butter and pulse to breadcrumb consistency. Add the egg and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. You may need to add some chilled water; don't add too much and don't over mix. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Grease a 23 cm spring form tin well with butter. Roll out the pastry to fit your tin. Place pastry-lined tin in the fridge for 10 minutes and then blind bake for 8 minutes. Remove the blind bake and put aside.

Pre heat the oven to 170 degrees. Fit a paddle attachment to a stand mixer, and add the ricotta, spelt, lemon and vanilla. Mix together thoroughly for about 4 minutes, stopping and scraping the mixture from the sides of the bowl into the mix. Add the egg yolks and beat for a further minute, or until incorporated.

Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form and then rain in the sugar slowly with the machine on a medium speed. When all of the sugar has been added, turn the mixer to high and whisk until thick and all of the sugar has been incorporated into the egg whites.

Gently fold the egg whites into the ricotta 1/3 at a time until incorporated. Fill the tin with your mix and bake until golden on top and firm - about 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream or vanilla labna.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

kale pesto & kale and feta pie

My seasonal harvest is beginning to take shape, thanks to the capable and patient landscaper, 'Justin of all trades', Justin Pries. I will be planting vegies, herbs and fruit trees in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, here's a couple of kale recipes to keep you busy.

Health Benefits: Kale is a top food source for at least four glucosinolates, and once kale is eaten and digested, these glucosinolates can be converted by the body into cancer preventive compounds. Kale's glucosinolates and the ITCs made from them have well-documented cancer preventive properties, and in some cases, cancer treatment properties as well. At the top of the cancer-related research for kale are colon cancer and breast cancer, but risk of bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer have all been found to decrease in relationship to routine intake of kale.

Kale Pesto
Serves 6

1/2 bunch curly kale, leaves cut from stem and blanched
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 large peeled garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 large lemon, zest and juice
100 g pine nuts, toasted
100 g pecorino cheese, grated
2 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper, ground

Blanch kale leaves in boiling water until just wilted, then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking and keep the leaves bright green. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add a little water or extra oil if you need the pesto to be thinner.

Kale and Feta Pie

1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
100 g chilled salted organic butter, chopped
1 tblsp sesame seeds (optional)
2 tsp iced water

2 bunches kale, leaves cut from stems and blanched
1 bunch green onions (shallots), finely chopped
300 g good goat or cow feta, crumbled
8 organic eggs
1/2 preserved lemon skin, finely diced, or zest of 2 lemons
1/2 nutmeg pod, finely grated
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp white pepper, ground

Place the flour and butter into a food processor and process until crumbly. Add iced water until the pastry forms a ball. Do not over process. Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Blanch the kale, or silverbeet if you prefer, and run under a cold tap, wring out all the water tightly, and slice. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat well. Add all pie ingredients to a large bowl and mix together thoroughly. Grease and flour a 23 cm spring form tin. I use a non-stick 20 cm x 7 cm deep old cake tin. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured bench to fit your tin. I go up the sides of my tin 5 cm with the pastry. Fill the tin with pie mix and bake for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through.

Useful Tip: I was recently doing my weekly shopping at The Green Shed markets and one of the growers passed me a large box full of kale - about 12 bunches - and disappeared. I have a domestic fridge at home, just like the rest of us, so I spent the morning cutting the kale off its stems, quickly blanching it in a large pot of boiling water and cooling under the tap. I then squeezed the water out of the kale, wringing it into a tight green ball, and froze it in takeaway containers. From a large box of greens, I ended up with four takeaway containers of kale in my freezer, which I have since made into kale pies. If you have excess greens in your garden, this could also work for you.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

turmeric new potatoes and leek with grilled snapper and turmeric aioli

My neighbour Bev Buckley pulled the most impressive harvest of turmeric out of the ground this week. I was inspired to prepare this fast and easy dish.

Serves 2
200g new potatoes, cut into 2.5 cm chunks
1 large leek, white part only, cut into 2 cm circles
30g rhizome turmeric, finely grated or 1 heaped teaspoon of * turmeric paste
4 large cloves organic Russian garlic, finely sliced
½ Spanish onion, finely sliced
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground white pepper
2 tblsps extra virgin olive oil

2/200g fillets fresh snapper

Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Mix all the ingredients except the fish together well and place in a baking tray. Cook for 30 minutes or until golden. Grill fish and serve on top of turmeric potatoes. Garnish with fresh lemon wedges and freshly ground white pepper.

* Turmeric paste is available from health food shops

Turmeric Aioli

2 egg yolks
100mls flaxseed oil
100mls rice bran oil
3 cloves garlic, roasted
1 large lemon, juice and zest
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 large turmeric rhizome, finely grated

Whisk egg yolks with lemon juice, turmeric, salt and pepper. Gradually drizzle in flaxseed oil and continue to whisk briskly. While whisking, drizzle in rice bran oil until aioli starts to thicken. Refrigerate until required.

Go to http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html
to check out the many health benefits of turmeric.

Saturday, 31 July 2010


Health Benefits: anti-cancer, circulation, muscle contraction, reducing cholesterol, anti-inflammatory

Useful Tip: The leaves of rhubarb are highly poisonous to birds, animals and humans and are not to be eaten. They contain oxalic acid, a stomach irritant, that can make you very ill.

Rhubarb tarte tatin
Serves 6
I have recently moved to Mount Tamborine and, if you know me, you will know that I have not stopped raving about the produce available on the mountain. The rhubarb is full of flavour right now and calls for a tarte tatin. Here it is.

1 bunch of rhubarb, trimmed and washed
100 grams of unrefined sugar, rapadura or castor sugar
1 large teaspoon of good raspberry jam
1 piece star anise, finely ground
½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 square of quality puff pastry

Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Place sugar, jam and spice in a large ovenproof, non-stick frying pan and heat on medium. When the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and cover the base of the frying pan with prepared rhubarb, squeezing in as much as possible.

Lay your piece of pastry over the rhubarb, and cut to fit. The pastry should come up the sides of the frying pan about 1 cm. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes or until the pastry has turned golden. Carefully turn the tarte tatin out on a serving board, slice and serve with quality vanilla ice cream.


Welcome to my food blog, a collection of recipes, tips and cooking ideas inspired by the organic seasonal produce of Tamborine Mountain - my new home. Since I have moved to the mountain, I have felt a genuine welcome from the local residents. I am looking forward to my new life of beauty and abundance with the excitement of a 5 year old in a 50 year old's body. I love the soil, I love the air, I love the bird life and trees, and the new friends I have made since arriving. The Green Shed community organic market, operating from 7 am -12 pm every Sunday, is where we source our weekly produce. I am also now buying Tamborine organic produce for Mondo, through the wonderful team at Food Connect. The fact that I able to share this fabulous bounty with my customers and supporters at Mondo rocks my world!