I Love Winter

Lamb Shank, Barley and Veggie Soup

June 1st marks the beginning of Winter.

I love Winter in Melbourne. It gets cold! Of course by cold I don’t mean it snows – don’t be crazy! I mean there is a chill in the air and some brilliant sunshine during the day. It gets dark early and it’s just nice to snuggle down with flanny jammies and a glass of red wine or a really rich dark hot chocolate.

I love Winter food. Slow cooking is my favourite and I miss it during the Summer months.

Last week we had a cold day and it rained. The best thing about this was that it was a Sunday so there was time to slow cook lamb shanks and make a hearty soup with barley and vegetables. It was a perfect pj day and I snoozed on the couch while the shanks slowly did their sexy thing.

There’s not much more to say – wonderful – I get really sad for people who have never eaten this.

I love my food :)

I love my food 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 6 trimmed lamb shanks
  • 2 large chopped onions
  • 6 cloves garlic – whole and leave skins on
  • 2 diced carrots
  • Marsala
  • 2 litres beef stock
  • 1 litre water
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Method

Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large saucepan and brown 6 trimmed lamb shanks. Remove and set aside. Add 2 large chopped onions, 6 whole garlic cloves (skin on), 2 diced carrots and cook for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Return the shanks to the pan and add Marsala, 2 litres beef stock, 1 litre water, 3/4 cup pearl barley and 2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 2 hours.

Remove the shanks and cool slightly. Take the meat off the bone and flake into pieces.  Squeeze the garlic out of their skins and mash and mix with the meat. Return the meat to the soup and add an extra 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary as well as chopped parsley. Season to taste and serve with warm crusty bread with butter – and drink some red wine – that’s what heaven means to me!

Baking for Greek Easter

Koulourakia, Bougatsa, Melomakarona & Spanakopita.

I baked for Greek Easter. I have posted all these on here before so this will just be a short post to show you what I did. The recipes have been posted before.

Is it bad that I’m typing this while I sit in class and my kids are sitting a test?

Bad luck if it is!

It’s been a really busy term at school and at home, so I just haven’t had the time to post anything. In fact, I have been experimenting with all sorts of food lately as I have had to make changes to my diet. Not due to illness but due to the orangutans.

We need to save them and we need to stop destroying the rain forests in Indonesia just so Coles and other companies can make money. This is the main reason why I do not like shopping at ‘stupidmarkets!’

Beautiful babies!

Beautiful babies!

I have always supported the ‘No Palm Oil’ and truth in labeling, however this year I have decided to clear my home of anything containing palm oil. I was quite pleased to find that due to the fact that I make a lot of food from scratch that there weren’t as many food products in my home containing palm oil. However, the amount of body lotions, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, kitchen, laundry, and ‘organic’ stuff containing palm oil was ridiculous, if not quite scary. We are dominated by the stuff and here in Australia we do not have to declare whether a product has palm oil in it or not, so it hides behind the name of ‘vegetable oil.’

This has taken up so much of time that I haven’t had enough time to sit and post anything.

Except for these Greek biscuits. No vegetable oil – not one bit of palm oil. Instead they contain coconut oil as well as coconut flour (both absolutely amazing products) – they turned out great!

melomakarona - honey walnut biscuits...yum!

melomakarona – honey walnut biscuits…yum!

spanakopita, biscuits and 'bougatsa' - semolina custard phyllo.

spanakopita, biscuits and ‘bougatsa’ – (semolina custard phyllo).

The 'bougatsa' all cut up and ready to eat - I did not get a slice - all gone within minutes!

The ‘bougatsa’ all cut up and ready to eat – I did not get a slice – all gone within minutes!

I made lots of koulourakia!

I made lots of koulourakia!

...and lots more!
…and lots more!

NEVER use phyllo pastry to make spanakopita - ALWAYS make your own!

NEVER use phyllo pastry to make spanakopita – ALWAYS make your own!