My Congee Recipe

Congee is my favourite winter dish. I like to make a huge pot and then serve it up for dinner with different toppings over the next few nights.  After all this rain I couldn’t think of anything more comforting! It’s basically a warm hug in a bowl, nothing better that congee and a cup of tea in my opinion on a cold night.


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Bill & George

It’s been a good few years since I watched Masterchef. Season 1-4 I watched religiously, then there was a battle of the sexes type promo which I think sorta grossed me out, girls in pink baking cakes vs boys in blue barbequing. VOM.
This year I made myself watch the first episode and it was great again! And then there was Maggie Beer, sweet and my absolute favourite.  Then Marco Pierre White being all supportive and handsome. Then all my favourites from the early masterchefs. Hi, my name is Bree and I’m a Masterchef addict. Yep.

I am delighted for Billie and Georgia! What a pair of talented cuties!

Now it’s all over and I’ll be watching The Voice. Yep.

bree denman

a Chanel extravaganza

I just discovered these images of an amazing set up from a few years back. Imagine throwing a dinner party this extravagant!

Guests sat at banquet tables, which doubled as a runway, compete with chandeliers, opulent candle-sticks – and a feast fit for a king.” Maysa Rawi – Daily Mail, From Bombay to Paris: Chanel stages Indian-inspired fashion show as guests dine on opulent ‘runway’ feast fit for royalty.  


I love Donna Hay Magazine!

I recently found a massive stack of Donna Hay magazines on an op shop adventure. JACKPOT! I didn’t know which ones i already had at home so i just bought them all! haha! There ended up being quite a few i already had so I’m selling them off cheap! I thought I would share some of my favourite Donna Hay memories & current food obsessions as well as the ebay links! happy reading (& tummy grumbling) x

AUTUMN, settle in.
Apr/May 2008, Issue 38.
I can not get enough beetroot lately, what a wonderful vegetable! ‘Roasted Vegetable and Beetroot Salad’, ‘Beetroot Relish’, ‘Beetroot and Sweet Potato Fritters with Sumac Salt’ are just a few of the delicious recipes in ‘Beautiful Beets’ (page 104 to114). (SOLD)

AUTUMN, sweet & easy.
Apr/May 2007, Issue 32.

I adore the shoot for ‘secret garden’ set amongst the apple trees, if you have “Donna Hay – Seasons” you’ll know it from the cover. Makes me want to eat apples by the truckload. And make Toffee Apples (page 89) with the apple leaves still attached! (BUY IT?)

AUTUMN, simple classics.

Apr/May, 2009, Issue 44. 
This weather is so gloriously cold all i want to do is poach pears, eat roast chicken and drink ridiculously rich hit chocolate! I’m talking Max Brenner eat your heart out ‘Double Hot Chocolate’ heaven (page 90). This issue has the greatest spread of chicken recipes (page 108 to 119) and I’m talking ‘Slow-baked Tomato and Olive Chicken’, Classic Roast Chicken’, ‘Grandma’s Chicken and Barley Soup’, ridiculous. I’m so hungry now! (SOLD)

ENTERTAINING, food to share.
Aug/Sep, 2008, Issue 40.
I’ve wanted to make a Bombe Alaska ever since there was one in a Masterchef Challenge last year. I went out and bought the tin and a chefs blow torch and a year later i still have not attempted it. What a loser! There’s a mini ‘Honeycomb Bombe Alaska’ (page 148) that sounds divine, I’ll make it as soon as i make the one from Masterchef haha! (BUY IT?)

ENTERTAINING, casual chic.
Aug/Sep, 2007, Issue 34.

If you have never baked a camembert before then get right to that. Shove some whole garlic gloves and rosemary sprigs into little cuts on the top and bake it until it oozes. You can thank me for that later. Then try ‘Olive Tapenade and Baked Goats Cheese’ from this issue (page 95), yum! (BUY IT?)

WINTER, take it slow.

Jun/Jul, 2008, Issue 39.
Lately i spend most of my spare time poaching pears. This cold weather has turned my live into a true obsession. Amongst plenty of other flavour combos the ‘Pear and Espresso Panna Cotta’ from “The Perfect Pear” (page 96-106) was outstanding! I’ve just decided to add ‘pear wafers’ to my winter pear obsession to do list. Paired with ice cream yum. Or blue cheese! Even better!! (SOLD)

SUMMER, chilled out.
Feb/Mar 2011, Issue 55.

I love the article in this issue about the party Donna threw for Oprah! I’ve been waiting for an occasion to make the ‘lemon chicken sandwiches’ with herbs on the outside! (Pages 23-30). (BUY IT?)

CELEBRATE, christmas cheer.

Dec/Jan 2010, Issue 48.
I’m totally obsessed with jelly at the moment, it’s such a wonderful thing. Jelly made using real fruit is unbeatable, you wouldn’t believe the flavour of strawberry jelly because we’re all used to the processed packet stuff. I have to admit i do love the easy packet jelly crystals too! But there’s no comparison real fruit wins every time! ‘Vanilla and Vodka jellies with Chantilly Cream’ (page 123) are on my weekend to do list! (SOLD!)

CELEBRATE, your complete christmas guide.
Dec/Jan 2009, Issue 42.

I love giving homemade edible gifts fir Christmas. ‘Heaven & Earth’ (page 202-216) has an amazing range of black and white sweet recipes. ‘Heavenly Chocolate Cake’ drizzled with ganache vs ‘White Angel Cake’ slathered in cream, impossible to choose! (SOLD!)

SUMMER, relax & unwind.

Feb/Mar 2009, Issue 43.
The ‘Fig and Goats Cheese Tart’ (page 94) is one of my favourite recipes for a special lunch or picnic. I use danish feta instead of goats cheese though because i love the saltiness. (BUY IT?)

SUMMER, take it easy.
Feb/Mar 2008, Issue 37.

Man I love the skewer recipes in this issue (page 120 – 130). The ‘garlic and beef skewers’ served with aioli, rocket and mountain bread are always a winner. I’m dying to make the cover recipe ‘chicken, haloumi and preserved lemon skewers’. Oh haloumi, i love you. (BUY IT?)

ENTERTAINING, 90+ easy recipes. 
May/Jun 2006, Issue 27.
The’entertaining’ issues of Donna Hay magazine are so helpful for entertaining tips. This issue has a great article on tablesettings and tips on hosting a dinner party. Now importantly as the cover suggests there are plenty of delish cupcake recipes (page 125-136). (SOLD!)

Winter & Pears, a perfect pair!

The cold weather lately has born a personal obsession with poached pears.

I’m new to the joy of silky smooth, cut with a spoon, cooked pear. A strong dislike of cooked apple and many bad experiences with gritty pear kept me away from these beauties. I even had a pear failure with a Nigella recipe, like that ever happens! After watching her describe her love of canned pear, I gave her ‘Chocolate Pear Pudding’ a go and ick ick ick! My opinion changed a few years back after dinner and dessert at Omeros Brothers Restaurant. I couldn’t even tell you what I ordered, something chocolate with poached pear, the pear was the memorable part. You gotta love when a dish has the power to completely change your opinion towards an ingredient!

Since then I’ve unfortunately only had one other pear experience. I cooked dessert for a group of ladies; one of the lovelies is suffering with ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyslitis /Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and is on a very restricted diet. I took this as a challenge. My pantry included peeled pears, sugar, eggs and lactose free cows milk. The outcome was poached pear pavlovas (with sneaky choc ganache for the other girls). (Pictures below)

A favourite book of mine ‘Sunday’s Kitchen: Food & Living at Heide’ contains a very simple yet delightfully intriguing recipe called ‘pears with white of egg’ (expect a love filled post about Sunday & Heide in the future) that I have been eager to make for a while now. So it’s decided, I’m making these and a few other delicious pear dishes this week! Oh yeah, my house is going to be poached pear heaven!

P.S. anyone free for tea and poached pears? haha

vodka, i love you.

last week Essa and i decided to make our very own limoncello. we were both low on cash and Bompas & Parr recently pointed out to us that flavouring vodka will disguise the nastiness of ghetto vodka

“As you are filling the vodka chockfull of the flavours and colours of your choice, buy the cheapest vodka available” – from their book, Jelly with Bompas & Parr

after searching through the Dan Murphy online store for the cheapest vodka available, i came across Burnett’s Whipped Cream Flavoured Vodka! obviously flavoured vodkas are nothing new, however they have always seemed pointless. the regular flavours; vanilla, citrus etc can so easily be done yourself with a little infusing. and to me, buying rather than making just takes all the fun out it! but whipped cream vodka, now i can not see how i could do that myself. i was instantly dreaming of crystal clear peaches and cream cocktails. followed closely by a google attack. here are some other wonderful discoveries…

L-R: Burnett’s – Whipped Cream Flavoured, UV – White Cake Flavoured, Pinky – Botanical Flavoured, Square One Organic – Basil Flavoured & Van Gogh – Peanut-Butter and Jelly.

L-R: 42 Below – Feijoa Flavoured, Kremlyovskaya – Pepper Flavoured, Svensk Smultron – Wild Strawberry Flavoured & Przepalanka Beskidzka – Burnt Caramel Flavoured.

L-R: Pinnacle – Whipped Varieties, Kleiner Feigling (little coward) – Fig Flavoured, Wodka Zoladkowa Gorzka – Bison Grass Flavoured & Nalewska Mysliwska – Juniper & Herb Flavoured.