Throwback Photos, Fun & a Good


Throwback to the Breast Cancer Network Australia’s Field of Women Live 2007 for which I was proud to be an Ambassador. With my partner John.

I hope everyone is finding some enjoyment in life and that his newsletter will bring something to please you too?  I think old photos are fun and I trust you do too? Do please let me know if there is anything special you would like me to include. 

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and I thought it fun to have a throw back to 2007.  On 11 August 2007, Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA, a charity which constructively supports people with breast cancer and their families), presented the Field of Women LIVE at Sydney’s Telstra Stadium. I was then Food Director of The Australian Women’s Weekly and we came on board to support it and I was proud to be an ambassador. In a powerful and uplifting display, 13,000 people wearing pink ponchos and 100 in blue, stood in the shape of our Pink Lady to represent the number of female and male Australians diagnosed with breast cancer that year.
It was incredibly moving, my partner and friends also came to support it and it not only helped to promote the important work of BCNA nationally, but raised $660,000 for its programs.
There was fun too, including Mike Brady’s inspirational rendition of Up There Pink Lady, a moving speech from BCNA’s CEO Lyn Swinburne and performances by singers Tamsin Carroll and Alexis Fishman. I was so lucky to be involved and have been able to commend its work to family and friends who have had a breast cancer diagnosis. So whatever our preferred charity, think this month about supporting it in some way.

Next week – forgive me but there won’t be a newsletter. I am getting away for a couple of days retreat for some respite from being a carer and will be doing yoga, relaxing, exercising, reading and having a simple time with no technology. So your next update will be in a fortnight.

On Sunday night I will be again be hosting Facebook Live at the new time of 6:30 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Saving time, 8:30 am BST, when I show you how to make my Best Ever scones, which we made in our café 1989 – 1990,  and a quick berry jam. More below, including ingredients.

The Field of Women Live at Sydney Telstra Stadium 2007

Now read on or scroll down, remember there’s something for everyone in this newsletter wherever you are in the world.

Jump ahead to see:
YouTube video
Recipes of the Week
Facebook Live
Ask Me????

Happy Ali
Australian Native Spices
Special Offer on Just Add Spice

Next Week and Last
Travel with me in 2021 or 2022?

YouTube Video

My Mum’s Bran Loaf

 My Mum’s Bran Loaf.  Watch me make it on YouTube here You’ll find the written recipe here. You can subscribe to my channel here, so you can see other videos including my meals in a minute.

Recipes of the Week

Prosciutto, Mushroom & Egg Tart

With the weekend upon us, I thought I would share two recipes I have just put up on my website, both suitable for weekend cooking and sharing. Prosciutto, Mushroom & Egg Tart is a step up from bacon and eggs with the added advantage it can be prepared in advance and served hot, at room temperature or even cold – great for a picnic. Leave off the prosciutto to make it vegetarian.

I usually share savoury recipes as these are what we cook the most often, however, this Spiced Apple & Raspberry slice is a lovely sweet one for brunch or a picnic, or just because.

Spiced Apple and Raspberry Slice

Facebook Live

“Okkah”crusted Barramundi with Coleslaw

I continue to enjoy Facebook Live every Sunday night. Last week there was confusion as NSW and other states in Australia had moved onto Daylight Saving time, and Queensland hadn’t! It was also the Long Weekend in some states of Australia so some regulars were away in regional areas.

I am changing the time to 6:30 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time, so 5:30 pm in Queensland and an early 8:30 am in the UK. I hope you can all still join me.

Last week I celebrated some of the easy-to-get native spices of Australia with my “Okkah”(rather than dukkah) crusted Barramundi with Coleslaw. It can be easily adapted without these spices.  You can watch how I did it on Facebook here, as well as talking a bit about Shaw & Smith sauvignon blanc which I matched with it.

I used lovely large Humpty Doo barramundi, beautifully prepared by Claudio’s at Sydney Fish Market. Humpty Doo Barramundi is Australian family owned and has operated, for about 27 years. Whilst now Australia’s largest Barramundi farm, it’s been a long road! The farm is in the Northern Territory – the home of the Barramundi – half way between Darwin and Kakadu.

The fish grow in salt water in a beautiful location, surrounded by native flora and fauna – including more than a few crocodiles in the river next door! They deliver fresh fish of all sizes to wholesalers, processors and retailers around Australia twice a week, every week – so consumers can get beautiful fresh fish whenever they want. Watch this great little video about them. I like the product because it enters Sydney Royal Aquaculture competition with the same fish it produces year in and year out – the consumer’s guarantee of excellence.

Please join me this coming Sunday as we concentrate on Australian ingredients and a fabulous recipe using Humpty Doo barramundi and some accessible Australian native spicesSimply like my Facebook page and at 6:00pm to click here to join and watch Facebook Live video on Sunday night.

If you are planning to cook with me on Sunday, here’s what you will need for a batch of scones and jam:
4 cups (600 g) self-raising flour
Pinch of Salt
1 ¼ cups (300 ml) cream
1 ¼ cups (300 ml) water
200g berries, e.g. strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
2 – 3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 – 2 tablespoons (20-40ml) lemon juice, to taste
Thick cream, to serve

See you then?

Ask Me???????

What is the difference between pancakes, pikelets and flapjacks?

Questions and Answers:
During my Facebook Live a couple of weeks ago, when I asked what my viewers would like me to cook next, one suggested I explain the difference between pancakes, pikelets and flapjacks. I thought I would add in crepes for good measure.

It depends where in the world you come from as some of these terms mean different things in different parts of the world e.g. my partner who is form Yorkshire calls crumpets pikelets. However, here is my explanation.
Pancakes, pikelets and crepes are all made from milk, flour, and eggs. The difference is one of texture. Pancakes are made with a thinner batter so are lighter and fluffier, while pikelets have a slightly thicker batter so are both smaller and heavier than pancakes. Pikelets are traditionally around 7cm  in diameter and rise more than the pancake. I often make small savoury ones to use as a base for finger food at a cocktail party. Crepes have less flour and more eggs than pancakes and so are the thinnest of all.
Flapjacks are more complicated. In the United States, a flapjack is a thick pancake served with maple syrup. In the UK, flapjacks are sweet bars baked in a tray, made from oats rather than flour. Similar to homemade granola bars. The main ingredients for flapjacks are brown sugar, oats, golden syrup and butter.

My friend Sonia texted me and asked: 
What is the best piece of lamb for slow cooking?
Like any sort of meat, the cheaper cuts, the ones with more sinew and more fat which melt and tenderise over long slow cooking. It’s the part of the animal which works hard, so I recommended neck chops or a shoulder, though a leg could also be used as lamb is such a forgiving meat.  she bought a deboned leg, as her butcher didn’t have shoulder. I commented that on the bone is always better for flavour though it takes longer. Sonia reports that the slow cooked leg was succulent and a great success. 

What questions do you have? Just email in response to this newsletter.

Happy Ali

Rick Stein’s Roast Tronçon of Turbot with Hollandaise Sauce
David Griffen Photography

I wrote some weeks ago about the new, seriously happy global news website Happy AliI‘m delighted to be the Food Editor. Happy Ali’s premise is very straightforward….. positive news, happier news than what we may have been used to in 2020, news that is current, global and news which is uplifting and is a lot of fun to read and be involved in.

While my current circumstances have prevented me writing as much as I would have liked, I was pleased to write an Exclusive: Food Guru Rick Stein Reveals His Private Passions. Rick and I have been friends since the mid-90s so it was fun to do, and also get a recipe from him his Roast Tronçon of Turbot with Hollandaise Sauce.

In travel I wrote about how happy cows give happy milk in Happy Cows: A Farm to Table Experience at Grøndalen In Norway and from Paris, shared Le Marias Walking Food tour.

Do have a look, consider subscribing for only a dollar a month with the first month free. You can also follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

Some of the 13 cows at Grøndalen Farm – though I was there in winter when it looked very different, but no less lovely

Australian Native Spices

As last week I had a bit of a celebration of Australian indigenous spices, I thought it worth describing some of the most accessible ones.

There are only a small number of edible wattles, the others being poisonous so best to buy and not gather yourself. The Wattleseed of culinary use is always roasted and ground, a process that gives it an appetizing coffee-like aroma and taste.

Australian Native Saltbush, also known as Old Man Saltbush has 20% less sodium than table salt. It gives lamb which has fed on it a wonderful taste.

Native Pepperberry
Both the berries and leaves are used from this Australian Native shrub. Pepperberries are dark-blue to black in colour and have an intensely strong pepper bite that is accompanied by a mineral-like aftertaste that lingers and builds in heat over a period of about 5 minutes after consumption. Use with care, about one tenth the amount one would use of conventional pepper. Delicious, fruity with eucalypt background notes,  this is the whole Australian native pepper which can also be ground.

Mountain Pepperleaf
This is from the leaf of the pepperberry plant and has warm peppery notes combined with a delicate, eucalypt-like flavour. It is also known as Australian Native Pepperberry, Mountain Pepperberry, Mountain Pepperleaf. Use it for a pleasant, Australian outback taste to food when used as a substitute for normal pepper.

Aniseed Myrtle
Can be used as a flavouring or herbal tea ingredient. It has a mild, smooth, anise flavour with a licorice like taste. Can be used as an alternative to aniseed and star anise.

Lemon Myrtle
A versatile herb that can be used fresh, died or ground.  It has a lemon-lime flavour and can be used as a lemon replacement in milk-based foods, without the curdling problem associated with lemon acidity.

Bush Tomato (Akudjura)
Has less acidity than sun dried tomatoes but has a stronger pungent taste with caramel like fruity flavours. They dry on the bush and look like raisins and are high in vitamin C. They can be purchased whole or ground and can be used for sauces and stews.

Strawberry Gum or Olida, also called Forest Berry Herb
It has a passionfruit-like taste and aroma. Most often used as a flavour enhancer rather than on its own. Add only a small amount, say ¼ – ½ tsp to 500g fruit or vegetables, then taste before adding more. Also only cook briefly and do not expose to extreme temperatures for more than 10–15 minutes. Although olida’s own flavour will be diminished in a fruit jam, it will enhance its fruit and berry flavours.

The drought has made some of these hard to  to get, but my friend Herbie, has put together Substitute Ideas for some Native Spices.

Special Offer on Just Add Spice

Any mention of spices brings with it a mention of Herbie (above) so I thought I would make a special offer on our book Just Add Spice. Herbie and I have been firends since the 1980s and speak the same language — he uses the same descriptors for spice as I do for wine. Just Add Spice features 100 recipes that show the home cook how to spice up simple dishes using enticing herbs and spices, along with information on spices, wines and how to match with food.

People are often unsure about using spices, imagining that ’spice’ means ’hot’, we explain that this is not the case, showing how herbs and spices can bring the simplest of recipes to life. Simple dishes like a spicy pumpkin soup or slow cooked chicken with juniper, adding freshness and depth of flavour. Dessert is not forgotten with ginger and star anise crème brulee, lemon grass poached pears and more

We share a no nonsense approach to cooking – maximum depth of flavour, taste and freshness. This philosophy drives the whole book. As a bonus, there are a lot of side–ways ideas, tips and tricks.

As a special offer, you can buy this hard cover book for $30 including postage within Australia. To order go to, Use the voucher code SPICE and we’ll throw in a Lyndey & Herbie’s Moveable Feast DVD as a bonus. Don’t forget to indicate if you would like the book signed where it says “note for seller”, and, if so, what name?

Next Week and Last

Where am I?

On social media last week:
I played a game asking people where I was in this photo – some fun answers. Do you know?
I shared some recipes too, of course, including my Panzanella as a great way to use up stale bread. In tune with the native flavours with my Facebook Live I featured Linguine with Spanner Crab and Lemon Myrtle. Something pink for Breast Cancer Awareness with my Chocolate Sponge Kisses with Rose & Raspberry filling and finally Prosciutto Egg Cups in honour of International Egg Day.Still planning next week, so don’t miss out, join me on Facebook and Instagram!

Chocolate Sponge Kisses with Rose & Raspberry Filling

Travel with me in 2021 or 2022?

A hands-on cooking class at Masseria Montenapoleone, Puglia


I am full of hope for next year – but also realise we may not be travelling internationally that soon. So we have  delayed my planned Moroccan trip from May to October 2021, straight after the planned one to Puglia. Makes it worth being that side of the world and it will be fun to do back-to-back. Many more details to come, but here’s a heads up, although it is too soon to be thinking about travelling overseas again. Here are the dates:
Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata: 10-16 October 2021

Full details and prices here,
Morocco culinary tour probably mid-October 2021 – some information here.

 Colourful tagines in Morocco

Stay safe, healthy and happy. Keep up to date  on all my social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter Pinterest and my YouTube channel.

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