Christmas Festivities

 

My beautiful family in Singapore

Welcome,

Is the year rushing away from you? It is for me. I have just returned from Singapore where I had a wonderful early Christmas with my family, as well as celebrating Isabel’s 7th birthday as she was born on Christmas Day. I took a Dolly Varden tin with me as it is an easy cake to decorate. Only thing was, Isabel always likes me to make Uncle Blair’s Banana Cake which I made him every birthday of his too short life. A Dolly Varden shape is not the best for a texture like banana cake, especially in a strange oven, but it all came out OK and Isabel enjoyed decorating it with me. I also constructed a gingerbread house with both of them which was a great success.

While I was there, Raffy was in his pre-school concert as a digger, his costume made by his Mum. It was really good with kids aged two up to five or six. The performance wove a story about the importance of maintaining our green spaces, trees and animals and keeping our oceans and waterways pristine. Raffy was one of the loggers who wanted to chop down the trees. It was really enjoyable.

Of course, I ate some great food while I was there. You may have seen some of it on my socials and I will also be publishing elsewhere so will be sending the links when it is published.

It’s been busy since I came back. First The Gold List Luxury Travel Awards were announced. I was a judge so it was interesting to see the outcome as there were three judges per category and we did not know who the others were. The next day a fabulous lunch at the Opera House, with one of the best welcome and smoking ceremonies I have seen for the Signature Luxury Travel and Style’s Luxury Cruise Awards. Regular readers will know I enjoy cruising, in fact I have met many of you on board ships.I have an article in the issue out today, about my culinary experiences on board Oceania Cruises Vista which I was on in June this year.

STOP PRESS
Anyone who books either of my tours – to Puglia or Morocco between now and 14 December will receive  a copy of Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece cookbook and DVD AND Just Add Spice cookbook and Moveable Feast DVD or $150 worth of my bakeware range

As ever, keep up to date with me on Facebook and Instagram.  Please always feel free to email me with your requests or comments. 

Happy cooking, eating, drinking and travelling– Lyndey x

 

L : Isabel with the Dolly Varden cake for her birthday and R: Raffy in his costume for his pre-school concert

Recipes of the week

PERFECT MASHED POTATO
Here I share all my tricks for silky mash
GET MY RECIPE HERE
SUMMER FRUIT FRANGIPANE TART
Now that stone fruit are coming in try this winning combination
GET MY RECIPE HERE

Fun with Wine

 

 

Here’s another in my series, Fun with Wine. This time it’s about how to store and open bottle of wine  wine. Click on my photo or here to see the short video.
If you would like to see more of my videos on both food and wine, subscribe to my YouTube channel 
HERE or follow me on Instagram.

Things to Share

 

The Unforgettable Cake

– FEEL GOOD –

The Unforgettable Cake
This is a collaboration between master pastry chef Christopher Thé, well-known as the founder of the famous ‘strawberry watermelon cake’ from Black Star Pastry,
Meals on Wheels and UNSW’s food and health expert, Professor Johannes le Coutre, and Director of UNSW’s Ageing Futures Institute and Senior Principal Research Scientist at NeuRA, Professor Kaarin Anstey, to develop very special brain-friendly cake. The idea was to create a very special brain-friendly cake to celebrate Meals on Wheels’ 70th birthday, using ingredients shown to be beneficial to the brain while highlighting the widespread issue of cognitive decline among senior Australians. It will be delivered to Meals on Wheels clients.

The cake includes only natural ingredients that are widely believed to be beneficial to the brain, such as beetroot, spinach, turmeric, olive oil and blueberries.  Beetroot has special neuro-protective properties which can improve blood flow through the brain, and consequently may improve cognitive function and cognition. Olive oil is famed for its Mediterranean diet qualities, which include the ability to protect the brain, support memory, and reduce Alzheimer’s biomarkers.

The cake also includes natural sweeteners like honey which has anti-inflammatory qualities and vanilla ermine frosting which is a universally loved cake flavour.

To finish, the cake was topped off with fresh blueberries which are loaded with essential nutrients such as polyphenols, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and phytonutrients which help to stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen in the brain

While we can’t all enjoy a slice of this cake, the message for all is that is it never too late to change our diet.

– TO BUY –
Affordable Seafood for Christmas

Sydney Seafood School knows that seafood is a hallmark of Christmas but  well-known and popular seafood species often cost more around Christmas in response to demand. Think Atlantic Salmon, Barramundi, Flathead, and almost every type of prawn.  The good news is that Australia’s wide range of species means that it’s easy to find an alternative to these popular fish, with a similar texture and flavour profile, for a much lower price. Read How to Achieve a Stunning Christmas Seafood Spread on a Budget

– TO COOK –

David Lebowitz is worth following, especially if you ever want to feel you are in Paris. Now try his White Chocolate and Ginger Ice Cream with Poached Stonefuit. It’s perfect for this time of year.

– TO ENJOY OR GIFT –
Straight to The Source have curated a collection of aartisan products from their producers to enjoy or gift.

Make the Most of Cherries

 

Spiced Cherries from Just Add Spice

Do you look forward to the arrival of glossy, plump cherries? They are available in Australia for about 100 days from November to February. To me they mean Christmas is on its way as they are bot delicious and decorative. They can also be preserved in various ways to you can enjoy them throughout the year.

There are two primary types of cherries: sweet cherries (Prunus avium) and sour cherries (Prunus cerasus). Sweet cherries are enjoyed fresh and have a lusciously sweet flavour. Sour cherries are more tart and are often used in baking and cooking.

There are over 80 different varieties of cherries grown across Australia. Each variety has its own unique properties, growing and harvesting requirements. The most common and popular cherries varieties include Merchant, Bing, Stella, Lapin, Supreme, Van, Sweetheart, Ron, Skeena, Regina, Staccato, Sequoia, Dawn series, Simone and Kordia.

It’s hard to resist a bowlful of cherries and I am sure we have all, at some stage, daggled a shining red, double cherry from our earlobes.

Good for You
Cherries are packed with antioxidants, which help protect our cells from damage.  The darker the flesh is, the more antioxidants. They are also a good source of vitamin C, which helps you stay healthy and fight infection.
Did you know that with 125g of cherries supplying half of our daily needs. They are also a good source of potassium and dietary fibre.

Choosing and Storing
Select those of us with plump, glossy skins and green stems. Avoid soft, dull or bruised fruit. Small hard cherries lack flavour and juice.
Store in the fridge in a reusable container or recyclable bag and eat within a few days.

Ideas for Enjoying Cherries
Invest in a cherry pitter, available from good kitchenware stores, make removing the stone quick and easy. 

  1. Chilled and sprinkled over a summer fruit platter, or served on their own or on pavlova.
  2. In ice-creams and smoothies (but do take out the seed first) or in a Parfait
  3. Spiced and pickled to serve with duck, turkey, ham and pork
  4. Cakes, friands and muffins
  5. Oven roasted with other stone fruit and then delicious in a trifle
  6. In sweet and savoury sauces like Cherry Sauce with Roast Duck
  7. in Clafoutis
  8. Stewed and served with muesli and yoghurt.
  9. Preserved like my Spiced Cherries
  10. Dipped in chocolate
  11. Gifting: available in 2-kilo boxes, or sold by the kilo from your local greengrocer, they are an attractive gift, leave them in their original packaging or pile cherries into a colourful china bowl and wrap with cellophane.

Moroccan Culinary Tour


Riding a camel is fun but not compulsory

Join my next culinary tour to Morocco from Saturday 27 April – Wednesday 8 May 2024 organised with Carol Prior from By Prior Arrangement who has 40 years experience and peerless contacts there.

Taking in the best Morocco has to offer, this authentic gastronomic experience will see you visiting ancient palaces and medinas and enjoying exclusive dining experiences.

We will travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and then onto intoxicating Marrakech, the red city. On the way, we will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. Together, we will discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in humble local eateries and upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads.

Inclusions:

  • Personal hosting by me
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per itinerary: breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 11 dinners with ½ bottle of wine per person
  • Transportation throughout in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with professional experienced English-speaking driver, including related expenses and allowing for physical distancing
  • 4×4 pick up and drop off to and from the desert camp
  • Bottled mineral water and hand sanitiser in the vehicle daily
  • English-speaking local licensed guides in Rabat, Volubilis, Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira with all entrance fees included to the sites visited with the guides
  • Atlas excursion including mules and the specialist trek guide
  • 2 cooking classes
  • Local tourist taxes
  • Porterage
  • Restaurant tips
  • Drivers and guides gratuities
  • Bank transfer and currency fluctuation fees

Testimonial: 
“I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful trip you organised to Morocco with Lyndey!
I found everything absolutely wonderful. The group was amazing as we all had the same likes in life – food and wine and adventure! Thanks again”

Anne, September/October 2022
Cost $10,000 per person (twin share).
More information HERE, full itinerary HERE or email me or travel@bypriorarrangement.com with any questions.

L: a welcoming tradition of mint tea and R: glorious Moroccan food

Puglia Culinary Adventure – May 2024



A happy group in UNESCO heritage listed Alberobello

Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata
Spend an unforgettable week with me learning the secrets of a deeply passionate and undiscovered region of Southern Italy. Puglia is the sun-drenched heel of the boot that spans two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian. Basilicata is its neighbour to the West. Both agricultural regions are abundant with healthy soil, over 50 million olive trees and a tradition of wine growing that has seen a fabulous dynamism in the last ten years. This area produces some of the most exciting food and wines on the planet. With award-winning Southern Visions Travel.

Trip Highlights 

  • An in-depth visit to the UNESCO site of Matera, with free time to explore and shop
  • Bakery visit in Altamura at a DOP bakery
  • Visit to the Trullo Capital, UNESCO Heritage Site, Alberobello
  • A hands-on cooking class with a Nonna and me 
  • Insider’s look at burrata cheese making from cow to table 
  • Salsa di Pomodoro tomato experience
  • Olive grove tour and oil tasting at an ancient olive oil estate
  • Private lunch at Li Veli Winery
  • Visits to Lecce and Ostuni (the White City)
  • A half day on the water from Polignano a Mare followed by a seafood lunch
  • Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces.

Testimonial
“I would like to recommend Lyndey’s tour of Puglia which I was on in May 2018.
I loved every moment of the tour, Lyndey is an excellent host, great fun & very  knowledgeable in wine & food while our tour guide, Max, knows the history of Puglia so well, which was great as we visited lovely old towns with amazing old buildings.
Our accommodation was 4 to 5 star & wonderful & we had some truly amazing meals & wines.
The travel plans were up to expectations & Ali Pike from Southern Visions Travel very efficient, we were in a very comfortable bus for touring each day.”

Julie Tulloch

Cost $7439 per person (twin share).
Full itinerary and enquiries here or email me.

L: The freshest seafood straight from the sea and R: Giorgio makes “piggy” mozzarella