gingerbread cake

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Icing

Some of you may remember the time we went on an amazing desert adventure. I made a double batch of peanut butter and choc-chip cookies to keep us occupied during the long driving stints, and my friend Marty made his incredible gingerbread cake. I remember eating this cake, straight from a tupperware container that was resting on the bonnet of the car. We were in the middle of bloody nowhere. I treasure this memory. I am pretty sure that the cake was quite a few days old by this stage, but it was still amazing. You know those cakes that improve with age somehow? I still don’t understand how that works, but this one is one of them.

Tommy, who is Marty’s son, promised me this recipe, in exchange for my cookie recipe. Well, a little more than one year later, here it is. The recipe originally comes from an old newspaper clipping, so old now that the source is unknown. But to me it is just Marty’s recipe. I have made this 3 times in the last 10 days.  It is the kind of cake that is rather understated yet will simultaneously blow you away. I took it to a picnic, a birthday, and for morning tea. Marty makes it for Tommy’s lunch box (luckiest kid in town) and also for long drives into the desert. He often leaves out the icing because it can be messy. It is still awesome without the icing, but I reckon that sticky sugary fingerprints are worth it. It is a coincidence that this a very Chrisytmas-y cake. A happy coincidence nonetheless. And as I am the worst present buyer ever yet seem to know the intimate details of everyone’s taste buds, most people only receive edible gifts from me. Now that I have Marty’s recipe, everyone will be getting gingerbread cake, forever. But I can guarantee there will be no complaints.

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Icing

This recipe makes heaps.

for the cake

  • 150g treacle
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 300g plain flour

lemon icing

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Line a large rectangular baking tray with baking paper. Mine is 23cm x 25cm
  3. Place a large saucepan on kitchen scales, and weigh in your butter, sugar, treacle, golden syrup and the spices. Place the pot on the stovetop and heat gently, whisking regularly.
  4. Place your milk in a measuring jug and crack your eggs in. Whisk until combined.
  5. One the stovetop mixture has melted and is smooth, whisk in the bicarb, followed by the milk/egg mixture, then lastly the flour. Whisk the flour well, until there are no more lumps, which may take some time.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack while you make the icing.
  8. Whist together icing ingredients with a fork, adding the lemon juice gradually until you reach a nice but not too runny consistency. Wait until cake is cool and pour onto cake. Spread to the edges and wait until it dries before attempting to slice.
best pecan pie

World’s Best Pecan Pie

This week I was faced with, what could only be described as, one of my absolute worst nightmare type situations. I had been invited to a party – a pot-luck Thanksgiving party – and had nominated myself to be the person in charge of Pecan Pie. I was pretty excited about this. There would be delicious food, and whilst I would not know anyone other than my best mate, it would be heaps of fun. So what could possibly go wrong? Well I suppose my pie could turn out be really crap, which would be very embarrassing, especially considering my affiliation with food. That would be really awful, but certainly not a worst nightmare type situation. No, it was something far worse than terrible pie. The day before I received the news that my friend was no longer able to attend the party. Which meant, other than my vague connection with the host, I would not know anybody. And this, my friends, is my version of hell.

My immediate reaction was to cancel. There was no way I could walk into a room full of people I don’t know and possibly have a good time. My level of social anxiety was far too great for that. Even the thought of it made me feel sick to the stomach. I would contact the host and explain that I couldn’t come. He would definitely understand. I can’t go because my friend isn’t going. 

But it just sounded so pathetic.

What was my alternative anyway? Sit at home, telling myself how pathetic I was because I am not capable of going to a party alone? And then cry and eat the whole pie to myself? That would only drive another nail into the social anxiety coffin. And I refused to do that. Needless to say, that did not make it any easier. I was shaking, sweating, and spent the entire drive there fighting back the urge to vomit and cry. But I went anyway. And lo and behold I had an excellent time. I even made some new friends. And the pie was not only good, it was ridiculously good. In fact it could be put into ‘world’s best’ category. And ‘world’s best’ pie is an excellent way to win friends and influence people. So here is the recipe, and here I am, hoping to get invited to more parties.

thanksgiving pecan pie cream cheese pastry

World’s Best Pecan Pie

Adapted from the amazing Rose Levy BeranbaumServes 6 – 8 people.

for the pastry

  • 85g cold butter, cut into rough cubes
  • 143g pastry flour 
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 65g cold cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1.5 Tbsp double cream
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

for the filling

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup golden syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed muscovado sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 1/4 cup double cream
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups pecans
  • 80g dark chocolate, chopped
  • more double cream, to serve

choc pecan pie

To make the pastry

If you can, have everything weighed up and kept cool in the freezer for 1/2 hour before you start, including the flour.

  1. Place the flour, baking powder and salt into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds.
  2. Add the cream cheese and pulse again for about 20 seconds. Add the cold butter cubes and pulse until you have the course sand consistency – it should only take a few seconds.
  3. Add the cream and vinegar and pulse until the mixture only just begins to come together.
  4. Place the mixture onto the bench and knead for a minute with the heel of your hand, until the dough becomes a little stretchy.
  5. Form the dough into a flat circular disc, wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 210 degrees C.
  7. Once rested, remove from fridge and leave at room temp for 10-15 minutes so it’s easier to roll out.
  8. Grease a 23cm tart tin.
  9. Dust your bench top very lightly with some flour. Use a rolling pin to roll out a circular shape about 30cm in diameter. Fold into quarters then transfer to tart tin and unfold.
  10. Squeeze the pastry to the edges and fold the overhang into itself so the edges have a double layer. Allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  11. Line with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or beans. Loosely wrap some foil around the edges so they don’t over brown. Blind bake for 20 mins.
  12. Remove pastry weights, prick the base several times with a fork and return to the oven for another 5 mins.

To make the pie

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
  2. Place all but the vanilla, pecans, and chocolate into a heavy based saucepan and put over a gentle to moderate heat.
  3. Stir continuously with a whisk to break up the ingredients.
  4. Simmer gently for about 10 mins, stirring regularly.
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  6. Place pecans into pastry shell.
  7. Strain mixture over the pecans. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. The pie will be a just a teensy bit jiggly.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  9. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler (or just place the bowl on top of the oven while the pie is baking) and drizzle over the top of the pie. Allow to cool before serving.
miso toast with egg, avo and gomasio

Miso Toast with Egg, Avocado + Gomasio

No time for words today unfortunately. Just a recipe. It is frustrating that I have all these things I’d like to say, but am struggling to find the time to say it! This is what I have been eating almost daily. It can hardly be classified as a recipe, more of an inspirational toast idea if you are looking for one. Nevertheless, it is awesome, and absolutely worth including here. And for those of you who remember, it could be considered as a very close relative of the much loved ‘Switch Board Special’.

miso eggsmiso toast with avocado

Miso Toast with Egg, Avocado and Gomasio

Serves 1

Special note:
Make a huge batch of gomasio, and sprinkle it on everything you eat for the rest of your life.

  • 1 – 2 Tsp hatcho miso paste
  • ¼ of an avocado
  • 1 boiled egg (I use this method)
  • 2 slices of rye bread, toasted

For the gomasio

  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp flaked nori
  • pinch of salt

 

  1. Make the gomasio by placing all the ingredients into a small skillet, and toasting over a high heat for a minute or two. Make sure you keep stirring or shaking the pan.
  2. Spread both pieces of the rye toast with hatcho miso, just as you might use vegemite.
  3. Place the boiled egg on one piece (cut in half and smooshed) and place slices of avocado on the other.
  4. Sprinkle a liberal amount of gomasio on both and serve.

 

raw vegan key lime pies

Raw Vegan Key Lime Pies

I am terrified of saying goodbye. Goodbye to people, to objects, to situations. And for some reason it makes no difference to me whether I am saying goodbye to something good or something bad. It is the ‘letting go’ that is the problem. It was my birthday over the weekend. And as usual, I got weird and sentimental it. Not about getting older, but about saying goodbye to another year. I kept thinking to myself, wow, I will never be thirty-five again. Never ever. It has been a very challenging year, to say the least, so there is no logical reason for clinging on. It was however, quite a significant year for me. It was a year of change. Of major life overhauls. Of new beginnings, new roads, and new territory. And at some stage throughout the year, I looked at my reflection in the mirror and thought “Who the fuck are you anyway? Do I even know you?”. I decided to get to know myself, and to become my own friend. And, as an obligation of being my own friend, I decided that I must also think and say nice things about myself, just as I would any of my other friends.

It has taken a long time for me reach this point in my life. To realise that I am a great person, so can probably let go of all the negative self-talk. And I am not afraid of the unknown, I just don’t like to say goodbye. I am nostalgic and overly sentimental. But that’s OK, because now I know it. And I can tell myself, as my own friend, that I am doing just fine.raw vegan key lime piesIndividual key lime piekey lime pie girl

Raw Vegan Key Lime Pies

Makes 9

For the Crust
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 15 medjool dates, pitted (plus a couple more if necessary)
For the Filling
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ avocado
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • zest from 1/2 lime
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • flaked coconut to garnish (optional)

  1. Place the pecans in a heavy duty food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.
  2. Add the dates, one at a time, pulsing in between each addition.
  3. Grease a 9 capacity muffin tin with coconut oil, and line them with long strips of baking paper to act as handles to lift the pies out later.
  4. Divide the crust mixture between the nine holes, and use your fingers to mould the mixture around the muffin holes.
  5. Place the filling ingredients into the food processor and pulse until smooth.
  6. Divide the mixture between the nine pie shells.
  7. Sprinkle on some flaked coconut and place in the freezer for an hour to set.
apple sandwiches with almond butter

Apple Slices with Cinnamon Almond Butter

As I have continually expressed, I have a long history of weird food behaviour and food obsessions. Yet there has never been an obsession greater than my affinity with peanut butter. There have  many occasions where I have eaten half a jar, in some crazed frenzy, and thought well, that’s dinner taken care of. This behaviour is far from ideal, and it can be traced right back to my childhood. I still remember at 8 years old, we had an intruder in the house whilst my mother and I lay sleeping. The following morning when filing the police report we were asked if we noticed anything unusual after the incident. Cunning as I was, I decided to use this opportunity to my advantage. I told the police officer that something very strange happened indeed, the burglar ate all of our peanut butter and placed the empty jar in the fridge! The police officer (and my mother) played along, labelling the criminal as the Peanut Butter Bandit. And I honestly believed I got away with it. These peanut butter binges still prevail in my life. So much so that I have actually given myself a total ban, because I just cannot seem to control myself. After almost a month, that psychotic little part of my brain was having some serious withdrawals. Instead of succumbing to the craving I decided to be proactive and make myself some almond butter instead. I used my fancy mandolin that I picked up in Japan to slice paper thin apple rounds, and constructed little apple/almond butter ‘sandwiches’. I managed to polish off the whole jar, and thought to myself, well that’s dinner taken care of.

cinnamon

APPLE SLICES WITH CINNAMON ALMOND BUTTER

(vegan, gluten free, paleo, raw)

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Place the almonds and coconut oil in a heavy duty food processor, and blitz until smooth. You may need to scrape the sides down a few times between mixes.
  2. Add the cinnamon and maple and blitz again, until combined.
  3. Using a mandolin, thinly slice an apple into rounds.
  4. To serve, place a spoonful of almond butter between 2 slices of apple.

cinnamon maple almond butter

 

shakshuka with feta

Basic Shakshuka with Feta

I have to admit, I am a bit of a hoarder. My mother drummed the ‘appreciate everything’ message quite firmly into my brain, which is completely fine. But this, paired with my overly sentimental nature, means that I don’t really throw anything away. Because I might need it one day. Or, because such and such gave it to me 15 years ago, and even though I haven’t seen such and such for 14 years they would be totally offended if they knew I just gave it to the brotherhood. Basically, I had a whole heap of crap around. There was so much stuff that I was actually getting to the point where I was struggling to keep it all under control. And it was making my mind feel messy.

In a spontaneous attempt to improve my life, I began to remove every item from every shelf, wipe down every shelf, and put every item either back on the shelf, into a garbage bag, or straight in the bin. I ended up with 5 garbage bags and an enormous box. Plus 2 bins full. I ignored all guilty feelings about such and such being offended, and filled my car with, what felt like, garbage bags full of memories. I shoved the bags into a charity bin as quickly as I could. As challenging as it was, when I drove away, I realised that they were not bags full of keepsakes. It was all actually junk. And I was hanging onto so much junk that was no space in my life for anything new. Somehow I feel like this might be an analogy for something quite significant. Don’t be afraid to let go of the past, perhaps? I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but all of a sudden I feel like a brand new person. I have space to think and room to move. Plus, my house looks freaking awesome.

shakshuka prepegg crackBasic Shakshuka with feta

serves 2

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 4 eggs
  • 80g feta
  • few coriander or parsley leaves
  • pita bread, to serve

 

  1. Place oil, onion and capsicum in a heavy based skillet, and gently sauté until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and paprika, and stir for a minute.
  3. Add the tin of tomatoes, and with it an enormous pinch of salt. Keep over a medium to low heat .
  4. When the tomatoes start to reduce down and melt into a thick sauce, make 4 little wells in the pan, and crack an egg into each.
  5. Place a lid on the pan, and cook the eggs for about 3 minutes (or until done to your liking).
  6. Crumble feta over the top, and scatter with herbs.
  7. Spoon eggs onto a plate with pita bread.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, if you like.

shakshuka

flourless orange juice cake

Flourless Orange Juice Cake

This cake was the result of an experiment. I needed to make a flourless orange cake for my little sister’s birthday, but  I had absolutely no time for the usual pre-boil the oranges method. So I was forced to get a bit creative.

I found the whole thing quite fascinating, really. The fact that I am now, somehow, in the position to ‘make up cakes’. This feeling was somewhat compounded by the arrival of my new housemate – my step sister. The last time we lived together I had absolutely no idea how to cook. Period. I was doing really weird things like being taught how to fry eggs and eating them obsessively, everyday. There was also the time when I was about 21, I lived with a couple of foodies. We each took our turn at cooking our specialty dish for the house. I remember their amazing creations –  real carbonara and homemade gnocchi. When it was my turn I made my very special concoction. It consisted of 4 packets of Hot & Spicy Thai 2 minute noodles, mixed with 2 tins of Campbell’s tomato soup, and 1 tin of corn kernels. I very proudly served it up to everybody. I didn’t even realise how ridiculous my dinner was. My housemates were so lovely, they all smiled politely and said it was beautiful. Just so you know, the memory of this has got me laughing hysterically as I type. Some of you may even know that 21 year old me, and my guess is that you are probably laughing quite a bit too. Here I am today, sharing one of my new concoctions on my own food blog. If I could go back in time and tell my old housemates that this would eventually be my fate, there is no way they’d believe it. But sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. And my hilarious past self is absolutely testament to this.

gluten free orange cakeIMG_1093IMG_1087

Flourless Orange Juice Cake

gluten free

  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups almond meal (I grind my own)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

orange icing

  • 1 and 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • juice from 1 orange

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C and prepare a large round cake tin with baking paper and butter.
  2. Beat egg yolks until pale, add sugar and beat again for another minute. Beat in the orange juice, zest, baking powder and salt. Lastly, beat in the ground almonds.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until peaks form.
  4. Fold the egg whites into the batter, very very gently. You do not want to knock any air out of the mixture.
  5. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45mins to an hour (or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre).
  6. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 mins and transfer to a wire rack
  7. To make the icing, whisk the juice and icing sugar together, and pour onto the cooled cake.

 

Vegan onigiri

SWEET POTATO + AVOCADO ONIGIRI / PICKLED VEG + AVOCADO NORI ROLLS

Japan stole my heart. Having to leave was like breaking up with a boyfriend. I just wanted to stay. I couldn’t ever anticipate how much I’d love it there. Sure, being on holiday is great. No work, no bloody essays. Everyday is a new adventure. I am aware of this. But what I want to share with you, is how beautiful the Japanese culture is. It’s the very reason why I fell in love. The reason why I want to pack up my belongings and move there.

Australia is exceptionally multicultural. I’ve always loved this about our country. I was under the impression we had some kind of ‘cultural melting pot’. I’m sure that’s what we were taught at high school. But I now understand that this not the case at all.  There are so many cultural groups, yet we are all just coexisting. We are living separately. No shared values, shared understandings, shared beliefs. Just a shared space. And we are all so intolerant of one another.

This became really obvious to me while we were away,  because it is such a contrast to Japan. The Japanese people seem so unified by their culture. And it is a culture that is threaded together by values such as courtesy, consideration, and friendliness. Every encounter we had was beautiful. People went out of their way to help us, to make us feel welcome. Strangers on the street treated us like friends. We were treated with such respect, and we watched people treating each other with respect. It was magical. My seven year old son turned to me, about 8 days in, and asked “Mum, have you noticed how everyone in Japan is so nice? We should make a deal, that when we go back home we are as lovely as the people here.” I’m not even kidding. No amount of money in the world can buy this kind of enlightenment.

I could write a million words about our trip. About being nude in public bathhouses in the middle of Kyoto, with a bandaid covering my tattoo,  about a driverless train, about supermarket aisles full of the most amazing food I have ever seen. Or about being the only two people at a huge temple with hundreds of graves, riding loop the loop roller coasters at 10pm, or nervously eating raw seafood in front of new friends. I could write another million about sharing this incredible experience with my little boy. About the joy I felt watching my very shy boy walk into a cafe, bow to the shop attendant and confidently place his order in full Japanese. But I won’t, for I fear I lack the writing skills to convey just how incredible these experiences were. My heart is swollen, but not from the heart ache of having to leave. It’s full of memories so beautiful, that it just may burst.   

  
 sweet potato avocado onigiri

Sweet Potato + Avocado Onigiri / Pickled Veg + Avocado NORI ROLLS

(vegan and gluten free)
Makes 4 onigiri and 4 small nori rolls. They are a welcome addition to any lunch box . Experiment with your favourite ingredients. Sometimes I add grilled batons of tofu or slices of skinny omelet to the nori rolls. And my son likes salmon, avocado and kewpie mayo onigiri. 

  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 2 sheets yaki nori
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds

for the Onigiri

  • handful of sweet potato cubes, roasted until soft

for the Pickled Veg

  • 3 batons of each – carrots, zucchini, capsicum
  • ½ cup of rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

  1. First, cook the rice according to package instructions. I use a rice cooker, and use the 1 part rice to 1 and 1/2 parts water ratio, with a big pinch of salt. Once cooked, turn the rice onto a plate and leave at room temperature to cool.
  2. Next make the pickling solution, by placing the vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan, and heating gently  until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and submerge the vegetables in the warm pickling liquid. Set aside while you prepare the onigiri.
  3. To make the onigiri, tear off a sheet of cling film and place in the palm of your hand. Add a big scoop of rice, make a little indentation in the middle, and place a cube of avocado, and a cube or two of sweet potato in the middle. Sprinkle a few sesame seeds over the top. Using the cling film, enclose the ingredients to make a ball. Compress this ball tightly, and gradually make the triangle formation. Cut a sheet of nori into quarters. Remove the cling film from your triangle and wrap a little nori sheet around it. Repeat until you have made 4 onigiri.
  4. To make the nori rolls, place a full sheet of nori over a bamboo mat. Spread the remainder of the rice over (about) 3/4 of the sheet. Remove veggies from the pickling liquid and place in a row in the centre of the rice. Add fat slices of avocado along the row also. Sprinkle over a few sesame seeds. Using the mat, start from the bottom and firmly roll up your ingredients. Slice into 2 rolls, or 4 smaller ones if you like.
  5. Optional – serve with soy sauce, wasabi, or kewpie mayo.

 

Raw Salted Caramel Fudge

IMG_0061.JPGSometimes I feel I am a walking contradiction. A cacophony of opposing traits. A tiny ball of chaos that is obsessed with systems and order. Overflowing with love. Cries way too much. A pillar of strength, with the potential to crumble any second. Overly proud. Overly vulnerable. Filled with terror, yet as brave as can be. It’s very confusing.raw caramel fudgeTomorrow I am taking my son and myself on a wild adventure. We are off to Japan, and I am so thrilled to share this adventure with him. But I am full to the brim with conflicting emotions. Today it’s about 60% terror, 40% excitement. I’m expecting those figures to reverse tomorrow morning. I would never have planned in a million years to take him by myself. Alas, the universe has it’s own plan, and I’ve accepted that. That scared little girl that lives inside me knows she will need to be very brave, but I feel this experience will change that girl for good.
If we can do this, we can pretty much achieve ANYTHING!

raw salted caramel


 

Raw Salted Caramel Fudge

Raw, vegan, gluten free, paleo. With only 3 ingredients! 

Makes one small slab. I cut mine into 12 squares.
Best stored in the freezer – if it lasts that long! 

  • 1 cup of macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 12 fresh dates)
  • few pinches flaked salt
  • Optional – sprinkles of seeds and cacao nibs

  1. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Place nut in a good food processor, and blitz until smooth.
  3. With the motor still running, add the dates one at a time. Blend together until you have a caramel-y paste.
  4. Place mixture in the prepared tin, smooth it down with a spatula.
  5. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Sprinkle with seeds/cacao nibs etc. if using.
  6. Place in the freezer to set for 2 – 3 hours.
  7. Cut into squares and serve.

IMG_0049.JPG

spinach feta pine nut gozleme

Spinach, Feta + Pine Nut Gozleme

It seemed to come out of nowhere, but I feel the period of transition has come to an end.

The last tears have finally been shed. However, they certainly went out with a bang. I subjected my friends, and my ego, to a couple of public weeping sessions. Not the tears rolling down the cheek, feeling overwhelmed type of crying  – more a coiled up in anguish silent sob. Direct from the heart. And it hurt. One was at a concert hall with my best friend on one side, and a new friend that I had just met on the other. I was trying so hard to be discreet. I was quiet, but there was no hiding the tremble. And I remember thinking God, these girls must think I’m completely insane, as they were both consoling me. Earlier that night over dinner, I was hysterically crying of laughter, as I retold the story about calling the Poisons Information Centre after burning my hands from touching chillies. And here I was a few hours later, in complete distress. Like a true lunatic, swinging from one extreme to the next. And in the middle of the Gallery of NSW, just two days later, it happened again. We were discussing the importance of keeping your eyes forward, instead of looking behind, as a metaphor for maintaining emotional health. It really hit a nerve, and there I was, crying in public again. My best friend did a remarkable job of diverting my attention. She made me look at the penises painted on the surrounding artworks. I laughed, of course. How could I not? Penises are pretty funny. The whole situation was.

And just like that, the transition period was over. Was it the cathartic crying sessions that carried me through? Or a sprinkle of magic on the many kebabs eaten on the park benches of Kings Cross? Maybe in my sleep, the old ghosts from the cheap hotel room tied up the last of the emotional loose ends, and with them, my tear ducts too. Or better still, on the flight home, past all the turbulence and above the clouds, the pilot may have flown through a secret portal, leading straight into a new and improved dimension. However it happened, I feel better. All of a sudden I can think about looking ahead, without the fear of leaving the past behind. I’ve finally let go, at last I’m free.

gozleme dough

SPINACH, FETA + PINE NUT GOZLEME


This is far less involved than it seems, and I urge you to give it a go!
Enough for 4 people.

for the dough

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 200g of plain yoghurt
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil

for the filling

  • 75g baby spinach
  • 150 feta, crumbled
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts

to cook and serve

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon

gozleme making gozleme parcels


  1. To make the dough, place the yoghurt in a mixing bowl of and electric mixer, with a pinch of salt. Using the dough hook, mix while gradually adding the flour with motor running. Keep mixing slowly for a few minutes, until a nice ball of dough comes together.  Add the olive oil and mix for a few more minutes, or drop it on the bench and knead by hand. You should have a not too sticky ball of dough. Some flour is thirstier than others, so feel free to adjust as necessary, with an extra spoonful of yoghurt, or flour.  Leave to rest covered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Scatter a tiny handful of flour onto a workbench, divide the dough into 4 separate balls, and shape them into rough rectangles. With a rolling pin, roll these into thin (just a few millimetres) rectangular sheets.
  3. Scatter the filling ingredients equally over one half of the sheets of dough. Once finished, fold other half of the dough over the filling and seal the edges using your fingers.
  4. To cook, heat a splash of oil in a large pan, and place your parcels in them. I cooked mine in two batches. Fry the parcels over a gentle heat, until golden, then flip and repeat the process on the other side.
  5. Once they are all cooked, cut into wedges and serve with a squeeze of lemon.

gozleme in the panvegetarian gozleme