Win With Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook

It is really easy to enter –  click on this link and fill in the form. https://www.hachette.com.au/win/entryform.aspx?id=22       I am assuming it is for Australian residents only as travel forms part of the prize.  I wish there were more competitions like this 🙂    Good luck to all who enter.

Giant Lamington: A Whole New Way To Eat – Vladia Cobrdova

Recipes and Images from A Whole New Way to Eat by Vladia Cobrdova (Murdoch Books)

GIANT LAMINGTON WITH RASPBERRY KAKADU JAM

 

 

+ Vegetarian

+ Gluten-free

Considered a gift of the Dreamtime, the Kakadu plum is Australia’s star superfood. They have exceptional nutritional and antiseptic properties.“p.230

 

prep time: 35 minutes

cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves 6–8

 

 

6 eggs

115 g (4 oz/1/3 cup) honey

80 ml (2½ fl oz/1/3 cup) melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

65 g (2½ oz/½ cup) coconut flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) almond meal

35 g (1¼ oz/½ cup) shredded coconut

 

Kakadu jam

170 g (6 oz) raspberries, fresh or frozen and defrosted

50 g (1¾ oz/¼ cup) coconut sugar

1 tablespoon Kakadu plum (salty plum) powder, or use the zest of 1 orange

45 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) chia seeds

2 tablespoons coconut water

 

Cacao frosting

40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) coconut oil

55 g (2 oz/½ cup) cacao powder

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) coconut cream

 

 

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a 30 x 12 x 10 cm (12 x 4½ x 4 inch) loaf (bar) tin and line it with baking paper, leaving the sides overhanging.

 

Use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to whisk the eggs and honey for 5 minutes or until well combined. Add the coconut oil and vanilla bean paste and whisk for another 2–3 minutes until well combined.

 

Combine the coconut flour, baking powder and almond meal in a separate bowl. Gently fold into the egg mixture until just combined, then spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.

 

Meanwhile, to make the jam, combine the ingredients
in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set.

 

To make cacao frosting, put the coconut oil in a frying pan with 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) of water and cook over low heat until the oil melts. Add the cacao powder and coconut cream and stir for 2 minutes or until combined. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

 

Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Spread with jam and drizzle with the frosting. Scatter with shredded coconut.

Post Script: Fatal Crossing – Lone Theils

Fatal Crossing

Fatal Crossing (Nora Sand #1)

Lone Theils

Charlotte Barslund (Translator)

Echo

Bonnier Publishing Australia

ISBN: 9781760406530

 

Description:

When a picture of two Danish girls who disappeared on a boat bound for England in 1985 surfaces in an old suitcase, journalist Nora Sand’s professional curiosity is immediately awakened.

 

Before she knows it, she is mixed up in the case of a serial killer serving a life sentence in a notorious prison. The quest to discover the truth about the missing girls may be more dangerous that she had ever imagined…

 

A fast-paced and skilfully plotted thriller’

Barry Forshaw

 

A candidate for the best crime novel of the year’

Krimi-Cirklen

 

 

My View:

What a great debut! This is a very credible and immensely satisfying read that had moments that remind me of actual crime that have occurred in Australia, specifically in Perth WA. I won’t share the details as I don’t want to influence your reading or give away any spoilers but after you have read it, tell me if anything in this novel resonated with crimes in your region.

Back to the review – I loved the protagonist, Nora, strong female leads are always a favourite in my reading; she is intelligent, passionate about her work, her life is extraordinary – we meet Nora who is a journalist, as she is conducting an interview with a war criminal: “The stories swirled around Nora’s head, one atrocity overtaking the next. Schoolchildren witnessing the gang rape of their teacher before they themselves were hacked to death with machetes. Massacres of villagers that went on until the murderers were too tired to life their arms and so they locked up the survivors with the corpses until the next day when the killing resumed…” (p1) A brutal  “hook” reminiscent of current news headlines that will have you squirming in your seat as you read, the honesty, brutality and inhumanity of the deeds pricking at your conscience.

I think we will be seeing more of this type of occupation and reporting of current events in our future fiction reads, what a brilliant way to add social commentary to our reading lives.

A strong, determined, feisty female protagonist, the crimes credible, heinous, prevalent and feature in our news headlines far too often and a fabulous twist or two that will surprise the most hardened crime fiction reader.  This is a fabulous read and I cannot wait for the next book in this series to arrive in my letterbox.

 

PS The translation is flawless.

 

My Work in Progress

About twenty five years ago I started an arts course at what used to be known as TAFE  (Technical and Further Education). I was spurred to enrol after being involved in a community based learning centre – where I was learning how to make pottery  – by wheel and hand.  I wanted to learn more so I enrolled in the arts course – primarily to do more pottery but as part of the course I was require to complete other art units – I did enjoy some of the classes – especially the mixed media work, the print making, water colour etc   I enjoyed the parts of the course I completed.  The story is then put on hold for quite some time.

 

Then  last week a friend of mine who has recently started producing some amazing paintings (one she made for my office – of proteas , another she made for our sitting room –   a pink cow in a dot style – which has ow been entered in an art competition! ) wonderful work, any way I digress…my good friend suggested we have a painting day and drove 4 hours to our place and unloaded her car full of  blank canvases and painting  paraphernalia – what a great day I had.  (My good friend was very patient and enthusiastic) The flame has been reignited.  It is such good fun. I am grateful to have such a talented and passionate friend who is happy to share her creativity with me.

This is my work in progress.  🙂

 

My art WIP

Post Script: Antoinette – Kelly DiPucchio and Christian Robinson

Antoinette

Antoinette

Keely DiPucchio & Christian Robinson

Simon & Schuster Australia

Simon & Schuster Kids

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9781481457835

 

Description:

Raised in a family of talented bulldogs, Antoinette the poodle wonders what makes her special. She gets the chance to prove herself and find what she’s good at when puppy Ooh-la-la goes missing.

 

My View:

This is an adorable book that shouts “Read out loud.”  “Read to a child.”  “Enjoy.” There is such a beautiful sense of fun and innocence here, the illustrations and the words are fun, full of energy and cute.

There are many messages in the book that a child will absorb; about friendships, confidence…about individuals having different talents/abilities.  All have merits. But I think you should just read this book for the simple pleasure and fun of reading a delightful, entertaining book (and for being able to say Ooh- La- La many times).  🙂

 

Post Script: Everything You Told Me – Lucy Dawson

A great introductory hook and a narrative that cleverly plays into every mother’s sense of guilt – is she doing enough/coping/not coping…etc

Everything You Told me

Everything You Told Me

Lucy Dawson

Allen & Unwin Australia

Atlantic

Corvus

ISBN: 9781782396253

 

Description:

Sally wakes up in the middle of nowhere, with a suicide note in her pocket and no memory of the previous twenty four hours. When she discovers what happened to her, she is shocked to the core…

Saturday morning, dawn. Mother of two Sally finds herself on a cliff top, miles away from home. The place is familiar but the journey is a blank. She’s lost the last ten hours of her life.

To all appearances, Sally was there to jump. She had nothing on her apart from a suicide note when the local police took her in. But Sally knows she would never leave her children behind…

Which leaves the question: who has done this to her? And who would believe Sally if she told?

 

My View:

A great introductory hook and a narrative that cleverly plays into every mother’s sense of guilt – is she doing enough/coping/not coping…etc

 

A great read which has all the elements I like in a good  psychological thriller; an great opening hook – in this instance the protagonist wakes up alone and disoriented on a cliff top – not knowing how she got there and with what appears to be a suicide note in her pocket.

 

Then we have my favourite device – the unreliable narrator…Sally’s recollections, thoughts, are a little confused, she is sleep deprived, anxious… so much guilt, perhaps suffering post-natal depression?  What do we believe is happening here? Who is right?

 

Then there are the twists – so many – so good but just one little point that is essential to the outcome, the big piece of evidence that changes the whole direction of your thoughts… just seemed a little too convenient, just niggled at me – after I finished reading. At the time I was engrossed in this reveal, it changed everything. And I went with it, I followed this new clue, and was lead on another twisty path and the ending…would never ever have seen that coming. So all in all a really good read but just after I finished reading there was just that hint of bad taste in my mouth , the feeling that something was not quite right, a detail that was just a little too convenient and all too easily wrapped everything up (no spoilers here). Will it bother you? Who knows…you will have to read it to find out.

 

 

 

 

My View:

 

Spicy Ginger and Tomato Soup: A Whole New Way To Eat – Vladia Cobrdova

Recipes and Images from A Whole New Way to Eat by Vladia Cobrdova (Murdoch Books)

 

SPICY GINGER & TOMATO SOUP

 

 

+ Vegetarian, + Vegan, + Gluten-free, + Dairy-free

 

“The vibrant colour of this rich antioxidant soup speaks for itself. You can really see the betacarotenoids in it.”p. 101

 

Spicy GingerTomatoSoup

prep time:15 minutes

cooking time:20 minutes

Serves 4

 

 

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 large red (Spanish) onion, finely chopped

100 g (3½ oz/½ cup) coarsely chopped fresh ginger

6 carrots, chopped

2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes

375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cups) tinned coconut milk

20 g (¾ oz/1/3 cup) chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves (optional)

1 lime

 

Crispy topping

2 teaspoons coconut oil

2 fresh long red chillies, sliced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

40 g (1½ oz/1 cup) coconut chips

 

 

Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook for 2–3 minutes until golden. Add the carrots, tomatoes and 375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cups) of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots are very tender. Stir in the coconut milk, then remove from the heat. Using a stick blender, purée the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Meanwhile, to make the crispy topping, heat the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the chilli, chopped ginger and coconut chips and stir for 5–6 minutes until crisp.

 

To serve, ladle the soup into four bowls, scatter with the crispy topping and coriander leaves (if using), then squeeze a lime over.

 

 

+ note  Tomatoes have the interesting attribute of being better for you when cooked. Cooking encourages the easier absorption of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may even have a role in cancer prevention.