Archive | June 2014

Full of greens frittata

full of vegies frittata

This is a really yummy vegetarian frittata that really is full of greens. It’s also gluten-free. There is a lot of zucchini and baby spinach in it as well as chives (although I left them out because I forgot to buy them). The recipe is another one I wanted to cook from the July 2014 edition of Taste Magazine. It’s quick and easy to prepare and takes around 30 mins to cook.


250g baby spinach
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
250g zucchini, grated
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
4 eggs
4 egg whites
100g ricotta cheese (from the deli)
2 tbs finely grated parmesan
1/4 cup fresh chives
100g bought roasted red capsicum, finely chopped (although I used semi-dried tomatoes)


Preheat your oven to 180 deg Celsius. Grease a 20cm cake pan and line with baking paper. Place spinach in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand for 30 seconds. Refresh. Drain, squeezing excess liquid. Coarsely chop.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Stir in the zucchini and lemon rind for 2 mins or until zucchini is bright green. Cool.

Whisk eggs, egg whites, ricotta and parmesan in a bowl. Stir in zucchini mixture, spinach and two-thirds of the chives. Pour into pan. Bake for 25-30 mins or until set.

Combine capsicum and remaining chives in a bowl. Serve with the frittata (although I cooked the semi-dried tomatoes on the frittata).

Spaghetti with pesto, semi-dried tomatoes and ricotta

.Spaghetti with pesta, semi dried toms and ricotta

Yesterday I received the latest Taste magazine in the mail. Today I looked at it and came up with two ‘must cook’ recipes as well as some I might like to cook in future.

The first one (and what I decided to eat tonight) was Spaghetti with pesto, semi-dried tomatoes and ricotta. I don’t often eat vegetarian but this recipe contains some of my favourite ingredients. It calls for you to make your own pesto but I don’t have any basil (wrong time of year) or pine nuts but I always keep a jar in the fridge in winter.

Recipe: (without making the pesto)

375g dried spaghetti
150g (1 cup) frozen peas
200g semi-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
150g fresh ricotta


Cook the pasta until al dente (add the peas in the last 4 mins of cooking the pasta). Drain and return pasta and peas to the saucepan.

Add the tomato, pesto (I used 4 tablespoons but you can put as much or little as you want) and half the ricotta to the pasta. Season with salt. Gently toss to combine. Sprinkle the remaining ricotta on top before serving

HM Bark Endeavour


I first saw this ship in Fremantle, soon after it had been launched in 1993. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to see it in several different cities. I think it’s lucky anyway. I’m an early-Australian history buff. Captain James Cook sailed on the original Endeavour in the 1780’s when he found Australia. This replica was built in Fremantle in a specially-built shipyard. Since then it has circumnavigated the world twice as well as around Australia. It now sits at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney.





Mirka’s at Tolarno


Mirka’s is an iconic restaurant within an iconic hotel (Tolarno) on Fitzroy St, St Kilda. Mirka Mora was a famous St Kilda artist and her paintings adorn the walls of the restaurant. We were there to celebrate my friend’s birthday. Despite a minor hiccup with our booking, we were soon seated at a booth in the window.

My main meal (top photo) was Market fish cooked “Sardinian Style” with prawns, mussels, tomato and fregola. The fish was Barramundi. As soon as the waitress told me it was Barramundi, I had to order it. It was delicious.

We weren’t sure what these were but we do know they were coated with polenta. They were really nice.

Zucchini flowers stuffed with goat’s cheese has to be my favourite entrée. Whenever I see it on the menu I have to have it. This was served with heirloom tomatoes and olives.

My friend’s meal of Beef cheeks ‘Brasata al Barolo’, polenta gnocchi and gremolata.


Bar Santo, Fitzroy St, St Kilda

Aranchini with fetta, garlic and aioli. These were really nice but left me with a strong aftertaste of garlic.

The aranchini was ordered from the tapas menu. My friend ordered two other items from this menu rather than a main meal. These were crispy fried calamari and meatballs.

I ordered a entrée size Salmon Linguini with capsicum, served with salad. This was something a little different and was really nice. The capsicum and salad gave it a different taste.

The restaurant was empty when we walked in (a little late) for our 12.30 lunch. This was surprising because it was a Saturday lunch. However the restaurant began to fill up at 1pm. Service was ok. However I did notice the waitress delivering food to one of the other tables while talking on the phone to another customers. That’s not one of the best things I’ve seen in a restaurant.

Roasted capsicum soup


I love roasted capsicum so as soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to cook it. I assumed I would have to roast the capsicums but instead I had to buy a jar of chargrilled capsicums. This would add a smokey flavour to the soup.

It’s so easy to make. It’s just browning the onion in garlic, add chopped capsicum, potatoes and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and simmer until the potatoes have softened. After that it’s just a matter of blending the soup until it’s smooth.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Between


I’m always fascinated when I see trees growing out of rocks and cliffs and there were examples everywhere at Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory.


Alice Springs Telegraph Station


The Telegraph Station marks the original site of European settlement in Alice Springs. It was built as a relay station for the Overland Telegraph line. Messages were relayed from Darwin to Adelaide through here. The station operated for 60 years before becoming a school for Aboriginal children. Some of the buildings have some really interesting displays explaining how the children grew up here.







Standley Chasm, Alice Springs


We walked the Valley Walk in lush valley of the chasm. Looking up you see the beautiful orange colours of the West MacDonnell Ranges but on the valley floor there are cycads, Ghost gum trees and lots of rocks all along the creek that runs through the middle of the chasm. It’s a remarkable area. And so quiet. You can hear the birds chirping.

The chasm has been formed from tough sandstone by floods over millions of years.


This gigantic boulder dwarfs everyone but it’s only when you get up close that you realise how huge it is. You have to climb over it to continue through to the other side.






Simpsons Gap, Alice Springs


Simpson’s Gap is one of the most well-known gaps in the West MacDonnell Ranges. It’s also one of the most prominent permanent waterholes and of great importance to the local Aboriginals. The towering cliffs make you feel totally insignificant. And the colours? Well they are amazing. Anyone that paints or draws would love to come here and capture the colour that is in the cliffs.

I love this photo. I don’t think I would try swimming. If you scratch away some of the sand you find water easily.

This rock really stood out to me. I love the colours and the way it looks like it has been sliced.


The River Red Gums are everywhere. Their white bark provides a great contrast to the green of the trees and the blue of the sky. The sand in this area is a beautiful almost-white colour.

The black-footed rock wallaby normally only comes out at sunset or sunrise but we were lucky to see this one late morning.

John Flynn’s grave


John Flynn started the Royal Flying Doctor Service after working in Outback Australia (RFDS). The RFDS is an air service to the people in the remote areas of Australia. They fly doctors to the cattle stations and can fly patients back to hospitals once they have been assessed.

Flynn set up bush hospitals in remote areas and saw how hard it was for doctors to look after patients who lived on in an area of around two million acres. It would take days or weeks for a doctor to get from a main town to the homes of the outback settlers. Over a period of ten years he campaigned for a medical service that would assist those that lived remotely. To begin with they leased planes from the newly-formed QANTAS. In the last 80 years, they have been able to provide a better service as technology has grown. He was known as Flynn of the Inland.

When he died in 1951 he was cremated and his ashes were buried at the base of the Flynn Memorial which is located just outside Alice Springs.




Alice Springs from Anzac Hill


ANZAC Hill is the most visited landmark in Alice Springs and it’s very easy to see why when you are standing at the top where the ANZAC memorial is. You get a 360 degree view of Alice Springs. Apparently the sunrise and sunset can be spectacular but we didn’t get to see one unfortunately.


The Northern Territory flag

The ANZAC Memorial. It was built as a memorial to the soldiers that fought and died in WW1 but now memorialises the sacrifices made in all wars.

Weekly photo challenge: Room

Old town hall 2

The Old Darwin Town Hall Ruins were originally built in 1883 during the Pine Creek gold rush. This building earlier survived the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese during WWII, only to be eventually destroyed by Cyclone Tracy 30 years later. Heritage listed, the Darwin Town Hall Ruins are all that remain today constructed in 1882.

Nowadays the ruins are used to house theatre performance. It is now one giant room that provides a backdrop for open-air theatre.