Feeling incredibly inspired by the charismatic Mr O, tonight I had a go at the pasta challenge. During his Kitchen Talk, Jamie mentioned how quick and easy it can be to whip up a meal completely from scratch when you have the right knowledge - which is what he aims to spread through the Ministry of Food kitchens. Jamie said, by the time a pot of cold water comes to the boil on the stove top, you could whip up pasta from scratch ready to be thrown in!

Yesterday afternoon I was lucky enough to see my biggest cooking inspiration give a live presentation. That of course is the one and only Jamie Oliver. The admiration that I have towards Mr O is almost indescribable. His passion for cooking is absolutely infectious. His rustic approach to cooking demonstrates his understanding of the everyday, busy, modern family. But, although his TV shows and books are fantastic, they are not enough to change the way the western world eats. This is why he visited Australia.

Scouting Australia is an organisation which encourages the growth of young Australians through the spirit of adventure. I joined my youngest son into the local Cub Scout pack approximately a year ago. I am hoping that scouting will contribute to his development into a well mannered young person with good values and a sense of adventure. I was soon to discover how much commitment goes into a Cub Scout program each term particularly with the weekend camps.

This past weekend I have been part of a cooking team on a Cub Scout “Around the World themed camp”. While I sit at home now with my hard worked feet elevated I have only a feeling of respect for the amount of work it takes to coordinate a weekend event for a bunch of energetic 8-11 year cubs. This weekend, as always, they were very well fed however this weekend it was a special camp so the catering was bought up to a higher level!

 

With weather so beautiful this weekend it was an easy decision to pack the family into the car and head off on a relaxing drive in the country. It was also an opportune thought to include the fresh food shopping and make a day of it along the Hawkesbury Harvest Trail. With an esky in the boot we set off not knowing what gems we would find!

 

Together with my Husband and youngest son I spent this past weekend relaxing and cooking by the MacDonald River northwest of Sydney. We stayed at “Del Rio” in the picturesque riverside village of Wisemans Ferry. Locally this area is referred to as “The Forgotten Valley”. I loved this scenic part of Sydney and I really don’t think I will be forgetting about it at all.

 

I haven’t hidden my love for the Sydney Markets. One of the reasons why I think they are so great is because I’m always finding weird and wonderful ingredients there. This weekend’s unusual find was breadfruit. I’d never seen it nor heard of it before but after a quick google search I thought ‘what the heck, I’ll give that a go’.

 

Yesterday I travelled back in time and had a go at traditional farm life. I, along with my eldest (22) and youngest (8) visited the historic Rouse Hill House and Farm for their ‘Earn Your Tucker’ program. It was a hands-on day all about learning how food made its way to the table during the times when the Rouses were residing on the farm from the 1800s.

 

Last night I made the family a delicious red curry chicken using a homemade curry paste and fresh coconut cream. I have never previously bothered with making my own curry paste due to the availability of good quality readymade versions. Sadly for the supermarket I am now giving readymade the flick as my home made paste had more freshness and flavour than any version I have ever spooned from a jar!

 

Greenacre is nestled in between the more popular shopping precincts of Bankstown and Chullora. Over the years it’s been one of those suburbs I have bypassed on my way to somewhere else. The retail centre is small consisting of small businesses and services mostly utilised by the local residents rather than drawing a crowd from far and wide. Until recently! My family has made a sweet discovery in Greenacre and its one you don’t want to miss!!

 

Last week my love and I were gifted tickets to Sydney’s illustrious Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Park. It’s a brilliant way to see a movie, blissfully lying back on the soft lawn under the stars with a picnic rug and comfy bean bags. You relax sipping a glass of wine in the last of the afternoon sun and await the twinkling of the stars and your movie to begin.