Last year I bought a cookbook that delivered what it promised. It revolutionised the way I made bread and pizzas. I was so impressed with the book I ended up purchasing all three in the series. The cookbooks I am referring to are the “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” series!  Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois co wrote and developed the hundreds of recipes they share through their “Artisan in Five “series of cookbooks. My favourite and most used book from the collection is “Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day”.  This book has shown me how to easily deliver homemade pizza, from my very own oven, fast and fresh!

Read more: The Most Amazing Pizza Dough

Today I feel blessed as my family and I joined the local Buddhist community in a celebration of vegetarian food. The local Lingyen Mountain Temple of Berala hosted the event at our local park following the official opening of its new Guan Yin Pusa Shrine. Attendees made the short pilgrimage from the shrine at the Lingyen Mountain Temple to Coleman Park and the celebrations began

Read more: Berala's Buddhist Vegetarian Food Festival

Green paw paw is not such an unusual ingredient to the Vietnamese and Thai communities in Western Sydney but I was interested to learn its native origins lie much further away in the tropical areas of America and Mexico. I stumbled across a table of bright green paw paw’s last weekend during my regular fresh food shopping at Sydney Markets. I was instantly intrigued as to how I could use it in an adventurous dish at home.

Read more: Unusual Market Find: Green Paw Paw

Within the pleasant former Olympic village suburb of Newington is a small strip of restaurants, one of which is Siam Kingdom. Whenever I dine at Siam Kingdom, it instantly takes me back to my Thailand trip.

 

Read more: The Best Thai Food Outside of Thailand

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!

Read more: The Jamie Oliver Homemade Pasta Challenge

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.

Read more: Jamie Oliver's Kitchen Talk

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!

 

Read more: Country Drive Along the Hawkesbury Harvest Trail

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.

 

Read more: Weekend at Wisemans Ferry

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’.

 

Read more: Unusual market find: Breadfruit

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.

 

Read more: Earn Your Tucker