Duke of Wellington

Melbourne Writers Festival 2014

Duke of Wellington

Hello, hello!

While speaking about food writing at Emerging Writers Festival earlier this year, I described working in the festival world as “extremely full time.” (Did I mention my boss was there? It’s cool, she tweeted it). Well, that time has come. After many, many months of hard work (and hence many days away from my beloved blog), Melbourne Writers Festival is finally here. Tomorrow is Opening Night!

A bit of backstory: I work full time at the writers festival, as the Artist Liaison & Program Coordinator, which sees me managing logistics for over 400 artists of all kinds, and running the greenroom during our 11-day celebration of creativity and big ideas.

This year I’ve had the privilege of not only looking after our artists but programming our food & wine events, otherwise known as Thinking & Drinking. It goes without saying that planning food & wine events for a major international arts festival ticks a lot of boxes for me – I’m really proud of the whole program this year and to have contributed to it is a wonderful feeling. I’ve talked about it a bit on the MWF blog and the City of Melbourne blog.

This year, some of the events within the Festival’s Food, Wine & Travel stream include:

So, it’s time to go pour everything I’ve got into this great work. I’ll be posting the latest from the greenroom on Instagram & Twitter, so be sure to stay in touch there. See you on the other side and for my Australian friends, I’ll see you at the Festival!

Sesame bread & kashkaval grilled cheese | Wandering Spice

My Grilled Cheese, Volume 1

Sesame bread & kashkaval grilled cheese | Wandering Spice

Jase and I share a car, but today our little hatchback was all mine. Predictably, the first place I went was the suburban Middle Eastern grocer that I love but can’t get to by bike or tram. I’m planning a post on the staples I brought home, by the way, but first let’s focus on what’s important.

I’ve got this thing about grilled cheese. I’m obsessed with it, always have been. My mom, dad and Seedo always made them for me, each one of them totally different in ingredients and method. It was always the case that after a swim in Seedo’s big pool, he’d invite me inside for a toasted white cheese sandwich. It was one of our little rituals. [Read more...]

Easy Cashew Baklava Fingers | Wandering Spice

Cashew Baklava Fingers for Eid

Easy, Flaky Cashew Baklava Fingers | Wandering Spice

Eid marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting (from food and vice, like Lent), reflection, goodwill to others, and togetherness. Each day, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, waking up very early for suhoor (pre-dawn meal) and only breaking for food and drink for iftar (evening meal) after the sun goes down.

Perhaps it’s the introspective nature of Ramadan that makes traditional foods a popular choice at iftar tables across the globe. This is certainly true at the Eid when families pull out all the stops! I have really fond memories of celebrating the Eid with my family, and the kitchen island being dotted from end to end with so many of my favorite foods. It seemed fitting, then, to make a traditional and beloved dish for this Virtual Eid Party: cashew baklava. [Read more...]

Cozy Mixed Mushroom Fettuccine | Wandering Spice

Mixed Mushroom and Tarragon Fettuccine

Mixed mushroom fettuccine | Wandering Spice

When Australian Mushroom Growers said they’d be sending over a box of mushrooms for me to play with, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I would have been happy with anything – I adore mushrooms and it goes without saying that eating locally is important to me. What I definitely wasn’t expecting was this ridiculously beautiful box that landed on my desk. [Read more...]

Mixed Berry Rose Milkshake | Wandering Spice

Kitchen Quickie: Mixed Berry & Rose Milkshake

Mixed Berry Rose Milkshake | Wandering Spice

Some of the best recipes are the quickest. This is one of my most loved.

Fruit smoothies or milkshakes are a staple in our diets. (We own a juice bar – have I mentioned that? So, I mean it when I say we love smoothies!) They’re full of fruit and protein, keep us full and adapt to whatever’s in season. Thanks to the variety of frozen berries and stone fruit available these days, it’s also a great way to squeeze in some of those out-of-season fruits that you miss in winter. Speaking from experience here in brisk Australian July. [Read more...]

Homemade ricotta cheese | Wandering Spice

How to Make Ricotta Cheese in Four Easy Steps

Homemade ricotta | Wandering Spice

Homemade cheese in four steps. It’s possible! It’s also delicate and nourishing, and so versatile. In the course of about 90 minutes (most of which is resting time), a soft, springy fresh ricotta practically creates itself, ready for destinies sweet and savory alike.  [Read more...]

Soothing Turmeric Chai Latte | Wandering Spice

Turmeric Chai Latte

You know that feeling when you discover something new? Or at least new to you? I aim to introduce new experiences into life as often as possible. Be they big or small, it keeps things exciting and … [Read More...]

Spicy Dried Apricot Jam | Wandering Spice

Spicy Dried Apricot Jam

Denial has been serving me well these past few weeks. "We're halfway through!" "It's getting warmer!" "Oh, look, sun! Summer's coming." Right... Winter is fully upon us though I'm enjoying it more … [Read More...]

Sami's Kitchen Kofta | Wandering Spice

Spicy Kofta with Toasted Nuts & Sami’s Kitchen Spice Giveaway

Warm cinnamony tomato sauce, aromatic kofta, crunchy nuts and parsley, plenty of bread and someone to share with. That, in a nutshell, is the essence of Middle Eastern cooking. It's spicy, inviting, … [Read More...]

Mini Lemon Curd Crepe Stack | Wandering Spice

Mini Lemon and Coconut Crepe Stack & An Anniversary

This past weekend, Jase and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. Two years! It feels at once to have flown in an instant, but also to have ticked along slowly, a time swollen with … [Read More...]