250g White fish fillets, skin & bones removed
1/2 cup cooked long grain rice
1/2 cup green beans roughly chopped
1 stalk lemon grass, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chili, seeds removed and chopped
1 coriander plant, roots included chopped
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 egg, beaten
Vegetable oil for frying
My heroine in Treasured Secrets is a talented chef, so of course, as a lover of food, I just had to make all the meals that Rosalina prepares in my books. This recipe features in a tapas feast in book two in my series: Treasured Lies.
These Thai Fish cakes are delicious, easy to make and certain to become a favourite with your whole family. This recipe makes 12 fish cakes, so I always make at least a double batch. You can make them a day ahead too and reheat if you like. They are perfect party finger food too.
Serve with fresh green salad, sweet potato fries and dipping sauces.
People often ask me where I get ideas for my books from and sometimes it amazes me what instigates that initial spark. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll blog some of the experiences that inspired my 'Treasured' series of book.
It was a visit to a little church in the medieval area of Florence that catapulted my creative writing ideas into overdrive. The Church of St Apostoli was built in the 11th century and is very insignificant compared to the many more grand churches in this historic city. This church is located in the Piazza Del Limbo, a nondescript concrete plaza, so named as it was once the cemetery for unbaptized babies.
The floor inside the church is inlaid with a beautiful marble mosaic, but the aspect that caught my interest was an oval door in the mosaic floor. Our guide informed us that this was where they threw the bodies during the plague of 1348. (Whether or not this was true, I still don't know). But I do know that there were so many bodies that they didn’t have time to give the deceased proper burials. Of course, in doing this, they actually contributed to the spread of the disease, by literally feeding the rats. Sixty percent of Europe’s population died from The Black Death - some fifty million people.
As soon as our guide mentioned this horrific event, my head was spinning with ideas of entire families being wiped out and long buried secrets. Then I began to wonder what happened to all their precious possessions. By the time we were on the plane home, I was drafting the bones of a story.
That idea has blossomed into a trilogy with the first book Treasured Secrets available now.
Some secrets should remain hidden forever.
Murazzano Cheese Cups
This delightful little appetizer can be prepared in advance and cooked in the oven at the last minute.
Upon cooking you will have a delicious little cheese pot to fill with fig jam, caramelised onion relish, crispy prosciutto, or any other filling that takes your fancy. You can receive more of these fabbo recipes if you sign up to my newsletter. You'll find more details here: Newsletter
Murazzano DOP is a soft cheese made in Alta Langa in the province of Cuneo, a wonderful area located in the South of Piemonte, Italy. Murazzano is a cylindrical, un-ripened, full-fat cheese made from sheep's milk. It’s a milky white rindless cheese with a soft and slightly springy texture. (If this cheese isn't available, use a soft goat's cheese.)
4 sheets of ready rolled puff pastry
200 grams of Murazzano DOP Cheese (If not available use a soft goat’s cheese)
100ml Fresh cream
100ml Fresh milk
1 tablespoon of chives
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Serve hot these yummy little cheese pots with slices of Spiced Poached Pear, Homemade Fig Jam, Caramelised Onion Relish, crispy prosciutto, or any other filling that takes your fancy.
She smiled as Alessandro practically drooled over her cooking. He’d always been a dependable part of her life, and that was something she needed right now. And he was the perfect willing guinea pig for her culinary experiments. He reached for a still steaming pastry and she snapped his hand away. ‘Wait,’ she said. ‘You want the whole experience don’t you?’
His eyes lit up. ‘Sì, mio dolce.’
Rosalina liked the way he called her ‘my sweet’, especially given her love of cooking all things sugary. He was patient with her and seemed to understand her need to take everything slow.
Rosalina sliced the now cooled poached pear and placed a sliver upon the savoury cheese pastry. ‘Open up.’
Alessandro obliged and she popped the nibble into his mouth. His eyes did that heavenly eye roll before he closed them and savoured the treat. A low moan of approval teased from his throat and she knew she had him. He was a delight to watch.
First he would taste the sweetness of the pear, delicately poached with cinnamon and Chinese five spice. Next would come the multifaceted Murazzano cheese, smooth and rich in flavour. Finally, the buttery pastry would round it off. She liked to think of it as a smorgasbord in a bite.
Macadamia and Salted Caramel Friands
I've never made friands before so I was amazed at how easy these were. And they were so so yummy.
5 large egg whites
220 grams soft brown sugar
185 grams butter melted. Plus extra melted butter for greasing friand moulds.
125 grams almond meal
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 level teaspoon of sea salt
75 grams of plain flour, sifted
50 grams if macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
As we live in sunny Queensland Australia it was a wonderful diverse experience to spend a Christmas in the snow. In 2007 I took my family to Big White, a ski resort situated approximately 50km’s from Kelowna or 450km east of Vancouver Canada. We rented someone’s cute holiday ski chalet with a fireplace and hot tub.
Big White has 118 designated trails and a number of unnamed trails. Thankfully for us nearly 20% of the trails are for beginners, although my kids progressed from that pretty quickly. More than 50% of the mountain is for intermediate skiers. One of our favourite ski runs was a green ski run that started with a 10 minute chairlift ride. By the time we reached the top we were freezing and couldn’t wait to get moving again. By day two we had to purchase balaclavas for the boys just to keep them warm on the ski lift.
Anyway, once we jumped off this chair lift, and not always gracefully I’ll tell you, we started down one of the longest ski runs I’ve ever experienced. It was a winter wonderland with fabulous fluffy powdery snow. We skied through avenues of ‘snow ghosts’ which are giant snow blasted trees that become an intriguing canvas of shapes. The boys managed to find every jump possible on the way down some of them were through the trees. Near the end of the run, we’d ski right up to our chalet door for a quick hot chocolate and rest. Then we’d step out the door and ski down to the chair lift to do it all again. It was a fabulous way to spend Christmas.
(Click here for a copy of my yummy Hot Chocolate Recipe).
While we were there we also did a snow mobile tour. Acquired dozens of bruises while bob sledding. Had a family ice hockey tournament. Screamed our lungs out on the mega tubing rides and topped it all off with Christmas carols and fireworks.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed another one of my travel experiences.
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I blog about life experiences, travel, my writing journey, and my psycho puppy.
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