And about that

A little slice of life, food, gardening, anything and everything!

Hi,my name is Gill and I’m based in Western Australia. I love to cook and grow edible and useful plants in my small garden. I started this blog to share some recipes and some of my gardening successes and failures with you! Hope you enjoy….

The Shouting Man

Some lyrics for a song I wrote today. For anyone who has noisy neighbours…

The Shouting Man

The shouting man lives next door to me

Shouting is all he seems to be

No substance contained within the noise

Just proudly boasting of his toys

Shout shout shout a little louder

No no no no no no no no NO

Shout shout shout a little louder

No no no no no no no Shout!

He’s been to Dubai, London and Spain

You can hear him across the Nullabor Plain

He’s going to Bali soon enough

Where he can strut and shout his stuff

Shout shout shout a little louder

No no no no no no no no NO

Shout shout shout a little louder

No no no no no no no Shout!

So on his balcony he stands

Bellowing his business to all the lands

Closing million dollar deals

In amongst the children’s squeals

Shout shout shout a little louder

No no no no no no no no NO

Shout shout shout a little louder

No no no no no no no Shout!

Dark Chocolate Malteser Cheesecake

Dark Chocolate Malteser Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Malteser cheesecake, mmm, it tastes just as good as it sounds. I made this using dark chocolate Maltesers as they are my favourite but I'm sure it would be just as delicious using ordinary Maltesers too. This is the Thermomix version but it can be just as easily made with a mixer or by hand.



-200g biscuits such as Digestives or Granitas

-80g unsalted butter

-90g raw sugar (or use caster sugar if not using thermomix)

-500g cream cheese

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-90g thick cream

-200g Maltesers (whichever type is your favourite!)


-Lightly grease a 23cm springform cake tin and set aside.

-Put half the Maltesers in a snap lock bag and lightly crush with a rolling pin.

-Melt butter in TM bowl, 50C, 3 mins, speed 3

-Add biscuits to TM bowl with butter and blitz for 10-15 secs until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Press the mixture into the cake tin and put into the fridge while you make the filling.

-Mill raw sugar if using for 5 secs, speed 9.

-Add cream cheese, cream and vanilla and mix for 20 secs, speed 5 until smooth.

-Add crushed Maltesers to TM bowl and mix through on reverse speed 2, 20 secs using the spatula if necessary.

-Put the mixture over the base and smooth over the top. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight if you can wait that long.

-Just before serving lightly crush the remaining Maltesers in a snap lock bag leaving a few almost whole. Sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake to decorate.




Hawaiian Beef Jerky

Recently my sister in law and I tasted someone’s home made jerky and that was it, we bought a second hand dehydrator so we could make our own. The idea is to share the dehydrator but I have to admit it hasn’t left my house yet! It’s fantastic for making beef jerky which disappears at a rate of knots in our house and if any is left makes a great lunchbox filler. It also freezes well for later, or would do if it wasn’t eaten so quickly. I’ve also dried apples, pears and strawberries which are delicious snacks. The banana, oranges and mandarins didn’t go so well, will have to have another go at those sometime and try for a better batch. I’m looking forward to the summer when there will (hopefully) be an glut of tomatoes and the sun drying can start…mmm… This is the recipe for the non spicy Hawaiian Jerky made for the non chilli heads in my family.

Hawaiian Jerky

  • Servings: lots!
  • Difficulty: easy
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-1 tsp salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

-1 tsp ground ginger

-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

-1 garlic clove, crushed

-1/4 cup pineapple juice

-1/4 cup soy sauce

-1 kg beef, sliced into 0.5cm strips (I used a “round” joint from the butcher)


-In a sealable container combine all the ingredients except the meat. Stir to mix well. Slice meat and place into marinade. Mix well so meat is covered in marinade. Cover tightly and leave for 6-12 hours in the fridge.

-Drain marinade and place the meat slices onto the dehydrator sheets in a single layer. Dehydrate at 60C (High on the Snackmaker) for 6-8 hours, turning the meat after 4 hours.

-Allow to cool and then test by bending. Jerky should crack when bent but not break and there should be no moist spots.

-Keep in an airtight container or freeze and enjoy!



Orange and Poppyseed Friands

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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This is my favourite easy recipe for friands. They can be quite complicated to make but this is an easy cheats version which can be made quickly. They freeze well and make a good lunchbox snack. It was originally a Thermomix recipe from the recipe community. It works equally well with lemon and can be done without poppy seeds if you like.


-125g self raising flour

-180g raw sugar

-100g almonds

-110g butter

-3 eggs

-30g poppy seeds

-zest of one orange

-2 tblspns orange juice


-Preheat oven to 180C

-Spray a 12 hole friand tin with light oil spray. I don’t have a friand pan so I use a muffin pan and line with muffin cases….

-Place almonds and sugar into thermomix and blitz on speed 10 for 10-15 seconds. Set aside.

-Place orange zest in thermomix and chop on speed 9 for 10 seconds. Set aside but don’t be too worried if some stays in the bowl.

-Melt butter in TM bowl, 100 degrees for 1.30 mins, speed 2

-Add all ingredients back into thermomix bowl and combine speed 4 for 30 seconds.

-Pour into muffin cases or friand tin filling each 2/3 full.

-Bake for 15-20 mins, checking after 15 mins until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Cool in the tin for 5 mins and then cool further on rack. Dust with icing sugar. Enjoy!


Chocolate Eclairs


Chocolate Eclairs

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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I ventured into Choux pastry this week, an unknown territory to me. My mum always made delicious Eclairs when I was a child, it was a Christmas or special occasion treat so I took on the challenge of keeping up the family tradition. Choux pastry can be a little tricky but using the thermomix makes it so much easier as you always know what temperature your mixture is at so no scrambling of the eggs is needed! I found this delicious recipe on Tenina's website


For the Choux

-250g water

-80g butter in small pieces

-pinch salt

-200g plain flour

-1tsp baking powder

-5 eggs

For the custard filling

-500g full cream milk

-1 egg

-50g caster sugar

-pinch salt

-30g cornflour

-1 vanilla pod

For the ganache

-200g dark chocolate

-80g double cream


-Preheat oven to 200C and line two baking trays with baking paper

-Place water, butter and salt into thermomix and cook 3min,100C,speed 1

-Add flour and baking powder and combine 1.5 mins speed 4

-Remove measuring cup and allow to cool to 50C

-Set the thermomix to 2 mins, speed 5. Add eggs slowly through lid. Mix a further 1 min, speed 5

-Place choux mixture in a piping bag and using a plain nozzle pipe abut 12-16 eclairs onto the baking trays. Don’t place them too close together or they will merge.

-Bake for 30-35 minutes. DON’T open the oven while they are baking or they’ll end up as flat as pancakes! Leave to cool on tray.

-I filled mine with fresh whipped cream but you can make a creme patisserie if you prefer. Place milk, egg, caster sugar, pinch salt, cornflour and scraped out insides of one vanilla pod in the thermomix while the eclairs are cooking . Cook for 8 minutes, 90C, reverse speed 3. Allow it to cool with plastic wrap on top to avoid a skin forming.

-Fill a piping bag with cream or creme patisserie and using a long thin nozzle inject the eclair from both ends.

-For the chocolate ganache, place chocolate in the thermomix and blitz for 10secs, speed 9. Then melt for 5 mins, 37C, speed 1, add the cream and mix 20 secs, speed 2. Pour the ganache into a shallow dish and dip the top of each eclair into it then leave to set on a wire rack. See how long you can wait before giving them a taste!




Tumbling toms…

I don’t have much space in my garden.  We only have a 400 square metre block so all my plants have to be squeezed into a small area. I’ve decided to try all my cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets this year to try and free up some space in the ground for the bigger varieties. I’ve potted up two hanging baskets each with a red and a yellow cherry tomato in and the remainder I’ve put in a half basket hanging off the fence in behind the mulberry. Hopefully the mulberry will provide a little shade from the fierce afternoon heat to come. I did a surprise basket for the mother in law who was delighted and is busy counting tomato flowers and reporting back daily. Mind you, she’s phobic about caterpillars so we have to keep a watchful eye out and at the first sign of anything wiggling in the greenery the emergency call goes out and the basket comes back here until declared caterpillar free!

Spring has sprung!

Spring has arrived officially and the garden is beginning to wake up. I’ve had a big clear up over winter and enriched the soil in preparation for spring planting season and now I’m itching to get things going. Most of my seedlings aren’t quite big enough yet though so I’ll just have to wait a little longer. I have planted a sweet persimmon fuyu tree, a Barbados cherry and a rose apple to start to get an upper storey and some sun protection happening. They’ll take a while but I hope they’ll get established over Spring to have a good chance of surviving the hot weather to come.

It’s the best year ever for peas. The honey snap pod peas are looking and tasting great. I’ve never managed to grow them before and I’m not sure what I did this year but I hope it continues! My artichoke is getting ever larger and the nasturtiums are running everywhere.

The fig leaves are just breaking through and there are baby figs forming. Can’t wait until they are ripe and I can eat them on my breakfast. Quite a while yet unfortunately!


Our local primary school has a fete coming up in October and I’ve started potting up some herbs and edibles for my neighbour to sell on the plant stall.



The citrus are all bursting into flower, the tangelo in particular is covered. Hopefully a sign of a good season to come. The Rangpur lime has lots of new growth and has greened up nicely after its long trip West from the Eastern States. The mandarin has more flowers than last year, this may be the year that it actually fruits….. Even the tiny finger limes have flowers coming. Fingers crossed.

This is my mini greenhouse that I got from the local hardware store. My first foray into seeds. So far the tomatoes are going well and the penis chilli have germinated! So hope they grow well, they look amazing in the pictures! The rainbow capsicum and granadilla passion fruit are steadfastly refusing to do anything but I’ll give them a while longer. They might perk their ideas up with some warmer weather. Also planted some perpetual spinach, snake beans and Mexican coriander in there yesterday. The Mexican coriander seeds were the tiniest I’ve ever seen. Hopefully a few of them went in the right place.


Finally I had to buy some boronia yesterday as it was the first day of spring and it is the best scented flower in the world. It smells divine. It’s a strange flower, it’s hard to smell close up but from further away you get a sudden waft…beautiful. I have two so I can have one inside and one outside while they’re flowering and swap them round each day. Time to get out in the garden again, this time to fix the reticulation up,  happy gardening all!




  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
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I’ve been experimenting with different breads lately, you just can’t beat that fresh bready smell as it comes out of the oven to make you feel like a domestic goddess. I was inspired to make baguettes after yet another Bake Off session! This is based on Paul Hollywood’s method. The recipe makes four baguettes but some of them disappeared before I could take a picture!


500g strong white bread flour

10g salt

10g dry yeast

370ml cool water

Olive oil for greasing


Lightly oil a bowl or container with olive oil. Paul recommends using a square plastic container (2.25L)  as it helps with shaping the dough later.

Put the yeast, flour and salt (in that order) in the thermomix. Add 370 ml water. Mix for 5 seconds speed 5 and then knead for 6 minutes on interval setting. Place dough in bowl, cover and leave to prove for about an hour or until at least doubled in size. If you don’t have a thermie then this can also be made in a freestanding mixer or by hand….

Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Gently tip out the dough onto the surface. You want to try and keep as much air as possible in the dough. Divide the dough into four pieces. Shape each piece into an oblong by flattening out slightly and folding the sides into the middle. Roll into a sausage and gently roll with your hands further until about 30 cm long. I have a baguette pan and place the baguettes into it to let them rise again.  You can use a couche made of linen or cotton if you don’t have a special pan. The sides of the baguettes need to be supported or they will just spread sideways and be flat baguettes! Cover and leave to rise for another hour until doubled or until they spring back quickly when lightly prodded with a finger.

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mk 9 and place a roasting tray in the bottom of the oven to warm.

When risen slash each baguette four times on the diagonal and dust with a little flour if you like.

Pour 750ml of cold water into the roasting pan to create steam and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack.