White peach and basil jam

I’m really trying to stop lamenting about the heat — the relentless, humid, Tuscan heat — but it’s hard when it engulfs you 24 hours a day and there’s barely any relief from it aside from taking cold showers throughout the day. But I know I’ll want it all back as soon as winter comes and I’m chilled to the bone with that damp Florentine cold that is so hard to shake off and I’m yearning for long days... Read More

My favourite kitchen items

I like a good list, and particularly ones about kitchen items. There are some good lists out there on what essentials you should keep in the kitchen. Like this one from Food52 and especially this one by Rachel Roddy in The Guardian.  I think partly I like them so I can fantasise about what I will have in my kitchen, one day, when I actually own one. And partly I like to “peek” into other people’s kitchens and find out their habits... Read More

Torta di Mele from Florentine + a giveaway!

It’s been two months since the book has “been out there” — Two exhilarating, nerve-wracking and unbelievable months and sold out book launch dinners and workshops in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and London! To say thank you for all the wonderful support and enthusiasm for Florentine, I’m sharing one of my favourite recipes from the book — a humble but delightful apple cake – and I’m giving away a limited... Read More

Dolce Firenze & Pride and Pudding Cookbook

A wonderful thing arrived on my doorstep the day before flying back to Italy: an advance copy of Regula Ysewijn’s Pride and Pudding (Murdoch books). A beautifully designed book devoted to the history of British puddings, both savoury and sweet, it’s been a labour of love for Regula aka Miss Foodwise (who not only wrote it but also did all the design, styling and the photography) and her husband Bruno Vergauwen (who did the absolutely... Read More

Florentine food and photography workshop

I couldn’t have imagined a better way to finish my Australian book tour than this. Perfect weather, the unbelievably picturesque country setting of Mickey Robertson’s home at Glenmore House, a tabletop full of spectacular props, baskets of fresh produce and a group of 11 keen and creative people wanting to learn some Florentine recipes and practice their photography skills. Luisa Brimble, right off the back of one of the Local is Lovely... Read More

Behind the scenes of Florentine

It’s officially out! We launched Florentine last week and the cookbook has started arriving on shelves. It’s finally out there. Now that it is, and this huge project, which began two years ago, is out there for everyone to see, I feel the urge to talk about the wonderful people who I worked with to make it what it is, because it is very much a collaborative project — from the publishing team, to the designer who created the beautiful... Read More

Join me to celebrate the launch of Florentine

Two years ago I received an email from a publisher asking if I would like to make a cookbook. It was a wild, far fetched dream of mine come true. And finally, it’s here – an ode to the city where I met my soul mate, started my blog and feel most at home. To celebrate the release of the book, I have a series of events lined up in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. They are the sort of things that have been planned with like-minded people with... Read More

A batch of soft Tuscan cookies

I seem to be raising a little cook — not a surprise really, as we probably spend three-quarters of our day in the kitchen. She has taken to liberally adding her touch to dishes that she can reach on the table (apple juice tipped into the marinade and half a jar of dried chilli flakes shaken over the salad were some highlights this week) or completely taking over whenever she sees any type of dough being made, rolled or cut out. In fact, it’s... Read More

Pumpkin and chestnut gnocchi

“Cookbooks aren’t read in a linear fashion,” my editor explained when we decided to cut up my lengthy introduction to Florentine and place bits and pieces strategically throughout the book instead. I knew it was true. I, too, with very few exceptions (Alice B. Toklas’ cookbook and Rachel Roddy’s Five Quarters for example), love flipping randomly through cookbooks rather than reading them cover to cover. Especially when... Read More

Caramelised Rice Pudding Pots from Homemade Memories 

One of my favourite food stories ever is the one of Proust’s Madeleines. It’s a story that I think resonates with so many people because there is something about revisiting the perfume or a bite of a special, sweet treat that you had a child, when you are an adult. Something magical. Like the narrator in Proust’s Swann’s Way, a madeleine dipped in tea immediately produced a flood of memories that eventually filled seven volumes:... Read More