Breadandbabies best ever roast chicken

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When the best roast chicken then becomes the best leftovers.

You know when you think you’re going pretty well at cooking roast chicken? And then one day you have a whole chicken, but none of your other usual ingredients….so you have a think…..you raid the vegetable crisper, your herb garden and suddenly you have the BEST roast chicken you’ve ever made? Pretty much by accident? That’s what happened to me this week….

Lemon & rosemary roast chicken

Ingredients…
1 whole chicken (1.4kg)
3 Tbs salted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 lemon, zested (reserve the lemon for the chicken cavity)
3 stalks fresh rosemary from your herb garden, finely chopped (equates to about 2 Tbs chopped rosemary)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Method…
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Combine butter, lemon zest and rosemary. Season with a pinch of salt, add a few grinds of black pepper. Mix until combined.
Ease your fingers under the skin over the chicken breast, to create a pocket. Scoop up some butter, slide your fingers between the skin and the breast and massage the butter into the breast. Repeat with the other breast. If you have leftover butter, rub over the skin of the chicken.
Halve the lemon, and pop into the chicken’s cavity (up its behind, basically).
Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, 2-3 pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Pop into a roasting tray and put into the preheated oven.
Roast for 1.5 hours. To check it’s cooked, gently slide a sharp knife into the join between the leg and the breast. If the juices run clear, it’s done.
Pull out of the oven, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Carve, serve and enjoy!
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Note – I served my roast with ratatouille and risoni pasta. Then tonight we used the leftovers for the most luscious chicken sambos – chicken, ratatouille, avocado and cheese on ciabatta bread. SO good.

Byron Bay Part 2

Warm days. Clear ocean waves. Sandy feet. Beautiful local produce. Sunset and bird calls. These are just a few of the memories I cherish year round about Byron Bay. And this year is no different.

Here are a few more of our favourite moments….

Woods  Bangalow

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Woods Bangalow 🌿

Woods has it all … pared back decor, relaxed friendly staff and great coffee. The menu is plant-based and this little cafe in the arts precinct of Bangalow is a true reflection of the relaxed and bohemian north coast.

The Topshop Cafe

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Breakfast burger at The Topshop Cafe

 

We are so lucky that this cafe is literally a few metres from the house we rent each year. Set in a buttery yellow cottage atop a hill, Topshop is a testament to their dedication to local produce. They have an excellent menu where it’s hard to choose from so many beautiful things. Their breakfast burger & acai bowls are standouts – fresh & delicious. Great coffee too. A local favourite.

Doma

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The prettiest porridge at Doma

We spent a very special Sunday at Doma this year, catching up with family & friends. We sat outside under the shade, listened to live music, talked & ate. A happy day. This cafe, run by a talented Japanese crew, is far off the beaten track, in the tiny village of Federal. A really interesting menu with a Japanese twist & fantastic coffee. Their version of a hash brown is well worth the drive from Byron!

Whites Beach

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The rugged beauty of Whites Beach

My husband was determined to see this beach, one of Byron’s secret beaches that he’d read about. We drove, we hiked with the babies & we were rewarded – with a beach that was like something you see in the movies. The girls played, we swam & enjoyed the solitude & sheer beauty of this special spot.

Teatree lake

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Blissing out in the teatree lake

I’d seen Byron’s teatree lakes on social media and was intrigued. Equally intriguing was that no one seemed keen to reveal the location of these lakes! So one sunny afternoon we set off, following some vague directions from a friend of a friend. We followed sandy trails among the bushland near Byron Bay high school & came upon the mystical lake. And it really was magic – the colour of copper, the water was warm & felt soft on my skin. I was so reluctant to leave & so thankful that we’d made the effort to find this soothing place.

And that’s it for another year. Byron Bay 2017, done & dusted. We love you Byron and can’t wait to return. X

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Byron Bay Part 1

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The Pass….absolute magic

Every year we come to Byron Bay for our family holiday. We stay in the same old house with the frangipani tree out the front and the lovely big verandah out the back.

And each year it marks a new stage in our lives. The first year Elle was just a baby, and Grace a toddler. The next year Elle was just starting to walk & Grace was running. This year the girls are playing together, paddling in the surf on Daddy’s surfboard & starting to show the start of a lifelong bond as sisters.

And so we drive through the rolling green hills of this beautiful place. And we swim in the clear, warm water of these pristine beaches. And we eat so very, very well. It’s a joy to be here each year, to slow down as a family, to relax and recharge for another year in the city.

Here are some of our favourite Byron Bay moments so far…..

The Farm
This Byron Bay institution is a constantly evolving spot. Bakery, produce store, restaurant, flower shop, kids park, working farm, macadamia orchard. The menu is super imaginative & uses lots of produced farmed onsite. It’s just a really cool place to go, whether it’s for a quick coffee & a loaf of bread or a more leisurely visit. We love it here.

New Brighton farmers market
Visiting local farmers markets is one of my favourite things to do in and around Byron Bay. This was my first visit to the New Brighton market & it was just right – not too big, a small selection of producers, a guy playing guitar. All on a sunny morning by a pretty river. Idyllic, really. We stocked up on local honey, free range eggs, apples, bananas, the sweetest grape tomatoes & some amazing soap from the passionate folk at Churchfarm General Store.

The Pass
Almost no words to describe this spot. Every afternoon we spend hours here, surfing, swimming, playing & chilling out. There’s a real melting pot of locals & tourists, all drawn by the absolute beauty of this spot, the crystal clear water and the waves. The Pass is magic.

We’re here for a week more and I’ll post more of our favourite spots.

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Checking out the pigs at The Farm
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A great visit to the New Brighton farmers market
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The 3 Blue Ducks boys deliver on creativity & flavour
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Donuts. And custard tarts. Life is good at The Bread Social. 
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Having a chat with my big girl on our way to to the macadamia orchard. 

 

Sunny skies & pancakes

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Today I woke to a perfect Sydney summer day.

The sky was blue, a slight breeze kept the early morning cool. I opened our bedroom French doors that lead out to the garden.

It was that sweet moment in the early morning, when calm prevails, the day is sleepily unfolding, and our bed is a tangle of warm little ones cuddled up in our arms…..heaven. And yet, such domestic bliss must always come to an end, in search of cups of tea and happily, today, pancakes.

In my previous, pre-baby life of working full-time, pancakes were a weekend luxury, usually enjoyed in a cafe. It feels nice to have a new kind of luxury, of being able to cook a beautiful breakfast for my family. On a pretty summer weekday. Just because.

Our family’s favourite pancake is my adaptation of Orangette’s oatmeal pancakes. I’ve added in brown sugar and vanilla essence and this gives them a warm, fudgy sweetness that I adore.

Here’s the recipe…..

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup plain flour
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch table salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
115g unsalted butter, melted but not hot
Unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
Maple syrup, berries & banana for serving
Method

The night before:

Combine the oats and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Stir to mix. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

The morning of:

Take the bowl of buttermilk and oats out of the fridge. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Add the eggs, vanilla essence and melted butter to the oat mixture, and stir well. Add the flour mixture, and stir to blend. The batter will be very thick.

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add a small knob of butter. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop the mixture into the pan. My pan fits 3 comfortably, with room to flip. When some bubbles appear on the surface of your pancakes (generally after a minute or so), it’s time to flip. Let them cook on the other side for a minute, then remove to a warm plate. Add another knob of butter to the pan and cook the next rounds, until your mixture has gone and you have a stack of gorgeous, golden pancakes.

Serve warm- we always have ours with berries, Greek yogurt and maple syrup. Today we added fresh banana too. Beautiful.

Makes about 12 pancakes. Serves 4.

Ginger Rice

My daughter woke up feeling unwell today. Nothing too serious, but enough that I wanted her to stay home from preschool and rest. Have a ‘pyjama day’.

And immediately my thoughts turned to food. What could I give her that would be simple, comforting and nourishing? I’m such a fan of the healing properties of ginger and I knew this warmly spiced root would help today.

I recalled a recipe for ginger rice by one of my favourite French cooks, Mimi Thorisson.

She also recommended a ginger tisane, which I made and set aside to drink throughout the day. We are going on our annual family holiday to Byron Bay next week and I’d love for all of us to be well and totally ready to enjoy ourselves.

Back to the ginger rice. The girls were so happy with their nurturing lunch, full of goodness. The kitchen smells of ginger and soy. An afternoon of rest now, and dreaming of holidays while I sip my ginger tisane.

Here is Mimi’s recipe….

Ingredients:

2 tbsp grated ginger root

250 grs left-over cooked white rice

2 eggs

3 tbsp soya sauce

1 garlic clove (minced)

1 shallot (chopped finely)

3 tbsp canola or ground-nut oil

Heat the oil in a frying pan on a high heat. Fry the shallots, garlic and grated ginger for two minutes. Add the rice and stir well. Make a well in the middle of the pan and break the eggs in the center. Mix the eggs and cook in a ‘scrambled eggs’ style, then mix all the ingredients together in the pan. Add soya sauce and fry for two more minutes.

Serve immediately.