Creamy Mint and Broad Beans- Frugal Friday

broad bean and mint-cityhippyfarmgirlbroad beans- cityhippyfarmgirlzucchini

I had broad beans and zucchini. Outside, a pot full of mint that was threatening to take over the entire courtyard if I was to let it. Cream that had been sitting on it’s lonesome for far too long and a little fetta that really, really needed sorting out.

What to make, what to make?

Creamy Mint and Broad Beans

A couple of good slugs of olive oil

pop some some new season diced garlic in

some grated zucchini

as many double peeled broad beans as you could be bothered

cook it down until soft

add a few good slurps of cream

salt and pepper to taste

then add some roughly chopped mint

crumbled fetta

and serve with brown rice or spaghetti

Eat with gusto

frugal friday- cityhippyfarmgirl

Cauliflower, Leek and Potato soup- Frugal Friday

cauliflower leek and potato soup

If I had opened our vegetable box as a kid, and seen cauliflower looking right back at me- I may well have wept a little.

At the very least I probably would have silently gagged.

Not now though. Now, when I see a little cauliflower peeking from a corner, in the Foodconnect box I do a little happy dance. I can’t get enough of it. Teamed up with some leek and potatoes also from the box, (and locally grown) you have yourself an easy peasy seasonal dinner. 

Cauliflower, Leek and Potato Soup

one chopped large leek

3 chopped large potatoes

half a head of a large cauliflower

1 vegetable stock cube

about 500mls water

salt and pepper to taste

Saute leeks in a couple of good slugs of olive oil, then the rest of the ingredients and cook until soft. Then blitz, with a hand held mixer.

Serve with pangritata and capsicum chilli sauce.

cauliflower, leek and potato soup

(Remarkably similar to last years cauliflower and potato soup…that’s seasonal eating for you!)

in my kitchen this week…


My kitchen is a bit like a clapped out old Volkswagen at the moment. Stopping and starting in fits and flurries. With days of flour strewn every where, dishes mounting like excitable rabbits, and my mixer getting an excessive work out. This is then strangely followed, by not even a whisper of activity. My cooking mojo seemingly lost. It does this now and then, slowing, sliding to a halt only to kick start again, life being thrown back into the kitchen in the way of a cup full of flour here or a cooking pan there. Then quietly coming to another hiccuping halt again. My kitchen, the kombie.


I’d been wanting to get some cedro for quite some time. It was there, ready for the taking and somehow I ended up with some orange as well. I was nodding enthusiastically to the heavily accented man selling me the cedro and obviously saying all the right words in order to get some  of the orange as well.  I thought we were just having a delightful conversation, talking about what might go well with it. I felt too impolite to say, oh no thanks mate, actually it was just the cedro I was after.


Pashmak…ohhh, I’d been looking for you for a long time. Now what shall I create with you my pretty fluff?

I’m still playing with cardamom buns, they really are delicious. It’s a happy thing playing with them, that’s for sure.

Local cherries, more beetroot, and the sweetest looking little pumpkin/squash/orangey thing. Surely it’s just the kind to harness a few rats up to and take some one to a ball….or a gnome house? All goodies found in my foodconnect box.


I’m really hoping that I see some of these guys in my kitchen soon. Things are looking the most promising they have in a long time. (Just avert your eyes from the mint.)

A needy starter. This weekend it has been so very hot. My starter was getting bulked up to use, but I just couldn’t face putting the oven on until it cooled down a little. The starter was getting a little impatient.


Dinner can take form in many different ways when Mr Chocolate is out for the evening and the kids have something I don’t particularly feel like eating. Basmati rice, banana, sultanas, linseed and almond meal, sunflower seeds, sesame, pepitas, a splash of milk and honey/tahini drizzled over. I then chucked a handful of blueberries in for good measure.


Last of all, not really in my kitchen but finished this week, (just in time.) My advent calendar. It’s not very “Christmassy” looking but that sits fine with me. I was a little nervous about the colour palate but it all seemed to come together enough at the end. The boys were happy to see it on the 1st, and now they get to count down until Christmas day. (Nothing like it what so ever, but I was inspired by Tania’s advent calendar from last year, which is truly, truly beautiful.)

That’s it for my kombie kitchen this week, what’s happening at your place?


(linking in with the lovely Celia@ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial)

In my kitchen…

This week in my kitchen…

There is a whole lot of wonderful limes from my dad’s backyard tree. I’ve mentioned my love of the humble lime quite a few times, I never get tired of them. I’m thinking Coconut Lime Pie, Chicken Lime Pasta, Lime Cupcakes, Lime Marmalade… limes, limes, limes. (I’m trying not to think about caipiroska’s.)

Dark Almond chocolate for strength, patience and clarity. Works a treat… well for a little while anyway.

A new Italian cookbook. Won over at Not Quite Nigella, (which was a rather lovely surprise.)

Organic, spray free, local, seasonal fruit and vegetable box delivered to my kitchen door. Making life a little easier until I can get back to my farmers market lady.

Baking hotcross buns with a sleeping babe attached. It’s how all the bakers are doing it these days, (well ones with new babies anyway.)

Last year I did a few batches of hot cross buns. Trying to find the right recipe that worked for me. I still wanted to tweak it though, as didn’t feel it was quite ‘right’. This time I did part sourdough, part dried yeast… I’m getting there I think.

Hot Cross Buns

200g currants/raisins

200mls hot water

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp dark malt flour

1 tsp dried yeast

250g sourdough starter

100g sugar (2/3 cup, more if you like them sweeter)

250mls milk

100g softened butter

11/2-2 tsp salt

4 1/2 cups flour (675g)

Soak the fruit in the hot water, leave for a couple of hours/ over night.  Mix all ingredients together, except for the salt. Autolyse period 20-45 minutes. Add the salt and mix again, then turn out on to a lightly floured bench to knead until you get a lovely smooth ball of dough. Pop the dough back into the bowl, plastic bag over the top and leave to prove.  A couple of proves and folds over the next few hours. Then out onto lightly floured surface again and divide into 16 or so portions. Roll into balls, or simply divide to get a more square shape. Pop them on a lined baking tray, cover and leave for another prove.


1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 water

Mix together and spoon into a piping bag just before they hit the oven.

Then bake at 210C for approximately 15-25 minutes, (until golden.)


What’s happening in your kitchen this week?

Have a look over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for other kitchen happenings.

sweet potato leaves, it’s Frugal Friday

Sweet potato leaves have come up a few times in my Foodconnect box. At first (along with my red amaranth) I didn’t know what to do with it. A little playing though and another healthy leafy green vegetable to add to my growing list of all things good.

Now what to do with it?

It cooks up similarly to regular spinach, quickly and in a wilty kind of fashion. I used it here with potatoes, as I seem to have discovered there are good potatoes to be had in this world. Who knew!

In my trusty flat bottomed wok, (or use any old pot).

I added 2 good slurps of olive oil

an onion and diced garlic

pop in some already cooked chopped potatoes

give it a one two

add some sliced capsicum (peppers)

and the plucked whole sweet potato leaves

wilt it all on down for a minute or two

serve and drizzle with a little extra olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

cooking with red amaranth- Frugal Friday

Red Amaranth is a delicious leafy vegetable that I had no idea what to do with. Lifting the lid of my Foodconnect box, sitting pretty up the top of the vegetables, I first wondered what it was and then what the devil I was going to do with it?

Plenty it seems. It’s used in Asian and South American cooking and can easily be used as a substitute for spinach or any other leafy greens.


In a flat bottomed wok add,

diced garlic

sliced onion

vegetable oil

sesame seed oil

Cook it up for a few minutes and then add

amaranth leaves (any other leafy green vegetable you might have, spinach, silver beet…)

a slurp of kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)

a slurp of fish sauce

stick a lid on it and let it wilt down. Team it up with a bowl of basmati rice.

In the flat bottomed wok, crack an egg. Cook it through, and pop it on top of the rice and amaranth (leafy greens).

Back to the wok, add a small handful of local nuts (sesame, pecans, peanuts, whatever you have in stock…).

Once toasted add to the top.





For quite awhile now I’ve been frustrated with my vegetable eating options. Actually…no. It’s not the eating options, it’s the buying options. Ideally, I’d love to be growing them. However living in a flat in the city with a designated area that’s not optimum for growing, my growing in pot choices are limited. So what are some other choices available to the average city dweller?

* Super market bought fruit and vegetables- big business

* Independent green grocer- small business

* Farmers Markets

* Wholesale Markets

* Box schemes- quite often delivered to your door

* Community gardens- add your name to the waiting list and grow your own

* Food Co-ops- member owned and operated, bulk goods

* CSA- Community Supported Agriculture

Choosing how you get your fruit and vegetables depends on many things, so it feels like it’s been a long time coming that I’m finally happy with a fruit and vegetable scheme that works for us.

Four weeks into my new CSA fruit and vegetable box and I couldn’t be happier. It suits our family, the quality is fantastic and it works for me. Hoorah!… I found it in Foodconnect.

Foodconnect uses local sustainable farmers, bringing their produce to city folks like me. Box gets dropped off at a local drop off point, where you pick it up once a week, and go home happily munching on the seasonal goodness. All boxed and ready to go, all you have to do is pick it up from a local ‘city cousin’.

So it’s local, organic, seasonal, easily pay from 4 weeks- to a year, it’s not the same fruit and veges each week, supports regional growers, farmers get a good price, super super fresh, has got us eating different vegetables, (I was in a vegetable rut and didn’t even know it) if I don’t like something there is a swap box and I don’t have to do anything but pick up the box. Pretty good deal I think.

* I’m always happy to see a caterpillar or slug in my organic produce. To me, it means it was pretty darn happy just to hang out in the leafy goodness, and also shows that it’s really fresh. Saying that, I would prefer to find them before I eat the leafy greens and not after, wiggling out of the kitchen sink. All this does to me is question my washing skills and did I just inadvertently eat its sluggy cousin?

Now there’s a cheery thought…

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