A few months ago, right before Christmas actually, I joined a new pilates studio. It's my neighbour's new career move. I love pilates and like to support local businesses so I decided to join and try for a healthier new lifestyle for 2011 (not to mention helping a new start-up business). Part of this new lifestyle change was to eat healthy, yummy foods (that really hasn't changed for the past 5 years!) and to get involved with my community a little more.
I think it's time I put a little more effort into the area I live in and get to know a few locals seeing as there are no plans for us to pack up and move across the other side of the world anytime soon.
This I have to tell you is something new to my family. This year is the first year Max gets to go to the same school in two consecutive years- he is very happy about starting Grade 4 with friends!
Alex starts Kindergarten at the same school and is totally beside himself that he'll be seeing his brother at the same school, I'm just not so sure Max is as keen but that is what having a sibling is all about.
I remember seeing my big sister at High School on my first day. She told me to stay away and pretend we didn't know each other. Brutal but we all had to survive the teen years as best we knew how. I managed to entertain myself quite fine, though couldn't help but go over to her and say 'Hi' when she was sitting at her 'tree' with her group.....I'm the youngest and was more outgoing than she, so I didn't give two hoots when her friends would say something about me, something I never understood her getting so mad about?
I am sure Max and Alex will have their own difficulties to work through, however, I'm not to concerned about it, after all Tarsh and I turned out OK and the best of friends.
Right, back to healthy and delicious meals!
Maggie Beer, celebrity chef in Australia popped into the Sydney cooking school kitchen in December to test out one of our fabulous Fisher&Paykel ovens for her home. I was beside myself at getting the chance to meet her. I have been a fan of her cooking and food style for years. When she came in, one of her dishes she wanted to trial was grilling eggplants.
"I just love cooking them this way" she says with a beautiful smile continually radiating from her. "You must try them with some of my vino cotto...."
Try I did and I haven't looked back since! Such a simple, not to mention quick and mess free way to cook eggplant that I now use this method over any other these days.
You simply turn on your grill to full heat, cut the eggplant into rounds, lightly brush with vino cotto, season with salt and pepper then pop them under the grill until browned and the eggplant is cooked.
Each time I have used this method, it takes a maximum of 8 minutes! The vino cotto gives the eggplant a beautiful sweet, yet tart flavour and is paired beautifully with any type of lamb. For dinner on this occasion I made some Jasmine rice, grilled some delicious lamb skewers and then served with steamed broccolini that was drizzled in lemon juice and olive oil which compliments the eggplant perfectly.
A delicious, quick and healthy meal I will be coming back to again. I have to confess the boys did see the eggplant and complained bitterly of their hate of the vegetable, however I put them out of their misery and told then I wouldn't waste it on them and they were getting extra servings of broccolini and peas instead.