The whole truth about $1 milk: Cass vs Coles

This explains a lot about supermarket shopping and marketing – I think the big chain supermarkets also contribute to this loss of sustainability a the farm gate by reducing choice on shelves- now so many “home brands” and not many branded choices forcing you to select the the shops home brand. Shops are large – choice is disappearing.

The Milk Maid Marian

A clever vet student, Cassandra MacDonald, from NSW has created this fabulous infographic to set the record straight. It’s only five minutes (don’t worry, the 13 minutes on the YouTube counter is wrong) but wow, does she pack a punch! Watch this space for more to come about this remarkable young woman.

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Chilli Chocolate Tart – Surfing The Menu Next Generation – Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn

Surfing the Menu cover

Surfing the Menu Next Generation

Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781925368345

**The show is on ABC TV this Sunday 22nd May 2016 6pm**

ChilliChocTart 10065

Chilli Chocolate Tart – Hayden Quinn

1 2⁄3 cups plain flour, sifted

2 tablespoons pure icing sugar, sifted

125g unsalted butter, chilled and chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla paste

sea salt flakes, to serve

fresh raspberries and crème fraiche, to serve

 

Filling

150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped

2⁄3  cup caster sugar

1⁄2 cup dark cocoa powder, plus extra to dust

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon ground chilli

250g hazelnut meal

200g unsalted butter, chilled and chopped

1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

6 eggs

 

 

 

1   Process the flour, sugar, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor in short bursts until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg and vanilla and process, again in short bursts, until mixture just comes together. Gather the dough and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2   Meanwhile, to make the filling, process the chocolate, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, chilli and hazelnut meal in a food processor until finely ground. Add the butter and orange zest and process until combined. Add the eggs in two batches, processing until combined after each addition. Refrigerate until needed.

3   Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick
and use to line a deep 26cm loose-based fluted tart pan. Trim the pastry edges and rest in freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven
to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).

4   Spoon the filling into the tart shell and level the surface. Place the tart on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is firm to touch. Stand on a wire rack to cool.

5   Lift the tart from the pan. Dust the surface with extra cocoa powder and sprinkle with sea salt. Cut into wedges and serve with berries and crème fraiche.

 

Serves 8

 

 

Post Script: Surfing The Menu Next Generation – Dan Churchill & Hayden Quinn

Surfing the Menu cover

Surfing the Menu Next Generation

Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781925368345

 

Description:

Escape on an epic adventure around Australia with Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn, as seen on ABC TV

 

Discover the spectacular natural diversity of the north of Australia, from Broome to Byron, with two of Australia’s favourite food lovers and cooks, and enjoy 80 amazing recipes inspired by local growers and food producers.

 

Along with Gigi, an intrepid vintage VW Beetle, MasterChef stars Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn travel from the west coast, to the north, and then to the east coast of Australia to explore what’s cooking and the incredible produce of each spectacular region — and being surfer dudes, to catch some waves too!

 

In this full colour, 240-page cooking and travel extravaganza, cook with Dan and Hayden’s inspiring recipes and enjoy the colour, life and tastes that the west, north and east of our great country has to offer. From Shark Bay through to Wooramel, Carnarvon, Exmouth and Broome in Western Australia, to Kununurra and Katherine in the Northern Territory, to Cairns and Townsville, The Whitsundays and Bundaberg in Queensland, and finally Noosa Toowoomba and Bryon Bay in New South Wales, their journey is showcased with stunning photography of each lush location and the mouth-watering produce and recipes they discover and cook with along the way.

 

In association with the ABC, the television series of Surfing the Menu will be aired in early 2016. The first two series introduced us to Curtis Stone and Ben O’Donoghue, and now it’s time to hit the surfing trail again with a new generation of food lovers and cooks – Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn.

 

Get cooking and share in the trip of a lifetime! – See more at: http://books.simonandschuster.com.au/Surfing-the-Menu/Dan-Churchill/9781925368345#sthash.D8B7ixFE.dpuf

 

 

My View:

I confess that I am a big fan of Dan Churchill’s cook books – so it will not surprise you that I devoured this book in one sitting and have added this book to my Kitchen Library (and now will need to check out Hayden Quinn’s books too). Stunningly presented – the food photography and images of the towns that the two cooks visited are quite special – this could easily be viewed as a “coffee table “ book or gift for your overseas friends and relatives as it showcases so much of Australia – but it is so much more.  Churchill and Quinn share their obvious love of fresh, locally sourced ingredients that they use to create mouth-watering recipes. Ingredients from Australia’s spectacular coast and from inland regions delight and reflect our multicultural society. Recipes based on crabs, fish, Moreton Bay Bugs, ‘roo tail, buffalo ribs, pearl meat, goat…recipes such as Korean Pork Pot Roast, “Rum and Coke” wings and vegetarian dishes …this book has it all including desserts; Chilli Chocolate Tart, Choc Blueberry No Churn Ice-cream, Coconut Chia Pudding, Goats Cheese Chocolate Tart, Banana Choc-Tella Muffins, Salted Caramel Eton Mess…. Ahhhh…bliss.

Post Script: Out Of Alice – Kerry McGinnis

Out Of Alice

Out of Alice

Kerry McGinnis

Penguin Random House Books

Michael Joseph

ISBN: 9780143799856

 

Description:

From the bestselling author of Pieces of Blue and Wildhorse Creek comes an evocative and heartfelt story about how in the remotest of places lives can be lost…and found.

 

When Sara Blake takes up a position as governess on Redhill Station in Central Australia, she isn’t expecting to encounter a family in crisis, or to uncover a tragedy of her own.

 

With the owners’ son critically ill, Sara is called upon to take care of their young daughter. As the family struggles to make a living from the drought-stricken land, everyone pitches in – and Sara finds herself letting people in to the empty spaces in her heart.

 

But the longer she spends out bush, the more she becomes plagued by elusive visions of her dark and troubled childhood. The fragments of memory lead her deep into the red centre of Australia, where at picturesque Kings Canyon she must confront the horrifying secrets of her past.

 

 

 

My View:

Kerry McGinnis has convinced me – The Alice is now on our travel destination list!

 

This is the second book by McGinnis that I have read, each so vastly different thematically but McGinnis’s trade mark passion for the outback and her ability to portray the locations with such an intensely visual palette is constant across both books; superb reading.

 

There is little more I can add to my previous accolades except – the main characters are warm and generous, the settings brilliantly drawn, the mystery beckons you to read and read on. Kerry McGinnis writes authentic rural narratives with complex plots and contemporary issues.  Read on today – you will be impressed.

 

Post Script: Free To Be Tegan – Mary Grand

Free To Be Tegan

Free To Be Tegan

Mary Grand

Mary Grand

ASIN: B00UC9R1YM

 

 

Description:

‘You are dead to us’

Tegan, aged twenty seven, is cast out of the cult, rejected by her family and the only life she has known. She is vulnerable and naïve but she also has courage and the will to survive. She travels to Wales, to previously unknown relations in the wild Cambrian Mountains.

This is the uplifting story of her journey to find herself and flourish in a world she has been taught to fear and abhor.

Guilt and shadows from her past haunt her in flashbacks, panic attacks and a fear of the dark. However she also finds a world full of colour, love and happiness she has never known before. The wild beauty of the hills, the people she meets and the secrets slowly revealed by the cottage all provide an intriguing backdrop to Tegan’s drama.

 

My View:

I think the strength of this debut by Mary Grand is her ability to create locations with a very visual presence in this book of words. The settings of inner city London and rural villages in Wales are superb and take the reader on a very real journey.

Secondly it is obvious that the author has put a lot of effort into researching the psychology and influence of cults and the difficult road to recovery for those who have left or been ejected from these type of communities.

A love story, a heroic story of one woman’s road to recovery from the influence of a controlling and destructive cult, this work of fiction has almost the feel of biography.  My only criticism is that the recovery phase of the book seemed a little too short for what I imagine is an ongoing process.

 

 

Post Script: After The Fire – Jane Casey

After The Fire

After The Fire

Maeve Kerrigan #6

Jane Casey

St. Martin’s Press

Minotaur Books

ISBN: 9781250048851

 

Description:

London police detective Maeve Kerrigan has spent plenty of time at Murchison House. One of the many cement high-rise towers comprising the Maudling Estate housing project, Murchison House is home to a motley mix of society. From domestic abuse victims and elderly widows with nowhere else to turn to its flourishing criminal elements, Maeve is familiar with many of its occupants by name or reputation.

 

But when a fire breaks out at Murchison House that consumes the top floors and leaves three dead, Maeve and her colleagues are startled to learn the identity of one of the victims. Geoff Armstrong was a wealthy, notoriously right-wing London politician—the last person they’d expect to find in a place like the Maudling Estate. And things get even murkier when evidence surfaces indicating Armstrong was murdered before the fire broke out. Was his death connected to the fire? To the other deaths at Murchison House? And what was he doing there in the first place? What Maeve begins to uncover will lead her on a terrifying journey through all levels of society, putting her very life in danger.

 

Jane Casey’s next riveting mystery featuring beloved detective Maeve Kerrigan will keep readers turning the pages from the opening scene to the stunning conclusion.

 

 

My View:

Fast paced, full of action, social commentary and intrigue with a powerful yet sad ending, this book left me wanting more!

 

The various characters that live in The Towers come alive in this book and I could not help associating these elements /characters with the TV series, The Bill. There was something about the grim, bleak, lonely, life defeated attitudes teamed with the criminal elements in this setting that just screamed life on the “Estates” of The Bill, and this is not a negative memory or association – I loved The Bill.   Funny the associations the mind makes.

 

Jane Casey manages to weave some very important social commentary into this complex plot; issue regarding ageing and community support, domestic violence, cyber stalking/stalking and bullying, identity and transgender discussions to name just a few. I found the domestic violence commentary particularly potent and realistic – the blame the victim mentality is not just an element of this complex narrative – it accurately reflects some aspects of domestic violence in society today.

 

In this vital and pulse raising episode of the Maeve Kerrigan story we discover character flaws that make Maeve a very vulnerable and interesting main character. Maeve is pushed to the limits of her endurance, physically and emotionally.  There is a darkness to her soul – and would we blame her for crossing that delicate line between justice and revenge?   You will need to read this yourself and decide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On The Road Again

Our Rig

On the road home we stopped for lunch at Pt Denison (near Dongara), it is a favourite place to take a break , have lunch and give Bob the Dog a walk, when in this region .

 

We had a BBQ lunch (the facilities here are beautiful); the foreshore is lush and there are gas BBQ’s and tables provided.  And what a view!

 

Pt Denison

Post Script: In Too Deep – Samantha Hayes

In Too Deep

In Too Deep

Samantha Hayes

Random House UK, Cornerstone

Century

ISBN: 9781780893419

 

Description:

 

The compelling new psychological suspense novel, from the author of Until You’re Mine, Before You Die and You Belong to Me. Perfect for fans of S J Watson and Sophie Hannah.

 

Your husband goes out to buy a newspaper. He never comes back.

 

Months later, an unexpected phone call puts you and your daughter in unimaginable danger.

 

Even if he were still alive, your husband can’t save you now.

 

He told you way too many lies for that.

 

 

 

My View:

I have mixed feelings about this read.  It took a while to warm up, to engage, to compel me to turn the page. Then I was only about one quarter my way through the book when I made some accurate yet hesitant connections regarding mysteries in the overarching story line – the author however was clever enough to keep me doubting my assumptions, keep me reading.

 

Then we have the ending…I didn’t get it. (No spoilers here) Yes the ending did wrap up the mysteries and the actions of one of the main characters was in keeping with some earlier events but just didn’t make sense to me. The action itself did not seem dramatic enough or that it would have any dire consequences.  (Think about the location…) And it felt like the story abruptly ended, that there needed to be another chapter to discuss, make sense of this last piece of action. Well that is how it felt to me.

 

Despite these potholes I was ultimately engaged in the narrative and kept reading till the book ended.

 

 

 

 

Post Script: Dead Pretty – David Mark

Dead Pretty

Dead Pretty

The 5th DS McAvoy Novel

David Mark

Hachette Australia

Mullholland Books

Hodder

ISBN: 9781444798104

 

Description:

Hannah Kelly has been missing for nine months. Ava Delaney has been dead for five days.

 

One girl to find. One girl to avenge. And DS Aector McAvoy won’t let either of them go until justice can be done.

 

But some people have their own ideas of what justice means…

 

DEAD PRETTY is the stunning new novel from one of Britain’s most original crime writers.

 

My View:

This is the 5th story in this series, and I have only just jumped on this boat.  Aside from missing out on some of the well-established back stories I was still able to play catch up without too much effort, though it did take a little time. I discovered an interesting couple of protagonists, actually scratch that – I discovered a book full of interesting characters – even the already dead left a huge impression such was DS Aector McEvoy’s passion to solve the riddle of their deaths by discovering all that he could about their lives.

 

There are a couple of wonderful twists here – one being that I managed to solve some of the crimes myself – but then maybe I was meant to? Having this knowledge before the murders were officially “solved” added to my anticipation and apprehension – a great ploy.

 

I look forward to one day catching up with the beginning of the series.