Deconstructed Caesar salad

Queensland hot summers call for loads of salads. And that can get tiresome if you don’t mix it up a bit! This little number is a red hot favourite with the family, and lunch guests. It looks somewhat impressive, and takes minimal effort – just my kind of dish! So have a crack! I bet you make it a summer favourite!

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100g jarlsberg cheese

2 small cos lettuce, chopped rough or whole leaf

A red onion, diced

Cucumber, chopped as you like

Tomatoes, as you like

Handful of flat leaf parsley roughly chopped

A roasted capsicum, sliced

Left over sourdough cut into 2cm cubes

Olive oil

A clove of garlic

An avocado

1 kg chicken thighs

A lemon

A handful of herbs (I used thyme, oregano and flat leaf parsley)



Put your chicken thighs in a baking tray and splash with olive oil. Crack some salt and pepper on top, cut your lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice on. Add your handful of various herbs and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 35 minutes.

Either rub the sourdough with your garlic clove before you cut it up, or crush the garlic clove and sprinkle it on top of the squares. On a separate tray place your sourdough squares, spray with olive oil. Cook in a 200 degree Celsius oven for about 5 minutes.

Tear or keep your lettuce whole, arranging it in your salad bowl. Chop your tomato, cucumber, onion and capsicum how you like them and rest them on top of your lettuce. Put a bit of cheese around! Sprinkle with your chopped parsley. Now cut your avocado as you like and leave on a plate. I like this deconstructed version of Caesar salad for many reasons including its simplicity. It is downright delicious. I hope you enjoy it too!


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Deconstructed Caesar salad

Coconut and orange blossom cookies

Warning – these are mourish! I vary this recipe by adding cinnamon, leaving it plain, adding any other syrups I can find! They are completely scrumdidiliuptious! Maybe even the BFG would approve!

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125 g butter, room temperature (like Queensland Australia room temperature!)

¾ cup caster sugar or rice malt syrup

1 egg

¾ cup plain flour

¾ cup self-raising flour

¾ cup fine desiccated coconut

Splash of milk

20ml orange blossom syrup



Combine the butter and sugar until smooth. Add your egg and give it a swirl, mixing it through. Now add your flours and coconut, milk and syrup. Combine by spoon until a paste forms. Line a baking tray and place tablespoonful quantities in little mounds. I tried to keep them a bit round. They flatten in the oven, so no need to press with a fork, and this is too pasty to roll. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for about 15 minutes. Ta da! It is as simple as that! Variations to this I make are leaving out the orange blossom, or adding ground cinnamon! Enjoy them any way! Just remember to share!

Coconut and orange blossom cookies

Fennel baked fish

Sometimes you need a combination of a light meal with some creamy goodness to wake up your senses and bring you to life again. This dish certainly does that for me. It may have contradictory ingredients such as cream and lemon, but it balances really well. Dinner in under an hour and simply delicious; it’s a winner!


A red onion, diced

A jar of pickled fennel (posted on Mollyandthechooks earlier)

5 garlic cloves, crushed or sliced

4 sprigs of tarragon, diced

One cup of cream

Barramundi pieces (I used one piece per person and used 5)

2 tbs plain flour

A lemon

A sheet of puff pastry

Egg wash if you wish



Drain your fennel jar of liquid. Place a splash of olive oil, garlic and your pickled fennel contents into a large pan on medium heat and fry.

Add a little tarragon and enjoy the aroma of your space! Lightly coat the fish in some plain flour. I did this by putting the fish in a bowl with the flour and covering with plastic then shaking it up and sideways.

Now put your cream in the pan and bring the heat down, stirring the cream through. Add a little lemon zest and a squeeze of your lemon. If you have used a pan that is oven friendly, leave the mix in, if not, transfer it all to a lasagne baking dish.

Time for the fish! Any fish will do really, I chose barra as I am in Australia so it is plentiful, and it is a large flaked fish that holds itself together. Cod will be great too, just use your favourite! Place the fish amongst the mixture and then cover with a sheet of puff pastry, scoring a few times over the top. You can lightly egg wash the top if you wish, but I prefer not to with this one. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 25 minutes. The fish will steam inside the creamy fragrant loveliness, and the puff pastry will turn golden brown. Serve with whatever veges you can steam. I’ve used the humble green bean! Enjoy your beautiful fish dish!


Fennel baked fish

wholemeal scones

These are fabulous for breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, a midnight snack…. Pretty much all the time!! They are quite filling so one is enough per person if you are catering with other dishes. Opt out of the raw sugar if you like, or the wholemeal flour can be replaced with white if you’d prefer, however you’d like to make them, just get into it!!


60 g butter

3 cups wholemeal self-raising flour

2 tbs brown sugar

1 ½ cups milk

2 tbs milk for brushing

2 tbs raw sugar for sprinkling



Rub the butter, cold, into the flour until it looks like crumbs. Add the sugar and milk, stirring with a flat knife. Once combined, knead a little, add a little more flour if you think it needs it, and then work into a ball. Flatten out to about 4cm tall and then either use a scone cutter to press out your scones, or use your hands and freehand it. Place the scones in a baking tin close to each other so they are all touching. Brush with a little milk and sprinkle the raw sugar on top. Bake in a hot oven around 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes or until brown. Enjoy your beautiful scones!

wholemeal scones