Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY Magnetic Spice Rack

Who else has an out of control spice rack,drawer or cupboard with hits and memories from the 70s, 80s and 90's ? Well, my summer holiday job was to organise my spices with a dymo labeller, magnetic spice containers and a magnetic whiteboard. Et voila! Now I have a fabulous spice wall and an art installation in one! The containers are from

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Brooklyn, NYC - Roof top farms

Roof top farms in the city are not some futuristic fantasy. They're a reality. A what's more they're profitable businesses employing hundreds of city folk.
One of the most successful farms is 'Brooklyn Grange' set up three years ago on a roof top in Queens New York. They now have two roof tops supplying local restaurants and farmers stalls with fresh organic produce from lettuces to tomatoes to honey.
Watch their inspiring story....


Thursday, March 21, 2013

House restaurant - spicy edible courtyard

House has been wowing CBD workers with its $10 lunches and refreshing beers from the next door pub for a few years now.

The restaurant flows into a shaded courtyard on busy Elizabeth Street.

But rather than the usual ornamental plantings to cut down on noise and pollution, House has planted a spicy edible garden.

Instead of boring box hedges there are hedges of pungent bird's eye chillies that are used in the kitchen.

Beautiful and edible all in one.

Potted kaffir lime trees act as a split level barrier.

How healthy do they look?

 And I just adore this vast hedge of Vietnamese mint. What a great idea!
And there's plenty of basil for the kitchen as well...
 Thai basil and lemongrass
One of the best edible gardens I've seen. Built to be beautiful and practical.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recipe: Katie Quinn Davies Beef and Guiness pies

I first met Katie 4 years ago when she worked as a stylist on my book The Edible Balcony.
Since then her food photography career as reached stellar heights: she shoots for many national and  international food publications and recently published her own cookbook What Katie Ate. It's been nominated for two James Beard awards so good luck Katie.
Katie's cooking is wholesome and moorish and I just love her Beef and guinness pies. Guiness can sometimes be a little bitter so add some sugar if you think the stew needs balancing. Keep it on a low simmer until the gravy is thick and unctous. Perfect dish for a autumn weekend.
Here's the recipe:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Last eggplants of summer

The season is changing. After the wet and heat of summer there's been a slight nip in the air this week - and the balcony veggies have felt it too. My last flush of eggplants are making the most of the last of the sun. I'm going to halve them and fill them with chopped tomato, ricotta and balcony herbs and slow bake in the oven. A perfect autumn lunch.
I think I'll put some onions in this pot. They love the cold and chill of winter. I think I'll also put in some broccoli, Chinese greens, beans and lots of silverbeet and spinach. Winter can still be productive on the balcony.