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How to: grow chocolate

How to: grow chocolate

Wherever we take travellers in the tropics, from Mexico to Singapore, the Daintree to Cuba, there is one tree that grabs their attention - cacao, the source of our lingering love, chocolate.

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How to: herb feast

How to: herb feast

Skye, Eden and Isla love to collect fresh herbs from the garden to add to dinner. Herbs are easy to grow: a perfectly delicious project for the summer holidays.

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How to: make a garden-grown smoothie

How to: make a garden-grown smoothie

How do we get through all the greens we grow in the garden? We drink armfuls of them – as a green smoothie for lunch a few times a week. Call it a Ross family secret for more energy and verve! 

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How to: make fruit ice-blocks

How to: make fruit ice-blocks

When it’s sweltering outside and the kids need some cool relief, homemade fruity ice-blocks are the answer. When they’ve been demolished, ask the children to help make a new batch, ready for the next hot afternoon.

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How to: make pistou

How to: make pistou

The difference between a pistou and a pesto is pine nuts. The Italians use them, and the French (who took up the basil and garlic paste when Italian migrants moved into Provence in the 19th century) don’t. Typically a pistou is served with a soup made from summer vegetables and white beans.

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How to: make rose petal jam

How to: make rose petal jam

Life’s good when we stop to smell the roses; and even better when we stop to eat them! Scones fresh from the oven, spread with fragrant rose petal jam and cream, and shared with friends in the garden: what could be finer! 

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How to: make rosella jam

How to: make rosella jam

Rosella is a fascinating member of the hibiscus family grown for its delicious calyx which makes irresistible jam. Linda Ross tells how it’s done.

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How to: make sweet chilli jam

How to: make sweet chilli jam

This recipe is easy to increase to meet your chilli surplus. Every year I team up with my father-in-law for our Chilli Jam Day - We turn six kilograms of chilli into 25 jars of delicious ruby-red sticky jam. 

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How to: make tabouli

How to: make tabouli

I like a tabouli that is mostly green with herbs, not beige with grains, but you can adjust the balance to suit your own palate. Serve it with lamb backstraps that have been rubbed with ground cumin, olive oil and salt then barbecued. Add a dollop of yoghurt or baba ganoush for a sensational late summer meal.

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How to: make the most of mint

How to: make the most of mint

The zingy freshness of mint smells of summer. It adds life and lightness to salads, both sweet and savoury and is indispensable in any number of summer cocktails and mocktails.

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How to: make tomato ketchup

How to: make tomato ketchup

Try this ketchup just once and you and the kids will never go back to shop-bought again. Spice it up with chilli or smoked paprika if you like. The recipe makes six 250ml jars.If you are cooking to share with friends and consume within weeks there is no need to heat process the sauce, but if you’d like to store the ketchup for up to two years, you need to protect against bacterial growth by heat-processing


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How to: make vegetable stock

How to: make vegetable stock

If you planted out root vegetables in early autumn you’ll be harvesting them now. While roots make great side dishes for whatever you’re cooking for dinner, your home-grown produce also makes the best stock. 

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How to: mix the best salad dressings

How to: mix the best salad dressings

Dress summer salads fresh from the garden in something new. We asked three of our favourite cooks to share their best-ever dressing.

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How to: pickle cucumbers

How to: pickle cucumbers

When cucumbers are on, you may find you have more than enough for salads, sandwiches and crudite platters. The secret - pickles. Our favourite recipe is from Cornersmith: Recipes from the Cafe and Picklery by Alex Elliott-Howery and James Grant.

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How to: pickle olives

How to: pickle olives

Olives are one of those foods that conjure a sense of awe about the culinary curiosity of our forebears. Now is the time to make like the ancients and soak down olives for enjoying over winter. 

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How to: preserve lemons

How to: preserve lemons

Winter’s gorgeous harvest of lemons offers steaming lemon delicious puddings, and zesty additions to juices, stews, and salad dressings. But to really extend the glory of the harvest, try preserving the lemons in salt to use for the rest of the year.

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How to: use edible flowers

How to: use edible flowers

Eating flowers sounds exotic but in fact we do it all the time. Some are disguised, like saffron, which is the dried stigma of the crocus flower; others are obvious, like the gold flowers of zucchini.

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How to: use lemon verbena

How to: use lemon verbena

This herb is loved by cooks for the fragrant citrus scent of its leaves, which at this time of year are fresh and soft. One bonus of adding lemon verbena to everything you can think of – the more you use the better it looks! Robin Powell shares a few ideas.

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How to: use your herb harvest

How to: use your herb harvest

As the growing season draws to a close, our herb gardens are blousy with late summer growth.

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How to: use your pea harvest

How to: use your pea harvest

Peas are one of those crops that can make the home gardener feel smugly self-satisfied because they taste so good fresh from the garden.

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In my kitchen garden: Camden, NSW

In my kitchen garden: Camden, NSW

Mickey Robertson’s kitchen garden at Glenmore House is as beautiful as it is productive, experimental and instructive.

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Kale pesto

Kale pesto

This tasty paste is a winter standby in the Ross family kitchen. It’s packed full of healthy nutrients, is endlessly versatile and simply delicious.

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Lamb and kumara tagine with macademias

Lamb and kumara tagine with macademias

Macadamia nuts add a luxurious touch to an easy, slow-cooked winter stew, fragrant with spice.

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Lemon and yoghurt cake

Lemon and yoghurt cake

We have declared it the Year of the Cake, so are keen to try this lemon cake. It’s from our editor, Robin Powell, who moonlights as food writer.

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Lemon Delicious

Lemon Delicious

Self-saucing puddings are a dessert staple at my place through winter, and the tangy, silky lushness of an old-fashioned lemon delicious is a favourite. I like it with icing sugar sprinkled on top and whipped cream on the side, but my kids always vote for the hot/cold thrill of vanilla ice cream as an accompaniment. If you like, instead of serving from a pudding dish, you can cook the puddings in six individual one-cup ovenproof dishes.


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Lemons: 3 ways

Lemons: 3 ways

3 delicious ways to use up your lemons.

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Lobster Russian salad

Lobster Russian salad

A variety of vegetables, including peas, are mixed with a touch of dill, and folded into home-made mayonnaise to become the perfect partner for seafood, especially shellfish such as lobster or prawns.

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Macadamia nuts: 3 ways

Macadamia nuts: 3 ways

Some ideas to use your macadamias.

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Mango, papaya and watermelon salad

Mango, papaya and watermelon salad

Tom Kime says he was first served this vibrant fruit salad in south Vietnam. He loved the combination of spicy ginger, cooling mint, mouth-tingling citrus and sweet ripe tropical fruit.

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Mangoes: 3 more ways

Mangoes: 3 more ways

More ways to use mango.

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Meet: Alex Elliott-Howery

Meet: Alex Elliott-Howery

Meet Alex Elliott-Howery, pickler and community builder.To say that Alex Elliott-Howery and her husband James Grant have a café doesn’t begin to tell the story. Cornersmith is not just a café, but a pickling and preserving business and school, and a trading hub for the produce gardeners of Marrickville.


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Meet: Matt Purbrick, village life enthusiast

Meet: Matt Purbrick, village life enthusiast

The happiest healthiest people in the world are those who live in simple agricultural communities where life is shared. It’s a way of life that Matt Purbrick and his partner Lentil enjoy in regional Victoria and extoll through their business, Grown and Gathered.

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Melon sago with soy milk

Melon sago with soy milk

Chewy pearls of sago and sweet balls of melon floating in a sweetened sea of soy milk makes for a fresh and easy summer dessert.

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Melon: 3 ways

Melon: 3 ways

More of our favourite melon recipes.

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Mulberries: 3 ways

Mulberries: 3 ways

Mulberries flooding in to the kitchen? Here are some quick and tasty ways to use them.

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Olives: 3 ways

Olives: 3 ways

Olive glut? Make the most from your harvest with 3 simple ideas.

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Orange and whisky self-saucing pudding

Orange and whisky self-saucing pudding

What’s not to love about a self-saucing pudding? There’s the magic trick of pouring liquid over batter and having it transform, a short time later, to become a thick, luscious sauce under a fluffy, crisp-topped cake.

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Oranges: 3 ways

Oranges: 3 ways

Glut of oranges? Here's some ways to churn through your bounty.

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Papaya and coconut muffins

Papaya and coconut muffins

Here’s a healthy morning tea treat or after-school snack. Muffins with the sweet goodness of fresh papaya. It’s too easy!


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Passionfruit sponge

Passionfruit sponge

A summery afternoon tea treat to make your grandmother proud.

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