Zuppa Di Pesce Alla Ligure

The first time I tried this dish, I was with my parents travelling through Italy and we stopped in Cinque Terra for a few nights.  I tried to recreate it when we returned and it turned out pretty well for a first attempt.  Earlier this year when we were in Cinque Terra, I dragged Adam {and Jack} back to the same restaurant to try it again {I wrote about it here}.  It didn’t disappoint, and when I returned I vowed to try it again.  Zuppa Di Pesce Alla Ligure or Ligurian Fish Stew is a dish that years ago in Italy, would be made using with whatever seafood was fresh from the market that morning.  I used this recipe from the River Cafe cookbook – substituting what seafood was available to me.  I feel like this is going to be a recipe that evolves over time, adding and subtracting until it is exactly how I remember.  To call this dish a fish stew I believe, is an absolute understatement, giving nothing away of its magnificence.  The intensity and richness of the tomato broth is something to experience.  Silky and salty and filled with parcels of seafood with every spoonful.  This recipe is not for the every day.  But it is perfect to reserve for a special meal – Sunday lunch with friends and family, a birthday dinner.  It’s well worth the effort.

Ligurian Fish Stew | brownpaperbelle.comLigurian Fish Stew | brownpaperbelle.comLigurian Fish Stew | brownpaperbelle.comLigurian Fish Stew | brownpaperbelle.comLigurian Fish Stew | brownpaperbelle.com

Salted Caramel Baked Cheesecake

I was trying to think of a clever title for this post but realised nothing could quite beat the description of the recipe itself.  Salted. Caramel. Baked. Cheesecake.  Need I say more?

I’ve been holding off on my baking a little lately, due to the fact that I was lucky enough to receive my very own Kitchenaid mixer as a combined Christmas and Birthday present from Adam and Jack.  It may sound a little crazy but I’ve been waiting for the perfect ‘first’ recipe.  No regular sponge would do for this beauty.  So when my parents returned from a dinner party on Australia day gushing about ‘the most amazing dessert ever’, I knew it was worthy and I made a point to hunt down the recipe.  And I can confirm that my parents weren’t over exaggerating.  Please do yourself a favour and try this recipe.  You’ll thank me, I’m sure of it.

Click here for the recipe>>>

Salted Caramel Baked Cheesecake | brownpaperbelle.comSalted Caramel Baked Cheesecake | brownpaperbelle.comSalted Caramel Baked Cheesecake | brownpaperbelle.comSalted Caramel Baked Cheesecake | brownpaperbelle.comSalted Caramel Baked Cheesecake | brownpaperbelle.com

Summer Sunday Lunch

There is not much I love more than having friends over for lunch or dinner to celebrate a special occasion.  From the initial planning of the menu, researching recipes to try, deciding on a theme for the table and right through to the guests arriving – table set, playlist cued, wine poured and food on its way to being served.  We recently welcomed a very good friend of ours home after six years of living abroad and over the weekend we held a lunch to celebrate his return.  Despite a cracking afternoon storm, the rain and hail did little to dampen our spirits.  We had a wonderful afternoon reminiscing on old times and hearing new stories.  And eating.  Lots of eating.  I’ll share some of the menu items with you later in the week.

Summer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.comSummer Sunday Lunch | brownpaperbelle.com

You Say Tomato, I Say Delicious

Whenever we are visiting the UK, Adam’s sister in law makes us the most delicious silky tomato chilli pasta.  A version of pasta  all’arrabbiata with a salty sauce that clings to the fettuccine and with only a handful of common ingredients.  Bella will whip this meal up for us at a moment’s notice, when we’re tired and hungry after a big day of sightseeing and family activities.  I have found myself craving it of late, so asked Bella if she would share her recipe with me.  I’ve already made it four times.  That’s how good it is.  A great recipe to have in the back of your mind, as it’s easy to keep these ingredients on hand in the pantry and freezer.  And the finished product is far greater than a thrown together meal at the end of a big day – it is something special.

Click here for the recipe>>>

Pasta all'arrabbiata | brownpaperbelle.comPasta all'arrabbiata | brownpaperbelle.comPasta all'arrabbiata | brownpaperbelle.comPasta all'arrabbiata | brownpaperbelle.com

Travel Series: On Driving Through France

After our week in Italy, we had two nights in Nice which we used to do absolutely nothing.  These were vital days in our itinerary, and although it meant sacrificing some sightseeing around the Cote d’Azur (which we will revisit another time), we needed the down-time more.  We did boring things like laundry, grocery shopping for the next few days and repacking the suitcases.  We also spent lots of time relaxing in the rooftop pool which had a pretty amazing view over Nice.

Rested and relaxed, we picked up the hire car from downtown Nice and began our road trip journey.  We opted not to get a GPS and instead, purchased a France Road Map (Atlas Routier & Touristique) and together with more specific Google maps directions we had printed, we were set.  Adam loved being the driver and I loved being the navigator.  If time allowed, we would take tiny little country roads instead of the highway to get to each destination.  One day we spent the whole day ‘getting lost’ in Burgundy.  It felt like a real adventure, discovering each village as we came across it.  Having our own car was brilliant as it meant we had the freedom to travel where we wanted, when we wanted and to stop for a roadside picnic whenever we felt the urge.

I’ll talk about these destinations in more details next week, but our driving itinerary was:
Nice -> Moustiers Sainte Marie -> Chamonix Mont Blanc -> Beaune -> Vezelay -> (via Versailles to) Honfleur -> Villers Bretonneaux -> Amiens

Nice, France | brownpaperbelle.comNice, France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France |brownpaperbelle.comRoad Trip Through France With Toddler | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comRoadside Picnic France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comDriving Through France | brownpaperbelle.comRoadside Picnic, Normandy | brownpaperbelle.com

Good Morning Sunshine

There are many things I love about visiting my parents at the Sunshine Coast for the weekend.  One of them, is Mum’s famous homemade muesli which she always has in ample supply and we enjoy with natural yoghurt and a pot of green tea for breakfast on the veranda, the sun waking our sleepy bones as we read the weekend papers.  Over the weekend we made a new batch, and I jotted down the recipe to share.  The recipe is very versatile, with ingredients substituted depending on preference and what you have in the pantry at the time.  It would look lovely wrapped up in a brown paper bag as part of a food hamper.  The muesli lasts up to two months in an airtight container – so making a double batch is always a good idea.

Click here for the recipe>>>

Homemade Muesli | brownpaperbelle.comHomemade Muesli | brownpaperbelle.comHomemade Muesli | brownpaperbelle.comHomemade Muesli | brownpaperbelle.comHomemade Muesli | brownpaperbelle.com

Rosemary & Twine Christmas Gift Tags

I love this time of year.  Carols playing, Christmas baking, the giving of thoughtful and beautifully {simply} wrapped gifts with a handwritten card.   I recently created some gift tags with rosemary from the garden, a handful of luggage tags and red and white twine.  A simple combination of non-Christmas items which ended up creating something very festive.

Rosemary & Twine Christmas Gift Tags | brownpaperbelle.comRosemary & Twine Christmas Gift Tags | brownpaperbelle.comRosemary & Twine Christmas Gift Tags | brownpaperbelle.com