The basics & how little things are big.

To me, good cooking is not about the most expensive ingredients, secret combinations of spices, or lengthy preparation. Cooking should be fun, fit your schedule, and be creative! In my recipes at Bali Silent Retreat, I may ask you to use sterilized jars, throw in a splash of vinegar or crushed garlic.

I realize this may not always be very clear so the following is a mini manual, in case you need a bit more clarity. Read more

Balinese combining

The Evolution of Recipes

 The evolution of recipes

Embrace the local ingredients when they are at their peak and combine them in a non fuss way to create tasty dishes.

I find Italian cooking a bit scary. I mean, I’m not Italian, nor have I spent more than a few weeks at a time in that glorious country, so I’m not sure if I’m even qualified to practice the art of Italian cooking. However I roll onto a strange and bittersweet Italian vibe every now and then and I walk down memory lane. Submerged in piles of sweet, bright red tomatoes, sprigs of rosemary and one hand on my broken artichoke heart, I find myself weeping over a pot of sorry-for-myself-soup, seasoning this bubbling concoction with salty tears of sorrow. The opera is blasting from the radio, the beans are nearly tender, the aromas are peaking. This could be the minestrone we’ve all been waiting for. Ok, one last taste, one final pinch of cinnamon. WHAT? Cinnamon? I turn around. Italian Mamma is standing behind me. Her face is red like pommidore. Her heart is pounding, her legs are shaking. She’s too quick, 3 hard bashes with her cast iron soup ladle are enough to knock me to the ground. I hear the words, never (!), cinnamon, minestrone before I pass out. Read more

Herbs vs Spice - chile basil onion

Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices. What’s the difference?

Herbs: aromatic leaves of plants and trees.

Spices: aromatic roots, bark and berries and seeds.

Feel free to argue.

Dry or fresh: Usually determined by use. Fresh is often, but certainly not always best. Read more


Taste? Aroma? Flavour? What’s the difference?

Taste? Aroma? Flavour?  What’s the difference?

Let’s assume you are beginning to enjoy creating magic in the kitchen from the top of your head, (the crown chakra, for the yogis amongst us). When you are one of those people who loves to toss some fresh ingredients on the bench and somehow, 30 minutes later find yourself full and satisfied, you might resonate with this perspective. Read more

Sourdough bread

Sour Dough Culture

Sour Dough Bread – my favorite!

It was a grey, rainy Sunday morning in 1991, as a kid, I was hanging out with my mum in the kitchen because that’s where we have the most fun. There was something going this morning though, mum didn’t seem as happy as usual when we are cooking up stuff in the kitchen. I spotted an odd smelling piece of dough on the counter and it felt to me as the reason why mum was acting a bit off. Read more

All-Day-Grazing Table

All-Day-Grazing Table

All-Day-Grazing Table. . . yummy and healthy. A typical sampling:

  • Garden  Couscous w grated cauliflower and beetroot with apple, raisins, and mint.
  • Chinese cabbage w herb garden dressing.
  • Veggie garden crudités w pesto dip
  • Herb roasted croutons
  • Garden veggie Kiamichi
  • Garden Smoothie: aloe vera,  banana, coconut, turmeric, lemon balm and apple
  • Fresh breads and sticks baked today with herb butter and fresh jams.
  • 10Am bread from the oven featured today-Walnut Bread

Read more