Fast Ed for Friday

Over a cup of tea last week I discovered a different side to a TV food personality, Fast Ed.
Ed Halmagyi has produced a lovely little food book called The Food Clock, complete with a short story, hand drawn images and long list of fabulous seasonal, provincial recipes.

As I watch the chestnuts falling from our front yard I find myself flicking through his array of ideas for using chestnuts, how to make the most of an abundance of fruit, herbs or nuts. I am lucky to be living in a regional area, where people have space and time (?) to grow and harvest. If you need some inspiration for a weekend feast, Ed will have you sorted. There are some great sweet treats and beautiful breads I am keen to try. Bon Appetite!


SOS – Dairy Free

I have been enjoying reading a range of new and old cookbooks again. For ideas and inspiration as the weather changes and the seasons bring new produce and appetites into our home. I have enjoyed preparing soup again – a great lunch stand by, after school snack or  quick dinner served with bread and cheese.

But I have a question for you, please. I have a friend living and working overseas and access to dairy products is extremely limited and very expensive. So…I am looking for simple, family friendly meals and baking ideas that use little or no dairy. Please leave your suggestions and links in the comment section. Look forward to hearing from you…..and here is one that you might enjoy – it substitutes butter for polyunsaturated spread.



  • 2/3 cup polyunsaturated spread
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • coloured sprinkles, to decorate
  • Icing

  • 2/3 cup polyunsaturated spread
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
  • 1 teaspoon strawberry essence
  • red food colouring


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 30 holes of three 12-hole, 40ml-capacity patty pans with paper cases.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat spread, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, egg and 3/4 cup cold water on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to high. Beat for a further 4 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Spoon into patty cases. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into one cake comes out clean. Stand cakes in pans for 2 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
  3. Make icing. Using an electric mixer, beat spread, icing sugar and strawberry essence in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add 2 to 3 drops of food colouring and beat to combine. Place icing in a piping bag or plastic bag with one corner snipped off. Pipe icing onto cakes. Top with sprinkles. Serve.