Peanut Butter Cookies

peanut butter cookies neiman marcus

Deliciously addictive peanut butter cookies, best served with a dollop of raspberry jam! Like most children, I grew up addicted to peanut butter sandwiches. But this humble concoction was given an upgrade when I first started cooking from Nigella Bites during my time as a law student. Therein that fabulous book lies the ultimate recipe for a Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, inspired by one that was favoured by the late Elvis Presley in

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Raspberry Scones with Homemade Clotted Cream

raspberry scones with homemade clotted cream

Light and fluffy scones with the tart sweetness of raspberries served with a rich and decadent homemade clotted cream. There is a cosy but bustling café in Zurich called Babu’s Bakery & Coffeehouse which is a delight for anyone with a sweet tooth. As you enter the shop, to the left is a large wooden sideboard with an enticing array of cookies and cakes beautifully displayed on antique cake stands. The front counter is abundant with freshly baked pastries

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Vietnamese Meat Pies “Pâté Chaud”

vietnamese meat pies pate chaud pate so

Growing up in Australia, I ate my fair share of meat pies, especially as the daughter of a baker. Pepper steak pies were my favourite, with a layer of mushy peas under the puff pastry lid, and always a big dollop of tomato sauce (ketchup) on top. On other days, chicken and vegetable pies, which my mother made using shredded rotisserie chicken in a classic white sauce, would be my after-school snack of choice. And

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Roquefort Cheese Ball

roquefort cheese ball

A lovely Aussie friend was recently telling me about her menu plans for Thanksgiving, and my interest was piqued when she mentioned that she would be making a cheese ball for the appetiser. Her cheese ball, if she was still in Australia, would have been comprised of cream cheese with cheddar and good ol’ Coon, sprinkled with curry powder and decorated with fried onions. I was instantly transported back to the 1980s in Australia and my heart

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Honey Madeleines

honey madeleines

Summer holidays usually mean catching up with my husband’s family in Brittany, France, and this year was no exception. We opted to take the train this summer, a long 12 hour journey but which gives us an excuse to stopover in Paris for a bit of family fun (and shopping for moi). This time around, we got to visit some new cafés and restaurants (see my updated list of where to eat and

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Crêpes with Lemon & Sugar

My husband hails from the French region of Brittany where crêpes are thought to have originated.  And so it goes without saying that, in this part of the world, it is completely acceptable to have pancakes at breakfast every morning, or even as a goûter, the French equivalent of afternoon tea.

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Waffles with Salted Caramel Sauce

Today was a grey and gloomy day in Zurich, which meant the only reasonable thing to do was to stay indoors and make waffles with salted caramel sauce for lunch. That’s right – lunch. With the rain drizzling outside and temperatures nearing frosty, neither my husband and I were willing to venture outside for provisions. A quick inventory of the fridge and pantry revealed lots of food which would require lots of preparation, so I

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Swedish Chocolate Cookies

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that we were recently in Stockholm. It’s a city which I always enjoy visiting for both the local food scene, as well as to indulge in Scandinavian-designed home decor and kitchenware. I hope to publish my city guide on Stockholm soon! When in Stockholm, a visit to one of the many charming cafés is a must, and these chocolate cookies, called Chokladsnittar, are a

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Scotch Eggs with Herb Mayonnaise

If there is one thing that is getting me through the middle-of-the night feeds with the baby at the moment, it’s TV. It happens to be the only time that I get to watch TV, uninterrupted, and something which is not Peppa Pig. Lately, I have been slowly making my way through some old episodes of a few popular reality cooking shows from Australia, such as MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules. I’m loving

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Madeleines with Lemon Curd

I am rather surprised that it has taken me this long to try this popular recipe from Rachel Khoo. In my defence, I already had a madeleine recipe to which I have been faithful to for many years, plus I felt that Rachel’s recipe was a bit fiddly for me. And with a tiny tot distracting me whenever I am in the kitchen, I didn’t think I was safe around multi-step recipes.

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Chouquettes

The constant deluge of rain this summer has led to flooding in many parts of Switzerland, including our own balcony. The window boxes which comprise my little kitchen garden have been flooded from the non-stop rain and most of my plants look somewhat miserable from having their feet wet for far too long. Perhaps the only solace in having a wet summer is being able to use the oven like I would in winter.

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Crispy Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce

My mother used to cook a lot with chicken wings when I was younger. I’m not sure if it was just because they were cheap, or if she merely enjoyed cooking them. I certainly enjoyed eating them. She would sometimes make soups and broths using just chicken wings, but often she would marinate them in lemongrass, chilli and garlic before grilling them until they were bronzed and crispy. Just how I would like

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Three Cheese Bread

One of my favourite snacks when I lived in Australia were cheese scrolls from the local bakery. In fact, as a child of parents who ran a busy Vietnamese bakery, I often lived for the moment when the cheese scrolls came fresh out of the oven. Even better when there were onions in the mixture. My parents also made pizza scrolls as a variation, but I had a soft spot for just the

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Prune & Custard Tartlets

A big, big thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway to win a copy of Rachel Khoo’s latest cookbook, My Little French Kitchen. The response was fantastic and I loved reading everyone’s entries on their favourite French food. The entries made me realise how far-reaching and popular French food really is; from the simple baguette loaf and famous croissant to the more exotic Duck à l’Orange, the entries highlighted how wonderful and

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Cannelés

If you have ever travelled to France, you may have come across these little specialty cakes called cannelés. Unlike their more successfully exported cousins, the madeleines and macarons, cannelés are not so well known outside of France. Yet within France, they are a delicacy.

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Ham & Vegetable Pastry Puffs

My mother is someone who can effortlessly create a delicious three-course meal from a simple fridge raid, with an uncanny ability to never let anything go to waste. Sadly, I didn’t inherit this talent, nor did I inherit the palate to eat leftovers. There have been periods of frugality where I would re-serve and reinvent leftovers, but these moments have often been brief, especially once I would inevitably arrive at a point where

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Lemon Drizzle Friands

It has been roughly seven years since I made the bold decision to quit my job in Australia, electing to become unemployed and to take a chance at life on the other side of the world. At the time, it was one of the toughest decisions I had to make, not least because I couldn’t imagine how I could move for all of the personal possessions my twenty-something self had acquired. I have

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Hot Cross Buns

Make your own delicious Hot Cross Buns with this recipe with step-by-step photos. For as long as I can remember, Easter has always been celebrated with some Hot Cross Buns in my family. Well, growing up in a bakery meant that each holiday was always associated with baked goods of some sort, but I have always held a soft spot for Hot Cross Buns. This sentiment only amplified when I moved to Switzerland and

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Madelamingtons

As an Australian married to a Frenchman, could there be a more perfect cake to represent the union of our two cultures than the madelamington, a French madeleine dressed up as an Australian lamington? No, I didn’t come up with this name, but I am rather disappointed that I didn’t coin this term myself. In fact, as a frequent baker and consumer of madeleines and lamingtons, I wonder how the idea of marrying

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Chocolate Coconut Bars

With Australia Day approaching, my thoughts have been turning to traditional Aussie cakes and pastries, and these Chocolate Coconut Bars are hard to go past. Perhaps these slices are not what one would think of eating on Australia Day (lamingtons are more common), but this classic recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly is one which I have grown up with and I was only too happy to be reminded of it recently when

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Scones with Strawberry Jam

On a recent trip to London, I was reminded of my fond affection for Devonshire Tea, essentially a scone served with jam and cream. In fact, my desire for a daily scone fix made me brave enough to venture into a café on my lonesome most afternoons, just so I could sit down to a proper cup of tea with a plate of warm scones. There is nothing more restorative if you have

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Beef, Onion & Guinness Pie

For many Australians, a meat pie at lunch with a good squirt of tomato sauce or ketchup is almost a daily ritual. In fact, when I lived in Australia, I often preferred a meat pie to a sandwich, the latter being something which I probably ate everyday at school and which, to this day, still brings me reminders of starched school uniforms and knee-high socks. I previously shared with you a fabulous recipe

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Tahini & Almond Cookies

I was first introduced to these cookies by my work colleagues who travelled frequently to Israel to visit their friends and family. On one occasion, one colleague returned with a box of these moreish cookies to share in the office, and I was instantly hooked. To say that I helped myself to more than my fair share would be a gross understatement; I embarrassed myself by dipping into the cookie jar every time

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Crumpets … or something similar

I had a sudden inkling to make crumpets the other day, somewhat unusual because I was only ever a mild fan of these yeasted breads when I was a child. My memories of crumpets are of the shop-bought kind which were round, thick and spongy in texture. Once lightly toasted, a generous slather of butter was obligatory, as was a good dollop of runny honey or jam. As a child, perhaps the allure

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Chicken Curry Puffs

A visit to most Chinese restaurants will reveal curry puffs on the appetiser menu and I am always a sucker for anything wrapped in pastry. I could sometimes quite happily forego the main dish and just sit down to a huge serving of curry puffs, but afraid of any negative reaction this could elicit in public, I’ve never quite gone that far. So making curry puffs at home, and eating them by the

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Chocolate Chip Chouquettes

While working in the outer suburbs of Chicago in the last few years, I often found myself at a Barnes & Noble or Borders bookstore during lunch, not only because I have a fondness for bookshops but mostly because I discovered that living and working in Switzerland had had a big influence on my lunch-time eating habits. Unlike the Australians and Americans who often grab a quick sandwich or heat up leftovers to

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Croque Madame Muffins

Here is another fabulous recipe from Rachel Khoo with her take on the French classic, a Croque Madame. Most people would be familiar with a Croque Monsieur which is a toasted cheese and ham sandwich, commonly served in most French bistros for lunch or as a light snack. For a more decadent treat, the Croque Monsieur is also sometimes coated with a béchamel sauce and baked in the oven until the sauce is golden

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Cheesy Hearts

I often approach Valentine’s Day with mixed emotions. Once upon a time, when I was a singleton, I would stay sofa-bound at home in front of the telly, à la Bridget Jones. But instead of wailing to Céline Dion on the karaoke machine, I would watch back-to-back murder mysteries, stuffing my face with all of my favourite junk foods, thinking all the while how blissful it was to be a slob without having

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Little Aussie Meat Pies

You can’t get more Aussie than the meat pie. Those who know me would probably be surprised that I would even venture near something that can only be applied to the face with your hands (no knife and fork, please), but the truth is, I have a soft spot for anything that has to do with puff pastry.

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Happy Australia Day! Lamingtons …

Happy Australia Day! Although lamingtons have an iconic status in Australia and are enjoyed throughout the year, it seems rather fitting to make lamingtons for Australia Day. Lamingtons are quite popular at bake sales, and anyone growing up in Australia will know of the lamington drives, a fundraising event (usually in schools) where lamingtons would be sold by the half dozen to raise money for charity.

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Merry Christmas! And Fruit Mince Pies …

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful season cooking and baking your Christmas favourites, as well as being inspired by some new recipes. More importantly, I hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season in the company of good friends and family. Thank you so much for being a visitor to eat, little bird. This blog was started after several years of procrastination and perhaps intimidation by some

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Vietnamese Yoghurt

It is often observed in the Vietnamese culture, and also amongst other Asian groups, that a typical greeting when you see someone is not “Hi, how are you?” but, rather, “Hi, have you eaten yet?” Even when my mother calls me, if she’s not asking me first what the time is where I am (either because she’s never sure which country I am in or she’s just too lazy to look up the

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Madeleines with Nutella

I have a real soft spot for madeleines. It could be because I have very early memories of eating these dainty little cakes, their light sponginess making them the perfect snack for little hands. The madeleines of my childhood were always plain or lemon flavoured. These days, recipes abound with countless variations of flavours for these little cakes, both sweet and savoury. And I love them all! One particular variation which I make

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Pikelets

Growing up in Australia, I loved eating pikelets for afternoon tea. My earliest memory of pikelets was when I was in primary school, perhaps about 8 years old, when our teacher made pikelets one afternoon and cooked them on an electric frying pan, with eager little bodies “helping” her with various tasks like measuring, stirring, flipping. Being young children, we were often always quite hungry and cooking classes like these were always met

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Wales and Welsh Cakes

We’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to go to Wales twice, both times for weddings of close friends. It is such a beautiful country, particularly if you head outside of Cardiff where you will see picturesque rolling hillsides, lush green farms and, if you make it that far, magnificent coast lines.

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Cinnamon Donuts

I love donuts. I particularly love them hot, fresh from the vat and sprinkled with lots of sugar and ground cinnamon. Give me a donut and a cup of coffee for breakfast and I’m a happy camper. Now probably isn’t the best time to confess that I once had an addiction to cinnamon donuts. I was living in Brisbane, Australia, at the time and would often buy them by the half dozen from

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