My Favourite Lasagne

Now that we’re experiencing a cooler change in the weather, I’m starting to crave more comfort foods. One of my ultimate comfort foods is lasagne – I mean, what’s not to love about a rich and saucy mince layered between pasta sheets and that creamy, cheesy bechamel? I’ve tried out a few lasagne recipes over the years, but this Neil Perry one is definitely my favourite.

When I’m not gorging on the whole lasagne myself (spread out over a few nights…. of course), this is my go-to dish when I have guests over. It’s easy to make, and most of it can be prepared in advance which means there’s no freaking out in the kitchen in the 30 minutes before people arrive, because your lasagne is just sitting in the oven cooking. While the recipe looks lengthy, it is actually quite a simple dish to make if you break it down into its components.

I like to serve the lasagne with a simple rocket salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic, and a glass of red wine. So far it’s been a crowd pleaser – and it makes so much that there’s always leftovers for the next day, which taste even better :)

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Purple Peanuts Cafe, Melbourne

While researching places to eat in Melbourne, I came across Purple Peanuts Cafe which serves tasty and healthy Japanese food at affordable prices. As luck would have it, we found that Purple Peanuts Cafe was actually located just around the corner from where we were staying, and so it was the first place we hit after arriving in Melbourne.

Beef curry soba – $9

Don’t be scared by quirky decor, which includes a giant stuffed octopus perched on top of the drinks cabinet. Line up at the counter and choose from the selection brown-rice sushi rolls and salads in the window, or pick something from the brown paper menu stuck on the walls behind the counter. Some of the hot dishes include this beef curry soba, which is definitely a winter warmer dish that arrives steaming hot in a bowl. The beef curry smells amazing and there’s a nice sprinkling of fried shallots on top.

Prawn salad – $9.50
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Win tickets to Haute Cuisine


It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I count foodie films amongst my favourite movies. Tampopo, Julie & Julia, and Ratatouille are just some of them (and if you haven’t seen them, go and watch them!) So I was excited to hear about a new film, Haute Cuisine, which features delicious food, French culture, stunning scenes of the Élysée Palace and truffles!


And what is Haute Cuisine all about? It’s a comedy-drama starring Catherine Frot (nominated for a Cesar Award for Best Actress), Jean D’Ormesson and Hippolyte Girardot, and is based on a true story of President François Mitterand’s private cook.


In the movie, Hortense Laborie, a renowned chef from the Périgord, is responsible for creating all his meals at the Élysée Palace. Despite jealous resentment from the other kitchen staff, Hortense quickly establishes herself, thanks to her indomitable spirit. The authenticity of her cooking soon seduces the President, but the corridors of power are littered with traps…

Penguin says Feed Me is giving away five double passes to see Haute Cuisine courtesy of TM Publicity, opening in cinemas nationally from April 25. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

“If you had a private cook, what one dish would you get them to cook for you?”

Entries close at 10.00pm AEST, Friday 19th April 2013. Five winners will be selected by Sir D based on creativity and entertainment value. You may enter as many times as you like. Please enter a valid email address – this will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winners. Winners will be notified via email. Good luck!

Game of Thrones Feast at Gastro Park, Kings Cross

It took one episode of Game of Thrones for me to get hooked on the show. And it seemed like I wasn’t the only one, because when FeFiFoFum asked if anyone of us wanted to join her at the Game of Thrones Feast at Gastro Park there was a resounding ‘yes!’ from the group! At $100pp for a 5 course dinner, it wasn’t the cheapest of meals. But it was clear that the staff at Gastro Park had put a lot of thought and creativity into it, with each dish being themed to Season 2 of Game of Thrones.

Dragon – Goats cheese and gruyere fritters

The first was simply named “Dragon” and was meant to resemble dragon claws. These jet black fritters were not the prettiest of things, and without the menu in front of us I was expecting to bite into black pudding. I was surprised to find that the fritters were filled with cheese and were absolutely delicious! They were scattered among a head of kale, which had been deep fried and dotted with a creamy sauce. Breaking off the crispy leaves from the stem made for a fun, hands-on dish to get everyone started.

Bones – Roast veal bone marrow, air baguette
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JPB restaurant, Sydney

The idea of eating locally and knowing where your food comes from is not a new one. It’s always a pleasant surprise to find a restaurant that adheres to this philosophy through getting to know the local farmers who supply the produce and even producing some if it themselves on their own rooftop – right in the heart of the CBD! Jpb restaurant proudly follows this through their revamped restaurant in Swissotel Sydney, with a menu that shows off produce that is sourced within NSW.

House baked organic spelt bread

The local produce starts right from the moment you are served the complimentary bread, which is house made using organic spelt and served with olive oil from Megalong Valley. The bread was rustic and stuffed full of whole grains, with lovely soft innards.

Grilled scampi – $15
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