Formula 1 Fever

Posted in: Travel, Uncategorized

With the Brazilian Grand Prix final only days away and the release of the much raved about film Senna (Brazilian F1 demigod), I thought it fitting to bring you a Brazilian recipe to nibble on this Sunday.

Vo Ima’s Pao de Queijo Cheese bread (sounds so much better in Portuguese), courtesy of Granny Ima. Foodie friend and colleague, Roberta saved the day with her family recipe.



If F1 isn’t your thing, tuck in over Senna (the film…). The archive footage of the late, great Ayrton Senna is astounding. And whether you’re into fast cars or not, it’s fascinating viewing. Either way, I guarantee you’ll fall in love with at least one Brazilian specimen.

As luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to spend 3 days at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. ‘It’s not what you know…’ as they say. Here are some of the best bits to rev you up for the final. Sorry.

Probably the best branding in the world…

There’s a reason we watch F1 on TV, this took four shots!

Poolside buddy F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart, who notched up a record breaking 27 Grand Prix wins by 1973. And Mascarpone tart with espresso parfait. Paddock life sucks. But I’ll take a hit for the team.

Rule Britannia!

So, on recovering from the Post Paddock Blues, I’ve been struck by Post Party Flu. Cristal has been entirely replaced with honey, lemon and copious amounts of ginger. Just desserts?


Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Posted in: SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

30 balls
150ml milk
75ml sunflower oil
Pinch sea salt
250g tapioca flour or starch
1 egg
125g of parmesan, grated

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 . In a pan, bring the milk, oil and salt to the boil.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the tapioca flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Transfer mixture to a bowl, add the eggs and knead well.
  4. Add the grated cheese and keep kneading until the dough is smooth.
  5. Grease your hands with oil and roll into small balls – 1 tbsp per ball.
  6. Place the balls on a baking tray greased with oil or lined with baking paper and cook in oven for 20 mins or until brown.

Serve warm as they are or with dips. Salsa, cream cheese or even Dulce de Leche all work. We love the caramel against the salty parmesan. See below.

Tapioca flour can be found in most Asian shops and most supermarket World Food aisles. Or so we’re told.

Roberta’s tips on Dulce de Leche Pao de Queijo:
With your hands (not a knife) break the balls slightly, taking care not to split  into two halves. Pour in a teaspoon of Dulce de Leche. Eat whole.

Seasonal Seducer: Pumpkin

Posted in: Uncategorized

Most attractive features
Everything! Really. Everything. From their anti-inflammatory, prostate cancer fighting seeds through their low carb, vitamin rich flesh to their decorative skin. There’s not much that can hold a candle to the humble pumpkin.

Why we fell in love
The highlight of our Halloween ball. The pumpkin has been promoted from table decoration to main meal in our lives. Vitamins A, B, C and E. Potassium, manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, folate, niacin, thiamine and pantothenic acid. Low salt, low carb, low fat. It’s an impressive list.

And that’s before we’ve even looked at the seeds. Ahh, pumpkin seeds. Full of iron for our blood, zinc for our skin, calcium for our bones and magnesium for our nerves. Then there’s protein and omega-3 too. It seems they love us as much as we love them.

Pumpkin, sage & spelt risotto

Posted in: S, SF, V, WF

Serves 4

Nutty, creamy and slightly spicy with popping spelt texture. Yum!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp crushed chilli flakes – optional
200g spelt grain
1 ltr veggie or chicken stock
1 pumpkin, diced if raw (2 inch pieces if cooked)
1 dsp crème fraiche
Sea salt & black pepper
1 tbsp sage leaves


  1. In a heavy based pan, fry the onions and garlic in most of the olive oil. Add chilli and spelt and mix thoroughly. Spelt needs a high heat to open up and absorb the stock.
  2. Turn down the heat, add the pumpkin and pour in a ladle of the veggie stock and simmer till all the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Continue adding the remaining stock in stages to concentrate the flavour and keep the grain robust. It will take around 45 mins for the spelt to become al dente.
  4. Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil and fry sage till crispy – a few seconds.
  5. Stir the crème fraiche through the risotto, transfer to warm plates and serve topped with the crispy sage.

Did you know? The Roman empire was built on spelt. Unlike wheat, its ancient cousin hasn’t been modified. In contrast to a perfectly uniform wheat field, spelt grows at varying levels, producing 1/3 of the yield.

Now you know why your spelt loaf costs so much, and possibly why many of our ever increasing wheat intolerant populace see it as money well spent.