Kalamata Olive and Roast Almond Tapenade

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Every year I say, I’m not doing anything for Christmas, I can’t afford it, I don’t have time, blah blah blah. But then, every year, next minute, I’m elbows deep in royal icing, fighting off the flies on a 35 degree summer’s day, making gingerbread houses that no-one is going to eat. And I secretly love it.

However, I’m guessing most people aren’t like me, so here is a recipe for an impressive but very easy appetiser for these entertaining times. Will post another one tomorrow for an even easier one!dsc_1371 dsc_1396dsc_1415 dsc_1434

Makes about 2 cups
500g kalamata olives
4 anchovies plus 1 tbs of their oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs capers
4 tbs olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1 cup roasted almonds plus a quarter of a cup of sliced to serve
To Serve
4 garlic bulbs, cut and roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper at 180 degrees for about 30mins
Cherry tomatoes on the vine, roasted at 180 degrees for about 15mins
Danish Feta
Fresh baguette (or a gluten free alterna
Fresh basil leaves
To make the tapenade, first roughly chop the almonds in a food processor by using the pulse button so as not to over-chop. Empty them into a bowl.
Place the olives, anchovies, garlic, capers, olive oil, lemon juice and pepper in the processor and process until combined and relatively smooth. Empty into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
To serve, place in a bowl and top with the extra sliced almonds. Place bowl on a platter with the garlic, tomatoes, feta, baguette and basil leaves.

Lemon Friands


Last week I was given bags of beautiful homegrown lemons by three different people! I love lemons and would take 300 bags if they were offered to me! It was interesting to notice the difference between the 3 batches, different thicknesses in skin, different colours and different strengths of sourness. I’m so used to the lemons from the supermarket, I never realised how many different types of lemons there must be!

Some of the lemons were from my Mum’s backyard, I picked them one afternoon as a storm was approaching, it was windy and difficult to get a clear photo, but I love the ones I got! I threw in a couple of photos of her mandarins as well, just because I love how they grow on such a long thin stem. These pictures would have gone well with my last post!

I plan on making some preserved lemons soon which will be great with all the Middle Eastern food I’ve been cooking lately. I’m thinking fish kofta with tabouli, homemade pita and preserved lemon. Yum!

With some of the sweeter lemons I made some classic Lemon Friands. I’ve made so many friands this past year that I think I have come up with a pretty good recipe. I use this base recipe and change it with whatever is in season or in my fridge. I think my favourite combination is pear and vanilla. I love how easy these friands are to make and they look so pretty. The oven in my new house is so old and is not fan-forced so everything I bake goes quite dark on the outside but luckily stays lovely and moist on the inside. I always make my friands with gluten-free flour but you can replace it with plain flour.

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The day I made the friands I was due to look after my nephew for the afternoon. He arrived just as I was cleaning up and taking some photos of the lemons in the backyard. He decided that banging lemons together was a really fun game! I’m sure he was really confused as to why I was standing on a chair taking photos of lemons! To him lemons come from Nana’s backyard and they are great for throwing at the cats!

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180g butter melted, plus extra for greasing

Zest of 2 or 3 lemons, depending on size

200g pure icing sugar

80g plain gluten-free flour

125g almond meal

5 egg whites, lightly whisked

Handful of flaked almonds


Pre-heat oven to 165 Degrees Celcius for fan forced, or about 180 for non fan-forced. Grease a 12 hole friand tin with melted butter.

In a large bowl combine the butter and lemon zest (make sure to only use the yellow part of the skin as the white part can be very bitter)

Sift in the icing sugar, flour and almond meal. Add the egg whites and stir with a wooden spoon until combined and smooth.

Spoon the mixture evenly between the holes of the tin and top with a sprinkling of the flaked almonds.

Bake for about 25-30mins, turning the tray halfway through if your oven is old (like mine 😦 )

Cool in the tray and use a small knife to gently ease the friends out of the tin. Enjoy!!