Hello lovely listeners! Episode number 5 is ready for you. It feels like it’s been a while since we last spoke but it’s definitely been worth the wait. We are so honoured to be able to share the wisdom of Valli Little, who is an absolute legend of the Australian food industry with you in this episode. There’s a fresh bundle of Top 5 loves for you to mull over and a new deliciously healthy snack cooked up by Sophie (with the help of her daughter Alice). There is some fresh tunes too, courtesy of our producer Pat and his wife Kel.
As always, you can listen by clicking on the green button below or find us on iTunes (search My Open Kitchen). We’ve had so much generous feedback in the last few weeks which we are so grateful for. Thank you and please keep it coming!! Sophie and Skye xx
Our Guest – Valli Little
What a very special privilege was to sit down with Valli Little. Valli is a senior contributing editor to ABC’s Delicious magazine, a prolific recipe developer and with 12 cookbooks under her belt, she has been so instrumental in the way we all eat here in Australia. She is softly spoken, loves simplicity, is a self confessed ‘Francophile’ and we think she is just the perfect person have a cup of tea and a piece of cake with.
Valli’s Favourite Cookbooks
Chocolate beetroot brownies
1 1/4 cups plain wholemeal flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 cup cup panela sugar (I love the Grounded Pleasures brand as mentioned in the podcast!)
125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 1/2 cups beetroot, grated
For the icing
100g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp pouring cream
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 cup raspberries
Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 12 -hole 1 cup capacity muffin or square mini cake tin. Combine all ingredients except the beetroot in a large bowl and whisk until combined. Add on the beetroot and fold together. Divide mixture among the prepared square or round mini cake tins and smooth over the tops (filling them 3/4 full).
Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment and beat for four minutes until fluffy and creamy. Add the sugar, cream, vanilla and raspberries and beat for a further minute. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops are springy to touch. Let cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out to a rack to cool completely.
For the icing
Beat softened butter on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 1 minute. Pipe or spoon mixture atop each cake then share at will!
Sophie’s Top 5
1. Deliciously Stella IG feed and podcast
She’s what’s apparently called an ‘instagram comedian’ and podcaster – Deliciously Stella pokes fun at the ‘clean eating’ ‘get your glow on’ Instagram movement. Her idea of a boxing session includes carton wine and yoga moves on holidays range from the beached whale to the ‘porpoise stuck in a net’ move. Think the katering show. And like the Katering show women, she’s not bitchy about it, just funny. Her podcast is great too. @deliciouslystella.
2 Outstanding in the Field
This unique catering/events group goes to farms around America and sets up long tables for up to 200 on beaches in wheat fields, orchards and vineyards. They’ve been ‘on the road’ for about 15 years and are a big inspiration to me. A bus full of chefs, trestles, chairs and portable kitchen gear travels the country visiting farms and showcasing each area’s produce wherever the stop – and tickets sell out within minutes of being posted online. I really think this is how people want to experience food these days – at the source, in a relaxed generous atmosphere, with a story. We are doing this twice a year on a much smaller scale on our own farm and people seem to be really into the whole experience. Follow via their blog and IG. Very inspiring for those of us who host farm lunches and events at home and one day dream of bumping up in scale. Love to know their wet weather contingency plans! @out_inthefield
For many of us, our Instagram homepage acts as a portfolio and the way we present ourselves to the world. Plann lets you design it to be a beautiful grid of images that all work together, plus you can schedule posts, save hashtags and your captions then it sends you a reminder when it’s time to post. I think this is also great for people who have terrible internet connection at home; they can have everything organised and ready to go, then when they go to town, head into the library or a cafe with wifi and just post in minutes. We’ve just downloaded it at the cost of $13. It’s a beautifully designed app, and I think will be really useful for us when we get time to properly plan our My Open Kitchen instagram posts!
4. @My day in Ag
A FB and IG feed called My Day in Ag – farmers from around the world take it in turns hosting the feed, updating photos and stories from their day in agriculture. So great to see day to day life of all kinds of farmers, on all kinds of scales all over the world. This is such a great use of social media connecting people in a really easy, fun way.
Another hashtag – #rural_love – this is a collection of absolutely beautiful images on IG from rural men and women around the world. Dive in and check them out, some serious beauty in here.
Skye’s Top 5
A really beautiful story of the power of social media, that shows how much love there is for rural landscapes. Through one of her pic’s (of a bridal party in dusty drought stricken paddock) $40,000 was raised for the Black Dog Institute. This money has resulted in ‘real’ change; it’s been put towards the funding of a Royal Flying Doctors position for a clinical counselor to be based in Western Queensland. I love her because she uses her wedding photography business to go the extra mile and showcase the perils (and love) of rural life.
Recorded by the lovely Lee Tran Lam of GoodFood. A great insight into the back story of some of Sydney’s top chefs. When I listen, I often think about how helpful this podcast may be for anyone wanting to sell product or collaborate with the top end of the food world in Sydney.
A free app for the photography fraternity. I love it for browsing and inspiration and its quick tutorials. Also a platform to sell photography work. Here are two tutorials you might be interested in;
My sister put me onto this one. Everyone is super generous, with advice, contacts, pitfalls of business, interesting conferences and of course good wines to drink! Its generosity is infectious and makes you want to reach out in a similar way.
Her book Farm Anatomy; The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life totally rocks my socks. I am a lover of journals, and always wish that I was more committed to the cause. Her books are like hand drawn journals that double as a text book for the visual eye and I love love love them! Great for adults and kids too!