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Pear and Almond Tart

Almond Pear Tart

This gorgeous Pear and Almond Tart is gluten free, refined sugar and dairy free. It is sure to be a hit over the Winter months when it appears on your family meal table.

Pear and Almond Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pear and Almond Tart. A beautiful gluten free, refined sugar and dairy free tart that is sure to be a family hit over the Winter months.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • Pastry
  • 1 ½ cups buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup finely ground almonds
  • ¼ cup Rice Malt Syrup (RMS)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 100g unsalted butter/coconut oil, very cold
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Almond filling
  • ¾ cup ground blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup Rice Malt Syrup
  • ¼ cup milk (we used Almond milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Topping
  • 2-3 pears, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Pastry
  3. Combine the flour, almond meal and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
  4. Rub the cold butter/coconut oil into the flour using your hands until it resembles fine breadcrumb.
  5. Add the RMS and egg yolk and mix until a smooth pastry forms.
  6. Flatten into a disk and place in the fridge to set for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Once the pastry has set, roll it out into the desired shape for your tart case (we used a rectangular tin).
  8. Line the tart case with the pastry.
  9. Blind bake (topped with baking beans) in the oven for 10 minutes. Once baked, set aside to cool.
  10. Almond Filling
  11. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  12. Once the pastry is cooled, pour in the filling, top with sliced pear and cinnamon and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
  13. Serve with your choice of either ice cream, yogurt or fresh cream.

For more seasonal, healthy recipes ideas visit our recipe blog








Easy Herbal Bath Soak

Herbal bath soak

Do you need to relax? Does your skin need a little pampering?  Are you searching for the perfect gift you can tailor to specific needs? It is time take a bath.  It is easy to make your own herbal bath soaks. Use my simple recipe and tips below to get started.  The key to creating a memorable product and bathing experience is to fill the bag with high quality ingredients.

You will need:

  • a length of (food) muslin cloth
  • a ribbon or string to secure the top that is long enough to hang down under the running water of the tap while the bath fills
  • dried herbs of your choice
  • any extra nourishing  additions that you have on hand, or would like to use (see below for examples)

These simple bath soaks are a lovely personal gift. The beauty of a DIY gift such as this is that they may be filled with ingredients designed to suit a mood, a skin type, or situation  eg: relaxing, dry skin, after sun care, sore muscles etc.

Be sure to pin this post as an idea for teacher gifts at the end of the school year.

To make your own herbal bath soak, use a combination of base ingredients, or just one, with dried herbs of your choice. Some base ingredient options to consider adding to you bag may include:

Base Ingredient  Properties
Argiletz Clay  Softening for the skin, detoxifying, rich in minerals
Cocoa Butter   Softening and soothing, protective, quick absorption.
Epson Salts  Softening, anti inflammatory, detoxifying
Shea Butter  Softening, healing, natural sun screen, prevention of dry skin, Vitamin E and Provitamin A,wounds, dermatitis, sunburn, irritation, elimination of rough flaky skin.

The raw materials that I use are available to purchase via the links in the above table.  I am an affiliate of Aromatherapy for Australia, that means if you make a purchase via one of the links to ingredients in the above table I will receive a small commission that helps me cover the costs of hosting this site, and testing new recipes (and I would be truly thankful for your support and thrilled that you are embracing aromatherapy skin care!)

If you have been reading my skin care posts you will notice that I repeat the use of many of these ingredient. Their usage is wide and varied. You will be able to make many skin care products using common base ingredients.

One of my favorite herbal soaks is this simple recipe below:

Easy Herbal Bath Soak
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Do you need to relax? Does your skin need a little pampering? Are you searching for the perfect gift you can tailor for a friend or family members needs? It is time take a bath with this easy herbal bath soak that you can make yourself.
Recipe type: Skin Care
  • 2 tablespoon coco butter
  • 3 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
  • lemon peel cut into thick strips
  • 2 tablespoons white or green argiletz clay
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
  1. Cut a large square of muslin cloth
  2. Add your chosen ingredients to the center of the square
  3. Pull up the edges of the square to the center and wrap a ribbon around the top. Allow enough length to hand the bag from the tap
  4. Hang over the bath tap in the stream of the warm water while the bath is running
  5. Once the bath has run you can float the bag in the water if you wish or give it a squeeze to release the fragrant ingredients.
  6. Relax!

Lavender and Lemons are abundant in my garden at the moment. They are among my favorite things of all time. I have been a long time fan of lavender, in fact I would call it my “cure all” I am never without a bottle of lavender essential oil.

To make the bath soak I collected some fresh lavender, removed the stems and dehydrated the flowers for a few hours in my dehydrator. You could use fresh lavender if you wish, but if you are intending to give the Herbal Bath Soak as a gift I suggest that you use dried herbs as they will store better if not used straight away. If you have lavender in your garden you can dry the flowers on a tray in a sheltered sunny position for approximately one week if you do not have a dehydrator.

If you do not have spray free lavender flowers in your garden, don’t despair, simply use a couple of drops of lavender essential oil. It is much stronger than dried lavender flowers so only a few drops are required.

This herbal bath soak uses lavender flowers from my garden. As with all plants there are multiple varieties, with varying properties.  When using essential oils I choose to use Lavendula Augustifolia.

Let me tell you some of the things that I love about Lavender essential oil :


Some of the properties include:

  • Anti inflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiviral
  • Burns, cuts and bites
  • Colds
  • Emotionally calming, soothing, relaxing, sedative
  • Headache
  • Pain relief
  • Wound healing

Lavender essential oil is considered to have balancing properties, thus may be beneficial for mood swings and emotions such as frustration, anxiety and exhaustion.

See what I mean? It is a miracle oil!

Items to note: 

I am providing this warning because it is important to understand that if you are going to use essential oils, instead of dried lavender flowers, that they are very powerful. A few drops are plenty to add to a bath product. They should be used with care and respect.

The properties of Lavender essential oil that I have described above are based on the use of a true steam distilled Lavender oil of therapeutic quality, not a synthetic reproduction (fragrance oil).

None of the information in this post should be considered as medical information or advice. Consult the advice of a qualified aromatherapist prior to using essential oils for children, pregnant women, or any medical conditions.

Although Lavender and the other products that I have listed are predominately plant based, some people may still have an adverse reaction if an allergy exists. If an irritation occurs discontinue usage immediately.

Do you love to have a bath?  What do you love to add to your bath at the end of a hectic, stressful day to unwind? 





A Fresh Legacy


Red Wine and Chocolate Beef Ribs

beef ribs wine choc sauce. (1 of 1)-2

Yes! You did read correctly, red wine and chocolate coated beef ribs.  Could there be a more desirable combination of ingredients on a cold Winter night? I say no. I am besotted with beef ribs.  I love the way the rib bones end up in the pan, separated from the meat.  The meat comes apart with a fork, no knife required.

These ribs were such a long time coming that I would have been intensely annoyed had this recipe not turned out as I expected. Luckily they were glorious and I can share the results here with you. Source some beef ribs and get these onto your dinner menu quick smart!

For the last couple of years I have been purchasing meat from a local farm, grass fed and delivered to my door.  The quality is to date unsurpassed by any other meat I have tasted. This experience has changed the way that our family eats, appreciates, and measures the quality of meat. You may call me a meat snob and that would be ok with me. I am happy with our food choices.

Recently a local butcher introduced a range of beef from another local farm at a very competitive price. The meat is also grass fed. I had numerous conversations with the butcher about the farm, the quality of the meat and the range available. I started to purchase some meat from the butcher and we were happy with the quality.  On one visit I asked the butcher if he could set me aside some ribs when his next order came in. He agreed that he would prepare them for me (they were not considered a regular cut in his range). I visited the store twice to collect them. They were not ready on either occasion…….I gave the butcher the benefit of the doubt and visited again to ask if he could prepare ribs for me – I really wanted ribs!! I worked in retail for many years and I know that it is a tough industry to be involved in.

I returned to the store again at the agreed time, twice, but I did not exit with ribs. I fancy that smoke may have been coming out of my ears when I dragged my non-compliant, whinging three year old out of the shop into the rain and wintery blast of icy wind. No ribs for dinner that night and we are not returning to that butcher again, regardless of the competitive price that he offers grass fed beef.

Do you include good service in your requirements when you shop ?  

I continue to order from our original farm friends. They have a wide range of cuts and if you purchase a half or full animal it is butchered with your choice of cuts. We savor, and appreciate every morsel of this beautiful, ethically raised meat.  The ribs that I used for this recipe were delivered straight to my front door, along with a month’s supply of free range meat.    The service is exceptional and the meat superb. I have never been disappointed.

Red Wine and Chocolate Beef Ribs
Prep time
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Slow cooked grass fed beef ribs. The meat falls apart in your mouth, serve with polenta and vegetables and a luscious wine and chocolate sauce.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 5
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 8 garlic cloves - finely chopped
  • 1 brown onion - chopped
  • 1.5 kg beef ribs
  • generous pinch of salt, or two
  • ¾ cup passata
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 and ½ cups beef stock
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 15 grams chocolate
  • salt
  1. Select a baking dish or tray that can be covered and snuggly fit the ribs
  2. Heat oven to 160 degrees
  3. Add the oil to a heated pan and then add the garlic and onion to soften
  4. Remove the onion and garlic and add to the baking dish
  5. Season the ribs with salt and add to the pan to brown (do this in batches until complete)
  6. Add the ribs to the baking dish with the garlic and onion
  7. Add the passata, wine, stock and honey
  8. Cook for 1 hour, remove from the oven to cover - scoop out about ½ cup of the juice from the pan and set aside
  9. Add a cover and return to the oven to cook for a further 2 hours
  10. Remove from the oven and allow the meat to sit for 15 minutes
  11. Add the juice collected from the pan earlier, and any left after the cooking and bring it to a gentle boil for about 5 minutes. Do not have the heat too high or the liquid will reduce too much.
  12. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate stirring until it melts
  13. Serve the ribs with polenta and vegetables of choice
  14. Pour over some of the sauce to serve
  15. Savor every bite!

red wine and chocolate beef ribs

This recipe was inspired by one for Venezuelan Asado ribs with a chocolate sauce from Feast Magazine Issue 25, Oct 2013.  Mexican cooking also features chocolate used with protein, such as the famous mole sauce. I have said this before, some things are meant to be together – some of these things include red wine and chocolate. Other things include good quality and service ;-)

Do you agree, or are you happy to have one without the other? I would love to hear your thoughts. I am definitely less tolerant now than I used to be.

In the meantime, my rant is over and I hope that you enjoy some gloriously tasty, melt-in-the-mouth beef ribs in red wine and chocolate very soon.





A Fresh Legacy


Pumpkin and Kale Lasagna

pumpkin kale lasagna

At a leisurely pace over Winter we use up our store of home grown pumpkins. I love to select one and plan what I will cook with it over the coming week. It is such a versatile vegetable that lends itself to all manner of meals and uses. You can find many pumpkin recipes here by typing the word pumpkin into the search box in the sidebar to the right. As I write this I have just cut into this season’s third last pumpkin. I am getting to the point now where they will be saved for a special reason :-)

Our Winter vegetable garden has been more productive than usual this year, thanks to the addition of a new garden area that has doubled my growing space. It has resulted in a wonderful abundance of kale and parsley. About a month ago I was playing around with a new pasta cutting tool to make little pasta bows, it was fiddly and time consuming. It was so time consuming that my reasonable patient 3 year old got fed up. I abandoned the exercise part way through and changed to making quick lasagna sheets that I then dried in my dehyrator.

In an attempt to keep our food budget at a reasonable level, two of the consistent practices I use include: the use of home grown seasonal produce, and the inclusion of at least one vegetarian meal on the meal table each week. You can find my 13 tips for low cost family meals here. The combination of pumpkin and pasta make for a substantial meal, suitable even for a dedicated meat eater like Mr Fresh!

The first time I made this recipe I used my home made lasagna sheets. In the meantime I have also made it with ready-to-cook lasagna sheets and it worked equally well. You can see from the image below that I did not bring the filling all of the way to the edges of the pasta sheets – make sure that you do that or you will get crispy edges :-)

pumpkin kale lasagna

Pumpkin and Kale Lasagna
Prep time
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Total time
Pumpkin and kale lasagna, a simple recipe made from home grown vegetables. A hearty vegetarian family meal.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
  • 550 grams pumpkin - cubed, baked and mashed
  • 250 grams ricotta (light)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 60 grams fresh kale - stalk removed and finely chopped
  • 1 generous tablespoon fresh sage leaves finely chopped
  • generous pinch dried chilli flakes
  • generous pinch salt
  • mozarella cheese - sliced to top
  • ready to cook lasagna sheets
  1. Set the oven to heat to 160 degrees
  2. Add all of the ingredients except the lasagna sheets to a bowl and mix to combine
  3. To a small greased baking tin add a sheet of lasagna
  4. Spoon the filling over top and smooth to the edges
  5. Add another sheet and repeat until the last of the filling covers the top lasagna sheet
  6. Slice pieces of mozarella to cover and place in the over to cook for 20 minutes
  7. Cover with foil after 20 minutes and continue to cook for another 30 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven and sit (still covered for 5-10 minutes)
  9. Slice and serve with your sides of choice
The cook time does not include time to bake the pumpkin.
Ensure that the filling covers the lasagna sheets all the way to the edge to ensure that it softens. otherwise you will have crispy edges
The pumpkin may be roughly mashed

Do you have a favorite vegetarian lasagna combination? I would love to hear what it is in the comments below. I love to hear what you are cooking, or combinations that you have discovered. 



A Fresh Legacy