Donna’s simple mid-week soup

28th October 2019

Whenever my sister comes to visit or we meet up in Australia, I always request one of her soups. She is the queen of soup making! This was a soup she made recently when staying with us here in Portugal. A very simple, quick, no-fuss soup.


Donna’s simple mid-week soup

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 


1 Tbsp ghee

2 fresh bay leaves

1 x 10cm rosemary sprig, leaves stripped

2 pinches asafoetida powder

2 stalks/300g celery, roughly chopped

1 tsp fine Himalayan rock salt

1 medium/150g potato, diced

1 medium/250g sweet potato, diced

¼ cup/50g brown basmati rice, rinsed

6 cups water

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

to serve


grated parmesan or pine nut parmesan


1.  In a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat, heat ghee, add rosemary leaves, bay leaves and asafoetida and fry till fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.

2.  Add celery and salt, fry for 2 minutes, occasionally stirring.

3.  Reduce heat to medium and add potatoes. Fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking. Add rice and fry for a further minute.

4.  Add water, bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

5.  Remove bay leaves. Using a hand blender, puree to desired consistency.

6.  Add pepper and extra salt to taste. Serve with a spoonful of ghee and grated parmesan.


  • to save time, saute all vegetables together.

Donna’s Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

13th August 2019

On this day 10 years ago, Donna and I posted our first combined post on Goodnessis’, and with this in mind, we felt it was appropriate to share another, considering that we are currently spending family time together in Australia. As we live on opposite sides of the world, we always commit to meet once a year with our parents in Australia’s Winter on Hamilton Island. Each night, Donna and I cook and prepare a meal together, these Hasselback sweet potatoes was one of those delicious meals!

Donna first initiated this blog as a way for us to keep in contact. As with most areas of life, for growth to occur, things need to evolve, and due to exploring other pursuits, Donna stepped away from contributing and I continued. For me, this blog has given so much and has become a wonderful way to share this way of life and recipes with like-minded well-wishers.

This post is a heartfelt THANK YOU to Donna!  I am forever grateful that we began this journey, as I am not sure this blog would have taken birth without her initial inspiration.

Hasselback sweet potatoes

Preparation – 1 hour

Serves 6


3 large/6 small sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp ghee/extra virgin olive oil, melted

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped 

sea salt & cracked pepper

to serve

spicy avocado yoghurt puree

beetroot, apple, fennel, sesame seeded salad with ginger lemon dressing


1.  Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper.

2.  Place sweet potato in between 2 wooden spoons. Holding the spoons and the potato, make thin slices across the top of the potato. The spoons prevent cutting all the way through. Repeat with all sweet potatoes.

3.  Place each sweet potato on the lined tray. Gently fan out the potatoes so the slices are revealed.

4.  Drizzle ghee over the potatoes, aiming for a little to drip between the slices, and then also brush tops with ghee.

5.  Sprinkle the rosemary over the top of each. Add salt and pepper to taste.

6.  Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes, then remove foil and roast for a further 15-20 minutes, or until edges are crispy/charred, depending on how you like them.

roasted potato & lemon segments, rosemary & oregano

9th April 2011

This post was originally inspired by Nigel Slater’s Tender Vol 1.  I loved the look of the roasted lemon segments.  And the taste.  As you bite into them, you get that quick hit of the tartiness of the lemon, then a burst of juice and then you are left with the caramelization of the rind to finish. Mmmm….  Plus, the dish looks equally impressive pre- and post-roasting.  A ‘straight from the oven to the table’ type of dish’.  The kind I love. Quick, easy, tasty and a feast for the eye.

roasted potato & lemon segments, rosemary & oregano

Desired quantity of potatoes, cut in half, then quartered


1 – 2 lemons, cut in thin segments (see photo)

sprigs fresh rosemary

sprigs fresh oregano

generous splash good quality olive oil

generous sprinkling sea salt flakes

cracked fresh black pepper

a mix of raw & pre-cooked ‘smashed’ potatoes (realised after boiling potatoes, did not have enough)


1.  Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

2.  Add potatoes to a rectangular ceramic baking dish, tuck the lemon segments and herb sprigs amongst the potatoes and sprinkle over sea salt flakes and pepper – toss all ingredients together, then drizzle over olive oil and toss well.

3.  Roast in the oven for approximately 45min – 1 hour (dependent on oven) until potato edges have crisped and browned and lemon segments begin to blacken.  This gives a lovely charred flavour to the lemon.  Stir after about 20 minutes. If potatoes begin to stick to the dish, just give a good scrape off the bottom as this rough mashing creates crispier edges.

Serve as a light supper or side dish.

*If you have ample time to spare or want to start preparation earlier (perfect for a dinner party), this dish works beautifully with ‘smashed potatoes’.  Boil small, whole potatoes until tender.  Drain, and place on a baking paper-lined tray until needed.  Cut a cross in each, then press down on each with a fork so that they split open and the mashed bits are evident (more mashy, the crustier they become).  Tuck the lemon and herbs amongst the potatoes.  Drizzle the olive oil directly onto each potato and sprinkle the whole tray with the sea salt.  Roast as above.  No need to turn the potatoes as already cooked from the boiling.  Time = approx. 30 – 45min. roasting.

Goodness shared from Donna

rosemary & olive oil cake

27th May 2010


I tried putting off making this cake when I first spotted it on Heidi Swanson’s blog last week, but the intrigue and curiosity of rosemary and olive oil in a cake recipe was too much for me, so I had to give it a try. The reason I was reluctant in trying this is that I knew having a cake like this sitting in the house could be dangerous. And plus, I am not too big on chocolate. That’s my sister’s department!

The scent of this cake baking was worth it in itself, even before tasting.  Like Heidi says, “Incredibly moist, golden-crumbed, flecked with rosemary and dotted with big and small chocolate chunks.  It is one of those cakes that is distinctive and memorable in an understated way.  You can see the wheels turning in people’s minds as they are taking their first bite.  The rosemary is the wild card factor here, and it permeates the cake in a subtle but steady way, not at all overpowering.”

The original recipe was taken from ‘Good to Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours’ by Kim Boyce.  I had a sneak peak on Amazon and it is on its way to becoming a part of my cooking library.

We are undertaking house renovations at the moment, so I served this to the workers, and boy did it put a smile on everybody’s face!

I followed Heidi’s recipe.  She recommended using regular sugar, I only had brown sugar and the results were still great!  In all my enthusiasm, I did forget to put in the milk but managed to discreetly add it after the chocolate.  Thankfully it survived and all was okay with the finished product. Phew!

I love recipes where I need to go directly to the garden to pick at least one of the ingredients. The olive oil I used, was a present from our neighbours who have an olive orchard and press their own oil. Wonderful quality and intoxicating smell.  Perfect to use in making this cake.  The eggs are from our dear little chickens who just laid them this morning.

Here are a few before and after shots from the house renovations.

IMG_4435 IMG_4963

IMG_4958 IMG_5963

rosemary & olive oil cake

Serves 8 – 12 

Recipe from 101 Cookbooks

Olive oil for the pan

dry ingredients

¾ cup/80g spelt flour

1 ½ cups/210g all-purpose flour

¾ cup/115g sugar

1½ tsp baking powder

1½ tsp salt

wet ingredients

3 eggs or 3 flax eggs (3 Tbsp ground flax + ½ cup water – mix and allow to sit 15 minutes)

1 cup/240ml olive oil

¾ cup/180ml whole milk

1½ Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

140g bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cocoa), chopped into ½ inch pieces

2 Tbsp sugar, for top crunch


1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/175C.  Grease a 9½-inch fluted tart pan with olive oil or a long 13-inch loaf pan.

2.  Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring any bits of grain or other ingredients left in the sifter back into the bowl.  Set aside.

3.  In another large bowl, whisk the eggs/flax eggs thoroughly, add the olive oil, milk and rosemary and whisk again.

4.  Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently mixing just until combined, then stir in  of the chocolate.

5.  Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top, then sprinkle with the remaining chocolate and run a fork along the length of the chocolate so that the batter envelops it just a bit.  Sprinkle with the second sugar.

6.  Bake for about 40 mins, or until the top is domed, golden brown, and a skewer comes out clean. My cake, in the loaf pan, took closer to 50 minutes.

The cake can be eaten warm or cool from the pan, or cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and kept for 2 days.

Goodness shared from Stacey

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