December, 2018

September, 2018

August, 2018

  • Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    28 August, 2018 Cracking the code on cheffy terms

    Sometimes fine-dining menus can seem like more of a maze than a relaxing pre-dining experience. Here, we breakdown some of the cheffy terms you’re likely to come across and include recipes so you can test them out at home.
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  • Cooking the classics

    27 August, 2018 Cooking the classics

    We consider those classic recipes we go back to time and time again.
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  • IGNI: The first year

    06 August, 2018 IGNI: The first year

    VIDEO: Acclaimed chef Aaron Turner's stirring account of love, loss and starting again.
    Read more…

May, 2018

February, 2018

  • How a chef cooks for those he loves

    13 February, 2018 How a chef cooks for those he loves

    Skipping the crowds in favour of a lovingly prepared meal at home is your best bet for a romantic Valentine’s Day. This is chef Jock Zonfrillo's idea of a nice night in.
    Read more…

January, 2018

December, 2017

October, 2017

September, 2017

  • Win a pro toastie pack

    18 September, 2017 Win a pro toastie pack

    Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this kit, including a no-mess Breville press, a copy of Darren Purchese's Chefs Eat Toasties Too and a subscription to Cooked.
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August, 2017

July, 2017

June, 2017

  • Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    08 June, 2017 Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    Gill Meller is in the country, his first time to Australia, showcasing his beautiful book Gather with a series of dinners and classes. We caught up with him to find out what's on the menu for his Aussie guests.
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April, 2017

February, 2017

January, 2017

December, 2016

October, 2016

September, 2016

August, 2016

July, 2016

June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

March, 2016

February, 2016

January, 2016

December, 2015

November, 2015

  • Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    27 November, 2015 Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    We're looking at those staple recipes that can make or break your Christmas spread. First up, the much-misunderstood sweet seductress, custard.
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  • Halfway Home

    16 November, 2015 Halfway Home

    I’ve been sugar-free for a total of two weeks, and things are going surprisingly well...
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  • Bubbles or nothing

    11 November, 2015 Bubbles or nothing

    Out to impress this party season? To take your entertaining game to the next level, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Halliday Wine Companion to share tips on matching sparkling wines to a range of show-stopping canapes.
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  • The anatomy of the perfect burger

    11 November, 2015 The anatomy of the perfect burger

    Looking for your next weekend challenge? Why not have a crack at making your own cheeseburgers from scratch? Chef Daniel Wilson shares the secret recipe to recreating his famed Huxtaburger, from bun to patty and everything in between.
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  • No Sugar November

    04 November, 2015 No Sugar November

    This month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume.
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October, 2015

September, 2015

May, 2015

April, 2015

March, 2015

February, 2015

January, 2015

December, 2014

November, 2014

October, 2014

September, 2014

August, 2014

July, 2014

June, 2014

May, 2014

April, 2014

March, 2014

February, 2014

  • Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    27 February, 2014 Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    Jams, pickles, chutneys, sauces, compotes and conserves are the best way to preserve abundant produce so you can enjoy your fruit and veg all year round. Margaret Fulton shares her guide to the art of preserving.
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  • Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    27 February, 2014 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, running from February 28 to March 16, begins in just over a week. We’ve put together our picks of the fest.
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  • Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    24 February, 2014 Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    Master of the dough Philippa Sibley shares her step-by-step guide to making sweet shortcrust pastry, taking you through everything you need to know to perfect the art of peerless pâte.
    Read more…

  • In season | Eggplant

    21 February, 2014 In season | Eggplant

    The unsung hero of the nightshade family, eggplant is found in cuisines the world over. From Sicily to South East Asia, the Middle East to the Mediterranean, many signature dishes feature the versatile aubergine. We sing the praises of the humble eggplant.
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  • Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    17 February, 2014 Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    Meat expert and chef Adrian Richardson explains the different cuts of pork, and what you should use them for.
    Read more…

  • Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    14 February, 2014 Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    Skewers, kebabs, shaslicks, yakitori … Whatever you call them, meat just tastes better when cooked on a stick. We share our tips to help you ace the skewers at your next barbecue.
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  • In season | Figs

    06 February, 2014 In season | Figs

    Figs evoke the flavours of exotic decadence. Sweet and visually striking, figs make for a decadent tart topper, a sumptuous sticky jam or a delightful savoury venture with cold meats. We share some of our favourite fig recipes.
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  • Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    05 February, 2014 Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    There's nothing more thoughtful than a handmade edible gift. April Carter shares her tips and tricks for making beautiful and delicious treats for those you love.
    Read more…

January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

Cooking with kids: a survival guide

Sabrina Parrini
07 January, 2014

Let's face it, having kids in the kitchen can be a little hair-raising! Children's cookbook author Sabrina Parrini shares her tips on how to make cooking with kids a fun – and safe – experience for everyone.

To be honest, it takes time and patience to let young children into your kitchen. It is often quicker and easier to do things yourself. But if you take the time to encourage children to cook from an early age there are plenty of rewards for parents and carers in the long run. Not only do children learn important life skills in the kitchen, but as they get older, they will be able (and willing) to take over a lot of the meal preparation at home! 

For children to gain confidence and the necessary skills, you will probably need to set some ground rules. Mostly, these are common sense, and are to do with safety. And remember that children learn a lot of their own habits from observing grown-ups, so try to adopt good kitchen behaviour yourself. Wash your own hands before touching food, tie long hair back, wear an apron and pull up long sleeves. And try not to do things in the kitchen that you wouldn’t want your children to do – such as dipping questionably clean fingers into a dish to taste it! Encourage your children to read this information with you – even though they will probably want to jump straight into the fun cooking part! 

1. Give yourself time

Plan to cook when you have plenty of time, so you don’t feel rushed and everyone can enjoy the experience. It’s a good idea to cook on weekends or during the school holidays, instead of on a school day when you may be pressed for time, tired or stressed. In my experience, it’s when you try to rush things that things go wrong and safety can be compromised. 

2. Be prepared

Read the recipe through with your children, from beginning to end, before you start, so that you know what you are doing. Then assemble all the ingredients and equipment that you need. 

3. Allow the kids some independence

Decide which parts of the recipe your children can manage safely, then work through things together. While my recipes clearly indicate where full adult supervision is essential from a safety perspective, they are also designed to give children as broad an experience of cooking as possible. So I encourage you to allow them to do as much as possible, unaided. Children thrive on independence, so even if they are slow or messy, or not doing a task as ‘well’ as you could, give them the space and freedom to learn. Research has found that cooking with children from a young age can positively affect their mental and emotional wellbeing. 

4. Stick to the recipe

While some of the fun of cooking is knowing when and how to improvise, I strongly recommend that you and your little chefs start by following a recipe to the letter. Young children, in particular, need clarity and direction in the kitchen to achieve success. As a child gets older and becomes more adept, you can introduce the concepts of ingredient substitution and food matching. 

I hope that together you will create lots of happy shared memories in the kitchen – and that your whole family will enjoy the delicious results! 

cooking with kids scones

Safety tips for little chefs 

Although cooking is great fun, it is important to remember that some things in the kitchen can be dangerous if you are not careful. For this reason it is very important to have an adult stay in the kitchen with you the whole time you are cooking. 

Knives and sharp equipment

Knives, peelers, graters and food processors are sharp, so when they are called for in a recipe, I recommend that a grown-up should always be close by to help. Very small children may not be experienced or big enough to use knives safely, in which case an adult should do what is required themselves. 

Sharp knives are safer than blunt knives because you don’t need to use as much pressure to cut with them. When you use less pressure, you are less likely to slip and cut yourself. 

Don’t put a knife – or anything sharp – into a sink of water for washing where it can’t be seen. If someone doesn’t know it is there, they might cut themselves. 

Ovens and stovetop

Ovens and stovetops get very hot so I recommend that a grown-up should always be present when they are in use. Ask a grown-up to help you turn the heat on and off and to adjust the temperature to the correct level. 

When using the oven, remember to arrange the shelves in the right place BEFORE you turn it on. In general the middle shelf is the best spot for cooking because it allows the hot air to move all around your dish and cook the food evenly. 

Stand back when the oven door is being opened as the hot steam can burn. Both grown-ups and children should use oven mitts when moving things in and out of the oven. Ideally they should be long enough to cover your forearms – and please make sure they are the right size for your hands: small mitts for small hands. 

When cooking on the stovetop, always ask a grown-up to turn the heat on and to adjust it to the correct temperature. Either you or an adult MUST hold the handle steady when stirring something in a pan on the stovetop. Always wear oven mitts when working near a stovetop or with hot ingredients. 

Turn the handles of pots and pans so they face to the back or side of the stove. Handles poking out could cause an accident if someone accidentally knocks them. Never leave them unattended and always remember to turn the heat off when you are finished. 

Always use a timer, so you don’t overcook or burn anything; it’s easy to forget how long something has been cooking! Never leave the kitchen when you have something on the stovetop as it may burn or catch on fire. 


Always clean up spills straight away. Spills on the floor make it slippery and you might slip and fall over. Wipe up with paper towels and once you’ve cleaned up, tell everyone else to be careful of the wet floor. 


If you don’t already know, check with your parents or a grown-up to find out if you are allergic to any foods. If you are, ALWAYS tell the adult you are cooking with before you start. They might not know or they might have forgotten. Make sure you both check the recipe carefully to make sure it doesn’t use any ingredients you can’t have. If you are unsure about something, it’s safer to choose another recipe instead. 

Food safety

It's important to follow some simple hygiene rules when cooking so that no one gets sick! If you are cooking with both raw meats and vegetables, make sure you use two separate chopping boards and never use the same knife to chop vegetables after you've cut up meat. This is because raw meats sometimes have bacteria in them (that are killed by the cooking process) which you don't want to end up on your veggies!

This is an edited extract from Sabrina Parrini's Little Kitchen. Cook Sabrina's recipes


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