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Thank you to all those who reviewed or taken photos of my recipes. I can no longer send a thank you note individually. Please know I am very grateful you have tried my recipes. ____________________________________ I was born in Sydney and grew up in Melbourne. I lived in Melbourne for most of my life until I was married and decided to move to the country where it is blissfully quiet and the pace is a little slower. My parents are from Cyprus (Turkish speaking). So I grew up with food being the main topic of discussion around family and friends. (Photo above is a photo of our wedding day - Taken in the year 2000) At the age of sixteen I decided to stop eating meat and my poor mother thought it was the end of the world. She was in mourning for a few weeks so I compromised and relented on poultry and seafood. (Compromising with a typically stubborn Mediterranean woman is like having teeth pulled minus the anaesthetic). My mother was definitely the bossy hen of the kitchen. I wasn't allowed to even enter her sacred domain without the usual quick fire set of questions such as. What are you doing? Why can't I do it for you? Having you got something better to do? Don't you know it's my job to cook? With these obstacles to contend with, its small wonder that I was a late bloomer in the kitchen. Growing up in the suburbs we met people from all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. There were Asians, Anglo Australians, Central Americans, Greeks, Indians, Italians, Persians, Poles, Turks, Macedonians, Maltese and Yugoslavs. So I guess it's safe to say that I was introduced to a more diverse range of culinary offerings at a young age than most people would sample throughout their entire life. I remember in Primary School we used to have 'International Day' and every child in the school had to bring along a dish from their parents native country. I brought along mums Dolmas and brought back home a feast from around the world. Being introduced to all sorts of food was a blessing and I do my best to pass this on to my daughter (Little Miss). I must be doing something right, at her age of three and she was known to attack the Sushi & Sashimi platers before the waitress has even had a chance to place it upon our table. My husband grew up with (in his own words) 'Bangers and Mash', which in Australia slang is sausages and mash potatoes. Having to be an eye witness to my in-laws dinner parties this has proven to be somewhat of an exaggeration on my husbands behalf as his mother can certainly cook an excellent roast and his sister is quite the pastry and cake aficionado. Just the first month during which I introduced my then boyfriend to my family he put on several kilograms. He argues that it was because he couldn't say no and risk insulting my family. But secretly I suspect he was having what I affectionately call a food-gasm on the strength of all the new tastes and textures that his poor neglected palate had never been privy to. Where do you live? I live in a very small town in Central West Victoria Australia, about 30 kms pass Ballarat. I know some of you won't believe this, but I actually do have kangaroos in my back yard. It's not an urban legend. We are 30 kms away from a decent supermarket, but our local grocery store is perfect for staples. What's your favourite restaurant? One thing I missed about living in Melbourne is the quality and variety of food at restaurants. I went to the local Japanese restaurant in what now serves as our nearest large town to be served FROZEN Sashimi, they didn’t even allow it to defrost out the back. I was so embarrassed for them. My favourite was Kappo Okita (Japanese Restaurant) in Melbourne but in October 2007 they had shut shop and moved to Sydney. Our favourite restaurant now has to be Sunday Lunch at The Press Club in Melbourne we will have dinner here one day but you can't go pass chefs picks on Sunday. What you do for work? I work after business hours for a hospital in a business section that assist the aged, people with disabilities and the elderly who are socially isolated. It's a rewarding position but it's also a bit sad to know that there are a lot of people in pain and alone. For Fun? Due to work and family commitments I stopped going to Yoga classes, I would love to get back to it one day. I like riding my bike when the weather is nice. I put Little Miss (DD) on the child seat attached to my bike and off we go on an adventure. I’m also addicted to the solving Sodoku puzzles. I'm now interested in food photography because of Zaar, I even want to do a part time course but haven't found the time. We also love to travel, Family and I try to get away on holiday's / vacation at least twice a year or every four months, depending work commitments. (Photo above is Little Miss on a beach in the Daintree Queensland Australia, She is waiting for a crab to come outside it's hole. Not sure what she will do with it if it comes out) What's your favourite cookbook? My favourite one is ‘Meals without red meat’ by Simon and Alison Holst (perfect for me as I don't eat red meat). ' Fish' by Pete Evans (perfect to take on holidays with us, if we are travelling around Australia). Since joining RecipeZaar on 19th Jun 2005, I don't buy many cookbooks. What's your favourite dish to cook? Moroccan Chicken, Indian Butter Chicken, Gomae - Japanese Style Spinach Salad, Smoked Salmon Carpaccio, BBQ's, Fish/Seafood Dishes and easy to cook meals What I can't live without in my kitchen/fridge/pantry? My mini food processor, lemons, olives, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, fresh ginger, my spice shelf, canned tomatoes, black pepper and chilli.