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Village Voices

I need to tell you all about some exciting news.

A few weeks ago an exciting new blogging website launched, Village Voices.  It’s a website owned by Kidspot which is a site that currently enjoys over a million views a month.  The new site features some fantastic bloggers who write on all the topics we love to read about including pregnancy, parenting, things to do, food, lifestyle and family health.

There are quite a few bloggers contributing to Village Voices and they are all Australian and they are all women.  I’d like to introduce you to the bloggers who are writing on Village Voices because they are all very talented, very successful and a whole lot of fun.  I’m sure you will know a few of them.  Do let me know if you are regular visitor to any of these blogs.

Osso Bucco with Wet Polenta and Gremolata

Nikki Yazhki from Bella Mumma, Life is Beauty-Ful.  Nikki has two children and is a beauty and lifestyle writer who has written for many magazines including Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan.  Her latest post on Village Voices is Tips for a Badly Behaved Fringe.

Penny Flanagan from Edible Garbage.  Penny describes herself as a freelancer who writes books, sings songs, makes videos for Kidspot and blogs – she must be busy!  Penny’s latest post on Village Voices is All Complaints Must be Made in Writing and you will find that post and all of Penny’s posts very funny.

Alana House from House Goes Home.  Alana worked in the magazine industry for 2o years, then decided to spend time at home with her two children, her chickens and nervous husband.  She wonders how she will cope with her stay-at-home life.  Her latest post of Village Voices is Why We Don’t Care About Bec Hewitt Anymore.  Alana has a wonderful and witty writing style and I’m sure you will love her posts.

Alison Tait from Life in a Pink Fibro.  Alison is super busy.  She writes for newspapers, magazines and websites.  She writes non-fiction books and at night, writes fiction and her first novel is being published by Pan MacMillan and will be released in 2013. She lives with her builder husband in a 1960’s fibro cottage with their two children and works from home.  When does she sleep?  Her latest post on Village Voices is Do Your Kids Eat Better Than You Do?   Scary thought and I think it’s true!

Sophie Hansen from Local is Lovely.  Sophie lives on a venison farm with her farmer husband and two children.  Sophie is a food writer and she has a beautiful blog with lots of incredible recipes.  Sophie’s writing is engaging, her photography is wonderful and her food, delicious.  Her latest post on Village Voices is Chicken Harira Soup (in 10 Minutes).  Wouldn’t we all love to put out a family meal in just 10 minutes!

Bron from Maxabella Loves.  Bron is just lovely.  She’s a wife and the mother of three gorgeous children.  Bron writes a beautiful parenting blog and you really should visit her and get to know her blog.  Her latest post on Village Voices is 16 Ways to Show off Your Kids’ Artwork.    You will love her ideas!

Pip Lincoln from Meet Me at Mikes.  Pip lives in Melbourne’s inner city, is the mother of three and the lover of all things cute.  Pip is the editor of JustB, she appears on The Circle and is a contributor to Frankie magazine.  She has also published four craft magazines.  Pip is another super-busy blogger!  Her latest post on Village Voices is How to Crochet.

Jay Rogers from Moodie Foodie.  Jay writes a food blog about choosing to eat according to your moods.  You should see the beautiful French apple tart she just posted on her blog.  Delicious!  Her most recent post on Village Voices is How to Make a Healthy Lasagne.

Pink Patent Mary Janes.  Mary Jane is a wife, a mother and a writer.  She has a hectic schedule so she menu plans.  Her most recent post on Village Voices is Meal Planning Monday.

Comfort Food

Belinda from The Happy Home.  Belinda is a wife, a mother of three children, a freelance writer, a decorator, a renovator, and a person who is good with craft.  She is super busy (is there a theme here?) and in amongst all the business she makes sure she has time with her three children.  Belinda’s latest post on Village Voices is Time to Decorate My Favourite Room:  The Nursery.

Wee Birdy is a blog showing us the gems of London and Sydney.  It has been written up as one of the Top 100 blogs in the World by the Sunday Times.  Wee Birdy loves and blogs about fashion, style, shopping, craft and handmade.  Her latest post on Village Voices is The 12 Best Personalised Gifts for Children.

Caz Makepeace from Y Travel Blog.  Caz has been traveling since 199y.  In 2002 her husband joined her and within time, their two children became part of the travel package.  On Village Voices Caz shares her hints and tips for traveling and especially, for traveling with children.  Her latest post on Village Voices is Light Up Your Kid’s World With Vivid Live Sydney

And then there’s me from Hotly Spiced!  I would love to see you all visit us over at Village Voices.  And I’d really love you to visit my first post, Remembering a First Kiss.  I hope to see you there and I’d love you to leave a comment.

Today I just knew the family would be expecting dinner and I just didn’t have time to waft around in the kitchen.  I decided an all-in-the-pot dinner was the solution.  Once it was slow-cooking in the oven I was free to indulge in other things like a glass of wine with a handful of marinated olives.  I love Osso Bucco.  It’s great comfort food, wonderful on a cold night and it’s only downfall is that it’s difficult to plate up and make look attractive!

Osso Bucco

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty 3/5

Cost:  I have found this to be a a medium priced meal.

  • 2 tbspns olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain flour plus seasoning
  • 8 x 2cm thick pieces of veal shank
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 500ml dry red wine
  • 800g tinned tomatoes
  • 4 bay leaves
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 small handful of parsley, very finely chopped

A Wonderful Meal

In a large heavy based saucepan heat olive oil.  Add seasoning to the flour and mix to combine.  Add veal shank pieces and coat.  Dust off excess.  Add to saucepan and brown evenly.  Cook in batches.  Remove from pan, add onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook until softened (about 5 mins).

Add wine and cook until boiling.  Reduce slightly.  Add tinned tomatoes and bay leaves.  Return meat to pan.

Cover with a lid and place in a 180C oven and cook for 2 hours.

Make a gremolata with the lemon rind, garlic and parsley.

To serve:  Give each person 2 pieces of veal shank sprinkled with gremolata.  Serve with mash or pasta or in this case, polenta.  (I make a wet polenta.  I cook it in chicken stock and add butter at the last minute as I find polenta cooked in water to be far too bland).

Want to keep in touch?  Join the fun on the Hotly Spiced Facebook page! 



  1. I haven’t heard of any of these blogs before but obviously I need to change that! I’m always up for some new reads 😛  

  2. Can’t wait to check out these blogs!

  3. Niasunset says:

    WOW! This is amazing post dear Charlie, I will check them soon… And your recipe seems so delicious too. Thank you dear, have a nice day, love, nia 

  4. Lots of interesting places to visit … not that I don’t already spend too much time online looking at food rather than cooking it. The osso bucco sounds terrific. I love long cooking dishes and this may finally inspire me to buy a bottle of wine to use. 🙂

  5. Thanks for giving us so many interesting links.  Will definitely check some of them out. The Osso Bucco looks great as well–I love how you just toss if off with no effort when you don’t have time for anything else.  It always takes me forever, or so it seems, to make Osso Bucco.

  6. What a Great Share – Thanks so much! Have a Great Day!

  7. I visited some of the blog sites, they are all nice!
    Thank you for sharing 🙂

  8. Choc Chip Uru says:

    These blogs sound amazing! I love kid spot and it is the perfect site for everything kid related 😀
    Thanks for the links!

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Juliet Batten says:

    What rich and lively blogs there are to visit. Thanks for introducing them Charlie.

  10. Charlie you’ve given me a whole day’s worth of blog to visit thank you!

    I made your middle Eastern beef stew last night and it was delicious. 

  11. Vanessa Carnegie says:

    I’ve never come across any of those before, but I love the concept of the Moodie Foodie! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. Wow … you are a writing machine!

  13. CheezyK says:

    The headings on some of those posts sound right up my alley … of to have a look around 🙂

  14. Village Voice looks like a really good and varied read.  I like the cross section of contributors adding to the variety, including yourself Charlie!

  15. How cool is that!  Good on you Charlie… your writing deserves a large audience.  I’ll be checking out Village Voice.  

  16. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Congratulations Charlie! Your name up in lights where it should firmly be 😀

  17. What a great set of links! I’ll definitely be checking some of these out – and congratulations on your (well deserved) involvement 🙂

  18. InTolerant Chef says:

    How exciting, and sounds like a great lineup!
    Stewy type meals are always hard to make pretty, lucky they taste great to make up for it. Gremolata really brings it all to life as well, yummo!

  19. Ive never had 
    Osso Bucco.. it looks very comforting! 

  20. I’ve never seen any of these blogs or eaten osso busco. I’ll have to check out some of each. 🙂

  21. Congratulations! This is fantastic.

  22. Thx for sharing all these wonderful new bloggers that I’ve never heard about …. I love meeting new people 🙂

  23. Never heard of the other bloggers – will check them out 🙂

    Actually never had an osso bucco either… should surely change that!

  24. Wow I didn’t know there was a new website from Kidspot 🙂 but lovely post Charlie and thank you for introducing me to so many new blogs and funny articles to read ~ 

  25. ChgoJohn says:

    Osso bucco is such a wonderful dish, Charlie, perfect for your time of year. And serving it over polenta? Well, you’re singing my song! And isn;t gremolata the perfect accompaniment? I love the mix of flavors.  🙂

  26. I must tell you that I am not familiar with any of the blogs you’ve referenced, and each has appeal in its own particular way. Should I be thanking you or not? It’s becoming clear to me that in time I may need to retire a little earlier than planned. I don’t have time to work as much as I might since I’d so much rather be reading wonderful blogs! But I’ll figure it out somehow… 🙂 Now how you do it all…and still manage to create such fabulous recipes. I’m quite impressed, Charlie! oxo Debra

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