Posts Tagged ‘home cooking’
This year i’m keen to explore the concept of BALANCE a little more in-depth, particularly how it relates to food, exercise and health in general, and how we can use it to bring back a little more sanity in an overcomplicated world.
I thought it might be an interesting exercise to interview a few local women I admire and feel have achieved some level of balance in their lives. Each manages it in a different way, using a unique approach and style of their own, often while juggling many different hats. I also happen to know that they are all passionate food lovers and keen cooks!
I’m curious to know more though. What inspires them? What do they love to cook? How do they stay fit and healthy? Do they really think balance is the key?… I’m looking to uncover some really open, honest and enlightening answers, and hope you will enjoy learning from them along with me. If you know someone you think deserves to be interviewed, let me know!
To get things started, I think it’s only fair that I go first! So, here are my responses to the questions i’m going to pose to my interviewees, plus a few snapshots from my everyday life…
Christmas has crept up on us once again (as it tends to do these days) and I thought it might be fun to put together a few gift ideas that resonate with our food and fitness ethos. Cookbooks today, followed by foodie and fitness ideas, finishing with some homemade gift inspiration. (Don’t let anyone stress you out with the term ‘last minute’, there’s still plenty of time!)
I love cookbooks, and over the years they have become my all time favourite thing to give (and receive!) I like to think that not only am I gifting something aesthetically lovely to look at, it can also be used to provide culinary inspiration for the recipient and may even help them to create new memories and food experiences with their loved ones.
These days, there are so many beautiful cookbooks from all over the world that would be worthy additions to any collection, however, I wanted to focus on a couple of new local publications that I have a soft spot for…
We are of the belief that one of the best things you can do to take control of your health and wellbeing is to start cooking at home and get in the habit of shopping and planning your meals. Forget the magic pills and potions that promise quick and easy results, this simple back-to-basics practice, done consistently, will provide fantastic long term benefits for you and your family. Anything you cook at home, regardless of whether it has the ‘perfect’ nutritional make-up, will be so much better for you than a packaged freezer meal, take-away or meal replacement (no matter how healthy the label claims it to be!)
We’re not saying this way of cooking and eating is easy all the time, especially if you’re not a natural cook or organisation isn’t your strong point. I’m the first to admit that finding the time to select recipes, put together a balanced menu plan for the week, create a shopping list, do the shopping and then have everything ready to cook at the right time – even if your recipes are simple – can be somewhat overwhelming at times (especially if you have very young children, have had very little sleep and are trying to grow a business!)
My husband happens to be a non-believer in Valentine’s Day. So, much to my dismay, I have never been the recipient of chocolates or roses on the 14th February. Secretly though, I happen to agree with him, particularly as it has all become so commercialised – simply a chance for shops to push multitudes of kitschy overseas made trinkets and restaurants to fill seats with overpriced set menus.
It is, however, refreshing to see a groundswell of good folk who are seeking to redefine Valentine’s Day as a day not just about romantic love (and expensive gifts), but also one of friendship love and self love. And others who are simply pushing for a more traditional, homemade version of the day.
For my part in this mini revolution, i’ve decided to put together a list of inspirations for celebrating Valentine’s Day truly from the heart instead of the hip pocket! And of course, they all just happen to be food related, as in my mind, there’s no better way to say ‘I love you’ than with a beautiful, home cooked meal… Read the rest of this entry »
In search of the perfect muesli bar recipe…
I know it’s popular to compare fat and sugar levels of shop bought muesli bars, and yes, despite their healthy image, in some cases you might as well be eating a chocolate bar! For me though, it’s the actual ingredient list that matters. Many popular brands have very low quality, highly refined ingredients, artificial additives and fruit that isn’t really fruit!
The only brand that I am happy to have in my pantry for snack time emergencies is Carman’s. With just a simple list of wholesome ingredients, there isn’t much to raise the alarm bells (and they don’t cost the earth in comparison to some upmarket gourmet brands).
Ideally, of course, it’s best to bake your own and take control of exactly what goes into them. Sadly though, not all of my muesli bar baking efforts have been successful, often ending up with a pile of muesli ‘rubble’ rather than nicely turned out bars!
My latest effort was inspired by Bill Granger’s recipe ‘Real Muesli Bars’ from Everyday Food. I took the liberty of adapting it somewhat, including the addition of extra flavourings like vanilla, cinnamon and orange rind – and the result was pretty good. Even Sophie tucked in to them with relish! Read the rest of this entry »
If you are looking to up the ‘wow’ factor in your cooking and baking, I have compiled a list of my personal top 10 essential ingredients (both sweet and savoury) to have on hand in the fridge and pantry. They may cost a little more, but are definitely worth the investment in terms of quality and taste, and in some cases, can help you to cut down on artificial nasties. The great thing is that most of these are becoming much more readily available in your local supermarket. Here they are in no particular order… Read the rest of this entry »
What’s interesting to me is that the featured poster was originally put out by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1914 as part of its food conservation effort for the war (WWI).
Nearly 100 years on, not only is the design timeless enough to be used in a current decor magazine spread, but the simple message of the words in the poster are completely and utterly relevant to our world today…if not more so. Read the rest of this entry »