Posts Tagged ‘home cooking’

{Real} Life in Balance: The Designer

One of the lovely things about reaching out and attempting to create a network of other like-minded local businesses is the surprising connections you make along the way, especially when you discover they only live around the corner from you! Such as it was with Amy Palmer-Millin from Kookery, who i’m pleased to introduce you to for our Real Life in Balance interview today.

What do we love about Amy? Well, for a start, she’s an extremely hard working, savvy designer and business person with Kookery, her unique, quirky and growing range of tea towels and kitchen prints. She also has a keen eye for a good café (and i’ve been known to try and work out her whereabouts from the type of coffee cups in her instagram and facebook feeds!) Having lived there for a time, she also loves the Melbourne coffee culture (healthy respect there from Pascal) and has also been known to show up at a Fitness for Foodies session or two (we’ll keep working on that one, Amy!)

I really appreciate Amy’s simple approach to healthy eating based on colour, which effectively means that she’s getting heaps of variety. Ditching the diet, taking the negativity out of food and putting the ‘rejoice’ back in, is such a freeing mentality to adopt and I really applaud her for taking that stand. As with most of us who juggle kids, work, businesses and a healthy lifestyle – seeking the balance between it all continues to be a work in progress, and probably always will be!

Thanks for taking the time to fill us in on what keeps you inspired Amy…

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{Real} Life in Balance: The Foodologist

I’m so delighted to bring you our next Real Life in Balance interview with Hannah van Didden, founder of mindful eating business A Foodly Affair and self proclaimed ‘foodologist’! I first read about Hannah in the last edition of Spice Magazine, where she shared her recipe for Kale Salad which I LOVE (and apparently was a hit with her now husband, too!)

Hannah has always had a keen interest in food and cooking (reaching the top 50 of Masterchef as well as a stint in the kitchen with Rochelle Adonis cakes & confections) but a serious illness 4 years ago saw her change her lifestyle to embrace raw and whole foods almost exclusively. ‘Let food be thy medicine’ is something that Hannah has experienced first hand and now helps others to heal their relationship with food and discover their own personal food philosophy.

Although we’re not about to take up a raw regime anytime soon, i’m a huge fan of Hannah’s approach. Essentially, she believes that it’s important to understand where your food comes from, how it’s sourced/processed/prepared and the impact it has on your body, mind and environment. I love that she takes in to consideration factors other than just the nutrition of a particular food, but also the way in which it is prepared and eaten as being essential for good health and vitality – I guess you could call it the ‘mindful’ aspect of food.

I took part in one of Hannah’s regular workshops this past weekend and it was a real delight! I’m now armed with lots of lovely recipes and inspiration for including a little more ‘raw’ (and delicious) into our eating regime.

Thanks so much for giving us an insight into your world Hannah – I think your fridge contents alone make it a good read! Read the rest of this entry »

{Real} Life in Balance: Swedish Simplicity

I’d like to introduce you to the first of my guests on our Real Life in Balance series. Her name is My Tistrand and she’s one half of the lovely Swedish couple who brought the Dinner Twist concept to Perth.

You can read more about My and Chris’ exciting business and how much I love it here.

This is a lady who has not only created a brand new life for herself on the other side of the world, but has also taken on the chance to build a unique and meaningful family business (that just happens to feed her passion for cooking) at the same time as raising her young daughter (no easy task, believe me!) I have so much admiration for the way Chris and My have evolved their business, as well as the way they have warmly embraced the Perth lifestyle and quickly established themselves as a very welcome part of our community.

On meeting My, you sense her unmistakably pared back, Swedish style – there’s a certain simplicity in her approach to food, health and life in general that many of us can learn from. I was keen for her to answer my questions and share some gorgeous images of her life and loves… something she has kindly agreed to do!

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{Real} Life in Balance

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…

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Équilibre Christmas Gift Guide – Cookbooks

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…

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A new twist on menu planning

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!)

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Homemade and from the Heart

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 »

Menu Planning 101

{Image: Rose & Crown}

Planning meals  for enjoyment, nutrition and ease

I’ve mentioned previously that meal ‘planning’ is a big deal in our household (or at least for me, it is!) My weekly routine looks a little like this:

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Real muesli bars with a gourmet twist

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 »

Ingredient upgrade

{Image from tarteletteblog.com found via Pinterest}

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 »