Thursday, 28 March 2013

A Comforting Tradition

I like traditions.

I am a creature of habit. I've decided that it's in my DNA.

I especially cling to plans and schedules in times of stress. 
(Sometimes I wonder how I would adjust if I met someone new and had to fit them into my life.. but that's another blogpost for another time)

At the moment I am experiencing heightened stress due to changes at work; So I've started a new tradition at home - The Sunday Morning Breakfast.

It started with waffles with my new waffle machine; Then it was almond meal pancakes; and now - 

Blueberry Pancake Bites

blueberry pancake bites >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES


4 eggs, room temperature

1 cup coconut milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
coconut oil frying

  1. Preheat griddle over medium-low heat. In a small bowl beat eggs until frothy, about two minutes. Mix in milk, vanilla, agave.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt and whisk together. Stir wet mixture into dry until coconut flour is incorporated.
  3. Grease pan with coconut oil. Ladle a tablespoons of batter into pan for each pancake (larger pancakes were too difficult to flip and created a mess in the pan..) Spread batter out slightly with the back of a spoon. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the bottoms start to brown. 
  4. Serve hot with agave and/or fruit.

I ate some of these for breakfast on Sunday morning; but these little pancake bites have been the perfect morning or afternoon tea to take to work.
And my co-workers ?  All jealous!


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Liquid Gold

I've been known to make soup in 40+ degree heat. So it's not unusual for me to randomly decide that it's soup season.

Sometimes I just feel like a hot bowl of soup.

It's that simple.

And this soup recipe was the perfect solution to my craving.

 thai pumpkin soup >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Thai Pumpkin Soup

This recipe made enough for nine decent portions.

I froze the excess into individual containers for easy lunches or dinners.
Or snacks, if the mood strikes..

This was probably the easiest soup I've ever made.

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
2 clove of garlic, grated
1.5 kg of butternut pumpkin, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs ginger, chopped or grated
1 litre of vegetable stock
200ml of coconut milk or cream

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat before adding the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion becomes translucent.
Add the ground coriander, cumin, fresh ginger and cook, stirring until aromatic.
Add the pumpkin and coat in the spices before adding the stock. Bring to the boil
Reduce heat to low and simmer and stir occasionally. Cook for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Using stick mixer - Mix until smooth.
Add the coconut cream or milk  and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Original recipe here

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Flowers and Candles and Brownies, oh My!

"With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?"

- Oscar Wilde


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Pancake Time

Following the success of my grain-free; dairy-free; sugar-free waffles two weeks ago, I thought I would give pancakes a go last weekend.


They were a HUUUGE success!

Almond Meal Pancakes

Since I'm new to the whole 'no-flour, or milk, or sugar' thing, I continually expect to experience an epic baking fail.

So far, so good.

Wanna try for yourself?

You should.

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp or coconut oil
1 tbsp agave/maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a small bowl combine the blanched almond flour, baking soda and salt.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl; set aside.
Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk in the coconut oil.
Whisk in the milk, agave and vanilla.
Add the dry mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking well to thoroughly combine, making sure there are no lumps in the batter.
Using a clean large wire whisk, whisk the egg whites rapidly until very foamy (about two minutes).
Use the whisk to fold the whipped egg whites into the batter; until well combined.
Cook pancakes over low heat.
Serve hot with agave and assorted of fresh fruit.


Original recipe here

Monday, 18 March 2013

I Took A Hot Yoga Class, And Survived

Let's talk Hot Yoga.

Upward Facing Dog

It's different to Bikram Yoga which is performed in a 40 degree plus room.

The class I attended tonight was a 'Yogafusion' - A power style of yoga, which has a baseline structure, but varying sequences, which flow from one posture to the next connecting the breath with movement in a room heated to 37-38 degrees.

I finished the class under 2 hours ago; and don't want to jinx myself for tomorrow - but I feel good.

I'm not gonna lie.. It was challenging. And hot. Duh!
And I was surprised that there were roughly 45 people, row after row, within such a confined, hot space.

But after a while, I could ignore the sweat dripping from my face and body; and really focus on the movements and the breathing.

They say yoga is good for the mind, body and soul. Until today I had never experienced a yoga class where I believed that to be true.

As an added bonus, the practice of yoga within a heated room has many health benefits - It is good for blood flow & circulation; Promotes elimination of toxins within the blood; Relieves nervous tension; Stimulates metabolism; and assists to repair tissue damage and skin problems.

Before stepping foot into the class, I did some research. And for that I am thankful!

It was a daunting new experience that I didn't want to attempt without atleast trying to understand what to expect.

I googled the Yoga Studio; I read a few blog posts from others who have tried/failed/loved Hot Yoga; And after reading about how your yoga outfit can either help or hinder the experience, I went to Lorna Jane and had a comprehensive conversation with 2 staff members and 3 other customers who happened to be in the store at the same time; and I spoke to a friend whose only advice was "Just go into the class with the promise that you will stay in the room for the entire duration. The mental challenge of not leaving the heated room before the class is over will exhaust you"...

Hmmm... My enthusiasm to even walk into a heated room, much less practice yoga, was somewhat deflating..

But I went. And I kinda enjoyed it.

Yes - It was hot.
But I could do most of the movements and this gave me confidence. Part way through, I did wonder how I would feel tomorrow. Will I still feel the effects of the class? We'll have to wait and see...

Thinking of trying a class? Here are my tips - 
Wear breathable clothing. 
Drink plenty of water throughout the day before you go to the class.
Take little sips of your water during the class.
Take a hand towel to wipe the sweat from your face.
Take a larger/bath towel to position over your yoga mat, coz it will get slippery.
Wear your hair pulled back - I saw too many girls with their hair sticking to their face... EEW!

One last thought - Those Yogis can be super philosophical - - 

“it’s never too late, it’s never too bad, and you’re never too old or too sick to start from scratch once again”

-bikram choudhury


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Market Fresh

Adelaide Central Markets

The Adelaide Central Markets.

Such a vibrant place to go on a Saturday morning.

Selecting fresh produce from the various stalls is much more satisfying than the hurried experience within a supermarket.

I will admit that I did get carried away.. Perhaps a shopping list will keep me on track next time? But with so much variety it was easy for my eyes to be greedy.

My favourite find? The superfood that is kale.

See that leafy green in the left side of my basket ? It looks like spinach, but is touted for being nutritionally dense - full of vitamins and fibre. 

I've been keen to try it for a while.

Tonight I served it as 'chips' with my roast lamb for dinner.

And the best part ? It's super easy to prepare.

Cut the leaves off the stalk, place on baking tray, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and pop into the oven for 10mins.

Market Love = A simple, yet rewarding affair.


Friday, 15 March 2013

Brief Interlude

It's been pretty serious around here lately.

I bet you're wondering - where are all the cupcakes and pretty house pics?!

I'm sorry I'm not sorry.

It's my party  blog and I'll cry post if I want to.

Let's all take a deep breath and collectively admire this photo of Miss Emmy.

That is all.


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Time Heals

[Brace yourselves.. it's about to get deep up in here]

It's been almost 2 years since my husband decided to leave our marriage. I've decided to write about it now because for a very long time my perspective was negative.


Those are the words I would find myself thinking late at night. When I had a moment alone. Or when someone innocently asked if I was in a relationship or why I was single.


Those are powerful words.

They consumed me.

They defined me.

I wore a white dress and a veil; Carried a bouquet of flowers down the aisle; Stood in front of all of our family and friends and said vows; I promised to love this one person until death do us part.

I believed that I would live a long and happy life with this one man...

And so, I FAILED.

I became a statistic. Another silly girl who married too young and didn't understand the enormous commitment of marriage.

I felt that people who didn't know me, judged me. 
Hey, I felt like people who did know me judged me.

And I was also disappointed because I had a plan. Hopes and dreams of how life should be;

And divorce was certainly never part of that plan.

* * *

It's true when they say time heals. In the moment, during the hurt and the suffering, those words seem empty and meaningless. But weeks; months; years later the pain lessens and instead of looking back and wondering why, I can smile and be thankful.

I have grown.

I have become strong.

I have survived.

And most importantly I have realised that I am not a failure.

Yes - my marriage ended.

Yes - I probably am a statistic of young marriages ending in divorce.

But my future is bright.

The plan has changed. And that's OK.

I am OK.
(Actually.. more than OK!)

Two years on, I can now see my marriage as a path I had to walk in order to learn the lessons that have shaped me. 

I know that's very philosophical.. But time has given me perspective. And now I can appreciate my past rather than resent it.

That there is a big deal in itself!

And so, as with all life changing moments, I can summarise things with a quote from my favourite teen drama of all time - - 

One Tree Hill


Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Waffles for One

Remember how I told you I've quit sugar?

Remember how you thought "Pfft... Good luck with that" ??

C'mon, I know you did and it's OK.

Allow me to introduce you to my Paleo 'Chocolate' Waffles. 

Paleo 'Chocolate' Waffles

Yes - The did taste as good as they look. 

Let's come back to those in a moment...

I went Op Shopping on the weekend. And despite my own resistance, I think I'm a convert.

Call me a snob, but there's just something about Op Shops that I never understood.
And garage sales?? I don't get garage sales. 

Wait.. No, I like to sell things at garage sales; but I don't go to them and find enjoyment in sifting through other people's unwanted stuff.

I think this is where my recent Gumtree addiction came from. I like that I can sit in the comfort of my own home and scroll through pages of second hand furniture looking for things I could buy and paint and give a new lease on life. Do I need said furniture? No. But I like to look anyway.

And so, I suppose it was only time before I slowly accepted the art of Op Shopping.
(Not for clothes though.. that still creeps  me out a little).

I spent a good portion of my Saturday scouring various Op Shops for a project that will be revealed at a later date. But I hit the jackpot when I found a waffle maker for $7.

Yup - SEVEN bucks.

Can you say bargain?!

And the best part ??  IT WORKS!

And so that's how I came to make myself this delicious breakfast.

Here's how - 

Whisk 2 eggs in a bowl; 
Add 1/3 cup coconut milk; Mix;
Mix in 1 tablespoon of agave nectar; Mix;
Add 1.5 cups almond meal; Mix;
Add 2 tablespoons cacao powder; Mix;
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + sprinkle of cinnamon; Mix.
Cook in waffle iron.

[Recipe adapted from PaleOMG]

Served with a squirt of agave nectar and fresh strawberries.



Monday, 11 March 2013

A Whole New World

A whole new world 

A new fantastic point of view 

No one to tell us no 
Or where to go 
Or say we're only dreaming 

A whole new world 

A dazzling place I never knew 

But when I'm way up here 
It's crystal clear 
That now I'm in a whole new world with you 

A Whole New World....

As mentioned super briefly - I have Quit Sugar.

In an Aladdin-esque type way, allow me to introduce you to my new way of life.

The Paleo Way.

A Paleo approach was recommended by my naturopath, and before you get all judgey let me stop you right there!

I am doing this for my health.

As a cupcake baker, this has been a significant shock to my system, but entirely necessary as I realised my high-stress, high-sugar lifestyle was making me sick.

Yes (on occasion) I will still bake cupcakes full of sugar and covered in delicious frosting.

BUT I am also exploring new healthier alternatives, and surprisingly there are many of exciting new recipes for me to try.

I don't want to go too much into the WHY I'm choosing to embark on this particular journey.. because, well it's exactly that - My choice.

But I do want to include this visual. Because I like the idea of getting all my ducks in a row.

Line Up Paleo Ducks!

It is time for me to take control of my life and I choose to do that by incorporating a Paleo diet and being more mindful of other aspects of my life including stress and sleep. Trust me - I have too much of one; and not enough of the other. It is time to find a balance.

As with all diets/lifestyles - there are varying degrees to which they can be applied. I am doing this my way.
This includes adopting a no wheat/grains/legumes/soy approach and also limits dairy.

oh... and that whole no sugar thing.

[Fruit doesn't count as a sugar. It is natural, therefore totally permitted.]

I have enjoyed researching other blogs on this topic and will reference these going forward.

I have also bought some new cookbooks including Sarah Wilson's 'I Quit Sugar' book (not specifically paleo, but very informative and a good starting point, I think).

Anyway - whether you're on board with me or not, THIS IS IT.

I came to a fork in the road and I'm going RIGHT. It's OK if you don't want to join me. It will be just like quitting sugar - I will miss you at first, but after a while I will feel stronger and the withdrawals will be gone.......


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Life Happens

Today I had some time to reflect on the last 4 weeks.

In summary I :

Went to Queensland; Survived a mass restructure at work; Had a hot Valentine's Date with my cousin Katie; Spent some time in the ER; Revisited my naturopath; Celebrated Emmy's 5th (!) Birthday; Had my sister come to visit (twice); Laughed at Josh Thomas at his Fringe Show; Went to Clipsal 500 (twice); Celebrated an engagement; Visited LukaMish at the Lollipop Markets; Became seriously addicted to buying things on Gumtree; Explored the Wayville Farmers Markets; Shopped; Had an Endota facial (pure bliss); oh.. and quit sugar.

It's been a busy time...

Let's have a look at that in photos :

Sunny Queensland (I heart you)

Flinders ER (Thanks for everything Mum xoxo)

Happy Birthday to my little fur baby

Clipsal 500 - Quality sister time xx
[Photo stolen from Bree :) ]
Stimulating the Economy one shopping spree at a time..

I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson
Yup - more on this later.

Experimental Baking - Sugar Free; Gluten Free

As for this weekend?? Well I've got a few things on my To-Do List. Op-Shopping included. 
Wish me luck.


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