So I was very pleasantly surprised with the response to my previous post on fermenting vegetables.

It made me super happy to hear that so many of you are interested in fermentation and put in a request for my sauerkraut recipe.

So today that’s exactly what I have for you.

But before we get to that I have a quick favour to ask…

A Favour

It’s been over 18 months since I last released a new cookbook. A long time, I know.

So I’m super excited to announce that I’m working on a new eCookbook. The only problem is I have so many ideas of what I’d like the book to cover, after all I’ve had 18 months to think about it!

I’ve created a super short survey so you can help me decide which direction to go in.

It’s only 2 multiple choice questions and will only take you a minute or so. And I’d really appreciate your input.

To help me out enter your answers below:

Thanks!

sauerkraut-3

Simple Sauerkraut

I was never a huge fan of sauerkraut until I started making my own. Being able to control how fermented or ‘funky’ your kraut gets makes a huge difference. If you’re new to fermenting vegetables though I’d really recommend starting with fermented carrots which are much much easier!

This method is called dry brining and when you read through the method it’s hard to imagine it working. I know I always thought that when looking at kraut recipes. It wasn’t until I actually saw Sandor Katz make kraut that I ‘got it’. So I recommend checking out the video as it’s much easier to show you rather than write.

makes 1 medium jar
1/2 head cabbage
salt

1. Day 1. Cut cabbage in half lengthwise and trim the surfaces that were already cut. Remove outer leaves and discard. Finely slice the cabbage as well as you can. I use a knife because I like it rustic. But you could use a mandoline if you want really fine kraut.

2. Place sliced cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a few generous pinches of fine salt as you go. You want at least 0.5% salt. I just add and mix and taste as I go. When the cabbage tastes slightly salty but still really fresh I leave it at that. (See notes below for more detailed quantities).

3. Massage cabbage with your clean hands. Sandor recommends 10 minutes but I usually do it for a few minutes and then leave it to stand so the salt can work its magic. You want the moisture from the cabbage to come out.

4. Pack the cabbage into a clean glass or ceramic jar. Press down firmly as you go to really release the moisture and pack it as tightly as possible. I like to use the back of a spoon. You want enough liquid to just cover the cabbage. If it looks too dry add a little filtered or boiled and cooled water. But be sparing as water will dilute the final flavour.

5. Seal with the lid and leave on the kitchen bench.

6. Day 2. Open the jar to release any gas buildup. Push the cabbage down to re-submerge. Taste.

7. Day 3+. Repeat as per day 2 and taste again. If the cabbage tastes tangy enough for you, pop it in the fridge and start eating. If not leave it out of the fridge and continue to taste every day until you’re happy. Depending on the temperature and how funky you like your kraut it can take from 3 days to months.

Notes / Variations

Different Veg – I like savoy cabbage but recently made a mix of savoy and red cabbage that was really pretty. Turnips, carrots, apple and cooked spuds can all be added.

Flavourings - I haven’t tried any but celery seeds, curry spices, caraway seeds, or chilli can all be used.

Quantity rule of thumb – 1kg veg will fill a 1L vessel and will need about 0.5% – 1% salt so about 5-10 grams.

If in doubt when tasting – pop it in the fridge because this will slow the fermentation down and you can always pull it back out if you decide later that it’s not strong enough for you.

Different containers – Don’t ferment in metal due to corrosion. Plastics can be OK but I prefer glass or ceramics so you can be certain there are no plastics leaching into the ferment.

Floating veg – you can put a weight to hold down the veg as they tend to float. I usually don’t bother.

Fill levels – Don’t fill to the top due to expansion

Light degrades some nutrients but generally light is OK. It doesn’t need to be in a dark cellar and is better in the kitchen where you won’t forget about them. Plus UV rays from the sun act as a mould inhibitor.

White Mold – just skim and discard they’re not toxic.

Bright Coloured Molds – are toxic – discard the project. But don’t stress about this too much. No one has died from eating fermented vegetables.

Video Recipe


Or view video recipe over here.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. I’ve also recently uploaded a video for making fermented carrots (much easier than kraut!). It’s available over here.

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Without a doubt, the saddest day of the year for me is the 20th August.

You see it’s the day that nine years ago my family huddled in a little hospital room and watched my Mum breathe her last breath.

I still really miss her.

This year I’m feeling it even more than usual. I think it’s because now that Fergal is getting more interactive I often imagine how much my mum would have delighted in spending time with him.

I also wish she was around so I could ask her questions about this whole motherhood thing.

But I didn’t sit down today to make myself or you cry.

I just wanted to share a trick that’s really helped me deal with the loss of someone so special.

Whenever I’m feeling lost and wishing I could call Mum and ask her for help, I ask myself a question instead. ‘What would June do?’

The funny thing is as soon as I ask it, I usually feel exactly what the answer is.

Just something that I’ve found useful. If you’re ever missing someone, try it. It might just help you too.

And of course I wanted to remember my Mum. So I have a little June-friendly recipe that includes some of her favourite things (asparagus and fish) and lots of her favourite colour (green).

Enjoy!

fish with asparagus & goats cheese-2

Fish with Asparagus & Goats Cheese

It’s not quite asparagus season here, but this was a combo from last Spring that I just loved and have been meaning to share with you since then. I love it with fish but the mint and asparagus also work really well with lamb cutlets or chops.

takes: 15 minutes
makes: enough for 2

2 fish fillets or steaks
1 bunch asparagus, stalks trimmed and broken in half
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 bunch mint, leaves picked and torn if large
large handful goats cheese

1. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat. Add a little oil and cook the asparagus, stirring every few minutes until it is just tender. About 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Season.

3. Toss the cooked asparagus in the dressing and leave it to stand.

4. Add a little more oil to the pan and cook fish until golden on both sides, 2-3 minutes each side.

5. To serve, divide fish between two plates. Toss mint and asparagus in the dressing and scatter over the fish. Crumble over goats cheese and serve warm.

VARIATIONS
vegetarian – skip the fish and double the asparagus and goats cheese. Or serve minty asparagus with goats cheese and a poached egg.

vegan – skip the fish and cheese and serve the asparagus with chunks of avocado and roasted nuts such as brazil nuts or pine nuts.

dairy-free / paleo – replace goats cheese with roasted nuts such as brazil nuts or pine nuts or drizzle over a sauce made with 2 tablespoons each lemon juice, tahini, water and olive oil.

carnivore – replace fish with chicken thigh fillets, lamb cutlets or other lamb chops, or minute steaks.

not asparagus season? – no probs. Use green beans or frozen peas instead.

With love,
Jules x
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A few months ago took an online course called ‘Debunking PCOS‘ which is all about improving fertility and conquering Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome which I was diagnosed with over 10 years ago.

The thing that really surprised me about the course was that the number 1 action we were encouraged to take was to heal your gut.

Not exactly the most glamorous topic, but when you consider how important the gut is to helping you absorb and use the nutrients you need, it really makes sense.

A healthy gut isn’t just important for fertility. It impacts everyone’s health.

So I hear you asking…

“OK Jules, so how do I make my gut healthier?”

Well funnily enough, earlier in the year I went to a workshop on how to ferment vegetables. It was led by Sandor Katz, author of ‘Wild Fermentation’ and ‘The Art of Fermentation’. And was completely inspirational.

But I’m jumping ahead of myself…

So what is the number 1. way to improve your gut health?

Easy. Eat more fermented foods!

Yoghurt is probably the first thing that comes to mind. And if you’re happy with eating your yoghurt then that’s great.

But the wonderful world of fermented food doesn’t stop there.

Fermenting vegetables is a brilliant habit to get into. Especially if you’re trying to keep away from dairy so yoghurt isn’t a good option for you. But even if you’re happy with your yoghurt, adding fermented vegetables to your repertoire is only going to help your gut.

Plus, they’re delicious!

I love the tangy crunch of a home fermented baby carrot.

And the best part is, if you make them yourself then you can control how mild or ‘funky’ they taste. I’ve never been a huge fan of commercial sauerkraut, but regularly make and eat it now that I know how good it can taste when you don’t ferment it too far.

And what about Number 2?

That’s easy too. Just stop eating inflammatory foods which include refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils.

But if you’re reading Stonesoup you’re probably doing that anyway :)

fermented carrots-3

Fermented Vegetables

If you’re nervous about the whole fermentation thing, the good news is apparently no one has ever died from eating fermented veg. So it’s safe!

This method is a great place to start because it’s suitable for pretty much all vegetables. My favourites so far are carrots, zucchini (which turn out like pickles), red chillies and celery. I’m also keen to try onions.

Will keep in the fridge for months.

1 clean glass jar
enough vegetables to fill jar
50g (1 3/4 oz) salt
1L (4 cups) water

1. Scrub veg. Trim or chop into bite sized pieces. Peel if you prefer (I don’t bother).

2. Pack the veg into your jar.

3. Combine salt and water and stir until dissolved. Shouldn’t take too long.

4. Pour salted water over the veg to cover them. You probably won’t need all the liquid. If the veg aren’t covered, make up more brine so they are covered.

5. Close jar and leave somewhere you will see it but not in direct sunlight.

6. Every day open jar to release any built up gas (CO2). Start tasting after about 3 days. When you’re happy with the flavour (ie it tastes acidic or tangy enough for you) pop the jar in the fridge and start eating. Or if the veg start to soften, it’s time to refrigerate. Generally 4-5 days is a good amount of time for fermentation but if you’re living somewhere really warm it may not take that long. And really cold climates may take longer.

VARIATIONS
veg – use your imagination. Cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, chillies, beets, celery, cucumber, watermelon rind, baby eggplant, capsicum (bell peppers), green tomatoes, chard stems. Sandor Katz did say that the only thing he doesn’t like to ferment are veg with lots of chlorophyll. So anything too green like kale isn’t great. And from my notes watermelon rind tastes like cucumber pickles.

flavourings – feel free to add in flavourings such as cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, bay leaves, preserved lemon, lemon zest, thyme, rosemary, sage.

salt – I use a finely ground sea salt but Sandor said it doesn’t matter so much.

lower salt – it is possible to ferment without the salt or use lower quantities, the problem is that salt helps to keep the veg texture nice and crisp so unsalted or low salt veg can end up mushy. Which might be OK for you. Salt also helps flavour.

water – use filtered water if you can. But if using tap water, boil it and allow it to cool to get rid of any chlorine which may hinder the fermentation.

brine – after you’ve eaten the veg the brine can be discarded or used to season soups and stews. Or you can drink it.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS
as a snack – my favourite way to eat them is to pick them out of the jar and snack. Fergal and I often chomp on fermented carrots while I’m getting his dinner ready.

in salads – add a little crunch and zing. I wouldn’t make a whole salad from them though as it might be too much of a good thing.

with rich / hearty meals – serve a little bowl of fermented veg with your next pork belly or lamb shank extravaganza. I love them with mashed potato too.

with burgers – it’s a classic combo for a reason!

Video Recipe


Or view video recipe over here.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Did you enjoy this? If you’d like me to do a followup post on how to make sauerkraut, leave a message below and if there’s enough interest I’ll share that as well.

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Not long after we moved into our little farm house earlier in the year, I was beginning to question my ability to cook without burning something.

It started one night when I was making a bolognese sauce…

Somehow I got side tracked and forgot I had the pot on the highest setting. The next thing I know my Irishman (whose nose is much more sensitive than mine) was asking ‘Is something burning?’

It was. Not good.

Then to make matters worse, the next morning I was warming up some cavolo nero (black Tuscan kale) to have with our eggs and the same thing happened. Another burnt disaster.

For someone who has a degree in Food Science and writes cookbooks for a living, this was starting to get embarrassing.

But as I was scrubbing my poor burnt pots that morning, I realized there could be one good thing to come out of my kitchen disasters. I was getting a lot of experience in how to rescue burnt food.

A great blog post topic!

So here we are…

6 steps to rescue a burnt kitchen disaster

1. Remove from the heat source.
No explanation needed.

2. Transfer the unburned food to a clean pot / container. ASAP.
The thing I’ve learned is usually the burnt food stays attached to the bottom of the pot so it’s usually easy to separate off the good remaining food.

Just resist the urge to stir and see ‘how bad it is’. You can always add back the bottom layers later if they’re still edible. But the sooner you cut your losses, the more likely you’ll still have something edible at the end.

3. Add water to the burnt pot.
This stops making things worse and helps with cleaning later.

4. Add water to the rescued food, if needed.
Depending on what was burnt and how bad things are, adding back moisture can help. Although in the case of someting like my cavolo nero it isn’t really an option.

5. Taste and season with strong flavours, if needed.
Sometimes the rescued food will taste fine. But if there’s a bit of a lingering burnt flavour, I like to try and camouflage it.

For example with my bolognese sauce I added some more tomato paste and a little smoked paprkia and some butter to ‘smooth’ everything out. It didn’t completely cover the burnt flavours but at least we were able to eat it.

Other good ingredients to reach for are curry pastes (Thai or Indian), curry powder, other spices, chilli in any form. Coconut milk is another option for ‘smoothing’ the rough flavours if butter isn’t your thing.

6. Let it go.
Sometimes these things happen. And the only option is to throw out your disaster. Try and learn from your mistake but there’s no need to beat yourself up about it. I’ve started setting my timer more often and not leaving the kitchen with a pot on full heat which seems to be helping!

kale gratin-2

Killer Kale Gratin

For the record, I haven’t burnt this dish yet. It’s just something I made recently that I just loved and wanted to share with you. I used purple kale in the picture but any kale or leafy green will work.

This is my idea of a perfect one pot meal, although if you’re cooking for a particularly hungry carnivore you may need to serve it as a side to a roast chicken or juicy steak.

takes: about 45 minutes
makes: enough for 2-3

1 onion, chopped
6 rashers bacon, chopped
1 bunch kale, sliced
300ml (1 1/4 cups) double cream
2 large handfuls grated cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).

2. Heat a little oil in an oven proof pot and add bacon and onion. Cook over a medium heat until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Add kale and cook for a few minutes, stirring so it starts to wilt down. Add cream and stir well.

4. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 15 minutes with the lid on.

5. Sprinkle over the cheese and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the kale is tender and the cheese golden.

VARIATIONS
different greens – most greens will work here. Cavolo nero is great or curly kale, English spinach, silverbeet (chard) or even chinese broccoli or broccoli rabe.

dairy-free / vegan – replace cream with coconut milk and sprinkle with pinenuts or almonds instead of the cheese.

different cheese – I used a comb of emmental, gruyere and parmesan but any melting cheese will work including cheddar.

carb lovers / more substantial – toss in some cooked short pasta before adding the cheese.

can’t find double cream? – just use whipping cream or heavy cream instead.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Do you have any other ‘kitchen disasters’ you would like some help with?

Tell us about them in the comments below… could be just the thing to spark another blog post!

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I love Winter. The frosty mornings. The crisp clear days. Snuggling up by the fire with a good book and a glass of red.

And then there’s the food. Soups and slow cooked delights. Self saucing ginger puddings with ice cream.

If I was forced to choose my favourite season it would be a toss up between Winter and Autumn (Fall).

That being said, it’s about this time of year when I get a little nostalgic for long, sultry Summer evenings. And not having to pile on wellies and layers just to go and feed the chooks.

I also get a little nostalgic for basil. Especially in the form of verdant green pesto.

Of course, I can still buy bunches of basil at an exorbitant price all throughout the Winter but it’s just not the same.

The good news is I’ve discovered a Winter-friendly alternative. If you’re a stickler for tradition, it’s probably best if you stop reading now and check back next week.

But if you like to try new things, read on!

It uses mint and almonds instead of basil and pine nuts. And it’s just the thing to liven up Winter soups and stews.

Although if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment and are sick of eating basil, this could be just the thing for you too!

I can also imagine it sitting proudly on an outdoor table waiting to accompany a piece of fish or chicken from a Summer evening BBQ…

What about you?

What’s your favourite season and seasonal foods? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

mint & almond pesto-2

Mint & Almond Pesto

Serve this pesto pretty much any where you’d serve regular pesto. Dollop on soups or salads. Use as a sauce for pan fried fish, chicken breasts or even steak. My personal favourite is to team it with lamb… Either lamb cutlets cooked until still rosy pink or slow roast lamb shoulder literally melting off the bone. It’s also great to liven up some steamed green beans or peas.

Enough for about 1 cup
large bunch mint, leaves picked
1 small clove garlic
3 handfuls almonds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Whizz mint, garlic and almonds in a food processor until finely chopped.

2. Add oil and a little lemon juice and mix. Taste and season with salt, pepper and extra lemon if needed.

VARIATIONS
summery – replace mint with basil. You can replace the almonds with pine nuts but I’m also a fan of cashews because they’re delicious and much more affordable.

nut-free – replace almonds with half soft breadcrumbs and half finely grated parmesan.

other herbs - flat leaf parsley, carrot tops, coriander (cilantro) are all possibilities. I’m also a fan of a little bit of sage or oregano combined with parsley.

garlic-free – sometimes I can’t be bothered with garlic and it’s still lovely but I do find it needs more salt and lemon to make up for that garlicky sharpness.

no food processor – just finely chop everything and stir together for a more rustic chunky pesto.

With love,
Jules x
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Yesterday morning I decided to do something a little differently. I’ve been trying to get into the habit of waking up early. I used to think I wasn’t a ‘morning person’ but when I make the effort, I love having that extra quite time to meditate and get a little work done.

So what did I do differently?

Basically I just moved my phone / alarm out of reach so I had to get out of bed to turn it off.

Of course I was up then, so it wasn’t hard to light the fire, make a pot of white tea and let the day begin.

My job yesterday morning was to read through the entries of people looking to win a free spot in my new online cooking program ‘The Organized Cook‘. It was lucky that I got up early because there were 225 people who had left comments.

After reading through all the ways that you guys are struggling with being organized cooks I felt a bit emotional. But thinking about it another way, I had to smile.

You see, it’s my job to help.

So in a funny way knowing that you need help feels good on some level. I guess it’s nice to feel needed :)

Anyway, there were a few themes that kept coming up so today I wanted to ‘debunk’ the most common myths about being an organized cook.

But before we get to that, I’d better announce the winners!

Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School 12 Months Membership

It was tough trying to decide. A huge THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to share your thoughts.kindvall_stonesoup_school_B

And the winners are:
Alex
Niall Sheridan
Julie B
Sue S
Pal

Congratulations! You should have an email in your inbox with details on how to claim your prize.

The 3 Biggest Myths about Being an Organized Cook

Myth 1. You have to spend hours in the kitchen sacrificing your precious weekend time.
Lack of time is often cited as the biggest obstacle on the path to organization. But here’s the thing, you don’t need to dedicate huge chunks of time to make a difference.

In fact, unless I’m cooking for a dinner party, I rarely spend extra time in the kitchen getting ready for the week ahead.

What I do is use the time I’m already in the kitchen to get extra items prepared.

I’m not a big fan of ‘multi-tasking’ as a rule. But there is a time for it in the kitchen.

I often pop on some veg to roast (1 hour but 2 minutes active time), cook up a pot of quinoa (15 minutes) or make a quick ragu (20 minutes) like the one below for the future while I’m cooking for today.

If you’d like to explore this more, I’m going to be going much deeper in my new online program, The Organized Cook.

Myth 2. If you’re organized there’s no room for flexibility
This ties in with the misconception that being organized means you have to eat loads of the same reheated meals. If you focus on using ‘mise en place‘ or preparing certain ingredients rather than pre-cooking whole meals, there is loads of room for flexibility and creativity.

And even better, cooking this way means you can pull together healthy meals in very little time.

Myth 3. Pre-prepared food is not as healthy as fresh
Just because fresh food is healthy, doesn’t necessarily mean that food cooked in advance is devoid of nutrition.

Whenever we cut or cook food we’re exposing it to oxidation and light in the case of the former and heat in the latter. So any light, oxygen or heat sensitive nutrients will be lost during food prep.

Whether we eat the food straight away or store it and eat in a few days time doesn’t make a significant difference. Most of the sensitive nutrients will have already been lost.

The other thing to consider is if we’re talking pre-cooked home meals vs takeout you know who will win in the health department.

All that being said, I think it’s important to serve something raw and fresh if possible with every meal; both freshly cooked and pre-cooked. For example, add a handful of fresh parsley leaves or some baby spinach to the ragu below or serve it with a green salad.

Need more help getting organized?

Well you’re in luck!TOC2014 square logo NEW

Registration is NOW OPEN for ‘The Organized Cook‘.

You have less than 72 hours to join us for The Organized Cook because Module 1 will be released this Saturday.

To make sure you don’t miss out, use the link below:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/toc/

UPDATE: REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.

_____________________

quick pork ragu

Quick Pork Ragu

Today’s recipe is an example of the types of things we’ll be covering in The Organized Cook. It’s a quick meal that can be made in advance if you prefer. It’s the type of one pot meal you can get going and have simmering away while you do something else in the kitchen.

Enough for 2
4 thick pork sausages
1 can tomatoes (400g / 14oz)
2-3 tablespoons butter

1. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan or skillet on a medium high heat.

2. Remove sausage meat from the casings and crumble into the pan. Discard casings.

3. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring to break up the chunks, until the meat is starting to brown.

4. Add tomatoes and butter and cook for another 10 minutes for the sauce to reduce a little. Taste and season.

Variations

vegetarian – replace pork with drained canned chickpeas.

vegan – replace sausages with 1 drained can of lentils or about 250g (9oz) of cooked red or green lentils and swap the butter for olive oil.

different sausages – pork are a firm favourite in our house but feel free to use other sausages such as beef or chicken if you like them.

pescatarian
– replace sausages with peeled green prawns (shrimp) simmer until just cooked.

herby – cook a few thyme leaves or rosemary in with the sausages.

budget – replace half of the sausages with cooked or canned white beans.

more substantial - feel free to serve the ragu with your favourite cooked pasta, preferably something short like rigatoni or penne.

gluten-free – use GF sausages or replace with about 400g (14oz) minced (ground) pork or other meat.

Do Ahead Potential

Excellent! Takes 15-20 minutes. Will keep in the fridge for a week or so. Or can be frozen for up to 12 months.

Usage Suggestions

paleo / low carb – serve on a bed of baby spinach (pictured above) or grated raw cauliflower (aka cauliflower ‘rice) or grated raw broccoli. Also good on top of a big plate of wilted greens.

carb lovers – serve on top of your favourite cooked pasta. I like it with rigatoni. Hot buttered toast is also good.

slow carb – serve on top of canned or cooked legumes such as lentils or cannellini beans or even chickpeas.

cheesey – A grating of fresh parmesan can be a welcome addition.

herby - in Summer I like to serve with a crowning of fresh basil leaves.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. Not sure if the Organized Cook can help YOU?TOC2014 square logo NEW

Here’s what Gerry and Rebecca have said about classes at the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School…

“I LOVE THE SVCS!! I have completely changed my eating habits AND am LOVING IT! What I especially love about your recipes, is the versatility if I do not have something available, there’s always something else I can use instead.”
Gerry, Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School Member.

“I really appreciate how your (classes) have freed the way I cook. From reducing the number of ingredients, to using what I have on hand, and to your many, many other ideas: thank you. I love your approach and imagination. You have inspired me.”
Rebecca, Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School Member.

Here’s the link again:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/toc/

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The 3 Golden Rules of Do Ahead Meals

July 15, 2014

t may surprise you to learn that we actually eat lots of do ahead meals in our house. Even though I love cooking. And would be happy to cook every day, I’ve found that when I’m taking photographs for my blog, or a book or a new online cooking class, it’s much easier to batch […]

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My Secret to Being an Organised Cook

July 8, 2014

ince becoming a Mum just over a year ago, there have been many changes in my life. Easily the biggest one, from a food perspective, is that I just don’t have as much time to spend in the kitchen as I used to… So meanwhile I’ve been relying on the quicker recipes in my repertoire […]

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3 Quick Questions With…

July 1, 2014

hen I decided to quit my corporate job designing chocolate biscuits (cookies) over 4 years ago, there was one thing I knew I was going to miss… working as part of a team. I’ve absolutely loved the transition to full time blogger and entrepreneur. And these days with social media, I never have to worry […]

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The BEST Stonesoup Recipes?

June 24, 2014

ou might remember a few months back, I mentioned that I was planning to pull together a new FREE eCookbook for Stonesoup email subscribers. And my lovely assistant Caroline had the brilliant idea to make it a ‘best of Stonesoup’ compilation and to get you to vote for your favourite Stonesoup recipes. Well today that […]

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A Very Special Birthday Cake…

June 18, 2014

his time last year I was heavily pregnant. Heavy was totally the right word to describe it. Enough people had asked me if I was having twins that even I was beginning to wonder. Anyway, I knew my life was about to change in a major way. But what I didn’t know was just how […]

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My 9 Favourite Healthy Breakfast Ideas

June 12, 2014

nce upon a time I worked for a multinational breakfast cereal company as a young food scientist developing new breakfast and snack products. One of the ‘perks’ of the job was the canteen filled with an amazing array of free cereal and milk. As you can imagine, pretty much everyone had their breakfast at work. […]

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How to Cook Quinoa

June 3, 2014

hese days, if I get asked to describe my diet, the shortest answer is that I’m ‘mostly paleo’. Now if you’re wondering ‘what on earth is Jules talking about?’, allow me to explain… ‘Paleo’ is a way of eating that is loosely based on what our paleolithic ancestors ate. In short that includes meat, poultry, […]

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A Sneak Peek…

May 27, 2014

arlier in the year, we had a family trip to Sydney. Since we were staying with friends, we offered to cook dinner. Our hosts agreed and being the generous souls they are, they insisted on buying all the ingredients for us. I was cooking a Thai-inpsired meal, so there were lots of fresh herbs on […]

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7 Surprising Lessons from Using
my Meal Plans

May 20, 2014

ne of the things I’m super passionate about in my business is making my products as useful and user friendly as possible. Unless my customers get real value in their lives, I really don’t feel like I deserve to keep their money. Which is why last week I decided to have a week of following […]

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5 Easy Ways to Make Fried Food Healthy

May 13, 2014

f all the cooking techniques, deep frying would have to be the one that comes to mind when we think of food that is ‘bad for us’. As Elvis knew, deep fried things can taste super delicious. But here’s the thing… Fried foods don’t have to be super unhealthy. The deep fryer, or at least […]

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Like a FREE Mother’s Day Gift?

May 8, 2014

his year is a very special (and different!) Mother’s Day for me. Yes, it’s my first proper Mother’s Day on the other side… as an actual mother. So to celebrate, my sister Nao and I have pulled together a new eCookbook that we’re giving away for FREE from our new blog, The Yellow Bench. The […]

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2 Most Common Seasoning Mistakes

April 30, 2014

s someone who runs an online cooking school, I often get asked for tips to help people improve their cooking. And you know what I always tell them? No, it’s not to spend hours chopping onions to perfect their knife skills. I always tell them to focus on getting the seasoning right. Yes. Seasoning. It’s […]

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Can You Help Out?
+ a new free ecookbook.

April 22, 2014

ay back in January 2010, I quit my job designing chocolate biscuits (cookies). The plan was to focus on figuring out how to make a living from doing what I love most namely cooking, eating and writing about food. My first project was to pull together a free eCookbook to use as an incentive for […]

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Could you write your shopping list in 2-minutes?

April 15, 2014

n the weekend, Fergal and I had a lovely Saturday morning outing to our local farmers market. It’s been ages since I had the luxury of doing our weekly shop at a real farmers market and I’d forgotten how much fun it is. I love strolling through the stalls, choosing from beautiful displays of produce. […]

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