Back in 2008 I made one of my best decisions. Ever.

Rather than make another empty new years resolution, I was inspired to dedicate the year to ‘love and happiness.’

I wasn’t sure where it would lead me. Or whether it would really make a difference to my life.

But I figured it was worth putting it out there. What did I have to lose?

With this theme in mind, I accepted the invitation to go out for dinner with an old boyfriend. I know dinner with old boyfriends tends not to be conducive to love or happiness.

But as luck would have it, on this occasion it did…

We ran into my friend Rico who happened to be out with a certain Irishman. After a quick introduction Rico and the Irishman left. I remember thinking that Rico’s friend was cute.

Then about a week later, I was at home and randomly decided to check my spam folder. Something I never do unless an email has gone missing.

To my surprise I found an intriguing Valentines Day message. No prizes for guessing it was from that same Irishman asking me to get to know him better over some food and wine.

Our first date was at a little Italian restaurant in Surry Hills called Il Baretto. And it was well and truly a success. With that accent I could have sat there listening to him all night. Actually that’s what I did.

Anyway to cut a long story short, on Sunday 16th March that certain smooth talking Irishman and I were married(!) Given that we’d met in a restaurant and had most of our best times together in restaurants, it was only fitting that we get married in a restaurant.

It turned out to be an excellent choice.

If you’d like to have a sneak peek at some wedding shots, check out the Instagram hashtag #stonesoupwedding.


easy duck ragu

Seductive Duck Ragu

I still remember ordering the duck ragu with papardelle on our first date. Ever since then I’ve always associated duck with romance. Is it just me or does duck spell seduction for you as well?

Duck is one of those things that can feel a little scary to cook but is actually super delicious. And its higher fat content makes it much less easy to dry out. So it’s actually easier to cook than chicken.

If you’re serving the ragu with pasta it will feed 4 but if you decide to go with the kale ‘linguine’ it will only serve 3.

Marylands are duck legs with the thigh and drumstick attached. If you can’t find them, you could use whole duck instead… and expect it to take extra time.

Enough for 3-4
4 duck marylands
2 onions, sliced
1 can tomatoes
few tablespoons water
parmesan to serve

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

2. Place duck, onion, tomatoes, water and thyme in an oven proof pot. Cover and cook for 90 minutes.

3. Remove the meat from the bones and tear into bite sized chunks. Stir the meat into the sauce. Taste, season and serve with parmesan shaved or grated.

vegetarian - make a chickpea ragu by replacing duck with 2 drained cans of chickpeas. Reduce cooking time to 30-45 minutes.

Vegan - as above and serve with a little nutritional yeast instead of the parmesan.

different meat - chicken drumsticks or marylands or thighs on the bone are good. You could also use lamb shanks or osso buco but these will need cooking for longer – around 4 hours.

onion-free - just skip it.

easy duck ragu-2

Kale ‘Linguine’

I’m a huge fan of serving a hearty stew on a bed of greens instead of the usual carb suspects of pasta or mash.

Enough for 3
1 bunch cavolo nero or kale
2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil

1. Rinse kale and don’t worry about drying it. Finely slice into linguine sized ribbons.

2. Heat oil in a medium sized pot. Add kale and cook covered for about 10 minutes or until kale is softened.

different veg - will work with most greens especially spinach, chard, collard greens or silverbeet.

more substantial - serve with some cheese or a poached egg on top.

With love,
Jules x
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Kate Young March 19, 2014 at 8:50 am

Congratulations Jules & Glen! Such exciting news. Who’d a thunk it back in 2008 at Darling Point! best wishes, Kate

jules March 20, 2014 at 6:49 am

So lovely to hear from you! Wow can you believe it was all those years ago that we were living in DP!
Hope you’ve managed to have a few years of love and happiness since then!

Jane March 19, 2014 at 9:49 am

Thank goodness you put this link up – I have been getting in trouble for not taking enough photos from Row! Love to all Jane xox

jules March 20, 2014 at 6:50 am

Lovely Jane!
So awesome to see you (and your super hero dress) on Sunday! Hope to see you all soon. And will definitely be in touch for veggie garden tips

Jennifer March 19, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Thanks for your generosity in putting up the Instagrams of your wedding – great photos! You looked so lovely, and although I couldn’t see the fine details of your wedding dress very well in the photos, I did get a good look at the party dress you wore afterwards – a fairytale dress, pure magic!! Congratulations on your marriage – wishing you and your husband a lifetime of happiness.

jules March 20, 2014 at 7:01 am

Thanks Jennifer!
So glad you liked the party dress… It’s hard to go wrong with feathers!

Em March 19, 2014 at 2:57 pm

lots of love Clance xxx The Millthorpe Kingo’s

jules March 20, 2014 at 7:02 am

Thanks lovely Em!
So grateful for the Kingo baby sitting team :)

Simone March 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Congratulations on your wedding!! Lots of love and happiness!

jules March 20, 2014 at 7:02 am

Thanks Simone!

Cate March 19, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Congratulations! Wishing you wonderful years to come…

jules March 20, 2014 at 7:03 am

Thanks Cate xx

mytaste March 19, 2014 at 11:43 pm

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Claire March 20, 2014 at 5:54 am

Hooray hooray – weddings are brilliant and you look so very happy! Congratulations!

jules March 20, 2014 at 7:03 am

Thanks Claire!
Yes we’re very happy

chocolatesuze March 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm

congratulations!!! wishing you guys much <3 and happiness!

JohannaK March 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Congratulations Jules! Great to hear the story how you two met! I wish you all the best!

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