My husband is Irish. So you probably won’t be surprised that the humble spud is the vegetable that raises the most excitement around here.

Yes, we take our potatoes very seriously.

So much so that GB and I have often talked about writing a book dedicated to all things potato. We’ve come up with a name, ‘Potato Love’ and a rough list of recipes. But that’s as far as we’ve gotten.

As you can imagine, I’m always on the lookout for interesting potato recipes to keep my boys happy.

When I saw these Hasselbacks by Nigel Slater, I knew they were going to be a winner.

Oh boy, are they a winner. Even worthy of our ‘new favourite spud’ title.

And I don’t make such claims lightly…

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Hassel Back Spuds-3

Hasselback Potatoes

Inspired by my favourite food writer, Nigel Slater. I’m not really sure why they’re called Hasselback but if that’s what St. Nigel calls them, that’s reason enough for me. The thing I really love about them is you get the crisp lovely outer and fluffy middle similar to a classic roast spud but without the hassle of having to boil the spuds first. Maybe they should be renamed hassle-free spuds?

enough for: 2
takes: about an hour

4 or more spuds
4 tablespoons duck fat (melted) or oil
2 sprigs thyme or rosemary (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Scrub potatoes. Finely slice each spud about 2/3 of the way through. Repeat all the way along the spud making the cuts as close together as you can. But don’t stress about it.

2. Place the potatoes with the cut side up in a baking pan. Drizzle over a tablespoon of duck fat or oil on each spud and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

3. Bake for 45 minutes. Spoon some of the hot fat over each potato and add the herbs (if using).

4. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Serve hot.

Variations

which variety of potato? – you can use anything you’d normally roast. I used dutch creams in the picture above. Just try and make sure they’re all about the same size so they cook in the same amount of time.

vegetarian / vegan – don’t use duck fat. Use whatever oil you normally use for roasting spuds.

classic roast spuds – if you don’t like the idea of cutting through the spuds so many times, here’s my tried and tested recipe for the ultimate roast spud.

complete meal – serve anywhere you’d normally serve roast potatoes. Nigel Slater serves his with a whole baked camembert and some jamon. Not such a bad idea!

garlicky – add some whole unpeeled garlic cloves about 1/2 way through cooking.

Video version of the recipe.

What about you?

Got a favourite potato recipe in your house? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Big love,
Jules x

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Is meal planning something you struggle with? Well you’re definitely not alone!

Whenever I talk to Stonesoup readers about their biggest cooking problems, meal planning it always near the top of the list.

Last minute changes in plans and chaotic schedules are some of the most common problems. As is the fact that meal plans often ‘fall apart’ because you don’t ‘feel like’ eating what you’d planned to cook that night.

Then there were the people who struggle to come up with new ideas and feel bored with their current meal routine. And running through all this was the costly problem of wasted ingredients and leftovers going bad and having to be thrown out.

Sound familiar?

What IS the No. 1 Meal Planning Mistake?

In a nutshell, it’s deciding what you’re going to cook in advance and then building your shopping list around that plan.

Having a list of set recipes or dishes is problematic for a number of reasons. First, it takes a lot of time to figure it all out in advance. But the biggest problem is the lack of flexibility to cope with the changes that naturally come up with modern life.

It’s nearly impossible to predict that Wednesday is going to be the coldest February day on record and you’ll be craving a comforting bowl of soup, rather than the cool & light salad you had in the meal plan.

No wonder meal plans tend to get broken.

How Do I Avoid This Mistake?

You just need to learn how to ‘reverse’ the process.

It may sound a little scary, but in practice it’s a really liberating way of approaching meal planning. And it’s actually much quicker and easier than traditional meal planning.

Shopping and cooking this way, based on what looks best, is a skill that anyone can learn which is why I wrote the ‘2-Minute Meal Plan’.

Speaking of which…

2MMP 3D Cover

2 Minute Meal Plan eCookbook

It’s actually been 3 years since I first released the 2-Minute Meal Plan eBook. It’s easily the most unusual book that I’ve ever written in that it’s all about showing you the easiest way to ‘reverse’ your meal plan and cook with the ingredients you have on hand using ‘template recipes’.

This frees you from the constraints of shopping lists and traditional recipes while providing the support you need to get healthy meals on the table with minimum fuss or effort.

For more details go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/2mmp/

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Sweet Potato Hummus-2

Sweet Potato Hummus + Lamb Cutlets

Fergal just loves sweet potato so I find myself roasting up a batch pretty much every week. A nice side effect is that we often have roast sweet potato in the fridge which I’m finding makes it way into my cooking more and more! See below for tips for the easiest way to roast sweet potato.

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes

1 teaspoon each ground cumin, chilli, coriander & smoked paprika
6-8 lamb cutlets or other chops
250g roast sweet potato
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, peeled
green salad, to serve
big handful cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Combine spices with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl. Season generously then toss in the lamb cutlets and allow to marinate for as long as you’ve got (if more than an hour cover and refrigerate).

2. For the hummus, whizz sweet potato, tahini, lemon and garlic in a food processor until you have a smooth paste or smash everything together with a fork. Taste and season with salt and maybe extra lemon or tahini.

3. Heat a frying pan or your BBQ on a medium high heat. Add lamb and cook for 3-4 minutes.

4. Turn the lamb and add the tomatoes and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until you’re happy.

5. To serve divide sweet potato hummus between two plates. Top with lamb and tomatoes and serve salad on the side.

Variations

to roast sweet potato – pop whole sweet potato (scrubbed but not peeled) on a baking tray. Roast in the oven 200C for about 45-60 minutes or until tender.

no roast sweet potato – use a drained can of chickpeas or white beans.

different spices
– if you don’t have all of the spices just use any combo of the above – you want about 4 teaspoons or less. Or just use 1 teaspoon of the chilli.

vegetarian – pan fry the tomatoes with the spiced oil and serve a fried egg or two with the hummus with the spicy tomatoes on top.

vegan – replace lamb with field or portabello mushrooms. Marinate and cook as per the lamb might take a little longer. Sliced eggplant steaks are another great alternative.

not tomato season – skip them or use semi dried tomatoes.

lamb alternatives – try a good old steak, pork chops or even salmon fillets. The spices are also great with good quality sausages.

Big love,
Jules x

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A bit of a crazy title for a cooking blog this week, don’t you think? I know. When I started Stonesoup, I didn’t think nail polish remover was something I’d ever be writing about.

But here we are. Another ‘never say never’ moment.

So why do I keep nail polish remover in my kitchen?

No, I haven’t started giving myself a pedicure while dinner is cooking. I’m not that good at multitasking.

The reason is I’ve finally figured out a labeling system for the jars in my pantry that works a treat.

I just write on my jars with a marker (which I also keep in the kitchen). Then when each jar gets empty, I whip out my nail polish remover and the labeling is gone in seconds.

It’s a little thing but it makes me feel so much more organized.

I also use the marker to label anything I put in the freezer. Another big winner on the organization front!

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Roast Broccoli & Chorizo

Roast Broccoli & Chorizo


I hadn’t roasted broccoli for years but was inspired by a recent post from my sister on The Yellow Bench. And I’m so glad I did. Roasting broccoli like most veg, really concentrates the flavour and takes it to another level. I also love how the chorizo releases it’s spicy juices to flavour the broccoli. Soo good!

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes or so

2 heads broccoli, chopped into bite sized chunks
2 chorizo or other spicy sausages, chopped
1 lemon, halved
aioli or mayo, to serve

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

2. Place broccoli, chorizo or sausage and lemon in a roasting pan. Drizzled with oil and sprinkle with lots of salt. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes.

3. Stir and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender and the chorizo or sausage is cooked.

4. Serve with lemon squeezed over and a bit dollop of aioli or mayo on top.

Variations

vegetarian – skip the chorizo or replace with 2 chopped red capsicum (bell peppers) and serve with a poached egg or a dollop of goats cheese or ricotta.

vegan – replace chorizo with roasted almonds (just add at the end) and serve with hummus or tahini.

egg-free – use vegan mayo or replace with a creamy ricotta or goats cheese or hummus.

herby – serve with chopped parsley.

more veg – serve on a bed of baby spinach or wilted greens. Or add other veg to the roasting pan like carrots, red peppers, parsnip or cauliflower.

different veg – cauli, asparagus, carrots (baby or chopped), small onions, red peppers, zucchini, eggplant or sweet potato.

What about you?

Got any unusual items you keep in your kitchen? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below…

Big love,
Jules x

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One afternoon late last year, Fergal and I were out on our daily walk when a car pulled over and stopped in front of us. Given we live on a quite country road, you can imagine this made me a bit wary….

I was relieved when a super fit lady got out of the car. She didn’t look too dangerous. Anyway she ran across the road, introduced herself as Heather and asked if we knew about the local play group.

I told her we did and were planning to start going in the new year.

Fast forward a few months and I’m not sure who is loving play group more… Fergal or me.

While he get to explore the swings and sand pit and bikes and trucks, I get to chat with the other mothers about growing veggies, knitting, how to operate a chain saw and of course cooking!

So when Heather said she had the best banana bread recipe, I quickly gave her my email address. When the email came through with the title ‘Stupidly Easy Banana Bread’ I knew it would be a winner.

Trust me it lives up to its name!

But that’s not all.. I’ll let you in on another of its virtues. Yep, it’s sugar-free.

I love how the ripe bananas, cinnamon and coconut oil provide enough sweetness without needing any extra sweetener.

Since I’ve decided to make April my first ever month of going sugar-free, I’m planning on trying out a few of the variations below. Especially the carrot and ginger.

And while we’re talking sugar-free baking… Do you have any delicious sugar-free recipes? Or tips for going sugar-free? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below…

Stupidly Easy Banana Bread-2

Stupidly Easy Banana Bread

Adapted from my lovely neighbour Heather.

I love this ‘bread’ served as a cake for afternoon tea with some double cream. OR it’s also lovely toasted for breakfast smeared with butter or ricotta.

enough for 6-8
takes: 45 minutes

3 ripe bananas
100g (3.5oz) coconut oil, melted
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
220g (8oz) almond meal

1. Preheat your oven to 160C (320F) fan assisted. Line a loaf pan 24cm x 12cm (approx 9.5in x 5in) with baking paper.

2. Mash bananas until smoothish then add coconut oil, eggs, baking powder, cinnamon (if using) and almond meal. Thoroughly mix everything

3. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the loaf is golden and feels springy when you touch it.

4. Cool in the pan then slice and serve.

Variations

different spices – Heather uses a combo of nutmeg and cinnamon but I didn’t have any nutmeg so skipped it. Ginger or mixed spice would also be lovely.

no coconut oil – just use melted unsalted butter. Or Heather says she sometimes skips the oil.

less oil – Heather uses 35g (1.25oz) coconut oil but I prefer more to make it super moist and help lower the GI.

coconut oil too hard – just pop your jar in the oven while it preheats. Be careful not to forget about it!

nut-free – you could try replacing the almond meal with flour, I’d probably increase the oil as well.

no fan assist on your oven? – increase the set temp to 180C (350F).

no banana – I did try this with pureed ripe figs and while it was OK, I preferred the banana version. But talking to Heather today she said she was short of bananas and substituted in some grated carrot and cloves and it was a winner. Will be trying that this weekend for some Easter baking. I’m also keen to try substituting in mashed roast sweet potato or roasted pears.

And if you’re following the Jules & David Project, you can read all about menu thirteen: feeling italian (part 2) over here.

Happy Easter!

Big love,
Jules x

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When I was learning to cook I was a slave to recipes. While it was a good way to start learning different techniques and ingredients, it did have some frustrating limitations.

Like what happens when you can’t buy a particular ingredient? And what do you do with that leftover half bunch of herbs? Or jar of sauce?

Or worse still, what do you do when you need to eat but don’t have time to search through recipes and go shopping for exotic ingredients?

Over the years, with a lot of trial and error, I began to learn to cook more instinctively, on my own.

Without other people’s recipes.

In my head, without really being conscious of what I was doing, I started thinking of recipes in general terms rather than specific ingredients.

From there, I developed a collection of starting point or ‘template recipes’. So whenever I walked into the kitchen and looked into the fridge to figure out what to cook, I had a head start.

I knew what had worked before to make that soup or stir fry and could use that knowledge as a springboard for a new dish or meal.

Why try ‘template recipes’?

Template recipes provide a stepping stone or ‘training wheels’ to help you take the first steps to freedom from recipes.

They’re designed to give you some support and structure while also providing plenty of ideas to get you started.

At the same time they are there to encourage you to think for yourself. To try new things. To experiment and develop your own recipes and style.

Like to see an example?

I’ve included a template recipe from my ‘Master Your Meal Plan‘ online cooking class below…

20. ketchup beans

Ketchup ‘Baked’ Legumes – Template ‘Recipe’

The idea behind using template ‘recipes’ is that the ingredients are listed in general terms to encourage you to think about recipes in a different way. Just look down at the ‘variations’ to get ideas for what to use for each different type of ingredient.

It’s all about building your confidence to start experimenting and cooking for yourself. Over time you’ll find yourself not even needing the templates but they act as ‘training wheels’ to get you started.

per person
takes: 15 minutes

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 aromatic vegetable, chopped
1/2 can legumes, drained
2 tablespoons ketchup (or ‘tomato sauce’ for the Aussies!)
1 teaspoon spice, optional

1. Heat a medium fry pan on a medium heat. Add butter and aromatic veg and cook for 5-10 minutes until the veg is soft and lightly golden.

2. Add legumes, ketchup and spice.

3. Stir and simmer for a couple of minutes to make sure everything is hot. Taste & season.

Variations

butter alternative / dairy-free – any oil you normally cook with.

aromatic veg – onions are my favourite but celery or carrots would be good instead..

legumes – I’ve used cannellini beans in the photo but any canned or cooked legume will work. Try butter beans, borlotti beans, black beans, chickpeas or lentils. Note: a standard can is 400g (14oz).

no ketchup? – I really recommend getting a small bottle to try with this dish. I’m not really a big ketchup fan but I adore these legumes. Otherwise try tomato paste and a big pinch or three of brown sugar. A good BBQ sauce will also work.

spice - first choice smoked paprika. Next choice other paprika, dried chilli (you may like to reduce the quantity if really hot). Coriander seed or cumin would be interesting. And curry powder would work if you’re in the mood for a curry.

higher protein – Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) while the onion cooks. When the legumes are done, make a small well in the middle and crack and egg into it. Bake for about 10 minutes or until egg whites are set and yolks still runny.

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MYMP 2015 square logo

Would you like to learn to cook without recipes?

Then check out my ‘Master Your Meal Plan‘ online program which is starting at the end of this week!

For more details, go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/mymp15/

Big love
Jules x

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__________

ps. Wondering if the template recipes in ‘Master Your Meal Plan‘ will work for you?

I’ll be honest. The program isn’t for everyone…

If you’re happy with your current meal planning system, then it’s probably not going to add much value. Unless you’d like to learn to cook more freely and creatively.

But if planning your meals each week causes you problems, then more than likely, the Master Your Meal Plan system will help you.

Just like it’s already helped these people…

Anna, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“The biggest change is that I don’t follow recipes to the T anymore – I am substituting different ingredients based on what I have on hand – a big change for me. I am wasting far less food.”

Karen, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“Everything has changed for the better. I actually cook all of my meals now. I’m able to throw together meals with simple ingredients that are healthy in a short period of time. I have learned to use the fresh vegetables that are in my refrigerator and what’s in my pantry to cook excellent meals. MYMP is just the thing I needed to get me over my fear of cooking and get me started with eating whole foods.”

Kate, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“The whole system was very useful to me. I learned better planning of meals for a week and, besides that, to improvise with ingredients. Preparing food ceased to be stressful factor and became a joy!

MYMP 2015 square logo

Daphne, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“After MYMP I’m much more relaxed about mixing things up or using alternate ingredients when I don’t have exactly what’s called for.”

To join us go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/mymp15/

__________

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The most radical shift in my meal planning process happened at a very specific time in my life. I was working as a young winemaker in the beautiful Barossa Valley. It was vintage, the busiest time of the year, so my life pretty much revolved around working and sleeping.

There wasn’t much time for ‘luxuries’ like eating and bathing. So as you can imagine, sitting down to figure out a meal plan and write a shopping list was out of the question.

As luck would have it, my one ‘treat’ was a weekly pilgrimage to the Barossa farmers market. I’d grab a coffee and a bacon & egg roll and then take my time buying my produce for the week.

It was heaven.

Because I didn’t have a plan or a shopping list, I was guided to choose what looked best. Sometimes I’d know exactly what I was going to make with my bounty. But more often than not I wouldn’t. So each night I’d walk into the kitchen, open the fridge and decide what to cook then and there.

Sometimes I’d look up recipes but mostly I’d make it up as I went along. Just trusting my instincts and cooking from the heart.

I should mention that this was completely new territory for me…

Before my Barossa days, I always consulted a recipe. But my limited time circumstances meant I had to try another way.

Mostly the results were delicious, or at least edible. There were the occasional ‘disasters’ which meant, I’d use my backup plan of cheese on toast and take it as a ‘learning experience’. But over time these happened less and less frequently.

These days, I pretty much follow the same approach to meal planning.

Apart from the weeks when I’m testing out one of the meal plans for my Soupstones Meal Plans done-for-you product, or I’m making a meal for the Jules & David project, I head to the markets. Buy whatever catches my eye. Then decide what to cook on a day-by-day basis.

Sound like a place you’d like to get to?

Well the good news is you totally can!

In fact, now is a great time because I’m going to be starting the 2015 edition of my ‘Master Your Meal Plan’ program at the end of next week…

MYMP 2015 square logo

This will be the fourth year I’ve run this online class and it’s really my favourite. I love helping people ‘reverse’ the meal planning process so it not only takes hardly any time, but it’s super flexible to fit in with changes to your schedule – perfect for modern life!

And I really love helping people learn to become instinctive, creative cooks who aren’t slaves to recipes any more.

If any of this sounds interesting, you can learn more about the program over at:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/mymp15/

_____

Bangers & Beer

Bangers & Beer

I was inspired to make this after reading Jennifer McLaggin’s brilliant book called ‘Bitter’. Well worth a read. It’s one of those meals which just happily cooks itself in the oven, freeing you up to do other things. But the best bit is the wonderful smells it generates. As the beer cooks down it fills the house with wonderful bready, yeasty, baked goods smells… Its almost worth making just for the aromas alone. Almost.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, ‘bangers’ refers to sausages. And I should note, when cooking with beer, it’s super important to be generous with the salt when you season so it balances out the bitter flavours. Some beers can be quite bitter and can overpower the finished dish if you don’t add enough salt.

enough for: 2
takes: about an hour

3 carrots, halved
2 onions, quartered
450g (1lb) thick sausages
350ml (1.5 cups) beer
2 bay leaves (optional)
mashed potato or cauliflower + green salad to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Place carrots and onions in a roasting tray and drizzle with a little oil. Bake for 20 minutes.

2. When your timer goes, add the sausages, beer and bay leaves (if using). Season generously and return to the oven, uncovered for another 20 minutes.

3. Turn the sausages and give the veg a stir and cook for another 10-20 minutes or until the sausages are browned and cooked through and the beer has reduced to a sauce.

4. Taste and if too bitter for you, add more salt. Serve on a bed of mashed potato or cauliflower with a green salad on the side.

Variations

different beers – I’ve tried this on different occasions with Corona and Coopers Green and while quite different, both were lovely. But pretty much any beer will work, just be mindful that the stronger the flavour of your beer, the more intense it will be in the finished dish.

no beer? – replace with cider, white or red wine. Or if you want to keep it alcohol-free use stock or even water.

vegetarian – I can imagine this tasting amazing with mushrooms!

onion-free – just add extra carrots or replace with celery or one of the veg below.

more veg – feel free to add other root veg like parsnips, sweet potato, turnip, beets or potatoes. Just chop them into sizes that will cook about the same time as the carrots and onions.

more summery - use summery veg like zucchini, peppers and eggplant.

And while we’re talking meal planning, what sort of planning method do you use?

Are you a traditional work it out in advance planner? Or more of a ‘wing it’ person like me? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Big love,
Jules x

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__________

MYMP 2015 square logo

ps. Not sure if this program can help you?

Heres what Nic and Nichole said about their experience..

Nic, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“I used to spend ages planning all my meals to still feel like I didn’t have anything to cook. I felt undisciplined as I didn’t stick to my menu & wasted food cause I didn’t feel like whatever I planned. Now I can just make want I want, with what I have, with whatever time available. It makes u a more confident cook.”

Nichole, Master Your Meal Plan Owner.
“I am able to cook dinners that my family truly enjoys as many nights a week as I need to without repeating the same 5 dishes over and over and without buying a bunch of groceries that ultimately go to waste because our schedule changed.”

To learn more go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/mymp15/

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7 Things I Always Have in the Freezer

March 11, 2015

ecently there was an outbreak of Hepatitis in Australia that stemmed from people eating contaminated frozen berries. Since I’m a bit of a hermit, I wouldn’t have known about the berry recall if it weren’t for my news-savvy Irishman. Fortunately we didn’t have any problem berries in the freezer. Which was unusual but it’s been […]

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A Quick Tour of My Edible Garden…

March 3, 2015

lmost a year ago, my little family made the big leap to life in the country when we bought our tiny farm. As I shared when we first moved in, it’s been a dream of mine for the longest time to have a little house and some land to grow veggies, raise chooks, plant a […]

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7 Delicious Ways to Use Miso Paste

February 24, 2015

on’t you hate it when you buy a new ingredient to use in a recipe only to end up with a big jar of ingredient cluttering your fridge? Me too. I’m a little obsessive about keeping the random jars in my fridge to a minimum… Or at least keeping them ‘quarantined’ in the fridge door. […]

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How to Make Wine Vinegar

February 17, 2015

ave you ever ended up with lots of odds and ends of leftover wine and thought to yourself ‘I really should make some vinegar?’ Well until recently, I hadn’t either. I was happy keeping our little leftovers in the pantry to use in risottos and stews. I think my lack of enthusiasm for home made […]

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2 Surprising Benefits of Using a Meal Plan

February 10, 2015

o I’m going to let you in on a little secret… Before I started Soupstones, my done-for-you meal planning service, I thought there was absolutely no way I would enjoy following a meal plan. You see, I like to think of myself as a ‘free spirit’, someone who hates being told what to do. I […]

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Could A Meal Plan Help YOU Like This?

February 3, 2015

his time last year I did something I wasn’t sure would work. It all started when my friend Caroline was telling me about her experience with one of those weight loss programs that comes with an exercise schedule and detailed meal plans. With her new, more slender figure Caroline was looking amazing. What surprised me […]

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My New Favourite (Frozen) Veg

January 27, 2015

ow that I have a toddler in the house, I’m very well acquainted with the degree of difficulty involved with getting said toddler to eat anything green. Fortunately Fergal loves peas, so I always keep our freezer well stocked. But there are only so many times you can serve up peas each week. So I’ve […]

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A Kung Pao Chicken Story

January 20, 2015

bout this time two years ago my Irishman and I had a lovely holiday in Sydney staying in our friends Walsh Bay apartment with killer views of the Sydney harbour bridge. One night we had an especially delicious dinner at Mr Wong. A seriously great Chinese restaurant in the CBD. To cut a long story […]

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The Jules & David Project

January 13, 2015

ast year I read a great little book by Chris Guillebeau who fulfilled his dream of visiting every country in the world. With the title, ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’, Chris’ latest book is all about quests. It chronicles the adventures of not only Chris’s globe trotting but a heap of other people with quests as […]

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The No. 1 Way to Simplify Any Recipe

January 6, 2015

f you’ve been reading Stonesoup for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a big believer in the power of simplicity in all areas of life. But especially in the kitchen. And over Christmas I was reminded of just how complicated most published recipes are. For our Christmas feast I decided to make a […]

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A Little Christmas THANK YOU!

December 16, 2014

his time 5 years ago I was staying in a tiny apartment in the beautiful city of Barcelona, trying to pretend I was Spanish. Without much success. The main purpose of the trip was to have dinner at El Buli – at the time the best restaurant in the world. As often happens when I […]

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My Worst Cooking Habits (a follow up)

December 9, 2014

ack in September, I ‘outed’ myself here on Stonesoup by revealing my 3 worst cooking habits. A bit of a brave move for an introvert like me. Anyway, I promised to report back on my progress. So here we are! BAD HABIT 1. Picking While I Cook This is easily the toughest habit for me […]

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A New (Surprising) Reason to
Eat More Vegetables

December 2, 2014

ecently, my Irishman came across a fascinating documentary called ‘Gut Reaction: What You Eat Could be Making You Ill‘. To cut a long story short, the program focused on the latest research on gut bacteria and health. It boils down to this… Eating processed food = unhealthy gut bacteria = unhealthy person. and… Eating lots […]

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How to Fix Excess Salt

November 25, 2014

often get asked where I get the ideas for my recipes and blog posts. And the truth is I find inspiration pretty much everywhere… magazines, restaurants, online, my veggie garden, when I’m looking in my fridge… But one of my favourite places is the Stonesoup by request survey I set up to capture your questions […]

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