A Few of My Favourite Things…

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[NOTE: The images are some of my favourite recipes at the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School. Click HERE to find out more about my online classes.]

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I[/dropcap] often get emails asking for recommendations for blogs similar to Stonesoup. Without trying to be arrogant, I haven’t really come across anyone else focusing on super simple, healthy 5 ingredient recipes that can be made in minutes.

But there are plenty of blogs and books I admire and love so I thought I’d share a few of my favourites here today.

And of course I’d love to hear if you have any sources of inspiration that you’d like to recommend. Please share in the comments!

Food Blogs

The Mindful Foodie. I met Lesh, the brains behind The Mindful Foodie when I was speaking in Melbourne a year or so ago. As a health coach, Lesh is super passionate about helping people get healthy and happy by eating real food.

Chocolate & Zucchini. One of the first blogs I ever discovered and still a favourite when I’m in the mood for some Parisian food insights.

My New Roots. A relatively new discovery for me, I haven’t ever cooked anything from this beautifully photographed blog… it’s not exactly ‘minimalist’. But I’ve gleaned plenty of great ideas to help make my cooking healthier and more veg focused.

Orangette. Still my favourite food blogger when it comes to her writing skills. There’s something so welcoming about the way Molly writes about food and life. If you’re ever in the Seattle area, I highly recommend visiting Delancey – the fabulous pizza mecca run my Molly and her husband Brandon. I just hope for your sake they have Molly’s chocolate chip cookies on the menu for dessert.

101 Cookbooks. Another oldie but a goodie, especially if you’re looking for creative vegetarian recipes. Love Heidi’s travel tips as well.

Non-Food Blogs

Wearing It Today. I get super excited every time I get and email in my inbox from the lovely Laura, a London based stylist. She’s been on maternity leave for the past 9 months but has started posting again, all be it infrequently.

Style Notes by Maggie Alderson. I’ve been following Maggie for over a decade since discovering her column in the Sydney Morning Herald ‘Good Weekend’ section. These days I devour her (fiction) books as soon as they are released and in the meantime enjoy her observations on fashion and life via her blog.

Zen Habits. It’s hard not to love Leo’s minimalist approach to life. And I always feel a little bit happier when there’s a new post from Zen Habits in my email inbox. I was lucky enough to have coffee with Leo last time I was in San Francisco which was awesome fun but I did walk away on a massive caffeine high.

Tim Ferriss. As I mentioned recently, I’m a huge fan of Ferriss’ books, especially the 4-Hour Work Week. Love the blog too.

I Love Marketing. Dean Jackson and Joe Polish know a lot about marketing. If it’s something you’re interested in I recommend subscribing to their weekly podcast and start listening from the first episode.

Marie Forleo. A business blog geared towards female entrepreneurs (I love that word!). Love Forleo’s simple approach to life and business success.


I’m limiting this to my current Top 3, otherwise I could be here all day.

The Kitchen Diaries Volumes I & II by Nigel Slater. Still my favourite food writer of all time. I could happily just keep starting from the beginning every time I finish one of Slater’s books.

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi. This is the 3rd book from Ottolenghi and head and shoulders my favourite. The recipes aren’t very minimalist but I love the way he combines flavours and textures.

Cumulus Inc. by Andrew McConnell. This is the book I turn to when I want inspiration for a dinner party or something new and different for my Irishman and me. Definitely more ‘weekend’ cooking when you have loads of time. I’m slowly working my way through the whole book and have loved everything so far except for a couple of the desserts. If you’re ever in Melbourne, make sure you schedule a visit to the restaurant of the same name.

Non-Food Books

Goals! by Bryan Tracy. I’ve been setting goals and not achieving them for years. I still have a long way to go but this little book pulled together the missing pieces for me in my goal setting and how to actually get results. I also love Tracy’s ‘Eat Your Frog’. As an added bonus my brother and I have laughed over many unintentionally ‘comic’ moments with Tracy’s delivery.

Start Late, Finish Rich by David Bach. A very practical, down-to-earth guide to personal finances which also manages to inspire you to take control and start saving.

The Magic of Thinking BIG by David Schwartz. I love this book. It inspired me to dedicate 2011 as the Year of Thinking Big. For the record 2013 is the Year of Family for me, but I’m thinking it’s about time I gave Thinking BIG a re-read.

Productivity Tools

Trello. If you love lists and keeping yourself organized like I do, then you’ll love Trello. I have their apps on my phone and iPad and it’s by far the best tool I’ve used for organizing my ‘to do’ lists and projects.

Evernote. I’ve been using Evernote for years now but it wasn’t until I went ‘all in’ and spent a few hours setting up my Evernote to capture ALL my notes, that I really realized how useful and powerful this tool is. The best thing is that I can create notes in many different ways, writing text, forwarding email and clipping web pages. You can also save pdf documents into Evernote so I keep any ebooks I buy (or write) in there too. Everything ends up in the one place, which is also searchable.

Moleskine Notebooks. While I love all things digital, there’s something about writing in a notebook, even if your handwriting is illegible as mine. I use my Moleskine for my daily ‘to do’ list and keeping track of random things like new recipes and ideas.

iPhone Apps

Audible. I don’t know where I’d be without audio books. I certainly wouldn’t be able to average reading 1 book a week like I have for the last few years. Their membership pricing model makes audio books super affordable. Great for when you’re out running (or walking as I am these days), car trips or even when you’re hanging out in the garden or doing things around the house.

Instagram. Of all the social media, I find I spend the most time on Instagram. I’m @jules_stonesoup if you want to pop over and say ‘Hi’.

Shopping List. The creators of this app obviously thought long and hard about its name. Super helpful to have your shopping list with you at all times! I love that in the ‘shopping’ mode your items are organised by aisle (you setup the categories) and that I can text or email my list to a certain Irishman.

Evernote & Trello. Part of what makes these ‘productivity tools’ so useful is that you can access them from wherever. Both have iPad apps as well.

Gratitude365. This year I’ve started writing a list of things I’m ‘thankful’ for before I go to bed. You don’t really need an app for it, but I do find the little calendar which notes which days I skip does motivate me to make sure I do it every night.

Shake It Photo. Still my favourite camera app. It’s hard to go past the ‘old school’ polaroid noises and images.

What about you?

Have some favourites you’d like to share? Please let me know in the comments.

w3 roast veg salad-2


  • Adorable baby boy!!! Wonderful photos – there’s nothing more beautiful to look at than a new-born babe – thank you!

  • I like to walk…for exercise as well as, well, just to walk. I have a FitBit which logs my steps/miles/calories etc and I then log the miles on Walking4Fun.com.
    I’m currently walking the Pacific Crest Trail and so far have about 350 miles into it. Each time you log your miles pictures show where you are on the trail – it’s very cool…and I’m not likely to walk the PCT any time soon :)…except on this website.

  • Wow, Jules!

    Thanks so much for sharing.. I was just pulling my hair out today over all the marketing webinars I have taken that all contradict each other and aren’t too clear what to do … The I love Marketing Blogs and Podcasts are just what I needed to learn about at just the right moment.

    Congrats on the baby and thanks so much for all you share with us all the time!

  • Congrats Jules on your new little man. Thank you for sharing your favorites. A new one of mine is http://www.thefirstmess.com. Usually I skim the writing on food blogs (except your and hers ????) and go straight for the recipes. But her writing is funny, contemplative, honest and sweet. She focuses on eating seasonally and veg/vegan. Her photos are lovely and the food I’ve tried is great. I look forward to her email every week as I do yours. Thanks for all your share with us. Cheers!!

  • thanks! (“albeit” is one word, by the way, at the end of Wearing It Today)

    we’re an android household, and we love OurGroceries (for tracking grocery lists) and Couple (for private interaction) and while I like Instagram I actually like Snapseed and Camera360 better – though admittedly I mostly share the results through twitter.

    For websites….I dunno, lately I’ve had zero energy and have mostly been reading Pride and Prejudice fanfiction. When I have energy I like reading art bloggers like daisy yellow and i am rushmore and patricia zapata at a little hut. Oh, and jenny trout’s blog, for her awesome snarking of 50 Shades.

    My definite favorite cookbook is How to Cook Without a Book by Pam Anderson, which is basically twenty template recipes and a bunch of advice and suggested variations. My mom taught me to cook, but Anderson taught me how to cook every day, which as you know is a somewhat different skill. I also love having Cook’s Illustrated on hand, more for the writeup of the experimental process than for the actual recipes.

  • Hi Jules and Congrats on your beautiful baby boy!
    I have a favorite food blog to add to your list- smittenkitchen.com
    Home cook Deb Perelman delivers hilarious writing, beautiful photography and delicious recipes with fresh takes on everything from biscuits to birthday cake.
    While not minimalist, her step by step instructions & tips help us tackle techniques and make cooking fun.

  • I must admit that when you mentioned there would be baby pictures in this post, I IMMEDIATELY scrolled down to get a look at Baby Fergal. I’m a sucker for newborn babies and he looks precious! Congrats again.

    Thank you for this post on your favourite things. Next to your blog, I really enjoy Jun-Blog from Jun Belen. Lovely photos and recipes- and really does a good job of representing Filipino food in a beautiful and thoughtful way.

    Have a terrific day! Cheers.

  • Jules! WOW! Totally honoured that TMF is one of your favourite things ~ thank you so much.
    Fergal should be first on the list, though, but I can understand saving the best to last ;) He is beautiful ~ gorgeous pics of him too. Thanks for sharing him with us x

  • Dear Jules,

    Thanks for your list of blogs and books. There are some really good ones in there. My husband and I love all things ‘food’. We had 180 cookery books and had to give away 50 to make room for new ones. We now have Ottolenghi’s “Jerusalem” – great recipes. Our latest is Rachel Khoo’s-” The Little Paris Kitchen”. More great recipes. They demonstrate the art of making “Classic French recipes with a fresh and simple approach”. You may have seen her on TV.

    I love the pics of little Fergal and look forward to watching him grow.


  • Great list Jules and congratulations!

    Now that you have a little one here are two of my favorite family-friendly cookbooks…

    First Meals Revised by Annabel Karmel
    The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time By Laurie David

  • We seem to be kindred souls when I read your recommendations!

    I too am an Evernote freak (how did I live without it?), The 4 Hour Workweek was the book that kick started my idea for an online business and Marie Forleo’s B School sealed the deal. Brian Tracy was my guru in the my early 20’s and I credit him with inspiring me with my goals. Leo from Zen Habits just makes so much sense and fits in my motto: Keep it Simple. I also keep a daily gratitude list.

    So of course I am seeing all of your other recommendations that I don’t know of yet and feel so excited as you seem to like the same things as me, so they’ve got to be good! Where to begin??

    Thank you!!! x Kelly

  • What a precious baby boy! Thanks for the post. Lots of fun favorites here. Goals! is one of my favorites too and the Zen blog is perfect for a friend right now, so sending it to her. Enjoy that precious baby. They grow up so fast!

  • Jules he’s beautiful. Thanks for your favourite things, I love the gratitude app.
    Trudy xx

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