The Urban Gardener

I call out from the kitchen window “Evelyn, show Daddy where the big eggplants are in the garden so he can help you pick one. I need it in the kitchen now for dinner!“. The deep purple skin is so firm, fresh and shiny it blows my mind that it grew in my own garden and it’s still warm from being on the plant enjoying the last of the day’s sunshine. I slice it, dress it with no more than a drizzle of olive oil, ground sea salt and a little black pepper, then just before placing it on the grill I decide that a sprinkle of fresh thyme from the garden that will finish it off nicely. Bliss… I’m in my happy place. It was the sweetest most tender eggplant I think I have ever eaten, but it my judgement may be clouded by the serene picture of my little girl running to the garden bed where the eggplants are and pointing out the purple beauties that have grown with little more than water and a bit of sunshine in our own backyard! I wear a smile ear to ear watching the kids jump off the garden edging, as they navigate the meandering sweet potato shoots now breaking the boundaries of the garden beds and watch them swoop down to pick a bean and munch on it straight from the garden, or pull our a carrot and run inside to wash it for immediate eating.

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So, where does food come from? Continue reading

Are you freezer savvy?

Right ladies, I hope you’re ready for this. It blew my socks off when I got this email from a friend who was about to go back to work full-time and in true form, she aced it in the kitchen scene. This week is a guest post for all the busy mums out there on making the most of your freezer to get ahead in the mid-week cooking routine. Over to you Yvonne: 

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Baked Sweet Potato, Vegetable and Halloumi Fritters

I’ve been in love with sweet potato for a little while now. Grilled sweet potato wedges – mmh! Sweet potato hash with poached eggs – mmh! Shepherd’s pie with sweet potato & parsnip mash – mmh! With the need for a big plate of vegetables packaged in a way the kids will scoff them down, these baked sweet potato, vegetable and halloumi fritters were invented – mmh!

A love affair with Continue reading

The tough questions…

So we haven’t got to the birds and the bees questions yet (phew, kids are only just 5 years old), but we have started to have spontaneous conversations about diet, exercise and nutrition. They often come from everyday moments like preparing dinner, walking through a mall or visiting friends. The perfect playground for this was a recent trip to the grocery store with one little miss. We came around the end of an aisle, she was pushing the trolley nicely like a ‘big girl’, then her eyes lit up, her hands let go of the trolley and she b-lined straight for a huge stand of chocolate teddy bear shaped biscuits. “Mummy. Mummy. LOOOOOK!”

–> Enter nutrition conscious mum with a hang up for real food <–

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Give me some energy!

Ok, so I have a confession. I’m not really a recipe girl! There I said it. I hardly ever cook with a recipe. I love being creative in the kitchen – pictures and recipes are my inspiration rather than the hard and fast rule. So, documenting my kitchen adventures, while rewarding and fun, is also hard work and time consuming. Worth it I hope?

Now having said that, there are some recipes I come back to time and time again so that I HAVE actually written those ones down.  We were invited to a special little girl’s 3rd birthday party a few weeks back and at the last minute I volunteered I could bring some food. Maybe not as helpful as I could have been! With everything planned to perfection for a magnificant party, I took on the task of making the date balls. Healthy kid food – yep right up my alley 🙂 Both recipes got the thumbs up and now after three requests to send the recipes … Here they are!

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Happy National Ice-Cream Day!


Only in the US would we be celebrating something called National Ice-Cream day and blueberry ice-cream was the order of today! We look forward to handfuls of fresh blueberries every year served with a good dose of antioxidants, together with spoonful of fresh air and a spot of the phonomonim witnessed today which was water falling from the sky (rain) that we don’t see year to year. My little chefling spotted a picture of ‘purple ice cream’ on pinterest the other day which she has been badgering me to make, so today we got to it.  Doesn’t eating ice-cream just make you feel like a kid again?!? Continue reading

Fingers or Fork?

Lately the kids have made me feel torn between teaching table manners vs teaching a love of food. After all, we have just spent time together setting … and often unsetting, resetting and final setting the table according to everyone’s ever changing request for different coloured cutlery, cups and napkins. So with the table nicely set the kids then sometimes just push it all that aside to eat with their hands. They have smiles on their faces, food up their arms, but they eat with hunger and enjoyment, albeit with all 10 fingers. Continue reading