Easy Breakfast Frittata Recipe

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.” 
~ A.A. Milne

It’s suddenly Winter here at the farm. There’s frost in the river paddock and mist along the river and mornings are not encouraging for leaping out of bed onto bare floorboards.

On cold days a warm breakfast is a wonderful thing, and I love the ease of making a frittata. It’s like a big no-fuss omelette that never got folded or flipped. It’s essentially an egg dish with vegetables, and perhaps some cheese and/or meat. I often whip a frittata to start the day. They are equally good for lunch or dinner, and excellent served cold and cut into wedges as a lunchbox snack.

Once you get the hang of making them I encourage you to be brave and use the foundation egg mixture as a receptacle for all of the left-overs you’ve got in the fridge. Ben’s favourite is left-over roast vegetables and meat with some fresh herbs and whatever else is in the garden. Mine is garlicky mushrooms, capsicum, tomato, feta cheese and herbs. Mmmmm – heavenly!

Ingredients to serve Four (Or Two plus Leftovers!)

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk – or use soy, cream, almond milk or whatever is your thing
  • salt and pepper
  • knob of butter or a good slurp of olive oil

With One of These Fillings:

  1. 2 cups of fresh sliced vegetables such as tomato, corn, red onion, capsicum (bell pepper), onion and herbs of your choice plus 1/4 cup of your favourite tasty cheese; OR
  2. 2 cups of cold cooked diced potato or other roasted or cooked vegetables, 1/2 to 1 cup of sliced roast meat or other cooked protein such as chicken, sausage or fish, a big handful of fresh herbs or up to a teaspoon of dried herbs
  3. 2 cups of mushrooms sliced and cooked with 1 to 2 cloves of minced garlic and a tablespoon of butter, a cup of sliced tomato and capsicum, handful of grated cheese, handful of fresh herbs
  4. 1 cup of sauteed bacon pieces, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 zucchini grated, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  5. 2 cups of sliced cooked potato, some smoked or tinned salmon, 1/4 cup of fresh dill, 1/4 cup of feta cheese

Method:

  1. Cut up any vegetables, meat or herbs, and grate cheese or cut into small dice.
  2. Place a 10 to 12 inch ovenproof frypan on medium heat and add a knob of butter or a slurp of olive oil making sure that you grease the bottom and sides well.
  3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and give a gentle whisk to break the yolks. Add the milk or your milk alternative, a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper and then beat gently to incorporate. Don’t overbeat – just gently combine.
  4. Throw in a bit more butter.  If you are using bacon, add it now and cook off until soft.  Add in your sliced mushrooms and any vegetables that will take a little longer to cook.  Swoosh them round in the butter until they soften a little then spread them out so they cover the base of your pan. Lower the heat on your pan.
  5. Gently re-whisk your eggs and pour into the frypan, and then artfully drop the rest of your vegetables into the egg mixture.  Add in your cheese and any other meats if you are using them. Sprinkle your herbs over the top, add another grind or two of cracked pepper and then give the contents a little stir with a fork.
  6. Leave to cook until the top is set. This takes about ten minutes, depending on the size and depth of your pan. (The cooking time can be hastened by putting a large lid or a piece of aluminium foil over the top of the pan – but don’t raise the heat or you’ll overcook the eggs!).  You can also place the pan under your grill or in the oven to brown off the top at the end of cooking.

Serve on its own or with some good bread or hot buttered toast. Ben loves his with a dash of Worcestershire Sauce and I like mine with a spoonful of homemade tomato relish. A mug of tea or coffee also works well on a cold morning. Enjoy!

Love, Nicole xx

Home is… Doggy and Heavenly and So Very Good

“Coming home to friends with wagging tails and loving hearts makes everyday a good day!” ~ Anon

I’d love to be writing profound things.

But the truth is what I want to write is very ordinary.

We came home to the farm late yesterday.

We came home to our dogs.

They were SO EXCITED to see us.

They stuck to us like glue.

It made us feel so very loved. And it was great.

We cooked a roast dinner and opened a bottle of wine and sat with our friend and our dogs and listened to music, laughed and talked and enjoyed the simple pleasures of food, loved ones and good conversation.

So good to be home.

The End.

Nx

A Very Hygge Holiday

“Hygge is a quality of presence and an experience of togetherness. It is a feeling of being warm, safe, comforted and sheltered. 
Hygge is an experience of selfhood and communion with people and places that anchors and affirms us, gives us courage and consolation. 
To hygge is to invite intimacy and connection. It’s a feeling of engagement and relatedness, of belonging to the moment and to each other. 
Hygge is a sense of abundance and contentment. 
Hygge is about being not having.” 
~ Louisa Thomsen Brits

Ben and I are going away for a week. As you read this we’ll already be on the plane.

A friend is at the farm taking care of our dogs and cows and vegetable garden. My team are looking after my emails and the phones and the work stuff.

Ben and me? We’re looking after each other. It’s been a tough year. The illness, decline and death of his mother. The loss of a dear friend. The support of another going through a terrible time. Drought. Illness.

We’re tired. We need a break, before one of us breaks.

I’ll still be meditating. And I’ll still blog. Because those things are as ingrained in me as cleaning my teeth. I can’t not do them. But everything else can wait.

Be kind to yourself this week while these energies make all of us empaths more sensitive than usual.

Biggest hugs and love, Nicole xx

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Salad with Lime and Garlic Dressing #Vegan

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?” 
~ A. A. Milne

It’s a known fact that historically Ben won’t eat two things – Brussels Sprouts and Cottage Pie (which he calls Poo Pie!) after bad experiences at boarding school back in the day.

I have managed to win him over to a good Cottage Pie (which we are only allowed to call Savoury Mince Thing with Mashed Potato on Top) but have not been able to convince him of the deliciousness of Brussels Sprouts, until I invented this Salad.

This warm salad was born from the need for me to whip up something healthy and yummy for lunch but EASY because I am still unwell and lacking stamina so I wanted something nurturing that I could chuck together with minimum fuss. You can eat this as a main meal and proportions given will serve two, or four people as a tasty side.

Baking the Brussels Sprouts gives them a nutty flavour – super yum. Don’t be afraid – they really are delicious. The addition of apple gives a sweet note that contrasts well with the fresh tangy dressing. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • two cups of cubed sweet potato
  • one green apple cut into cubes
  • two cups of Brussels Sprouts cut in half lengthways
  • a tablespoon of olive oil
  • cumin and smoked paprika to sprinkle on your roasting vegetables (or leave it off if you don’t have these spices at home)
  • 2 to 4 cups of fresh green spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup of walnut halves
  • 1/2 an avocado cubed
  • Dressing: 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 to 2 cloves of garlic minced (use to your own taste – I love garlic!), 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of coconut aminos or Braggs or soy sauce or tamari sauce or a pinch of salt (use what you have to hand)

Directions:

  1. Place cubed sweet potato, Brussels Sprouts and cubed apple onto baking tray and toss with one tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle some cumin and smoked paprika over and then roast in a moderate oven ( 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit ) for 30 minutes or until cooked and golden.
  2. Scatter spinach over the bottom of your serving bowl or plate.
  3. Make dressing by putting all ingredients in a jar and shaking well so that they emulsify and blend together. Taste dressing and adjust to your liking by adding
  4. Add baked vegetables to top of spinach. Scatter the avocado and walnuts over and then pour on the dressing.
  5. Serve on its own or as a side dish.

Stubborn Determination

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” 
~ Benjamin Franklin

That’s Daisy Mae in the picture above. She’s the one staring cheekily at the camera from the right-hand side of the photo. She’s eyeballing me because she has been breaking into the house paddock and eating all my new vegetable seedlings and petunias.

But there’s another naughty cow in that photo. Do you see her? She’s standing behind Daisy Mae – look for the red cow with the pink ear tag. That’s Tilly.

Tilly has been sneaking into the house paddock too. But not by opening the gate. Tilly has slender legs and feet, and has found a way to walk through the cattle grid and into our yard.

After we locked Daisy Mae out we still kept finding mystifying evidence of cow break-ins but we couldn’t find the culprit. Until yesterday. As I looked up from washing the breakfast dishes there she was, staring back at me just a few feet on the other side of the window. Tilly got such a shock, and so did I. By the time I got outside she was in the process of delicately picking her way back over the grid to safety.

Twice more she got back in, waiting until she was sure we were in the house and then stealthily crossing into our garden.

After the third time we put rope across the driveway to keep her out.

And when we were making a late afternoon cup of tea there she was again. She’d wriggled underneath the rope on her belly!

Finally, late yesterday, Ben and I moved the cows down to the river paddock. It’s flush with feed and so there is no need for her to eat my garden anymore.

It’s hard to be cross with her though. What a strategic and determined girl she is as she goes after what she wants. Qualities I deeply admire.

Hugs and Love, Nicole xx

Gumboot Adventure and a Lyme Update


“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.” 
~ Edward Abbey

*Note: I recommend reading all the way to the end of this post. Past the pictures even. Oh yes, I do.

People are always asking how I am and I almost always say ‘fine, thanks’.

Truth is, I have advanced late-stage Lyme disease, and as with any chronic degenerative illness I have a catalogue of woes so to actually tell you how I am might take hours. Boring. I’m over it long ago. So ‘fine’ or ‘okay’ mostly does the job. I manage. Many days are great, and I am working, living and making the most of what I can. Happy, happy. I don’t dwell on my health or lack thereof.

Mostly.

I’ll level with you, though. The last few days have been rough.

I’m miserable right now.

I picked up a cough while visiting Ben’s mum in the nursing home. After four weeks it has steadily become worse and I can’t shake it. Because of that, my UTI flared up. I’ve been peeing five times a night and my bladder is agonisingly sore. I have been feeling myself slowing getting more run down no matter how good my self-care and health care has been.

So I started on new Chinese herbs two days ago for my latest infections. Great news – they’re working! Less great news? They are also killing Lyme Bugs so I am herxing like crazy as the Lyme dies and releases toxins into my already overloaded body. My eyes are red and streaming and only one is working, only one side of my face is mobile and responsive, my skin is on fire, I’m photophobic, I have stabby pains and night sweats and swollen glands and bone aches and head aches and nerve spasms and tender teeth and numb fingers and toes and neurological incontinence (I wee my pants for no reason!) and generally more misery than I remembered was possible. Yay? But fighting bugs, so yay!!!!! Now we’re working on getting the dosage correct so that I can manage the chest and UTI infections without going mad from herxing. Please don’t worry. I’m in good hands. (And yes, I have cried, screamed and whimpered often this past few days because I’d forgotten how truly awful herxing can be.)

I’m smiling here, honest! It’s just that only one side of my mouth lifts up right now…

In the midst of all of this misery I needed to go open a gate at the farm for Ben. I got out of bed, left my pyjama top on, threw on some shorts and my gumboots and slogged down to the Tractor Shed paddock.

Oh. It was so beautiful there in the misty cold afternoon. The ground was soft and green and lush. The trees shone with a vibrant light, and the birds sang. It felt good to be out of bed and outdoors.

When my short adventure was over I hastened back to a hot shower, fresh pyjamas and more rest.

It was worth it to have that little gumboot adventure.

I’m wishing you little adventures too. No matter how shitty life gets, a little tiny adventure, a small moment fully lived, a simple pleasure fully and mindfully experienced – that’s what makes it all more manageable. I rate my coping skills as high. And that’s one of the reasons why!

Biggest love and hugs from this tired and battered Lyme Warrior. I’ll be back at my best soon, I’m sure. Meanwhile, I’m happy to be herxy. (Well, mostly! xx)

PSS – Thanks if you scrolled down this far. Just a reminder that I am massively sleep deprived and in pain right now. So if you:

  1. suggest that positive thinking might be beneficial or a cure-all,
  2. offer to hook me up with your miracle-inducing network marketing product, or
  3. remind me that I somehow manifested all of this as a learning experience,
  4. or that this is karmic

then I can’t be held responsible for my actions. Need more help with this because you’re itching to do one of the above? Read this first.

Good Boy Rufous

“Rules of Food Sneaking #73: If you do it real fast most people will never know.” ~ Rufous the Dog

Hello, Peoples,

I am Rufous. And it is true – I am a bit of a nibbler. Most things can be edible if you chew on them enough.

Like Mum’s slippers.

I have eaten three pairs now. And they were delicious. I usually tried to sneak one off into the paddock where I could dissect it at leisure, or I’d stash one under the bed and chew quietly on it there.

But then there were no more slippers, and Mum started wearing socks instead and then it was Summer.

Now it is almost Mother’s Day and Dad bought Mum new slippers. They are lovely and fluffy and they will be such a surprise. I have already nibbled off the tags. I’m sure she will appreciate that. I am such a good boy.

Harry Dog and me are sending all our loves to you for Mum’s Day, to every single people, because people need to feel loved and everyone does Mum jobs sometimes, even if it is just for themselves.

And don’t forget, if you get yourself or your Mum or a Mum friend good snacks for Mother’s Day, that dogs always appreciate a bit of a taste of that good snack!

Lots of happiness to you, from Rufous the Dog xoxo

Tiny Treasures!

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” 
~ Henry David Thoreau

My morning meditation went longer than usual today.

When it was over I stood at the edge of our verandah, looking out over the garden and the paddocks beyond.

Suddenly a glimpse of bright red caught my eye. And another. And another.

I looked up. There were no trees bearing bright red berries. What could these tiny red dots possibly be?

I went down onto the lawn to investigate and discovered that they were tiny red mushrooms. I can’t explain why, but this made me furiously happy. They are so unexpected and sweet and beautiful and fairy-like.

I love that nature continues to surprise me. We are surrounded by miracles and magic. All we need to do is slow down and be in the moment.

Much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx

The Naughty Cow – A Lesson In Patience and Persistence


“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” 
~ Abraham Lincoln

It’s no secret that Daisy Mae is one of my favourite animals on the planet. That’s her, on the far right in the photo above. She’s hiding (or so she thinks!) as she peeks through the fence at me. As soon as I turn my back she will nudge the gate to see if it can be pushed open.

She’s clever. If the gate was able to be pushed she wouldn’t rush into the house paddock. No! The other cows would follow her. I would chase her out. So, if the gate can be pushed she will wait, and then sneak in later so she can munch on my gardens at leisure.

When she was a small calf she would sneak under the fence and romp in the garden with my dogs, eat all my petunias and come up on the veranda to drink out of the dog bowl.

So, who do you think might have eaten all the petunias in the pots by our front door recently? And the tops out of all the newly planted fruit trees?

They did leave big hoof prints in the soft muddy ground. But the gate had been pushed shut, mostly. Almost the perfect crime.

Does this look like a guilty face to you?

The Fairy and the Bandicoot

“Sensitive people care when the world doesn’t because we understand waiting to be rescued and no one shows up. We have rescued ourselves, so many times that we have become self taught in the art of compassion for those forgotten.” 
~ Shannon L. Alder


I planned to sleep in a little this morning. After my four am meditation I crept back under the covers and nestled in, intending at least another two hours sleep.

I woke suddenly. Hurry up, she’s DROWNING! yelled a little voice in my ear. Sokli, my fairy friend, was insistent.

Disoriented and a little confused I got out of bed. I’d been asleep for twenty minutes. Everyone else was sleeping still on this cool, grey Saturday morning.

Come on, come ON! urged Sokli.

The next minute I was hurrying up to our swimming pool, which is in the middle of the paddock that is our farm’s back yard. I opened the gate and let myself in and there she was, swimming feebly around the edge of the pool. A bandicoot.

I used the net to scoop her out, and then placed her gently on the grass. She shook herself like a dog, tiny beads of water flying everywhere, and then she pressed her nose to my bare foot as if it say thank you, and darted off under the fence.

Sokli often wakes me up to help an animal, or a person we know who’s in trouble. She’s become a dear friend and companion and we work well together as a team. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that as an adult I would be talking to a fairy, or that I would channel her wisdoms to share with my students and workshop groups. I never thought it possible that fairies existed until I met her. I mean, really, I’m psychic, I talk to fairies, I have Lyme disease – as my sister often points out, none of these things exist. Not in Australia, anyway (especially the Lyme disease bit!).

Still, the bandicoot is safe and now I’m wide awake. I’ll make a cup of tea and go sit on the verandah for a while til everyone wakes up. It brings to mind one of my favourite quotes from Alice in Wonderland.

Wishing you the strength to believe in impossible things too,
lots of love, Nicole ❤ xx