Planner Will Be Live In Shop In Just A Few Hours!

“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

We had a fantastic time at the Pop Up Shop yesterday, and I loved being able to give so many of you a great big hug! I’m looking forward to seeing more of you for hugs today too.

Our Planner and Crystal packs for 2018 sold like ice-creams on a hot day yesterday, but we still have stock left, ready to go live in our shop a little later this morning.

I know some of you will be in that space of needing to grab this awesome Planner RIGHT NOW but I had a late night, and there’s another big day ahead for me at the Pop Up Shop and running workshops and there is not a bite of food in the house because after we finish the event today we’ll pack up the truck and head straight back to the farm where we’ll stay for a day getting things ready for our awesome house sitter. Then we’ll race back to the city on Monday, sort out our housesitter here and then and pack our bags before flying out to Asia for three weeks on Tuesday morning at some ridiculously early hour for the ‘Congratulations You’re Fifty and Thank You for Not Dying’ holiday that my husband Ben bought me as a surprise!!! So, who needs food in the house when you aren’t going to be home, right? I’m starving hungry, so we are off to our favourite cafe right now to eat breakfast and fuel up for the day, and then I’ll come home and put the final trimmings on everything and the 2018 offerings will go live. Self-care first, lovelies!

For those of you who wanted to get to the Channelling session last night but couldn’t make it, I have good news. We recorded all the Guides and we’ll make the recordings available here in the shop in the next 48 hours. Yay!

Okay, breakfast for me and then it’s Planner time for you.

Biggest hugs and love, Nicole ❤ xx

 

I’d Rather Be Here Than Blogging Today

Ben and Harry racing ahead while I stop to admire every shell and rock strewn before me…

“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.” 
― Nikos KazantzakisZorba the Greek

 

Our Temple of Light Retreat is over, and I’m having a few quiet days for rest and reflection.

This morning instead of blogging I’m dashing this off because we are about to go beach walking and meeting friends for breakfast. After which I’m spending a leisurely day with my Planner, doing my Quarterly Review for the past three months, and some planning for the month ahead.

I’ll also be putting together a special blog post for tomorrow (usually Sunday is my day off!) to welcome in the energies of October.

How about you? What are you up to this weekend?

I hope that whatever you have planned, you also have a good measure of ‘me’ time thrown in. Remember Silith’s ‘Three Cures for Almost Everything’ – Walking, Quiet Time in Nature, and Sleeping. I’m intending all of them for me this weekend.

Biggest love to you, Nicole   xoxo

Slow Morning at the Farm

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“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” 
Eddie Cantor

It’s a slow start here at the farm this morning. The air is cool, everything is damp after the night’s gentle showers and all of us are feeling relaxed and mellow.

The strawberries are ripening.

strawberries-ripening

The passionfruit vines are setting fruit.

Passionfruit (1)

In the kitchen there is another enormous box of peaches and nectarines being prepped for more pies, jam and chutney.

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I have a pot of tea on the go, and a delicious omelette finishing off on the stove, ready for breakfast.

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Life is good. Well, breakfast’s ready. Won’t you join me on the veranda? There’s plenty to share! (((HUGS))) Have a wonderful day. Nicole xoxo

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Saturday Breakfast

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“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” 
~ Elbert Hubbard

I’ll keep this morning’s blog short because I have to dash! I’m meeting my lovely friend Carly for breakfast at one of our favourite inner-city haunts, a cafe attached to a shop full of organic produce and delectable goodies.

Of course, I still have one eye on my cell phone, waiting for a text. Carls and I are both members of the unreliable club. For various reasons, usually health, one of us might pike at the last moment. This morning I’m good to go – I can drive myself (I’m revelling in the freedom of being able to drive again!), I have no eye patch, no nausea, no migraine or other lyme-y issue. Fingers crossed Carly is travelling well today too.

Last time we met at this cafe, I could barely see, and Carly had to lead me round like a human guide dog up the stairs and between all the tables, and cut up my breakfast. Not today. Today I’m happy to be back at a place of independence and feeling good.

So hopefully we’ll catch up, drink insane amounts of tea, share the latest news, laugh a lot, cry a bit at some of the sad things going on in our lives, and leave the cafe content, buoyed up by each other’s company and ready to face the weekend.

How about you? What plans do you have? Is there any nurture and heart time planned for you?

Sending you all my love and a cup of virtual chai tea, Nicole xx

Bert, who is banned from cafes due to bad behaviour, but who insists on coming along for the ride...

Bert, who is banned from cafes due to bad behaviour, but who insists on coming along for the ride…

It’s Friday – You’ll find me at the Mullum Markets

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“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 Friday. I look forward to Friday all week. Why? I get to have breakfast at the Mullumbimby Farmers Markets.

As I fed out hay to my cows this morning my own thoughts were filled with breakfast…

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There’s this delicious Thai sticky rice roll, filled with spiced sweet potato. Oh it’s fabulous.  All chewy and warm and good. It’s a breakfast favourite.

Or maybe something from the Sicilian Nomad’s kitchen – a fry up of fresh seasonal fare. Or miso and some freshly made sushi hand rolls. Something from the French Patisserie?

And chai, or a good local coffee.

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Today we’ll eat our breakfast and chat to whoever’s sitting at our communal table, we’ll say hello to friends, have a lovely social time, and then we’ll fill our baskets with herbs and vegetables, fresh baked sourdough bread, good local ladyfinger bananas, eggs, and whatever else looks good.

I think I’ll buy myself a bunch of flowers too.

We’ll have all of that done and be home again mid morning, and I’ll have the rest of the day to write and work, to nap, and to dig in the garden when it gets a little cooler in the late afternoon.

Oh, I love Fridays!

Sending all my love to you. Or maybe, I’ll see you at the Mullum Markets too! 🙂

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Walnut and Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites – Fit for a Prince!

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“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” 
~ Charles M. Schulz

 

While the world is abuzz with excitement at the birth of the Kate and William’s new baby boy, here we are celebrating by eating macaroons and drinking tea.  Welcome, Little Prince.  We shall blog about you tomorrow…

In the meantime, recipe!

In our household we call these little treasures yummy ‘uglies’.  They may not be the prettiest treats, but the taste more than makes up for it. Walnut and dark chocolate is a heavenly combination, made even better with coconut, and they are quick to whip up.

A variation of a macaroon, these Bites are gluten-free and can also be sugar-free, so they are great for diabetics and people with food intolerances or following a paleo diet.

Ingredients:

3 cups of unsweetened desiccated coconut; 2 eggs; 3/4 cup of sugar or natvia (or other sweetener of your choice; 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts; 1/2 cup of roughly chopped dark chocolate.

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Method:

Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Line a baking tray/cookie sheet with baking paper.

Measure the coconut and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Dump in the walnuts and chocolate.

Break the eggs in and mix thoroughly. Leave stand for five minutes.

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Using a soup spoon or similar, dip the spoon into a mug of water (so the mixture doesn’t stick) and then press the palm of your other hand down on the spoon to firm up the mix. Drop onto the baking tray. Repeat until all the mixture is used, dipping spoon in water frequently to avoid sticking.

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It doesn’t matter if your Bites look a little messy and rustic. That’s part of their charm. If you want to get fancy, place a little bit of walnut on the top of each Bite. (As you can see, I wasn’t bothered. If the Queen had been coming to afternoon tea I would have made the effort though!)

Place into the hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the tray for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack until completely cool.

Although… if you eat them while they’re still warm the chocolate inside will still be gooey and extra delicious.  Fit for Royalty, and excellent for afternoon tea. 🙂

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French Toast with Banana and Bacon Recipe

French toast with banana and bacon

“Oh, I just want what we all want: a comfortable couch, a nice beverage, a weekend of no distractions and a book that will stop time, lift me out of my quotidian existence and alter my thinking forever.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

French Toast is such weekend food! The sort of breakfast where you don’t have to rush, where you can dabble around the kitchen in your pyjamas and then demolish your meal accompanied by chatty family conversation, the weekend papers or a good book.

There are endless variations on French Toast, which is essentially bread dipped in an eggy mixture and then pan fried. It actually works better with slightly stale bread, but at a pinch I have made mountains of it with fresh bread and had no complaints.  Gluten-free bread works just fine too!

Today’s version uses fruit loaf. Feel free to substitute plain or any other favourite bread, but I must say that the flavour combination for today’s recipe works well with any bread that has fruit and a little spice.

This meal takes little skill, so it’s a great recipe for beginners, children and the domestically challenged.

INGREDIENTS:

Bacon for each person, adjusting quantity accordingly.  I have used a smoked local free-range bacon – the smokiness is brilliant with the banana and maple syrup!

Three large eggs, 1/2 a cup of milk (or your favourite milk substitute), a teaspoon of vanilla, and a dessertspoon of sugar or sweetener (eg Natvia).  The sugar is optional.  *Hint – use 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon if your bread has no spice.*  Some people like a sweeter French Toast. I usually leave it out because by the time you add maple syrup it will be sweet enough.  If you elect to make this as a dessert (swap bacon for an ice-cream or whipped cream side!) then go ahead and use the sugar if you want.  This is enough to soak 4 to six large slices of bread. (Four if they are thick, or six if they are thin.) If you’re cooking for more people, then adjust your mixture accordingly.

Bread – two slices of fruit loaf/raisin loaf per person or to appetite. A good quality bread like a sourdough or brioche will give an excellent texture, and if it’s a day old the bread will also hold its shape better when you fry it.

A large banana or two small bananas per person.

1 tablespoon of butter.

Maple syrup to serve.

METHOD:

Heat a heavy bottomed frypan, add a tiny wipe of butter and toss your bacon on to cook.  This is fine to do on the barbeque hot plate too! (A super dish to make when camping.)

Bacon sizzling

While the bacon sizzles away whisk your eggs in a bowl wide enough to accommodate a slice of bread.  Add in the milk and vanilla, and the sugar and cinnamon if you’re using it. If using sugar, whisk until it is dissolved.  Hint: Transfer beaten egg mix to a shallow baking dish big enough to hold multiple slices of bread at once if you are cooking for a crowd.

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Peel and slice your bananas lengthways.

When the bacon is done remove it and place in a covered dish to keep warm.

Soak each piece of bread in your egg mixture, turning to coat each side, and then lower onto the pan. Don’t just dunk it – let the bread soak up your mixture like a sponge!  The bread should be soggy.

If there isn’t much bacon fat, add a little extra butter, wait til it foams and then place your bread in the pan.

Fry the bread over medium heat until browned on the bottom – this will take a few minutes.  Using a slide, gently lift each piece of bread and turn it over. Cook until the bread feels firm and has lost that spongy feeling in the centre. Watch your heat. If it’s too hot the egg mixture will burn before the bread is cooked through.

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French toast cooking

Place the bread on your serving plates add the remaining butter to the pan and quickly fry off your bananas, turning them so that they brown up on each side.

fry off the bananas

Add the bacon and bananas to your French Toast.

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Drizzle with Maple Syrup.  Organise yourself a beverage and a comfy place to sit. Enjoy!

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Green Porridge – A Healthy Breakfast Recipe

green-eggs-ham1 Green anything for breakfast sounds a little odd.  But just as Sam-I-Am finally discovered that he liked Green Eggs and Ham, you might be persuaded that my Green Porridge recipe is just as delicious. When you imagine porridge, most people think of a creamy bowl of oats topped prettily with fruit… Maca porridge My offering today may not look so appealing, but I promise it packs a nutritional punch, and will get your day off to a great start.  Green porridge is a super-food concoction of body-supporting nutrients that are gentle on the digestive system and that will nurture and heal you.

Oats are a fantastic food – full of soluble and insoluble fibre, magnesium and low-glycemic carbs. They fill you up, give you consistent energy and also make the perfect delivery system for any number of nutritional add-ins.

Ingredients for one serve: You can start with smaller quantities of all of the add-ins if you prefer, or be brave and dive right in!

  • 1/2 cup of organic rolled oats (don’t use quick oats!) and 1 cup of water.  Using this ratio  you can adjust your quantities as necessary
  • a pinch of Celtic or Himalayan salt
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of LSA (Linseed, Sunflower Seed and Almond Mix – pre-ground).  If you can’t buy this locally, here’s a simple recipe so you can make some and keep it to hand: LSA Recipe  LSA is high in protein and is helpful for detoxing and supporting your liver.  I use it daily, and it makes a great addition to smoothies, salads, and even sprinkled over your steamed vegetables.
  • 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil or Udo’s Oil (my favourite!). These essential fatty acids support your hormones, brain, skin and hair, immune system, digestive system and metabolism.
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of spirulina. This superfood’s benefits include: high in protein, a strong detoxer, anti-candida supplement, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, boosts immune system.
  • 1 dessertspoon of blackstrap molasses. This under-appreciated sugar byproduct is chock full of iron and B group vitamins.
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of your favourite yogurt (cow, sheep, goat, soy or coconut!)

Optional add-ins:

  • 1 heaped teaspoon of your favourite greens powder. I’m currently in love with Udo’s Beyond Greens
  • An extra sprinkle of a pro-biotic powder if you are taking antibiotics or have gut health issues
  • A teaspoon of Maca powder to help support your adrenals, endocrine system and libido

Method: Add the oats, pinch of salt and the cold water to a saucepan and place over medium heat.  Stir often to prevent sticking.  The mixture will thicken in about five minutes. Tip the porridge into a large bowl and then start adding your toppings:

Naked Oatmeal...

Naked Oatmeal…

LSA mix and molasses

LSA mix and molasses

Green powder and spirulina

Green powder and spirulina

And a dollop of your favourite yogurt!

Tip in your oil, and a dollop of your favourite yogurt!

Mix it all together and you get… Green Porridge.  Enjoy!

Not pretty but yummy!

Not pretty but yummy!

Coconut, Ginger and Cardamom Rice Pudding Recipe – Vegan

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Because my Power Word for 2013 is HEALTH, I’ve been modifying a few of my favourite recipes.

This creamy-sweet rice pudding has the added lusciousness of Indian spices, and is entirely dairy, gluten and cane-sugar free.  And it’s vegan to boot, for those of you who are lovers of plant-based diets.

It can be eaten warm or chilled, so it’s perfect for any time of the year.

Ingredients: 1 x 400ml can of coconut cream, 1/2 cup of rice of your choice, 12 green cardamon pods, an inch of freshly grated or finely chopped ginger root, 1/3 cup of palm sugar, raw honey or maple syrup (or to taste), pinch of salt.

Method:

Using a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the cardamom pods. You could also do this with the blade of a heavy knife. This releases the aromatic oils from the tiny seeds inside the pods.  If you are especially finicky you can pull out all the green pods, leaving just the seeds, but I never bother.  They soften up when you cook them, so you can either eat them or dig them out later.

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Tip your can of coconut cream into a large saucepan, and then use the empty can and add one and a half cans of water to the pot.

Grate your ginger and add the ginger and crushed cardamom to the pot, then bring to the boil.  Now slowly sprinkle in your rice, stirring well.  Let it boil for a minute or two and then bring your pot down to a slow simmer.  Stir every so often so it doesn’t stick on the bottom. It will take about 40 to 60 minutes for your pudding to cook, depending on how low you have your heat. (Add a little more water if needed.) Test the rice – if it is soft, and the mixture is thick and creamy, it is ready.

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Add in your sweetener, checking as you go, so you don’t add in too much. Then add a pinch of good salt and check that you are happy with the taste.

There is nothing more to be done except eat and enjoy!

Some of my favourite serving options include a spoonful of creamy coconut yogurt  (you can often find this in health food stores) over the top, and a little seasonal fruit.

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For a special occasion, layer it into a glass with some fresh or preserved fruit and a good yogurt, and top with some crushed pistachio or toasted crushed cashew nuts.

If you liked this recipe, you might want to try my:

Mandarin and Coconut Jelly Recipe

Healthy Breakfast Parfait Recipe

Here’s a sneak preview of the Breakfast Parfait, which you can use to inspire you about serving suggestions with your Coconut, Ginger and Cardamom Rice Pudding…

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Creamed Rice Pudding Recipe

“It’s  lovely rice pudding for dinner again.” ~ A.A. Milne

Winter has well and truly arrived Down Under. It’s freezing in Brisbane right now. (Well, as freezing as sub-tropical can be…) Puts me in the mind to eat warm foods, and there is nothing better than my Nana’s Creamed Rice Pudding, a velvety-smooth vanilla rice concoction. This is another fantastically simple recipe which is equally good eaten warm, or served icy cold from the fridge for all my friends who are enjoying summer on the other side of the world.

Nana always prepared this as a dessert, but I must admit to also having eaten it for breakfast and as a filling snack.

It never lasts long around here. Want the proof of that?

The rice pudding thief broke in and stole my dinner…

I cooked a double batch of creamed rice, and served some up immediately. Who could resist it when it was warm and smelled so heavenly?  After my initial consumption I had intended to take some pretty photographs with my remaining rice pudding, arranged with berries and some little wafers, but when I came back to do so, the pot had been scraped nearly clean. Luckily I had taken a few shots of my rather less exotic creamed rice and stewed cinnamon apple lunch! (Click here to find out how to make the stewed apple)

This recipe is gluten-free and can easily be adapted to be vegan, dairy or sugar free too.

Here’s what you need to do to make this rice pudding for yourself:

Ingredients: 4 cups of milk (1 litre), pinch of salt, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup short grain white uncooked and unrinsed rice, 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  This recipe is easily doubled – just make sure you use a large enough pot. (Note – you can also use stevia or another sugar substitute. The milk can be swapped for soy milk, almond or rice milk.) A single batch will make four small serves.

Method: Place milk in a large saucepan.  Add the sugar and salt, then stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Bring to boil.

Don’t you love this action shot with the steam rising from my milk and sugar mixture?

Slowly add rice.  Return heat to a slow swimmer.  Stir every so often, leaving uncovered.  It will take about 60 minutes for your pudding to cook, depending on how low you have your heat. Add a little more milk if needed. Test the rice – if it is soft, and the mixture is thick and creamy, it is ready. Stir through your vanilla, taste test again. Note – Pudding will thicken more as it cools.

About midway through cooking; the rice is swelling and the starch from the unrinsed rice is slowly thickening the milk.

This rice pudding can be served warm or cold.  It is delicious served with canned, stewed or fresh fruits. A sprinkling of nutmeg on top is also yummy! Enjoy. ❤

Not arty, but tasty!