Porridge with Coffee-Infused Honey

July 29, 2015

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I like to call this, “productive porridge”.

Coffee-infused porridge has been on my mind for a while. You see, I’m a coffee girl. I love the stuff. Though love doesn’t quite feel like a strong enough word right now, as I find my pregnant, sleepy self romanticising the wonder that is a strong cup of coffee.

I miss sipping a full, unrestricted cup every morning. Grinding the beans and prepping the brew, the pour, the aroma, the taste… the way it makes me feel delicately buzzed. Buzzed and so sincerely happy. I miss that feeling and the ritual. And though I have been drinking a weak latte around twice a week since halfway through my second trimester (when coffee became appealing again), it’s not the same. I miss those rich, black, morning mugs.

Instead, I’ve been looking to other things to help me feel spritely, to give a bit of energy for the day ahead. Things like nuts and seeds and honey, on top of my beloved bowls of oats. And instead of an everyday comfort, coffee has become a treat, whether those weak lattes, coffee-flavoured ice-cream, or date bars with coffee grounds. This rationing has made me appreciate it more, that’s for sure. So when Di Bella Coffee sent me some coffee beans and requested I make a recipe for them, I took it as a sign to combine my two morning loves, coffee and porridge, for one supremely energetic, productive and happy morning meal.

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My Third Trimester World, the seventh month

July 21, 2015

The third trimester doesn’t technically start until week 28, but somehow I’ve put week 27 in here too. Let’s just focus on the fact that we’re now in the THIRD TRIMESTER!! Holy heck!

The second trimester was a dream and went by much faster than the first, as everyone says it would. Work was busy, I felt fantastic, my energy levels were pretty good and the bump popped out big time, without being crazy big or uncomfortable. It really was a sweet time.

Week 27

27 weeks

Catch ups

The first half of the week went by in a blur of work and dates. I’m finding myself scheduling a lot of catch-ups with friends, anticipating that I may not have the energy or desire to do so in the later months. That may not be the case, my mum was bouncing around until the end, but I also know that that time will come before I know it, so I’m making the most of evening city dinners and such. It’s not as though I’ll never see my friends again, but I am fully aware that I will soon be heavily and happily distracted by the cute human we created.

HypnoBirthing

Another major event this week was our first HypnoBirthing class. I’ve been super excited for this to start after being referred by a friend. All the reading I’ve been doing, from the likes of Ina May Gaskin and Sheila Kitzinger, has led me to believe that I will soak this information right up! During the classes we learn all about the birth process and the amazing things our bodies do at this time, as well as ways Ben can support me and things we can both do to have a birth that is as close to our goal of a natural birth as possible. I’ve heard from so many people that the breathing and relaxation techniques, as well as the visualisations they learnt during their HypnoBirthing sessions were incredibly helpful in allowing them to have a gentle birth. And I love how HypnoBirthing celebrates birth. I mean, I know that there are special circumstances and that some people have really awful, traumatic experiences, but there aren’t enough discussions about good birth stories these days. My mum had three wonderful natural births (I was even in the room when my baby brother was born) and she is a real champion about sharing her stories. Needless to say, she will be in the room with Ben and I. My mumma will be my doula. I think that’s pretty special.

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Banana Overnight Oats with Stewed Rhubarb

July 15, 2015

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Hey, friends! How’s this Wednesday treating you? I’m well, thanks. I’ll soon have a weak latte in hand (number one of the two-three I allow myself per week), and will be no doubt be blissfully productive.

I’m up in the city today, my last day seeing clients at the Richmond office before taking a break until the new year. Also on the agenda, I will be collecting some dining chairs off a guy from Gumtree and looking for bassinet sheets and a mattress protector. The baby buying continues! And later on, dinner with girlfriends. We’re having Mexican and the prospect of guacamole is highly exciting.

Breakfast this morning was BANANA OVERNIGHT OATS (recipe link) with STEWED RHUBARB (recipe link). I added a touch of ground cardamom to the oats too, just to amp up the deliciousness. Ben isn’t too keen on ground cardamom, but this is one ingredient I use liberally on occasion with the mind that he is completely wrong and will one day figure that out. I’ll keep you posted.

Heidi xo

Pregnancy Energy Balls

July 11, 2015

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“Cacao date balls” felt a little generic, you know? It was a name that didn’t explain the intention behind the recipe creation. And that’s something worth talking about. Because honestly, my desire to actually create recipes, to blend and blitz, fold and bake, is lacking. These days, I’d rather curl up on the couch and read a book than slice and stir.

With 9 weeks to go until our little one arrives, when my ability to indulge in these sweet solo activities will be altered, I suspect my body is just telling me to save my energy. Cooking can wait. The couch and long baths cannot.

But all this lovely lazing requires energy, too. Well, lazing and growing a baby. Hence, these energy balls. For when you’re pregnant (or not) and want a sweet hit while you’re reading your book, with maximum nutrients and minimal effort. I used oats in the recipe only because I was low on almond meal, so feel free to change the ratios around. But be sure to use fresh, sticky, dreamy medjool dates. There’s no true substitute for those dream boats.

These balls contain a dose of fibre (you’re welcome), a little healthy fat, a lot of wholesome sweetness and some punch from that raw cacao. They’ll give you the energy to watch yet another episode of Orange Is The New Black.

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Sourdough, peanut butter, Greek yoghurt, seeds, honey, kiwi.

July 8, 2015

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Breakfast this morning.

I’ve been feeling a bit off for the past half a week. Faint on occasion, unfocussed in my head, random spurts of energy before crashing… I can feel it’s a big week, growth-wise for bubs. And I think emotionally I’m a little exhausted. There are many feelings up in my head and heart at the moment! Mostly all very sweet and good and wonderful, but still…many feelings.

I’m just going to take it easy, drink banana smoothies and peace out. Thankfully this need to chill has corresponded ever so serendipitously with my lightest work week in yonks. So, cheers to my new best friend, the couch.

I hope you have a good rest of the week, lovelies.

Heidi xo

 

We’re going glamping

July 4, 2015

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Last week, Ben and I spent a night glamping at Point Leo beach, and it was the sweetest thing we’ve done in a while. Soul-enriching stuff. I’ve been itching to tell you about it, so here we go.

Have you heard of glamping? Otherwise known as “glamorous camping”? You might have. I mean, my Nana has. “Dear, I’d like to go glamping at Wilson’s Prom”, she said to my grandfather when we were at their house for dinner the following night. You really should follow my Nana’s lead and book a glamping getaway. It was just what Ben and I wanted. Actually, no, it was better than what we wanted.

Ever since seeing Happy Glamper‘s captivating camping set-ups on Instagram I have wanted to book a night with them. I grew up camping, toasting bread over the fire, paying 20cents for showers and picking ticks and leeches off my skin. Ben, on the other hand, is more of a hotel guy. He loves being in nature, but he likes to be warm and dry and tick-free. Fair call.

I knew he would freak out over how cool Happy Glamper‘s tents were. And so, over our long weekend break at home where we disconnected from work and indulged in a #treatyoself four days, I arranged for us to stay at a local beachside camping ground in one of Happy Glamper‘s Bell tents. We stayed complimentary, in exchange for some love on social media, which we’re super grateful for! This beauty was extremely cozy yet super spacious. We were warm and snug from the blankets, hot tea (you can have a bar fridge and kettle as an extra) and heater (they have electric blankets at powered camp sites, but even on a wintry June night we didn’t need them!). And we were entertained for hours with their board games (man, snakes and ladders is never ending!), books and magazines. For lunch we made a warm roasted vegetable and lamb salad at home, the recipe for which I’ll share in the post, and packaged it up to eat at the camp site. Ben thought we were just going for a picnic, but after realising that we had this beautiful tent to ourselves for the whole night, Ben settled in at the darling table set inside our tent and we ate, smiling ear to ear.

And while we totally could have hired cooking facilities (gas burners, pans, crockery, etc), Ben and I decided to get takeaway woodfired pizza from nearby Red Hill Epicurean. We shared slices in our sweet tent, sitting on our bed, propped up with pillows and watching movies on our laptop. It was absolute bliss.

In the morning we grabbed our warmest jackets and woollen socks and headed down to the beach to see the sunrise (bless 7am sunrises in Winter). After one minute in that blue grey space, with that sky and air, breathing it in…we felt so sincerely alive and grateful.

An hour and a half of chilly, beautiful beach-time later we wandered back to our tent, had a cup of tea, packed our bags and headed to Johnny Ripe for breakfast. Nothing says “I appreciate life” like dipping fresh pastries into hot coffee.

Thank you to the team at Happy Glamper for taking such good care of us. I’m quite partial to the idea of making the whole jaunt an annual event. Next year with a little one in tow…

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Bring your toaster to work day

July 1, 2015

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I’m up in the city today for a couple of work gigs and a dinner date with a friend. Toast was on my mind after I showed up to work on Monday to see a loaf of Dad’s homemade sourdough in my tray (this batch was made with 30% wholegrain flour! Way to bring in the grains, Dad.)

Anyway, Ben doesn’t have a toaster at his office so I brought my toaster to his work. This girl wanted her morning toast.

Two slices of sourdough, topped with almond butter and sea salt. One with mixed berry jam, the other with maple syrup and cacao nibs. And a weak latte. Oh lordy, do I love my weak lattes. Happy Wednesday!

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ps. I most definitely cannot button up this coat up anymore. The belly keeps growing…it’s awesome.

 

Heidi xo

 

Pregnancy Eats, The Second Trimester

June 27, 2015

I adored my second trimester! Well, from about week 18 when the nausea stopped. It was a time of lightness and sweet anticipation. Food regained a bit of the sparkle it had lost during those first few months, and I took an even greater interest in nourishing this little baby I’m growing.

My previous pregnancy eats post principally focussed on how to get goodness in during a time when you feel like you have an all-day hangover. I was speaking about my personal experience (which happens to be similar to that of the majority of women), in that the first trimester meant nausea and food aversions, while during the second trimester, those glorious middle months, I felt pretty fantastic.

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So what do we eat then, when our acceptance of foods beyond the bread domain returns and we’re enjoying a growing appetite? Whether pregnant or not, I try to encourage my clients to eat intuitively, like when you were a baby yourself. Sometimes (often) this is a skill we need to re-learn, but it’s the best thing we can do… to trust our bodies to know what is best, what food makes us thrive and how much. To really tune in and listen to our bodies. Pregnancy is such an important time to do this.

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Porridge with Blackstrap Molasses

June 24, 2015

It’s not exactly honey, nor as pleasantly sweet as maple syrup, but blackstrap molasses has found its way onto my porridge bowl. The bite is strong, spiced and, yes, a little bitter, but it’s rather lovely. Bittersweet, rather. It’s got gumption.

You see, after questioning my iron stores I looked to increase my intake in a variety of ways. Red meat, sure, I’m having this more often during the week, but plant-based sources, too, which I can eat daily and are rather cost effective. Unsulphured blackstrap molasses, this thick, black, luxurious, tar-like sugar syrup, has been on my mind (and spoon) because of its’ rich mineral content. And though the flavour is unique and perhaps not what you’d naturally crave at 7:45am, I’m quite please to be using my jar for porridge purposes. Something beyond black sticky gingerbread…though that cake is divine.

This morning, I topped my bowl of creamy rolled oat porridge with toasted pepitas, a spoonful of natural peanut butter, sea salt and blackstrap molasses. Porridge with gumption.

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Heidi xo

 

 

 

Bagna Cauda

June 20, 2015

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Butter, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and anchovies. These ingredients are robust and significant in their own right, but together, oh together, they make the most divine concoction…a thin, silky, salty sauce that is a staple in our hungry house. I felt it was high time I posted the recipe here, to tempt you into the world of anchovies. It’s a rich and wonderful place.

I first came across this recipe two days after our wedding. We’d taken the Monday after our big day off and were eating brunch at Proud Mary in Collingwood. Side note, take more than two days off after your Wedding. I saw “bagna cauda” listed as an accompaniment to some sort of egg dish, and a quick google identified it to be a buttery, anchovy sauce. “Huh”, I thought… I was just beginning to appreciate anchovies, for the sharp seasoning qualities and even moreso, their omega-3 fatty acid goodness. Having a jar of olive oil-packed anchovies in the cupboard is a terribly convenient way to get in a dose of these valuable healthy fats. I had started adding them to stews (like this wonderful chicken cacciatore dish) and pasta sauces, but I was not in love with them…yet. And so, after spotting that intriguing menu item I consulted my Italian cookery guru, Marcella Hazan for advice.

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