#14 A Simplicious Challenge: REDcycling, cold soup and an enormous beetroot cheesecake

The Simplicious Challenge: I’m cooking all 306 recipes from Sarah Wilson’s book Simplicious, to see the impact it has on the way I buy, cook, consume and waste food. Read the first post here, if you missed it.

Oops – that was a rather long blogging hiatus. I worked my butt off in January and early February until I finished my last uni subject (yippee!); and then promptly ran out of steam and hit the wall over the last month. I’ve been unusually tired and weary, and have felt the need to bunker down. In that busy parenting way, of course, which still requires the busy school-childcare-work run and all hands on deck!

But I’ve still gotta eat, right? So I’ve continued ticking along. It’s getting down to the final few Simplicious recipes now – closer to the ganache tart, but also the ones I can no longer avoid – like the Bone Marrow Bombs, which keep glaring at me from page 245 and which I keep skipping past.

In waste-related news, a commenter alerted me a few months ago to a fantastic initiative called REDcycle, which I’m really excited about. This initiative recycles soft plastics – think food wrappers and plastic bags – and turns them into outdoor furniture and play equipment. Awesome! Obviously, there is still a huge need to reduce the amount of plastic we all consume overall. Over the last few years we have reduced ours significantly, just by nature of eating less processed food, but it wasn’t until I started saving wrappers for the REDcycle initiative that I realised how much we do still use. Just in the last few days I’ve put aside frozen peas packaging, ziplock bags and freezer bags that are too far gone to be re-used, rice cake wrappers, bread bags – there’s heaps. It’s nice to think it’s being re-purposed for something functional.

Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to participate. Most Coles and Woolworths supermarkets have REDcycle bins out the front of the store (these are not well labelled, you may need to ask at the service desk) for easy disposal. You can check the map to see which stores in your local area are participating. Continue reading

#13 A Simplicious Challenge: A very Simplicious Christmas

The Simplicious Challenge: I’m cooking all 306 recipes from Sarah Wilson’s book Simplicious, to see the impact it has on the way I buy, cook, consume and waste food. Read the first post here, if you missed it.

Another Christmas and New Year’s Eve gone! Isn’t it nice to be away from the weirdness that was 2016… Did you see 2016 made into a horror movie trailer?

I’m really excited about getting into a new year, but I did also have one of the nicest holiday periods. Not because we did anything particularly exciting, but just because I got to share in the magic of the holiday season with my kids, I guess. I enjoyed the lead-up during December just as much as the day itself – putting up the Christmas Tree with my boys, visiting the local Christmas lights (though I can’t help but wonder about their electricity bills!), and sitting down to our advent calendar. Each year, my grandparents send us a Jacquie Lawson Advent e-Calendar, which my kids love, and is a fun alternative to the chocolate calendars (not that I have a problem with those, but they last only a sugary second each day!). These advent calendars are set in quaint English villages, and each day the kids get to see a new ‘scene’ from the village, or decorate the village’s Christmas Tree, make a snowman, decorate a wreath; watching their creations gradually make the village more festive over the month. It’s cute, and a little magical. Continue reading

How do you develop habits? Plus, a Summer Mango, Maca, Macadamia Smoothie

I quite like personality quizzes. I’m curious about people, so I’m drawn to anything that helps me to understand my own and others’ behaviours. Sometimes, this can see me digress into doing useless quizzes like; ‘Which Harry Potter Character would you be?’ or ‘How long would you survive on Game of Thrones?’ (Not long. I’m not ruthless enough.)

A while back, a friend sent me this quiz, about the four tendencies of developing habits. I also recently listened to Brooke McAlary’s podcast with Gretchen Rubin, who designed the quiz. Unlike the Buzzfeed quizzes, this one is truly interesting – it helped me to understand why I’ve been successful at forming some habits but not others – and that this is inherently related to how I went about establishing those habits, rather than the habit itself. I came out as an Obliger, which essentially means I meet outer expectations and resist inner expectations, explaining why I’ve always been so terribly bad at exercising, unless I’m accountable to or doing it with someone else. Additionally, I also have rebel responses to this – periods of time when I become resentful and burnt out, and then stop ‘obliging’ altogether. Continue reading

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