Hearty Chicken Casserole with Sweet Potato Dumplings

This past week has been a very tough one for some of the people in my life, and will continue to be for some time. Thank-you very much to those who generously donated last week to the campaign to help Mel and her family, after their house burnt down.

My heart is also with my dear friend, whose father passed away on Thursday. My friend is the most resilient person I know – I am in awe of her seemingly endless capacity to give, including through her work. But I also wish she didn’t have to be. She is a beautiful mother (to the cutest, most chilled out little baby, who gives cuddles like a koala bear) and a wonderful friend, and I’m sending her lots of love.

Hearty Chicken Casserole with Sweet Potato Dumplings

I first made this for Miss Marzipan’s Food of Thrones Challenge back in April, dedicated to the Starks of Winterfell. A few people asked for the recipe … and then gently reminded me a couple of months later … I’ve finally gotten my butt into gear to finalise the recipe. It first came about as a bit of an ‘all in’, using bits and pieces I had in the fridge – so feel free to replace the vegetables and herbs with whatever you have. Continue reading

Please help, if you can: Helping a family that always helps others

Melanie Greenhalgh and I worked together a couple of years ago, and we also crossed paths professionally for several years before that. She is a warm, funny, generous lady; a wonderful storyteller and fabulous cake-maker. She has dedicated her career to ‘helping’ others: as a youth worker, advocate, sexual health educator, social policy advisor, social researcher, and currently, as a health promotion officer in a women’s health advocacy service. She’s a fellow blogger and passionate about supporting parents to raise their kids.

In addition to being all these things, Mel and her husband Mick are parents to four children, including their two nephews who they have cared for as their own, since Mel’s sister passed away seven years ago. Mel is an incredibly resilient person – they are a resilient family.

A few days ago, the Greenhalgh family home burned down, and they lost everything. Fortunately, no one was physically hurt, but the loss of their family home – one that Mel and Mick had carefully and thoughtfully provided for their four children – is devastating. In true Mel form, she is already reflecting gratefully on the offers of help she has received, and looking toward a way through this dark time.

I know that Mel’s first priority would be to support and care for her kids, to continue to provide them with a sense of safety, stability and love while they grieve and come to terms with everything they have lost. In the meantime, Mel and Mick need help from others.

Some of Mel’s friends have started a Go Fund Me campaign, to help this family get through this time and back on their feet. If you can, please consider donating at the link below.

Click here to visit the Go Fund Me Campaign for Melanie and her family.


#8 A Simplicious Challenge: A Simplicious Holiday (and hot chips)

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.

It’s been nearly two months since my last Simplicious Challenge post. I certainly haven’t stopped – I’m in too deep now.πŸ˜‰ But May and June were very busy months for me, as I finished up a uni subject (with the group work assignment from HELL) and then we went on a family holiday to Queensland. Towards the end of May I was under a lot of pressure, so I thought I’d combine these two months into a single post.

Having a break from uni and work has really helped me to re-focus, and also to see the impact that stress and busy-ness has on my ability to be ‘simplicious’ (or even just mindful). For me, doing too much generally means doing things half-arsed. Which means I find it difficult to get my Simplicious ‘flow’ on. Resulting in waste. I need to get my Simplicious mojo back on. Starting with some leftovers pesto!

I tried to be a bit Simplicious while we were on holiday, aware that it could easily digress into a fortnight of excessive, bad food. Kids’ menus in restaurants are the pits! I will be happy to never see another hot chip again. (For at least a couple of months.) I think hot chips have a lot to answer for – the way so many dining establishments rely on them as a ‘filler’, especially for kids, but also adults – I think speaks to a lack of creativity. It’s no wonder kids don’t want to eat vegetables these days! Continue reading

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