Ham congee

30 August 2018
I first tasted congee on a flight to Europe with a Hong Kong stopover. As is sometimes the case, I was left with no option for breakfast and was served congee. I was a little worried I must admit as several years earlier I had been served Bibimbap in the same situation on a flight and it was a very poor imitation of what is actually a lovely dish. In this case however, the dish was delicious. Which had me thinking - if an aeroplane version of this dish is this good I must give it another go on land. So, on our return flight when we had a few hours stopover in Hong Kong we ventured out for Yum Cha. I was happy to enjoy my second serve of congee and happily found it even better.

A delicious bowl of comforting congee.

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A week in my kitchen

28 August 2018
I'm always interested to read about what others are up to in their day-to-day lives. Not in a 'look at me' social media way but more a 'I'm not the only one' kind of way. When I first started on my simple living and values based eating journey it felt a little lonely. Most of my friends were living a very different lifestyle. I don't mind being different, but it's also nice to connect to people that share your interests and some experiences. Thankfully there's the internet!

So, I thought I'd share a week in my kitchen to give a snap shot of what goes on around here and a few of the things we eat.

Hommus and sauteed chard on toast - a quick and tasty lunch.

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Goings on in the Garden: August 2018

26 August 2018
So close to spring and yet still so far really. I skipped my garden round-up last month as we were away and to be honest, there wasn't much going on. Canberra winter is not conducive to garden happenings. However, this month I'm happy to report a bit of growth and also a few signs of spring...yay!



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Spring seeding & up-cycled seed starting pots

23 August 2018
When I first started gardening I mostly planted out from seedlings. I dabbled a little in seeds but waited until I had a few live plantings under my belt before taking that next step. However, I always knew I wanted to delve into starting from seed if only for the sheer variety that is available.

Over the years I've tried a few different ways and options for starting out seed. I've found that planting direct gives me very variable results so I generally start my seeds in smaller vessels and plant up or straight out. I now feel I've settled on a system that works for me and a big part of it is up-cycling.

Doesn't matter how many times I see it - still exciting to see a plant popping up.

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Stuffed Mexican Rolls (or another way to use up bread that's nearly past it)

21 August 2018
I got back from a weekend away at the snow (the reason for no Sunday post) to find some sad looking rolls that I forgot about. I had meant to pop them in the freezer but in my organising to head away with two small kiddos it somehow slipped my mind!

I really do so I was trying to think up a way to use them for dinner that didn't involve heating them with soup. I feared that even some generous warmth wouldn't quite be enough. I also had some black beans in the fridge in need of quick use and an idea was born: Stuffed Mexican Rolls.

Stuffed Mexican Rolls

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Values, priorities & excuses

16 August 2018
I've come to believe strongly that values based living is a key element to a content and fulfilling life. This is very evident, for me, in the area of procuring, growing, cooking and enjoying food.

Before I got clear on my values my food decisions were mostly based on price and taste. The price element being a strong carry-over from life as a poor uni student as well as my inborn frugal ways. Clear values helped me to quantify the value of a food or action with a bigger scope than the monetary value assigned to it.

Succulents from the Garden Shed @

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Spinach & Cheese Master Mix: my #1 meat free meal base

14 August 2018
I've always enjoyed vegetarian meals. Well, I should say, since my mid-late teens when I was more exposed to different ways of cooking & eating.

I grew up in rural Australia and meals were decidedly not vegetarian. Any vegetables evident were cooked so far beyond 'done' as to not retain much of their original colours. The only vegetarian meal that my mum made growing up was quiche (when my dad was away!).  Unfortunately it wasn't the best rendition being from a 1980s weight watchers cookbook ('shudder').

So, it was a revelation for me to come across fresh tasting, full flavoured meals made from mostly veg.



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Here & Now: August 2018

12 August 2018
Hello August, where did you come from?

The last month of winter (although, from memory Canberra will continue to swing between warm and cold for quite some time yet). Lots of icy winds, but mostly sunny days. A few more rain clouds and their raindrop counterparts would be welcome - as they would around most of the country at the moment.

Lunch enjoyed with a friend in the late winter sunshine.


We have only been 'around here' for part of the last month after taking a two week break to chase some sunshine. It was glorious. But while we have been around here I've been....


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The Farm, Byron Bay

09 August 2018
On our recent trip up the North Coast of NSW and into QLD I scheduled a few stops based around food. On our return trip I booked us into lunch at The Farm, Byron Bay. Good friends, who knew my approach to food, told me about The Farm several years ago so it's been on my radar for a while.



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Seed Sorting and Spring Plans

07 August 2018
Before each main planting season I try to take some time to check out my current seed situation and make plans for the season ahead. I must admit I get a little excited about choosing, buying and planting seeds. I always do too much of all three!

So, on a nice rainy winter day I sat down to take stock and make plans.

Purple podded peas saved late spring 2016.

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That's a wrap: Plastic Free July

02 August 2018
The perfectionist in me wants to label my Plastic Free July attempt this year a bit of a failure. BUT of course, nothing is truly a failure just a learning experience (yes, keep repeating it Laura until you believe it!!). There were some wins too but mostly a LOT of learning experiences.

I set myself a few goals this year () and In the interests of keeping things real I thought I'd report on my progress, a few 'learnings' and some goals for the future.

Gratuitous holiday pic but also the reason this is so important - protecting our natural environment.

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