Connecting our community to a more sustainable way of living.

Our Family’s Spring Commitment

Spring cooking

Our native hibiscus has started to renew, our Spring Herbs are thriving, and the bees are buzzing around the lavender… just like that spring has arrived!

Our family is in that brief lull between winter and summer sporting activities, and so for a change weekend activities are at my discretion. Hats on, we are hitting the garden.

I’ve been inspired by my neighbour who has recently given me a few of her mini cabbages. Simply steamed with a little butter, salt and pepper, it was delicious! The mini cabbages are such a convenient serving size, so it’s straight from the garden, steamed and onto our plates. Perfect convenience food! I’m hoping they will thrive in my garden as well and in a few months, we will be feasting on our own cabbages. I just hope the white moths don’t find out!

Compostapak Caddy

Hopefully many of you now have access to FOGO. Approximately 30% of Australian households can now place their food in their Kitchen Caddy for composting. For the larger cities, it’s coming soon, with new processing facilities being built all over Australia. This small change in so many households is making a real difference, reducing emissions and our contribution to global warming. But we need to do more.

I’m on a mission this season to try to further reduce our food waste. Although we compost, food is scarce, as are the resources used in the production, packaging, and transportation of food. Australian research has identified our top wasted food items, and I’m sorry to say our family is not unique. Bread, Bananas, Bagged Lettuce/ Salad, and meat. Milk does also appear in the research, however with my kids, it’s definitely not a problem.

So here are my go-to tips to reduce our three most wasted food items.


Australia’s most commonly wasted food
#1 Bread
I’ve reduced how many loaves of bread I buy, swapping to wraps for the kids once my first loaf runs out, given their much longer shelf life. I also have fruit loaf in the freezer for toast. The kids love it, and the toaster defrosts and toasts it, so it’s just as convenient.

My favourite recipe when I do have stale bread is Italian breadcrumbs. Perfect as a garnish on pasta, meat or roasted veggies. Amazing on a cheese platter with my favourite goat’s cheese or hummus. It’s so good you will be buying extra bread just to replenish!

Italian Breadcrumbs


Australia’s most commonly wasted food
#2 Banana

It’s common to find really ripe bananas in our pantry which the kids refuse to eat, so we have our banana bread recipe down to a fine art. I actually premix the dry items, so all the kids need to do is mash bananas, melt butter and add eggs and Milk. So easy. Once cooled, I then add it to our ‘recess drawer’ in the freezer, and the kids choose each morning what they are going to take for the day.

Fruit bread


Australia’s most commonly wasted food
#3 Bagged Lettuce and Salad

I rarely buy lettuce. I find it often smells out of date from when you even open the bag. Instead, it’s always sown in our garden. For the times of the year when it might be more difficult to grow, my rocket always gets me through. When I started our small garden I purchased lots of different lettuce seeds, to see what worked best for our location. Now we have a few options which thrive and so as one garden bed is coming to maturity, I start to plant the next. Growing greens is so easy, even in pots all you need is sunshine and a relaxing daily watering routine and you will be eating fresh greens within weeks.Growing lettuce


Enjoy the sunshine and natural spectacle which is spring,



Homemade Banana Bread

Banana Bread – Made with our PreMix

Bananas are one of Australia’s most commonly wasted food items. They certainly do tend to ripen quickly, however during ripening, the natural starch converts to sugar. This process sweetens and enhances the taste of bananas – ripened bananas taste better.

However, good luck explaining the science to kids who simply refuse to eat ripe bananas with brown spots.

This recipe is our go to for Banana Bread. I often premix into the required quantities, so the kids simply need to add Eggs, Banana, Milk and Butter. The Premix helps speed up the prep time and avoid the mess of flour everywhere as the kids measure…well usually 🙂


PreMix – IngredientsPreMix Banana Bread

Can be measured and mixed in batches.

¼ Cup Plain Flour

1 ¾ Cup Self-Raising Flour

1 tsp Cinnamon Ground

½ Cup Brown Sugar


PreMix – Method

Sift the flours into a large airtight container.

Stir in the Cinnamon and Sugar.

Seal the container until you are ready to bake.


Banana Bread – IngredientsBanana cake recipe

To be added once ready to bake.

1 PreMix (above)

2 Overripe Bananas*

½ Cup Milk

2 Eggs, lightly whisked.

50g Butter, melted and cooled.


Banana Bread – Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Grease a loaf tin with melted butter (Approx. 10 x 20 cm). Then line with non-stick baking paper if you like to ensure it doesn’t stick.

Add the Banana Bread PreMix into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.

In a second bowl, mash the Bananas, add the Whisked Eggs and Melted Butter. Add this to the PreMix and stir.

Spoon the combined mixture into your loaf tin.

Bake for approximate 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Let the pan cool for 5 minutes and then remove your loaf to cool on a wire rack or timber board.


StorageHome made banana bread

This premix will last at least 6 months in your pantry in an airtight container or jar.

Once made, I store my Banana Bread well wrapped in the fridge, where it will last for about four days, or in the Freezer, where it will last approximately 3 months.  Slices in the freezer are great to add to a prepacked lunch, as they will defrost through the morning.


A note about ingredients


If you have overripe banana, and no time to bake, simply throw them into the freezer. The skin will discolour, however after defrosting they can be used in this recipe rather the fresh Bananas.

How to make breadcrumbs

Toasted Italian Breadcrumbs

Bread is Australia’s most commonly wasted food item, however this Italian Breadcrumb recipe may change all that. In fact, it’s so amazing as an ingredient alternative or garnish you may find yourself buying bread just to keep your stock up!

Traditionally breadcrumbs are made by simply blending dried ingredients. This is a really easy option if you prefer, however, if you are a garlic lover like our family, and have an abundance of fresh herbs, I believe the extra step of lightly toasting the ingredients with fresh garlic and oil is well worth the effort.



½ loaf of Stale Bread*- Saved from our FOGO Caddy 🙂

Garden herbs6 cloves Australian Garlic**

1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano***

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme***

½ Tablespoon Fresh Basil***

½ Tablespoon Onion Powder****

Salt and Pepper to taste. (Be generous)

Splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Approx. 1 Tablespoon)



Peel the garlic, crush each clove, and then mince using the side of your knife until it’s blended into a paste like texture. Adding some sea salt will help    breakdown the garlic. This method will release the oils, maximising your flavour.

Blend the herbs and bread to your preferred consistently. I like a little texture.

Add the Olive Oil to the pan over medium heat to coat the pan.

Add all ingredients and continue to stir. It will only take between 5 – 10 minutes. Once you see the breadcrumbs start to go the colour of golden toast, you  can remove from heat. It’s better to pull it off earlier than later, as it will continue to cook for as long as it remains in the hot pan.

Cool and then store in reused glass jars.



Crumbed Haloumi

I prefer to store these in reused glass jars in the fridge. They will last about two weeks. Alternatively, in an airtight container they will last a few months in the fridge.

Then enjoy, the options are endless….

  • Use as a Garnish to add texture to a simple pasta, baked vegetables, or even over marinated goats’ cheese on a platter.
  • Use as a substitute to breadcrumbs on a chicken schnitzel or crumbed Haloumi.
  • Use as a substitute for Croutons in a salad.

A note about ingredients


If you have non-crust eaters like me, a great tip is to freeze all your loaf ends, and then once you have accumulated enough, simply make a batch of breadcrumbs.

**Italian HerbsQuick pasta receipe

I find many of these herbs thrive in the garden. Ours are simply planted in huge pots with our citrus trees. As a result, I’m lucky to be able to grab these herbs fresh from the garden. You can certainly swap these out for dried herbs however, you will lose some of the flavour intensity.


Once you have made this base recipe, get creative and play around with the herbs. Depending on what’s available, I sometimes swap out some of the herbs for Paprika, Sage and Parsley.

***Australian Garlic

We are lucky enough to often have Garlic fresh from Poppy’s Farm Garden, however when we do purchase, I always buy Australian Garlic.

Of course, it’s fresher and supports local farming families, however there are other benefits.

Imported garlic travels long distances, and so needs to be fumigated to control pest and pathogens. It’s commonly treated with Methyl Bromide which is an odourless and colourless gas you can’t detect. It’s toxic when inhaled or indigested, and causes irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. In fact, it’s banned in Australia apart from its use as a fumigant for quarantine purposes. It’s definitely not the type of thing I like on ingredients my family are eating.

****Onion Powder

Powder is an important part of this recipe as it adds lots of flavour and given it’s dry, it stores well. However, it’s also super easy to make from fresh if you have a dehydrator. Simply cut your onions up into thin slices (rings), spread onto racks and dehydrate at approx. 60 degrees Celsius for around 10 hours, or until they ‘snap’ rather than ’bend’. Blend and store. It’s another pantry item you will always reach for!

Italian Toasted Breadcrumbs


Winter Gardeing

Winter Update


It’s the middle of winter and our family has finally succumbed to the flu. After carrying on and fighting it for a few days, we have surrendered to days spent sleeping and relaxing with hot lemon tea. A few days stepping out of ‘life’ is always a good chance to reset.

The next few months are going to be busy with an increased focus on the waste industry.

It’s Plastic Free July at present, which hopefully results in more people again picking up their reusable cups and trying to limit plastic packaging. At times modern convenience seems to be in direct opposition to sustainability. As the new ordering apps grow in popularity, I seem to be the odd one out, lining up to order my coffee from a human as everyone jumps the queue and picks up their single use cup. Small changes make a difference and choosing to start my day without plastic feels like a win.

How to be sustainable at home

The War on Waste is also back on our TVs. The last two series were watched by over 3 million people, and studies suggested that 68% of viewers reported behavioural change in response to the program. That’s about 20% of the adult Australian population choosing to make changes to live more sustainable, which is simply remarkable. Imagine the difference this kind of momentum can have! This series there is a focus on ‘fast fashion’ as well as reducing food waste. Hopefully, the emphasis is on personal responsibility for the waste we create. We can never simply throw ‘away’ waste, it has to go somewhere, so the focus needs to be on sustainable purchasing.

There is a lot of talk about consumers being only focused on costs at present with inflation and interest rates impacting, rather than considerations such as sustainability. I really believe living more sustainable can be part of the solution. The actions our family and business make to be more sustainable assist with our expenses.

When shopping we try to choose what’s in season and so abundant, sometimes buying in bulk to preserve. We use glass containers rather than plastic wrap, so we can still see leftovers but don’t have the waste. We choose to make some items such as our Laundry Liquid which is much more cost effective and more sustainable. Our small veggie garden also helps.

Now it’s established, I find we are even relying less on buying seeds as some of our most popular produce, such as tomatoes, rocket and basil self-seed. Although I am constantly replanting tomato plants. I don’t know if it’s possums or birds but there is someone constantly planting tomato seeds in my garden hedge rather than the veggie patch, and it must be the perfect place to kick off seedlings.

Hopefully the upcoming focus will see a further shift towards Australians living more sustainably. I would love to hear any tips you have.

The Farmers Wife Distillery

I’m off to make another dehydrated lemon and honey tea, with the aim to be well before the weekend.

This weekend we are off to a friend’s farm to join a Winter Gin Festival at their distillery. It’s so exciting to see friends follow their dreams and achieve success, and The Farmers Wife Distillery is such a triumph. Kylie makes it look easy, however behind the scenes she has spent years painstakingly testing the distilling of native botanicals, many of which can be found on their farm. There have been many sleepless nights as she left her successful career to follow her dream to make gin and to build a distillery. Her determination to innovate and do things always her way is inspiring, and it’s reflected in her gin with unique botanicals such as her sustainably sourced the native bee honey. It’s so great to see her unique product recognised with so many international spirit awards. It just shows what commitment and passion can achieve.

Stay well and enjoy the winter months.



P.S. I’m excited to add that our new 5 litre Kitchen Caddy is now launched. Like our entire Kitchen Caddy range, it’s made in Australia from Post-Consumer Recycled content, such as discarded yogurt cartons, milk bottles and food packaging.

The clever compact design makes it perfect for smaller spaces such as kitchenettes, retirement and lifestyle villages and Multi-Unit dwellings. Suitable for use with our popular 8 Litre Compost-A-Pak bags, it means even the smallest households can conveniently collect their food waste for composting, as more City Councils offer FOGO programs. If your Council has not yet embraced FOGO reach out to them. Many City Councils are running trial programs presently, and the more community momentum for change there is, the better chance these programs have of thriving.

5L Compact Kitchen Caddy

Autumn Sauce Making and a visit to our local FOGO facility

I’m already sleeping better with the soft chill of Autumn coming through our window.

In simpler terms, this Autumn breeze signaled the start of the harvesting season, when the community prepared for the colder winder months ahead. It was a season to celebrate so much fresh produce ‘available’. We now live in a world modified by globalisation and technology where everything is ‘available’ all the time, however there is nothing better than eating fresh local produce which has been naturally grown during the season in which it thrives. You can taste the goodness.


We have been doing our own harvesting and preserving, to mark the start of the season, with a full weekend dedicated to making Grandma’s Tomato Sauce. Pete grew up helping and then indulging in this sauce during school holiday visits to Grandmas.

Our kids have now been involved in this ritual since they were tiny, and so it’s now built into the traditions of our family. Peter even inherited Grandma’s wooden sauce spoon. I’ve been told that’s because he used it the most, however there is a lot of speculation that this was because he needed more discipline than his other cousins. Grandma used to shake the spoon drawer whenever anyone was cheeky.

Be warned, this recipe is certainly a time commitment, however the process is fun, and the resulting sauce lasts for months. (Fresh tomatoes stored for winter). It also gives the gift of a slow family day at home where we can reminisce about Pete’s childhood and his gorgeous Grandma.

Of course the best thing to eat with this is Grandma’s pasties, however I can never get the pastry quite as good as hers. She did have a lot of practice. These were always made to be sent for lunch with the working men, who would have dirty hands, so could eat the pastie and then throw away the end corner. Convenient fast food without the plastic wrap… what an innovative modern idea!


On a different topic entirely, recently our team were fortunate to get an insider’s tour of our local FOGO compost processing facility. It was absolutely inspiring! The team arrived back at the office feeling even more motivated having seen the scale of difference FOGO is making in our community alone. It’s genuinely exciting to be a part of.

Whilst the technology is impressive, with finely tuned inputs and scientific monitoring, the processing plant is essentially allowing nature to take charge and do its magic, just like it has for millions of years.

The first step is a manual one in which contamination is removed. Be kind and check your FOGO bin for plastic bags and contamination, as there is a person like Larry at the other end who manually searches through and removes contamination. If in doubt about an item being compostable, choose the landfill bin.

Then after just one week in the tunnel, which accelerates the composting process, there was hardly any sign of the huge volumes of Compost-A-Pak bags which entered, nor many evident food products, apart from a few pieces of bone and sticks. After another 6 weeks finishing in rows, rich luscious compost is ready for farming and local community spaces. Nature really is magic!

Enjoy Autumn. I hope you get to enjoy a few slower days enjoying fresh seasonal produce.



Grandma’s Tomato Sauce – Just like we remember

Sauce day! It’s a family tradition which we have been attempting to master since before our kids were even born. Each year we have a slow day, where we cook sauce for hours and often tell stories about Pete’s upbringing. With five cousins all heading to Grandma’s every school holidays, there are some great stories.

We have learnt some lessons over the years.

Firstly, cook outside if it’s safe, or you may smell sauce for days. (Both you and any units you share a common stairwell with… whoops..)

Also chat to your local fruit shop, or the fruit stall at the markets. You need the tomatoes to be as ripe as possible. Often a fruit shop will have ‘over-ripe’ tomatoes removed from sale. These discards are treasure! They make the best sauce, and often you will get them for a bargain.

The recipe will make approximately 5 litre of sauce.  We tend to make a double batch in two separate saucepans.

Stage one – The Sauce Mix

I tend to make this mixture independently from the sauce. It’s actually a lovely addition in moderation to beef stews and meat pies. If you are cooking it the day of your sauce making, start with Stage Two and then do this once you get that cooking.


  • 185ml of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 tsp Citric Acid
  • 2 tsp Cloves
  • 1 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 4 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 185ml Water

Simply combine all the ingredients into a saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir regularly until the mixture simmers. Once simmering, simply remove from heat and cool. Place into a sterilised bottle if you are not cooking sauce immediately.

Stage Two – Hours and hours of Fun!

Safety First – Set up a safe station where you can cook for hours. We choose to do this outside, however the most important thing is to ensure it’s safe, stable, and can’t be knocked over.  It will get very hot.


  • 9 kg of ripe tomatoes (Washed and Sliced) – Chat to your local fruit store to get their ripest.
  • 5 kg of Onions (Finely Chopped)
  • 3 Apples (Peeled and Chopped)
  • 15 Cloves of Organic Garlic (Approx. 100 grams) (Crushed and Chopped)
  • 1 kg Sugar
  • ½ cup Salt

After cutting all the ingredients as noted, place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and apples into a large saucepan and simmer for 5 hours. Stir every 20 minutes.

Cool mixture and then blend.

Add Sugar, Salt, and the prepared Sauce Mix.

Simmer for approx. 1.5 hours stirring more regularly. You will need to make a call about the thickness of your sauce. Placing some sauce on the back of a cold spoon can give you an indication of how runny it will be when cooled.

Very carefully spoon the sauce into hot Sterilised Bottles using a funnel, and then seal immediately. The recipe will make approximately 5 litre of sauce.

Store your sauce in a cooler, dark room.  We then store these for approximately 6 months.

Sterilising is really important when preserving so take your time with this process. Remember, after storage, if your sauce does look or smell strange on opening, it’s best to discard.

What is your favourite family recipe?

Rocky Road Christmas Trees

Christmas Festivities – Our Rocky Road Trees Have Been Delivered

As we do each year, I’ve just spent the morning packing up our homemade Rocky Road Christmas Trees and dropping them off to all the people who have made our life both manageable and very memorable this year. From amazingly dedicated teachers who take so much time out of their own family life to support our kids, band leaders, neighbours, suppliers, logistics partners and team members.

Rocky Road Christmas Trees

They say it takes a village to raise a child, however it also takes a community to successfully run a family business. It’s uniquely a consuming, challenging and rewarding experience. We are so blessed to have an amazingly dedicated team, who have so much passion to see ‘our’ business thrive. We also ask a lot of our partners and suppliers. Deliberately, most of our suppliers are other Australian family businesses, and they consistently always embrace and deliver on our crazy new ideas.

I love coming to work each day to be emersed in the amazing community we have built, and I hope everyone knows how much Pete and I appreciate their contribution. We simply couldn’t do what we do without them.

Em and Indy Christmas Photos


So… it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Everyone has embraced Christmas dressing as a new work uniform, and the Christmas tree is up. Ellie also has Christmas Carols playing across all the speakers, although the warehouse speaker does seem to be getting ‘accidently bumped’ back to the radio station every so often! ?

At home we are busy preparing our traditional Christmas foods. We have our preserved baby cucumbers in the fridge ready for platters and Matt’s sweet chilli jam made for Christmas ham. We have also pulled out our gorgeous reusable wrapping paper for a third year in a row to wrap presents. It’s such a lovely tradition and a great way to help avoid the piles of single use paper associated with Christmas morning.

Re-usable wrapping paper, Chilli Jam and Pickled Cucumbers

We will be closed from 23rd December and reopening on 9 January to kick off another amazing year. We know it can be an inconvenience to have orders take a little longer, however this is a unique chance to give our team a break to spend this special time of year with their family and friends. I’m certainly planning on making the most of some really slow days relaxing by beautiful Lake Macquarie.

I hope you have a fabulous festive season however you choose to enjoy the sunshine it promises, and a happy and healthy 2023!

Thank you for your support of our special team and extended business community!


Home made Christmas Decorations

Spring Herbs

Spring Update

It’s spring! I’m always tempted to say it’s my favourite season, but the truth is, I love most the promise of change that each season brings, with new things to look forward to.

As the weather changes, so to does our family’s lifestyle with the shift from being rugged up on the soccer field cheering, to enjoying the fresh breeze as the kids learn to sail on the lake. Spring also brings the promise of entertaining, and a shift in cooking to fresher salads with raw ingredients.

This year I’m feeling particularly inspired by the herbs which are thriving in the spring garden. After hanging over the pot last year, our oregano has now escaped into the garden, with the mint and thyme not far behind. We even have basil re-emerging out of the compost where it flourished last year, and rosemary elegantly stretching down our rock retaining walls.


Spring Herbs Climbing in the Garden


If you are limited on space, or time, herbs are my favourite plants, with the biggest reward. I love cooking, and a few fresh herbs can transform the look and taste of simple produce.

My current seasonal favourites…

  • Fresh Minted Peas. Mint transforms frozen peas into a delicious bed for roasts.
  • Roast Pumpkin with Rosemary and Dukka. Amazing in salads, this even sneaks into kids’ salad wraps for school.
  • Creamy Thyme Chicken. A midweek favourite with the kids because of the flavour, and with me, because it’s so quick, I can help them with homework before bed.

Shallots… I just put this on everything. Peter jokes that nothing can leave the kitchen without “the green”. It just makes everything look and taste better!

You can read the full recipes here.


FOGO Kitchen Caddy and Liners


Speaking of change, it’s been a turbulent time for the compostable and FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) industry over the last couple of months. The NSW EPA has recently banned all food packaging from FOGO Programs, limited programs to Garden Waste, Food Scraps and Compostable Bags only. This surprisingly quick decision came as a result of testing which found elevated levels of PFAS and contaminants in compost in many commercial facilities. Contamination is perhaps not surprising when you consider how many green-washed products have flooded the market, often containing harmful chemicals and micro-plastics.

If you are composting at home, you can be a little more flexible with your included products, however I would recommend always checking for the Australian Certified compostable logos. In addition, even if items seem to be made of organic material, such as cardboard, avoid products with lots of colour and dye, or if they feel waxy. For now, those pizza boxes may be best in the Landfill Bin, as protecting your compost from contaminants will protect your precious garden soil.

Enjoy spring and happy composting as the weather warms up!


PS. Thank you to everyone who recommends our products. We have many new customers supporting our Australian Family Business, which has meant we have even employed two new trainees. Don’t forget, if you are recommending Compost-A-Pak, the code ‘friends’ provides a small discount to anyone who hasn’t ordered before.


Compost-A-Pak Herbs in Spring

Spring Gardening

Cooking With Spring Herbs

Spring Herbs Growing in the GardenI love cooking with fresh produce particularly when it’s been grown in our little garden.

Herbs are certainly my favourites! Even if you have limited space, or time, given the right spot, herbs can thrive without much care, and then when it comes to cooking, they can completely transform a dish.

I’ve included a few of my seasonal favourite recipes below. They all have a herb as the key ingredient, usually one which needs pruning at this time of year!


Minted Peas

This recipe transforms frozen peas into delicious, mashed bed for roast meats. I love the balance of flavours between the freshness of this dish, and the full flavour of the roast meat and vegies.

  • 400g Frozen Baby Peas
  • Half of a Brown OnionSpring Gardening and Cooking wtih Herbs
  • Tablespoon Butter (Or Nuttelex as a dairy free substitute)
  • Generous handful of Mint chopped well (Approx. 1/2 cup)
  • Soften the Butter in a pan and add the Onions, cooking over low heat until translucent.
  • Add Baby Peas. Heat over low heat for 5 minutes, with the lid on to retain the moisture.
  • Then blend the mixture, or mash if you want a coarser appearance, and then stir through the chopped Mint leaves just before serving.
  • Generously season and serve.


Roast Pumpkin with Rosemary and DukkahRoast Pumpkin with Rosemary and Dukkah

This is a recipe I often cook on a Sunday afternoon in Spring, just to have in the fridge for the week. It’s amazing as an accompaniment to meat dishes, added to salads, and I even sneak it sliced into the kids’ salad wraps for school, making them more filling and tastier.

  • ¼ Pumpkin (Tip –  I usually purchase whatever is on sale, as when it’s plentiful it’s usually in season and fresher. Butternut and Queensland Blue pumpkins are favourites.)
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 Cloves of Aussie Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • Bunch of Fresh Rosemary. (Set aside one sprig and finely chop to ½ Tablespoon)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dukkah
  • Preheat your oven to 180.
  • Crush the Garlic to release the oils, and then place this into the Oil to fuse.
  • Cut the Pumpkin into chunks. I like to leave the skin on. It’s delicious and eliminates unnecessary food waste.
  • Place a little Oil on the bottom of the roasting pan, and add your Rosemary and Pumpkin, skin down. Sprinkle some Smoked Paprika overRoasted Pumpkin with Rosemary, Dukkah and Goats Cheese the Pumpkins. Use the remaining Oil and Garlic to coat the Pumpkins.
  • Roast at 180 degrees for approximately 40 minutes. I usually re-drizzle the Oil in the pan onto the Pumpkin after 20 minutes. (Tip – If you want me make this quicker, simply cut the Pumpkin into smaller cubes, shake in a little more Olive Oil to coat and cook at 220 for approx. 20 minutes, or until each cube is golden brown and soft when pieced with a fork. Taste testing recommended!)
  • Finely chop the remaining Rosemary and mix through the Dukkah. Sprinkle the pumpkin with the mixture when it’s still hot. The Rosemary sprigs on the tray infuse the Pumpkin with a lovely woody flavour. The small additional to the end adds a fresher flavour.
P.S. Studies have shown this woodsy scent helps with concentration and may boost moods! Perfect before the kids homework duty! ?

Added to a bed of greens with Goats’ Cheese and a splash of Red Wine Vinegar, this is my favourite salad!


Creamy Thyme Chicken

A midweek favourite with the kids because of the flavour, and with me, because it’s so quick I can help them with homework before bed.

IngredientsCreamy Thyme Chicken
  • 2 Large Chicken Breast
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter (Or Nuttelex for a dairy fee option)
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • ½ cup Chicken Broth (Or White Wine if you have an open bottle ?)
  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice (Freshly squeezed if possible)
  • 2 Teaspoon fresh Thyme Leaves and handful of sprigs to garnish
  • ½ cup Thickened Cream
  • Optional Parsley or Chives to garnish is you have them in the garden.
  • Slice each Breast into serving pieces. I usually cut thirds however the key is to keep the even thickness. Coat the breasts in the Olive Oil and season.
  • Melt 1 Tablespoon of Butter over a medium-high heat and then add the Chicken in batches. Cook for approx. 3-4 minutes per side, so that it’s aCooking Creamy Chicken with Thyme lovely golden colour and cooked through. If unsure cut open one of the thicker pieces. Remove from pan.
  • Over medium heat, add extra Butter, Onion and Garlic until the Onion is translucent. (Approx. 3 minutes)
  • Add Chicken Broth (or wine), Lemon Juice and Fresh Thyme Leaves and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir regularly.

Tip – I remove a little of the sauce at this point and set aside with a chicken portion so I can feed the dairy free member of our family. It’s delicious even before the cream.

  • Over a low heat, add the Cream, stir well and add back in the Chicken including and juices which has escaped as they rested. Heat gently (low) for another 2 minutes and it’s ready to serve.
  • Garnish with the left-over Thyme, and any leftover Lemon pieces. Parsley or Chives are also a lovely addition for garnishing if they are handy.
  • I usually service this dish with rice, or mashed potato and some greens such as broccoli or beans.


ShallotsSpring Gardening and Cooking

So, this is not a recipe, but Shallots are certainly my favourite herb to grow. It looks gorgeous in pots and is easy to grow if you have sunny spot.

I just put this on everything… steak, salads, noodles, rice dishes and scramble eggs. Peter jokes that nothing can leave the kitchen without “the green”. It just makes everything look and taste better! Plus, it turns out shallots play a role in removing toxins from the bloodstream…. What’s not to love!!

Winter Update & Tips for a Busy Family Life

I’ve just arrived back in the office after a few days away with girlfriends.

After months of planning to coordinate the calendars of five busy working Mums (a near impossible process), we had a few days in the beautiful, chilly Blue Mountains. Huddled around the fire we shared stories and wine, comparing parenting adventures as we start to embrace the teenage years with kids, and encouraging each other as we spoke about our evolving lives.

Old friends are so precious, and after a few days, I feel completely reset, relaxed and ready to take on the world.

My life as it has evolved as a mum and business owner is certainly what Pete and I have designed, however in truth, it’s currently far busier than we would choose. Pete has been spending most winter weeks living away from home in Melbourne as we assist councils to kick off their FOGO programs. It’s really rewarding to see our composting programs for food waste expand across Australia. I would encourage you to contact your local council to discuss if a program is not yet in place.

Back in our Newcastle office our little team have been busy as more and more people and organisations make the switch from plastic bags to compostable bags, often prompted by the changing state legislation. I strongly believe the answer to our single use plastic challenges is not thicker plastic bags! Instead, we all need to make the switch to more sustainable options. As FOGO Programs expand, Australian Certified Compostable Bags are an even more compelling solution, with Singlet Bags and Produce Bags able to be re-used for food scraps before they are thrown out for composting.

At home, life with two kids often independently has its own set of challenges, however there are three tips that are keeping us all on track, our Sunday food prep, building in slow moments, and ensuring we accept letting some things go.

  1. I actually enjoy our Sunday Cook Up, and it means that even after the busiest school afternoons, we always finished the day with a lovey homemade meal, which in reality is simply a quick reheat. Winter cooking is perfect for prepping and freezing with soups and curries, however one of our current favourites is a Lamb Ragu which basically cooks itself. You can find the recipe here

2. Building a few slow moments in the busiest of days is also important. This season we had an abundance of lemons on our trees, which we dehydrated to preserve. I’ve been simply dropping a few of these in warm water each morning to kick start the day. It’s a comforting ritual as I start to wake up and plan the day, and I would like to think the vitamin C is boosting my immunity through the colder months.

3. Letting some things go… While, the kids do need consistent feeding and love, I do have to confess that my vegie garden is not looking its usual vibrant self. Every time we plant, the rain is so excessive that our little seedlings flood, which is disheartening, especially for the kids. We have temporarily let it go, although I do have a stash of leafy greens which we have grown in terracotta pots. These pots are quite inexpensive, drain really well, and can be moved, so are a little more versatile for the current crazy weather. The increasing prices of fresh greens when purchased is also a motivating factor. You can read our tips for growing leafy greens here. We source all our seeds from Greenpatch Organic Seeds & Plants who are passionate about preserving heritage / heirloom varieties and organic farming. The resulting produce is as tasty as what I remember being harvested from my grandfather’s vegie garden!

And with those thoughts, I’m feeling a little more motivated and may plan to get stuck into the vegie garden again this weekend… that is if any sunshine manages to sneak through the rain clouds.

Enjoy winter