5 do-able steps to living more organically

I have been looking into ways to improve my blog & I realised I don’t really have a strong message about what I represent.  I mean, it’s obvious that I love food & cooking & my family & home are my world, but I don’t go into a lot of detail about where & why I get my inspiration from.  

Upon reflection, I think it is because I am not one to push my beliefs or opinions on others – I am an ‘each-to-their-own’ kinda gal.  If someone asks me, I will tell them, but I don’t go out of my way to ‘preach’ my preferences.  I am not sure if this is about not wanting to bore people, or perhaps it is to avoid conflict.  Either way, I just don’t tend to go there.  

Well, today I am changing that & I am going to go there!  Let me begin my stating, I love organic produce & I think we should all being growing, stocking & eating it in as many ways as possible.  It is healthier for you, often easy to grow & more than anything, it tastes so much better.  Why would you not swap?

I can hear the outcry now … it’s too expensive, too hard to find, too time consuming, too inconvenient.  To some extent this is true, but aren’t there similar arguments / excuses for any lifestyle choice?  There are those who might say it is cheaper & easier to buy pre-packaged, heavily processed & chemically riddled food for the convenience & in the short term this might hold true, but down the track when your body starts to suffer the ill-effects of overdosing on the artificial, it may well cost you much more than it is worth.  Just saying.  

I proudly buy organic foods! I want a better world for my children, that can only happen if I put in an effort to help the organic farmers to keep doing the right natural thing!

(Source)

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Pumpkin Soup

 
Pumpkin Soup
 
Next soup on my list of favourites is a simple but delicious Pumpkin Soup.  The one used here is from our own little pumpkin patch.  We had a very healthy crop, all plump, moist & bright with orange flesh.  I love cutting into a whole one & pulling back to see such crispness & colour – it always make me smile.  The photos below are as I took them, with no adjustment to the brightness or saturation, just garden-fresh, vibrant, natural colour.  
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Roasted Potato & Leek Soup

 
Roasted Potato & Leek Soup
 
The Winter is well & truly setting in where I live, with frosty mornings turning the lawn into a crispy white wonderland & grey clouds hovering low, covering the sun, making the days misty & cold.  The desire to surround oneself with warm comfort both inside & out becomes paramount.  For me that includes coats, scarves, boots & hearty, warming Winter soups.
 
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Why I write

When I got the email from the lovely Amanda from Cooker and a Looker to be part of the ‘Why I Write’ blog hop, I have to admit to feeling all squirmy inside, partly because who doesn’t like to know someone they admire & consider a friend is thinking of them, & partly because I always get nervous about these kinds of posts because I struggle to find words!  I will do my best however, so here goes.

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Chocolate Chia Pudding with Whipped Coconut Cream

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We had dinner with some very special friends on the weekend.  Although we had decided to just have take-away for the main part, I couldn’t resist throwing together a little dessert experiment to try out on them.   I wanted to keep it light & healthy-’ish’ & needed to cover a few dietary preferences including being vegan friendly & of course, fussy child friendly.
 
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Black Plum & Roasted Fig Bread

 
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Are you an impulsive person?   Or one of those wondrous, enigmatic types, who make considered & thoughtful plans about what actions you might want to take?  I wish I was the latter, but reality is, I am impulsive & tend to throw myself head long into an idea when it hits me, with little consideration for what comes next. While these impulses are (rarely) life threatening,  (think bungee jumping & white water rafting), they often leave me slightly panicked, at times with an empty wallet & always thinking, “Holy crapola, what do I do if …. [insert relevant potential consequences, particularly of the over-dramatised & catastrosphic kind] …?”
 
Having admitted that, I am still alive & while I don’t always get it right, I manage to work my through my impulses to get a (mostly) positive result, (think starting a blog).
 
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Pumpkin & Pistachio Cheesecake Stacks

 
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We have had a good crop of pumpkins this season & when thinking of ways to use them, I kept coming back to the idea of warm & inviting pumpkin pie, laden with a soft mousse like, spice filled centre, surrounded by a crunchy crust, laced with ginger & butter.

I remember working with a lovely lady some years back, who was over here in Australia from the US.  We were chatting about her plans for her family’s upcoming Thanksgiving dinner.  She was describing all the fabulous dishes she would be making & how excited she was to have the opportunity to bring a little piece of her home to life here.  It was towards the end of the conversation that she appeared to almost physically deflate & she looked at me & said, “The only disappointing thing is the I can’t find any pumpkin.”  

To say I was confused was an understatement!  Pumpkins are everywhere in the supermarkets & green grocers – they come in all shapes & sizes, various colours & types.  Without wanting to sound condescending, I said to her, “Did you check the fruit & vegetable section at the supermarket?”  

She looked at me as perplexed as I felt & said, “Is that where they keep the cans?”

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Ladybird Caramel Mud Birthday Cake

 
Ladybird Caramel Mud Birthday Cake
 
April is a big birthday month in the extended FreshHomeCook family unit!  Included in there is our baby girl Maisie.  She turned two this year & I can tell you I have no idea where that time went!  I love birthdays, being able to get loved ones together & share the joy & celebration.  As with any celebration in my family there must be CAKE!  

It appears that my partner & I have become birthday cake aficionados!  It all started with setting ourselves up to make a Brown Bear (as in Eric Carle’s brilliant book) for our son’s first birthday, some four years ago.  While we are not exactly professionals, with each birthday we seem to get just a little more complex & just a little better.  We work well as a team, I am the better cake baker & icer (if that’s a word!) & J-man is the shape designer & decorator!
 
Last year, for Maisie’s first birthday I made a Dragonfly cake, thanks to the lovely ladies at Cake2theRescue.  After making that cake, we realised we could do the design & making ourselves with a little planning & a whole lot of fun (kind of)!
 
For our son’s fourth birthday we made our own version of Willbee the Bumblebee that was a big hit!  This cake was based on Maisie’s favourite character from Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, a cartoon on ABC4Kids, Gaston the Ladybird.  Truth be told, J-man & I love this show as much as the kidlets – it is made by the same good folk that make Peppa Pig & is just as unpretentious, fun & very funny!  If you haven’t seen it, it is well worth seeking out an episode to watch.  Oh wait, here’s one I prepared earlier … 
 

 

(Video Source)

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