Another month, not in MY kitchen but in my friend’s kitchen. I already told you about Vicki’s beautiful pineapple house. Let me show you what was going on in her kitchen while I was there visiting. Picture that: 2 food bloggers in the same kitchen inspiring each other and cooking for the family.
North Queensland offers a lot of tropical giants and juicy fruits. I was amazed by the tropical fruits and veggies. The farmer market was a very nice walk.
Above are actually green beans called snake beans! How funny! They are 4x longer than the usual ones I get in France.
The next pic is of a very decadent donuts, you can inject chocolate with a seringe in the middle! So attractive that they sold out all the cakes by 11 o’clock!
Also, we were lucky enough to be invited at Vicki’s lovely neighbor party. They had a pig (the entire 33kg pig) slowly cooked in a wooden box. It was an incredible thing to see. You really have to know your business to cut that pig into pieces. The meat was very tender and tasty. It might looks a bit strange on the picture but it was delicious.
I had the chance to have a slow cooker tasting beef stew from our friend Sammie recipe. Now I want a slow cooker of course!!!! I’m such a child when it comes to kitchen toys!
I cooked a Salmon Blanquette for my lovely aussie foster family.
I even cooked some Tomato and Feta Clafoutis for the kids lunch box.
Passion Fruit Jam Recipe
Just a little recipe to finish this post. I’ll definitly plant and grow those fruits when I can. They make a very original and tasty jam.
We had the chance to be invited by the lovely Vicki from Boiled eggs and soldiers to stay a few days in her lovely home. I have to specify that we visited Townsville, North Queensland in the hottest month of the year: february.
So, we were lucky to stay at the Pineapple House, invited by my food blogger friend.
Look at that sunset! We enjoyed this view every evening from the deck.
In april there was an Easter cake baked. I used my friend’s Sam recipe for the base and added chocolate ganache and lollies.
In april, there was a big day for a big boy meaning work in the « kitchen-bakery ».
We organised a lego theme birthday but we had to change several times the activities to make the children play together. That was an excellent afternoon, they were all very nice. I kept it simple and made a crepe party. And I made my famous « pâte sucrée » to use the cute animals from Australia.
Can you believe I had kept very carefully those australian lollies? They were so yummy!!!! I’m definitly needing some more right now! Any australian friend reading this? haha!
The kids just love the simple things. Very easy to eat for little toddlers.
The cookies cutters were a gift from my aussies friends. Aren’t they lovely souvenirs for my kitchen?
One of my friend also celebrated her birthday and asked me to make her fav pie: lemon pie with meringue. I will share with you my little secrets for this pie. It’s such a good dessert.
There is a lot happening in that kitchen since I’ve been back from Australia. And there is more planned for next week (gingerboy’s birthday and australian typical birthday cakes on my list).
For now I want to show you some discovery I made thanks to my swiss friends.
They know I’m a totally crazy about cooking and baking. They are also. Especially the husband of my friend who is not swiss really… (he is italian, you know how important food is for italians!) Each time we visit them, we have a Raclette, Pastas, Pizzas, wines, chocolate and a few more kilos of body weigh 😉
Gifts for the kitchen
They offered me some nice little bowls. They are cute, aren’t they? What should I use them for? Don’t say ice cream because you’ll see just in few lines…
Sydney’s Bakery Class for my Clever Cookies Bloggers Friends
Blogging Magic part 2
Do you remember this ? I wrote about the best part of blogging: making friends around the world ! The even better part than the best part is to meet the friends from all around the world. We organised a french bakery class in Sydney . I met all those lovely ladies through our Clever Cookie Blogging Class organised by Chantelle and Rowe . They were the best teachers and the community of bloggers around them is lovely.
When we start to work with Krissy on the #inspiringhealthchallenge, we thought to start with a post about motivation. I started to make some research in human science, in psychology. That should be easy, it’s my subject of study, I told myself. Well… I felt really blocked !
I decided to go more personal and less professional.
So here I go ! As you may have read here, I started my healthychoices journey a long time ago when my daughter was ill. At first, the main reason was health and taking back control of something into my life. For 7 years now, I can say that I went through several phases. At first I was like the dictator of healthy food. I was scanning every piece of food that came into my house and had a hard time eating outside. I make my family becoming almost vegetarian. (Not by choice or by taste but with all the anxiety of a crazy mum haha !) If you ask, I can tell you what I managed to make them eat 😉 The main problem was about the sweet desserts. Because it was quite easy to quit butter, cream and meat and find a swap for them, but it wasn’t so easy to swap the ingredients for gluten free cakes and so on. I tried some recipes, oh yes I tried ! The bread was a big issue also. Especially for my husband. Briefly : we were dairy free, gluten free, meatless and not having much fun because of me ! I know some people has to have that kind of diet, but we needn’t to be so extreme in our pantry and fridge because there were no allergy and no vital issues.
After that crazy anxious control freaking period (and my kid being finished with her treatment), I became more and more flexible. First we stopped the gluten free diet. Husband was so happy to eat his baguette again !! After, I accepted to eat not totally « healthy » food in restaurants. Years later, I was pregnant with gingerboy and craving for cakes, french bakery is so tempting ! With 2 kids, I had 6 first months really hard and our food was not really good because I couldn’t cook, I was too tired ! By this time, take away pizzas, cakes from the local bakery and frozen veggies were daily treats at home.
When I was back on my feet, totally organised with the 2 kids and never running after time (feel the irony there ?), I decided to pass a degree in french bakery. First I was curious, second, I really wanted to learn the basics to change the recipes in a healthier-less-sweet way. That experience was really great. I met my favorite bakery teacher and was amazed to pass this exam with 16 years kids ! I was also amazed to realize all the bad industrial products that those kids were learning to use. (I worked alone in my kitchen, with my teacher sometimes but with regular products like butter, sugar…) In the school, they were using a lot of chemicals or industrial products that of course save costs. Because they were meant to be productive bakers in shops !
Now my bakery recipes are less sweet than the usual ones, they are more fruity and I know what kind of good products I could use, compared to regular bakery.
I can see you reading this and say, omg where is she going, telling about her life, so boooooring. Yes true, I was trying to talk about motivation. What I meant by telling my story, is that living-eating-healthy is a long journey and in some period of our lives we just can’t do it and that’s ok. When I was blaming myself eating a piece of white bread, that was nonsense ! Now, I think I have found a balance food philosophy. Healthy is good, healthy is always the best. But if we eat some comfort-junk-sweet food occasionally, there is no problem with that !
My doctor who is now a retired doctor and a friend, studied nutrition for several years. He follows a very healthy diet but is always ok to taste and even to have more of my cakes or chocolates, or pies ! And you know what he says ? When you eat something with pleasure and friends, it’s never a bad for your body ! Haha ! (Of course that works because it’s on special occasions !)
Our #inspiringhealthchallenge will be about eating better.
If you think about it as a restrictive diet, motivation will leave you very quickly.
It’s about inspiring small healthy changes that might become habits.
You won’t need motivation anymore when the small changes will have become habits.
Think about it as a quality of life winner, not as a restrictive pleasure diet.
At first, it’s all about your decision but if you try one challenge and decide you can’t do another, it’s ok ! Just be kind to yourself ! We’ll be there to support each other and answer the questions.
Avec Krissy, quand on a commencé à travailler sur le #inspiringhealthchallenge, on s’est dit qu’il fallait écrire un post sur la motivation. J’ai commencé à faire des recherches dans mon propre domaine : les sciences humaines et la psychologie. Mais j’étais totalement bloquée pour écrire.
J’ai décidé alors de partir sur le plan perso plus que pro.
Allons y ! Comme vous avez pu le lire ici, j’ai commencé mon cheminement sur les choix de vie healthy depuis un long moment, quand ma fille était malade. Au début, la raison principale était la santé mais aussi une manière de reprendre un peu de contrôle sur ma vie. Depuis 7 ans j’ai traversé diverses phases. Au début j’étais devenue ce dictateur terrifiant de l’alimentation saine. Je contrôlais chaque petit bout de nourriture qui rentrait dans ma cuisine et il était très difficile de manger dehors. J’ai rendu ma famille presque végétarienne. (Pas par choix ou par goût mais à cause de ma folie de mère angoissée haha !) Si vous demandez, je pourrais vous dévoiler ce que j’ai réussi à le faire ingurgiter 😉 Le problème principal c’était les desserts. Arrêter le beurre, la crème, la viande et leur trouver des remplaçants était jouable. Mais ce n’était pas si facile de faire des gateaux gluten free. J’ai essayé des recettes, je vous promets. N’oubliez pas que nous sommes frenchy ! Le pain a été aussi un gros problème. Surtout pour le mari. Bref : on mangeait : sans produits laitiers, sans gluten, sans viande et ce n’était pas fun et c’était moi qui imposait tout ça ! Ne me méprenez pas, je sais bien qu’il y a des personnes qui doivent suivre ce genre de régime, mais nous n’étions pas obligé d’être aussi extrêmes avec nos placards et notre frigo car il n’y avait pas d’allergie ni d’intolérence.
Après cette période de control freak angoissée barge (et que ma fille avait fini ses traitements), je suis devenue peu à peu plus flexible. En premier, on a arrêté le régime sans gluten au grand bonheur du mari qui pouvait à nouveau se ruer sur ses french baguettes ! Après j’ai pu retourner au resto et accepter de manger de la nourriture pas totalement healthy. Des années plus tard, j’étais enceinte de gingerboy et j’avais des envies de gâteaux, vous savez bien comment la pâtisserie française est tentante. Avec 2 gnomes, j’ai eu 6 mois d’adaptation et de fatigue durant lesquels on mangeait ce qu’on pouvait. J’étais trop fatiguée pour cuisiner et je rêvais de sucre. Pizzas, surgelés, gâteaux, constituaient nos repas.
Quand je me suis calée, devenue totalement organisée et ne courant jamais après le temps (sentez vous l’ironie ici ?), j’ai décidé de passer un diplôme en pâtisserie. D’abord, j’étais curieuse, puis je voulais vraiment apprendre les bases pour pouvoir changer les recettes dans une version plus saine moins sucrée. C’était vraiment une super expérience. J’ai rencontré mon prof de pâtisserie et j’ai été émerveillée de passer mon examen avec des jeunes de 16ans. J’ai été très surprise par tous les produits issus de l’industrie agroalimentaire avec lesquels les jeunes apprenaient à travailler. (Moi je travaillais avec des produits classiques, dans ma cuisine…). A l’école, ils utilisaient plein de trucs chimiques et industriels pour réduire les coûts et la durée de travail.
Maintenant mes recettes pâtissières sont souvent moins sucrées que les recettes classiques et plus gouteuses. Je sais quels produits utiliser et je peux me permettre d’acheter des produits de qualité dans ma petite production.
Je vous vois lire ce long texte et vous dire mais où va t elle à nous raconter sa vie ? Tellement ennuyeux… Ok je reviens à mes moutons motivés. Ce que je voulais dire avec ma petite histoire, c’est que vivre et manger sainement, c’est un long cheminement et parfois durant certaines périodes de nos vies, on n’y arrive pas. Et ce n’est pas grave. Quand je me culpabilisais de manger un petit bout de pain blanc, c’était ridicule ! Maintenant je pense avoir trouvé un bon équilibre dans ma philosophie alimentaire. Le healthy c’est bon, le healthy c’est toujours le mieux. Mais si on mange un peu de junk food grasse et sucrée de temps à autre, il n’y pas de problème !
J’ai un ami médecin à la retraite qui a étudié de longues années la nutrition. Il suit un régime très très healthy mais il est toujours d’accord pour gouter et même reprendre de mes bon gâteaux, chocolats, ou tartes ! Et vous savez ce qu’il dit ? Quand on mange entre mais avec plaisir, ce n’est jamais mauvais pour son corps ! Haha ! La bonne excuse hein ? (Bon bien sûr, ça marche que si c’est occasionnel)
Dans notre #inspiringhealthchallenge il s’agit de manger mieux. Si vous le pensez comme un régime restrictif, la motivation vous quittera vite. Il s’agit de vous inspirer des petits changements healthy qui peuvent devenir des habitudes. Une fois ces changements transformés en habitudes, vous n’aurez même plus besoin de motivation !
Pensez à ce challenge comme un gain de qualité de vie, surtout pas comme un régime restricteur (oui ben j’avais besoin d’inventer un mot ça va hein !) de plaisir !
Au début bien sûr, il s’agit de votre prise de décision, mais si vous tentez un challenge et que vous ne pouvez pas faire un autre qui ne vous correspond pas, pas de soucis. Soyez sympa avec vous même surtout. Nous sommes là pour nous encourager et répondre aux questions, partager nos expériences.
As you may already know or have just heard the rummor on the blogosphere or the social medias… With my friend Krissy from PrettyWeeThings, we are working for you on an #inspiringhealthchallenge.
But first, I thought it would be a good idea to explain a bit more how I became interested in healthy food and healthy living style.
You may first read this story that made the point of starting this big change in my lifestyle.
When my kid was sick, I felt so useless, I mean no ! Not useless of course but the docs were the boss. It was like we weren’t entirely parents anymore. Then I really needed to do something for my family and treat ourselves with healthy stuff and not the bad hospital food or the mountain of strong medicine. By that time, husband was also suffering from a chronical disease and felt a lot of pain and was taking like 14 pills a day (pain killer, and all that stuff). Just for you to know, he is ok now with a bio therapie, he has a treatment every 10 days and started again running, hiking and working as crazy ! Meaning he is really ok!!
As I really needed to feel usefull and try to maintain something healthy in my home, I started a garden (at that time we lived in the countryside between wineyards, yes I know sounds dreamy but I assure you, it was too far from everything !) and grow my veggies. I learnt from that experiment that I don’t have green hands at all !!! And that gardening is a very hard job and surely not for people who like to go on holidays ! My fav part of this was the final part when you cook and prepare veggies and put them in freezer !! Haha ! That’s how lazy I am, I know !
So the prep and cooking part was the one I found so interesting ! I decided to give up the gardening part and find some local farmers using organical methods or at least sustainable agriculture.
We didn’t have weigh issues, we had health issues. Of course, eating better didn’t cure us but it did give me the feeling I was taking back control on our lifestyle. And that was quite important to me ! I don’t say good healthy food is a medicine, I just think it’s good for our body and mind.
I read a lot of books and things on internet and started the long process of becoming conscious about what food I was buying.
My first step was reading the ingredients of the food I bought in supermarket. I tried to limit the chemicals like colorants and conservatives.
My second step was to buy in first instance in the farmer market some local products and eat my veggies and fruits according to our season. No strawberries for Christmas here! haha!
As we are « gourmands » as the name of the blog announces, I always kept some good summer fruits in the freezer. And use them the whole year. At first, our taste has to adapt to those new products like grains, lens, whole cereals… but now each time we eat some cake in the restaurant we find it too sweet, too fat…
My point today is just to motivate you. At first it may be strange taste and not enough sugar but I got used to very quickly. I thought about this change as a process on a long way. You don’t have to change everything at the same time. Just try some small changes and see if it works for you.
My changes took like 2 years to find my new balance healthy lifestyle. As you know I also bake ordinary french bakery and use ordinary products. My family is really happy and it’s quite healthier than if we buy our cakes in the shops. We are not boring or extreme people, we can have fun with cheese, ham and wine in our fav restaurant. We like to have a good burger sometimes! We have the same rule as Krissy: 80/20%. 20% extras and we try to maintain 80% healthy food. Let’s see if it could work for you!
Join Krissy and me on our journey towards a healthier life. We’ll support each other as a team and will answer all the questions and keep the motivation on! Just write your questions and thoughts in the comments bellow. That will help us to know what you want to see on this challenge.
On instagram @inspiringhealthchallenge
On FB : Inspiring Health Challenge
(Go and meet us on a little video on the FB page, you can laugh at my terrible accent 😉
Healthy Veggie Quiche – A very light and thermomix (or not) recipe
Healthy monday is back. The end of scholo year was a nightmare. So many things to do! But I’m back with my healthy program for you!
It’s summer here! Yeah! We have 37/38 ° C woooooo! So we need here some fresh, light meals. I had some veggies and eggs in the fridge. I didn’t know what to do with them until I thought to change a bit my quiche recipe into a lighter one. More suitable for the weather! As it was so hot, we ate that quiche cool. Just from the fridge. And it wasn’t bad at all!