Wednesday, August 20, 2014

CARAMELIZED SHALLOT, RICOTTA & CHIVE DIP WITH HOME MADE SEED CRACKERS




SUNFLOWER SESAME CRACKERS

1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3 tsp garlic granules (I have also used 3 garlic cloves instead)
1 tbsp dried herbs
3-5 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a tray with baking paper.

Place the sunflower seeds , salt and garlic granules in to a food processor.  Process on high for 2-3 minutes or until the seeds become a dense flour like consistency.

Add the sesame seeds, dried herbs and olive oil, pulse to combine. With the food processor running on low, slowly start to add the water one tablespoon at a time. The mixture will start to come together in a dough like consistency. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking tray and knead slightly (it will be a little crumbly don't worry). Place a piece of baking paper on top of the dough and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to around half a cm thick. Remove the top piece of baking paper then using a knife, score criss cross lines in to the dough. 

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely, then using your hands, break along scored lines and serve.

Makes around 20 crackers. Will keep in an airtight container for 1 week.



CARAMELIZED HONEY SHALLOT AND RICOTTA DIP WITH CHIVES


8-10 shallots
1 tbsp honey
2 cups ricotta
a handful of fresh chives, roughly chopped
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
pepper

Heat the butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the shallots, and stir to coat in the butter. Lower the heat and sauté until browned.

Drizzle over the honey, and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes or until lovely and caramelized. Leave to cool slightly.

Once cooled, toss with the ricotta, fresh chives, and a pinch of sea salt and ground pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Best enjoyed within a few hours of making.

Serves 4 as an appetizer with crackers or bread.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

WINTER ROSES



A couple of days ago I was gifted these beautiful hellebores flowers, also known as 'winter roses'. Aren't they stunning? what are your favorite blooms at the moment? Eleanor xx

Thursday, August 7, 2014

DECADENT ZUCCHINI CHOCOLATE CAKES



These amazingly rich and delicious chocolate cakes contain zucchini as their secret ingredient, adding a certain moistness that chocolate cakes can sometimes lack.

The little cakes of joy emerge from the oven incredibly tender and moist, and fill the kitchen with the most stunning chocolate smell. The best part is that you can throw the ingredients together in less than 5 minutes. Topped with pure and simple mascarpone and a sprinkling of hazelnuts. Perfection.

You can find the recipe over on the Viva - The New Zealand Herald Website by clicking HERE.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

QUINOA PASTA BAKE WITH TOMATO PESTO SAUCE, CAULIFLOWER & CHEDDAR


My kids absolute favourite dinner at the moment is this wonderfully delicious quinoa pasta bake. To prepare, simply cook the pasta ( I used Ceres organics gluten free quinoa variety ) according to the instructions, and lay in a baking tray with florets of cooked cauliflower. Pour a jar of tomato passata on top, and add a few dollops of basil pesto in and around the dish. Season well with sea salt and ground pepper, then top with grated cheese. I used a mix of parmesan and gruyere, but most types of cheese would work well. Bake in the oven at 180 C until bubbling and golden. Enjoy!



Sunday, August 3, 2014

PETITE KITCHEN - THE SECOND COOKBOOK



So....I have some pretty damn amazing news that I have been struggling to keep quiet... I am fantastically excited to be working on my second book to be published next year.

Here you can see my beautiful girl Bella being silly in front of the beginnings of my mood wall. I absolutely can not wait to tell you all more about the direction of the book, and wanted to ask if there were any special requests? what kind of recipes would you like to see?

Sending a massive thank you to everyone for your incredible love and support, without you all this would never have been possible! Huge love! Eleanor xxx

Thursday, July 31, 2014

LAVENDER, BLUEBERRY & LEMON MUFFINS




These gorgeously moist lavender and blueberry muffins are naturally free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar, and are sweetened with a touch of honey. They are sprinkled with a little coconut sugar before baking to give a deliciously sweet and crunchy crust. Beautiful with a mug of herbal tea.

You can find the recipe over on the  Viva - The New Zealand Herald website by clicking HERE.

xx

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

PARMESAN, PUMPKIN & SAGE SOUP




Today I cooked up a large pot of this parmesan, pumpkin & oregano soup. I used a recipe which I posted a while back, but added a few generous handfuls of grated parmesan right at the end. Gorgeously good! and so wonderfully simple to make. My favourite kind of cooking.  You can find the recipe by clicking HERE. Eleanor xxx


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A CELEBRATION OF TWO YEARS & LEARNING TO LET GO





We as women are very talented at putting almost everyone else’s needs above our own, although recently I am truly starting to understand from experience that you can not look after others if you do not look after yourself.

As I almost reach the two-year anniversary since starting the blog (and what a whirl-wind two years it has been!), I look back and realize how much I have poured my absolute heart and soul in to this dream. Although, over the last couple of months I have become more aware of how this has been effecting my relationships with those I love the most, my husband, my kids, my family and close friends. Even in a job that I absolutely adore, with a purpose that I believe in, I have been having constant feelings of being overwhelmed, impatient with my loved ones and constantly struggling to keep up with my day-to-day life.

It is today, as I write this, that I understand that we as women and mothers need to learn to look after ourselves better.  To not get too hung up on perfection, to let go of these ridiculously high personal expectations, and to stop trying to do it all! When we are run down and overworked, we are less likely to be able to solve everyday problems, to be content with what we do have and to be grateful of the people and things we treasure. 

So how do you get that work and life balance? That is the golden question. There certainly is no formula, and what might work for me may not work for you.  I believe it all comes down to being aware of this moment, appreciating the beautiful day that is, and simply listening to your body and taking the time to be mindful of what is truly important to you.

Grab a pen and paper, write these things down, and tape it next to your mirror so that you can be reminded each and every day. Take the time to do things you used to love doing, whether that’s getting lost in a book, going swimming, or even just sitting outside in sun. Its so incredibly important to cultivate these simple pleasures to remind us that life is for enjoying and taking each day as it comes.

We absolutely have to stop wasting our energy on trying to be super women. We need to let go of that horrible thing we call guilt! We may even find it is surprisingly easy to let go of things that we once believed were so important. Somewhere inside, a small quiet part of us is just waiting to gently remind from within that sometimes you need to let go of things to be able to move on with life.

It might be difficult to begin with, but it is truly life changing to realize that we are not on our own, and we do not need to be consumed by these day to day things which take over our lives. The once terrifying task of ‘letting go’ starts to become effortless and a huge weight can be lifted from our shoulders.

So right now, as I sip on my creamy hot mug of deliciousness, and gaze out in to our garden.  I take a  deep breath, and then exhale slowly. I release all that is inside of me, until I feel empty and content with this moment. I  now feel able to look forward to living and loving life with relentless freedom, and a new found peace.

 I am the stones through which the river flows; this, too, passes through me.’

I thank you for taking the time to read this post, and if you feel inclined please comment below with your thoughts. I love to believe that we are all here to help each other, and appreciate all of your support and kind words greatly.


All my love, Eleanor xx

Thursday, July 17, 2014

MASSAGED KALE SALAD WITH RICOTTA, GARLIC AND A LEMON AND CHILLI VINAIGRETTE



This massaged kale and chickpea salad packs a flavour kick and has a fantastic hint of garlic and chilli. This wintery salad is topped with beautifully fresh and creamy ricotta, and sprinkled with toasted pecans. Beautiful on its own, or served with grilled meat or fish. You can find the recipe over on the Viva - The New Zealand Herald website by clicking HERE. Eleanor



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

TWO LOVELY RECIPES OVER ON THE I QUIT SUGAR WEBSITE



Super excited to have two favorite recipes from my cookbook featured over on the I Quit Sugar website! The first is for melt in your mouth slow-cooked zucchini with basil & lemon, and the other for rich and tender lamb leg steaks with mint and apple cider sauce. Click HERE for the recipes! Eleanor xx