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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A LIGHT AND LUSCIOUS SPICED BREAKFAST



Have you tried my recipe for this light and luscious spiced fejoa bircher? I have used brown rice flakes instead of the traditional oats for a nourishing and wholesome gluten free version, although you could also use amaranth, millet or quinoa flakes. The addition of a little spice, fejoas and grated apple makes for a delicate yet delightful breakfast. You could use almost any variety of fresh fruit, and milk of your choice. I absolutely love coconut milk, although nut, oat or cows milk all work wonderfully. You can find the recipe by clicking HERE. Eleanor xx


Thursday, July 3, 2014

BAKED FETA WITH WALNUTS, ROSEMARY & HONEY



Tonight I share my recipe for this unbelievable baked feta with walnuts, rosemary and honey. This delectable baked cheese has a lovely soft and creamy texture, and spreads fantastically on bread or crackers. The aromatic and fragrant rosemary works in perfect harmony with the sweet and sticky honey, making this rustic dish a wonderful appetizer. 

1/2 cup walnuts
a block of good quality feta cheese
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs of rosemary
2 tbsp honey or pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Dry roast the walnuts in a skillet over medium heat until slightly browned and fragrant. Set aside.

Place the feta in an oven proof skillet or baking dish. Sprinkle the rosemary on top, and then drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil.

Bake the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top.

Remove from the oven, drizzle with the honey, and then scatter the walnuts on top.

Serves 4 as an appetizer with crackers or bread.

*gluten free

*refined sugar free

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A RUSTIC AND WARMING WINTER PIE



Tonight for dinner I made one of my favorite recipes from My Petite Kitchen Cookbook. This red wine, rosemary and garlic beef pie is a wholesome version of the classic family favorite and makes for a perfect winter warming meal. I topped the pie with a creamy and buttery potato parsnip mash, although the spelt flour crust is perfectly wonderful also. You can find the recipe in my cookbook which is available for purchase online HERE. Eleanor x



Sunday, June 29, 2014

NO BAKE GOOEY HONEY & LEMON TARTS



These sensational little gooey honey & lemon tarts require no baking and are lovely and simple to prepare. Perfectly sweet, tangy and delightful. Eleanor x

For the tarts:
2 cups almond meal (or ground nuts of your choice)
6 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp honey or maple
A pinch of sea salt

For the honey & lemon filling:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
4 tbsp honey, maple, or agave syrup
4 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, or unsalted butter
4 free range eggs

Shredded coconut for decorating.

In a food processor, add the tart ingredients, and process until the mixture starts to come together like a dough. About 1-2 minutes.

Press evenly into 12 greased muffin tins, and place in the fridge or freezer for at least 2 hours to set. I like to use silicone muffin moulds, as I find they are easier to pop out. Alternatively, you could use muffin cases in the tins to prevent them from breaking.

While the tarts cases are setting, you can prepare the honey and lemon filling.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil and honey together. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Add the eggs and lemon juice, and whisk until well combined. Return to a low heat, and continue to whisk until the filling becomes lovely and thick, and small bubbles start to pop at the surface.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Spoon the filling in to the pie crusts, and even out with the back of a spoon.

Top with a small sprinkle of shredded coconut.

I find these tarts are best kept in the fridge.

Makes 12 mini tarts.

*Gluten free
*Dairy free
*Refined sugar free

Thursday, June 26, 2014

STICKY FIG, RED ONION AND BALSAMIC JAM



This wonderfully dark and sticky fig, red onion and balsamic jam is naturally sweetened with a little honey, and is perfectly rich and lovely.
I like to dollop it on a slice of hearty frittata, or slather it on sourdough toast with fresh and creamy ricotta. It also makes a wonderful topping on cheese and crackers. Simple yet delightful.
You can find the recipe over on the Viva - The New Zealand Herald Website, by clicking HERE. Eleanor xx

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SPICED CHAI CARROT CAKE



The deep yet delicate blend of spices in this chai spiced carrot cake pairs beautifully with its rustic texture – a heavenly combination. Baking this cake for afternoon tea is so comforting - it fills the kitchen with the warm and delicious smell of spice.

You can find the recipe over on the Red Magazine website by clicking HERE.

Eleanor  xx

Sunday, June 22, 2014

UPSIDE DOWN MANDARIN CAKES WITH POPPY SEEDS AND COCONUT YOGHURT



Wowee! So incredibly blown away to have just hit 30,000 fans! I appreciate your support more than I can explain, and am sending so much love and thanks to you all!

669 of you were keen on this lovely recipe, so without further ado, here it is! These wonderfully moist and delicious boiled mandarin cakes are topped with coconut yoghurt, and are naturally free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar. I have also topped them with mascarpone which tastes absolutely spectacular also. Perfectly simple, sweet and elegant. Eleanor xx




4 mandarins
2 cups ground almonds
1/3 cup honey
4 free range eggs
1/4 cup poppy seeds, plus a little extra for sprinkling
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


1/2 cup coconut yoghurt, natural yoghurt or mascarpone for topping.


Place whole mandarins in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and boil for 1 hour. Drain and then allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 160°C and grease 12 muffin tins with butter or coconut oil.  Place mandarins  in to a food processor (skin pith, flesh and all). Blitz until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blitz again until smooth.

Pour in to the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before removing from tins.


Once cooled, turn upside down, and top with coconut yoghurt, natural yoghurt or mascarpone, and a sprinkle of poppy seeds.

Makes 12 small cakes.

*gluten free
*grain free
*wheat free
*dairy free
*refined sugar free