The Visit – The Man Himself!

Andrew and I not so long ago completed a ten week cooking class at the Ministry of Food Ipswich.  We fell in love with the simple whole food approach to cooking. It wasn’t that we were terrible eaters but I knew there is always room for improvement.   Our food habits are forever influences by Louise and Danella our Food Trainers.  I’m not sure the girls  realise that their voices are forever in my head.  So when we heard the MAN HIMSELF was coming to town……… the excitement started to build (well not sure about Andrew but I was pretty pumped!).

It was Jamie Oliver fever in Ipswich yesterday. A welcome fit for royalty – roads closed, police, security, cameras, media, politicians,  and celebrities.  Andrew and I were fortunate enough to snaffle tickets to see Jamie cook.

Picnik collagePhotos from here and edited in Instagram

I was interested to see if he really was as genuine and passionate in his food message as he is on TV.  The answer is YES…… this chap is 100% the real deal.  He oozed enthusiasm.  I felt a little like a giggling school girl.  I really couldn’t believe I was seeing the man himself.  Seems a little silly I know but he is …….. gosh dang pretty amazing.  He did seem a little tired ……..maybe it was our hot humid weather or that he had stepped off a plane from Korea.  But none the less he put on a good show and spread his message of simple, good, healthy, fresh, whole food cooking.

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The girls and guys at Jamie’s Ministry of Food Ipswich did a exceptional job.  Hats off to you all.

Oh I nearly forgot …….. What did he cook I hear you say?  Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Guacamole and Salsa.  They are on our menu this week!

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I love being a Mum….. love love love it!! I am so thankful that I have been blessed with a beautiful boy.  But secretly I have missed a few little treats.  I would often sit in a coffee shop with Ben and think “Will this ever be enjoyable again?”.  I seem to be drinking my cup of tea fast before Ben’s on the move again!! Or I choose a cold drink because that goes down quicker.  Or we go to a more child friendly coffee shop where Ben enjoys himself but Mummy…. not so much!!   I would look around the coffee shop at the little girls out with their Mum’s sitting and colouring.  I have asked myself many times “Will my boy ever colour?”

This week my friend Di rang last minute to see if we wanted to go for lunch.  I said ‘sure’ thinking all the time in my head that I can just eat fast if Ben starts complaining.  Ben and I packed up some Lego men, some other essentials and headed out to lunch at my new favourite cafe – fourthchild.   Something lovely happened while we were out for lunch.  Ben and I had the most lovely time.  We had the most scrumptious  lunch, we relaxed, and enjoyed being out IN A  GROWN UP COFFEE SHOP.  We were in that coffee shop for over and hour and a half.  It felt so good.   I felt like a grown up again.  I also found myself looking  at my little man growing up and ‘colouring’ in his own way  (well not really colouring but playing with his Lego men).  Not once did he ask to go, say he was hungry or whinge about anything.  He even ate vegetables for lunch.  I’m so excited……….. MY BOY COLOURS!!!


And on a side note if you are local and haven’t been to fourthchild you seriously have to go.  It is so refreshing.  They are dedicated to food made from scratch, as chemical free as possible and  locally sourced.  They don’t claim to be organic but just value making food the way our grandmothers did.   There is no fixed menu as they make the most of produce in season!!  I love the name of the cafe….. fourthchild.  The owner has three beautiful children and the shop is her fourth.  You really must make an effort to go!

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Cooking with Jamie – The Finale!

Picnik collage Jamie\'s Ministry of Food Ipswich week 10

This week was our final week at the Ministry of Food – roast chicken, good gravy, easy chicken stock, and roast potatoes, parsnips & carrots.  We cooked roast vegetables, watched how to make good gravy, talked stock while  smelling the wonderful chicken roasting in the oven.   It all tasted super delicious and I already have a chicken in the fridge  to  roast this week.

We can’t thank the wonderful staff at the Ministry of Food enough (especially Louise) for their contagious enthusiasm in the kitchen.  I used to look at cooking as a chore but it’s amazing what a handful of new tasty recipes will do  to spark some excitement.  More importantly Louise has helped our little family with a ‘Wholefood’ approach to eating.

‘Wholefood  – food that is eaten as close as possible to its natural state, without unnecessary processing and refining…’ Jude Blereau

Wholefood to us is eating good fresh food (like we grew up on) and avoiding where possible highly processed and artificial foods.  We have big plans for our garden this spring!!

So thank you Louise, Danella and all the wonderful volunteers.  We will miss our cooking classes on Saturday afternoons.  Andrew and I have had a fabulous time.  We have enjoyed ourselves immensely and are truly thankful for the direction you have taken our family xo


Week 9 with Jamie – Best Ever Fruit Crumble

Picnik collage Jamie\'s Ministry of food - week 9

We made fruit crumble this week.  Jamie’s recipe is called ‘Best Ever Fruit Crumble’.  That comes with  really big expectations.  It certainly was the best ever fruit….. pears, apples, ginger and lime….. SO GOOD!  But best ever crumble……sorry I can’t agree.  Crumble just isn’t crumble without oats,  brown sugar and coconut…. then it would be the ‘Best Ever Fruit Crumble’.  So apart from my difference of opinion with Jamie (heheheh), this week was fabulous fun.  Our cooking group and Instructors are just wonderful, so many lovely people.  Next week is our last week.  It will be sad to finish.  Andrew and I have really enjoyed cooking together in class.  I don’t think Andrew has made a meal at home yet though…… unless porridge counts xoxo

Next Week – Roast Chook!

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Linking up with Heather – Life Made Lovely Monday xo

Week 8 with Jamie – Fish

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This week the lovely Danella stepped us through three dishes – cucumber yoghurt, salmon tikka and evolution potato salad.  All incredibly simple quick dishes.  My fav was the evolution potato salad.  We are big fans of the evolutions salads…. the tomato and green salads….very tasty!

Next week – Baking….crumble…yummo!!

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Week 7 with Jamie – PIZZA!

What an amazing week.  Who knew you could have so much fun in the kitchen!!

Picnik collage Jamie\'s Ministry of Food Pizza week 7

This week we made tomato sauce, pesto and dough for pizza.  Every week we seem to have more fun, more laughs and feel more like we are amongst friends.

This week when Andrew and I were getting ready to go to cooking classes  Ben asked me if they would have an apron to fit him like the aprons Mummy and Daddy wear.  Ben comes with us to class and my parents pick him up – Yay for Grandparents xo. So he sees a little of how things run.  I told him that they only have big peoples aprons but reminded him that he has an apron of his own.  He proudly puts his apron on to go to cooking classes today….. a little bit cute! He also got a special tour of the kitchen from Louise today.  Oh he loved it!! He kept his apron on all afternoon with Grandma and Grandad and was still wearing it when we got home!

Picnik collage Jamie\'s Ministry of Food tour for Ben

It was pizza in our house for dinner tonight – with home made dough, pesto and tomato sauce.  Ben of course with his cooking class experience (a whole 5 minutes) was an expert pizza maker.  It is so lovely to see him helping cook and eating great food.  It makes for a very happy Mummy (& Daddy)!!

Picnik collage pizza making with Dad

Next Week – Salmon Tikka

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Linking up with Paisley Jade – Things I am Loving xo and Life Made Lovely Monday