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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Mmmm Roast

I cooked my first roast chicken with gravy.  I am a little pleased with myself….. my chest is puffed out, I’m standing taller and their is a really big smile on my face.  It was a hit (even if it was slightly over cooked) – YUM!



It was mentioned at cooking class by Louise (our food trainer) that roast meat with gravy tastes so much better eaten with your fingers.  At the time I thought ‘each to their own’.  But Louise……. you are so right, it really does!!  It was seriously finger licking goodness!  Don’t judge but give it ago!!!

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Dinner in 15 minutes!

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Mini Shell Pasta with creamy smoked bacon and pea sauce…..delicious!  Even better is that it only takes 15 minutes…SO EASY and child friendly!!

10 slices of bacon
a small bunch of fresh mint
150 parmesan cheese
sea salt
400g dried mini shell pasta
olive oil
a knob of butter
300g frozen peas
2 heaped dessertspoons of creme fraiche
1 lemon

(I use either light sour cream or light philli cooking cream instead of the creme fraiche and what ever pasta is in the cupboard)

You can watch Jamie here and he will take you through the steps.

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linking with Heather – Recipe swap and What we ate Wednesday

Baked Carrots in a Bag

Picnik collage carrots in a bag

This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food cook-book. This is a great side dish  for a BBQ or simply tasty vegetables for dinner.  It can be prepared early and popped in the oven for cooking at anytime.  It’s so easy!!  But more importantly sooooo YUM!


1 ¾ lbs/700 grams carrots
1 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic
1 orange, zest and juice
1 tsp marmalade
1 rasher of bacon
2 pats/ 2 teaspoonsbutter
Salt and pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 400F or 200C.
  • Peel carrots.
  • Leave them whole if small, chopping any larger ones up.
  • Get yourself a sheet of aluminum foil about 2 feet/60cm long, fold it in half to make a crease, and then open it out again.
  • Pile your carrots in the middle of the aluminum foil on one side of the crease.
  • Pick the leaves off the rosemary and finely chop.
  • Peel and finely slice garlic.
  • Scatter the rosemary and garlic over the carrots.
  • Grate over the zest from half of the orange, and add the marmalade,chopped bacon,  butter and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Fold the other half of the aluminum foil over the carrots and scrunch and seal the two sides of the aluminum foil bag together, leaving one end open.
  • Halve the orange and squeeze all the juice into the bag
  • Seal up the final side.
  • Place your aluminum foil bag on a baking tray in the preheated oven for around 50 minutes.
  • To serve, carefully pour the carrots and all their juices into a nice big serving dish.

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Linking up with Heather – Recipe Swap

Jamie Oliver, Andrew and Little Old ME!!


‘Ministry of Food is about getting people cooking again by teaching them the basics: how to cook, how to shop, and how to enjoy food in a way that benefits not only individuals, but also their families. We want to give as many people as possible the tools and information they need to be able to make better food choices.’

I am getting very excited! This weekend Andrew and I start our ten weeks of cooking classes at the Jamie’s Ministry of Food in Ipswich.  I jumped at the opportunity to take part.  Anything that helps a Mum provide quick, easy and most importantly healthy  meals for her family is very exciting.  I was in the hairdressers yesterday and some Mum’s were discussing how they become stuck for healthy meal ideas and would love some inspiration.  Well fingers crossed I have found mine….. I can’t wait.  I also would love to lose some weight.  So this is a great kick start.   And yes you did read it correctly Andrew is also attending.  It is a wonderful opportunity for him to learn to cook but I have to say I am looking forward to us doing this together.  My Mum and Dad are taking care of Ben (love them to bits!!!) while Andrew and I cook together.

Our first class is this Saturday.  We will receive a “Participant Start-Up Kit”, with a folder of recipes and information,  a  Jamie’s Ministry of Food bag and an apron.    Each week we need to take a tupperware container because each participant cooks a family meal for four to take home.

I can’t wait to let you know how it goes!!

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