Guest Post: Pear and Fennel Salad from Rub a Dub Dub

Introducing Zoe from Rub a Dub Dub

Zoe is a food blogger, nutritional medicine student and self-taught food photographer and stylist based in Canberra, Australia. Her photos are always bathed in the most beautiful light, which is how her blog first caught my eye. Zoe’s recipes inspire a more healthful approach to cooking, and her nutritional studies combined with focus on kids (baby number 2 arrived on Boxing Day!) is an interesting spin on food blogging. She holds the belief that eating the right food in the right way and sourced from the right places can change your life. I encourage you to check out her blog and be inspired by her beautiful photos and recipes like I have been.

Rub a Dub Dub Pear and Fennel Salad_

I love Amelia’s philosophy around food; it’s one that I not only relate to but wholeheartedly agree with – so I was really stoked when Amelia thought to ask me when she needed a few guests to help her out!

In particular, I agree that food doesn’t have to be complicated; it just has to be nourishing, satisfying and flavourful. Plus, taste buds are pretty darn indiscriminate – a meal doesn’t have to have Michelin stars attached to it for them to think it’s tasty. I believe there is an often overlooked nuance between diversity and complexity in food. One is about ensuring that you give yourself the best shot at providing your body with all the different nutrients and energy it needs – and in my opinion is vital for good health and wellbeing. The other is about how we like to eat food and how it has evolved with access to more ingredients, cooking aids and techniques. It speaks to our cultural, historical and often socio-economic upbringing. I believe that eating a diverse diet is essential whereas eating complex meals is optional (but can be lots of fun!).

Continue reading

Honeydew with Rose Water and Honey Cream (and a Baby Girl!)

Honeydew with Rosewater and Honey Cream

Happy New Year!

I had this post almost ready to go last week, dutifully planning to write it up on Monday and post it four days before my due date. But that plan got scuttled when our beautiful baby girl, Nell Frances, decided to come to the party early. We’ve spent the last week in a joyful love bubble, getting to know her and ourselves as parents. We’re so happy she has joined us!

Over the coming weeks I’ll be a bit quiet as I get to grips with parenthood, however I’ve lined up some fantastic guest bloggers to share their recipes with you. I’m sure you’ll love their approach to food just as much as I do.

Before I go, here’s a a simple, elegant dessert that takes next to no preparation and is wonderfully refreshing, yet deliciously decadent. The perfect end to a meal on a hot summer night: just slice up a rockmelon, whip up some cream with honey and rosewater, and serve. Continue reading

Festive White Wine Punch

White Wine Punch : Simple Provisions

The days between Christmas and New Year are some of the best of the year. Time shifts; days come and go with little regard for dates and schedules and softer, more languid living is practiced. Leftover ham answers the call of hunger any time of the day and fresh stone fruit and berries are eaten cold from the fridge as the sun hits its summer stride. This atmosphere calls for fuss-free catering, the kind that simply appears and is appreciated.

New Year’s Eve is a time for pretty drinks. At 39 weeks pregnant I won’t be having a raging night, but I’ll happily serve up a jug of colourful punch for guests. This is a cheat’s white sangria: all show, no fiddly preparation. A bottle of good white wine is infused with fruit and berries and topped with sparkling apple juice and a sprig of rosemary to add some festive cheer. The result is not overly sweet, like some punches can be, and is beautifully refreshing on a hot night as the sun sets.

If you find yourself with remaining fruit in the bottom of the jug, turn it into dessert. The now boozy fruit can be heaped into a bowl and served with fresh cream for an adult fruit salad.

I hope you all have a wonderful start to 2014, leaving behind what no longer serves you and taking all that’s good with you into the new year.

Thank you for reading Simple Provisions in 2013, I’ve loved bringing it to you and really appreciate all the comments and pins and support I’ve been lucky enough to receive. My life will change quite a bit in January with the birth of this baby I’ve been growing for the last nine months, but the blog will go on! I’ve lined up some lovely guest bloggers to share their recipes and thoughts with you. And we’ll see how many posts this baby allows me to squeeze in between now and its birth…

Happy 2014! Continue reading

Boxing Day Mango Chutney

Boxing Day Mango ChutneyAll year I set aside jars that we’ve emptied of their jams, olives, relishes or whatever and store them away for preserving and pickling season. By December I have more empty jars in my pantry than full, which is excellent as it means I have a stash ready to fill with Christmas presents.

This year I’ve ordered a leg of ham which will be served at brunch on Christmas Day. The best thing about Christmas ham is the sandwiches it inspires on Boxing Day. And no ham sandwich would be complete without some chutney. Our tomato plants are still a month or two off developing ripe and juicy fruit, so I went on the hunt for a chutney recipe that took advantage of other in-season fruit. Continue reading

Labneh Tart (No Sugar, No Bake)

Labneh Tart (No Sugar, No Bake)

If you’re going to use a bit of bling in your cooking, Christmas is the time to do it. Last year I experimented with silver sugared balls, cherries and white chocolate. This year, I got my hands on gold edible glitter, which is so fun it runs the risk of adorning all dishes coming out of my kitchen this festive season! Before I get too excited and serve up a gilded ham, I started with a tart.

If your Christmas table is anything like my family’s, there will be no shortage of sweet treats. Chocolate wrapped in seasonal, brightly-coloured foil decorates the table and seems to creep in as an acceptable palate cleanser between courses (no matter how full you are). The dessert table is presented with a flaming plum pudding accompanied by brandy cream, a pavlova straining to hold up a rainbow of fruit, buttery shortbread and more chocolate. I love it. But I thought there might be room this year for something less sweet, and certainly less effort. Continue reading

Christmas Gift Guide

Simple Provisions Christmas Gift Guide

Have you got your Christmas presents sorted yet? If there’s a food-loving person in your family, or you’ve been asked what you would like in your stocking this Christmas, and you need some inspiration, here’s some of my favourite things for food lovers this year.

For more inspiration, check out The Good Stuff Guide. Every year Pip from Meet Me At Mikes produces a guide full of gift ideas, recipes and craft for the holidays. This year I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute and provided a wishlist of items to complement our summery Aussie Christmas.

Continue reading

Springtime Thanksgiving

20131122 - Spring Lamb Final 1It’s Thanksgiving in America on Thursday. A time when people criss-cross the country, catching trains and planes to be with their family in order to sit down for a meal and simply give thanks. There’s no special candy, outlandish decorations or presents to buy, there’s just good food and loved ones. I appreciate the simplicity of it, and even though it’s not a holiday in Australia, I like to get in the spirit and use this time of year to reflect, be grateful and celebrate the produce of the season.

Traditional Thanksgiving ingredients like sweet potatoes, cranberries and apples are long gone from my local farmers market. Instead I have an array of bright green vegetables, crispy radish, spring lamb and fresh herbs to work with. It’s a fresh palate of colour and flavour that is a welcome relief from the winter produce, and therefor more than worthy of giving thanks for. Continue reading