Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

How to Teach Yourself Food Photography | Simple Provisions

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I often get asked about the photos on Simple Provisions. I take them, and I’m a self-taught photographer. I bought a camera when I started this blog and taught myself to use it in manual mode, as well as how to prop and style food and how to edit photos using software. I’m learning and improving as I go.

Here’s a little guide to the things I’ve learned along the way, and some of the resources that have helped me. I’m not a photography expert, and there’s plenty of resources on the web to teach you to take better photos, but here’s what helped me produce photos of food that people want to pin and share. I hope it helps inspire you to pick up a camera too.

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Look in the Fridge: The Sugar Hit

If you are even mildly hungry, I suggest you wait till you have a full stomach before clicking through to visit Sarah’s blog, The Sugar Hit. Because when you arrive, vivid, beautiful photos of sweet, delicious things will be in your face, in bold, comic-book styling. Once you see Sarah’s food, a sensible lunch will pale into comparison. It’s an “I want to lick the screen” kind of blog.

When I asked Sarah to open her fridge for us, she was slightly horrified, likening it to the food equivalent of a no-makeup selfie. But Sarah has a giant bowl of cookie dough in her fridge, which seems like a dream fridge to me. Thankfully she agreed to reveal all. Read on to see what’s behind those gorgeous, bright photos on The Sugar Hit.

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Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Sometimes, even though it’s winter, a salad is all that will do. Roasted vegetables are great, and sautéed greens have their place, but something fresh, crisp and green should not be banished from plates for months on end. The challenge is lettuce, which bolted in veggie gardens at the end of summer, as is its wont. Kale has sprouted in its place and when treated right, it makes a fine substitute for salad greens.

This is an eat-your-greens salad, bursting with health. Brussels sprouts are perfect little packages of goodness. They have the same health benefits of their larger cousin cabbages, and in Chinese medicine they’re said to help with digestion. They also grow on the coolest, most gnarly looking plant ever. The unpleasant smell that many people associate with sprouts is the result of overcooking, particularly overboiling, which unlocks an organic compound in the sprout that contains sulphur. Egg smells are avoided in this salad by finely slicing the sprouts and serving them raw. Continue Reading

Carrot Top and Walnut Pesto

Earlier in the week I made pomegranate roasted carrots, and they were delicious. After preparing the carrots I had a bunch of feathery carrot tops fanning across my bench. Heidi from Apples Under My Bed mentioned that she keeps carrot tops to make pistou or pesto when we looked in her fridge, and I was inspired to try it.

Root vegetables are givers. Radish, beetroot, turnips and carrots not only have tasty, colourful roots, they all have edible leaves. Carrot leaves can be bitter, so although you can eat them raw in a salad, they’re better off mingling with other elements in a stock, being mellowed with some heat in a frying pan or being whizzed into a pesto. Continue Reading

Pomegranate Roasted Carrots

These carrots are not a Turkish pilaf. They do not in any way resemble a plate of plump bulgur wheat, tender lentils and shredded chicken gently spiced with cloves and cinnamon and topped with yoghurt. Sometimes things don’t work out in the kitchen as you expect them to, and this week the bejewelled pilaf of my imagination ended up resembling overcooked, grey porridge. I don’t even know what happened. Too much stock? Too much bulgur? I’ll attempt to work it out next time, but for now I’m grateful that I stuffed up because it meant I cooked these carrots, and they are delicious. Continue Reading

Heidi from Apples Under My Bed | Look in the Fridge

This week Heidi from Apples Under My Bed opens her fridge so we can peek inside, and what a cool fridge it is – it has a blackboard on the outside! Heidi is a dietician, porridge lover and blogger who’s approach to food is inspiring. She’s all about natural, beautiful, unprocessed wholefoods, but she understands the importance of balancing healthy eating with a large slice of pie every now and then. Follow Heidi on Instagram to be inspired by her egg-shaped bowls full of interesting porridge toppings, her simple yet gorgeous meals and her work on a farm. Get to know Heidi even more intimately by taking a look in her fridge…

Heidi from Apples Under My Bed | Look in the Fridge Continue Reading

Jaffle Iron

It’s jaffle season. The time of year when two pieces of bread and a jaffle iron can not only feed a hungry stomach, but can warm the heart (and burn the tongue). The best tasting jaffles are the ones made in a cast-iron jaffle mould that is shoved into a campfire using the long handles. Beanies and gloves keep extremities warm while the white-hot coals toast the bread and seal the filling into a golden pocket of smokey goodness. But the great outdoors is not a prerequisite for an excellent jaffle. The creativity afforded by the blank slate of white bread buttered on the outside is worth having fun with, crackling fire or no.

Two jaffle combinations have settled into high rotation in my kitchen this year. One was borne out of the need to recreate a favourite menu item from a cafe that rudely closed down and the other was inspired by Melbourne cafe Pope Joan.

Jaffle Fillings

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Look in the fridge
I’m a stickybeak. I love nothing more than stealing a glimpse into other peoples’ lives. I subscribe to real estate emails even when I’m not looking for a house, I pay attention to behind-the-scenes stories and relish trawling through sites like The Selby, So, How Was Your Day and Freunde Von Freunden to see how other people live. I find real life endlessly fascinating, much more so than beautifully styled magazine spreads.

This favourite pastime of mine got me thinking about fridges. This year my fridge has been on show. Friends and family have been kind enough to keep it stocked with food while we get used to parenthood. Nearly everyone who brought a meal commented on how empty our fridge was, clucking over us like this parenting thing had us well and truly beat judging by the state of our fridge! The thing was, it wasn’t that different to how it usually looks.

I brought this up on the weekend with a group of friends who were over for dinner. We proceeded to huddle around our open fridge to analyse it. They concluded that yes, it was very empty, and seriously lacking in half-jars of things, strange ingredients you only use once and what do you mean you only have two jars of jam?!

I look at my fridge and think it’s normal. But I guess everyone does. And isn’t that interesting? I wonder how much a person’s fridge is a reflection of their personality and their approach to food. Is my fridge empty? Or do I only make friends with people who have fridges heaving with food (there’s legs in that theory…).

This has prompted me to start a new semi-regular series here on Simple Provisions. I’m going to ask other bloggers, chefs, gardeners and anyone else interesting to open the door and let us look in their fridge. We’ll see if fridges reflect personalities and how people eat, or at the very least we get to be nosey parkers.

If you feel like playing along, you could win a copy of the new gorgeous magazine Alphabet Journal. (I’m super excited to have contributed to their first issue). Head to Instagram, follow me and post a photo of your fridge with the hashtags #lookinthefridge and #simpleprovisions and tell us the one weird thing you’re harbouring in there. I’ll select a winner next Wednesday at 9am Australian Eastern Standard Time, so get your fridge in before then.*

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who shared their fridge. The contest is now closed.

It seems unfair to ask others to do this if I haven’t revealed all. So here is an unedited, unstyled view of my fridge.

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How to Roast Vegetables for the Week

Recently I got back into my winter routine of roasting up a big batch of hearty veggies on the weekend, ready to use in meals throughout the week. Writing a food blog means that at least once a week I’m cooking something new and interesting, but most of the time, especially with a baby in the house, getting a meal on the table is just part of the daily routine, and strategies like this help make life a little easier.

Roasting a bunch of vegetables at once means that you have a map of the week’s meals already done, the crisper draw no longer harbours rubbery carrots, and you’re banking your daily vegetable quota ahead of time. Here’s how I prepare and roast my veg, then, I thought it might be cool to share what I’ve done with the veggies throughout the week. Head over to like Simple Provisions on Facebook to follow along over the coming days. Continue Reading

Grilled Kale and Chickpea Salad | Simple Provisions

My cousin set me the challenge of coming up with recipes for produce that she’s planting in veggie gardens right now. She’s the genius behind The Sage Garden, a company that encourages and teaches kids and their families to grow their own organic produce. Now that autumn leaves are dropping and mornings are getting frosty, the winter crop is being sown. Over the coming weeks kale, radish and silverbeet will shoot up and provide the basis for winter meals. I’m excited to come up with recipes for this gorgeous produce. You can follow our little experiment over on The Sage Garden’s Facebook page to get tips on planting, and also get recipes from my other talented cousin who is the chef and owner of The Devonshire restaurant in Sydney.

To get you inspired to plant kale, a gnarly winter green who can come off as bitter and tough but who’s really a softy at heart, here’s a recipe that is cooked under the grill (broiler) in less than 15 minutes. It’s a warm salad that is full of texture thanks to the magic of kale chips.

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