Do you Hygge?

If you hygge and you know it

Sip your tea.

Sip, slurp.

Earlier in the year I bought the beautiful book “Hygge The Danish Art of Happiness” by Marie Tourell Soderberg and I adored lingering over every single page in it.hygge in Australia

Hygge is the Danish word for finding happiness in the little things in life and it is closely linked to the idea of cosiness.

This gorgeous little book explains what is meant by the word “hygge” and also suggests a number of different ways you can include the practise in your every day life.

Given all the upheaval and change that I had going on in my  life, this was the perfect little book for me.

I immediately launched into baking fresh bread for breakfast using Soderberg’s recipe. Is there a more comforting experience than eating freshly baked bread, still warm from the oven in the morning?

I got in the habit of mixing dough together at night before bed and then simply spooning  rolls shapes on a tray in the morning and baking it.

Warm, tasty and delicious.hygge the Danish art of happiness

I also experimented with creating cosy little nooks in my house where the children and I can sit snuggled up and surrounded by things that are familiar.

I  introduced some house plants into my home following the suggestion to have a corner filled with greenery. So far they are all still alive and there is something very enjoyable about having living, breathing plants inside my home.

I do wonder about what our unique Australian sense of hygge might look like. Soderberg talks a lot about the importance of retreating somewhere warm, with candle light and blankets due to the cold weather and short days. Here in Australia of course we have lots of warm or moderate weather. We also have long days and an abundance of space and coastline.

I know for me, that lovely feeling of contentedness nearly always washes over me when I hit the road and the horizon opens up to countryside vistas.Apollo Bayroyal botanic gardens melbourne

But I think the most hygge thing that I can think of doing is to sit down with a cup of tea. Growing up, my Mum was the Queen of making tea. It was never rushed and when she made you a cup you always had her full attention. So lovely.
hygge with a cup of tea

tea is very hygge

I would also have to include sitting by the fire, baking and pottering in the garden to my list. being in the garden is very hygge

So, do you hygge?

What do you do in your home that helps it feel like a place of cosiness and comfort?

 

Why Kids Candy Eating is Out of Control

Does anyone else feel really annoyed and also completely powerless about the infinite amount of candy that our children consume?

FYI I use the term “candy” on purpose to represent the endless pointless permutations of hardened or jellied sugar. Delicious chocolate for instance is not included under this definition.

Today was Grandparents Day at school and my sons teacher was reminiscing with my Mum about the “olden days” where little boys and girls were gifted a great, juicy orange as their Christmas present. That’s right. An orange. As in the fruit.

My Mum tells me that back in post-war Holland, the juicy orange gift was prized and treasured. I love an orange, in fact it is one of my favourite all time foods, but this is hard to imagine.

Now isn’t it fantastic that most of us have access to enough fruit and veg to eat in Australia. I am not making a sentimental suggestion that we head back to post war rations because adequate nutrition is doing us all a big favour (understatement alert).

But I am struck by the thought that the natural sweetness of a fruit could be considered a treasured gift.

Our kids eat so much processed sugar these days in every day food items (I am looking at you yoghurt) but the “lolly” has to be the greatest offender.

So in my  sugar filled annoyance I made a little list of all the times that my kids ate candy when I didn’t want them to.

You can start with the big four. A lot of candy eating revolves around the big four.

  • Christmas. Advert calendars (1 per day for 25 days), candy canes (24 class members), visits to the big, weird, bearded guy (2) and the awful Christmas stocking. That’s just Christmas. 52
  • Easter. The hunt, the gift, the grandparent gift, the present from friends. 15
  • Birthday. Who would begrudge your sweetnums a little bit of sugar on their birthday? 10- 6 million.
  • More recently and unfortunately, Halloween. Great big bags of the stuff, dolled out by strangers or parents feeling guilty about not knocking on the doors of strangers. 12
  • Then you can add in sibling birthdays cause we all  know you can’t keep siblings from cruising the candy at a busy birthday party. 12.
  • How about school/ kinder/ friends birthday party. Even the quietest kids go to at least 4 of those a year right? 4
  • Then any teacher hoping for a shred of popularity will generally doll out the sugary stuff. So I’m thinking music, sport and designated non specific niche hobby teacher. 1 per term X 4 terms X 4 hobbies = 16.
  • Random times you actually wanted to bribe your own children with lollies. I know we shouldn’t but we all do at least once. 2
  • The time they catch you snaffling sweets from the secret cupboard and then guilt you into sharing. 5
  • Melbourne Show. School Fair. Random annual Carnival. 10
  • That friend you have who everyone loves, because she loves giving lollies to her kids. 5
  • The weary supermarket visit where you accidentally say “yes” after ten “no’s.”  Why did I just buy a bag of gummy bears? Or is that just me? 1
  • Icy-poles, come Summer, because I hate to break it to you, but they are simply lollies frozen with water. Infinity
  • Other random foods that are basically candy in disguise. I’m looking at you Cocoa Pops, some ice-creams and sweet biscuits. 12
  • Other random occasions that have become weirdly linked to lollies. e.g. the hairdresser, the GP and/ or lessons or any sort. Thankfully the dentist only gives out toothpaste. 6

Now I don’t exactly love candy, but I’m not really against it either. In fact I think there is nothing sweeter than an occasional  lolly pop. All things are fine in moderation.

It is just that the moderation bit has kind of gotten out of hand. In fact it has gone  over the top, kind of like a kid in a candy store.

I quite fancy giving my kids an orange for Christmas. What do you think?

I guess deep down, although I think it’s a great idea, I’m slightly worried that they might call the police.

So do you have this problem too? What kind of event/ place would you add to the list?

I think that this change has come about so quickly, that parents are not really prepared for it. What do you do to try and limit access to sugary lollies in your house? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Dani xx

The Ups and Downs of Running with Helen from My Home Base

Are you like me, feeling sick of reading horrible, nasty and negative news every day in the papers and online? Then join me in my love a blogger challenge. Spend a little bit of time reading some of the thoughtful, inspired and intelligent writing on offer by your favourite blogger. They probably don’t have a degree in journalism but they won’t have a Masters in Snark either. Most bloggers just write for the love of words and a desire to create something beautiful.

Today we are meeting Helen from My Home Base (one of my favourites).

Dani xx Continue reading

Why I freaking hate Freak Shakes

I love a ridiculously good food trend as much as the next person. Some years ago when all the cool kids started drinking their cocktails out of Grandma’s jam jars, I wanted in.

Like most people I am compelled toward the novel and the next in order to keep my ever dwindling attention span stimulated. Indeed chasing after the novel or the new has been shown to provide us with an endorphin kick and the resulting potential increase in the feeling of happines. Ahh. Continue reading

The day a Bento Box saved me

directory-1161965_1920Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to be working against you? Maybe you begin this special day by spilling a cup of coffee all over your white work shirt and then you quietly think to yourself “I hope this is not a sign of things to come.”

Then sometimes those little niggly bad days join together. They kind of all line up next to each other, one by one, a macabre set of Monday to Friday dominoes all leering at you with ugly faces. And no matter how much you keep standing tall, looking forward, walking straight, you just know that something is going to topple and ruin the whole horrible week.

Me either.

Jokes.

Of course I have. We all have right? (Walk away now if your answer is no, you are not welcome here today oh innocent one.)

Well I was having just exactly one of those days, weeks and months. A perfect Dani flavoured trifecta of misery was upon me.

Continue reading

Mushrooms and Chocolate and a very sweet Saturday

JoBo and I went along to a little mushroom tour on Saturday morning, starting at Prahran Market, progressing to Parwan Valley Mushrooms and then  ending up back at Prahran Market for a delicious lunch.

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It was wonderful learning about how mushrooms grow and are harvested. In my kitchen I plan to show each individual mushroom much more love and respect from now on. Perhaps a brief salute or wink before cooking will suffice?

More about mushrooms to come.

To finish the fungi festivities we attended a lovely soiree catered by the team at Tommy Collins Kitchen. Tommy and co worked their chef-y magic on the mycelium (I learnt a lot yes?) and presented us with a delicious assortment of mushroom based dishes. JoBo and I could not decide which one dish we preferred because they were all ten types of delicious.

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I am now inspired to see what mushroom-y magic I can conjure in my own kitchen.

The day concluded with the presentation of the most amazing cake crafted by Tad Lombardo from Cioccolato Lombardo. Tad tells us that he worked on the “On the forest floor” themed cake for more than two weeks. The cake was made in honour of Damian Pike’s 30 years as a stallholder at Prahran Market.

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They let me eat some cake. Can you believe it? This stunning confection was cut up and shared with all and its delicious sweetness is still on my mind. If you can get your hands on one of Cioccolato Lombardo’s chocolate caramel’s then do it. They were oh so delicious.

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I loved hanging out with JoBo, the mushrooms and the cake.

Big thanks to Prahran Market, Vikki Leng and Australian Mushrooms for the fun(gi) times.
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Happy Eating.

Dani xx


Dani B is a food blogger from Melbourne. She writes about “good food for a good life” at Eat My Street. She also hosts an online cooking club for other enthusiastic foodies. Follow along on Facebook or sign up to find out more.

Why Mums are to blame for everything

Nearly 6 years ago exactly, I decided to run away.

I had two beautiful children. A perfect pair to be precise. A hard working husband who was an awful lot of fun to share adventures with.

“Want to try something new?”

“Sure.”

I had a house, a job, a few friends. I even had some rewarding community driven engagements.

“How fulfilling.” I hear you whisper.

But I wanted two more things; a baby and a trip to Italy.

I email my Mum, because that is always the right place to start.

“Mum I am thinking I might travel to Italy in September. I know that it probably won’t work, and I am not even sure that I can afford it, but is there any chance you want to come with me?”

A measly 5 minutes after I press send, the phone rings.

It was Mum, of course. (Who else still calls?)

“Yes I would absolutely love to go with you to Italy. If I can’t work out how to do it, you should go anyway. You will never regret it.

So we did go, my Mum and me. I ran away from my little family and all my responsibilities and the groundhog day routine and I travelled across Italy on a bus with a puking Canadian and I loved every minute of it.

Why Mums are to blame for everything

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I am a Superman blogger.

In my “Daily Planet” job I work as a Psychologist. It is not until night time comes that I rip off that suit and let my hair fly out and emerge from the phone booth (Ok, its more like a sturdy silver Mitsubishi family car) as a blogger.

Psychology has taught me one thing (not just one, mind).

It is always the Mother’s fault.

“Tell me about your childhood?”

Well I raise you one humble life lesson, Psychology, and tell you this.

“Of course it the Mothers fault, because the Mum’s do everything.”

TM (Book soon to be released by “Tell her she’s dreamin’ publishing.”

The Mum’s are there through the thick and the thin, the good and the bad. The wiping up and the cleaning down. The building high and striking down. The BFF’s and the frenemies and enemies, the bullies and the brokers.

Mum’s are IN IT ALL.

Case in point, when I wanted to run away, my loving, adventurous mother was right there with me, both literally and figuratively.

Conversely at the saddest, lowest ebb of my little life, my Mum shone through like a Mum/ Hulk hybrid (less green version).

My Dad was dying from cancer you see and he wanted to die at home. I am not really sure that he realised what this would mean when he made his request, but eventually we all came to understand it how difficult it was going to be to grant him his wish. But my Mum, she never wavered. She looked after him tenderly, persistently, carefully and purposefully. She took him on retreat to a hippy-freak organic-fruit-wielding-health-farm and when that didn’t work, she continued the plan from her own home.

She was a hero, draped in curly brown hair and hint of fatigue and a sadness drenched aura.

She was his hero and our hero and her hero and I will forever be grateful.

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Back in Italy though, Mum was chastising me or challenging me, I am not sure which one, about nearly everything.

“Just do it. You will regret it if you don’t. You only live once. ”

And so I did. I drank bubbles along the Grand Canal, I shopped on Via Condotti, I ate pizza in Piazza Del Campo and I fell asleep listening to Opera in a cold stone building in Roma.

My Mum is definitely to blame for some of that.

italy with my Mum who I blame for everythingSo if we must go around attributing blame of the “she did not breastfeed long enough” variety, let’s not forget to dish blame out thoroughly.

So right here, right now I would like to blame my Mum for a few things.

  • for cooking for me and my 5 sisters night after night, day after day, year after year, for decades.
  • for picking me up and dropping me off and buying me everything and organising a thousand small things that brought forth my future.
  • for telling me I could when I couldn’t and thinking I wouldn’t when I did (I was a teenager once).
  • for holding my hand through a lot of scary moments, only some of which occurred in childhood.
  • for the warmth and the laughter and the Summer’s by the pool.
  • for teaching me to be brave and forcing me to try new things.
  • for teaching me about loyalty by being loyalty, through and through.

There is a lot more I could blame my Mother for because, indeed, she was just there through it all.

How about you? What would you like to blame your Mother for?

Dan B with her MumAnd one last thing, Happy 70th Val! I love you.

 

Dani xx

 

 

 

Want to hear more about family life with 6 sisters?

You do for family, the sisterhood edition.

Best friends, family and moving house.

Tasting Australia Festival and Words To Go 2016

Words To Go 2016

Eat My Street was invited to attend the Tasting Australia Words To Go 2016 Festival in Adelaide this year as part of the bloggers contingent for the Words To Go Conference. I was very excited and honoured to be invited along to hear some wonderful presenters talk about food writing and blogging and also to taste and see all that South Australia has to offer at its premier food festival.

Tasting Australia and Words To Go 2016

The Tasting Australia Festival ran from the 1st to the 8th of May in the town square in Adelaide and it is a free event open to the general public. Food trucks, regional kitchens and produce stores, cooking demonstrations, classes, dinners and much more combine together to create the program for the Festival.

Words To Go 2016

Continue reading

Simple ways to love your garden in May

Seven simple ways to love your garden in May

with Sam

love your garden in May

It’s May, and we are settling in for the ever so damp and dreary wintery Melbourne weather. Most of us are setting up to hibernate – wood fire roaring, tea brewing safe from the elements of the outdoors. Don’t be fooled, though; while the rest of the world is hiding under the sheets snuggled up warm and desperate to stay in bed until september, your garden is actually hard at work beneath the surface – preparing for spring. What you do in the month of May can impact winter survival and spring readiness. Here are some of my top tips:

how to love your garden in May

 In the culture of ‘eat your street’, these tips are relevant to gardening in May. You may need to adjust accordingly.

To mulch, or not to mulch. That is the question.

The purpose in mulching in Spring and summer is to discourage weeds and keep the moisture in. But what about in winter? It’s still best to mulch, particularly if you live in a frost-prone area. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best to mulch just a little bit less than in summer in order to let some precious sunlight in. When you think about it, there is a naturally occurring mulch from autumn leaves – so perhaps we are ought to mulch after all! Continue reading

In my Kitchen with Cecily Paterson

fruits that you need to try-2

Welcome to a new little segment on the blog titled “In My Kitchen” where we get to visit every day cooks in their own kitchens.  Here at Eat My Street we are passionate about “good food for the good life” and I know that many of you are passion about exactly the same thing.

Today we are talking with Cecily Paterson.

Cecily is an emerging young adult/ tween author from Kangaroo Valley in NSW. With a national award in 2012 for her non fiction memoir, she now writes for Upper Primary and young teens. She is also a speaker, freelance writer and editor.  Her first novel, Invisible, was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breaththrough Novel Award in 2014.

Cecily is also a Mum and wife and she also has a blog about her son’s experience living with autism spectrum disorder.  Cecily also publishes books on spirituality and religion. You can find her most recently release by visiting the Firewheel Press website.

Today we are joining Cecily in her kitchen, to find out a little more about her life, including how she manages to cook great food for her family despite a long list of allergies.

cecily solo

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself?

cecily paterson: I wear a lot of hats. Possibly too many; I have to work on not saying ‘yes’ to everything. At home, I’m a wife of one guy, mother of four kids and best friend of two dogs. At work, I’m a writer of young teen fiction.  In my spare time, I practice the cello, take my kids to things (netball, gym, violin lessons) and sometimes get my sewing machine out. And at 5pm every day, I think, “What the heck am I gonna make for dinner?”

2. What is your favourite recipe at the moment?

cecily paterson: Let me be upfront. Cooking is not my favourite thing in life. Food, I like a lot, but generally if someone else has cooked it for me. Part of the problem is the fact that four out of six people in my family have diagnosed intolerances to things like dairy, soy, oats, preservatives and malt. But I do love to make this simple slice.

· Recipe

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 Click here for the full recipe for Cecily’s no cook chocolate slice.
A cup of dates
A cup of a mix of any of the following: buckwheat, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, coconut pieces or anything else you think would go in well.
2 tbps coconut oil
2 tbps cocoa
Throw in a heavy weight blender and blend for 30 seconds. Press into a tupperware slice container and set in the fridge. Eat when it’s firm.

Editor: We gave this a go and it produced a delicious and healthy slice. Yum!

3. Kitchen staples? Things you always have in your fridge and pantry?

cecily paterson: I have a weird array of gluten free flours, dairy free milks, and things like chia, flaxseed and millet. My mum looks in my cupboard and says, “I don’t know what anything is.” Ha ha. We always have cucumbers and carrots, because those are the popular vegies. In the freezer, I have bags of frozen vegies, because that’s what I eat for breakfast. We always have dates, cocoa, coconut oil and buckwheat, because those are the ingredients of my favourite no-cook chocolate slice. And I couldn’t do without coconut milk, Indian curry pastes, sushi wrappers and rice. A lot of rice.

4. Secret vice?

cecily paterson: 70% dark chocolate, particularly something by Alter-Eco. But it’s not a secret vice: there’s no secret about that at all.

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Ed: Alter-Eco is an independently owned fair-trade food company based in NSW. In face they are Australia’s first official fair-trade chocolate supplier. Thanks for the tip Cecily!

5. Most memorable meal

cecily paterson: I grew up in Pakistan. The best dish I’ve ever had was a chicken kurai, cooked with tomatoes, onions and coriander, with fresh naan on the side, from a restaurant called ‘The Cockroach’. And yes, it was called that because there were a few cockroaches.

Ed: This one sounds amazing although I am not sure about the cockroach part. Eek!

6. What are you currently drinking?

cecily paterson: Decaf tea. I don’t drink alcohol or juice – too many calories for a girl who runs to fat too quickly. And I can’t drink caffeine all day – I get drained by it. But a good cup of decaf tea, made by my husband, makes me very happy.

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7. Do you have a favourite local venue to eat out?

cecily paterson: I live in Kangaroo Valley, NSW. I like a smoked salmon sandwich made by Charlie, from Charlie’s cafe, and the lamb cutlets by Gerald from the Bistro One46.

8.Do you have a favourite cook book?

cecily paterson: Jo Whitton’s Quirky Cooking is great. And I love Jamie Oliver too, but a lot of his food wouldn’t go down well with my kids, so I look longingly at his stuff rather than purchase it.

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9. Your favorite spot in your kitchen?

cecily paterson: Honestly: on the other side of the bench, watching someone else make the food, but that never happens, so I’ll say near the toaster and kettle, making myself a piece of toast and jam and then taking it to my desk.

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Do take a look at Cecily’s website- this is one talented lady!

www.cecilypaterson.com

If you know someone fabulous to feature on our next “In My Kitchen” post then please shoot me an email. danib@eatmystreet.net

Until then, happy eating!

Dani xx


Eat My Street is a website dedicated to “good food for the good life.” We post recipes, reviews, interviews and much more. Please visit us on Facebook or sign up, to keep up to date. Dani


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