Precious Morning Moments

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We’ve blogged about our love affair with mornings a couple of times. We’ve mentioned on numerous occasions how much we just adore our morning cup of Joe and how ridiculously early we get up. Even on Sundays.

 It is also quite obvious how much we love breakfast. We take it so seriously. I mean honestly, who wants to rush out of the house with a stale piece of toast when you can take the time to enjoy warm buttery organic sourdough with avocado and parsley. I mean, really.

But since being out of home, moving house twice and adapting to city living, we’ve started to develop an even deeper love for the early hours. So many feelings about this topic. I’d like to share these feelings with you all so that you may feel inspired to create your own morning routine. A morning routine that sets you up for the day ahead.

 I’ve actually researched the power of morning routines. It’s quite a fascinating topic. Some people become extremely ritualistic with their early hours. Having a set schedule that you abide to each morning can become somewhat therapeutic, almost like a moving meditation. I know for me personally, if my morning activities are altered in any way I feel ‘off’. I am very pedantic about this time of the day. These hours are precious to both Mel and I.

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 So what do we like to do in these precious moments? Well, depending on whether it’s a work-day or a day off, we always wake up between 5:30-6:30 am. Upon waking, I’ve found it’s so important to rehydrate my body from a night of sleeping. We’ll drink around 750 mL of warm water. Usually out of a washed leftover sauerkraut mason jar. We are yet to own cups. Sometimes we take our water back to bed and do some reading. Sometimes we meditate. Well, attempt to meditate. I’ve found that reading or even just relaxing in bed is good enough for me. Mel likes to read magazines. Magazines are also nice. She says they give her a bit of inspiration for the day.

 Next up it’s coffee time. The best time. If it’s a work day, we’ll be out of the house around 7:30, even earlier, so our morning coffee will be of the stovetop sort and showering usually takes place beforehand. We buy our ground coffee from various places but recently it’s been from Wide Open Road roasters and we only buy organic unhomogenised full cream milk. Shulz, Demeter and La Latteria are great dairy farms that we love supporting.

 For us, stovetop coffee isn’t just regular coffee. It’s so much more. There is something so utterly special about having to wait for the coffee to rise. If I’m getting ready in my room, I just love coming down the stairs to the sound of the bubbling hot coffee. The sound and the smell both bring me back to the flat that our Nonna and Nonno use to live in in Switzerland. They made stovetop coffee daily. Mel and I were basically raised with the smell so each time we make it; it brings us back to the months we spent in Europe. Literally our most favourite smell.

 If it’s a day off however, we’ll usually skip on the stovetop and instead, we’ll walk down to a local café for a takeway. Extra hot flat white. Totally delicious. At the moment our go to local is Industry Beans in Fitzroy. Great coffee. They don’t use organic milk though. We feel a little funny about this. We are yet to find a local café that serves coffee with unhomogenised organic milk. The hunt continues. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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 Anyway. After coffee time is done, ‘The best time’, it’s breakfast time. Also the best time. Being creatures of habit, we tend to stick to the same sort of breaky theme. We eat a diet high in protein and fat. It’s satiating, nourishing and delicious. (It shouldn’t be news to anybody that the low fat diet trend is flawed, full fat is the way to go – will blog about this in the future). Eggs of some sort, either boiled or scrambled with turmeric and wakame, generous servings of avocado, organic butter, himalayan salt and home made buckwheat loaf (recipe by one of our biggest inspirations Jacqueline Alwill), sprouted bread or an organic sourdough loaf are staples for us. We also occasionally dabble in Ayurvedic porridge made savoury with plenty of ghee, carrot and spices. We’d also like to start making macrobiotic breakfasts with basmati rice, buttery fried eggs, sea vegetables and sesame – when we can be bothered cooking the rice that is. We never eat sweet breakfasts. Instead, we load up on healthy fats like butter, eggs, avocado, almond butter, olive oil, cheese and ghee. Obviously not all of these at the same time, we just pick and choose what we feel like on the day. Today for example, it was butter, almond butter and Himalayan salt on sourdough rye with half an avocado drizzled with olive oil eaten by the spoon.

 Whilst eating breakfast and drinking coffee, we’ve found that playing a soothing track on the CD player and burning a candle also sets a peaceful tone for the day. We’ve recently bought a candle that we’re completely obsessed. Like obsessed. Scribbling in our diaries and updating ourselves with the happenings of social media also usually take place at the breakfast table.

 We then clean up, possibly prepare lunch if we haven’t already got it organised the night before and then head out for our day. We both have to walk around 35 to 45 minutes to get to work so this is how we fit in our morning movement. It’s a lovely walk as well, through the Carlton Gardens. Long gone are the days of 5 am runs and yoga sessions. Now that a great yoga studio is literally down the road from us, we opt for the afternoon or late morning sessions. They’re normally ‘stronger’ classes where we can feed off other yogi’s energies. If you are into yoga then you would understand this.

 These precious morning moments are how we turn inwards and reflect.

 Honest feelings from me to you.

 I hope now you feel inspired to create your own precious moments in the early hours.

 Sarah

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Back to Basic’s

Mel+Sarah-Dean Raphael-9

Dean Rapheal Photography

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Sorry in advance about my vent. I just really need to write about this. 

So here it goes.

Mel and I have recently spent some time brainstorming ideas for Thymes Two and what has really got us thinking is what our Why is. What do we want to achieve, where do we want to go with it all, who do we want to connect with and who do we want to inspire. These are heavy questions that we’ve started to break down over early morning coffee and late afternoon vino. Typical us.

 Despite the fact that we’re still struggling with our why factor, we have managed to pinpoint the core of our values and actually how we’d like to live. We want to live a back to basic life. Live like our Nonna did. Consume less. Create more. Inspire more. Cook more. Cuddle more.

We also want to grow our own food. Support local designers. Collaborate with like minded people. Travel to beautiful places. Raise a beautiful family and live a beautiful life.

 Unsure of where our drive to live a basic lifestyle has stemmed from, Mel and I have slowly discovered that the older we become, the more obsessed we become with this idea.

 The idea of Basic Living.

 We are constantly striving towards a basic, local and organic approach to life. I can admit that this may sound really ‘wanky’ but we honestly mean it and we legitimately live by these principles as much as we can.

 I am now aware that this is all a direct reflection of our mum and the way she raised us along with dad of course.

 Mum has such a no fuss, minimalistic approach to living. She is the least materialistic person I know. She likes to spend her whole afternoons delving into books rather than going out shopping. She rarely buys herself new clothes and due to her sensitive stomach, she usually cooks for herself and dad rather than offer to eat out. She does however love Japanese food and the fantastic Melbourne cafes that this glorious city has to offer – like we all do! She has also recently started to make beautiful linen dresses, skirts and pants for Mel and I. I haven’t actually bought a dress or a skirt in god knows how long. When we do go out shopping, we either shop at opp shops or we spend a little more money seeking out local and honest labels.

 Mum’s lifestyle had quite an influence on our early years in life. Cooking rather than dining out, walking everyday to the park rather than driving there, spending afterschool playing for hours in our rooms, at the playground with our friends or in our garden rather than watching television and yearly visits to mum’s side of the family in Switzerland are the memories I’ve kept. Others that I keep close to my heart are those of our Nonna and Nonno spending hours in the kitchen making sauces, soups, slow cooked meats and pastas from scratch. They introduced us to the world of honest food, strong coffee and delicious wine. They were Italians after all. They cooked with ‘amore’ and that is one of the things I miss most about them. That and their endless encouragement and support. I don’t think anyone has encouraged or praised us more than our Nonnie. She was adorable.

 Anyway (wipe away tear). as the years went on, our form of friday night takeaway was home delivered sushi. I don’t think we ever asked our mum to take us to McDonalds or KFC (that came later, you know in those early teen drinking years…). Now for every family occasion we usually opt for a delicious feast at a fine dining Japanese restaurant. We all love the cuisine and it’s the kind of food that we wouldn’t normally cook at home so in my opinion the money spent is somewhat justified. As a family, and also nowadays living in Carlton with Mel, we rarely eat out, rather opting for home cooked meals prepared with local and organic ingredients.

 In terms of food, it’s quite obvious through our instagram, that we share a deep love for it, along with coffee and wine of course! With a lot of time and research, we’ve found, local, ethical and organic sellers to buy our produce from. We buy our meat, our fish and our vegetables from all separate sources and yes it takes a chunk out of our week but it is most definitely worth it. Knowing where your food comes from is the foundation of good nutrition. There is also something so special about it. When you’ve walked an hour to get to a sustainable fish monger, or carried 2 kilos of veggies in your backpack or spent your morning trekking all the way to a market to only by ‘off cuts’ of meat or bones, then you actually start to develop some what of an intimate relationship with your food. Cooking then becomes fun rather than a chore. It really is quite nice. Some say it’s a love affair.

Our basic approach to living also touches other aspects of our day-to-day including modern technology. Our (well ‘my’ – Mel is much more gifted in this area) inability to use technology is probably due to the fact that growing up we always had afterschool sport of some sort so we literally just didn’t have the time for hours and hours of television and video games. To this day, Mel and I still rent videos from the video store or borrow them from the library as 1. We don’t know how to download movies… 2. Isn’t downloading movies illegal anyway!? and 3. Borrowing movies from the library is so much more fun. Ditto with CDs! We play our DVDs on our laptops as we do not own a TV and instead of streaming music through spotify or ITunes, we have a little CD player. We’ve named it ‘The Egg’ – if that is of interest to anybody. Oh but don’t worry, we are able to use phones and love social media. Like many more like most people living in this modern society, we are slightly attached to our iPhones.

 Trying to live like our grandmothers did, we also don’t really ‘work out’. We adore yoga and have found an amazing studio literally down the road from our home so we enjoy between 3 – 5 sessions of yoga per week. This plus walking everywhere is how we currently choose to move our body. Although we grew up with sport, it was mostly gymnastics, dancing and swimming so it’s these sorts of movements we love. We no not love CrossFit, boxing, hectic gym sessions or marathon running. We do, however, certainly take our hats off to anyone who does enjoy these types exercise. Maybe in our next life we’ll have the motivation, endurance and mental strength for it. For now though, yoga and walking suits us just fine. It’s what our Nonna did too. She walked everywhere and also did weekly yoga. Again, she was adorable.

So that’s that. Basic and conscious living. Honestly just becoming aware of how we spend our time and our money and ensuring they’re in tune with our values.

 Well done. You made it to the end of my vent.

 Ciao,

 Sarah x

 

 

 

 

Spring Salad Series #5

SPRING SALAD SERIES

Roasted Vegetables and Poached Chicken on a bed of herbs and Kamala Olives

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This salad is pretty simple but it incorporates basically all of our favourite foods so we’re pretty excited to share it with you guys! Who doesn’t love garlic-y roasted veggies, tender poached chicken, herbs, avocado, olives and olive oil?! We absolutely love all of these ingredients and make a version of this salad often at home. Grilled salmon or finely sliced lamb backstrap or even a nice eye fillet steak goes wonderfully.

It’s one of our staple dishes so make it with love and enjoy with close friends and family

Ingredients Opt for organic ingredients if possible

– 2 small to medium potatoes

– 1 fennel bulb

– 2 to 4 carrots

– 1 beetroot

– 1 leek

– 3 cups of finely chopped herbs and greens of choice. We used parsley, fennel leaves, rosemary, chives and spinach 

– 10 pitted Kamala Olives

– 2 organic chicken breasts

– Half an avocado

– 2 tbsp of Olive oil (the the dressing and for the roasting)

– 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

– 1 teaspoon of cumin

– Himalayan salt

– Pepper

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Method

1. Set your oven to about 175 degrees Celsius.

2. Cup on all your root veggies into generous sized chunks. Scatter onto an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil, himalayan salt, pepper and cumin. We also added a few  rosemary sprigs, a few a couple of cloves of garlic (leave the outer skin on) and some thyme from the garden.

3. Once oven is ready, place your veggies in. They will take about half an hour to get nicely roasted and golden. Thats you’re prep for your roasted veggies done, now you can work on your greens. You really can use any herbs that you may have on hand for this salad. We have heaps of parsley, chives, fennel leaves, spinach and rosemary so we roughly cut them all up and scattered them onto two plates.

4. As your veggies are roasting, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. As you are waiting for the water to boil, slice your two chicken breasts into about 2 centimetre pieces. You should be able to cut about 4 to 5 pieces per breast.

5. When the water is boiling, add your chicken. The pieces will be readily poached when they sort of start to float to the top. Around 5 to 10 minutes (its a bit of a guessing game to be honest! so keep checking them – you don’t want to ‘over poach’ them as that will make them dry and chewy!)

6. Your veggies and chicken should be done around the same time. Distribute the veggies evenly onto the two plates (with the already made greens) and top with your nicely poached chicken.

7. Now for the finishing touches. Add around 5 olives to each plate, plus a quarter of an avocado. We like to create an ‘avo slide’ by finely slicing the avocado and melding it into the shape of a ‘slide’ Refer to the photos

8. We keep our salad dressings simple with just olive oil, apple cider vinegar, himalayan salt and pepper.

9. Eat

M + S xx

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Spring Salad Series No# 4

Spring Salad Series

Shaved Beetroot and Shredded Chicken Salad with Quinoa and Spiced Cumin Yoghurt. 

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Recently we’ve been experiencing a croissant craving. Now, we don’t usually get immense food cravings as we eat a pretty balanced diet, incorporating all food groups and tune into what our bodies need on a daily basis. For some reason however, we’ve been really wanting to indulge in the buttery-ness and crispness of a freshly baked croissant. We’re thinking it’s the fact that we leave for europe in two months time (omg!) in combination with our desire to visit our favourite bakery in Melbourne – Tivoli Road Bakery. Literally the best bakery. We absolutely love everything about it. Mmm their smoked trout on rye is to die for. As well as their fruit toast (apparently, we’re yet to try it)

So last night we decided that this morning we’d make the long over due visit to our favourite bakery and indulge in the buttery-ness and crispness of their famous croissants.

Best Decision Ever.

After our delicious breakfast we stopped by the markets and bought some fresh deli sicilian olives, goats feta and organic grass fed lamb straps (for dinner tonight!)

With the beetroots, chicken and quinoa that we already had in the fridge, we put together this fun, italian inspired spring salad. To go with our french inspired breakfast of course. 

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Ingredients (Serves two as a main dish)

-3 small beetroots

– 6 leaves of rainbow chard

-1 cup of pre cooked quinoa (we make big batched and leave in the fridge)

– Half a punnet of strawberries

-1 chicken breast (poached and then shredded with a fork)

– 10 sicilian olives

– 2 – 3 tablespoons of full fat greek yoghurt

– 1 teaspoon of cumin (can use less if you find cumin too strong)

-1 teaspoon of tahini

– A few leaves of flat parsley

-Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

-1 teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees celsius. Whilst you’re waiting for the oven to warm up, leave the beetroots whole and cover them with aluminium foil. Finely chop your rainbow chard and layer evenly on two plates.

2. When the oven is ready, place the beetroots on the middle rack and bake for about half an hour.

3. As the beetroots are in the oven, heat up a saucepan of water on the stove with a tad of salt and bring to the boil. As you’re waiting for the water, you can prep your chicken by dicing up the breast into generous sized pieces. (You can also poach the chicken whole, however this will take you more time)

4. When the water is boiling, pop in your chicken. It will take about 6-8 minutes to poach (depending on the size of your pieces). It is important to keep a close eye on it as you don’t want it to over cook!

5. As the beetroots are in the oven and the chicken is poaching, heat up your quinoa on the stove (ours was pre-cooked so we just had to quickly re-heat) and start to prep your yoghurt. Grab a small bowl and scoop in two to three tablespoons of full fat yoghurt. Add your cumin, tahini and pepper and mix together. Set aside. You can also slice your strawberries either in halves or quarters.

6. The chicken should be ready by now so remove from the stove and drain. Poached chicken should be extremely tender so shredding with a fork should be relatively easy. Basically just ‘stroke’ the pieces with your fork so they almost rip apart. (Sorry that’s a little hard to explain). Set the chicken aside on a plate

7. Remove the beetroots from the oven and test whether you can insert a knife through the middle. If you can they are ready to be finely shaved with either a sharp nice or a large grater. Finely shave the beetroot and place half onto of the rainbow chard that you have already placed on the plates.

8. Evenly distribute the quinoa onto the two plates, alternating with beetroot, shredded chicken, sicilian olives and strawberries. You’re basically layering your ingredients.

9. Now top with a dollop of your yoghurt that you set aside just moments ago and garnish with himalayan salt, pepper and parsley. You can also drizzle with some olive oil if you wish!

10. EAT

We hope you enjoy it! Please let us know what you think!

Oh and also, head over to Tivoli Road Bakery in Melbourne and indulge in one of their croissants.

M + S xx

Spring Salad Series #3

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It’s the middle of the week which means it’s Spring Salad time!

After a morning spent watching the french news, eating a version of our famous breaky boards and swimming laps at our local pool, we came home and made a ‘Herb Salad Party’. We call this a party as we literally added so many herbs from our garden! Well only parsley and mint were actually invited…

Anyway, in went these herb babies with the rest of our ingredients and the end result tasted like sunshine and gardens.

So good, so spring.

Oh and we leave for Europe in 10 weeks and we are so damn excited. 

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Ingredients 

Serves two hungry twins after a swim

-1 small organic avocado

– 1 cup of peas

– 1 cup of cooked quinoa (we cook up a big batch at the beginning of the week and store in the fridge for quick and easy lunches)

– 2 cups of shredded spinach

– 1/2 a cup of finely chopped mint (and a few extra whole leaves for garnishing)

– 1/2 a cup of finely chopped parsely

– 1 can of organic sustainably caught mackerel in olive oil

– 1/3 cup of fresh blueberries

– Himalayan Salt to taste

– Pepper to taste

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Method

1. Heat up the quinoa and peas either in a saucepan with a dash of water or in a microwave if you’re short for time. Again, as mentioned in the ingredients – we pre-cook our quinoa.

2. As the quinoa is heating up, start finely chopping your spinach, mint and parsley. Also, slice your avocado into small cubes.

3. Add the greens and the avocado to the warm quinoa and pea mix. Thoroughly mix with your hands and evenly distribute onto two plates.

4. Now for the toppings! Add half the can of mackerel to each dish and drizzle the oil evenly between the two. Finish with topping with the freshest and plumpest blueberries you can find!

5. Garnish with the last couple of mint leaves and a tad of pepper and himalayan salt.

All done, ready to gobble up.

 

 

Rich Cacao and Espresso Mousse

For all you dessert lovers out there! And coffee lovers, and banana lovers…

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Ingredients  (will yield two large servings or 3-4 small servings)

– Two small/medium ripe bananas

– Two tablespoons of raw cacao (we use loving earth)

– One tablespoon of ground (good quality) espresso coffee

– Pinch of himalayan salt

– 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon

– Fresh blueberries or rasberries

– Dash of distilled water


Method

1) Place all the ingredients into a food processor. Blitz them until you get a smooth consistency, adding water if you feel as though it is a tad dry

2) Place in fridge for a couple of hours before serving

3) Top with the berries! Serve in small ramekins or just use a spoon and share with your loved ones

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Spring Salad Series #2

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We’re off to Europe in exactly 10 weeks. It’s no secret that we are completely, 100% obsessed with everything to do with the European culture. The fresh food, old buildings, their train systems, cute bakeries, red wine (lots of red wine), the coop (only a few people would understand this), friendly people and most importantly our family in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Our love for Europe has come to a stage where we are trying to set up camp over there, permanently. This means a lot of research, visas, Italian passports, what do we do with our clothes?! how much money do we need? etc. It has been quite a headache. But so worth it.

Amongst this research, we have been taking our time in the kitchen, cooking and creating beautiful recipes to share with the world. As we have started our Spring Salad Series, this week we had to come up with salad number 2! Feeling a bit sluggish today, we opted for a lighter salad, bringing us back to our European summers.

Hope you enjoy this meal! Make sure to share it with family and close friends, no one likes eating alone.


Fennel, Celery, Rocket and Sardine Salad with black Sesame

Organic Ingredients

Serves two

Half a fennel

One celery stalk

Two handfuls of rocket

Two small oranges (we picked these from our garden)

One can of sardines in olive oil

One teaspoon of black sesame seeds

Few sprigs of fresh parsley

Two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)


Method

 Quite simple, no need for the stove or any other appliances

– Wash fennel and celery thoroughly

– Roughly (julienne) slice the celery and fennel

– Prepare two plates, and place one handful of rocket on each. Then top with the fennel and celery

-Peel the two oranges, and slice into thin circles (we’re not too sure how to explain this but we’re sure you will understand what we mean..). Place oranges onto the plates

– Divide the can of sardines in half and top onto the salads

– Sprinkle with black sesame, EVOO, pepper and salt. Oh and don’t forget the parsley!

– Serve with fresh dark bread (we had ours with some wholemeal organic spelt crackers)

– Bon Appetit!

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