Choose now to live your Life in Balance. Beauty. Harmony.
... Welcome to Angels By The Sea: where Intuition Meets Nutrition.
beautiful new website here
come let's hang out on facebook for gorgeous community
and for feng shui: here, always.
I'd love to know what's going on with You? Psychic coaching? you'll get- and learn- it here!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Norway for new year? No, it's Your Way.

Hello beautifuls,

Happy Twixmas!  Are you finding it difficult?   Lots of us come down with a bump when dreams of bestest presents, happy families, quality conversation and even good weather expectations wouldn't, just couldn't be met.  The magic of Christmas makes us believe it could be so, but the magic of real-life means that the turkey gets burned and we end up eating roasties with bacon and eggs- laughing and making memories unprecedented!  

Instead of blaming ourselves and soothing that feeling of inadequacy with shop-shop-shop, you also could "don't do as I do", and set yourself up three weeks beforehand for disappointment.  

They say a cynic is a idealist who has had their heart trampled on.  The bitter shell of cynicism keeps us safe from feeling the magic and joy, not just of Christmas, but every day.  how sad.

I beg of you not to let disappointment you have suffered get in the way of your brilliant dreams and plans for the most stunning of years ahead, 2012.  We're still a few days away!  

There is still time to step away from the loveliness/chaos/fretful mind...

 into the quiet empty space where you yearn

to really pense about what a truly darling 2012 will look like for you.

Space comes first.  In the sanctity of your bathroom.  Your bath, even!  Your garden shed.  Your car parked in your favourite tree lined street, mobile phone turned off, no-one knowing where you are.  Just you.  And your shot at bliss.

A few questions I'm considering as a recovering cynic.  I'm not shouting to the world what this year will bring to me.  I'm even not offering up my soul for the use of God, this time.  I'm walking towards the light.  I'm feeling the pull of the yearn.  I'm finding safe guides.  I'm beginning, ever so gently, to put pressure on myself again.  For time is short my friends.  And it is the only thing we cannot get back...

Join me on the path to feeling your way to a truly darling 2012 in two easy ways...

1.  Find your animal totem.
The red robin's message includes understanding the power of happiness,
and being a guide for growth and renewal.
When we are full of spirit & humour no coldness can enter. 

ONE power animal guides and leads us through the year.  This creature has so much wisdom and is so pure of heart, I urge you to find it.  It's not domesticated:  you may already know what your power animal of 2012 is.  Otherwise, it is an animal you may come across; in your walks, in paintings or stories, in a vague inkling that you want to know more about them.  may I recommend a book and friend on this journey?:  "What the Walrus knows" by Sarah Bamford Seidelman.  

you need neither, but their beautiful presence in your life will open so much bizarre beauty.  Find your 2012 animal.  How?  Ask the angels before you sleep to show it to you.  (This is how I found mine, as well as much yearnings to see him on my walks, on a wintry branch, then in the first scene of the movie Gladiator, which we watched last night)  Next, google your animal as "Spirit Totem" ... and find out your message & guidance for 2012.

2.  What would be too painful to even consider for you, this time next year?
We can live day in and out running to patch up messes that could pull "life as we know it" to bits...or be so busy shining a new path and helping others that nothing can disturb our peace of course.  This is why we need to know what we want, and promise ourselves the worthiness to get it.  Maybe you have had disappointments this year.  

Are you willing to be in the same place this time next year?  Are you willing to let that happen again?  
Who are you really, and how do you live?

what's your year-end message, inspiring one?    and have you found your power animal?  I'd love to know! do share!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Beware of Justin Case! A Ghost of Christmas Eve.

Two dark ghosts of Christmas eve stalk us in western societies today.  I feel it's my obligation to shine light on them; their names are Justin Case and No T'enough.  
But no doubt, you'll have felt their presence already...

  Justin Case waits for us to venture out just for sticky-tape, timing it so we see our neighbour arriving home with their arms full of chocolate boxes.   "What if so-n-so drops by, or doesn't like what you've already got him?", Justin Case whispers in our ear.  We shudder, thinking it to be the cold winter wind. But his malicious seed has been planted.

No T'enough is friskier, more spiteful.  He fills our facebook pages with others excited plans!  He causes restaurants and directory assistance and shops telephone lines to be impossible to get through on!  He sends premature "Out of office" replies and causes our mobile phones to cut out mid-conversation.  He is a mischievous sprite who delights in the gathering together of flurried souls, fighting to buy the last roll of gold wrapping paper. He needs to do very little, for when we join with others under his influence, we all feed on that flurry, the competition, the inner desperation.  Then, his work is done.

If you have been touched by the cold grip of the Ghosts of Christmas eve, here's help:

1. Breathe.  Name them.  Tell them you're not afraid.
2.  My personal remedy; don't do so much today.  You've probably got enough- so there!, No't Enough.  You don't need any more "Just in case".

3.  Powerfully cleansing is to make your own cranberry sauce.  A bag of cranberries, 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup water simmering on the stove with the zest of half an orange brightens, warms and wards off these creeps of doubt.  But don't rush out to buy these... just a pot of water with orange peel, cinnamon and a few cloves will do the same trick.
4.  I also love to clean the house on Christmas Eve.  you could try it too- it's wonderful for finding hidden goodies perfect to wrap up in that last scrap of paper and ensures you wake up feeling excited and proud tomorrow, instead of with a regretful hangover from a ghastly- ghostly?- day of excess today.

wishing you love & beauty this Christmas,


Monday, December 12, 2011

O Happy Day~ recipe for a Winter Birthday Pavlova

Uh-Oh, a birthday with a big "0" in it.
And this close to Christmas, too!

Like all the Saggittarians I know, my lovely husband is a happy-go-lucky adventurer with his hands in as many pies as possible.

There was no way he was going to be left out of his Own plans for a birthday celebration!

Saggittarians are strong-willed and usually sociable.  But when there's something on their minds they can be impossible to cajole from their caves.  Such was the affliction here and we found that this saggy-trousers didn't want to share with friends or family much- well- at all, on his special day.  No party??? Oh, the curse of the "0" birthday!

Happily we both got inspired by a traditional Aussie recipe celebrated this time of year down under.  Importing it to the Isle of Man seemed an ideal alternative to a Winter Sun escape...

To make a PAVLOVA is so beautifully simple that even I, who quavers under the responsibility of making a pretty cake from scratch, let alone a BIRTHDAY cake, was doing jim-jiminies in the kitchen.

Thankyou to beautiful friends who encouraged me to make D's birthday beautifully simple and personally special.  Without your lovely suggestions- which I'll be sharing in another post!- I'd have been swept into the ocean of "not doing enough".  Instead, the day was perfectly fulfilling.  I hope you'll make a pavlova on a special day for your loved one, too!

Winter Pav.

You'll need:

  • 6 free-range eggs, seperated (whites needed only)
  • 1 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsps cornflour
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 teapoon vanilla essence
  • 300ml double or whipping cream (please choose organic proen to be better for our health and the planet) 
  • Selection of soft fruits to decorate (Down Under they favour kiwis, bananas and passionfruit puree.  Here I used pomegranates, sliced mango, banana and strawberries)
  1. In a clean dry bowl beat the egg whites til soft peaks form
  2. Slowly add the sugar one small pour at a time (I'd like to experiment next time by adding less sugar) and mix til just combined
  3. When all the sugar is beaten in, add the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract
  4. Spoon the mixture on to a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Spoon it into a round shape (you can trace a circle onto the baking parchment using a cake tin)  Alert:  it will keep round but may also expand widthways as well as upwards so allow plenty of extra paper at the sides.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated to 120 degrees C oven for 1 and a half hours or until firm to the touch.
  6. Once firm, turn the oven off and leave the meringue to cool completely in the oven with the door ajar.
  7. Whip the cream and slice the fruits prettily for decoration.
  8. Once the meringue base is cool, spoon the whipped cream over the base
  9. decorate with the fresh fruits and serve immediately.

~  To easily de-seed a pomegranate, soak it in a bowl filled with cold water for 5-10 minutes. Thank you Hannah Marcotti for this tip!  If you're the sort of darling that needs extra info, here is a resource for you.

~  Use a spatula to make round swirls n the meringue before placing it in the oven, looks so pretty upon finale.

~  Did you know, though high in sugar, this is a health conscious dessert?  Filled with fruit, wheat and gluten-free, and high in protein.  Enjoy in moderation!

~ What to do with the left over egg-yolks?  here's a recipe for a unique "Gold Cake" -you'll need a flour substitute if you're gluten-sensitive.  What about a healthy mayonnaise without additives ; a rich custard for a child who doesn't like eggs, or a delicious crustless quiche to use up lots of wilting green vegetables you've got hanging around?  What's your favourite recipe using eggs? Do share!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Got a dilemma? Just tune into WII FM

morning Angels...

Fancy a spot of mind reading to help things flow your way, today?

part of my Claim your Psychic Power for professionals program is a exercise called "Tuning into WII FM" 

It's an enlightening experience and I want to share it with you here.

We've done it here at home this morning- there's an important letter that needs sent to a difficult individual and we want a specific outcome...

Do you have to communicate with someone today and you feel it could be tricky?  
Want to guarantee a good outcome?

Here's How!
This takes all of 60 seconds- come on- try it...

1.  Grab a piece of paper and a pen, crayon or texta
2.  Draw however many people are in your dilemma.  In our dilemma this morning, it was just two:  my husband, and the individual concerned.  We drew a round head each.  If it's your dilemma, you will be one of the figures.

3.  Now this bit is important!- draw earphones or a headset on each head, and in a thought bubble:  "Listening to WII FM- What's In It For Me?"

4.  Under each of the figures list what's important to them.  In the interaction, and also their personal dreams, goals and desires... if you don't know, imagine being the other person.  What's their day like?  Picture their home life, their job?  What matters to them?

4.  When you list the same thing under more than one figure, this becomes a bonding point.  You must be sure to weave this into your interaction and identify to the other person that you share the goal too!

5.  By making sure your offer or communication fulfills or isn't in direct conflict with the other party's goals, your request is seen as kind and easy by the other.  They will be grateful for your communication and try and give you what you're seeking as far as possible- as if by magic!

Tuning into another's favourite radio station- WII FM - is a wonderful way to develop your powers of perception, compassion and clarity in communication.  It works great on stubborn kids, too!

Extra inspiration this new moon...

The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need to do is set our sails. 
-- Ramakrishna

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mercury Retrograde & Tomorrow's New Moon

IMPORTANT! NOV. 24th- TODAY: With Mercury in retrograde beginning shortly and solar eclipse + new moon in Sagittarius, today please make any decisions you have been putting off. 
Put your plan into action even in just small way by writing it down or taking a first step. 
Activities started in the next 12-15 hours will have much less risk of running into the obstacles Mercury throws up (such as communication glitches, travel plans gone awry, and social gaffes!!) this time round. 
Mercury stays in Retrograde til Dec 14 and we're out of it' effects Jan 1st completely.

Please contact me for an intuitive reading if you'd like to discover personally how your life could be impacted 
and which positive action steps the universe is guiding you to take now to minimise it's effects

dear friends... I popped this on my facebook this morning and want you to know too- wherever you are in the world there is still a few hours left to put plans into place which will make it much easier for you to overcome any obstacles Mercury may throw in you until Jan. 1.  Also... did you know?  Depending on your personal birth chart, Mercury retrograde can be your time to thrive.  You could be one of those very individuals who does better in a downturn than when all's shining on smooth!  

Towards your smooth and shining peace-

with love,



Warming up these wintry mornings...

these dark wintry mornings it's so tempting to stay in our pyjamas all day, isn't it?

(if we're not getting up to witness a sunrise like this, that is!)

Here's 3 peace-inducing ways to warm-up for your day as your computer comes to life each morning:

Stretch.   awakening all those helpful muscles which have been softly healing and supportive all night.  try to touch the ceiling and do a few belly-dance style figure of eights (easy how-to, here!) as you prepare your morning hot drink, switching on your core muscles for the day.

Brush your hair.  I love the first hair-brush of the morning.  It awakens my scalp and I like to think, sets my brain a-tingling!  It's also a little act of self-love which makes us feel cherished and pretty.  Focus not on the way your hair looks as you brush it, but how your roots and scalp feels with the rush of fresh new blood to them.

Make a wish.  Even just whispered into the computer screen, "please work well for me today".  If there is an event you're nervous about or dreading, instead of worrying or gathering strategies ad rabbit's feet to make sure it all goes to plan, immediately ask the Angels to make everything okay (and it is done).  You will be surprised just how peaceful you feel after this one simple thought.

Happy thanksgiving to my beautiful American friends! I love your presence in my life. This is for you, especially...

"Let gratitude be the prayer on which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.  And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good." - Maya Angelou

Do you count your blessings often?  Is it part of your morning wake-up ritual?  Do share!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Healing with rainbows, butterflies, spirit, knowledge... & love.

Hello, beautiful angels.

...wanted to share with you the most lovely AHA! moment I've recently been through.
As you may be aware, soon I'll be qualified as professional holistic health counsellor with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
My journey led me here.  
just as All our journeys have led us to where we are right now.

Spirit- mostly angels- and food have been the only constants in my surprising life and this AHA! has been discovering that it is through tying together the two I know I can shine my light most beautifully on the world.

It may have been the amazing experience of Holistic MBA live last week...

Or the recent letter I received from a client back from feng shui days who asked me if "my gifts had moved on"  ie. if I was no longer the psychic intuitive that I was; and so helpful with it, a few years ago... oh, this hurt, angels!

So I've VOWED to no longer stand with my back to the sun- or the Sea.  Ever.  Not in my work as a massage therapist, personal trainer, health counsellor or professional feng shui practitioner.  I'm not clinical.  Nor are my beautiful band of angels- the clients who seek me out wherever I hide on this planet, and call me to share their- Your- inspiring journey.

A clinical approach is not my way of healing.  In my belief, a clinical approach-  in life. in love. in health.  will not work.

It's all spirit. 
We are spirit.
(I'll teach you how to be your own psychic, too.)

So, welcome to spirit-based health and a dream life.
Welcome to my love and support on your journey
Welcome to Angels By The Sea therapy!

add your email here to increase your intuition, too!
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Yes, Samantha, spirit+health!!: What a journey! Count me IN!:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Powerful Ritual to Break through your Roadblock- FOR 11.11.11 & the waning moon

The Law of Attraction is the law of frequency.  Our vibration attracts it's match in the world around us.

When we're aware- as I know you are!- of the law of attraction, we can be so busy trying to be "up" or positive in our vibration--- that we supress what's underneath--- YET it's what's underneath that is our true vibration and what the world is responding to, not our surface positive thinking or desperate affirmations!  

I know I've done this... been thinking so positively, but inside asking why nothing's going right.  Have you had this experience, too?  Oh dear!  

SO-- what to do to truly lift our energy and start to see the marvellous manifestations we deserve?

Quite simply we can't bottle deep worries, the quiet fears anymore.  We have to bring them out into the open and clear them.  This is an amazingly effective process especially when done at a date and time the universe supports you.  It's the extra THRUST of support we need to step permanently up on the next ladder-rung of vibration.  
Where more good things start showing up.  More regularly.

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Yes, Samantha, send me the Ritual to destroy my Road-blocks~ 11.11.11 and beyond!:

The date and time for your clearing process, to finally look at and shatter the negative beliefs that are creating a road-block for you, is this Friday, 11th November 2011.
11.11.11.  Ideally in the 11th hour of your local time.

new feedback:
"i just received it and it's awesome!  thanks Samantha!"- Lisa
"got it and Love it!" -Heather
"this is a really lovely ritual, Samantha." -Wendy

NOTE:  now it's beyond 11.11.11 you can STILL use & get great effect this ritual during the waning moon- until 24th November!

Notice it's all about the number 1's.  I invite you to carve out a few minutes at this time for the only person in this world that can change your life for the better- YOU.  I know you are a caring, compassionate and very aware being.  You deserve to clear any underlying thoughts that are getting in your way.

Please add your email in the sign-up box to receive the short, powerful Ritual on Friday that will uncover whats not working for you... and create the space for you to leave it in the past.

Yes, it's completely free.

This short Ritual is powerfully built on the principles of the law of attraction and my training as a master practitioner of NLP and Hypnotherapy.  I'm newly jazzed from the excellent road-block busting work I learned at Holistic MBA live last week in Philly and can't wait to help you take an amazing step forward.

11.11.11 is too good an opportunity to miss out on to leave your fears behind:  simply, safely & forever. 

Enter your email to receive the Ritual for Friday, below.

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Yes, Samantha, send me the Ritual to destroy my Road-blocks on 11.11.11~ and beyond!:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Keep Up the Joy! Your Tribe for love and support.

dear beautifuls,
Hi from New York City!  

I'm marinading in the afterglow of 4 days surrounded by some of the most inspirational, loving and refreshing people on the planet.  I'm so grateful to have been part of Holistic MBA LIVE in Philly and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition's Rock the Ripple conference!

Now it's over, I find the unstoppable urge for the next positive energy hit- and I want you, with me.  You are part of this tribe.  You are one of the most inspirational, loving and refreshing people on the planet!  So I want to share with you what that next positive energy, rock your world with love event is...

so delicious.  so powerful.  and you don't even have to get out of your pyjamas for this one!
It's called the Holiday JoyUP. extraordinary opportunity to join a community of heart-centred, simple-pleasure dedicated women for 10 days of true Joy, led by my mentor and muse Hannah Marcotti.

In Hannah's own words:
"As we approach the Holidays it is easy to lose focus on joy, we want magic and sparkly nights, not stress and fights! Pressures arise and we are faced with decisions to make and food indulgences on every table.

These 10 days are about connecting to daily gratitude, creating everyday magic, feeling filled with connection rather than sugar, truthfulness, radiating love, and that twinkle of inspiration for creating a season of joy."

You can find more about Hannah, her wonderful work with women, and her plan to help us all through the holidays here.  

I became part of the JOYtribe in August and it is truly one of my favourite place to hang out in the whole wide world.  The support, love and positivity of the amazing tribe is pure positive energy.  This kind of support will change your life!

Buy Now 
Hannah's 10 day program and unlimited lifetime membership to the JOYtribe is a pay-what-you want program.  That's right- whatever feels affordable for you.  

I was so grateful and moved by August's Joy program, this time I doubled my contribution!  -- and it still doesn't come close to touching the value I know I'll get out of it.  

Beautiful friend, as one of my tribe, I invite you to come with me and join a bigger circle.  New friends.  Such beautiful thoughts.  Fresh eyes, sparkles and butterflies.  Starts Nov. 23. , and your JoyTribe is already waiting for you!  "See" you there!Buy Now 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ocean healing, Isle of Man

Just today I had the most amazing animal experience.

Have you?  Ever had something change in your life, and an animal has stepped forward?  Did you fall off a swing and your dog came up to sit with you to lick your salty tears?  Did you get a heartbreak and your cat was your shadow?  Were you alone for a winter in a foreign city, but became friends with a bird, squirrel, or rabbit?

This morning I walked our beach with a confused heart over a female friend.  Something caught my eye in the sea- i looked, but couldn't see anything.  I think I am imagining it.  

I stop to offer my sadness to the sea.  Staring out with soft eyes.  Listening to the gentle whoosh, wave + shore.  And up pops a head.  It is looking at me.  No fear.  All curious.  Even... inviting.  

Next I do something I wouldn't have hesitated to do in Australia- anywhere on the east coast!- and yet, in over 5 years, I've never done in the UK.  I entered the ocean.  I waded in, in my running gear, and the sea wasn't cold.  
I waded past the breakers, where the gentle swell lapped up to my chest and took my breath away.  And I sang to the Seal, to call him to me.  I want to see your big eyes, full of compassion and love.  I want to touch you.  I want you to take my pain away.  I want to feel love, again.

He disappeared and popped back up, more times than a few!  Then he was joined by another- grey head this time!  I was too chicken to go swimming.  But I loved that he was playing with me.  The experience cleansed me like nothing else.

Back at home, I googled what a Seal appearing in your life means.  I'd like to share it with you:   

"Seal, Sea Lion: Symbol of The Inner Voice

By Ina Woolcott

Seal's medicine includes protection during change, dreaming and lucid dreaming, imagination, creativity, protection from danger, movement through emotions, the inner voice

Seals as sea mammals, are highly symbolic of our feeling, sensual selves. The seal helps us to remember our connection to our deep inner rhythms, feelings, and knowing, as represented by the sea. Seal being a good swimmer and knowing how to flow with the ever changing current, reminds us how to swim with the current. When we do this the negative feelings we have created such as worry, fear and anxiety are released from our minds. If seal enters your life, you are being asked to review the ebb and flow of your thoughts and emotions and find and keep up a point of balance.
Water is a creative element and symbolises the feminine imagination and intuition. If the seal appears in your life, pay close attention to your imagination and insight - in the waking stateand in dreamtime. A lot of what you imagine generally has a strong basis in reality, no matter how far-off it may seem.

They teach those with this totem how to flow, how to hear, and how to discover the deeper mysteries of their true nature. Seals are keepers of wisdom. They reveal to us what is hidden deep within ourselves, and teach us how to integrate our imagination with the reasoning power of the intellect. This will give balance and harmony on all levels.

The seal which is so sleek and gorgeous in the water, teaches us how to feel at home in our bodies, and to uncover our inner beauty. "

Thank you for sharing!  if you have a comment, do add below!  and yes, for some reason, I believe that seal was a "he" :)

Terracotta pizza vs. ...

Last night we were on a mission to test Jamie Oliver.

As a long-time purveyor of pizzas-from-scratch; I needed to test that the terracotta pizza dish from Jamie's homewares line, Jamie at Home, could become the new cooking and serving plate of choice (because no matter how delicious, a black tin fresh and smokin'from the oven just doesn't serve up pretty.)

Before the girls arrived, I prepped two fresh pizzas. Toppings of homemade tomato passata, sliced green pepper and chorizo; just like Guiseppe at Brindisi of Stirling taught my husband, and husband taught me (don't worry! I streeeetched out the learning process! YUM.) ... topped with a mixture of cheddar + mozzarella, doused in fresh black pepper and drizzled with our own chilli oil.

It's not warm here, so both rested on the bench for about half an hour while we warmed into the Jamie party, ooohed and ahhed over the goodies, and gossiped about his cooking. 
I explained the challenge, then at 220C for 16 minutes into the oven the pizzas went. Terracotta plate on top shelf... I somehow felt I had to give it a hand!

When the pizzas came out we poured another glass of wine each, and speculated for another ten minutes before the final test!

QU's for YOU:

  1. Did the pizza cooked in the terracotta Jamie dish brown on the underside at all?
  2. Which pizza was crispier/drier at the sides?
  3. Which seemed to have more moisture evaporated?
  4. Which was tastier?
  5. Which would make a gorgeous dish to make or bring; armed only with your Jamie Oliver pizza wheel & spatula, no extra serving dish required?

To find the answers, have a Jamie Party on the Isle of Man!!! only kidding!; you just do that to get the recipe :) (email me here)

So, honestly.if you aswered:

  1. Yes- slightly
  2. The pizza cooked in the tin
  3. The pizza cooked in the tin
  4. Equally tasty
  5. The Jamie Oliver terracotta dish- so stylish, definitely deserves a gorgeous pizza wheel on it's arm!

then you really and truly didn't need to read this- except- did you know- Jamie Oliver has a tin pizza tray in his homewares selection as well! can't wait for the next test!

In sum, even though I am a Jamie at Home consultant; I was initially skeptical.  But the beautiful way the terracotta presents really did take the cake- ahem, pizza- over the tin.

as a little tip, for a browned base all the way through,  I'll make the terracotta plate REALLY hot in the heated oven first before gently placing my pre-prepared pizza on it, next time.

Loving the recipes in Jamie's Great Britain- new number 1 bestseller (interesting review here) if you believe I can give you a copy at £24 off the rrp... please get in touch or leave a comment below!

What to bring to a Jamie Oliver Party

A few new friends & I enjoyed the most delicious Jamie at Home Party last night.

When you host a Jamie At Home, it's not compulsory you're a dynamite DIY cook- a bag of crisps and some cut up carrots would be enough! Guests that don't bring their own wine are after a glass of water or cup of tea- easy!- and the conversation is aways. So. Good.

I'm experimenting with food these days. The experiment is to take the tastes we love; the tastes we may be secretly addicted to; and ease us ourselves out of it gently. So I home-made these muffin-tin quiches for the party. Aren't they cute? Leek & cheese, salt n pepper the only filling. 

Yes, I used ready-roll puff pastry. But it's a really healthy take on any store-bought alternative filled with g-knows-what. 

They are lacto-ovo vegetarian (check your pastry to make sure it doesn't contain animal fats) and low sugar, too.

See the crispy bottoms?
So simple.

Here's how!

I used 2/3 block "just-rol" or enough thin refrigerated puff-pastry discs to fill 18 regular muffin-pan holes.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200/380
  • Lightly grease & flour a muffin baking tray. Using a large mug (Jamie's Mug in a Tin works perfect!) or pastry cutter, place pastry discs in the muffin tray. The pastry discs need only to come up a quarter or half of the sides of the muffin space as it puffs up and protects/forms remarkably!
  • Pierce the bottoms of the "muffins" with a fork and pre-bake in your oven for 10 mins. Meanwhile...
  • Bring a small fry-pan to medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon butter with a tiny bit of olive oil (prevents the butter burning) Slice 1 large leek up to the darker green bit, and sautee in the butter/oil, gently, for 10 mins. We want the leeks softly brown.
  • Whisk 4 large eggs with a fork or egg whisk in a jug. Season with salt n pepper. Grate 100g cheddar cheese into the mixture and stir to combine.
  • Pull the muffin tray from the oven. Add about a teaspoon of leeks to each pastry, and top with a tablespoon or more of the egg n cheese mixture. 
  • Pop back in the oven for 15-20 minutes until pastry is brown around the edges... now, you'll have a delightful mini-quiche bubbling with melted cheese! delicious served with a green salad and fresh tomato salsa.

I really enjoy sharing with you healthy inexpensive dishes for entertaining! We were just 4 ladies and hostess Anna got to order £40 of goodies at no charge from the Jamie Oliver catalogue. Hope to share a party with you soon! send me a message here to get one before Christmas!

What do you take, or make, for a party that's inexpensive with a healthy twist? Do share with us, as party season begins!  Pop your comments below!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How to cook Quinoa- with a little help from my friends

Yesterday I was blessed to meet some lovely health-conscious souls at Holland & Barrett health foods.  We had lots in common- a desire for a delicious dairy alternative (I use Kara Coconut milk), quest to perfect our Gluten-free baking (Karina's Kitchen is my go to for this; so much information for gluten-free living!) and a LOVE of Quinoa.  But the question kept on popping up-  how to cook quinoa?

When I came home the hubs had chopped up some organic chicken and was at a loss on what to cook it with.  I felt like some fresh corn tortillas with lots of spicy vegetables, but he was hunting in the pantry for couscous, as he felt like "something light and not doughy" to go with the chicken.  As I've been slowly ousting the wheat and gluten from our diets there wasn't any couscous to be found; but we did have a great supply of quinoa, and dinner just fell into place after what I'd been chatting to others about all day!
yum. thanks to the Dinner Mom for this Curried chicken quinoa pic! 
How to cook Quinoa

Store-bought quinoa has usually been washed and air dried but always rinse the grain to get rid of any chaff or mold (uncommon if you buy pre-packaged quinoa, but best to take precautions as we do with any grains).  Quinoa isn't a grain in actual fact; it's a complete protein from the family of spinach.  This family contains saponin which can taste bitter; soaking the quinoa for 5 minutes before cooking, then rinsing once more further minimises the saponin effect.

I cook quinoa easily using the "absorption method"; the traditional (and in my experience, easiest) way to cook rice. Here's how:

  1. Oil a saucepan and heat it on high.
  2. Add 1 cup of quinoa and toast it on high for half a minute in the saucepan
  3. Add enough boiling water (I pour it straight from the kettle) to cover the quinoa + 1 centimetre.  Stir the pot, turn the heat down to low, and pop on the lid.  Your quinoa will be ready in 9-12 minutes!

You can tweak this basic recipe so easily:

  • to make a tasty savoury quinoa, add a teaspoon of vegetable bouillon or half a stock cube when adding the hot water.  A dab of butter at this time really amplifies the taste.
  • to make a porridge-type breakfast or sweet dessert quinoa, use milk, single cream or your favourite dairy substitute instead of the boiling water.  Bring up to near-boiling point before lowering the heat and popping on the lid of the pot.

I always use my nutrition school's concept of "cook once, eat twice" with wholegrains, so as we watch the Rugby World Cup final this morning we'll have a beautiful bowl of Breakfast Quinoa; adapted from the Savvy Vegetarian , to fuel us for the day.

Many thanks to Chris and Mandy at Holland & Barrett Douglas for the chance to meet your customers to share my passion for healthy living and the transformative power of Health Coaching.  It was a lovely experience.  And welcome to a healthy circle, all new friends!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Secret Carrot Cake (& Healthy Delicious Frosting for Dummies)

When you have people over there is SO much to do, isn't there?  It's not just "Get-the-vacuum and those-shoes-out-of-the-hallway".  It's rubbing off those smears down the wall that we actually don't mind unless someone else is looking; the fresh flowers to be brought in, cut and arranged which we really should do every week regardless of visitors or not!; improvements to the general scent about the place and shininess of the bathroom that needs attending to. Who has time to bake a fresh cake, leaving the home in a fuggy scent of warmth and spice, and present it frosted and freshly cut to guests?

Me. And You!  with this recipe.
The most discerning of my foodie friends and acquaintances (chef, naturopath, bakery-owner, primary teacher who gets lots of free baked goodies brought to her, tv crew of Come Dine With Me) just adore this cake. The secret?  it's prepped in 5 minutes, has three ingredients and is fool-proof delicious- especially with my Healthy Frosting for Dummies.

The 3 ingredients are:
1 packet of Wrights baking Carrot Cake mix
1 cup of chopped dates
1 cup hot water.

On the pack it suggests you'll need the packet, oil and water.  I'm sorry this recipe contains gluten; and I do feel a little guilty that it's basically a packet mix with a wholesome twist- hence the secret! But I'm not sorry that we can swap the 1/4 cup vegetable oil for a cup of dates soaked in hot water.
Have your cake- and don't feel so bad about eating it, too!

how to...

  1. Boil the kettle and in a heat proof bowl, cover the dates with a cup of hot water.  
  2. Leave for 10-15 mins until lukewarm, then add the packet mix and whisk for 1 min with an electric beater or 3 mins by hand.  If the mixture isn't sloppy enough to pour, add warm water whilst mixing to loosen.  Don't over mix or the cake will become tough and lose it's dense muffin-type chewiness.
  3. Leave to cook in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees/300F for approx 50 minutes in a lined loaf tin until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  

(Visitors coming?  You need a game plan.  I love to:
clean the house, 
make the cake
pop it in the oven
make myself ready
bring it out of the oven
set up the drinks display, ice and lemon
make the icing
receive my guests
after they've warmed up a bit with a drink and some chat, I go back into the kitchen to ice the cake
lovely photo from
then serve it
in that order :)

My Healthy Delicious Frosting for Dummies is thick greek yoghurt with just a bit of honey stirred through it.  Spread over the cake thickly, and sprinkle generously with dessicated coconut.

I hope you try it!  No matter how rustic it looks sliced into thick chunks...

(I believe... ) our guests don't remember whether there was a black mark on the wall.
They remember the lovely warm smell of baking when coming into a home, enjoying  refreshing cup of tea with cake, and how they got to take a big chunk of it home!

What's your secret recipe confession?  Do share, below!