Please meet my biggest, best book yet: Simplicious

Posted on September 29th, 2015

Simplicious hits bookstores today. No drum rolls please. I’m just pleased as punch that it’s here. It was two years of work. It’s 306 recipes. And I’ve taken a gamble here…it’s about how to eat your scraps. This book is my career highlight, my passion project, my obsession.

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An assortment of my mish mash meals…using up leftovers is a big theme in Simplicious

Sustainability has always been at the guts of my books, albeit camouflaged behind pretty recipes and shiny, smiley pictures of myself. My recipes use leftovers and secondary cuts of meat and I’ve used my sugar-free platform to promote doggie bags and, um, cauliflower, to the masses.

But Simplicious gets bolder.

* It elevates leftovers and sustainability to centre stage. Every single recipe is designed to cut wastage (food, time, effort, pans, palaver). In fact, even the scraps from the photography shoots were repurposed…into soup, pestos and staff lunches. Event the leftovers from these soups, pestos and lunches were repurposed…into the dress I wear on the inside cover!

No food was wasted in the making of this book!

* I set out to be 100 per cent authentic and transparent. I did the whole project. Even the illustration and graffiti, which I use to have chats with all you guys throughout the book (you’ll see what I mean when you get hold of a copy!)

(And herewith a LOUD BUY NOW prompt…I’m sorry!)…

Buy-Now-Button-1

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Trend alert: Talking in full sentences (and nicer times ahead)

Posted on September 28th, 2015

So shoot me down for being a bit hopeful, but I’m seeing a few “moments” that are adding up to a nicer picture than we’ve been dealt recently.

Found on fourtears.tumblr.com

Found on fourtears.tumblr.com

These zeitgeist observations tend to land you in trouble. Or they used to. You flag a personal thought or you simply put out an idea for discussion and you get shouted and trolled down, often for some pinnicky, side factor, or a typo, or a joke that lacked perfect nuance. That’s been the way for a while….for too long.

This has saddened me. This pouncing-for-the-sake-of-pouncing has shut down deeper, more reflective thought. It’s made women too self conscious to voice their feminism. It’s left bloggers, journalists and authors second-guessing and toning down their writing to avoid attacks from commentators who refuse to do the deeper thinking around an issue, instead putting their energy into shredding complex ideas with facile, destructive, binary judgement. And then click-baiting it.

And it’s left our political leaders talking in three-word slogans. Slogans that talk to policies that are facile, destructive and binary.

Stop The Boats.

No Carbon Tax.

No Queue Jumpers.

Sometimes Shit Happens.

Here in Australia we’ve had a very significant leadership change that we’re yet to absorb fully. But I found it telling Read more

What to leave out: The key to creativity

Posted on September 24th, 2015

I highly recommend long reading. Not least because of the lovely knowledge that unfurls from it. I also think that committing to a long read narrows, focuses, hones and gets you still. It’s the antidote to the frazzle of short-form toggling.

Image by Steve McCurry

Image by Steve McCurry

It’s a Sunday afternoon thing for me, to read all the lengthy prose I’ve collated during the week from the The New Yorker, Atlantic, The New York Times, The Monthly and The Quarterly Essay. I “flag for follow up” or email links and tweets to myself during the week. And then open them all at once and dive in. (Out of interest, how do you go about it, if indeed you do?)

All of which is a funny preamble to today’s good quote share that I pulled from The New Yorker long writer John McPhee’s essay on omission which, ironically goes on…and on (worth a long read!). It’s an Ernest Hemingway quote:

“If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them.

The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”

If you’re a writer, take note of this trick – cutting out stuff that you can gamble your reader will get, or will Read more