Toasted Muesli with Almonds, Coconut and Dark Chocolate

This healthy, hearty, homemade breakfast is so much better than store-bought cereal. Recipe by @cookieandkate,

This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill.

Growing up, my mom wouldn’t allow any sugary cereal into the house except for the exceedingly rare box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which we ate right out of the box like candy. Because it is candy.

I was otherwise opposed to cereal. I never liked my mom’s choice of cereal—the healthy, fortified, fiber-rich stuff. On a more fundamental level, I couldn’t understand the appeal of cold milk and soggy stuff in a bowl. It’s like cold soup! Can anyone back me up on that?! Plus, I hated the sound of metal spoons scraping against bowls so early in the morning. I swore off the whole category and switched to toast with peanut butter.

muesli ingredients

I crinkled my nose at the cereal bar in the dorms and carried on in my toast-eating ways until junior year, when I moved to France for a semester abroad. There were no toasters in the dorms. Also no refrigerators or microwaves, just a stove. I stored my food in a cabinet in my little room and quickly learned how to get by.

At the French grocery stores, I found milk that didn’t require refrigeration until opening. I also discovered on my own that I could just not refrigerate the milk for a day or two after opening. (I’m fine, Mom!) Then my friend Mandy introduced me to the magic that is the French cereal aisle. The French know how to make some tasty, chocolatey cereal. After all my years of vocal cereal-hating, I survived on cereal in France.

Continue to the recipe…

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10 Books I Hope Fergal Reads

berry crumbles-3

Normally I love flying. But late last year I had one of those trips where I started to worry whether we were going to make it.

I’m not sure if it was because I’d had a big night out with the girls in Melbourne, or if it was being at the very back of the plane, or the rough storm we were flying through or a combination of all three.

Fortunately I survived, but the experience did make me think about what I would want to pass on to Fergal if something were to happen to me.

I realised it’s an easy one to answer. I hope my boy inherits my love of books and reading.

The fact that he’s constantly asking me to read the Gruffalo, Spot, Dr Seuss or Thomas the Tank Engine looks like we’re heading in the right direction…

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I thought I’d do something a bit different to celebrate and share a list of books I hope he reads one day.

10 Books I Hope Fergal Reads One Day

1. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
I love all of Tim Ferriss’ books but this is his first and I think the most helpful. This was the one book that took me from dreaming about starting my own business, to actually quitting my job and doing it. 5 years later I haven’t looked back. Thank you Tim!

2. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
Love, love, love this for inspiring possibilities.

3. May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein
I love Gabby’s philosophy that happiness is a choice we can all make.

4. Goals! by Brian Tracy
I’m a big believer in setting goals and this is the best book I’ve read on helping be as effective as possible.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
An oldie but a goodie.

6. Money, Master the Game by Tony Robbins
One of those topics that isn’t great to talk about but is super important. Of all the personal finances books I’ve read, this is the most comprehensive.

7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Another classic that I re-read every few years.

8. Focus by Leo Babauta
Actually I hope Fergal starts following Leo’s brilliant blog, Zen Habits which introduced me to the principles of minimalism and the joy of living a simple life. But since we’re talking books, I’ve included Leo’s brilliant print book here.

9. Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
The key to getting over procrastination and getting things done. Enough said.

10. The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater
It might surprise you that there is only one cookbook in this list but I feel like there’s enough here on Stonesoup for Fergal to get a sense of my philosophy of cooking. However, in terms of food writing inspiration, I can’t go past my favourite, St. Nigel.

A Mother’s Day Celebration!

I still have mixed feelings about mothers day. Now that I’m a mum, I do enjoy getting spoiled but it’s also a time when I really miss my own mum more than usual.

Over the years I’ve developed a bit of a Mother’s Day tradition on Stonesoup to do something special with my first print book, ‘And the Love if Free‘, which is a collection of my mum’s recipes. And another book I should add to Fergal’s reading list so he can know what his ‘grandmama’ was like.

This year you can get FREE SHIPPING anywhere in the world if you order before 10th May.

For all the details go to:


David’s Berry Crumbles

It’s funny, I always associate crumbles with apple or rhubarb and had never played around with other fruit. But when I made these berry crumbles for one of my ‘Jules & David Project‘ meals, they instantly became my favourite Summer dessert. I know my mum would have adored them which is why I chose to share the recipe today.

enough for: 2
takes: 40 minutes
2 cups berries
100g (2/3 cup) plain (all purpose) flour
50g (1/3 cup) sugar
50g (1/3 cup) grated butter
60g (2/3 cup) almond flakes (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Divide berries between 2 x 1 cup baking dishes or ramekins.

2. Combine flour and sugar in a bowl. Toss in the grated butter and use a fork or your fingers to smash the butter into the flour mixture.

3. When the butter and flour looks like lumpy bread crumbs stir in the almonds (if using). Scatter the mixture to cover the berries leaving it fairly loose.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden brown.

5. Serve warm with cream or ice cream or both.


gluten-free – replace flour with 50g (1/3 cup) each rice flour and chickpea flour or use your favourite GF flour combo.

budget – replace some or all of the berries with finely diced apple.

not berry season – use frozen berries or play around with whatever fruit you have on hand. Stone fruit are lovely – just chop small enough so they will cook at in same time as the topping.

sugar-free – replace sugar with granulated stevia to taste… A few tablespoons should do the trick.

dairy-free / vegan – replace butter with 3-4 tablespoons neutral flavoured oil. Macadamia oil would be perfect.

nut-free – just skip the almonds.

paleo – skip the crumble topping and just scatter almonds over the berries and roast until almonds are golden. Serve with coconut cream or coconut yoghurt.

And if you’re following the Jules & David Project, the latest installment is now available!

Hope you have some lovely plans for Mother’s Day!

Big love,
Jules x

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Brussels Sprouts Pizza with Balsamic Red Onions

Brussels sprouts pizza -

Today, we’re celebrating Erin with pizza! Yep, the same Erin from last Friday’s panzanella salad. Like I said, we’re pals. She’s having a baby boy soon! I found out last fall when our Napa visit last fall turned into a tour of San Francisco instead. Just wait until Erin and Mike take you to the San Francisco Ferry Building for the farmers’ market, little guy.

red onion and brussels sprouts

This pizza has been exasperating me for the past week. I knew I wanted to put Brussels sprouts on it, but what else? After several prototypes, including red onions on top, pesto on bottom and a failure of a creamy spinach sauce, it finally occurred to me to use balsamic, caramelized red onions as the base. That’s the ticket!

Continue to the recipe…

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Erin’s Spring Panzanella with Fresh Peas and Fennel

Healthy spring panzanella -

I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoy live music. Isn’t that terrible? I just don’t keep up with shows that come through town because I don’t have a default music buddy to go with me. Last night, Jordan texted me as I was photographing this salad with a super last-minute, free ticket to see Ok Go. Since I’m “the friend who’s up for anything!” I drove right there to meet them. And it was AWESOME.

Few sights fill me with more glee than watching others jam out in their own element, and Ok Go really jammed out. The visuals! The dancing! The brilliant, unique, goofy determination and talent behind it all! That’s self-actualization at its finest, not to mention most entertaining. I loved every minute of it.

spring panzanella ingredients

I experience the same tizzy awe every time I crack open a book created by a friend. The newest arrival is The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen by Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella. It’s a cookbook that offers fifty base recipes, each with four seasonal variations, for a total of two hundred. Erin is a recipe-creating machine and I love having a tangible copy of her hard work.

Erin asked me to help her test out the recipes for this book last year and this salad was one of them. Now that I can share it with the world, I just couldn’t resist. This spring panzanella features fresh greens, raw peas (which are really good!) and pea shoots (found at Trader Joe’s), thinly sliced fennel and freshly baked, whole grain croutons tossed in a lemony dressing. Her final recipe calls for minced garlic scapes, which are green onion-like shoots that grow out of garlic if you let them. I used pressed garlic instead. Congrats on a job well done, Erin!

Continue to the recipe…

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Fresh Mango Salsa

Fresh mango salsa recipe, perfect for tacos, potlucks and more!

Today marks five years since my first post on Cookie and Kate. This date usually passes by without much fanfare, but five years! My baby’s in kindergarten now. Sniffle. This blog really is my baby. I’ve written every post and designed every square inch of it myself, all with Cookie by my side. (She says hello, and would you please pass the mango?)

I bought all the ingredients to bake a cake to celebrate, then my dishwasher broke down. I was not about to wash all those dishes by hand. So, let’s shout happy birthday with this mango salsa recipe that I made for a potluck last weekend. It’s colorful, right?! Almost looks like confetti up close.

mango salsa ingredients

Come to think of it, salsa is actually the perfect anniversary recipe since my first recipe was for salsa. That post broke records for this blog back then. Three comments in one day! Those kind words made me giddy and made me think, hey, I could post more recipes. Here we are—1826 days, countless late nights, three jobs, four apartments and nearly 400 recipes later—with a dedicated food blog.

I owe each of you a giant thank you. Thank you for visiting, commenting and sharing my recipes with your friends and family. I literally wouldn’t have posted more recipes if it weren’t for those comments way back when. Your comments, emails and Instagrams keep me motivated even when the going gets tough and your visits let me do what I love for a living. Thank you.

Continue to the recipe…

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Our New Favourite Potato Recipe

Hassel Back Spuds-3

My husband is Irish. So you probably won’t be surprised that the humble spud is the vegetable that raises the most excitement around here.

Yes, we take our potatoes very seriously.

So much so that GB and I have often talked about writing a book dedicated to all things potato. We’ve come up with a name, ‘Potato Love’ and a rough list of recipes. But that’s as far as we’ve gotten.

As you can imagine, I’m always on the lookout for interesting potato recipes to keep my boys happy.

When I saw these Hasselbacks by Nigel Slater, I knew they were going to be a winner.

Oh boy, are they a winner. Even worthy of our ‘new favourite spud’ title.

And I don’t make such claims lightly…


Hasselback Potatoes

Inspired by my favourite food writer, Nigel Slater. I’m not really sure why they’re called Hasselback but if that’s what St. Nigel calls them, that’s reason enough for me. The thing I really love about them is you get the crisp lovely outer and fluffy middle similar to a classic roast spud but without the hassle of having to boil the spuds first. Maybe they should be renamed hassle-free spuds?

enough for: 2
takes: about an hour
4 or more spuds
4 tablespoons duck fat (melted) or oil
2 sprigs thyme or rosemary (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Scrub potatoes. Finely slice each spud about 2/3 of the way through. Repeat all the way along the spud making the cuts as close together as you can. But don’t stress about it.

2. Place the potatoes with the cut side up in a baking pan. Drizzle over a tablespoon of duck fat or oil on each spud and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

3. Bake for 45 minutes. Spoon some of the hot fat over each potato and add the herbs (if using).

4. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Serve hot.


which variety of potato? – you can use anything you’d normally roast. I used dutch creams in the picture above. Just try and make sure they’re all about the same size so they cook in the same amount of time.

vegetarian / vegan – don’t use duck fat. Use whatever oil you normally use for roasting spuds.

classic roast spuds – if you don’t like the idea of cutting through the spuds so many times, here’s my tried and tested recipe for the ultimate roast spud.

complete meal – serve anywhere you’d normally serve roast potatoes. Nigel Slater serves his with a whole baked camembert and some jamon. Not such a bad idea!

garlicky – add some whole unpeeled garlic cloves about 1/2 way through cooking.

Video version of the recipe.

What about you?

Got a favourite potato recipe in your house? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Big love,
Jules x

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20 Gluten-Free Dinner Recipes

Simple, vegetarian Thai green curry recipe featuring asparagus, carrots and spinach!

Good morning! I’m sipping from a giant mug of coffee with Cookie curled up on my feet, so we’re off to a good start. Today, I thought I’d share a collection of my favorite recipes that are both vegetarian (as always) and gluten free. These are the kinds of dinners that we make at girls’ night, since two of us follow gluten-free diets and I complicate matters by being a vegetarian.

The more restrictions, the more difficult menu planning can be, but I hope you’ll find plenty of inspiration below! You’ll see rice-based dishes, like risotto and Mexican meals, some creative quinoa dinners, hearty salads, quiche and more.

I had a hard time narrowing down the options to an even twenty, so click here for my complete gluten-free category. You can always access it by hovering over ALL RECIPES in the header menu, then mousing down to DIET > GLUTEN FREE. Enjoy!

No. 1: Thai Green Curry with Spring Vegetables

“This was great!! Super easy and yet it also had depth of flavor. I enjoyed it very much. Served it with quinoa instead of rice!” – Sara

Continue to the recipe…

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Migas with Black Beans & Austin Restaurant Guide

Tex-Mex migas with crispy baked tortilla chips, like they make in Austin! Plus, a list of restaurants you can't miss on your next trip to Austin, Texas.

Well, it’s about time! It’s been six weeks since I got back from my month of endless tacos and margaritas in Austin, Texas. Full credit goes to Ali for coming up with the idea to head south with our pups for the coldest month of the year, and I’m so glad we did.

We drove down separately with our dogs as our co-pilots and our trunks rattling with kitchen supplies. I caught up with her on I-35 near Oklahoma City and flailed my arm out the window with a stupid grin on my face. After a few months of talking about going to Austin for a month, we were doing it!

migas ingredients

Ali got there first, then I showed up and popped a bottle of Champagne, which we poured over ice like thirsty ladies do. We’re both independent, single introverts who are accustomed to living alone, so I think we were both mildly apprehensive about sharing a roof for a whole month.

Fortunately, Ali is a great roommate and our only heated discussions revolved around food. Ali is the salsa queen (don’t bring jarred salsa into her house!) and she was surprised to hear me wax poetic about ketchup. It’s true, I love ketchup, but don’t get me started on baby carrots. Ali insists on lemon in her water and unabashedly adores frozen margaritas. I rank tortilla chips based on their air-pocket-to-flat-surface ratio. This is the stuff we learned about each other during fourteen happy hour sessions together.

Continue to the recipe…

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Tropical Mango Spring Rolls with Avocado-Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Tropical mango spring rolls with avocado cilantro sauce, a fresh appetizer to serve at your spring/summer parties! -

This post is brought to you by Dark Horse Wine.

Finally! My friends and I resurrected our long-lost girls’ night last week. It was glorious. We have a few tiny people under our care now, so scheduling has become more challenging. I had all but given up hope on our weekly meet-ups until Alissa proposed a get-together last Monday. I offered to host, naturally, so we could have the whole place to ourselves.

mango spring roll ingredients

Six months had passed since our last ladies-only dinner, but we all remembered the drill. I’ll tell you how we do it in case you would like to start up your own, which I highly recommend! Basically, we coordinate plans in our little five-person Facebook group. In the past, we stuck to Wednesdays, which made scheduling easier. Everyone shows up roughly around our standard girls’ night dinner time (6:30-ish).

Continue to the recipe…

The post Tropical Mango Spring Rolls with Avocado-Cilantro Dipping Sauce appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

The No. 1 Meal Planning Mistake

Sweet Potato Hummus-2

Is meal planning something you struggle with? Well you’re definitely not alone!

Whenever I talk to Stonesoup readers about their biggest cooking problems, meal planning it always near the top of the list.

Last minute changes in plans and chaotic schedules are some of the most common problems. As is the fact that meal plans often ‘fall apart’ because you don’t ‘feel like’ eating what you’d planned to cook that night.

Then there were the people who struggle to come up with new ideas and feel bored with their current meal routine. And running through all this was the costly problem of wasted ingredients and leftovers going bad and having to be thrown out.

Sound familiar?

What IS the No. 1 Meal Planning Mistake?

In a nutshell, it’s deciding what you’re going to cook in advance and then building your shopping list around that plan.

Having a list of set recipes or dishes is problematic for a number of reasons. First, it takes a lot of time to figure it all out in advance. But the biggest problem is the lack of flexibility to cope with the changes that naturally come up with modern life.

It’s nearly impossible to predict that Wednesday is going to be the coldest February day on record and you’ll be craving a comforting bowl of soup, rather than the cool & light salad you had in the meal plan.

No wonder meal plans tend to get broken.

How Do I Avoid This Mistake?

You just need to learn how to ‘reverse’ the process.

It may sound a little scary, but in practice it’s a really liberating way of approaching meal planning. And it’s actually much quicker and easier than traditional meal planning.

Shopping and cooking this way, based on what looks best, is a skill that anyone can learn which is why I wrote the ‘2-Minute Meal Plan’.

Speaking of which…

2 Minute Meal Plan eCookbook

It’s actually been 3 years since I first released the 2-Minute Meal Plan eBook. It’s easily the most unusual book that I’ve ever written in that it’s all about showing you the easiest way to ‘reverse’ your meal plan and cook with the ingredients you have on hand using ‘template recipes’.

This frees you from the constraints of shopping lists and traditional recipes while providing the support you need to get healthy meals on the table with minimum fuss or effort.

For more details go to:


Sweet Potato Hummus + Lamb Cutlets

Fergal just loves sweet potato so I find myself roasting up a batch pretty much every week. A nice side effect is that we often have roast sweet potato in the fridge which I’m finding makes it way into my cooking more and more! See below for tips for the easiest way to roast sweet potato.

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
1 teaspoon each ground cumin, chilli, coriander & smoked paprika
6-8 lamb cutlets or other chops
250g roast sweet potato
2 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, peeled
green salad, to serve
big handful cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Combine spices with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium bowl. Season generously then toss in the lamb cutlets and allow to marinate for as long as you’ve got (if more than an hour cover and refrigerate).

2. For the hummus, whizz sweet potato, tahini, lemon and garlic in a food processor until you have a smooth paste or smash everything together with a fork. Taste and season with salt and maybe extra lemon or tahini.

3. Heat a frying pan or your BBQ on a medium high heat. Add lamb and cook for 3-4 minutes.

4. Turn the lamb and add the tomatoes and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until you’re happy.

5. To serve divide sweet potato hummus between two plates. Top with lamb and tomatoes and serve salad on the side.


to roast sweet potato – pop whole sweet potato (scrubbed but not peeled) on a baking tray. Roast in the oven 200C for about 45-60 minutes or until tender.

no roast sweet potato – use a drained can of chickpeas or white beans.

different spices
– if you don’t have all of the spices just use any combo of the above – you want about 4 teaspoons or less. Or just use 1 teaspoon of the chilli.

vegetarian – pan fry the tomatoes with the spiced oil and serve a fried egg or two with the hummus with the spicy tomatoes on top.

vegan – replace lamb with field or portabello mushrooms. Marinate and cook as per the lamb might take a little longer. Sliced eggplant steaks are another great alternative.

not tomato season – skip them or use semi dried tomatoes.

lamb alternatives – try a good old steak, pork chops or even salmon fillets. The spices are also great with good quality sausages.

Big love,
Jules x

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