What Fergal’s Mum Made…

mushrooms with butter beans

Back in January we had one of my wine making friends, Tobes, and his girlfriend, Anna, come to stay.

Fergal was instantly smitten with Anna, because she arrived on a train. Then she offered to take him on a walk to our dam.

This really sealed the deal because apart from listening to music and eating dark chocolate, there aren’t many things Fergal loves more than throwing rocks in the dam.

When they got back I was cooking dinner and Anna was looking through my cookbook collection and picked out a copy of my print book 5 Ingredients 10 Minutes.

Fergal sat next to her at the kitchen bench as she flicked through the book, showing him pictures and telling him ‘Your mum made a cook book‘.

It’s funny to observe what sticks in the mind of a 2.5 year old.

Now, 2 months later, when Fergal sees my book on the book shelf, he always says ‘Your mum made a cookbook‘.

It still makes me smile.

Anyway speaking of said cookbook, since it was originally published in March, I thought I’d share a recipe from the book to celebrate my book’s ‘birthday’.

These mushrooms with butter beans came to mind because one of my dear friends, Mitch, always tells me they’re his favourite quick meal whenever I see him. (Which unfortunately isn’t that often given he lives in Sydney).

If you’d like to find out more about the book that Fergal’s mum made go to:

mushrooms with butter beans

Mushrooms with Butter Beans

Mushrooms are one of my favourite veg. And I agree with Mitch, it’s hard to believe that such a simple meal could be so tasty. I’ve used portabello mushrooms but large field or pretty much any other mushrooms would be equally delicious.

enough for 2
Takes: 15 minutes
2-3 medium portabello mushrooms
1 can butter beans (400g/14oz), drained
2 tablespoons butter
squeeze lemon
2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

1. Heat a medium frying pan on a high heat with 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

2. Add mushrooms and fry, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are brown and softened.

3. Add beans and butter and cook until heated through.

4. Remove from the heat. Taste and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

5. Serve scattered with parsley (if using).


vegan – skip the butter and use olive oil instead.

carnivore – feel free to fry a few rashers of bacon in the frying pan first then cook the mushrooms. Or you could try serving with pan fried chicken or pork.

carb lovers / more substantial
– toss in cooked pasta.

paleo (gluten, grain + dairy-free) – replace butter beans with roast sweet potato.

more veg – serve with a green salad on the side. Or toss in a whole bunch of flat leaf parsley that’s been roughly chopped.

Big love
(from a newborn baby induced trip to sleep deprivation city),
Jules x

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Mediterranean Roasted Sweet Potato & Farro Salad

Mediterranean sweet potato farro salad recipe with kale, fresh mint and hazelnuts - cookieandkate.com

This post is brought to you by Blue Apron.

Sometimes, I like to imagine that I live a more glamorous food blogger existence. One in which lunch is more than a hodgepodge of cookbook leftovers, and I make myself proper dinners every night. This all takes place in my lovely, subway-tiled, self-cleaning kitchen (a girl can dream!).

My reality is far different. I’ve been intensely focused on photographing the breakfast chapter for my cookbook, so I have been living in yoga pants and surviving on scones lately. My dining table has moved to the middle of my living room, and a tripod now stands where my coffee table usually goes. Everything is a mess.

Blue apron salad ingredients

With impeccable timing, Blue Apron offered to send me three meal’s worth of ingredients (two portions each), complete with simple instructions on how to make them. They basically fed me a proper lunch for the first time in a week. It was amazing. I could have cried.

When life gets super busy, it’s so easy for healthy meals to fall by the wayside. Good dinners are more than just fuel—they’re a time to rest, recharge and connect with friends and family. They’re important, and they don’t make themselves.

Continue to the recipe…

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What to Cook This March

Learn what's in season this month at cookieandkate.com!

For once, I am early. I thought we might as well get a jump start on March (Happy Leap Day!). Spring is near Kansas City, that’s for sure. I’m thrilled for warmer weather, but the spring forecast for clouds and spring showers doesn’t bode well for cookbook photography. I’m chasing light through my house while the sun’s still out and praying for more sunshine. Please send your extra sun rays my way!

March brings fresh greens, peas and asparagus to the markets. You’ll find my March recipe picks below. We ended up with a strong taco theme, which I love. Don’t forget to post photos on Instagram when you make a recipe shown here—tag your photo #ckmarch and #cookieandkate so we can all share the experience!

If you’re looking for more March cooking inspiration, check out my full March seasonal post, which features even more recipes.

Continue to the recipe…

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It’s a BOY!

Sweet Potato Brownies-2

When we first found out we were pregnant, my trusty ‘app’ calculated the due date as 28th Feb. My first thought was maybe we’ll have a ‘leap year’ baby?

How cool would that be?

Well turns out young Finbar Brennan had other ideas.

But I’m so thrilled this little bundle of joy came early. Not that I’m biased or anything but he really is the cutest. Very similar to his doting big brother Fergal at this age.

We’ve been having the best ‘koala’ cuddles. Even in this 35C+ (95F) heat. I’d forgotten how divine newborns are.

To celebrate the safe arrival of Finbar do I have a recipe treat for you!

Sweet potato and brownies! Together at last! (and they don’t have any added sugar!).

I know. Lots of exclamation marks but I can’t help myself at the moment…


Sweet Potato Brownies

Having gestational diabetes has really opened my eyes to new ways of baking without adding sugar or flour. There’s a whole new world out there! After lots of experimentation, including growing my own, I’ve settled on pure powdered stevia as my fave low carb sweetener. I order mine online. It’s expensive but a tiny bit goes a super long way so not so bad when you look at cost per use.

Important note: the stevia I use is concentrated stevia on it’s own. NOT ‘Natvia’ type blends of stevia and sugar alcohols (usually erythritol). I’ve tried both and prefer the cleaner taste of pure stevia. Plus I worry about the impact of sugar alcohols on our (and more importantly our children’s) gut bacteria. If you don’t have pure stevia, see the variations below for alternative sweeteners.

These sweet potato brownies are still a bit carby but better than the alternative.

makes about: 12 squares
takes: 30 minutes
250g (9oz) roast sweet potato
200g (7oz) dark chocolate
200g (7oz) almond meal
1/8 teaspoon pure powdered stevia
4 eggs
pinch salt

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a rectangular slice pan (approx 18cm x 27cm / 7in x 10.5in).

2. Whizz sweet potato, chocolate, almond meal, stevia, eggs and salt in a food processor until you have a smooth mixture.

3. Spread mixture over the base of your prepared tin. Bake for 15 minutes or until the brownies feel firm on top.

4. Cool in the tin then chop into squares.

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no food processor? – melt chocolate and mash everything together with a fork.

no roasted sweet potato? – just scrub whole sweet potato and roast for 45mins to 1 hour at 180C (350F) or until really soft.

no powdered stevia? – replace with about 15 pitted dried dates that have been soaked in boiling water and drained. OR add maple syrup or honey to taste (about 4-5 tablespoons should do the trick).

nut-free – I haven’t tried this but you could try increasing the sweet potato and chocolate by 100g (3.5oz) each.

less patchy – the chocolate can be a bit chunky through these brownies so if you prefer a more uniform look, melt the chocolate before adding to the food processor.

Video Version of the Recipe.


Big love
(from the newborn cocoon),
Jules x

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Spiralized Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quesadillas

Amazing sweet potato black bean quesadillas with creamy avocado salsa verde (perfect for busy weeknights!) - cookieandkate.com

I really love this job of mine, but if I had to pick a few things I don’t love about it, washing the dishes and photographing quesadillas would be pretty high on the list. Honestly, you should see my first attempt at photographing these triangular nuggets. The sweet potato noodles inside didn’t help, and the photos were not cute. Not cute at all.

So, I owe props to my friend Ali of Inspiralized, who always manages to make veggie noodles so enticing. She has a blog full of recipes, a best-selling cookbook and her own proprietary contraption that turns vegetables into noodle shapes (the Inspiralizer). She’s basically taking over the world, one veggie noodle at a time, and I’m really proud of her. Veggie power!

spiralized sweet potatoes

Last week, she invited a few bloggers (myself included) to Chicago to eat lunch at Houlihan’s, which is running a special “Inspiralized” menu through June. Ali provided direction and helped develop the menu, and I was so impressed by Houlihan’s execution. Did you know that they make everything from scratch?

Plates of creative veggie noodle dishes kept showing up, and I found myself wondering why on earth I haven’t published more veggie noodle recipes. They’re really fun, and I’ll give two thumbs’ up to anything that entices people to eat more veggies.

These quesadillas were roughly inspired by the sweet potato and corn “Mexicali” flatbread we sampled last week. They’re stuffed full of spicy sweet potatoes, which were easier to prepare and cook in noodle form—no chopping required—plus black beans and just enough cheddar cheese to hold them all together. If you’ve enjoyed my Southwestern kale salad or sweet potato burrito bowls, you’re going to love these.

Continue to the recipe…

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Clementine French 75

Sunny clementine French 75 cocktails - cookieandkate.com

Hello, dear ones. Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you? I hope your weekends were better than mine. Either way, here’s a cheerful little number that is perfectly suited for brunch, happy hour or a nightcap. Think of these French 75s as extra boozy, extra bright mimosas.

clementine juice and gin

Instead of a traditional French 75 with lemon juice, I thought it would be fun to use clementines, which are in season now. I learned that clementines are really easy to juice with a handheld lemon juicer. You’ll need a few clementines per drink, so if you’re trying to polish off one of those big bags of them, these cocktails (or this smoothie) will do the trick!

Continue to the recipe…

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Citrus Olive Oil Cake

Citrus olive oil cake to brighten up dreary winter days! cookieandkate.com

Here’s the paradox of producing a healthy cookbook: the stress of it leads to cravings for all kinds of not-so-healthy things. Like, mac and cheese. Pizza, delivered. Spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream. Those chocolate coconut almonds from Trader Joe’s (have you tried them?!). I’m only human.

I’m in the thick of recipe writing now, and it’s tedious work. I think and re-think how to structure each recipe so it’s easy to understand. I wonder how much detail to include—will this tip help you along, or just complicate matters? Do you need to know the weight of apples used in a salad? Do I tell you how to toast the nuts in every recipe that calls for toasted nuts? So on and so forth.

That said, I’m so in love with the recipes. I have 100 sweet little recipe babies, and I’m struggling to keep them all to myself until next spring.

blood orange sugar

I decided to bake a winter cake to celebrate my cookbook progress and satisfy my sugar craving. This olive oil cake has made a couple of appearances on the blog already (orange poppy seed and lemon blueberry), and it’s always tender, light and complex in flavor. This time, it’s a pretty pink blood orange cake with blood orange icing.

The only problem is that blood oranges don’t have a ton of flavor compared to other citrus, so it’s not as intensely citrusy as the pink frosting would suggest. The lemon and regular orange versions definitely pack more of a punch, so I thought I would present this cake as a design-your-own olive oil cake with tips on how to change it up. You can use any crazy variety of winter citrus you find at the store!

Continue to the recipe…

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Feeling Tired? Try this…

Super Iron Supper-2

There have been 3 times in my life where I’ve felt felt seriously tired. Like exhausted. For an extended period.

First was during my days as an aspiring young winemaker.

While I had most amazing time learning the wine making ropes, it was long, hard, physical work. Which meant biceps that would make Schwarzenegger proud and an appetite (literally) like a horse.

But over time I realized it was more fun drinking wine than making it. And a career change took care of that problem.

Second was my experimental month of being vegetarian.

At the time I couldn’t understand why I felt so tired. But after discussing my experiment with a nutritionist friend, she pointed out I wasn’t getting enough iron. And of course the tiredness lifted as soon as I went back to eating meat.

Third was during both my pregnancies.

Luckily this time I knew what was up! So I made eating red meat a focus (with no complaints from my Irishman). I can’t tell you what a difference it made to my energy levels.

So if you’re feeling super tired, there’s one great place to start…

Eat more iron rich foods!

In general, I think it’s not very helpful to try and eat for specific nutrients. But the link between iron deficiency and tiredness is pretty direct so I feel it’s a worthy exception.

To save you ‘googling’ here are some ideas of my favourite ingredients rich in iron…

My Favourite Animal Based Iron Rich Foods

Red Meat
Liver including pate

My Favourite Vegetable Based Iron Rich Foods

Leafy Greens (Spinach / Chard / Kale)
Sesame Seeds / Tahini

NOTE: Eating citrus at the same time makes it easier for your body to absorb and actually use the iron you eat. So a squeeze of lemon or lime is always a great addition.

‘Super Iron’ Supper

While I prefer to focus on eating real food rather than trying to get specific nutrients, sometimes it is fun to really have a specfic focus when creating a recipe. Like this meal of my favourite iron-rich (and pregnant-lady-friendly) foods.

enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
450g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
1 can chickpeas (400g / 14oz)
1 bag baby spinach
3-4 tablespoons tahini (optional)
3-4 tablespoons lemon

1. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan. Cook beef on a medium high heat until well browned.

2. Add chickpeas and cook for another few minutes to warm. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

3. To serve divide baby spinach between two bowls. Top with beef and chickpeas. Drizzle over tahini (if using) and finish with lemon juice.

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vegetarian / vegan – replace beef with extra chickpeas or cooked lentils.

no tahini? – tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. You could just skip it or replace with your favourite nut butter such as almond or cashew butter. Or a handful of sesame seeds, cashews or almonds will also do the trick.

different greens / more veg – add any wilted leafy green such as kale, collard greens, spinach, chard (silverbeet).

more substantial – add more chickpeas or other legumes.

hot! – add some chopped fresh red chilli to the beef as it cooks.

Do YOU struggle with tiredness?

And have you found any solutions? I’d love to hear in the comments below…

Big love,
Jules x

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Hi There!

Before we get to this week’s blog post and recipe, just wanted to let you know about a special offer I’m running at the moment for my email subscribers only…

LY ebook collection

To celebrate the impending arrival of the newest addition to my family (and the small chance that we may have a ‘leap year’ baby), I’m having a ‘Leap Year’ sale on the complete Stonesoup eCookbook collection. Plus 4 bonus eCookbooks that aren’t available to buy on their own.

This is the first time I’ve discounted all my ebooks as a bundle in over 2 years.

So if you love Stonesoup recipes, now is a great time to get the entire collection for 60% OFF.

And it’s only available to you as a super special Stonesoup email subscriber.

To make sure you don’t miss out go to:


ps. There’s still a few ‘early bird’ bonuses available.

This includes 12 months membership for my online cooking classes and access to ALL my paid and free recipes on the one searchable website, completely FREE!

For more details use your exclusive link below:


Savory Steel Cut Oatmeal

How to make savory steel cut oatmeal (a perfect way to use up leftover veggies on a busy weeknight!) cookieandkate.com

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

Savory oats! Have you tried them? I’ll admit, I was a little nervous. I’m accustomed to oatmeal that tends toward the sweeter side. After publishing my “perfect” steel-cut oats recipe, a few of you recommended trying savory oats. Oats are whole grains, after all, so why wouldn’t they be good with savory toppings? Polenta and risotto are creamy like oats, and they’re great with savory toppings.

I cooked some up and stirred in extra salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper and cheese (Parmesan). Then I topped one bowl with a fried egg and both with lightly dressed, lemony arugula. I was skeptical for the first few bites, but now I can vouch for the idea.

steel-cut oats

I can’t claim that my choice of toppings was the be-all, end-all of savory oats, but I’m offering it as a starting off point. Think of savory oats as an alternative to a stir fry—they’re both cheap, veggie-packed, improvised dinners, perfect for busy weeknights. I keep my pantry stocked with Bob’s Red Mill’s steel cut oats, so savory oats are always an option.

My next savory oats might feature sautéed mushrooms (like this) or sun-dried tomatoes for some extra-savory umami flavor. Sturdy greens (like kale or collards) sautéed with garlic sound epic. What sounds good to you?

Continue to the recipe…

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What to Cook This February

Learn what's in season this month at cookieandkate.com!

I know, I know. We’re ten days into February now. I just couldn’t sit on this idea until March! I’ve been missing my monthly seasonal produce guides (here’s February!) and know that some of you have, too. Those posts detail what’s in season each month, with cooking suggestions and lots of links to more recipes.

Meet my new, abbreviated refresher guides. You’ll learn which types of produce are in season now, and find one recipe that goes with each. Will you cook through them with me? Like, can we have a virtual cooking club?

I thought it would be super fun to post photos on Instagram when we make a recipe shown here—tag your photo #ckfebruary and #cookieandkate so we can all share the experience! I can’t wait!!!

Continue to the recipe…

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