The Blog

Local Gatherings and the beauty of sharing

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I have a different kind of message to share with you today. But don’t worry, food is still at the heart!

The moment I heard about Local Gatherings I wanted to share the concept. Simple, thoughtful and beautiful, they are all about creating intimate gatherings that celebrate the pure joy of connecting with others in a very raw and honest way. Picture amazing share plates of deliciousness, a beautiful atmosphere, and perfectly curated styling and you can begin to see why I was so enchanted.

Using their strong background in styling and design, Stephanie and Sarah have a way of creating a space that feels comfortable, welcoming and beautiful, pleasing all of our senses – these two are masters of their craft.

Drawing inspiration from family meals to create a sense of community and connection, it’s a concept that I love and live by too. One that believes food and sharing meals together enables a special connection between people. Passing share plates, experiencing the same meal, and talking with people about it creates a bond over one of the most primal and basic of activities – enjoying food! Simple work lunches like the one pictured show that it certainly doesn’t have to be complicated either.

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It reminds me about the importance of eating with others. We have all been guilty at some time or another of eating standing in the kitchen, in the car, at our desks, or even just skipping meals in favour of a coffee on the go. Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.A. seem to be particularly bad at this. Looking at French, Italian and other European cultures, it’s the opposite. Taking an hour or two off for a proper lunch is just unheard of here. And in South Korea, the importance of eating with others is …

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Chocolate Molten Nut Butter Puddings

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Dramatic, rich and delicious – what more could you want out of a dessert? I recently whipped this recipe up for Eat Well magazine and they have been a big hit, so I wanted to share the recipe with you here also.

This a a great recipe when you are pushed for time, don’t have many ingredients hanging around, or you just have a hankering for gooey chocolate goodness. Mmmm. They are also crowd pleasing in that they are grain, dairy and refined sugar free. They’re a cinch to make and completely delicious – enjoy! xx

Chocolate Molten Nut Butter Puddings

Makes 4 small puddings

1/3 cup coconut oil
4 tbsp raw cacao
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 ½ tbsp nut butter (I like almond or hazelnut)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp baking soda
3 free range eggs
yoghurt or coconut yoghurt for serving

Preheat oven to 180°C / 350F
Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over low-medium heat.
Remove from the heat and add the cacao, maple syrup, nut butter, vanilla, salt and baking soda, and mix well to combine.
Whisk the eggs together in a mixing bowl, and when ready add the chocolate mix, whisking to combine.

Place four 8cm (approx) ramekins on a baking tray.
Spoon the mix into the ramekins, leaving 1cm of space at the top to prevent overflow.
Pop into the oven, and bake for 10mins. Do not overcook.

You want the centre of the puddings to be gooey and deliciously oozy when you stick your spoon in – very dramatic! You will know if the puddings are ready as they will have risen in the centre and be cooked on top, but will still be lovely and wobbly when you move the tray.
The puddings will …

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Pumpkin & Ricotta Gnocchi with Pecans, Broadbeans and Sage

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Happy spring to you, friends! I hope this post finds you happy and well in your corner of the world. We  have been working hard on our little veggie patch, and it’s excitement central at the moment as we are reaping our first harvests. Rocket, snow peas, kale, spinach, cauliflower and the latest addition this weekend were the broadbeans. There is something about being able to eat produce that has only been picked a short time earlier that is so fabulous. Not just in flavour, but in the vitality of the food. Growing your own produce, even if it is a few herbs in pots, puts inspiration and flavour at your fingertips. Plus it automatically reduces food wastage as you are only picking what you need at the time. Pretty cool, eh!

We have been waiting for our broadbeans, and although they can be a bit of work to prepare, I definitely wanted to cook with them this weekend. They have a lovely amount of fibre and protein, and that colour – so vibrant! We also had an abundance of butternut pumpkin, and in light of the non-soup weather, gnocchi was the popular choice. This pumpkin and ricotta version is delicious, and lightly pan-frying it at the end seals the deal. Gnocchi can be super filling, so I love to serve it with a salad or plenty of greens. I hope you enjoy!

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Pumpkin & Ricotta Gnocchi with Pecans, Broadbeans and Sage

Serves 4

1 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin, or pumpkin puree

1 cup ricotta, well drained

1 free range egg

1 cup spelt flour

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbs butter or ghee

1/4 tsp (freshly ground if possible) nutmeg

2 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped

1 tbs …

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Lemon Vanilla Granola with Mandarin Spiked Labneh


Well, a lot has certainly happened since my last post! Most importantly, we welcomed our gorgeous new baby Mae into our world – and what a delight she is. I’m becoming reacquainted with living in a world where time is regulated by feeding, changing, broken sleep, and the best cuddles in the world – and it’s fabulous! Before Mae was born, I made a few bulk recipes to see us through those first few weeks. One of them is this granola, which is pretty much a staple in our house. It’s full of nourishing goodness like protein and healthy fats, and lots of lovely vitamins and minerals – perfect for the quick and easy breakfast or snack. It’s also insanely delicious, and I often eat a handful straight from the jar if I need a little pick-me-up.

I find it difficult to find a store bought granola that I like. They either have added sugar, or dried fruit (I’m personally not a fan in cereals but feel free to include if you like), or are full of puffs and filers that I’m not really down with. Making it yourself means you get to add exactly what you want, and you know exactly what is in it. Feel free to substitute any of the nuts and seeds from the recipe with ones that you have on hand, or that you prefer.

I’ve combined it with labneh just to show you how easy and fabulous it is to make. And mandarins because delicious. Labneh is essentially yoghurt that has been strained to remove the whey. The result is half way between the consistency of yoghurt and cheese. I have made a sweet-ish version here, but it is also delicious done savoury. Roll your labneh in some chopped herbs, pop into a jar, …

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Holistic Nutritionist
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