Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to see emergency contacts when your iPhone is locked

I may or may not have mentioned that in my work life, I work with technology. So learning new features about gadgets is exciting for me. Yes, I may be more than a little geeky. Anyway, I was so impressed to discover this characteristic on my iPhone, I wanted to share.
There has long been advice floating around about storing an 'ICE' contact in your mobile phone. ICE stands for 'In Case of Emergency'. I just appended it to the appropriate name, so mine says 'ICE – Mr Fork'. The reason being, if anything were to happen to me, a casual passer by supposedly could look up my phone to find my emergency contact.

Is anyone else seeing the problem here?

My phone requires a passcode to be unlocked to even reach the contacts. I imagine most people these days lock their phone. So how on earth is a random person going to be able to get to my contacts if I need help?

Fail.

With iOS 8, Apple released a Health application. Playing around with my phone recently, I discovered that there is also a 'Medical ID' section available digitally, and, this is the most important part. There is an option available to "Show When Locked", meaning that the Medical ID information can be viewed by swiping the lock screen, tapping "Emergency", then "Medical ID" then viewing the information. And yes, you can choose what you want to show. I've made up a little graphic to show how to get there:

Here's how to set it up:

1. Open the Health application on your iPhone
2. Click on the Medical ID icon in the lower right corner
3. Click Edit in the top right and set up the information you want available. Make sure you select the option to 'Show When Locked' under Emergency Access

4. Click Done

And that's it. It's a bit convoluted to get to the information, but now at least you can rest easy knowing that if something happens, there is a possibility that someone who is a bit of a geek and knows to look in this completely non intuitive spot, MAY JUST find your emergency contact information.

You're welcome.

Anyone have any other little known phone tips to share?

Monday, August 24, 2015

More conversations with my toddler

Life has been a big hectic lately with returning to work and lots of family events happening. However, because the last lot of conversations was such a hoot, here are some more recent Ellie-isms I've jotted down recently!
Just about any time we go out somewhere
E: Daddy, pick me up. I am too busy to walk!
###

At bedtime
Mr Fork: Can I have a goodnight kiss?
E: No daddy, I have no more kisses to give.
Me: Can I have a kiss?
E: Here you go mama!
###

Random conversation in the car on the way home from somewhere
E: Mama, don't leave me behind!
Me: Ellie, I won't leave you behind. You are always welcome where I am. Well... maybe you might like to stop sneaking into bed with me some times.
E: But last night mama, there were monsters in my room, and I just wanted some snuggles... and you're welcome mama.
I was left pondering how she turned the conversation around to make her sneaking into bed and taking up most of it A FAVOUR for me!

###

Toddlers! They say the best things!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Little ways to save... the environment and your pocket

I'm always trying to reduce our household eco footprint and off the back of Plastic Free July, which aimed to raise awareness about the amount of single use plastic, I'm even more determined to do what I can to reduce house hold waste. A good friend of mine took the challenge and updated regularly about how she was doing. It was a bit of an eye opener to see how much in our daily life is single use only, and people just accept it.

See, it turns out that single use plastic is everywhere - it's in plastic bags, water bottles, takeaway coffee cups, straws, food packaging... I could go on and on. It's not just plastic that I find really wasteful, but I find that society these days is always chasing the next big thing, upgrading gadgets to something bigger and better. I was raised to be frugal, and so I'm sort of ok using my current things until they're old and threadbare and then mending them and using them a bit longer instead of just throwing them away and getting something new.

Really, it's just as easy to choose reusable alternatives, to make do with what you have, to be a little self sufficient and as well as helping the environment, this can sometimes have the added benefit of helping to save you money. Who doesn't like having a bit of extra cash in your own pocket right?
Here are 10 little ways that I save with very little extra effort.
  • Instead of buying water to drink while out, I have gotten into the habit of carrying my own water bottle around
  • Instead of using disposable nappies, I use cloth nappies. Babies go through so many clothes and cloths, it really is no extra effort to wash nappies as well. This can also extend into other cloth items, such as tea towels and cloths instead of paper towels and disposable dish cloths. Using hand towels instead of paper towels
  • Instead of plastic straws, I have a glass one. Mine actually lives in my water bottle that I carry around with me anyway
  • Instead of throwing out vegetable peelings, I compost them or feed them to chickens
  • Instead of putting paper and cardboard into the recycling bin, I shred it and add it to the compost heap. For thick cardboard boxes or newspapers, I lay these down when I redo the garden beds to stop weeds from growing
  • Instead of doing grocery shopping daily, I write a regular meal plan and do the grocery list at the same time. If it's not on the list, I don't buy it! I make sure that I have the meals organised to take advantage of what is freshest and already cooked. This has the added benefit of everyone knowing what's for dinner so you can avoid takeaway on those indecisive notes
  • Instead of buying produce, I reduce cost and food miles by growing my own. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but I'm proud of every food item I produce, and my children love helping in the garden
  • Instead of buying bread that is mass produced and tasteless, I bake my own. I have grown to love the process of waking the starter, feeding the dough and I'm chuffed to know exactly what goes into my bread and have it taste exactly the way I want it
  • Speaking of baking, I love to cook. I love to make my own food to my tastes and to know exactly what goes into it. I can use quality ingredients and make something really tasty that is superior to anything I could buy
  • When something breaks, I like to mend it, or repurpose it for something else. Like the time my wheat pack burst, and instead of throwing it out, I used a pair of my husbands worn out pants to sew a new cover
  • I like to sew my own clothes and other household items. This lets me reuse material, but for some items, a cover can help it last a little longer so you don't need to replace it
I'd love to hear in the comments little ways that you save!

*Note: This post is part of my entry to the Heritage Bank competition for bloggers, which are determined by reader votes. The tips are my own and I truly do use them. I'd be very appreciative of your support - just head on over to here, search for There With A Fork and vote. Voting means you could be in the running to win a $100 gift card.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Life is too short to waste on bad cheese

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and Frico Cheese

One of my guilty pleasures is cheese (aside, I'm no hedonist, but why should pleasure be described as guilty?). Anyway, I like it sprinkled atop pasta, cooked into sauces, toasted into sandwiches and especially paired with an assortment of fruit, nuts, olives and a glass of very good wine (life is too short to waste on bad wine!).

Life is also too short to waste on bad cheese, so on that note, let's put aside the regular Tasty, Feta and Haloumi varieties for a moment (not that they don't have their - very delicious - places) and take a look at some Dutch favourites.

Enter Frico cheese, produced in Holland by experienced Dutch cheese makers since 1898. The cheeses are made from fresh Frisian cow milk using original recipes which result in quality cheese that can be used in a number of ways. Apparently, Holland, where Frico is based, is a mecca for delicious, quality cheeses. And clogs. I do like clogs.
Here are some of the delicious semi hard Dutch cheeses that I've been playing with lately:
Maasdam - I have to say I'd never heard of Maasdam cheese before this, but it's got a slightly sweet and nutty flavour. I'm told it makes a delicious cheesey fondue, but we had it served on a cheese board. That's it there on the right, in front of a glass of good red wine. I ask you, is there a better pairing out there?

Gouda - Good Gouda! This cheese was delicious, creamy and smooth and perfectly melty! Ellie particularly enjoyed it in grilled cheese and asparagus sandwiches. Let's all take a moment to appreciate that oozy goodness shall we? That's the way all cheese sandwiches should melt!
Spiced Gouda - All the characteristics of plain Gouda, with the addition of some aromatic cumin. This was delicious as an addition to a cheeseboard (see above on the left)... and was also delicious eaten with freshly baked sourdough.
Smoked Cheese - I have to admit, on opening this packet, Mr Fork was practically drooling, as he said it smells exactly like bacon. Apparently, it tastes delightfully mild and smoky too, and it was a tough feat to bat away grabbing hands (Mr Fork's and Ellie's) so that toasted cheese sandwiches could be constructed. This cheese didn't melt nicely, but glowing reviews mean that we will definitely be buying it again, probably to use for snacking as it was a big hit that way too.


If you consider yourself as a cheese lover, Frico cheeses should definitely be on your radar. Each cheese has a unique taste and texture, and is accessible and versatile to partner with whatever is cooking. With so many types of cheese available, the options are nearly endless! 

Frico cheeses are available in the deli section at Woolworths nationally.

Disclosure: I received four packs of Frico cheeses via Nuffnang to review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and I received no payment for this review.

Monday, August 10, 2015

How does your garden grow, August 2015

In my garden this month I am still harvesting passionfruit. I was so excited with this bunch that I left them on the bench a bit too long while I looked at them admiringly. They wrinkled, but still tasted delicious. I'm probably getting about 5 or 6 a week at the moment, which is nice. I have them plain or mixed into yoghurt.
I also  harvested two eggplant, and I think these will be the last for awhile. The plant has quite a few flowers, but no fruit on it at the moment. The chickens have turned the area under my eggplants into their own personal dustbath...
I continue to harvest parsley and turn it into pesto. I've taken quite a liking to my pesto and have it on sandwiches and as a garnish on quite a few meals. I find it livens up a stodgy soup quite nicely!

I've planted some tomato seeds, but I don't expect much from them. They were from a tomato that went over ripe, so I threw it into the garden and left it to burst and fend for itself. I guess I use plant loosely in this context.

I have also planted out a sprig of the rosemary that I had growing in a little bottle on my kitchen windowsill. It well and truly had roots so needed to be moved.

I have a lot more planting to be done. The chickens' 100% free ranging days have come to an end. They ate my chinese vegetables, they dustbathed in my big garden bed and plucked out all the baby carrots. The carrots, coriander and even some of the parsley which were thriving in my smaller bed have all been nibbled and the greenery eaten.
I have lost most of my seeds for next season, as the plants I'd allowed to go to seed were also decimated. Gutted.
Mr Fork was put to work building me a chicken proof fence pronto. He's quite proud of his work, but the damage has been done. The chickens are very disgruntled.
Out the front, where the chickens don't roam, my citrus were also treated to some attention. They had some gypsum added to the soil, were fed and then mulched generously. Already I can see signs of new growth, so I just need to work on keeping the grasshoppers at bay now.

How does your garden grow this month?

I'm linking this post into the Garden Share Collective, hosted by Lizzie from Strayed from the Table, Kate from Rosehips and Rhubarb and Krystie from A Fresh Legacy.  

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Jam Pantry - Bean Scene #4

I was going through the photos on my phone and noticed a little bit of a trend.
  1. When I go out to breakfast, I like to order avocado on toast. Whether this is because it's the only menu item without meat, or whether I just love avocado on good crusty bread, I can't say.
  2. I frequent cafes with lovely wallpaper.
So, here is another example of a cafe that has gorgeous wallpaper, a delicious avocado dish and enough pizazz and variety to make me want to go back and eat there all over again! 

The Jam Pantry, located at 2/575 Logan Road at Greenslopes is the latest offering from Nims and Gideon (formerly of Comfort at my Table). It took me a little while to find the place, but it was worth it. Parking is all on the surrounding streets, but after the meal, I was pleased I had a little bit of a walk to let my food digest!

An obvious neighbourhood favourite, I was very glad our little group had booked when I saw the crowd waiting at the front, and I was definitely glad when I saw that we were located in the little semi private room with the most gorgeous wallpaper. Apparently it's one of the most photographed parts of the cafe!
There's an all day seasonal menu with lots of good, non pretentious food. Each dish generally has some sort of house made condiment included, hence the name of the cafe! Condiments, preserves, sweet treats and loaves of bread can all be purchased to take home as well if you can't get enough of them while you're there!
There are seasonal blackboards for special items which change regularly according to the creative whims of the chef, as well as the type of foods that are in season. So many delicious things on there, that blackboard is sure to keep diners coming back to see what the menu has flipped over to!
Of course, I couldn't go past a plate of avocado on toast ($14), and this was a lovely homely serving. Big, generous chunks of perfectly ripe avocado atop crusty filling bread with some lemon, salt and pepper. Good, honest, filling food!
Special mention needs to go to the drinks. Our table fell madly in love with the hot chocolates, which were declared creamy, decadent and oh-so-moreish! The chai lattes were also a hit, and my small soy flat white really hit the spot. Cappuccinos were served with chunks of real chocolate sprinkled on top. So good!

So good in fact, that I dragged the family back there for breakfast because I couldn't stop talking about it. The toddler was a big fan, and why wouldn't she be when they serve such gourmet babycinos ($3)?!
I'll definitely be back to see what Nims will cook up next... whatever it is, it's sure to be a winner. Also, I want a jar of that gorgeous fig jam I saw while it's still available!

Do you have a favourite local cafe?

Click to add a blog post for The Jam Pantry on Zomato 

Monday, August 3, 2015

What's in my kitchen, August 2015

August! How is it August already? August is an emotional month for me - it's the month that my maternity leave finishes and I return to work, albeit on a part time basis. I'm not going to lie, it's hard, and I haven't even started yet! Jimmy will be staying with Mr Fork's parents until a space opens up at the same daycare Ellie goes to (despite having his name down since I was thirteen week pregnant, spots are premium!). I know he will be well loved and spoilt while he is there. It's me who has to re-learn how to be a whole person without him, while he is learning that he is a separate person from me. I don't know who has it harder. Anyway, when I am emotional, I like to eat, so there's a fair bit of that happening in my kitchen... I've been very good though, and much of it has been frozen for when I'm back at work.

In my kitchen is...

Lindt Dark Chocolate with a touch of sea salt. I love salty chocolate, so when I saw these on sale at Coles for half price recently, I snapped up a couple of blocks. They're perfect for a snack after dinner, a single square is rich and satisfying and since no one else in my house likes dark chocolate, I don't have to share. It does have milk fat in, so it is not vegan friendly, but it must be quite a low amount as it doesn't give me any trouble to eat it and I'm quite sensitive to dairy.
In my kitchen is...

A selection of Frico cheeses. Having just said how sensitive to dairy I am, I am not personally eating any of these, especially because they have rennet of an indeterminate source in. However Mr Fork and Ellie have been enjoying them, and even Jimmy decided he would nibble a little sliver or two. Mr Fork has been making delicious looking oozy toasted cheese sandwiches with the smoked cheese, and some of the gouda even found its way onto home made pizzas. The rest are earmarked for a cheese and wine night that we will be attending soon...

In my kitchen is...

Lactation cookies, made with a new recipe I'm testing out. I like these ones - they're vegan, double dark chocolate chips and nuts. I made them as I figured they'd be a tasty snack while I'm at work, and can only help since I have to provide milk for Jimmy while I'm not looking after him. He still won't take a bottle - we've been working on a sippy cup, but it's not going well. Failing all else, I will cook with it or ask his grandmother to stir it into his food. He will be fine, and will likely compensate by feeding more overnight on my working days.

In my kitchen is...

Non dairy yoghurt cultures. I've tried making non dairy yoghurt previously, but I've not had much success. I'm determined to get it right though, especially because I can't really find a commercial one at a price point I'm happy to constantly pay. I saw this packet of non dairy culture and I thought I'd give it a try. Apparently this tiny 10g packet contains enough culture to make 100L of yoghurt... but since there are no measurements for how much to use, I'm not sure how accurate that is. Since it is best before January 2016, I'm also not sure that I could even eat 100L of yoghurt by then, although apparently it will keep longer in the freezer. 
I have the Easiyo yoghurt system, so I set it up with 1 litre of warmed soy milk, a tablespoon of sugar and a scraping of culture as directed. Maybe it's my yoghurt fails continuing or perhaps not, but when I checked the progress 12 hours later, it will still completely liquid. I re-shook the mixture, added more hot water and left it to culture another 12 hours. The second time I checked it, it had thickened, but still had a way to go. I shook it a third time and put hot water in again. 36 hours after I started the process, I gave up and called it done.

I'm not sure the first batch was a success. It has been cold over night so that could be affecting the end product, but I'm a little disheartened. It was slightly thickened, but still quite watery and very beany tasting. I added some maple syrup and some fresh passionfruit to a small bowl and it was... passable. This batch may be best used for baking and overnight oats I think. 
Does anyone have any yoghurt making tips?

In my kitchen is...

Passionfruits from my vine. I am finally getting some regular fruit off the vine, and I was so proud of these first ones that I left them to sit on the bench while I admired them and they wrinkled. Oops! They still tasted nice though. They are lovely and sweet, juicy and full of seeds. I don't have enough to repeat my passionfruit jam exercise, but I get a handful each week, so I've been eating them fresh or just served atop porridge in the mornings... perhaps in yoghurt if I can get my system working!

I am linking this post in with Fig Jam and Lime Cordial's monthly In My Kitchen event. Go have a peek through other kitchens around the globe!

What's in your kitchen this month?

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