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IMG_8055IMG_8086IMG_8107Brisbane is certainly turning on the heat this week. I’m writing this currently perched directly underneath the aircon which is reflecting nicely off the tiles, iced coffee in hand. As comforting as it is to slowly sip a warm latte, I feel the only way to be caffeinated at the moment is to chill it right down.

Not one for new year resolutions, one of my new year goals is to waste less food and to be a more mindful consumer. I seem to go through waves of getting really good at shopping for what we need, then after a few months, regress into old habits of pulling out half mouldy pumpkin from the crisper weeks later. Forgotten great intentions and instant promises to next week be less wasteful.

If you are new to conscious consuming, I would recommend checking out Sarah Wilson’s Simplicious book. We are constantly referring back to it for mid week classics and ways to use up cheeky leftovers.

A few months ago I embarked on making my own never ending vanilla essence from the book, an exercise in patience and slow food. It’s hardly a recipe, and to be honest the hardest part of it was tracking down a small bottle of vodka for my base. Essentially you steep a split vanilla bean in a small bottle of vodka and sit tight for 3 months until it turns dark and syrupy and delicious. As the name suggests, simply top it up with a little more alcohol as it gets low and steep again. One vanilla bean, lots of vanilla essence!

I used my essence to spike iced coffee with a little maple for sweetness, which on a hot day is sometimes just what you need.

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