Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Help keep our Kids Smiling

Today I am sharing with you a lady friend of awesome who does something that every single one of us should know about.  It is NOT a sponsored post but is just something I LOVE and feel passionately about and want to share with you.

I am super lucky to be friends with an amazing lady- well I am lucky to be friends with MANY amazing ladies actually- but there is one I want to share with you today.

Janey Martino is a super dooper lady of ace who has many talents- but it is her fabulous smiley positive sharing ways, her sense of fun & her true blue heart of gold that I love the best of all.

She is a lady of many hats (and she looks gorgeous in all of them!)- she was one half of the super design duo of series 2 of renovating reality TV show The Block with hubby Matt,  a PR lady & corporate director and also ace mumma of 3 of the loveliest young fellas you ever will meet.  She leads a life that focusses on her family most of all.  I am sure I have missed some of her other (many) achievements but you get the idea.......

I love chatting over coffee with her about all sorts of things- we love to laugh, talk, drink coffee (ok I *may* have been responsible for bringing her over to the dark side of drinking coffee over her normal choice of tea as a hot drink....) and of course we LOVE to share delicious food with our families together!

She is also the lady that kick started the not-for-profit organisation that has helped many hundreds of young people in Australia reduce their stress levels through regular short meditations- Smiling Mind.

I have mentioned Smiling Mind here before but if you don't know about it you can skip over to read more about it here.
Put simply it is a downloadable app that is super easy to use aimed at children aged 7-17 (and for adults too!).

It is being implemented in hundreds of schools across Australia with remarkable results.  My children's Primary School is one of many to implement it into their daily timetable.  How GREAT is that?!

My older kids both use Smiling Mind regularly- my eldest uses it to relieve anxiety and my second child uses it to help him focus his thinking.

Meditation is such a wonderful tool for all of us.

I use this app too.  I use it after I exercise- it is kind of my 'cool down'.

Through June & July Smiling Mind is running a campaign in order to keep their great work going.
Without donations it can't keep up the great work they have started.

I KNOW how much this programme helps children. It really helped my eldest through a very stressful  period in his life, we had tried lots of other stuff but the Smiling Mind app was the thing that helped him the most (thanks a billion Janey!)

You can find Smiling Mind Facebook page here.

Or follow them on twitter here.

I have bought some smiles. I really hope you can too or share my post to get the message out there far & wide!

I will be leaving the SMILE DRIVE banner on the top left of my blog for the duration of the campaign - it has a direct link to the Buy a Smile donation page.

Osso Buco is such a modern fave. A traditional Milanese dish usually served with Risotto Milanese- risotto cooked with Saffron to make it golden in colour and rich in perfume with marrow added from the osso buco.
When I was growing up I didn't know any other families that ate it.
It uses the secondary cut- the shin with the bone still in.  Secondary cuts were never very desirabel and so were cheap! Osso Buco and shanks were two of these cuts- once not desirable now EXPENSIVE!
If the bone is taken out it is chopped and sold as Gravy beef.  
What makes it sooooo super dooper delish is all the sinew and the marrow.  The long slow cooking time allows all these things to translate to FLAVOUR.
I used the 5 week aged Osso Buco given to me by Bunbartha Beef - you can have their meat delivered direct form the Farmer to you!
I make my recipe the same as my mother did- based on a recipe from one of my most precious cook books- Ada Boni's Italian Regional Cooking- a cookbook long out of print but I think one of the most valuable of all Italian cookbooks ever written.
Ada Boni's recipe is much more simple than many modern recipes for Osso Buco that add many more ingredients. This is about as simple as cooking gets- the produce really counts!
The Gremolata that is served with final dish is what brings out the magic in this most simple of dishes. It was delicious.
This week I substituted Verjuice for the more traditional White wine as I didn't have any!

  • 4 osso buco
  • seasoned flour for dusting
  • 1/2 cup verjuice
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped super fine
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped fine
  • 4-6 anchovy fillets, chopped fine
  • grated rind of a lemon.
  • S & P.
  • Olive oil
Season the flour and coat each Osso Buco piece well.

Heat a large non stick pan to medium/high and sear each Osso Buco till just starting to brown. Turn over and repeat till each cut is browned.

The meat does NOT need to be cooked through. Set aside on a plate.

Once all pieces are seared rub the pan with a tea towel to remove any burnt flour &  add the Verjuice to deglaze the pan.  Add the tomatoes and season.

Place the beef (and juices) back into the pot, cover, turn down the heat to the absolute minimum and cook for at least 2 hours.  Or pop into a slow cooker.

To prepare the Gremolata:

Mix the garlic, anchovy, lemon rind and parsley.

Sprinkle over the bones a few minutes before serving and stir through to distribute the flavour.  I place a small amount of extra gremolata at the table for guests to add extra too!

I dare you not to love this track......


  1. Carolyn Turner4 June 2013 at 13:37

    Thank so much for this post. I wasn't aware of this app but having listened to the trial session I think it's fab. My daughter has had anxiety issues in the past, and being a yoga student - and at one stage, teacher, - I have done guided meditations with her to try and quieten her constant mind chatter. Having been anxiety riddled as a child myself, I know how much meditation has helped me in calming my mind. I'll encourage her to download this app - it's sometimes easier to focus on someone else's voice than just listening to mum again!

  2. Thank-you for this recipe ,it looks lovely and I will try it soon. I want to also thank you for the Smiling mind app,I always use meditation apps but this is the best I have tried by far ,I mediate because of chronic pain and I really think it helps still your mind and calm down pain. I have been meditating for about 20 years before it became fashionable ,when you could only but CD's but this is awesome,and a great tool for children and adults alike!

  3. Maree Hamilton19 July 2013 at 19:50

    Sounds & looks delicious, love that you are using old school cutlery, I have a hankering for it too :)

  4. Bren @ MiraNarnie10 June 2014 at 14:42

    thanks so much for this link to this wonderful App...I have a grade 1 son who is going through some anxiety each morning about school...this could be just what we both need...thankyou x


Thankyou SO VERY much for making time to comment.

I LOVE to read your comments.

Just know that it totally made my day that you made a comment on my blog :)