Our Tuesday Ritual @ JK's Deli…

On a Tuesday we go for coffee (and some yummy home cooked food) at one of our favourite cafes in the Hinchinbrook Shire – JK’s Deli located next door to the Westpac Bank in Lannercost Street, Ingham’s main street. By the looks of it Karen runs a pretty tight ship because the shop is always immaculate! The food that is in the display fridges looks like the entire town should bust their asses at gym (to burn off all the calories) because all the food looks ah-mazing!

Rita & John – two of Karen’s employees with some of their meats

JK’S Deli is located at 78 Lannercost Street, Ingham and is opened 7.30am – 5.00pm Monday through Friday and Saturday mornings, but like other businesses in the Shire when things are quiet, they will close early – save on power costs, wages etc. The smart way of doing business – which some people just don’t get…

I find it extremely hard to pick something to munch on so I usually tell one of the girls to surprise me, and I haven’t been let down once yet! For those addicted to coffee (I mean mother’s such as myself) they create some pretty awesome blends with Vittora coffee… THEY ONLY USE THE BEST!

Every Tuesday, my two and a half year old goes to playgroup at Lourdes then makes sure he is taken to JK’s for his ‘coffee.’ Each week I ask him – “So who’s your girlfriend this week?” I get the “Ummm,” Sometimes it’s Kaitlin, sometimes it’s Aimee, sometimes it’s Karen… But sorry guys, most of the time it’s Lauren or, Wawwen as Jack puts it.

Jack with his girlfriend… I mean Lauren

Kaitlin, Aimee and Lauren are Karen’s three absolutely beautiful daughters who all work at the Deli. There isn’t much in the Hinchinbrook in the way of jobs for school leavers so essentially that is what inspired Karen to put her idea into motion, to secure jobs for her daughters and others throughout our community.

From left to right – Kaitlin, Aimee, Karen and Lauren Venables

All Karen’s staff are absolutely lovely, you walk in the shop and I promise you you will never leave depressed!

Jack with Sandra

I recently saw on Facebook other business people winging because they went past and they were closed – Well sorry we didn’t stay opened for your highness. That was coming from me… We shouldn’t be here shredding each other… WE SHOULD BE SUPPORTING EACH OTHER!

Jack is in charge of the ‘quality control’ of the marshmallows behind the counter… Kaitlin tells Jack “don’t tell mum” and as soon as he comes out from behind the counter I get this “Hey mum, look!” It’s hilarious!

I think Karen has done an amazing job with the expansion of the shop and there is such a laid back feel to the place it kind of makes you want to curl up on the couch in a ball and go nunies (sleep).

It’s not just the locals who are crazy about JK’s – read the following Reviews from passers by:-

Zil Silvester… incredible selection of international cheese I just wish I could take them all home! Rita was so friendly and helpful. This sensational cafe and delicatessen is a highlight of the town and is the place to eat when in Ingham.

Peter Maggiora… Our lunch was delicious and well priced. Coffee was great and well made. It’s a merge between an Italian deli and Cafe which works very well. One side of the Cafe has great mosaics of the local history.

Rob Boot… WC which, l think, is always a good indication of what the kitchen must look like. Anyone who has complaints about this cafe must be a malcontented whinger. We’ll definitely stop by this cafe on our return journey.

Bruce Smallbon… A beautiful coffee shop and good food.

Daniel Peacock… some meats for a platter. The team were so helpful they offered to build it all for us and it looked amazing. They were nice enough to build it while we sat and had a lovely lunch. Highly recommend both the deli section and the cafe.

Lesleigh White… Lovely and trendy!
Beautiful coffee shop.
Love how they sell little packets of goodies.
Very friendly staff.
We’ll definitely return when driving through Ingham again.

Linda Venn… Good coffee. Excellent home made slices to go with it.

Kate Suthers… from Mission Beach to Townsville and I’m so glad we did. Not only is there a cracking deli but the cafe serves really delicious food, generous portions made fresh and with lovely service. Would definitely plan future routes.

Michael Nash… Yep, good variety of food and great ice coffee.

I’m excited to see what other exciting things Karen has in store for our community. There are business owners who run their business and no more – Karen bleeds Hinchinbrook and I believe that is why her business thrives like it does!

Aquo Xx

Aquo’s famous Sunday Sesh…

Aquo’s famous Sunday Sesh…

The Urban Dictionary defines a Sunday Sesh as being short for “Sunday session”. The act of getting together on a Sunday to socialise and drink likely large amounts of alcohol. That’s not even a lie – it actually says that!

For me, Sunday Seshs’ became somewhat of a tradition of mine just before I had my accident in September 2013. There is just something about the atmosphere I absolutely love, the relaxed feeling of sitting outside, listening to some tunes, drinking a water – common be honest they say! a cold beer or in my case a dad rum. And who could forget – ADULT CONVERSATION!

Nowadays everybody is super busy but I feel if we don’t make time to catch up we never will (unless it’s at the Annual Race Meet). I’m not too worried about who does come or who doesn’t, I’m just giving the option to catch up for a few hours. I’m thinking I’m going to make it once a month or once every few months and make it pretty awesome for the kids, with different activities each time.

Now, my Sunday Seshs’ are all about the kids (Because most of my mates have kids). There is nothing better than watching all the kids playing together and having fun. Not everyone gets to spend a lot of time with their kids and it’s good to see your kids interact with other kids apart from daycare etc.

I have recently invested in some pretty cool water toys for the kids – today Ingham Travel dropped off a little kid pool with a palm tree and a slide, now I just need something for the big kids! But hey – I’m more than happy to just sit under a sprinkler with a coldie haha.

Catch ups like this don’t need to be expensive – have a bbq, even just a sausage sizzle and a few nibbles and your set. Ask everyone to bring a dish and everyone gets fed, lifes good. Here is a link to one of my favourite websites – Frugal and Thriving, check it out for some awesome ideas!

The following videos have some pretty cool activities for the kids. Mr Carl annoys me (Sorry Mr Carl!), but some of these activities are easy to pull off and for most of them, you will have things at home so you don’t have to spend a cent!

Aquo Xx

Raise your kids on a healthy diet…

I believe that the best thing you can do for your babies is to introduce a healthy diet from when they begin to eat solids as recommended by the healthy eating pyramid. Statistics show that if parents maintain a healthy diet, their children are 75% more likely to follow same.

But… I’ve gone all next level healthy mummy. I try my hardest to check the nutritional labels on everything and stick to the one serving size – it would be awesome if I was able to do this with everything in the kitchen…. But – I’m a realist…. Andddd I know with 2 boys under 2 that ain’t gonna happen!

My eldest son was 2 before he ate anything that was even a little bit processed, and I’m not even sorry – not even a little bit! I have a well behaved toddler. Well – As much as possible for a toddler. Once we started to introduce processed foods, we noticed his behavior receded and took a week or so to readjust.

Benefits of raising your children to be healthy include:

  • strong bones and muscles
  • healthy heart, lungs and arteries
  • improved coordination, balance, posture and flexibility
  • reduced risk of becoming overweight or obese
  • reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes later in life

All vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, some stand out for their exceptional health benefits. Some individuals benefit more from certain vegetables than others, depending on their diet, overall health, and nutritional needs.

Healthy eating can help children maintain a healthy weight, avoid certain health problems, stabilize their energy, and sharpen their minds. A healthy diet can also have a positive effect on a child’s mental and emotional health, helping to prevent conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and ADHD.

Eating well can support a child’s healthy growth and development into adulthood and may even play a role in lowering the risk of suicide in young people. If your child/children has already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, a healthy diet can help your child to manage the symptoms and help control their health.

It’s important to remember that your kids aren’t born with a craving for French fries and pizza and an aversion to broccoli and carrots. This conditioning happens over time as kids are exposed to more and more unhealthy food choices. However, it is possible to reprogram your children’s food cravings so that they crave healthier foods instead. My two year old son loves fresh fruit & vegetables. His lunchbox for daycare includes:- Carrot & Hummus, A Vegemite sandwich on homemade bread, Sultanas, Strawberries or a piece of fruit & a sometimes snack (weetbix slice or any kids snacks down the health-food isle at Woolies. Most days, he comes home with an empty lunchbox.

We have started toilet training and the other day I hear “Mum I want hummus!” while he was sitting on the toilet – to get him to stay there he got it!

The sooner you introduce wholesome, nutritious foods into your kids’ diets, the easier they’ll be able to develop a healthy relationship with food that can last them a lifetime.

Since having my first child in 2017 I have developed a much healthier relationship with food. What motivated me to become healthy in the first place was how fat I became! I reached the larger size of 18 and not quite size 20. I completely lost my sex drive and was so unhappy in my overall self. I worked away at it everyday, I learnt so much about nutrition, fitness, mental & physical health and all the information that comes with it.

Whether your children are toddlers or in their teens, children develop a natural want for the foods they enjoy the most. To encourage healthy eating habits, the challenge is to make healthy choices appealing and fun. Using fun names for fruit and veg is an awesome trick! Broccoli in our house is called baby trees, mix different colours together to make a rainbow, incorporate their current favourite thing into it by using the same colours, etc. Be creative!

Here’s a list of helpful links to get you started:

Make healthy options available by keeping plenty of fruit, vegetables, and healthy beverages (water, milk, pure fruit juice) on hand – I don’t actually keep unhealthy snacks in my house unless it’s a special occasion. Don’t force your kids to clean their plates, and never use food as a reward or bribe.

Aquo Xx

Thermomix has changed my life!

Thermomix has changed my life!

Many of you have heard me rave on about Theodore! – my awesome, life changing thermomix but some of you may be wondering what the bloody hell is this thermomix thing she keeps going on about?! I promise I will try and keep this under a five thousand word essay, no promises though! Haha.

A Thermomix is an all-in-one kitchen appliance designed in Germany and sold all over the world. It’s been around since the 70’s, the company is actually owned by a family, not a major corporation, so more personal touches and goodwill is involved. I’ve had one since late 2018, and use it everyday, a few times a day!

It replaces most of the appliances in your kitchen – mixer, blender, food processor, steamer, rice cooker, grain grinder, coffee grinder, nut and seed mill, milk frother, bread maker, yoghurt maker, ice shaver, pate and more. You only need one hand to operate it – that’s why my husband agreed that I should get one, cause let’s face it….. I would have gotten one anyway! Haha.

In my first few weeks I wasn’t overly confident using my thermo, but after a while I was using it to do literally everything! Make pizza dough, make different kinds of bread, ice cream/sorbet, butter, and so many different meals it’s not even funny! – Just to name a few.

You don’t necessarily need all the ingredients listed in a recipe (some have quite a few), you can substitute for healthier options. It was awesome I was introduced to thermomix when I was, I was in the middle of my fitness journey so I was already researching healthier options for all my meals – and the thermo makes awesome snacks that are next level healthy! One of my favourite substitutes is sugar for rice malt syrup (sucrose for fructose). The recipe will give you all the measurements of what you need to add but I have played around with this a bit and only add so much of certain ingredients so that whatever I’m making is better for you.

I can not believe how much time it saves! It’s so great, especially now I’m used to using it more and more, and we have our go to favourites – dinner is becoming faster every time I make something. If my son decides he’s having a velcro day, I pull a chair to the bench so he can help me, he LOVES being in the kitchen! It’s become quite easy for me not having a functional right arm, my husband even uses it! When I first got it I wouldn’t let him touch it – at all. He joked that he uses macheniery worth a quarter of a million dollars but I wouldn’t let him touch Theodore.

Some of my go to favourites (which I will include recipes to below for your convenience) include:-

*** recipes of cookidoo.com.au & the recipe community.

Yes, since I hit the six month mark in pregnancy, I kinda eat anything, I still watch my portion control, but at least with the thermomix you know exactly what is going in your food.

Testimonials from actual people who introduced me to Thermomix had this to say:-

“As a mum of 5 young kids (12,7,6,3 &2) the best thing I have ever done is purchased a Thermomix. With the stresses of everyday life, adding into that studying externally with university, trying to raise five independent and decent humans, keep the hubby happy and all the rest that goes with being a house wife, I was starting to really dread meal times; especially when it came to trying to prepare a meal that was healthy and something everyone enjoyed.

My kids love pasta and pizza especially, so now with my Thermie, I can easily prepare homemade pasta, pasta sauce and pizza bases where I know exactly what goes into them, the kids get to help and everyone is being fed a wholesome, home cooked meal.

Thermie has introduced us all to a whole new way of cooking and to new flavours we would never have tried before. I have a whole drawer dedicated to spices now. My grocery bill has dramatically dropped, meal times are a lot less stressful and overall we are eating so much better then ever before.

I personally have had stomach surgery which limits my amount of food intake – so I’m very conscious of feeding my body as much good food as possible and limiting preservatives etc.

Thermie lives on my kitchen bench, as it is used daily, sometimes several times a day. From crushing up ice to make the kids a slushee, to my 7 year old using it to boil his favourite snack, eggs! Thermie will always be a part of our home and routine. It really is a magical machine that has changed our way of approaching food.” Kirby Guy – Thermomix owner.

If you are the slightest bit interested in the thermomix please get in contact with me! I will try answer all your questions or find the answers. If you would like to come see what it can do, give me a yell – I’m more than happy to show you!

Aquo Xx

Making sweet & sour pork sauce to freeze

Making pasta

Making the process even faster with a pasta machine