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Motherhood: Breastfeeding

I never really thought about breastfeeding that much when I was pregnant. I mean – I got all the equipment I was told I’d need; nipple cream, pillow and breast pads – and it never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t breastfeed. I never even considered what foods to eat, how to rest properly, how much energy it would take to nourish another human with my body.

It was only that I started breastfeeding this second time around that I truly appreciated the energy involved, the dedication and the complex emotions surrounding it – not to mention what to eat and drink to help me. 

Breast feeding is HARD. It’s vital to surround ourselves with help if we want to meet our feeding goals, and so important to be kind to ourselves when things don’t go to plan. 

Some of you might know that I recently launched a small family catering company called Nourish & Bloom. We supply food for every season of family life but my first aim was to support new mothers with healthy, nourishing food that would support their postpartum and breastfeeding journeys. With that in mind I thought I’d write a small post about what to nourish your body with during those first weeks of breastfeeding and into the weeks and months to follow.

 YesMum motherhood affirmation cards from  here
YesMum motherhood affirmation cards from here

The following is just general advice to help support you while you breast feed. I’m not a nutritionist and any advice I give comes from talking with lactation consultants, nutritionists, cooking for other mums, my mother and grandmother and my own experience of breastfeeding. There are no « miracle cures » to make breastfeeding suddenly easy here. Listen to your body and your baby, relax, notice what works for you and adapt things as you go. 


Keeping adequately hydrated is something my mum told me about on day one. Many of you will have noticed an almost unquenchable thirst in the early days of breastfeeding and you’ll need to replenish liquids lost in labour and support your body in making breastmilk. I always have a big bottle of room temperature water with me or within arms reach, particularly at night but also drank a lot of herbal teas, broths and soups in the beginning. You can find breastfeeding tea in most pharmacies and bio stores in France and it’s great for keeping hydrated and giving your milk supply that extra boost. 

Boosting Production

And speaking about boosting your milk supply, you’ll need to consume around 500 extra calories a day for the first six months of breastfeeding. (I didn’t really find this an issue as I was RAVENOUS all of the time) It’s important to eat properly because when blood sugar drops too low, eating can trigger stress hormones which in turn reduces the production of the hormones that create your milk supply and the let down reflex. Great things to eat include:

  • Good fats: Eating good fats increases the fat percentage in your breast milk and supports growth in your baby – hooray! Good fatty food includes: Avocados, nuts and seeds, olives & olive oil, salmon, tuna, dark chocolate and eggs.
  • Fenugreek, Ginger & caraway have all traditionally been used in boosting milk supply. They’re from a group of herbs known as Galactagogues and adding them to your cooking is a great way to give your supply a helping hand. My favourite way to do this is by making a quick gingery egg fried rice from left over brown rice (which is a great source of selenium – another mineral important during breastfeeding!)

Lactation Consultants

If you are struggling with breastfeeding you are certainly not alone! For something that is so natural, there is so much that feels difficult, strange and straight up painful! Fortunately help is out there if you know where to look.

If you’re in Paris or its suburbs and are in need of an English speaking lactation consultant, Meagan LeCoq is a South African midwife, doula and lactation consultant. Her years of professional experience were vital to me as a first time mum. You can find her website here. I honestly can’t recommend her enough!

Happy feeding! If you have any questions about Nourish & Bloom’s postpartum packages or what else we offer please don’t hesitate to send me an email!

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Paris Kitchen: Spice Up Your Leftovers

If you’re anything like our family, you get to the end of a week and the vegetable tray of the fridge is left with some sad looking strays. A bunch of coriander you only needed a couple of stems from, an ambitious aubergine not yet used, some slightly wilty spinach, an extra avocado, you get my drift. For us it varies from week to week but there’ll generally always be some spare veg lying around. 

For this exact situation, I always keep various things in my freezer and cupboards to transform sad, wilty leftover veg into sexy, healthy bowls of goodness. It obviously depends on your taste, but I like to keep around:


  • Beef, Chicken and mushroom broth, frozen in portioned baggies
  • Seven veg tomato sauce, frozen in portioned baggies
  • Pesto, chilled, rolled into sausages and frozen in parchment paper
  • Herbs, diced, frozen on a baking sheet & then put into paper bags or boxes


  • Soy sauce
  • Tahini
  • Sesame oil
  • Miso paste
  • Olive oil & balsamic vinegar
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Herbs and spices (Turmeric, coriander, fennel seeds, paprika, chilli flakes, cumin, masala etc)
  • Buckwheat noodles, egg noodles, rice noodles etc
  • Couscous (so quick!)
  • Brown Rice and risotto rice

With a decent stock of flavourful ingredients on hand, it’s possible to make a delicious; healthy meal out of the very dregs of the veg drawer – no meat needed! The bowl pictured above was a sweet potato, spinach, coriander and a slightly over ripe avocado that got roasted, sliced and sautéed in sesame oil, turmeric and chilli flakes and popped in a bowl of mushroom broth miso and buckwheat noodles. Today’s bowl is going to involve some kind of roasted turmeric cauliflower, sweet potato, red and yellow peppers and whatever else I can find! Cooking like this turns me into a braver cook, trying more varied flavours and combinations of ingredients that I would normally overlook. Give it a go & see what you come up with! 

PS. For the Parisian cook; I get all of my soy, tahini, sesame, miso & seaweed at the Japanese supermarket on Rue Levis 75017. xx

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Paris Kitchen: Sweet Potato & Spinach Soup with Salmon

It’s February! I’ve been reading everywhere that people have found this January to have really dragged on and on, particularly in Paris where it has rained every. single. day. Honestly I’ve not found it so bad, but I’ve been in a slight new born haze cosied up inside! 

Anyway February is here and with it, the hope of Spring in the air. If you had good healthy eating resolutions for January but actually just ate the Christmas season leftovers all month long, you are not alone! February is an excellent point to really commit to nourishing your body with excellent, wholesome food. The celebrations tins are empty, the Bailey’s is finally finished and the promise of warmer days are just around the corner.

Here’s a gorgeous and SUCH an easy lunch recipe to keep you excited for fresh produce and leafy greens; Spinach & sweet potato soup with a side of grilled salmon. Enjoy!

For Two Servings You’ll Need:

  • One medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 500ml good quality, low sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
  • Three big hand-fulls of baby spinach leaves
  • Slivered almonds or mixed seeds (optional to serve)
  • Pesto (optional to serve)
  • Two salmon filets
  • Olive oil, salt & pepper

How to:

  • Boil your sweet potato in your stock until soft. Add your spinach, cook for a further two minutes and remove from the heat. Blend until smooth with a stick blender.
  • Meanwhile, heat up a little oil in a pan and fry your salmon over a medium heat for about four minutes on each side, or to your desired cuisson. I like mine still pretty rare in the middle!
  • Serve your salmon with a tablespoon of pesto (I used some spinach & walnut pesto I made earlier this week) and your soup with a sprinkling of slivered almonds or mixed seeds.

This whole lunch takes 20-30 minutes to make and is really so filling and delicious. There’s so much scope for playing around with it too. Change up the veg depending on what’s in season, throw some fresh ginger in there to spice things up a little, experiment with different fish. 

Let me know what you end up with! Enjoy!


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Paris Kitchen: Batch Cooking

When I was about twenty-five weeks pregnant with Fred, my friend Jenni and I got together to cook. She had her six month old daughter playing nearby and we managed to shop for and cook twenty eight portions of food (four different recipes!) in an afternoon. I have always batched cooked, but we currently have a tiny freezer in the top of our fridge so I’ve felt a bit limited with it. As far as space goes, I really shouldn’t feel limited – I have the scope to do so much when it comes to preparing meals in advance, as do you and here’s how:

Why batch cook?

Batch cooking for me ensures that I always have a healthy meal on hand and ready to go. I can host toddlers for tea or a friend for dinner at a moment’s notice. I rarely ever have to make a dash for the shops in the rain, with a baby strapped to my chest and a wilful toddler asking constantly for chocolate cake. Making things like sauces and pesto means that my cooking time during the evening is drastically reduced and I have more time to play cars on the kitchen floor. It means that my husband (or the person who doesn’t normally stock or run the family kitchen) can serve my kids healthy food that they enjoy without having to think about it and the whole thing reduces kitchen induced stress dramatically!

 The lovely Emily & Sarah releasing their inner Chefs
The lovely Emily & Sarah releasing their inner Chefs


  1. Gather your team
    Maybe it’s because I’ve always cooked in big family kitchens or restaurant kitchens but I like cooking in a team. Find some other like-minded friends, or mums who have kids the same age as yours (similar portion sizes) and cook together! This is especially great in Paris because we don’t all have fully equipped or big enough kitchens. Choose the friend with the biggest and most equipped kitchen and get together.
  2. Menu plan
    I never batch cook for the whole week ahead as we dont have the space, but make things that I use a lot of (the seven veg tomato sauce – recipe below), meals that I know are always a hit when I do them (the fish pie – recipe to come next week), or things to bring out in a no food in the house crises (meatballs, fish fingers, crackers, pesto, soup etc). Be sensible about what you’re actually going to use or you’ll end up with a freezer full of bone broth because you’ve read about how awesome it is for you but you’ll realistically never use. 
  3. Shop
    To save time when I batch cook I make sure to shop somewhere that will definitely have everything I need, which is not as easy as it sounds in Paris. When I do our weekly shop I go to the market/cheese-monger/butcher/baker etc. but for batch cooking I head straight to the supermarket. The list is split into the ingredients for each meal and whatever containers I’m going to need to store them.
  4. Storage
    Generally I try to eliminate plastic and disposable containers as much as possible using mason jars and IKEA glass storage boxes. However, we do use ziplock freezer bags for the soups and sauces as they freeze flat and save us so much space. I’ve also just found some excellent toddler portioned size foil ramekins.


Some general advice to consider:

  • Rather than cooking one recipe at a time, I like to wash, chop and cook all the veggies first. Especially if I’m doing seven veg tomato sauce or a vegetable soup. That way I can get the sauce on the go quickly while the onions and leeks are sweating in olive oil for the fish pie. 
  • This doesn’t have to be your technique. Once you’ve done it a couple of times you’ll find your own rhythm and flow for the process. 
  • I like to clean as I go, it keeps me calm as I cook and means that you don’t extend your cooking time with clean up.

Seven Vegetable Tomato Sauce

We use this sauce as a base for practically everything. I keep it un-seasoned in portioned bags so that it can be transformed easily into soup, pizza base, pasta sauce, curry, tomato base for chilli and spaghetti bolognese or anything else that calls for a can of tomatoes.

  • Two 400g cans of chopped tomatoes

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 leek
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 small sweet potato 

Roughly chop all the veg into cubes.
Fry the leek, onion, garlic and carrots in a glug of olive oil over a medium heat until they start to soften.
Add the rest of the veg and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the cans of tomatoes. Fill each can up 3/4 of the way with water, swish around and add to the pot too. 
Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for an hour or until the vegetables are soft.
Blend the sauce with a stick blender, divide into portions, let cool and freeze for up to three months. 

The fish pie, meatballs, pesto and crackers are all recipes I’ll be putting up on the blog in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eyes peeled on instagram and Facebook!

Happy cooking!



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Paris Kitchen: Quick Chocolate Orange Cake

Stan’s love language is not gift giving. He doesn’t see things and think that I’ll like them, it’s just not in his nature – so generally I’m pleasantly surprised when he gets a gift so spectacularly right , it’s as if he was in my head. Obviously my favourite gift this Christmas was the Harry Potter wand that controls the TV (all my Witching dreams come true!) but my runner up was the absurdly lovely book « Feeding a family: A real life plan for making dinner work » by Sarah Waldman.

Christmas day was just a week ago and I’ve already made three dinner recipes and three desserts from this book. They’re all healthy, packed with nutrients and what’s more, Arthur has devoured all of them. As I might have mentioned, we’ve been going through a bit of a vegetable dry patch with Arthur. I’ve tried to remain calm about it, tried to remember that it’s just a phase but, as a cook it’s been really disheartening and my passion for cooking family meals has suffered as a result. 

Well, long story short, I think Arthur’s eaten more vegetables this week than he has in the whole of the rest of December. Basically this book is the inspiration I’ve been searching for and I encourage you, if you want to up your kitchen game with ease, to get this book and follow Sarah Waldman’s blog too. You won’t regret it. 

I’ve included in this post her recipe for quick chocolate citrus cake. This dense, delicious cake has been a massive hit in our house (particularly with Terry’s Chocolate Orange loving me and Arthur!). Just to clarify – this ISN’T my recipe and I want to give full credit where credit is due.


  • 200g dark 70% chocolate
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose unbleached flour
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • Whipped cream & sliced orange for the top
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 210° Celsius and grease an 8 inch cake pan. Line the cake pan with greaseproof paper.
  2. Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Add the coconut sugar to the chocolate mixture, stir well, and set aside to cool for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one by one to the chocolate mixture, whisking well after adding each egg. Add the flour and the orange juice and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for around 25 minutes or until the center of the cake looks just set.
  4. Once removed from the oven allow the cake to cool for ten minutes or so still in the cake pan on a wire cooling rack, then carefully invert the cake onto the rack and peel away the greaseproof paper. Allow the cake to cool completely before topping with the whipped cream and oranges.

This cake is decadent enough to be served as dessert at your next dinner party, but equally just as easy to whip up for your kid’s gouter or evening dessert. It was such a treat to have chocolate cake mid-week that Arthur thoroughly enjoyed it, as did I!

Happy baking!


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Paris Kitchen: Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

There are two ways to make risotto: quick and easy, or slow and long. I’ve always been a fan of the quick and easy version (adding all the stock at once and letting it reduce) but now Arthur can play independently at my feet in the kitchen while I cook, I love the magic of taking a long hour to cook something properly, pair flavours and watch a delicious meal come together. 

What you’ll need

While risotto can seem intimidating, it’s actually very easy, just quite labour intensive. For this one you will need:

  • One medium butternut squash, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • One onion, diced
  • 400g risotto rice
  • 75ml dry white wine (or cooking wine)
  • Olive oil
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock 
  • Knob of salted butter
  • Big handful of parmesan
  • Fresh Rosemary – to garnish


  • Pop your butternut squash into a roasting tray and roast at 180°c for 25-30 minutes. While it’s roasting, start softening your onions in a large pan on a low heat and heat up your chicken stock in a saucepan
  • Add the rice to the softened onions and give a good stir and add the wine. Stir until the liquid has been absorbed
  • Start adding the stock to the rice and onions two ladles at a time, still on a low/medium heat. Stir each time until the liquid has been absorbed

  • Continue adding and letting the stock absorb until you have only two ladles left in your saucepan. Add the roasted butternut squash. It should disintegrate a bit and turn your risotto orange. Add the last two ladles of stock
  • When the last of the stock has nearly been absorbed, stir through your butter and parmesan
  • Allow the liquid to absorb to your preference. Season and serve with more parmesan and the rosemary

This recipe serves around six or you can freeze it into twelve toddler portions! Sometimes I like to serve it as a side to breaded chicken or sausages, or with a side of sautéed kale or green beans.

Around this time of year cooking a meal like this really does feel like a bit of magic – putting warmth and nourishment back at the centre of our kitchen while the world gets slowly darker and colder outside is important. Using seasonal vegetables keeps us connected to the earth and the cycle of the year and taking the time to prepare something delicious has something restorative about it…Enjoy! 

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Paris Kitchen: Banana Oat Muffins

Sometimes the best things are the easiest to make. And thank goodness for that because when you realise you have basically nothing in the house and a hungry kid on his way home for gouter (snack time) things need to be quick! I have convinced myself that these delicious banana oat muffins are also breakfast appropriate because – oats! Just pop them in the oven quickly to heat them through and they make the perfect warm breakfast, dessert or snack.

You’ll Need…

2 cups of plain flour
1 cup of oats
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of unsalted melted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
(Optional) 1 tsp cinnamon & 1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 RIPE mashed bananas

If you have a local greengrocer, sometimes if you ask for really ripe bananas they’ll give you them for free! They probably won’t be able to sell them and nobody likes waste!

How to…

Pre-heat your oven to 200°c
Combine all your ingredients together – by hand if you want a lighter fluffy texture, in a mixer if you’re short on time/can’t be bothered. 
Spoon into greased and/or lined muffin tins (ours are silicone, but I still grease them a little)
Bake for 18-20 minutes until a knife comes out clean when poked. 

This recipe makes 12 muffins and if you store them in an airtight container in the fridge and heat them up when you want them they’ll last you a good week (definitely store out of sight of your kids though!)

If you were wondering, the chocolate milk pictured here with the muffin is the « healthy » chocolate milk replacement I’ve been making lately: 250ml of coconut milk, a banana and a tablespoon of unsweetened coco powder all whizzed up in the nutribullet. I keep coconut milk in the fridge so that it’s chilled when I want to drink it. 


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Paris Kitchen: Stuffed Butternut Squash

As some of you know, with a husband who works nights, I’m often alone for dinner and the evening. Over spring and summer it was easy to eat early with Arthur and I still try to do that as often as possible – it’s good for you to eat early in the evening and I think it helps Arthur eat better when we’re at the table eating the same thing! However, as autumn’s darker evenings draw in, its getting chillier and the candles are being lit I found myself craving this absolute gem of a solo dinner. 

I love all types of squash. They have the perfect sweet and savoury balance that make pairing them up with different flavours so easy, not to mention they are choc full of immune boosting vitamin A and vitamin C – vital at this time of year, especially if you have a child in school! This easy recipe teams butternut squash with that other autumn and winter superhero, Kale, crunchy red pepper, button mushrooms and creamy cottage cheese. You’ll need:

Half a butternut squash (that’s been halved lengthways and de-seeded)
A tablespoon of olive oil
Half a red pepper (diced)
Five or six button mushrooms (diced)
A handful of kale (diced) 
Two big heaped teaspoons of cottage cheese
A sprinkling of parmesan to finish

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and once it’s hot, rub your half butternut with olive oil and salt and bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile sautée your kale, red pepper and mushrooms in a little olive oil until cooked, add the cottage cheese and take off the heat. 
Once a knife goes easily into the flesh of your squash, take it from the oven and scoop out a little flesh along the length of it, so you have a channel that extends from the cavity where the seeds were. 
Fill up the empty space with your kale, pepper and mushroom mixture & pop it back into the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with parmesan, season and enjoy! If you have any of the kale, pepper and mushroom mix left over, its delicious heated up and mixed with a bit of quinoa or pasta the next day, or on its own with a poached egg popped on top.

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Our Tiny Home: Cooking

If there’s one thing you must master if you want to be a successful Paris resident, it’s the art of tiny kitchen cooking. In a city where, when you rent an apartment « a fully equipped kitchen » probably just means that there’s a sink and maybe a cupboard, getting creative with our kitchen spaces is a true Parisian art!

When we moved into our first apartment here, the kitchen was completely empty except for a sink and an ancient dark brown wood cabinet that was practically hanging off of the wall. As people who love to cook this simply would not do! In true modern style we went and purchased every possible kitchen gadget we thought we would need, as well as the absolute necessities of oven, fridge and freezer. In our tiny TINY kitchen we managed to shove: oven, fridge freezer, microwave, dishwasher, coffee machine, toaster, kettle, pots, pans, utensils, a raclette machine and a huge array of other kitchen gadgets. So many gadgets and THINGS in fact, that we never ever used them because we simply didn’t have the space to get them out! 

Now we’ve moved and have a little more space and I have learned my kitchen hoarder lesson. In our old apartment I was overwhelmed by things and I cooked far less and far less elaborate meals because I barely had the space to move. Not because our kitchen was small, but because it was cluttered. Yes, I still have a few kitchen gadgets (and I won’t be giving them up anytime soon!) but we’ve pared down and started using our space much much more creatively. My advice would be that if you can’t tidy it into a cupboard, you should be using it at least three to four times a week – and if you’re not using something three to four times a week, do you really need it? 

Thinking about what you actually use your kitchen for is important here as well. Are you someone who really bakes, or did you just buy the whole range of Mary Berry bakeware after binge-watching four seasons of the Great British Bake Off? Do you actually like smoothies or do you own a Nutribullet because everyone on your Instagram feed seems to always have a green smoothie in hand? This sounds really obvious but we are all guilty of aspirational purchasing, and in a world that is obsessed with cooking and food plus social media…almost nowhere else is this more prevalent than in the kitchen. 

Having said that, there are gadgets that make tiny kitchen life when you have a family much much easier. My slow cooker and the kitchen aid are the two things that spring to mind here (both were gifts that we thought about and asked for long in advance). The slow cooker is wonderful because honestly, batch cooking means less overall time spent in the kitchen, it means healthy food is always on hand with very little work and it only involves one pot – a huge plus for tiny spaces! Another reason the slow cooker is great is because in Parisian kitchens, there often isn’t space for an oven. I’ve been to great dinner parties where everything has been cooked using a table top hob and a slow cooker (including an amazing Thanksgiving with all the trimmings!)

If you have some steps to take to downsize into your Parisian sized kitchen, there’s three main points to consider:

  • Prioritise: what are you cooking? What do you want your kitchen to look like? Work out what you really need – for us this involved getting rid of our microwave and coffee machine for starters. 
  • Declutter: really throw or give away everything you are not using every week. Exceptions include things like raclettes or large roasting dishes that are used when you have company. Get rid of duplicates, nobody needs three sets of salad spoons. 
  • Educate yourself. Learn how to cook great dishes with what you’ve got. There’s no use lusting after an oven if there’s just no space for one in your kitchen. 

My kitchen still looks more cluttered than I’d like, but thankfully now that’s because I’m in there every single day using my stuff instead of being shut out by the overwhelming amount of things and lack of space. I hope some of this has been helpful and I’m sorry that sometimes the only answer when it comes to tiny apartment living is to have less stuff!


***Next in the Tiny Kitchen series, batch cooking and meal planning how to***