I consider myself fortunate. Cooking has always been a part of my life, from running through the commercial kitchens of wineries as a child, baking with Grandma at home, or helping to run the primary school canteen in grade 6.
Although I never in my wildest dreams thought it would be my chosen career!
I have a passion for looking after people, I thrive on the satisfaction I get from seeing people happy.
I spent my spare time as a child volunteering for my local Lions Club helping the ladies cater for their fundraisers throughout the years, naturally moving into many waitressing rolls after year 12, whilst studying Interior Design and later going into an Apprenticeship in Cabinet Making.
After having my daughter in 2014, life changed. I was no longer able to meet the physical demands of Cabinet Making. Up until this point food had been a hobby. I found myself looking for work.
My daughter Zabella assisting me in preparing meals at the shearing sheds
I received a phone call one day asking if I would consider cooking for a team of shearers - this was a complete surprise to me! My younger brother (bless his cotton socks!) had put my name forward to his shearing contractor. I very nervously accepted his offer of two weeks' work. What followed were some of the hardest weeks of my life! I found myself struggling to juggle the mum/work balance as I cooked five meals a day for 12 hungry shearers and kept up with breast feeding, changing, washing, sleeping, teething and starting solids! Many tears were shed that week, but everyone was fed and happy! So much so I was offered more work to follow!
I had found my new career path, and loved it!
After this, I thought applying for a position at Stepping Stones would be a walk in the park. Children must be easier to please than shearers!
I was wrong! I remember sitting in the interview when I was told I would be catering for up to 90 children a day! (I should have done my research!) I almost got up, shook Sarah’s hand and said, “Thanks for your time, but I’m out!”
Taking a big breath I went home that day and with my head down and recipe books in hand I started planning!
I’ve never looked back!
Bow-Tie Skillet Alfredo
I love the simplicity of this dish. Whilst trying to lighten the meal options coming into the warmer weather I stumbled across this beauty! The children love it! It relates back to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, including Pasta, Lean meats, Vegetables and Dairy! (Shhh! Don’t tell the children!)
Bow-tie Skillet Alfredo
• 1 pkts Bow-tie pasta
• 800g Chicken Strips
• 1 tbs Olive oil
• 1tbs Garlic
• ¾ cup Stock
• ¾ cup Milk
• 1/3 cup Cream
• 4tbs Parmesan
• 1 punnets cherry tomato
• ½ bunch baby spinach
• Fresh parsley (to serve)
Cook pasta until Al dente
Season chicken and cook in Olive oil in frypan, then remove.
Add butter, garlic and Sautee.
Let bubble, then reduce for 1 ½ mins
Add milk and cream s&p
Add parmesan, whisking constantly.
Thicken a little then remove from the heat.
Return chicken and tomato, spinach and pasta.
Toss, season and serve