Easter Eats – Chickpea Coconut Curry

There are no family recipes handed down through the generations here, no fluffy hot cross buns or crispy pork crackling secrets. That’s not my kind of cooking or eating. Don’t get me wrong, I love hot cross buns, it’s just that mine are from Woolies.

I shared a photo of my dinner on Instagram last night, like millions of people do, and someone asked me if my recipes are kept anywhere.

Chickpea Coconut Curry

That reminded me, I have a blog! I should be sharing my recipes. Doh!

Chickpea Coconut Curry

Vegetarian curry featuring sweet potato, chickpeas, zucchini and coconut milk.

  • 1 large sweet potato (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder ( more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder ( more or less to taste)
  • 1 tin chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large zucchini (roughly diced)
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes ( )
  • 1/2 medium capsicum (roughly diced)
  • 1/2 tin coconut milk ( )
  • dried parsley ( a couple of shakes)
  1. Gather your ingredients, a sharp knife, your chopping board and a frying pan.
  2. Put a frying pan on a medium heat and add olive oil (or a neutral oil of choice). Peel and dice the sweet potato. Add the sweet potato to the pan.
  3. Dice the zucchini roughly. Allow the sweet potato to begin to caramelise, then add the curry powder to the pan. Give it a stir to coat the sweet potato.
  4. Add the zucchini, and the chili and garlic powder. Let them cook for a few minutes, then add your drained chickpeas and the cherry tomatoes.
  5. If you want to help the veg along a bit, add about 1/4 cup water to the frying pan. Let the heat and water do their thing while you chop your capsicum. Give the pan a stir to keep everything moving.
  6. Now add about half a tin of coconut milk and the capsicum. You want enough liquid so the veg and chickpeas are having a nice paddle about, but not drowning. Shake on some dried parsley if it seems the right thing to do.
  7. Let everything simmer away until your sweet potato is cooked to your liking.
  8. That’s it. You’ve made an incredibly simple, not-at-all authentic curry.
  9. Serve with rice or whatever takes your fancy.

My style of cooking isn’t exact. I cook by feel mostly. 

If you like onions, start with sliced onions, let them soften, then add your sweet potato. 

If you don’t like zucchini, use broccoli or beans. Substitute away, just cook from densest ingredient (sweet potato/potato) to lightest (capsicum).

Want to throw some fresh spinach in at the last minute, go nuts! 

The only outcome you’re after is tasty! 

And there you have it, an absolutely nothing to do with Easter recipe, save that I made it on Good Friday 2020.

I think the leftovers are calling me, food blogging makes me hungry.

I hope you’re having a cosy #stayathome Easter break, and that there are hot cross buns and chocolates within reach. Please let me know if you try and make this curry – and if I’ve left something obvious out of the recipe – tell me that too! (I left out the cherry toms, which I realised while I was heating up my leftovers – I’ve added them now. Phew.)

Annette xx

Back to me

John Mayer’s ‘Back to you’ ends with a variation to the chorus:

Back to me, I know that it comes

Back to me

Doesn’t it scare you?

The will is not as strong as it used to be.

I’m fairly certain John wasn’t writing specifically about me and my creative life, yet when I opened the laptop today, ‘Back to You’ swirled around in my brain.

Back to me, I know that it comes, back to me… whether that’s blogging or creating with pen and brushes or getting the damn dishes done and the groceries purchased and put away, it always comes around, back to me.

To answer John’s question, no, it doesn’t scare me that the will is not as strong as it used to be. This life isn’t all about will. We’re not here to white-knuckle through life’s ups and downs until we reach our deathbeds.

Can you think of someone who has tried to will themselves to follow a punishing diet, or stick it out in a relationship that’s bad for them, or fold themselves into a small enough, quiet enough, agreeable enough box to appease their loudest critic (internal or external)? I can. Did it work for them? They’d probably tell you that will failed them at a crucial moment. They know, sometimes from bitter experience, that the will isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

More than that, things aren’t supposed to stay as they “used to be”.

As I was walking down the hall before work yesterday, a thought popped into my head. Why do women face so much pressure to get their pre-baby bodies “back”? Why does the body have to go backwards? Why can’t the body evolve, and be different? Spoiler alert: these questions will not be answered in this post. Sorry.

I think the reason that my brain’s jukebox decided to play that particular JM track today stems from re-immersing myself into creative practices.

This month, I’ve decided to draw/paint/sketch every day, simply to reconnect with making art. I am also doing a wonderful online creative writing course called Writey-Oh! by Pip Lincolne. She’s my fave creative teacher, but you probably know that already!

By painting, by drawing, by reading Pip’s lessons and doing creative writing exercises, I feel like I am gathering kindling for the fire, or ingredients for a recipe.

Gathering kindling is all well and good, but it’s not how you make fire. Grocery shopping isn’t the same thing as serving dinner.

The point of it all is living a creative life – that comes back to me.

Unless I light that kindling and chop and combine those ingredients, I’ll remain creatively cold and hungry. Perhaps will is the ability to gather what’s needed. It gets us so far, but it alone cannot create the life we want.

Hmm, that’s a good metaphor for me. I’ve never been a big believer in the will, as mine lets me down regularly. It’s okay if yours does too, I won’t tell.

I know that it comes, back to me… and I wouldn’t want in any other way.

Annette x

Here comes Spring

Hello, do you feel the change in the air? 

I do. The days are getting longer, the sun is flexing her muscles and shining more brightly, trees that have been bare for months are in bud, and the view is beautiful. 

All of these changes are as old as time itself. Year after year, sometimes earlier than expected, sometimes later, the seasons change. We stop reaching for our coats and venture out in less layers. We throw open the windows on the weekends, rather than stoking the fire or turning up the heater. We move with the seasons. They lead, always have, always will.  

I love observing the changes from season to season. 

If you don’t pay attention, you miss so much beauty.

Look around, you might be surprised at what you see. 

This is what’s before me today. Beautiful food I need (and want) to spend time preparing, cooking and storing. What an immense privilege it is to have access to such a bounty. This is wealth. 

Look around today. 

Look at what you have, what you can see, where you are. 

I hope that as you do, you see the beauty and wealth that I see. We have so much. We also have pain and struggle and pressures, I know, but those things never get better by refusing to see what else we have. 

That’s all. 

With love, 


Annette xx 



How do you get there?

How do you get there? 

Someone asked me this today on Instagram. 

The particular “there” in this context was not comparing yourself to others. 

My answer began with; it’s a deliberate effort. 

I believe we choose, and to choose requires recognising the ways that society primes us, particularly as girls and women, to feel inadequate, unworthy and all that gross feeling stuff. 

I do not believe it is inherent part of our DNA to feel shitty about ourselves. Nope. 

Once more for those up the back; 

I do not believe it is an inherent part of our DNA to feel shitty about ourselves! 

Rather, I think we are bombarded by cultural messages that have us growing up looking for external validation. 

If we can get mum or dad’s approval, if people tell us how pretty/cute/sweet we look, we receive the message that we are enough. 

If we behave.

If a boy notices us. 

If we are a “good girl”.

If we are helpful, accommodating, and quiet. 

If we smile.

If, if, if…

Danger, Will Robinson! 

As we grow up, we notice other girls being told they are good girls. 

Somehow we believe there’s a limited amount of praise to go around, and perhaps quite unwittingly, we crave that limited edition praise only for ourselves. 

And so it begins…

If only I had her hair. 

Her pretty dress. 

Her laugh. 

Her friends. 

It’s heartbreaking. 

What can we do about it though? Isn’t this just the way it is? 

Aren’t girls naturally a little competitive, kinda bitchy? Let’s be real here.

Ahhh, no. 

That belief might be – oh who am I kidding – it is prevalent, but it doesn’t make it true. 

Commonly repeated lies don’t become facts, no matter how often they are repeated. (Take note ScoMo.) 

If only I had…

Her easy life. 

Her boyfriend. 

Her waist. 

If only I wasn’t so stupid/flat chested/fat/awkward/gross/tall/sensitive.


Any of this ringing any bells? 


I want you to think about something big here. 

Who benefits from girls growing up feeling this way?       Hint: it’s not girls. 

Who tells you they’ve got the answers?      Hint: their answers aren’t free. 

Who packages those magical answers up in shiny boxes and offers them to you for the low, low price of eleventy billion instalments of $29.95? 


Until we wake up to the fact that we are being stealthily primed to compare ourselves to others, we have no hope of ever conquering the urge. We can’t overcome something we believe is internally defective, we can only scramble to patch over it, hoping others won’t notice. 


Here’s what I know: the fight isn’t with other girls and women. 

Having her easy life, her boyfriend, her body, her dress size, it’s not what we are truly seeking is it? 


How do you get there? 

Deliberately. With effort. 


Are you up for it? 

I am 100% in, that’s why I’m writing this tonight. 


Big love, 

Annette xxx 





Walk This Way; Talk This Way


I’ve been waiting to write this post for a long time but I’ve always chickened out. Here I go. 

I’m having trouble reconciling my growing desire to speak out on subjects I feel passionate about, with the way I used to speak out about things I believed passionately. 

I have been so worried about sounding strident and prescriptive that I’ve simply stopped saying what I want to say. It’s crazy. And it’s time to try and explain why. Please stick with me. 

I want to be clear –  I’m reflecting on my experiences, how I’ve changed and how those changes leave me feeling about my days in a position of influence in the Christian communities I was part of in years gone by. 

Looking back, I feel a bit like I was a member of the Thought Police for Jesus. In the churches I attended, the level of fundamentalism, biblical literalism and group think has varied. Until I wasn’t, I was pretty gung-ho about living by the rules, as I understood them – or was instructed to understand them. 

The thing is, sincerity does not cover a multitude of sins. A person can be deeply sincere in their beliefs, and profoundly mistaken, misguided and even dangerous. That’s how I now feel about my sincere spiritual police work. 

There is nothing at all wrong with having a set of principles to live by, be they Christian, animist, Hindu or humanist. 

The stumbling block comes when a like-minded community becomes a place where making sure other people toe the line or bow the knee is prioritised. The idea of being your “brother’s keeper” has been bastardised beyond recognition. 

Loving others is a generous, expansive act. Control is the complete opposite of love. It doesn’t hope, trust or believe. 

Dressing up the urge to control others as a measure of love and spirituality…. I don’t want to put into words what I feel about that. For my part in that kind of behaviour, I feel mortified and embarrassed that I ever sincerely thought I had not only the right, but the responsibility to tell other people how to live. 

Reflecting on my experiences as a spiritual mentor of sorts to people is not black and white, though what you’ve read so far may lead you to think I see it that way. I loved the bonds of friendship I formed with the people I spent all my time with. We had purpose, we felt called to something greater than ourselves, we were serving our hearts out. I have dear friends who are still serving their hearts out, and I love and respect them for it. 

So what’s all that got to do with my ever diminishing blog? 

The fear of reverting back to being prescriptive and narrow in my opinions has stopped me from writing. I am so determined not to become the 2.0 of the Thought Police that I’ve censored myself into having nothing to say. 

Trouble is, I have so much I want to say. What I’m grappling with is how to say the things I want to say while maintaining a deep respect for the differing points of view, life experiences and wells of joy and pain we each carry. 

This is hard stuff. 

I’m trusting that those of you who know me, or have been reading the blog for a while, have read this far into this odd blog post. 

I am trusting that who I am somehow gets transmitted through my words. 

I guess I’m wondering if I can trust myself to speak my truth without slipping into old habits. 

Writing this down here is one of the first steps. I’ve been having a few conversations about this with people lately, trying to find my feet. I would genuinely be grateful if you’d let me know what your reaction to this post. 

Deep breath, it’s time to press publish. 


Annette x 


Friday Night Lights/Taking Stock: Winter


Do you like this photo? 

I do. It’s kind of like my brain tonight, a bit fuzzy yet still pleasing to look at. It’s actually an out of focus photo of evening traffic. Loads of people in their cars, waiting at the lights, heading for home after a hard day at the office. 

Tonight, the Friday of our beloved Queen’s – long may she reign – Birthday long weekend (her b’day is actually in April BTW), I sat in the traffic feeling like the top portion of this photo, mostly blankish, and super keen to get home and go promptly to bed. I was in my pjs in bed at 6:37pm. Yep. Ace. 

Now it’s a few hours later and I’m cosy cosy cosy and I have been eating corn chips and avocado dip and listening to Stephen Fry talk about electricity, magnetism and Napoleon. He’s a very clever and entertaining man. 

I’m going to take a “pick and mix” approach to the classic Pip Lincolne Taking Stock post, if you don’t mind. I felt like blogging tonight, but because of my blankish brain, I thought her prompts might be helpful. 

Here we go! 

Making: I have plans to make bread this weekend. Baking my own bread means I can scoff toast with jam, or toast with eggs – never both – without worrying about all the sodium that’s in shop bought loaves. It’s a great thing to make your own. 

Reading: I’ve just started Reckoning by Magda Szubanski. I hope I’m going to get through it, it’s a BIG book. 

Drinking: A little beverage I call an Edna. It’s half lemonade and half orange juice. Edna was my grandma, and something about this drink reminds me of her. Did your grandparents get crates of Loy’s Lemonade delivered? All kinds of spiffy flavours, and wonderful glass bottles. It’s a nostalgic, happy bevvie. Do try it! 

Cooking: Lately I’ve been cooking with lots of lentils, couscous and chickpeas. Roast pumpkin and chickpeas, tossed with spinach and a little feta is a great quick feed. Lentils in a slow simmered tomato sauce with mushrooms is a recurring dish. And then there’s my beloved Jamie Oliver chookballs with beans, capsicum and coconut milk. Yum. 

Wanting: A little more spark in my soul. 

Waiting: To see if my very recently increased dosage of antidepressants brings some of the spark back. 

Watching: Farenheit 451, The Handmaid’s Tale, Sister Wives, MasterChef Australia. 

Wearing: Right now, jimjams, but during the working week lots of pants, boots and warm jumper combos. Winter’s here! 

Enjoying: I met a brand new human this week, my newest nephew Riley. I shared a photo of us on Instagram, he’s so sweet and tiny! I now have ten nieces and nephews. TEN! They are all lovely kids, even the ones who are young adults already. 

Snacking: Toasted pita bread and dip, when I’ve run out of the only corn chips I’ve found that are *almost* low sodium. I’m also getting into berry yoghurt with a hefty sprinkling of walnuts, seeds and dried cranberries. 

Getting: Tired. My blankish brain is conking out on me, so I’ll wrap up now. 

Whether you’re in regular or long weekend mode, I hope you get some good sleep, spend time with peeps you like, and eat some chocolate. I’ve got some milky hazelnut chocolate within arms reach, so I’m outta here! 

Be good to your brains, whether they’re blankish or frantic or blessedly somewhere in between. 


Annette x 


The IKEA Sketch Project

Happy Monday, friends! Today I’d like to invite you to participate in the first ever (well, first that I know of) IKEA Sketch Project. The project is 100% endorsed by me, and IKEA have not paid me a single meatball, yet!

Before we dive in, let’s catch up a little.

Hello! Is the sun shining where you are? It is here, and it’s delightful. Spring is only days away, and that’s making me very happy. Buh-bye winter, it’s been real. I’ve basically stopped coughing up a lung, which pleases me mightily, and I’m wearing a fabulous plaid shirt today, so I’m feeling very snazzy!

How are you? Are you longing for spring? Or heading into fall? Do you have a shirt that makes you feel snazzy? I highly recommend it.

After catching up with the Kardashians this morning (Is Rob having all his tattoos removed? They look very faded.) I hot-footed it down to the library, where I nabbed my favourite spot in the quiet study area.

I’m sitting by a long, narrow window, so I can see sky and trees and grass, and hear not much except the clackity-clack of keyboards and the noise of the snack pack of the lady next to me, and an occasional cough. It’s heaven in my ‘hood.

Back to the invitation to this IKEA thingymajig; as I think you all know, I’m a teensy bit addicted to all things social media, sketching and Swedish furnishings.

You could say I’ve got a bad case of Triple S syndrome. In that respect, I’m totally anti-vax!

The much anticipated arrival of the new, shiny, ‘designed for you’ catalogue from my favourite Swedish retailer got me thinking that a great way to find inspiration for my my daily sketching practice, and work on drawing tricky stuff like chairs and tables would be to go all Julie/Julia Project on that glossy tome, and sketch something from the catalogue each day. Gosh that was a long sentence. Sorry grammar gods.

So I busted open my catalogue to page 245 on the weekend, and sketched myself an Applaro outdoor chair.

Theirs. Mine.
Theirs. Mine.


FullSizeRender (10)

Whoops, technical WordPress hitch, I don’t know how to make the double dots appear over the a and o, sorry about that to any lovely Swedishian readers. I even forgot them over the A in my sketch, ay carumba! (That’s Swedish for yikes.)

I shared my sketch on Instagram, as is my daily habit (using #IGYTsketch), and my friend Emily from Squiggle and Swirl said she’d had a similar idea about sketching from the IKEA catalogue, and Claire from Cats Eat Dogs was on board faster than you could say Swedish meatballs.

We’ve decided to take an ad-hoc sharesy approach, and take turns choosing a page number to sketch.

Earth shattering announcement – the IKEA catalogue is not the same the world over! *picks self up off floor*

When I announced that I’d sketched a chair from page 245, and Claire flipped to page 245 in her St Louis, USA version of the catalog (eep! they lost some letters too), she found an entirely different page of products.

You can check Claire’s cool Instagram account, right here and Emily’s lyrical Instagram drawings can be found here.

Would you like to sketch along with us?

For those of you thinking, I can’t draw, you’re wrong! Everyone can draw, it’s a totally true fact!

Here’s what you need to know:

We’re all on Instagram, so we’ll be sharing our sketches there.

It’s as easy as sketch, snap and tag. We’re using #IKEAsketchproject.

For the moment, either Emily, Claire or I will choose a page number or maybe a specific item (I haven’t actually run any of this past them in an official, sign up and lay your money down kind of way, because it’s a fun thing, with NO silly rules or tut-tutting), and then whoever wants to can join in and sketch and share. 

And if you just want to sketch anything that catches your eye in the catalogue, that’s okay too. 

Fun, right?

You could even create an IKEA masterpiece from macaroni, or macrame. The sky’s the limit!

Let’s also say from the get-go that this is not at all a competitive thing, it’s a we love drawing and sharing thing, okay?

It’s very important to note there are no #IKEAsketchproject police, you can dip in and out as it pleases you, but how fun would it be to see lots of hand drawn Vardagen bowls and Garnera serving stands, not to mention slightly wonky, whimsical Lisabo side tables.

So, pens, markers, watercolours, macaroni, paper and IKEA catalogue/log at the ready?


This is your official invitation to join in, just for fun, because sometimes fun and silly and wonky is a fantastically effective antidote to having to be oh-so-exacting about things, don’t you think?

Creative play, that’s where it’s at.

Come on! Join the #IKEAsketchproject, we’ll even modify the catalogue’s sub-heading:

IKEA — Designed for you. Sketched by us! 

I look forward to seeing your amazing, sweet, wonky, unbelievably stunning drawings on Instagram.

If you don’t follow me there already, you can find me here. Don’t forget to follow Claire and Emily too, they’re great!

I’m off to sketch page 175.

Page 175, here I come!
Page 175, here I come!

How do you reckon you pronounce Inbjudande??

Yours in the promotion of creative fun,

Annette xx


PS If anyone at IKEA notices this and wants to start a fabulous new range of sketched IKEA furnishings, call me!