A Warm Bowl of Goodness – Porridge

Well friends, I’ve just read an article that says Western Canadians can expect one of the top three coldest winters in the last 20 years. As someone who moved from the sunny shores of Australia to Canada, I can assure you, that the article was not read with joy nor excitement.

As I wrote in an earlier article, the seasons of life, whether in nature or personally, will come and go and I realize that there is nothing neither I nor you can do to change what lies ahead. Rather, we need to prepare and equip ourselves for what is predicted to be a long and very cold winter.
With that in mind I am reminded about the breakfast I prepared for our family this morning. I like to send my kids off to school well fed, with something stuck on their ribs. Studies prove that children who have a good breakfast are able to learn better, to focus more and to simply manage their day better. Studies also show that less and less children are arriving at school well fed. Schools and communities are now offering breakfast programs because the need for breakfast is so important.
Getting up in the morning is a struggle for most people, we seem to be over charged and under rested, it’s just a symptom of the society we are living in. I have made a choice to make sure I get up earlier than my children every morning. I do this for a number of reasons:
1). The morning is my favorite time of the day. I love the quiet of the morning and it allows me time to focus for my day and prepare.
2).  I love making sure my children have a good breakfast and that pack them a healthy lunch.
It takes planning and discipline. Discipline because many days {especially cold winter mornings} hitting the snooze button feels like the right thing to do yet it never is. Today, as I rose from my warm, comfy bed, I could feel the chill in the air. I knew today was a day for a warm bowl of goodness. Yes, today kicked off what will be many mornings where my children will be greeted with a warm bowl of porridge. Porridge that is lightly sprinkled with brown sugar and finished off with a splash of warm milk. This coupled with a slice of buttered toast, in my books, is the best way to start a chilly fall or cold winters day.
Porridge is a wonderful meal that can be made ever so simply or, if you want to jazz it up you can do so with flax, fiber, raisins, cranberries, nuts or anything else that works for your family. It may seem like a lot of work in the morning but really it only takes a few minutes longer than preparing a bowl of cereal. Also, if you’re clever you can learn how to make crock pot porridge {I’ve never mastered this} which means it cooks over night and is ready to go when you wake up.
A warm bowl of goodness is the perfect way to send your children off to school when there’s a chill in the air. Not only is it good for their growing bodies, it helps in so many other ways and it’s budget friendly. Make a little extra and treat yourself…. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
As we all prepare for the cold winter mornings ahead, make sure you add Oats to your shopping list.

Jamie Oliver’s Killer Jerk Chicken

I understand that getting dinner on the table can be a challenge. Especially when you’re working, looking after kids and trying to find that balance that allows you not only the time to create something nutritious for your family but the head space and the energy to pull it all together. In an effort to help I am pulling together a few thoughts, ideas, and workable solutions to help bring that balance into play.

As many of you know, I’m passionate about seeing individuals and families thrive rather than strive so today marks Day 1 of a number of posts where I will tackle ‘WorkPlace & Family Balance‘ and hopefully provide solutions for busy people who desire to find, create and live balanced lives. Endeavouring to do so ultimately offers the best to your family, your workplace and allows you space to create quality and quantity time. I’m excited because this is a space that I love to occupy.

ONE CHALLENGE we all face is food. With the rise in obesity, the lure of take away and the absence of time it can ~ and for all of us has been challenging. Today, I’m going to share a solution from our home which comes in the form of a recipe. Every recipe, thought and idea I share here are all ‘Tried and True‘ through our personal test situations. (I promise to share some of the disasters too!) Here we go… If you’re interested to follow on Twitter or Instagram you can check out everything that is offer.

The other day my beautiful 8 year old daughter, Ella, and I found ourself glued to the TV watching the Food Network and another edition of Jamie Olivers 30-Minute Meals. On this particular episode, Jamie was making his Killer Jerk Chicken. A few things I loved about this show:

    1. Nothing was pre-prepared for Jamie, he had to open every packet, get everything from his fridge, turn on and preheat his own oven, boil his own water {you know how on some cooking shows everything is usually ready and waiting and the chef just goes to work and makes it look like it’s 30mins… when in actual fact our ‘at-home-experience’ turns out to be more than a 1hr endeavour}. I loved this!
    2. Although there were a number of ingredients, most we all probably have in our pantry’s with the exception perhaps the chilli’s, black beans and fresh herbs. I like these recipes.
    3. I made the Jerk Sauce in the morning and it took only minutes, popped it in the fridge and it was ready and waiting for the dinner prep.
    4. Cooking times were exact so I was able to tell my family ‘Dinner will be ready in 6 minutes’ all based on the oven setting. Sometimes cooking times can vary. I like when they work according to the recipe/chef.

So, here you go…

Jamie Oliver’s Killer Jerk Chicken Recipe with Rice & Black Beans & Cinnamon + Grilled Corn.

On the show Jamie included a salad which I will do next time, just didn’t have the head space to make it last night. In saying that, I have included the recipe for you). Now go, create and gather your family around the table and enjoy!


30 Minutes Preparation30 Minutes Cooking. Serves: 6. (Note: This recipe is actually for 4, but I simply added 2 extra thighs and made it serve 6 without adjusting anything. It works!)



  • 6 x 180g chicken breasts {Jamie uses skin on. I used thighs and skin off}
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • a few sprigs of fresh coriander


  • 5 large corn on the cob, husks removed {I used medium cobs}


  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 250g long-grain rice
  • 600ml organic chicken stock
  • 1 x 400g carton of black beans


  • 4 spring onions
  • a small bunch of fresh thyme
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • ground cloves
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground allspice
  • 6 tablespoons golden rum (if you don’t have rum just buy the tiny bottle from the liquor store it’s exactly 6 tbsps)
  • 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli {I used a Jalapeño instead}
  • 4 cloves of garlic


  • olive oil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & black pepper


  • 1 x 250g pot of natural yoghurt
  • a few sprigs of fresh coriander
  • 1 lime


TO START: Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Fill and boil the kettle. Put a large griddle pan and a large saucepan on a high heat. Turn the oven on to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.

CHICKEN: Put the chicken breasts on a plastic board and halve each one, leaving them joined at the top of the breast. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then rub all over both sides of the chicken. Put into the hot griddle pan, skin side down, and leave to cook. Clear away the board and wash the knife and your hands.

CORN: Put the corn into the saucepan with a good pinch of salt and cover with boiling water. Put the lid on.

JERK SAUCE: Trim and roughly chop the onions and put into the liquidizer with the leaves from most of the bunch of thyme, 3 bay leaves (stalks removed), a large pinch each of ground cloves, nutmeg and allspice, 6 tablespoons each of rum and vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of salt.Remove the stalks and seeds from the Scotch bonnet chilli {I used a Jalapeno for extra zing} and add the chilli to the liquidizer, then quickly crush in 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic and blitz with the lid on until you have a really smooth paste. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to loosen, if needed.

CHICKEN: The undersides should be golden now, so turn the chicken over. Pour the jerk sauce into a snug-fitting baking dish and use tongs to lay the chicken on top, skin side up {if you have skin on}. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of runny honey and scatter over a few sprigs of rosemary and the remaining thyme sprigs {I rub these with olive oil to keep them moist whilst cooking}. Put on the top shelf of the oven and cook for 15minutes, or until cooked through. Carefully pour away the oil from the griddle pan and wipe clean with kitchen paper, then put back on a high heat.

RICE & BEANS: Put a large wide saucepan with a lid on a medium heat. Trim and finely slice the spring onions and put in the saucepan with the cinnamon stick, a good lug of olive oil and a big pinch of salt & pepper. Stir and let soften for a minute or so, then add the rice and chicken stock. Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the pan. Stir gently. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium heat. Pop the lid on and leave for 12 minutes. OR, you can do what I did to save time and stress… I popped it all in my rice cooker {if you have one} and let it do the work. Saved time and turned out beautiful!

YOGHURT: Tip the yoghurt into a small serving bowl. Finely chop a few sprigs of coriander and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt and a good lug of extra virgin olive oil. Finely grate over the zest of 1/2 the lime and squeeze in the juice. Stir in, then take to the table with the other lime half for squeezing over.

CORN: Use tongs to move the corn to the hot griddle pan and drizzle over a little olive oil {I added a bit of salt too} . Cook and turn frequently until charred. Once ready, put on a platter and take to the table.

TO SERVE: Take the chicken out of the oven, sprinkle over some coriander leaves and take straight to the table – I cooked it in an oven-proof pan so it looked amazing and went straight from oven to table. I used a cutting board and put my rice (from the rice cooker) on the board and then the corn and it looked beautiful. When serving, spoon over the jerk sauce from the bottom of the baking dish.

Tired of trying to be perfect? Download the first chapter of my new book “True You” for free here.

Margarita Chicken

A few months ago (whilst still living in Canada) my mum and I were having a nice, relaxing evening, we were enjoying a glass of wine with some yummy food. It was one of those nights where we decided to eat ‘tapas’ style. One of our dishes was another of Chef Andre’s scrumptious creations ‘Margarita Prawns‘. Needless to say, as with anything Chef Andre makes, the prawns were absolutely divine. The next night, we were having people over and with the ingredients we used for the prawns still in my fridge and bursting with flavour, we decided to play around with this tasty recipe and change it up a bit for a bit of variety. This resulted in ‘Margarita Chicken’ and it was equally as good as the prawns and enjoyed by everyone.

So, as with anything great we manage to prepare, we wanted to share. These recipes are great for summer or those cool, crisp fall nights I am now enjoying in Australia. So, Northern Hemisphere friends take this recipe and dine Al fresco whilst we in the Southern Hemisphere will enjoy under our deck heathers.

Enjoy friends (picture beside is the actual pic of the prawns we made).

Margarita Chicken


1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tequila
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lime (for zest and juice)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined


In a large bowl, combine cilantro, garlic, tequila, oil, lime zest, lime juice, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
Add the shrimp, tossing to coat.
Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or for up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat grill.
Grill the shrimp 6 inches from the heat, turning once, for 3 minutes, or until just opaque.

Serves 4.

Red Thai Curry

Okay, for all of you who follow us regularly and who LOVE our ‘tried & true’ GetRealLive Recipes, this one will NOT disappoint.

Barry Crocker Jr. and his lovely family are some of our closest friends and whenever we are together one thing is for sure…. we will EAT! We love getting together and it’s always a food explosion, whether it be Philip’s famous Seafood Nights complete with freshly shucked oysters, Crab and Lobster and usually a bucket o’ clams, Barry’s delicious Chicken Burgers (I promise I will get that recipe from him….) or our GetRealLive fav Bill Grangers Caramel Chicken food when we are together NEVER disappoints. This coupled with years of family memories, kids growing up, challenges in life, the highs and the lows and then, of course, everything in between. With all of this, we consider the Crocker family one of our nearest and dearest and a safe place for all of us.

So, without much more I want to share this video with you, Barry has not only shared the recipe but he’s taken the time to share it via video for our family, friends, readers, listeners and followers to enjoy. I promise that once you have this, you won’t regret it and you (like myself) will crave it. Also, your kids will enjoy it and the moment the scent begins to travel through your home, your kitchen will have a gravitational pull that simply can’t be denied. It’s perfect to serve guests as well and you will dazzle them with your culinary brilliance. Additionally, it keeps well so leftovers are perfect.

Enjoy friends and thanks Barry for doing this and believing in GetRealLive. For those of you in LA if you want to see more of Barry, check out Hope Church Santa Monica where he and Suzie his wife Pastor a vibrant and very relevant Church. His three gorgeous children are there as well and over the years, they have been some of the most beautiful influences in my children’s lives. Explaining that to you really sums up the story of GetRealLive ~ we are all about building extraordinary families, developing relationships and strengthening the communities we live in. Trust me LA friends, if we were there, we’d be at Hope Church Santa Monica.

Caramel Chicken – Bill Granger

After many requests I have decided to post this recipe. I can’t take any credit for finding it, however, indulging in it and enjoying every bite, I can!!! This recipe was found by on of my closest friends who is a known domestic Goddess,  Samantha Cosatto. The origins of this recipe are from one of GetRealLive favourite chefs, the one and only….  Bill Granger. We have a few favorites at GetRealLive and Jamie Oliver and Bill Granger are two of our tops!

The recipe Caramel Chicken and it is simply delish. Your family and friends will love this and as a reminder, we want to let you know that all of our recipes are tried, true and tested by GetRealLive families and friends.

Caramel Chicken by Bill Granger
8 Chicken thigh fillets, skinless chopped in half
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
freshly ground black pepper
60ml (1/4 cup) dark soy sauce
115g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) fish sauce

Place the chicken and oil in a large bowl and toss to combine. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat until hot. Add the chicken, in two batches, and cook for 2 minutes on one side until lightly brown, turn and cook for another minute. Remove from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add a little extra oil if needed. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return the chicken to the pan, sprinkle liberally with black pepper, add the soy sauce and stir to combine. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high, add the sugar and stir to combine. Cook uncovered for 3 to 4 minutes, for until the sauce is rich, dark and syrupy. Add the fish sauce and stir to combine. Place in a serving dish and serve with steamed rice and green vegetables.

Serve with steamed rice and green vegies.

Green Vegies:

You can either steam these or lightly stir fry in a tablespoon of oil and garlic – either way tastes great. Be adventurous with your veggies there is more to life than green beans, frozen peas and iceberg lettuce.

To make life easy for you and to take the headache out of meal planning we have included a shopping list for this meal (we will do this for all of our meal recipes). All you need to do is simply cut, paste, print and away you go to the shops armed with everything you need for a healthy, substantial meal that will make you look like a total legend at home.

Grocery List:
8 Chicken thighs
1 red onion
1 bulb of garlic
Dark soy sauce (if you’ve run out)
Fish sauce (this is a great ingredient to have on hand – it’s becoming more and more popular so don’t hesitate to buy. It keeps in the fridge for sometime).
Broccoli (Chinese or normal – Chinese is the long skinny one)
Snow peas
Baby Bok Choy

Enjoy and remember to share this with friends…everything tastes better when it’s shared.


GetRealLive Friends Share ‘ChangetheAge’ Recipes

GetRealLive friends/listeners/fans/followers are on the move and some have really taken up the ‘ChangetheAge’ Challenge. We are excited about seeing and hearing about real change happening in people’s lives.

Pam Johnstone from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada is one of our ‘ChangetheAge’ friends and she has just sent us a new chicken recipe that she is loving. This recipe is filled with goodness, it’s low fat, great protein and something the whole family will love.

If you would like to share one of your recipes please do…. We love sharing 🙂

Thanks for sharing Pam.




Rosemary Chicken ~ submitted by Pam Johnstone

2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground rosemary
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp coarse grind black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Sea Salt
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken

Note: Sometimes I add 3 Tbsp of lime juice just because it adds to the flavor. Also, leave out the olive oil and the dry ingredients can be used as a rub for BBQ chicken!)

Mix all your dry ingredients together and drizzle over chicken. Bake at 425 degrees for 30mins, or just until chicken is done. Stir occasionally.

Serve this on a bed of rice, quinoa or whatever you choose and make a nice crunchy salad to go with.

Chicken Burgers with a Twist

Are you looking for something for dinner this weekend? Tired of the same old, same old? Well do we at getreallive have a treat for you. Straight from the streets of Santa Monica this chicken burger is one you’ll crave (I know our family does!) This is our friend, Barry Crocker, he is an extraordinary cook…. One of our men in the kitchen!

This perfect for one of those lazy Saturday or Sunday’s when you want something tasty but something easy. You can jazz it up, totally make it your own by adding toppings like: Avocado, Caramalized Onions, Beets, Capsicum, Asiago Cheese, Pickles, whole grain mustard and some crunchy garden lettuce. Seriously YUM!