With a focus towards fresh, locally-sourced seafood and organic wines from the local community, ALMA is inspired by the dishes of coastal Mexico, and the rich heritage of their local community. Based in Avalon, on Sydney’s northern beaches, the restaurant is run by Tim Christensen and Jack Leary. Below Jack shares a great mango infused cocktail for summer, a Maso Menos. Taking a tequila base, and layering with Suze, a french liqueur, this one is a sure fire party starter!


Maso Menos

40ml Blanco Tequila

10ml Suze

20ml Lime juice

15ml Fresh mango puree

15ml Sugar syrup (1 part sugar 5 parts water )

10ml Egg white

Cardamom dust to finish


Steps: Nice and easy!

  1. Combine all liquid ingredients in a Boston glass
  2. Top with ice and shake for 20 seconds
  3. Pour into a coupe glass and dust with cardamon
  4. Enjoy!

Here’s to a relaxing break over summer!



Website: https://www.almaavalon.com.au/
Instagram: alma avalon



Lizzie Hewson, author of “Moving Out, Eating In”, shares with us a quick recipe to make wholesome, tasty flatbreads that can be used as a base for any number of bits and pieces loitering in your fridge.


This flat bread recipe is my go-to after work meal. It requires minimum fuss, is made from ingredients found in my pantry and can be reinvented time and time again. I top my flatbreads with whatever I have in my fridge – thinly shaved zucchini with lemon, feta and mint; tomatoes, ricotta and thyme or basil; smoked salmon, capers, lemon and even left-over mince. They make a great breakfast too, top with a runny egg, bacon and chilli.


Flat bread

1 cup plain flour

½ cup plain yoghurt

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for cooking

1 teaspoon salt flakes


In a bowl, mix all the flat bread ingredients together until you have a dough. Tip the dough out onto a flour surface and knead for a minute or two, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky. Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll out using a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine) until about ½ cm thick.

Meanwhile, put a large frypan on medium-high heat. When hot, add oil then your flat bread, cooking one or two at a time. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden, then flip and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Serve with topping of your choice.










Website: https://movingouteatingin.com
Instagram: @elizabethhewson/


Good friend to The Balcony Garden, Jessica Auswild, started her website “Whole Start” to offer families inspiration, practical advice and tips on approaching food in a wholistic but realistic way. If you haven’t read about Whole Start on our blog check out this article. If you have, here’s another tasty eat –



Pineapple Fried Rice

Serves 4

With the weather warming up, we are feeling tropical vibes!

Fried Rice is an easy go to weeknight meal and served in these sweet mini pineapples it’s sure to please the fussiest of eaters.

You can supercharge your rice by cooking it in bone broth and always make extra as it never goes astray.

It’s also a great way to use up leftovers, so feel free to add in extra’s (corn, peas, grated carrot, chicken, prawns, bacon etc).


1 red capsicum, diced
1 small pineapple, diced
1 brown onion, diced
150g brown mushrooms, diced
3 eggs – make into an omelette, dice or slice
1.5 cups uncooked brown rice – cook in bone broth, stock or water
1 Tbs coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbs tamari
Chopped roasted cashews (optional)


1. Cook brown rice (follow packet instructions) in bone broth, stock or water. Usually takes around 25mins.

2. Heat oil in fry pan. Add onion, pineapple, capsicum and mushrooms. Stir until liquid has evaporated and everything is caramelised.

3. Once rice is cooked and cooled slightly, combine with vegetable/pineapple mix and omelette.

4. Add 1-2 Tbs of Tamari and combine.

5. Top with cashews.





Website: www.wholestart.com.au
Instagram: @whole_start







Good friend to The Balcony Garden, Jessica Auswild, started her website “Whole Start” to offer families inspiration, practical advice and tips on approaching food in a wholistic but realistic way.


 “Whole Start” was inspired by Jessica’s two children; while she had always embraced a healthy lifestyle having children she became even “more mindful about what we consume as a family and what my children’s growing bodies need to be resilient, strong, happy and healthy.” That mindfulness leads her to cook and creating recipes for the family with the principle of ‘whole foods’ which Jessica describes as “being able to name every ingredient in your meal and its origin! If you can do this it’s unlikely you are consuming highly processed, additive and preservative-laden foods.”



There are also two ingredients that she avoids using in her recipes even if they would normally call for it. The first is a gluten, as she has a gluten sensitivity, when a recipe calls for soy, flour or pasta she will instead substitute for “whole grain gluten-free options such as quinoa, brown rice, millet, buckwheat and amaranth.” The next ingredient is refined sugar as “they are stripped of goodness and therefore offer no nutritional value. There are so many alternatives available, our go-to’s are honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar.”


We also could not resist asking Jessica to provide us with some tips for those struggling to get their children to have a more healthy and diverse diet: “Firstly, eating as a family! I cannot emphasise enough how important this is. It fosters togetherness, communication and models healthy eating habits. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or weekend meals, the aim is to reduce the number of meals you eat separately. It’s so important for young children to see their parents eating and enjoying a healthy and diverse diet.

Secondly exposure, this starts with the purchasing of food, take your children along to your local grocery or farmers market and get them to look, touch and smell the produce. At home get them involved in meal preparation whether it be washing fruit or vegetables, spinning the lettuce, stirring ingredients, cutting a carrot or taking scraps to bin/compost. No matter the task you are getting them to engage and become more familiar with different foods, instead of it just turning up on their plate.”


We were curious to find out what the best piece of advice Jessica had received when it came to cooking. With her family being such a big influence, it was no shock to find out that advice had come from her own mother. “Keep it simple and adapt! Obviously, some of us feel more confident in the kitchen but meal times don’t have to be complicated, use simple ingredients and recipes. People often feel they need to adhere strictly to recipes but don’t be afraid of substituting, use what you have on hand, what’s in season and what your family enjoys.”

Now, time for one of Jess’ recipes!


Lamb Kofta Lettuce Wraps

I love shared dishes as they bring people together and highlight the importance of eating as a family. This is a no fuss meal, which is suitable for all ages. I like to include spices in my cooking as it exposes children to different flavours, the cinnamon adds a lovely sweetness. As with any recipe adjust to taste, if you prefer beef mince or a different spice, change it up to suit your family.

600g organic lamb mince
1 egg
1 small carrot, finely grated
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon
½ tsp dried parsley
½ tsp sweet paprika
2-3 Gem Lettuces
1 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Greek Yoghurt or Tzatziki
Pomegranate (optional)

1. Place mince, egg, carrot, onion, garlic and herbs/spices in a bowl and combine. If you’re children are sensitive to texture, you could blitz the carrot, onion and garlic in a processor until smooth before combining with the rest of the ingredients.
2. Shape your mixture into mini kofta’s. Makes approx 25.
3. Heat oil in a pan and cook kofta’s in batches. Around 3 mins each side, or until cooked through.
4. Arrange lettuce cups and kofta’s on a large platter. Scatter with cucumber and pomegranates. Serve with good quality greek yoghurt or tzatziki.


Website: www.wholestart.com.au
Instagram: @whole_start






Recipe: Pomegranate slow cooked lamb

Another fantastic recipe from our in-house cook Elizabeth Hewson (we wish). This Middle Eastern inspired dish is packed full of flavour and makes an impressive dinner party meal. The dish is completed with a bejeweling of pomegranate seeds that not only look beautiful but also add a wonderful texture against the slow cooked lamb.  …