Jay and Sarah charmed Kiwis when they appeared on our screens in TVNZ’s inaugural My Kitchen Rules NZ. Since then the dynamic duo has been serving up family friendly food, travel and fun underpinned by their gorgeous values and joy for life!
We love that they’re so passionate (and organised!!) maintaining the healthy balance between being amazing parents to their three kids, work and socialising with their friends. The couple, who has been together for 14 years, has the formula sorted, and they share below how they breeze the day.
Plus, we had to find out what this fab pair could create with our very own Almond Breeze Almond Milk and WOW, did they deliver! If you like chocolate and gooey goodness (aka if you are human!), then this recipe is for you… it’s Sarah and Jay’s Gluten-Free Gooey Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding and it looks all kinds of delicious, and the pair shares the recipe below!
1. You’ve carved out a niche as epic cooking parents creating food for the family that’s simple, nourishing and affordable. How important is health and wellness to you personally and for your kids?
Our health and wellness is super important to us. When we look at our lives, we strive to have balance (always a constant journey) in all areas of life physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. What’s the point in being this gym junkie if you’re not working on your mental health and having a balanced nourishing diet right?
Since becoming parents we’ve really been trying to slow down with things so that we can focus on having more time as a family and we’ve been doing this with our kids as well.
We don’t overwhelm them with loads of extracurricular activities and we encourage them to have lots of technology free chill time. Our kids love art, cooking (of course) and music so you’ll always find them drawing, strumming their ukeleles or in the kitchen cooking up a storm.
2. What do you do every day to keep the whole family balanced and happy?
Individually we all have busy schedules, but Sarah and I work and also run our content creation business, then we have the kiddies schedules as well. We’re big on scheduling in our house, so we know what time we have so we can manage our capacity and free time well.
Every week we have a family meeting and go over our weekly schedules with the kids so we know what everyone’s doing who’s doing kids pick ups, what days each of us is training etc. We schedule everything on or physical and digital calendars so we know exactly where everyone is. It sounds crazy but it helps us so much. We are lucky though that Sarah only works during school hours so she’s always around for the kiddies and I have a flexible job so I tend to have Monday and Fridays off to reset if we’ve had a busy weekend of shooting recipe content. We always leave our Friday nights and Sundays free for family home time only. We chill, have family games night and spend quality time together.
3. Tell us about your website Jay & Sarah and exciting projects you have upcoming?
Our website and social platforms are where we share all our foodie and family content. Anything from recipes, family travel to your total wellbeing is what we like to share.
We’re hustling hard in the home and we’ve got a couple of cool projects launching in a few months to help foodies and content creators do what we do, and also another project to help families learn the fundamentals of cooking fresh and affordable family food. So stay tuned for those.
4. Seeing you on our TV screens all those years ago on My Kitchen Rules NZ was such a delight. How was that experience for you and what did you learn?
The experience was amazing! It was such a great launching platform for us to build our profile and gain experience in the foodie industry.
All the competitions involve fast, high-pressure food situations so we’ve learnt how to whip up yummy recipes real quick with whatever ingredients we have which is a great skill to have when you’re writing loads of recipes. A big thing we learnt was lots of PR, marketing and communication skills, which has prepared us to be professional in our approach when we’re doing our own work.
Lastly, we learn how important it is to be your authentic self, network and make the most of all opportunities and also have fun along the way.
5. What does breezing the day mean to you both, and how has making the most of opportunities as a couple shaped your life together?
Breezing the day to us means to have your ultimate day of balance. Starting the day with gratitude, moving the body to get those happy endorphins flowing. Having quality family time and doing something every day that makes us happy whether that means cooking some yummy food or simply chilling with the family playing cards. It really is about the simple things.
6. How has making the most of opportunities as a couple shaped your life together?
Honestly, we couldn’t be any more blessed! Not everyone can say they get to do so many amazing opportunities with their spouse. We’ve done it all – cookbook, cooking show, cooking demos, content creation, social campaigns and ambassadorships. The awesome thing is that we gain so much experience and constantly learn so much about each other when we do anything together. We’ve been together for 14 years in Jan and we’ve been working together for five years now so we know each of our strengths and weaknesses which helps us work better as a team. The coolest thing though is being able to show our kids what we’ve achieved as a couple. We want to show them that no matter what you need to work hard to follow your dreams and we’ve done that with three kids in tow.
7. What’s each of your no. 1 FAVOURITE Almond Breeze almond milk flavour and why? And do the kids have a fave? (Varieties here)
The kiddies and Jay love the Chocolate Almond Breeze Almond Milk for obvious reasons – they love chocolate. The awesome thing is that it’s a great dairy-free chocolate milk alternative to have with freshly baked treats.
Mine has to be the Vanilla Almond Breeze Almond Milk. I love that it’s so silky and light. It’s also versatile for both sweet and savoury recipes but I love mine with granola and fresh fruit, or in my cheeky chai latte before bed.
8. What are each of your top THREE foolproof ways to live your best life that are a bit out of the box?
BE PROUD: Do things that genuinely make you proud of yourself whether that’s trying a new dance class, a new recipe, or saying yes to something you would normally say no to.
PUSH YOURSELF: Be intentional with everything you do, don’t just go through the motions. When you train push yourself and make it count, try new things that scare you and surrender and go with the motions rather than trying to control situations. By doing this you’ll build more capacity to do more in life.
PRESENT: It’s easy to focus on the past and plan for the future, but as much as possible, build a practice and force yourself to be present. Especially when you’re around people. You don’t want to miss out on the beauty that is life happening right in front of you.
9. Tell us something surprising about yourselves that few people know!
We’re rolling on a budget! We’re super frugal and are super skilled at bargain hunting.
Sarah is the budgeting queen – nothing gets passed her lol.
10. What are you MOST excited about for the rest of 2019 and why?
We love this time of year – this is when we start winding down for the year and start gearing up for family Christmas and the Kiwi summer. We love it because we get to spend more time outside with our kiddies and also start entertaining and hosting friends and family in our new home.
11. We LOVE recipes here at Almond Breeze, do you have a favourite recipe (using Almond Breeze almond milk) that you can share with us?
Here’s something we prepared earlier 😉… created by us especially for Almond Breeze fans!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding
The key to a chocolate lover’s heart is this gooey chocolate self-saucing pudding. Spongy chocolate cake with warm chocolate sauce – this is a messy dish of beautiful indulgence but one you don’t need to feel guilty about because it’s gluten-free and refined sugar-free as well. This is commonly baked for the colder months, but we won’t judge you if you make it during the summer as well.
Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10mins | Cook Time: 35 – 40mins
- 1 cup gluten-free self-raising flour
- 1/3 cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Almond Breeze Almond Milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 1/4 cups boiling water
- Coconut cream and berries.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 160 degrees C fan-forced. Grease an 8 cup capacity ovenproof baking dish.
- Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa into a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl add the olive oil, almond milk and eggs and whisk to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together until you have a smooth cake batter and pour into your baking dish or small ramekins.
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a medium-sized jug or bowl.
- Slowly pour the sauce to cover pudding.
- Place dish onto a baking tray. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until pudding bounces back when pressed gently in the centre.
Serve hot with coconut cream and berries.😋
From our love of Almond Breeze almond milk to yours…
Discover more almondlicious recipes by clicking here!