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Love Mae Loves... Amie Harper

We took 5 minutes to catch up with the lovely culinary queen, Amie Harper...




Can you tell us a little bit about yourself in 25 words or less?

I'm a mum of 2 gorgeous children - Pip 3 1/2 & Jim almost 12 months this month dec 17th and a wife! I love the outdoors and the beach so we've always resided next to beaches since I finished study. From Sydney and now to Victoria's, chilly Torquay. We spend weekends taking the kids for walks, scoots, beach swims and plays or swims at the pool bc the water is so cold still! Just moved into a new house. It's small but lovely and the kids share a room but it's our own patch of dirt and a great backyard! I'm fun, friendly, sociable but private, colourful and a bit quirky. I love my family. The main reason I do what I do to give them a great future but to look up to me as a hard worker so they have similar work ethics and morals.

What is your background, how did Amie Eats come about?

I studied science at Monash university and then transferred to RMIT in Melbourne to study food science and nutrition degree. I had a passion for nutrition and in particular child nutrition finishing my final year focusing on child snacking behaviour within schools (14 years ago!). It horrified me to see what kids were being packed in lunch boxes back then... I was young and keen to change the world.

I had already started working in FMCGs writing recipes, assisting pack styling and creating concepts. It was a fun start to my food career. Then I went off to learn product development and food tech, which took me to Holland to research food. I was offered some amazing experiences very young but I was still drawn to child nutrition so quit my job and started to cold call child care and kindergarten to work within their setting and educate and teach kids about good food. It was really difficult and I didn't gain much momentum 10 years ago I guess things were only beginning in this area. So I went back to the big corporate route again!it wasn't until I had Pipi and I was working in Sydney with some great styling and writing experience under my belt with ACP now Bauer that I had the drive and confidence to give my own cookbook a go...

I saw a niche in the market as a new mum for inspiring fun and health food not only for baby but for mum and dad also. One meal. So at 6 months I started cooking, testing and styling recipes in my backyard. Pipi on my hip most of the time her tiny paws honing in on my creation I was trying to shoot, often with my I phone!!!i started writing recipes at night after Pipi had gone to bed. Then my little sister would edit them over in the Middle East. She was working as a journo over there... I outsourced the design layout to an old colleague and did everything else. Writing, testing, styling and photography. I aimed to finish the the. Ok by the time pip was 1, which was pretty close. IT  went to print a month or so after and my first copies arrived just before Christmas. I cold called shops to gain distribution and sold online and at markets. It went really well and is started writing book 2 when I fell pregnant with jimmy (now1)  i was quite sick and really tired so struggled running a business and the thought of doing it all again was overwhelming. I was lucky (not just luck I'd put so much hard work and Kate nights into book 1)  enough received an amazing opportunity  to be published through Murdoch. They took over book 1 distribution and the publishing of book 2, which has been sent to print and will launch early next year! Hooray!!!!

Watch this space. It was so nice to work with a creative group of people this time around and feel part of a team as a stay at home mum who works from home you can feel quite isolated. This process was great and new.

Why is nutrition so important in early years?

The first 12 months of a babies introduction to solids is so important. Not only are they open to exploring and trying everything and anything! So make the most of it. Introducing a wide variety of colourful whole foods in this first year will assist in setting up their taste preferences for life. Giving them a much more rounded palate and reducing those toddler fussy moments, which will still happen!

Can you share with us your favourite go-to recipe to quickly whip up when time is not on your side? 

Oat, coconut & chia cookies

















Ingredients:

120g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chia seeds 

Method:
Preheat oven to 175C. Line a baking tray with baking paper or rub a little butter on the base of the tray. 
Melt butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Add bicarbonate and 1 tablespoon water. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside until cool. 
Combine flour, oats, coconut and chia seeds in a large bowl. Pour butter mixture into flour and mix until combined. 
Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on baking tray 2cm apart pressing down gently. Repeat until all mixture has been used. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until your liking.

Note:  Less cook time yields a softer chewier cookie. Longer cook time will be crisper and last longer! 

Enjoy!


How do you know when your recipes are a hit?

When everyone eats it! Including the fussy toddler... and she says to me 'mmm, mummy, this is delicious and nutritious!' We cook a lot together and talk about where the food comes from to why food food is important to help how up big and strong to run fast or climb trees!!! She gets that bc she loves running and climbing.


What food can we always find in your pantry?  

Eggs can help create so many things my go to meal maker when I'm having a lazy cant be bothered cooking day, variety of grains & seeds ( they can bulk up any meal - make salads or added to porridge) , delicious bread and good olive oil!

Then there's the fridge! Although I keep my eggs in the fridge!


What’s the best piece of parenting advice you have received?


Just go with it and trust your gut. My sister also told me never to purée anything in a machine only mash with a fork when starting to introduce food. That really helped me and unknowingly probably started my thinking towards Baby Pip Eats cookbook creation!


Is there anything you have swore you would never do as a parent but have found yourself doing?

I've had to eat so much humble pie! You have no idea what your in for until you have children. I had no idea that you could feel this huge overwhelming love. The loss of complete control to this tiny little being. There were too many things I said I'd never do and did. from getting into the cot to feeding to sleep to whatever worked to get some sleep!!!


And lastly, what’s on top of your Love Mae wish list? 

I love anything Rainbow so I think I'll have to get the Rainbow Set! Gorgeous. X

Want to know more? Head to Amie's website here: amieeats.com.au

And, join her on her journey:
Facebook:
 /amieeats
Instagram:
 @amieeats 

We hope you enjoyed hearing about her life as much as we did.

Love... Mae xx

Love Mae

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