Sherried Isle of Wight Mushrooms & Fried Eggs on Sourdough Bread


  • 350 g Isle of Wight mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • Four 1/2 inch thick slices of your favourite sourdough from The Island Bakers
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Cook the mushroom:

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil. 

Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Add the onion, cover and cook until onion is softened and mushrooms browned.

Add the sherry and cook till almost evaporated. 

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

  • Toast the bread:

Arrange the bread on an oven tray and brush with olive oil.

Bake until toasted.

Transfer the toasts to plates.

  • Cook the eggs:

In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter over moderate heat.

Crack and add the eggs. Cook them until the whites are firm and the yolks still runny or soft (about 5 minutes).

  • Build your brunch:

Spoon the mushrooms on the toasts and top with the fried eggs.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Cooking can be lots of fun!

One of the way to entertain the whole family during the lock down is to have fun cooking…or at least playing with food!

Cooking with kids educates them and the family to make healthy food choices through hands-on learning with fresh, affordable ingredients.

According to their age, you can choose the best recipe and tools to use. If you are cooking with toddlers you can use a butter knife instead of a regular one, you can ask your kid to break vegetables instead of cutting them and also they can have fun washing  and seasoning ingredients.

Here are some little tips to make cooking a fun experience:

  • Set up your work space before you start, removing dangerous kitchen tools and any potential distraction for the kids.
  • Put your kids in clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, they can wear an apron and you can tie back long hair.
  • Teach your little ones about food hygiene ensuring they wash their hands before starting and between handling raw food and cooked one.
  • Explain to your children what you are going to do step by step and decide who is going to do what. Show them a picture of the end result so they know their purpose.
  • Use the right kitchen tools to make their job easier: learning tower (a stool to reach the countertop in safety), nylon knives (safer than regular ones and perfect to cut softer vegetables and fruits, cheeses and bread), kids oven mitts, long handled wooden spoons, plastic measuring cups and spoons, silicone bowls, bowl stabiliser (for the little ones who can’t old the bowl with one hand and stir with the other), mini spatula.
  • Cooking together can be a learning opportunity: name all the ingredients, talk about their origin, and taste them. Weighing ingredients can challenge their math skills and and mixing, pouring and sprinkling  improve kids motor skills and coordination.
  • Teach your kids which food is safe to eat raw and ask them to use spoons to taste instead of fingers.
  • Choose the right task to assign to any age group. Older kids can help to chop and cook while toddlers can wash vegetables, stir ingredients together, slice soft-cooked vegetables and soft fruit, sprinkle salt and peppers, crack and beat eggs.
  • Try not to stress about cooking with your kids so they will enjoy the experience better. There are plenty of basic recipes to start with. In addition, you can find easy ways for them to achieve their tasks. Mix ingredients using a jar so they can fill it and shake it instead of using kitchen tools harder to handle.
  • Rice bowls, salads, parfait and fruit kebabs are great introductory dishes that allow space to creativity using different motor skills.
  • Older kids and teenagers can also start writing down the recipes they enjoyed better making and eating! Get them a diary to start to collect them, ask them to write them down, adding any cooking tips you suggested and cooking times. Next time they will be able to make them again without your help!

For young kids, cooking might be as fun as any other messy activity (Play-Doh, painting or making slime) but it will give them the confidence to look at food like something fun to do and the curiosity to try new ingredients (even the green ones!). Cooking with your older kids will challenge them and make them feel more independent.

Organise a fun family pizza and movie night: make the pizza dough with your older kids, ask your little ones to top it up with their favourite ingredients and enjoy the dinner watching a funny movie!

Of course don’t forget to tag us on Instagram, we would love to celebrate your kids food creations!

Fruits & Veggies Dogs Can and Can't eat

Dogs digest differently than humans do, and eating the wrong foods can lead to long-term health problems and, in extreme cases, even death. As carnivores, they have no real need for fruits and vegetables as part of their diet, but an occasional fruit or veggie as a treat is ok.
Here is a list of fruits and veggies, learn what you can safely share with your dog and what should be avoided.

Yes, your dog can safely have...
Apples: rich in vitamin A, C and fibers. Low in proteins and fat they are a good snack for  senior dogs too.
Bananas: in moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They’re high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given only as a treat.
Blueberries: they are a superfood rich in antioxidants, which prevent cell damage in humans and canines alike.Try blueberries as an alternative to store-bought treats to train your dog!
Cantaloupe: packed with nutrients, low in calories, it is a great source of water and fiber. High in sugar, should be shared in moderation, especially for dogs who are overweight or have diabetes.
Cranberries: both cranberries and dried cranberries are safe to feed to dogs in small quantities. Whether your dog will like this tart treat is another question. Either way, moderation is important when feeding cranberries to dogs, as with any treat, as too many cranberries can lead to an upset stomach.
Cucumber: they are especially good for overweight dogs, as they hold little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils and they can even boost energy levels. They’re loaded with vitamins!
Mango: packed with vitamins, mango is a great treat for your dog. Just remember to remove the hard pit first as it contains small amounts of cyanide and can become a choking hazard. Because of his high content of sugar, use it as an occasional treat!
Oranges: packed with vitamin C, oranges are fine for dogs to eat, according to veterinarians, but dogs may not be fans of any strong-smelling citrus. Orange peel is rough on their digestive systems so offer your dog only the flesh of the fruit.
Peaches: as long as you completely cut around the pit first (because it contains cyanide), fresh peaches can be a great summer treat. Skip canned peaches, as they usually contain high amounts of sugary syrups.
Pears: they are a great snack because they’re high in copper, vitamins C and K, and fiber. It’s been suggested that eating the fruit can reduce the risk of having a stroke by 50 percent. Just remember to remove pit and seeds first!
Pineapple: a few chunks of pineapple is a great sweet treat for dogs, as long as the prickly outside peel and crown are removed first. The tropical fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains bromelain, an enzyme that makes it easier for dogs to absorb proteins.
Raspberries: they are fine in moderation. They contain antioxidants that are great for dogs. They’re low in sugar and calories, but high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Raspberries are especially good for senior dogs because they have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help ageing joints. However, they do contain small amounts of xylitol, so limit your dog to less than a cup of raspberries at a time.
Strawberries: they are full of fiber and vitamin C. Along with that, they also contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth.
Watermelon: its flesh is safe for dogs (remove rind and seeds first). It’s full of vitamin A, B-6, and C, as well as potassium. Watermelon is 92 percent water, so it’s a great way to help keep your dog hydrated on hot summer days.
Broccoli: it is high in fiber and vitamin C and low in fat. However, Broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which can cause mild-to-potentially-severe gastric irritation in some dogs.
Brussels Sprouts: they are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that are great for humans and dogs, alike. Don’t overfeed them to your dog, however, because they can cause lots of gas.
Carrots: they are an excellent low-calorie snack that is high in fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. Plus, crunching on this orange veggie is great for your dog’s teeth (and fun).
Celery: rich in vitamins this crunchy green snack contains the nutrients needed to promote a healthy heart and even fight cancer. Celery is also known to freshen doggy breath.
Green Beans: chopped, steamed, raw, or canned – all types of green beans are safe for dogs to eat, as long as they are plain. Green beans are full of important vitamins and minerals and they’re also full of fiber and low in calories.
Peas: they have several vitamins, minerals, and are rich in protein and high in fiber. You can feed your dog fresh or frozen peas, but avoid canned peas with added sodium.
No, dogs should not eat...
Avocado: the pit, skin, and leaves of avocados contain persin, a toxin that often causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
Cherries: cherry plants contain cyanide and are toxic to dogs. Cyanide disrupts cellular oxygen transport, which means that your dog’s blood cells can’t get enough oxygen. If your dog eats cherries, be on the lookout for dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and red gums, as these may be signs of cyanide poisoning.
Grapes and raisins: grapes are so toxic to dog that they can lead to acute sudden kidney failure. Always be mindful of this dangerous fruit for dogs.
Tomatoes: while the ripened fruit of the tomato plant is generally considered safe for dogs, the green parts of the plant contain a toxic substance called solanine.
Mushrooms: wild mushrooms can be toxic for dogs. Washed white mushrooms from the supermarket could be OK, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and skip them all together.
Onions: eating onions can cause your dog’s red blood cells to rupture, and can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea.
Spinach: high in oxalic acid, spinach blocks the dog body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney damage.

Old Fashioned Cleaning Tips

January is the right time to deep clean your house. After removing all the decorations, the house will look empty but also tidy and easier to  keep clean. Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar are good allies in our cleaning tasks.
You can use your favourite products but here are some of the old natural remedies our grandmas taught us:

Bin deodoriser: sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into the rubbish bin once a week to help absorb odours.
Stainless steel sink cleaner: make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar. Soak paper towels in solution and wipe down the sink.
Oven cleaner: mix 1 cup white vinegar and ½ cup lemon juice in spray bottle. Spray the bottom of oven. Let sit for 10 minutes, then sprinkle baking soda on top. Let sit for 10 minutes and wipe clean.
Fruit and veggie wash: mix water, baking soda and lemon juice and wipe fruits and veggies to remove wax.
Floor cleaner: mix ½ cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water. Mop the floor and rinse with clean water.
Microwave cleaner: help remove stuck-on food by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and scrubbing residue.
Dishwasher cleaner: sprinkle baking soda in the bottom of your dishwasher and run as usual to help freshen and remove stains.
Cutting board deodoriser: sprinkle board with baking soda, scrub and rinse.
Sponges cleaner: soak smelly sponges in 4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water regularly.
Shower curtain cleaner: sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge, scrub curtain and rinse off with clean water.
Comb and brush cleaner: soak combs and brushes overnight in a cup of warm water mixed with 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
Closet/Fridge/Drawer freshener: keep musty smells at bay by placing an open box or small glass jar of baking soda on a closet shelf.
Mattress deodoriser: Vacuum mattress first. Sprinkle baking soda over the surface and let it sit 30 minutes. Vacuum thoroughly.
Oil stain remover: to remove pesky oil stains from your driveway or garage floor, sprinkle baking soda over the stains and scrub with a stiff-bristle brush.
Paint brush softener: paint brushes too stiff? Boil them in a mixture of ½ gallon water, ½ cup vinegar and 1 cup baking soda.
Weed Control: generously sprinkle baking soda onto your driveway and sidewalk cracks to help discourage weeds.
Dry Pet Shampoo: to cut down on pet odour, give your dog a dry bath by sprinkling baking soda onto fur and massaging it in with a brush.
Litter box deodoriser: mix a generous amount of baking soda into the kitty litter box to help cut down on odour.
Pet bedding deodoriser: To cut down on musty pet odour, sprinkle bedding liberally with baking soda. Wait at least 15 minutes and vacuum thoroughly.
Carpet Stain Remover: mix 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup salt and 1 cup white vinegar into a paste. Apply to the stain and allow to dry. Vacuum.
Rug Deodoriser: sprinkle the rug with baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes. Vacuum thoroughly.
Toy cleaner: to refresh your kids’ toys, dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart warm water. Pour mixture into a spray bottle and spray toys. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Vacuum cleaner odour remover: sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and vacuum up to help remove odours inside your vacuum cleaner.
Laundry brightener: add ½ cup of baking soda to a load of laundry to boost colours and help fight stains.
Air Freshener: mix water, baking soda and a drop of your favourite essential oil together to make a room spray.

Boost your immune system with fruits and veggies

If you're looking for ways to prevent  colds and flu, your first step should be to plan your meals to include foods that are powerful immune system boosters.
Citrus fruits: Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells. These are key to fighting infections. Because your body doesn't produce or store them, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. Try to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.
Red bell peppers: Red bell peppers contain twice as much vitamin C as citrus. They’re also a rich source of beta carotene. Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C may help maintain healthy skin.
Broccoli: Broccoli is supercharged with vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as many other antioxidants and fibre, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.
Garlic: Garlic’s immune-boosting properties seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulphur-containing compounds, such as allicin.
Ginger: Ginger may help decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat and other inflammatory illnesses.
Spinach: Spinach is rich in vitamin C. It's also packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when it’s cooked as little as possible so that it retains its nutrients. However, light cooking enhances its vitamin A and allows other nutrients to be released from oxalic acid.
Yogurt: Look for yogurts that have "live and active cultures" printed on the label, like Greek yogurt. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to help fight diseases. Try to get plain yogurts you can sweeten with healthy fruits and a drizzle of honey instead. Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D regulates the immune system and is thought to boost our body’s natural defences against disease.
Almonds: Vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts, such as almonds, are packed with the vitamin and also have healthy fats. A half-cup serving, which is about 46 whole, shelled almonds, provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E.
Tumeric:  This spice has been used for years as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Green tea: It really excels is in its levels of Epigallocatechin Gallate, or EGCG, another powerful antioxidant. EGCG has been shown to enhance immune function.
Kiwi: Naturally full of a ton of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts white blood cells to fight infection, while kiwi’s other nutrients keep the rest of your body functioning properly.
Poultry: Chicken soup helps improve symptoms of a cold and also helps protect you from getting sick in the first place. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, is high in vitamin B-6. About 3 ounces of light turkey or chicken meat contains 40 to 50 percent of your daily recommended amount of B-6. Vitamin B-6 is an important player in many of the chemical reactions that happen in the body. It’s also vital to the formation of new and healthy red blood cells. Stock or broth made by boiling chicken bones contains gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients helpful for gut healing and immunity.
Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are full of nutrients, including phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. They’re also incredibly high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is important in regulating and maintaining immune system function. Other foods with high amounts of vitamin E include avocados and dark leafy greens.

How to organise your fridge before Christmas

It is so easy to end up with a messy refrigerator and especially this time of the year, we really need space in our dear cold box in the kitchen. What is the best way to store produce, avoid waste and chaos in your fridge?

Here are some tips to help you reach this goal:

  1. Store meat and fish on the fridge’s lowest shelf. If meat package is leaking it won’t drip down to the other shelves. Ideally place your meat/fish on a plate to catch any juice.
  2. Put an empty egg carton bottom on one of your fridge’s door shelves. It is very handy to hold upside-down condiment bottles to use every last drop from each bottle and keep the bottles from toppling over every time you open the door.
  3. Invest in a few organisers (like a can organiser) and always prefer stackable clear plastic or glass containers to easily spot things. To save space, it can be easier to store leftovers in zip-top bags. This way you can also write down the date when you made the food.
  4. Rearrange the layout of your fridge, moving shelves up or down (the doors ones too), especially when you need to store tall bottles or jars.
  5. Try to keep your leftovers always on the same shelf. This way you won’t find old food at the back of the fridge hidden by containers.
  6. Set up an “eat first” tray where you can store food that will go bad soon.
  7. Add a snack tray, easy to access for your kids too.
  8. Get rid of condiments that have been in your fridge for ages and you can clearly live without.
  9. Get some magnetic containers (DIY option: just glue some magnets on plastic containers) they are very useful to store small things like herbs or chopped garlic/onion. Attach them on the wall inside your fridge to free up shelf space.
  10. Don’t use your drawers to store cans and beer bottles. Drawers in your fridge are  made to store your fruit and veggies and to keep them fresh for longer. Line them with kitchen paper, it helps to absorb moisture from the produce to keep them crisp. Also, it will keep the drawers clean for longer.
  11. To get your daily dose of fruit and vegetables, maximise your crisper space. Do this by keeping your fruit loose and trimming any bulky veggies in advance. A quick trim of your celery stalks and broccoli can help carve out so much extra space.
  12. Don’t store milk or cream on the fridge’s door: it is the warmest spot in your fridge. Instead, use this space for butter and soft cheeses, they don’t need very low temperature.
  13. Some fruit and veggies like avocados, bananas, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums and tomatoes are better off outside the fridge or they’ll spoil your vegetables prematurely.
  14. keep a magnetic white board and marker outside on the fridge wall to keep an inventory of your food.
  15. Clean and thaw your fridge regularly to avoid ice build up. Spray the fridge with a mixture of vinegar and water, especially the gunky spots. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Gunk and vinegar need alone time before they start working.

Keep your fridge odour free by storing food in airtight containers and using one of the following natural ingredient to get rid of smells:

  • a bowl of dry, fresh, ground coffee on the bottom of your fridge;
  • a small bowl of baking soda at the back of the fridge (change every 3 months);
  • soak balls of cotton wool in Vanilla extract and leave inside the fridge for a delicious scent;
  • place half a lemon face down inside your fridge for a few days. It will soak up any bad smells replacing them with a fresh lemon scent!

Have fun reorganising your fridge, Farmer Jacks’ staff wish you a tidy fridge and lots of space to store your Christmas food!

Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

A perfect Christmas family activity, is to use salt dough to make tree ornaments and handprints. Making salt dough at home it’s easy, fun and safe even for small kids. Their creations, (especially handprints) can be gift ideas, much appreciated especially by grandparents.


  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water


  1. Mix flour and salt together in a bowl. Slowly add water until the dough is smooth and easy to handle. Knead the dough for 10 minutes (add food colouring if you want) and let it rest for 20 minutes in the fridge, wrapped in cling film.
  2. Preheat oven to 50-60 C.
  3. Have fun forming the dough into the desired shapes (you can use a rolling pin and cookie cutters) and, using a straw or a toothpick, poke a hole for ribbon.
  4. Arrange the shapes on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the preheated oven until dry and hard (about 2 hours).
  5. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, decorate using glitter and paint. To make sure the ornaments last a long time, coat with clear nail polish. When dry, thread on a ribbon and hang on tree.

Don’t forget:

If you have some left over salt dough you can keep it for a few days in the fridge (wrapped in cling film) and keep the fun going!

If you are making handprints, write the date on the back of the ornament to have a nice memory.

You can capture your dog’s paw print too and have an ornament dedicated to your furry friend!

Tag us on Instagram with your handprints and tree decorations!

Christmas Thyme & Rosemary Mini Wreaths

With a little effort and using things you can easily find around your house, it’s possible to create cute decorations to give our Christmas table an elegant and unique touch.

What you’ll need:

  • Fresh thyme or rosemary
  • Green wire
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon


Stagger the springs of herbs so you have enough to fit a circle of your desired size.


Wrap the wire around the loose ends and secure the mini wreath into place.


Tie a ribbon to cover the wire end (a simple knot or a bow would look pretty).


Use as a napkin ring or as a place card. In this case, the ribbon can hold a paper label with your guests names.

Alternatively you can tie, with a jute twine, a rosemary spring and a cinnamon stick (or a candy cane) to each napkin.

Have fun decorating your Christmas dinner table and please tag us on Instagram to share your creative ideas!

How to take care of your Christmas Tree

We all wonder how we can make our Christmas tree last longer. One trick seems to work well but you need to follow these general tips to be successful.


Here is the trick: when you get your Christmas tree home, first, boil 5l of water. Then, dissolve one cup of sugar in the water and allow the mixture to cool. Make a fresh, half-inch cut at the base of the Christmas tree trunk. Position the Christmas tree in a sturdy stand, then pour in the warm sugar water. Continue to add fresh, cool, plain water to the tree stand, always ensuring your Christmas tree has an ample supply of water.


Here are some general tips to follow that are proven to work:


  • Always choose a healthy looking tree: look for soft flexible needles that have a deep, green colour. If the tree is already drying out and has stiff, brittle needles, it won’t take up as much water.
  • Give the tree a fresh straight cut across the bottom so that it can hydrate properly.
  • Get the tree in water as soon as you come home and, if you are not going to decorate it straightaway, place the trunk in a large bucket of water in a cool place like your garage or a covered porch.
  • Place your tree in a cool room and away from heat sources like fireplaces and radiators, since they can dry out a tree much faster. If you like having your tree close to a window, avoid a south facing one.
  • Prefer LED light. They emit very little heat which keeps your tree from drying out too quickly and reduces the risk of fire too.
  • Check the water level regularly. Trees suck up a vast amount of water and you might have to top off your tree stand daily. Keep at least 2 inches of the trunk submerged in water at all times.


Potted Christmas trees are often viewed as a more sustainable option for Christmas, because you’re ideally able to plant the tree after the season is over.


  • Usually potted trees are much heavier than cut trees so choose the size wisely, a smaller one might be much easier to handle.
  • They can only spend a short amount of time indoors until they start to adjust to the interior temperature and lose their hardiness. For the same reason, set up your Christmas tree in a room that stays cool and away from heat sources.
  • Make sure the pot has an effective drainage outlet to allow excess water to trickle out. Water the tree when the soil feels dry but never overwater!
  • Move it out: after the holiday, remove the ornaments and help your tree re-adjust to the cold. For several days, keep it in a cool, shaded spot, like a garage. Then, plant or store until spring. Do not add fertiliser to your tree’s soil until the spring. In the first year after replanting, be careful not to add too much fertiliser as the roots are not fully established yet.


Stop by Farmer Jacks to choose your fresh and locally grown Christmas tree and tag us on Instagram to share your Christmas experience!

Christmas Dinner Wine Pairing Guide

Christmas is the right time to enjoy delicious food and wines. Why not pairing them to have an unforgettable culinary experience?

Here are some classic pairings that work well with traditional Christmas meals:

Smoked salmon: Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc

Baked Salmon: Chardonnay

Duck or Chicken: Pinot Gris

Red wines for Turkey: Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Shiraz

White wines for Turkey: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling

Goose: Barolo or Chianti

Duck: Pinot Noire

Roast Beef: Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Bourdeaux, Malbec (for fattier meat cuts)

Ham: Zinfandel or Lambrusco

Pigs in a Blanket: Rose Champagne

Vegetarian Christmas Roast (nutty texture): Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz or Chardonnay.

Christmas Pudding: Muscat

Christmas Cake: Port/Sherry

Mince Pies: Port/Sherry

Panettone: Prosecco