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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | December 5, 2021

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Creativity Out of Ash's Recipes

Creativity Out of Ash’s Recipes
Anna Kenny

If you’ve been searching for new recipes to try out while being confined to home, you might’ve stumbled across Ashleigh Calder’s blog and Instagram, Inner Pickle.

This beautiful soul channels her creativity into developing recipes with simple, delicious, and mostly healthy wholefoods to inspire people to look after themselves from the inside out.

This is exactly what we need right now.

Ashleigh says,

“While I focus mostly on food and recipes, I like to talk about my own ‘inner pickles’ and help others see they’re not alone.”



Ashleigh shares that cooking helped her through severe mental illness, and is helping her stay sane in the current atmosphere.

“Having a project or a goal is definitely a great driver and I’m really glad to have the time to work on those. Mostly though, I’m trying to create something each day, even if it’s a batch of cookies from a recipe I already have or a new dinner idea—anything to help keep the creative juices flowing.

“I find if I go into cooking or baking with no expectations, I’m much more relaxed, and the whole experience becomes therapeutic. That’s actually how I came to love cooking and creating—it was my therapy. Still is.”

Ashleigh is currently working on her second eBook, a cookbook themed around peanut butter, and she is in talks with Woolworths about creating recipes for their online community.

“This is something I am extremely excited about and I cannot wait to get started.”



In her early cooking days, Ashleigh was mostly inspired by other bloggers, but now she says it’s the ingredients themselves that inspire her.

“I love just grabbing ingredients that I think will taste great together and letting my imagination and intuition run wild.”

Ashleigh encourages us at home to follow our intuition when it comes to creating our own recipes.

“Honestly. It sounds crazy, but it works! Cooking is very forgiving and you can be relaxed about quantities. Just experiment! Baking is a tough one as you have to be quite precise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a go! If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and you’ve learned something new. Just get back in there and try again.”



Before creating her first cookbook, Ashleigh said she received some great advice from Mo Wyse and Shannon Martinez, the incredible women behind Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli. This advice is applicable to most of our creative endeavours.

“They told me to just go for it. There was never going to be a ‘right’ time and I just had to jump in. There’d be late nights—sleepless nights—and to do it on a budget I’d have to do a lot of it myself, but it would all be worth it.”

Ashleigh adds,

“It scared me, yes, but I think it’s also made me work harder on my photography and editing, and finding my style and confidence.”



If you are in a creative slump (like some of us here at The Creative Issue!), Ashleigh says,

“Paint, draw, cook, write, play—whatever’s your jam, just do a little bit of it each day. I’ve also found watching lives on Instagram/Facebook and YouTube videos are also a great way to keep you inspired, positive, and in the mood!”

Try some of her recipes from her first eBook, A Cookie Monster’s Handbook, or her blog.

Ashleigh recommends her Caramel and Popcorn Brownies, saying,

“We all need a bit more flair in these weird times”.


eBook A Cookie Monster’s Handbook
Instagram @innerpickle_