Thursday, October 1, 2015

Baby beetroot, quinoa + cumquat salad {gluten-free}

My sister and her two kids are visiting from New Zealand for the holidays. It's a trip that's been many months, possibly years in the planning. Actually, this year has been one big ol' family visit, starting off with my mum and little sister in May, then my youngest brother stopped by for a few weeks just last month. My family got wind of us moving back to NZ next year, so I guess it only makes sense that they all want to make it to Perth while we're still here and we're not complaining! The kids are having a ball.
My niece and daughter (9 and 10 years old) decided on about day two that they wanted to do some baking together, so when my sister and the boys were down at the park yesterday morning after breakfast we set about making the Dark chocolate brownies (minus the raspberries + pistachios and with the addition of roughly chopped leftover Easter eggs from months ago that we still had floating around in the fridge!). I got them to read through the recipe, taking note of what steps needed to be done first and what ingredients they needed to pull from the pantry. I mentioned how amazingly they get on as they chatted to each other like long lost friends, each taking turns to stir the melted chocolate, sugar and oil, before cooling it just long enough not to scramble the eggs that were added next. When the mixture was complete, it was smoothed out in the pan with the back of a spoon and fingers were licked as I asked them to read the baking time. 50-55 minutes they said. I checked, puzzled, saying out loud I think that's waaay too long for it to cook. I told them 'd check on it's progress after 30 minutes and went off to check back on my notes from my first book. Which was when I made the discovery that every author hopes they'll never have to make... a big fat, whopping major typo. My heart sank.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Orange jelly w/ golden kiwifruit granita {gluten-free + vegan}

The word kiwi has a multitude of meanings: 1- it's the name of a small flightless bird, native to NZ. 2- it's the name we New Zealanders like to call ourselves. 3- it's the (shortened) name given to one of the world's most nutrient-dense fruits.

Kiwifruit originate from North-central and Eastern China, but it was in New Zealand, many moons ago, that the first commercial crops were grown and it is in New Zealand still today, just around the corner from where my mum and little sister live in fact, that a large proportion of the world's kiwifruit are grown. Some may even say that due to New Zealands high rainfall and fertile soils, it's where the best kiwifruit in the world are grown... (And that's not just me being bias!).

Friday, September 4, 2015

Little lemon + lavender cakes {Gluten-free} + news!

I had some pretty scary complications at the start of my first pregnancy. Complications which required weekly blood tests to ensure the baby was developing as it should. I was freaked out to say the least, but the hardest part of all of it was not being able to tell anyone. Of course there was nothing stopping me from telling those around me (and the closest people around me knew early on), but as a way of protecting myself should I lose the baby, I kept it all in and struggled in silence through every damn day. At the time I was working in a busy kitchen, often holding myself up in the corner of the room as my stomach churned and my head spun. My fellow chefs just thought I was grumpy and didn't want to be at work and I often think back and wonder how much easier it would have been if I just let them know the real reasons why I always looked like I was about to pass out. 

There's one thing I'm not that great at doing and that's keeping things to myself, it's almost as if I feel I can't talk at all if I have something hiding within. I'm sure many of you have noticed a change in my posts (or lack of should I say!) this year as I've struggled to find the right words to share that were not associated with my big news. Before you jump to conclusions, no I'm not having another baby, but I have been working on something a little special. Something which has consumed my every waking hour for the first half of the year and to be honest, has even consumed much of my sleeping hours too! 

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