Thursday, June 23, 2016

Roasted pumpkin soup with chickpea migas

New Zealand Taste magazine (not to be confused with magazine in Australia!) was the first magazine to feature my work more than five and a half years ago when I'd only just started blogging. I still remember the excitement I felt receiving that email asking if they could feature one of my recipes and a little write up about me and my blog. A newbie blogger at the time, I felt like all my Christmases had come at once, and even though I now cringe at the photos I sent through for them to use, it was a defining moment in my food writing 'career'.

Friday, June 17, 2016

flourless chocolate cake with matcha buttercream

The past 5 years in Perth, I lived a pretty solitary life. With Si working away a lot of the time and both kids at school I threw myself into my work- writing, styling and shooting, solo. Like many other bloggers there's no behind the scenes team cheering me on, or washing my dishes (I wish!). It's just little ol' me, which can get a little lonely at times. There were days whilst writing my books where I wouldn't see another soul except for the kids and a quick hello to fellow humans at school pick up, if I was lucky. Don't get me wrong, I'm fine being by myself and I actually crave the silence of my own company often. But I do miss the joy, spontaneity and excitement that comes from real human interaction, you know... the type that's not via a computer or a phone screen! 
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Christchurch + the Waipara Valley, New Zealand

Christchurch New Zealand is known the world over... but sadly it's often the earthquake of 2011 that people first think of when they hear the name. I didn't want to start out this post talking about something the locals are trying so hard to move on from, but I kinda feel like we need to acknowledge this tragedy of the past in order to really get a sense of how far this beautiful city has come in the 5 years since, and to really appreciate the mammoth efforts many locals are putting in to get people talking about more than just that one dreaded day. So yes, there was a bloody huge earthquake, yes it destroyed much of the city, especially the city centre and the old stone buildings Christchurch was well known for, but as I found out on a recent trip down south, there's so much more to this beautiful part of the country than meets the eye.

I spent 3 nights in Christchurch a few months back when I was in town for The Food Show and I won't lie, I left feeling incredibly sad. Sad for what once was, sad for the people who have been so greatly affected by the earthquake and the destruction it brought. My opinions were not entirely fair though, as I didn't get much spare time to see the city or its surrounding areas between shows. I only saw a tiny glimpse of the city, and the beautiful Cathedral which sits in wreck and ruin. 

A few weeks later I was flown back to the city, courtesy of Christchurch & Canterbury New Zealand and my initial impressions were completely turned upside down. With more time to explore and a local showing us around, I instead saw beautiful buildings being lovingly restored to their former stone-glory, quaint New Regent Street, the beautiful Botanical Gardens (scroll down to see the stunning big yellow tree we spotted there!), inspiring Gap Filler Projects all over the city, and we even went punting up the Avon river. We also ate our way around the city, from beautiful homemade food and teas at iconic C1 Espresso, to one of the most memorable eating experiences I've ever had at Roots Restaurant in Lyttleton. It turns out, all I really needed was a little time and a few local tips to really see and experience the 'little pockets of awesome' Christchurch is becoming well known for, in these post-earthquake times. 

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