Plum, lemon + olive oil cakes {gluten + dairy-free}

Gluten-free plum, lemon + olive oil cakes | My Darling Lemon Thyme

I bid farewell to 2016 with a huge sigh of relief. Celebrity deaths, wars and Trump aside, it was a tough one for me personally. What started out as an exciting year and a move home to New Zealand, quickly turned into a year of looking within and digging deep to get through each day. I've been asked a bunch of times in the last few weeks why I haven't been posting as much to this site as in the past, and I'm not sure I have an exact answer.

Partly it's because I'm getting way more writing/recipe developing work than ever before, and as a mum, paid work always takes priority.

Partly it's because my kids need me in different ways as they get older. This past year I knew my kids would need me more than ever as they adjusted into our new life. My situation is so very different from when I first started this site. I'm not longer a stay-at-home mum looking after two little kids at home all day, missing cooking and looking for something to call her own (looking for a little escapism too,ย let's be honest!). Everything I share here is created in what little spare time I now have. And unlike 6 years ago when I could count the NZ/Australian food bloggers on two hands, there's now a million and one bloggers all sharing recipes/screaming from the rooftops to be heard/seen/noticed. Ugh. The one thing that hasn't really changed over the years is that I still basically do it all for the love of it (bar the few sponsored posts I do nowadays to cover the cost of this site). But that love is fading...

Mostly it's because the online world has changed, in a big way. There used to be an amazing sense of community, people took the time to comment, to let you know when they'd made a recipe and loved it. Nowadays the majority of comments just contain demands or 'expert' advise I could do without, thanks. People demand for more, demand for every kind of recipe adaptions under the sun, heck, someone even emailed me on Christmas Eve desperate for a recipe link they couldn't find on my site (FYI folks, there's a recipe search button top right and a whole recipe index page). I moaned to my mother that people seem to think I have nothing better to do than reply to emails at 11pm on Christmas Eve, but then of course I found the link and emailed back. I'm still waiting for the reply email saying thank you, though I'm not holding my breath it will ever come. I'm probably mostly to blame for this monster I've created.

People areย becoming more and more demanding, but less and less grateful. Humans, in our need for instant gratification, are forgetting that we all have lives and responsibilities offline too.ย In the past I've always made a huge effort to reply to most emails/messages, but something's got to give this year. If I have to google an answer to your question (something you could've easily done yourself aye?), then I will no longer be answering your emails. If you email me because you have made one of my recipes, but you removed all the sugar/changed all the flours and are blaming me for the results, you will not get a reply. Take some ownership, please. All these silly things take me away from actually creating new recipes, or spending time with my family. Who lets face it, will always, always come first.

I'm tired. Really fucking tired. I'm also not wonder woman.

Gluten-free plum, lemon + olive oil cakes | My Darling Lemon Thyme
Gluten-free plum, lemon + olive oil cakes | My Darling Lemon Thyme

2016 was the year that shook me to my core. At times it took every ounce of my inner strength to keep it together. I'm ever so hopeful this year will bring much more lightness, happiness and fun. And more cake. Please.

Everyone lighten up and smile. Peace.

Gluten-free plum, lemon + olive oil cakes | My Darling Lemon Thyme

Plum, lemon + olive oil cakes
Plums are one of the most versatile fruits I know, not only are they lovely thinly sliced and added to salads alongside peppery rocket, shavings of parmesan cheese and a light lemon dressing, but you can also stew them to dollop on bowls of steaming creamy porridge, roast them under a crumble topping, or bake them into muffins, friands or cakes. Ground almond gives these little gluten-free cakes a gorgeous chew, while the olive oil not only makes them dairy-free as well, but also adds a lovely mild grassy note. For the prettiest results, try to source different coloured plums in hues of yellow and deep maroon.
Makes 8

2-3 plums, stones removed
2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
70g (1/3 cup) unrefined icing sugar + extra to dust
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
40ml extra-virgin olive oil
150g (1 /2 cups) ground almonds
25g (2 tablespoons) fine brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 8-hole 1/3 cup (80ml) muffin tin and place two strips of baking paper crossing over each other in the base, extending up and over the sides by 2cm. Slice the plums into 1cm slices and place one into the base of each muffin tin.
Beat eggs, icing sugar, vanilla extract and a little pinch of fine sea salt using an electric mixer or handheld beater for 5 minutes, or until thick and pale. Add lemon zest and drizzle in olive oil, continuing to beat until just incorporated. Add ground almonds and sieve over brown rice flour and baking powder, then gently fold in using a large metal spoon until just combined. Divide evenly between the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Remove from oven, cool in the tins 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack, remove paper strips and set aside to cool. Dust with icing sugar and serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Best eaten on the day of baking, however they will store for 3 days in an airtight container.

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  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    OMG Yum!! I can’t wait to try this recipe – I love everything you create! Hopefully 2017 brings you more peace, happiness and time to do more of the things you love. I have both your cookbooks and you’ve been a huge inspiration to me in how I cook/eat/live, so thank you for that. Arohanui x

    • Reply
      January 10, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks love, that means a lot xx

      • Reply
        January 11, 2017 at 2:04 am

        This post made me cry for your heartful words filled with honesty, frustration & passion..thank you SO much for aways being so ‘real’. I wish you lived close by & I would have you over for a cuppa/piece of cake and a pedicure ! 2016 was a fucker of a year that’s for sure, here’s to 2017 being the beginning of new beginnings…XO

      • Reply
        Cheryl Bryson
        January 16, 2017 at 10:36 am

        Emma. First-time poster … long time follower. Thank you so much for always bringing your authentic self to the table. Literally. You have been an inspiration in my home and I am certain to many others. I have both your cookbooks and whilst I always end up making up my own recipes, you inspire me to be creative.
        Thank you xx

    • Reply
      January 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      Wonderful, honest writing. Sounds like you have your priorities just right. I have found the same behaviours from people in my unpaid voluntary work, and I am cutting it back this year. Because sometimes we just need to give ourselves room. I wish you all the very best. Today and every day. Blessings.

    • Reply
      February 22, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Thanks for all that you do! In a time where I was discouraged with baking for my family that changed to gluten and dairy free…your site, life story and delicious recipes were there. Don’t give up. You stand out from all the other sites.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    These sound absolutely delicious, I will be popping out to buy some plums today!!

    Sorry to hear that you have been on the receiving end of ungrateful people, whinging and complaining! May 2017 be a fabulous year for you – happy creating and making!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Karen Breckon
    January 10, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Hey Emma, I really appreciate such an honest post. Good on you for saying what you needed to. It’s helpful for a reader to know, as I (until now!) never commented because I assumed you must be sick of everyone commenting… So here’s the things I’ve often wanted to tell you: I love both your books, your blog, your recipes. I’ve made more recipes of yours than any other cook’s in my whole life. Your recipes are the most reliable I’ve ever made. Without fail, they are recipes my whole family enjoys – woohoo! – because as you know, that makes life so much easier. I could list the ones I’ve made and loved, but that would make a very long post… We appreciate you so much Emma:-) From Karen in Raglan.

  • Reply
    Joy Mahant
    January 10, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Wow Emma! I have just found your site and would be sorry if you stopped blogging as your recipies are lovely and well above the usual internet standard.
    Please keep up the good work.
    Thank you

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    I hear you. I shake my head at silly questions and ask myself all the time what has happened, why do so few people comment on blog posts anymore. Sometimes I wonder if instagram had taken over “good old fashioned” blogs – people see an image, get the idea, leave an emoji comment and don’t bother reading. Or maybe they do! I’ll just never know, but in trying to be more positive I hope they do. I still do (though I do leave an emoji when in a hurry to think of something clever!) I hope this year brings you more lightness and happiness too xx

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I’ve never commented before but I think this post was really honest and true. I’m a mother at home with baby twins and a toddler… 2016 is definitely a year I was glad to put behind me! I’m up in Piha and just wanted to let you know I’ve made many of your recipes. Your new book has been a tremendous little pop of joy to me over the last year. I’ve made a few of the recipes (when I’ve had the time) and it’s always been a lovely process – not to mention a delicious meal. I’m always aghast to read some comments placed on blogs… go easy on yourself and make no apologies for always putting your family and some rest first. From what I see and read – you seem like an amazing woman!

    • Reply
      January 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Ok, I am going out to buy Emma’s books now!! I know one of our local shops here (I live in a small country town in Victoria, Australia) has one so I will be picking it up! I’ve always admired the recipes but have to admit I haven’t made any…I am always stuck at drooling over the photos, haha! Great wrap Ally! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Oh Em I feel sad reading this, I appreciate every photograph, every recipe and lately every Insta story, I just adore you and your kiwi vibes, I look to you as an inspiration for moving home, watched you move to Australia and then home again, so brave … We are still stuck here in Melbourne, only because of our fear. You are a beautiful soul, do put your family first forget about all the other eggs ๐Ÿ˜š๐Ÿ˜š๐Ÿ˜š Happy new year to you and your whanau xxx Aroha Nui

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m always looking for things to do with plums (apart from the obvious), as we have a tree full this time of year. I too did a big move back to NZ from living overseas with my family. It does take a few years to really come right and readjust, but it does happen. Don’t take any notice of morons that ask stupid questions at crazy hours, and well done for stating facts! I think that some forget that you aren’t a full time blogger with a staff ๐Ÿ™‚ Look after yourself!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    This looks delicious, and I will be making them for my upcoming housewarming party! Always love reading your recipes for inspiration <3

  • Reply
    Sally Richardson
    January 10, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Brilliant and well said. Thank- you for open honesty despite never having a blog I agree with everything you’ve said. I am contantly impressed by your gluten free baking recipes which always tastes amazing and never fail! I have both your books and am slowly including more and more of your recipes into our daily food. We’re aiming to reduce the gluten load and particularly bread in our diets and we’re loving the variety of foods we now eat. (Just had the kumera and kale patties for breakfast). Thank- you !

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Bravo Emma! So well said — it seems like social media is very dog-eat-dog. People are less sincere and genuine — I too get tired of the follow-for-follow-then-drop-you-quickly-just-so-I-can-seem-popular people. Personally, I think there are too many people in the kitchen — some of those people just need to follow a recipe and make something. Try something. Give something an honest effort. I enjoy (love, really) your posts and recipes and will keep making them! I really appreciate you putting yourself out there, because it takes courage. Well done ! Kox

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    I love it Emma! Thanks for keeping it real. I’ve never left a comment before (or sent you an email!) but I’ve enjoyed your food, your creativity and your honesty. I think any mother who manages to look after her kids well, create something for the world and stay sane is doing an amazing job so well done to you and love and best wishes for a happier and more easeful 2017 xxx

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    I have heartily enjoyed your recipes for some time, sometimes with my own tweaks, but always with ownership. Looking forward to trying this one too! I never ever ever comment on blogs (see also: a Google search for Don’t Read the Comments memes) but I wanted to say that I really appreciate the things you said here, and very much relate to the “tired / not superwoman” closing line. However, I’ll bet your kids and your loved ones think you’re superwoman. Keep on with your bad self. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Well said, I couldn’t agree more!
    I wish you all the very best for a far more wonder-filled year!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I don’t normally write comments to things although I love your recipes and try them when I can – 2016 was a wonky year for me as well so not a lot of cooking.
    But I just wanted to say thank you for all that you do. I loved this post so much and it reminded me that saying thank you doesn’t take long and this year I will do it more. Being mindful of the small things adds up.
    Be well.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    I hope 2017 is fulfilling and peaceful for you. Sounds like you need it and deserve it. Thanks for your efforts – from this dairy intolerant woman, I’m grateful for your delicious recipes. I just purchased your second cookbook too, a couple of days ago.
    Looking forward to its arrival. Demanding, selfish and ungrateful people can be toxic in ways and drain goodness out of perfectly good people. Stay strong and know that you are making a difference – a yummy one!
    Enjoy more cake!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    These look wonderful! Thank you for all that you create and share with us and I’m sorry you have to deal with ridiculous requests from people. I love cooking from your books and buying them for others. Wishing you an easier 2017!

  • Reply
    Katy Baker
    January 10, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Emma,
    I’ve never commented on your blog before and I wish I had to say thank you for your Rich Chocolate Slice recipe that I’ve been making for a couple of years now. It is so delicious, so elegant and so easy to make that it is my go to for any gathering where a sweet treat is required. I’ve become expert and cutting it into 16 perfect little slices and dust it, as you did, with cocoa. People are amazed that something so luxurious is gluten, dairy and sugar free.
    Your photographs always inspire me (especially on a hot, humid Queensland afternoon when I feel exhausted and food prep feels too hard) to get up and look at the ingredients I have and treat them well and make something appealing to look at, as well as to taste. My partner is also grateful for that!
    I hope 2017 is kinder to you and to all of us and thank you again for your inspiration xx

  • Reply
    Nicky Walker
    January 10, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    HI Emma. Just want to say thanks for your honesty and bravery and sheer hard work. Our family continue to enjoy your inspired cooking and I always find myself coming back to your books for truely real food.
    It’s good to say ENOUGH!! I’ve done that twice this new year and nothing fell apart like I thought it would.
    I hope you can keep that up and feel your own cup filling up again with energy and calm waters.
    I’ll be here cooking away and happy to receive your inspiration be once a year or ten! Everyone needs a break
    and you’re right, the digital world makes it really difficult to get one. Kia kaha lovely xx

  • Reply
    Diane Morrison
    January 10, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Sad or angry ? It’s a difficult world at the moment. Take heart, there are some people out there who seek a kinder and more caring way. Take time out if you need and more love and smiles ……


  • Reply
    Judy McGirr
    January 10, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you for your very honest blog today. It says a lot of what I often want to say, but then you get criticism for not being “up” every single second of the damn day. There is so much information on the internet so I can’t understand when people ask recipe bloggers a hundred questions re adapting the original recipe. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ I hope 2017 is a better year for you.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Good on you for saying it straight up and honest. Hope 2017 is a better year for tou and I really look forward to trying this cake.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Good for you Emma…I wish you all the very best in 2017! I enjoy reading your blog so please keep writing for those of us who support you silently and demand nothing of you but a delicious morsel to read (without comment) and to perhaps make ourselves!!! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Thank you kindly

  • Reply
    Rosalind Dibley
    January 10, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Emma, nga mihi o te tau hau me arohanui ki a koe. just so you know, I love your site and the philosophy behind what you do. I am sure, like me, there are many silent readers who love you but are not big social media users. I got your last book and my sister loved it so much, she got it for Christmas. I’m thinking of getting it for my mother as well.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    These look awesome!
    Thank you…I appreciate your creativity…and and all the work that goes into producing this!

  • Reply
    kim houssenloge
    January 10, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Thank you!!! I feel exactly the same way. I want blogging to go back to the old days when we we’re a community of like minded, supportive, caring people. It was so much more fun then. I hope you have a wonderful 2017 and that you get to enjoy being back home. I rarely comment these days, which really sucks and is part of the time problem we all suffer from, but I couldn’t let this post go by without letting you know that I love your blog, love your sweet, honest way and hope that you find the joy in blogging this year because, gosh it would be such a shame if you let it go. Xxx

  • Reply
    Anne-Marie Berry
    January 10, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Dear Emma,
    Long time reader, first comment. I own both your books, and cook from them for my husband and four kids, as well as for my huge extended family very regularly. My mum and 5 sisters now also own both books! There are numerous dishes which have become staples for us, nourishing us through our very busy lives. So, thank you. I know there are many out there who, like me, feel gratitude to you every time we open the well worn pages of your books and bring happiness and goodness to our own families. Much love xx

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    I hear ya (people treat me like Google sometimes). Also – last year I become so fed up with the proliferation of Instagram foodie wannabes – people who want to be famous for taking nice pictures, but they’re not interested in anything, they don’t create anything, there’s no substance, nothing – that I went on lock-down. Now I just keep track of a handful of old favourites. Your blog remains a stupendous gift to the internet! I’m here almost every week looking up some recipe or other (or if not, I’ve got the cookbook out instead). It’s so great of you to continue sharing recipes with us, and a reminder to me that I could be better at gratitude – at actually leaving comments when I’m making and using what you’ve shared. I do remember the internet as being a more close-knit, chatty place than it is now.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Oh Emma – I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time reading the above – so true. I think you and many of us had a 2016 we are happy to wave away. The days of letter writing although time consuming and slow actually gave more quality time to life as no one expected a reply in the hour and took offence if they didn’t get an instant reply. Technology may be faster but it has taken quality away from most people’s lives. Long rant sorry xxx

  • Reply
    Carmen Legarda-Nelson
    January 10, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Dear Emm, I am so sorry to read your sad posting today about people’s attitudes and demands. Yes, sadly, these things are always there to challenge us, but please rejoice in the fact that you have cheered up many people’s lives with your beautiful photographs and lovely recipes, including mine. Please, let’s have more cake, please! โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    My dear. I don’t know you but I completely understand your frustration dealing with the public. It can be extremely exhausting. Just know that you inspire me and so many other people around the world. May you find the peace you need, and the love and happiness you deserve. Keep on spreading the food love as long as it makes you fulfilled. Blessings be upon you and yours.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Yum!! Sounds easy enough for even me to try! I like the idea of the plum/fruit laying in the bottom before baking. I’ll try these this weekend. Anxious for my first bite.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    What a beautiful and heartfelt intro to this recipe. I’ve no recipe questions or demands for information- just an earnest thank you for the delicious recipes and insights you share from your family to mine. You help keep my 14 year old, gluten sensitive son content and fully sated. That’s no easy feat. My 11 year old- non gluten free daughter, who on more than one occasion has voiced her displeasure about being gluten free, has dogeared almost every page of My Darling Lemon Thyme. Needless to say, I just ordered your latest book and can’t wait to dive in- our forks and fingers are at the ready. Wishing you balance and happiness in your future endeavors. Sending smiles and thanks your way.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Warren
    January 10, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks for this recipe! (and your honest words)…
    2016 was an incredibly hard year for me too – family illnesses, job stress and so much anxiety I just felt like I was getting slapped down to the ground everyday!
    But I am determined 2017 will be better! Worry only about things you can do stuff about, don’t dwell on the things you have no control over. Acknowledge the problem, recognise you can’t do anything about it, take a deep breath and go do something you love (for me its gym or baking!).

    Speaking of baking… turns out I am moderately intolerant to almonds, eggs and rice (along with cashews, brazil nuts, peas, lentils, gluten and cow’s milk!), would you have any suggestions on substitutes? I was thinking of either a ‘flax egg’ or ‘chia egg’ as egg replacements… Your help would be greatly appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    You rock, this is really well written. I have been following you for a few years now and your first recipe book is much used and loved within our family. You do you and however often even if its only once this year I find a recipe in my inbox I will be delighted.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Thanks so much for your honesty! I rarely read blog posts leading up to recipes but I’m glad I read this one. I totally understand where you are coming from and agree with your stance whole heartedly! I thought maybe I was crazy, but I too had noticed the demanding nature (and unwillingness to just figure things out) in many people’s posts on various websites. Love your work and love your pace – I don’t have time to keep up with all the information overload so when you post a recipe I appreciate it, but don’t expect them in any particular frequency.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 12:03 am

    I am hosting a morning tea for my neighbours birthday and these will be delightful, thank you so much for sharing. I will have a practice run his afternoon. Wishing you love, laughs and happiness in 2017

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Oh my gosh, I for sure will make this once plums are back in season and my neighbour lets me have a few. This look so delicious. I totally hear what you’re saying. It’s great that there is such a huge variety of content but please don’t forget there is only one you. Your recipes are unique. I constantly wonder why I bother sharing all this stuff for FREE but I remember it’s because I love it and it helps me be creative and I can write about things that matter to me. That’s all. I make no money from it and have no side gigs either. You do what makes you happy and don’t feel bad about not showing up to the blog if you don’t feel like it. Paid work is definitely more important as are your kids. Hang in there.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Yay for another blog post – honesty and all! I have to laugh, coz I am barely into blogging – certainly nowhere near as well-known as yourself – and I can already relate to the demanding requests for adaptations. So glad you’ve got so much paid work – and hope that you don’t entirely give up on sharing in this space. Peace to you. xo

  • Reply
    Sam Sinclair
    January 11, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Emma, I am a complete technology luddite and have never read anyone’s blog before – with yours being the only exception. I also have never written to anyone, but hearing how sad your were feeling I felt I should tell you how much what you do matters!! Your recipes and love of beauty in this sometimes (but not always) quite mean world are truly inspiring. I think tyou are incredibly brave respect for putting yourself out there and sharing not just your love of food but also your personal feelings about what was happening in your life. I bought your most recent cookbook as a christmas present to myself, after frequently using your other recipes online on a regular basis. Please don’t let the turkeys get you down – you have achieved so much and should be really very proud of what you have done.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 12:42 am

    I can feel your deep frustration in your rant, and I’m so sorry to hear its been getting you down. Yeh, the Internet is full of food bloggers, but there aren’t that many people that post recipes that actually work and that one wants to cook over and over…. so you are my absolute fave!! You’re so talented, and I love what you create – I’ve got both your books and cook from them endlessly.
    But I hear ya – and think it’s great you are considering your priorities, do what makes you happy. I’ll miss your posts and recipes, but would much rather know you are happy and well ๐Ÿ˜˜

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Thank you for your post and you are so very right…with the world at our fingertips we have become more demanding. I LOVE your blog, have both your books and use at least one of your recipes weekly. I have never posted before but would like you to know how appreciative I have been of this site and your generosity in sharing. I too have come to the realisation that I need to get more balance in my life and not be so readily available to each and everyone. I hope we both are able to find that balance and wish you much peace of mind and heart and above all JOY!
    With much love and thanks xxx

  • Reply
    Linda Stanley
    January 11, 2017 at 12:48 am

    I agree with you completely Emma, I think people have become more demanding and much less appreciative. That is very draining and soul sapping . You do a great job, dont let people get you down. Sending you big spiritual hugs.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 12:58 am

    Thanks for sharing your views Emma, very enlightening and well-put. It seems like in the new world order where information is free, prolific and instant we need to reset our expectations and behaviours a little and consider how we show value for the content we’re consuming … and just some courtesy and appreciation to the people producing it for love, not money. By the way, I am looking forward to my tomatoes ripening so I can make your amazing kasundi.

  • Reply
    Donna Inglis
    January 11, 2017 at 12:59 am

    I so appreciate your candid post. I must admit, I have never written as I have felt as one other reader shared, certain that you are so inundated with correspondence that a note from one more might be more burdensome as opposed to uplifting. I apologize and, take this as a good lesson to apply to the many other blogs that I read and find rewarding in one way or another. So you know, I have and use your book frequently and I have long loved your blog. As much as it would be a loss if you chose to turn your attention elsewhere, please know that what you have shared thus far, has been useful, inspiring and down right delicious!

  • Reply
    Keao Daniels
    January 11, 2017 at 1:05 am

    Hey Emma!
    Thank you for sharing your inner most feelings and for your honesty! I admire your courage in sharing your thoughts and am grateful to have read this today. It has given me the inspiration to tackle this year with self integrity and to follow my passion whilst keeping my children the number one priority. I have been a fan of yours because of your humility first and then your amazing knowledge. Please keep inspiring and pushing through the ugly world (people). Love and light to you and your family!

  • Reply
    Tarina Hodgson
    January 11, 2017 at 1:21 am

    This made me a bit sad, people expecting so much from you (and other bloggers I imagine). It must get very tiring and draining. Often times a thankless job. I don’t often check in here as much as I used too because life but I’ve always loved your blog and recipes and thankfully (since way before your first cook book actually) I’ve never sent a silly annoying email. Those people annoy me too! Sometimes it feels easier to just answer and way less mean than saying ‘google it’ but you’re right there is a wonderful life outside of the internet. I hope 2017 is a much better year for us both!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 1:23 am

    I’m totally high-fiving, fist-pumping and giving you a standing ovation all in one hit right now! I said it on Instagram and I’ll say it here too… that is THE MOST VALID rant I have ever read! I’m just getting started on my career (3rd career, one lifetime – as ya do!) and already I’m struggling to honour each email with a personal reply, let alone down the track 6 years – I’m quite amazed that you have been replying to all those comments and emails, which sound quite disrespectful towards you too! Anyway, you absolutely nailed it, ‘people are becoming more and more demanding, but less and less grateful’! A friend reminded me recently that Wonder Woman is not real and none of us can be our best selves if we keep pushing for that. Here’s to filling our 2017 with all the things we love! And thank you so much for the recipe too xo

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Yours is one of the few cooking blogs I follow and I am an avid fan! I love your photography (I follow on IG too purely for that) and the fact that your recipes are gluten free. These little cakes look amazing! Thanks for all you do.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 1:34 am

    You really are wonder woman ! The recipes you produce are amazing and the photos always make me want to reach into the computer for a taste. So sorry to hear there are so many heartless people out there using up your valuable time. I’m sure one that appreciates everything you post. Each recipe reaches out for me to go and try but at the moment I am busy on the land trying to get myself set up self sufficient. Once I have my fruits & veg growing regularly then I will pull back on the physical work and put in some indoor enjoyment hours to make your yummies. Sending a eHug

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 1:47 am

    I love your recipes, and your cookbook made a huge positive difference in my life when I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I’m not really one to comment much on blogs, but I want you to know that I truly appreciate the recipes that you have created. I wish you all the best.

  • Reply
    Meredith Sullivan
    January 11, 2017 at 1:51 am

    Take time to renew Emma, after such change. Your creative force and energy are precious and you must be fierce in protecting them from takers and drainers. I love your blogs and don’t care if there is only one a year – they are always a cherished moment that makes me stop my busyness. You have changed the way I cook and feed my family and you have given me the frame to understand my own longing to grow food, nourish my loved ones, and accommodate all our allergies. Your blog talks to my own reality of struggling to find the time for my creative work in the midst of children’s needs, family life and paid work.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 1:52 am

    Hi Emma … I absolutely understood everything you said … like you I started a website to share recipes because I love being able to do that … and I have used you as my inspiration in so many. But like you too I found last year a bit of a challenge … and for some reason I lost a lot of confidence as the year progressed (the responsibility of posting, and then trying to adapt recipes for those on particular dietary programs and not really knowing if it worked), was always at the back of my mind, worrying me as I want my recipes to work for people. I also run very small classes at home to help people make things “from scratch” and how to use their Thermomix properly to be able to achieve that in their busy lives. Then towards the end of the year I was approached by another lady who runs classes here in Perth, who attacked me for planning to do sourdough classes believing I was replicating the class that I had attended at her place. I was so shocked that someone could think so poorly of others, and be so mean spirited, when in fact I have developed my own process and only wanted to empower others to be able to make sourdough successfully in their own home. This final situation made me reflect on what is happening in the world today … with so much sadness abroad and at home I felt overcome. But the year has passed and I sense that 2017 is going to be so much better … and I honestly and sincerely hope that you find this too. I absolutely love your books and have read both cover to cover (I always read in bed as it relaxes me) … so I encourage you to continue with the work that you are doing as we all benefit from it … thank you so much for your honesty in your post … it will help many of us to remember that life isn’t always perfect, but we have to just make the best of what we have … and that comes down to cherishing and loving our families first and foremost xo Gina

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 2:12 am

    Thanks for the honest post, struggling through the hard times and all the effort. I love your blog posts (and instagram photos too) and agree that your recipes are some of the best – actually recipes which make sense to eat for lunch / dinner etc, they always work out, and have a novel twist to make them interesting! Thanks again Emma and best wishes for an improved 2017… xxx

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Hey Emma, I’m sad to hear people are being so demanding and not appreciating when someone goes out of their way to help! I truely love your recipes, blog and books and have recommended them to family and friends – who now all love your work too! I hope things are a little easier and feel a little lighter this year, for you and your family x

  • Reply
    Ellen Schoneveld
    January 11, 2017 at 2:46 am

    Hi Emma, I think your a wonder woman ๐Ÿ˜„ I got your latest book for Xmas and am loving it as much as the first book am going to try these plum cakes next week (plums are ripening on the tree) this week I’m making the nectarine honey cake (got nectarines from Gordonton vegy cart especially for this reason) to take to my brothers on the way to picking my son up from his holiday at my sisters have a great 2017 ๐ŸŒž Ellen

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 3:05 am

    Hi Emma, I’m an older cook but work in a retreat centre as relief cook. I always refer to your site in times when inspiration is required. I also always say to people struggling with younger family members who have dietary requirements that seem new to look at your site. Because I am of the generation that would prefer facetoface or handwritten responses I shy away from internetty comments for all the reasons you are feeling disillusioned about.
    I sincerely hope you have a better year, and work out how to live your chosen life. But never never feel apologetic about prioritising your family: lucky them!

  • Reply
    Delaney Mes
    January 11, 2017 at 3:28 am

    Kia kaha Emma, I too fondly remember the early, collegial days of food blogging. I’m so glad we finally met last year and hope you hang in there too. You are amazing! x

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 3:29 am

    Emma I have never commented before but your words – we are becoming more demanding and less grateful really resonated with me.
    So, I adore your site and visit often to browse for inspiration. And for that I am so very grateful!
    Wishing you well for your year ahead!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Emma, I love this!
    So nicely put and so refreshing to hear the honesty. You’re incredibly talented and the first blogger/writer I ever followed I’ll long be here in the years to come. The authenticity shines through and it’s so very clear you do this for joy and love.
    I’m so sorry to hear so many have become demanding, but it’s so true isn’t it. I often wonder where the kindness has gone. Here’s to an amazing year for you and your family xx-

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 5:25 am

    Hi Emma – like a few others I also thought you’d be sick of comments. I just love your instagram and your blogs. I have both your books and use them constantly. I have loved giving copies of your books to anyone I think will appreciate them. Currently I am so in love with your toasted hazelnut and Plum cake I don’t think I can make today’s recipe! Keep up the good work and ignore those who abuse you and are too lazy to work things out themselves.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Have your second book and love it. A great post. I am not a blogger – I doubt I would have patience with some of the questions and rudeness I see. My Mother always said “if you can’t say anything decent, say nothing”! Also I lived in Scotland for,10 years and then returned to Australia with a husband and three sons, all of which I “accumulated” in Scotland and although coming home was great, it was also difficult. Life changes us and the adjustment in returning can be quite difficult. It took me a couple of years, hopefully not so long for you.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Preach, sista!!

    Very excited to try this recipe btw!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 6:10 am

    You’re awesome lady! I’m feeling you. X

  • Reply
    Deborah (Vintage Macaroon)
    January 11, 2017 at 6:35 am

    I’m so glad you wrote that. A lot of people need to hear it, although its the ones who need to hear it the most who will still have their ears shut, but what can we do *shrugs shoulders, hands in the air*.
    Thank you for sharing your time with us this year and giving us some beautiful recipes.
    I have both your books and they get well used. Yours, Alice Hart, Hettie McKinnon and Anna Jones have been my go to books over the last year. Thank you for taking the time to make them both. May 2017 bless you and your family in whatever lies ahead. Deb.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 6:40 am

    I asked a really stupid question via email one time and then I looked back at your blog and realised you were mid move and agonised whether to send an apology but then didn’t because one email would’ve been annoying enough and two would’ve been worse. And then another time wrote a stupid comment with something that was blatantly wrong and clearly am still not past that screw up either. So yeah, apologies on behalf of all the annoying people who can’t really function without your advice! I don’t comment on here much but tell every person I meet (especially if they’re gluten free and/or vege) that they should look you up because every single one of your recipes is freaking ace. And we’ve made many of them. Hopefully they say marginally less stupid shit than I do! You do what you gotta do. You don’t owe anyone anything x

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 6:43 am

    So sorry to hear about your past year, Emm. I’ll always be so grateful for the kindness you’ve shown me. Chatting with you was truly such a highlight. Thank you. I can only imagine your generosity towards all your other readers and fans as well… it must be exhausting. Please take care. I hope 2017 will bring you rest and more Burning Spear!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 6:59 am

    I am so sorry to hear that there are people out there who don’t appreciate your generosity in sharing your yummy recipes. I follow you on instagram and have both your books. I have given 8 copies of your books to friends. My only dietary requirement is that food has to taste delicious! I don’t think I’ll make the cake in this blog because I am so in love with your toasted hazelnut and plum cake.
    I hope 2017 is a better year for you.

  • Reply
    Tracey Paterson
    January 11, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Hi Emma, you have been an absolute life saver for me – when my son was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease last year – I had little idea what to make and how to adapt to our new gluten free lifestyle. Since finding your website I have made so many of your wonderful recipes, and your cookbooks are the foundation of so many of meals I make on a daily basis! I am so grateful for your inspiration, the family friendly recipes and particularly all the sweet treats which my son loves (as do the rest of the family). Thank you again, so grateful, Tracey x

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Emma, like so many of these commenters I have never left a comment before, mainly because I tend to think you must have too much to do to read comments, but also like many of the commenters, I’ve made many of your recipes for my family and we loved every one so a huge THANK YOU from us. I love your blog, the way you write and your honesty. I too often read the demanding and unsatisfied comments on recipe blogs with disgust and shock at the way people apparently can’t google something so simple and want you to do it instead, or complain about the recipe result after changing a vital ingredient… I hope you can ignore comments like this from now on and not feel the obligation to reply. Your post seems to have triggered your silent majority of fans to ‘come out’ in their appreciation which is so lovely to see. I should have said thank you many times before and I’m sorry for not doing this but I hope the many positive and grateful comments here will make a better start to 2017 for you! All the best for a happier, easier year.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Everything you say rings true for many – I also blog but not about food – but started in the era before instagram (or insta everything, right??) What you say illustrates perfectly what is now hard to keep up with and for sure, it brings much to light. Comments are always a sign of appreciation, that you have been read and heard and also can read another’s point of view. Thank you for sharing what so many of us are thinking. Love your work.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Emma, my wife reads your blog and is always telling me about the interesting things you have to say. She is also draws great inspiration from what you share here. She’s also bought one of your books.
    In many ways I to have benefited from your work. I’m sure there are many other people who have their lives enriched because of you.
    I was saddened to hear that the balance of gratitude from people like me, who benefit from what you do here has swung the wrong way. i apologise for my silence.
    For every ungrateful person, I am sure there are many more – perhaps too silent – grateful ones.
    silent no more – thank you.

  • Reply
    Wendy Greenberg
    January 11, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Your post hit me right in the solar plexus. Astonished that people use your blog in such a way. I read it and smile…but given that I too, am a blogger, should realise that I could leave that comment and hopefully make you smile.
    Great site, great recipes, great woman…bring on a different 2017

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Thank you Emma for your honesty, your insight and your generosity and kindness to all of us who have benefited from your wisdom, ideas and guidance all these years.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Webber
    January 11, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Hi Emma
    Such a thankless and ungracious industry. You do beautiful work and should always be proud to stand by it! I’ve been a long time follower of yours and I absolutely love your books and it’s my first port of call when I can’t think of what to cook for the family. I’m only sorry I haven’t taken the time to just how bloody good you are and how appreciated you are. There’s no excuse for some people’s petty And unrealistic demands.
    I say keep doing what you’re doing and keep it about the love xx

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Recipe looks great, thanks Emma. Will try it for dessert tomorrow (our plum tree is loaded!)
    Absolutely love your work. We have both your books and I refer to your site continually. Actually, it’s usually the place I start. You’ve given me a new confidence in the kitchen. Even my meat – dairy – wheat – loving husband trusts your recipes! Thank you for helping me to finally make healthy food everyone actually enjoys! It was a long road and a lot a wasted, expensive ingredients before we found you! With every good wish for 2017. Hope it’s filled with good things for you and your family.

  • Reply
    Lili @ Travelling oven
    January 11, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, you are absolutely right! I started blogging just two years ago and I can understand that the game has changed, people are getting much more demanding and less appreciative unfortunately, everything needs to be now, now, now and on social media everything is about more, more, more. :/ I am trying to just focus on reasons why I’m doing this and create things that make me happy, beautiful content to share with people who appreciate it. Your blog is such a wonderful corner of Internet full of gorgeous recipes, I hope you will find the joy and energy to go through this and I wish you a wonderful 2017! By the way, my 2016 was definitely a year I’m glad to leave behind and I’m hopeful this year will be better for all of us… Lili

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 11:14 am

    HI Emma, I’ve also never commented but I am an avid fan and have followed your blog since the beginning (and quite chuffed to be in the acknowledgements after trying out a recipe in your first book). Yours is always such an honest simple and beautiful and REAL blog. I love both your books, and have bought many for gifts. As a coeliac, you’ve totally been my inspiration for non processed, simple, delicious food. So thanks for all your hard work. It’s very appreciated out here! I hope you continue to love what you do, and importantly get renumerated for it in a variety of ways. Have a wonderful 2017.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks for being real dear one. It’s so refreshing and I think is what will draw real community again. I’ve always appreciated your blogs and the work you do. Praying for peace for you this morning and the strength to know that you’re not alone and that your life has a purpose. Best.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 1:33 pm


    All my love to you, Emma. I relate to this so much. Where is the gratitude?? Do you know how many emails I get asking how I “made it” in food blogging/book writing? And I always take the time to write a thoughtful response based on that person’s situation. 90% of the time I don’t get a thank you back (likely because I tell them that they have to work hard and there are no “secrets” or any of that nonsense). I hold my hands up to the universe that I get to do what we do, but the breaking point comes easy some days. I applaud you, your honesty, and your courage to set limits for your time. A big hug from all the way around the world <3

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Thata girl.You got a tough job and shit decisions to make.I know i am your least techy fan,but even the few comments I used to make have come to a screeching halt.I wonder why?I think you hit the nail on the head,sooo many people are so demanding that the good on ya type comments don’t get made because you feel they get lost in the wash.Or thinking man,this lady is busy! I won’t give her something else to do.Never thought your like”hello is this thing on”lol.Sending good karma your way:)

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Dear Emma, here is another one of your silent admirers! I love your photographs and the impressions I receive via them from the other side of the globe. Please don’t let thosewho don’t know better get between you and your beautiful creativity.

    Love from Germany

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    First, thank you deeply for all your recipes and inspiration over the last few years. You have a very special talent and despite the many more food/lifestyle blogs in the world, yours will always be a shining light. Many of your recipes are household staples at our house.

    Your honesty is SO REFRESHING and I have almost exactly walked in your shoes. I moved to NZ and 2 young kids and my knitwear business Shescrafty. To be honest, I burned out after writing my book of patterns and had no idea that people would need my 24/7 hand holding support via email to knit baby clothes. (Seriously?) and this was before blogs! I ran away from my business and never looked back. The business was giving me a feeling of imprisonment and I wanted my freedom back even if it meant I had to give up the income. At the end of the day, do more of what you love and take good care of yourself and just ignore a lot of emails etc.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    It’s not ok that you feel this way, dear Emma. You are not alone, of course. Something has definitely shifted and the demands of online make it beyond the scope of a hobby. I just want to shake people and say (on your behalf, because I know you are neither a shaker nor a ranted), “it’s just a recipe, for crying out loud! If it doesn’t work for you, try again or move along!!” Ugh. I hope you keep this lovely little space, though. Your words, as much as your food, mean a great deal to so many. x

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    I’m glad you’ve had the courage to speak out. Many of us, me included, follow your blog, try your recipes and never bother to thank you. We just take it for granted. You’re so very right to put your family first. I’m sure your true followers are more than happy to wait until you’re good and ready.

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing……2016 was an awful year!! Glad it’s over!! The internet allows people to be somewhat anonymously rude & demanding. A little gratitude and kindness goes a long way!! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

  • Reply
    Wendy McLoughlin
    January 11, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Hear hear! Hugs to you and your beautiful voice! Personally, I am totally appreciative of any and all the recipes you produce THANK YOU XX

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    This is AWESOME! Good for you! Eat cake, love your family – sounds so ace to me! Bring on those 2017 vibes. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿฐ

  • Reply
    Liz Posmyk (Good Things)
    January 11, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Emm, thank you for speaking out so frankly. I hear you, love. Same, same (to a degree) in my world. As the mother of two beautiful people who are now in their 30s, I concur, family (and paid work) is far more important than any blog. May 2017 be kinder to you. Much love. xxxxxx

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Mt mother & I have made so many of your recipes & loved them all. Whenever we are wondering what to do with an abundance of a certain fruit/veg it’s your site we turn to. Plus, your photography is always stunning. Thanks for putting all the time you do into these blog posts. All the best for the new year!!! X Grace

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Oh, nothing annoys me more than seeing those demanding, whining posts or comments, or lazy questions that would be answered if a post was read correctly or a quick search of a website was undertaken. I can understand how it would suck your joy and become overwhelming. I’m so sorry it has happened to you and sullied what, to so many, is a beautiful blog into which you pour your heart and soul. It’s sad the entitled minority has the loudest voice – I think we need to swing the odds back in your favour! I’m certain and encouraged by the comments below mine that prove plenty of others agree!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Hello, I too love your recipes and feel ashamed that I’ve never said thank you. Thank you. You’ve got a great blog and I enjoy it. Make sure you still enjoy it. x kate from Darwin

  • Reply
    Veggie Mama
    January 11, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    I know EXACTLY how you feel, and I’m bloody glad you said it out loud, because it needed to be said. Here’s to a nicer-vibe 2017 xx

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    oh how much I can relate to this, but also, THANKS so much for sharing. sometimes we all need a slap in the face. or not getting the privilege of an answer if what we need is to answer/figure it our for ourselves. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I’m laughing because I posted a big comment saying how naff I was at social media ( and then screwed up the posting bit ) BUT i love you as a mentor/inspiration/thoughtful cook. Loveyourkidsloveyourkidsloveyourkids….and feel blessed by them. Very best wishes

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Thank you for everything you share. Your recipes, and you, are pure genius X

  • Reply
    Jennifer Lee
    January 11, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Emma,

    You probably won’t see this, but i’m a follower on Instagram who appreciates all the food pics you post. I can see that you have a lot of passion for what you do. I’m not an avid visitor of your blog, though, and only came on here to comment to cheer you on! (note: I’m not an avid visitor because i don’t personally cook/bake myself, yet.. but you know where I’ll go when I do!)

    I’m sorry that you get these kinds of demands. I’m the same way with requests when it can be easily googled. Google it yourself! (or send them to “let me google that for you” website, HAH!). It’s inconsiderate and selfish of these individuals… I hope they will learn that some requests are just unreasonable and poorly timed.

    If you need to take a step back, do it! Family, friends and you is what’s important. Your loyal followers will continue to support you.

    I hope you have a wonderful day and year. Thank you for being that person who tries to help everyone (even on Xmas Eve!)

    • Reply
      January 12, 2017 at 2:59 am

      I see and read each and every comment that gets posted to my site as I moderate them all to weed out the horrible ones ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for your lovely words

  • Reply
    January 11, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    I have started my own food blog in 2005 and like you it was sharing, chatting etc ; and now I feel exactly like you ; in France where I live it is exactly the same thing – people are more and more asking for help ; they criticize you when you share a sponsored recipe (created by you), and for some of them never thank you for your time, your recipes or your help. Sometimes I have some giveaway and nobody send me an email when they receive them . WTF ;/

  • Reply
    Ruth Stephens
    January 12, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Emma, you are a true blue Kiwi darling! Go you, for being honest! Couldn’t agreee more I’m 60 this year & those values of family, and real-life stuff are always more important than any virtual reality. I use both your books & so appreciate your generosity & skill. I remember the first time I commented on a recipe & got so excited to get a reply! Thank you for all your hard work – time & effort. You’ve given us all so much. I agree – be kind to yourself, relax & breathe, & let the nutty demanders drop away! Much love! Ruth xx

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 12:55 am

    I’ve just discovered your site and it looks amazing, will definitely be trying this plum cake recipe! Looking at the recipe title underneath your website title reminded me of a wonderful cocktail I tried at Christmas. Sliced plums and thyme syrup in prosecco. Just a thought for next time you get tired of the negative lazy bloggers, or, even just for next time!
    I look forward to enjoying your recipes.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 1:15 am

    I’ve been following your blog and Instagram for almost two years and I am so grateful for everything you share both food and family. Your recipes have all been foolproof and the main reason I was attracted to you in the first place was your authenticity. Thank you so much Emma.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Hi Emma,

    I understand. I’ll spend an hr writing up a treatment plan that I’m proud of for a client without a thank you. Or I’ll get a text at 6am from a client about their period…!

    I made a vow to show my gratitude to others more often. I sent a card and jar of chilli pickles to the kind nurse who made me feel at ease when I had my wisdom teeth out last month.

    I want to thank you for your 2 gorgeous books that I recommend to all my clients and that I buy as presents for my friends. My toddler and I love baking your recipes!

    I truly appreciate the work you do! Creepy fact: your website is my homepage!



  • Reply
    Rosalind Dibley
    January 12, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Nga mihi another, After my comments yesterday, I am providing feedback for once. Have just made these with some apricots we bought back from Napier. They are excellent and I will have to hide them from the rest of the whanau. I did use coconut oil instead of olive as find it a bit intense at times.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 2:41 am

    Your cookbook is such a huge source of inspiration to me, just adore your recipes.
    I couldn’t agree more with the social media side of things – appreciate your honesty.
    I hope 2017 brings you a lot more fun and happiness xxx

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Funny, just today I decided I was finally going to follow through on the blog I wanted to start years ago. This gives me reason to pause, again. I am newer to your site but have enjoyed every post read and recipe tried, and like others never bothered to comment simply because I thought it would get lost in the pile. Thank you. May your heart be filled with lightness and laughter in 2017. Now take a well deserved juicy break and a giant nap. BTW these cakes are gorgeous.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 3:03 am

    Hey Emma, I totally agree with you, the online world has turned a little crazy. I have loved your recipes and your books, and think your photography is pretty amazing too! I’m a Naturopath and a stay at home mum (with a blog actually and yep feeling pretty overwhelmed with the online world) but while working full time as a Naturopath I was always in search of gluten and dairy free recipes and your blog was always the first website I would recommend for my clients to look at to get some inspiration. As writing this I feel I should of commented previously and said thank you, but not being a much of a commenter and being a bit shy in the online world I never did as thought you would be busy. I’m now very sorry I didn’t comment and just want to say thank you for providing so many amazing recipes and inspiration to people on gluten & dairy free diet’s. I’m sorry you had a tough year but keep up the outstanding work, you have lots of people out there that do really appreciate it! All the best for 2017 x

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 3:55 am

    I think you are awesome! Am stunned that I only recently found you. Your recipes speak to me. People can be clueless and it’s hard to stand strong for what you believe in. Its a funny time we live in….with boundless opportunities. You are a star.

  • Reply
    Abby | Lace & Lilacs
    January 12, 2017 at 3:57 am

    Sending so much love to you in this new year, Emma. xoxo

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 4:02 am

    Kia ora Emma, I am a huge fan of your work and have tried many of your recipes and was given your first cookbook as a very thoughtful gift. Whenever I feel like I need good wholesome food inspiration for my family, I always come back to your site. I may have never posted a comment but rest assured, it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the heart you put into your site and recipes. Love your work, kia kaha!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 4:14 am

    Here here! I hope you do ignore dumb emails and focus on things you love, because we love your recipes …. I have your books, I follow you on facebook, Insta and Pinterest (Yep even your homey, fashion, etc boards!) …. you rock girl! Just keep going and make you more of a priority … you deserve it. As women and mum’s we put ourselves after everyone and everything else, we all need to push ourselves up the To Do list priorities. Best Wishes for 2017. Xxxx

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 5:05 am

    I’m one of the silent appreciaters and I forget sometimes how powerful even just a few words of thanks and appreciation is – so thank you from the bottom of my heart for making the transition over to gluten and dairy free much easier and more delicious than I’d hoped it could be. Thank for all your inventive, yummy recipes and the time you take to share them with us, it’s so kind of you. I often find myself recommending your blog as you’re so lovely, real and down to earth. Good luck with your journey, whichever way it takes you.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 5:59 am

    haha, I loved this. It’s brilliant.
    My Darling Lemon Thyme is still my favourite recipe book xx
    I hope 2017 offers you all that you need…

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Love your rant because it’s truth. I love how much of a real person you are. I always use your recipes and they are great, even when I adapt them. Your right I have never taken the time to say thanks. So Thank you for all the time and effort that you put into this free resource, my dinner table would not be the same without it.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Dear Emma,
    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now and I absolutely love it, it’s a real gem. I never took the time, however, to thank you for all the wonderful recipes, stories and stunning pictures. Thank you so much for all the effort you put in your blog, it’s much appreciated. All the best for 2017!

  • Reply
    Nicola Galloway
    January 12, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Emma, your blog was the first I ever read and still one of my favourites. Even if you are posting less often you still post every post with integrity and content/recipes that are interesting and useful. I save them for when I have a quiet moment then read every word and enjoy every image. You are so incredibly talented and generous with your sharing.
    Your words above are real and raw, and I truly hope this year brings you so much calm and happiness. I feel like the speed of this online technological world is moving faster than we can keep up and we are all still navigating our way through it. I cannot agree more with putting family (and friends) first, they are real, hug them and love them. Kia Kaha amazing woman xx

  • Reply
    Portia Zar
    January 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Hi Emma
    I’ve been following your site since the early days, and own your books and just wanted to say how much I appreciate what you do. People know how to take but aren’t always good at giving!
    I hope 2017 reignites your spark!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Darling Emma, you don’t know me from a bar of soap but I felt compelled to comment to let you know what an inspiration you have been to me over the years. Thank you for your words, recipes and beautiful pictures. Your honesty is so refreshing, now get back to loving those cute-faced kids of yours x

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Amen lovely. I’m in awe of bloggers who put up with the rubbish. I have similar goals for 2017 for different reasons. Happiness, health and love.

  • Reply
    Lori Pare
    January 12, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Hello Emma! I just have to tell you that the link to this recipe showed up in my Google News this morning because I have “shown an interest in olive oil”. Not only do I love olive oil, but I also work in an olive oil and balsamic vinegar specialty store in Pensacola Florida, USA. ๐Ÿ™‚ I loved reading your honest and heartfelt post, I can’t wait to try this recipe, and I’m excited to be a new follower of your blog! Thank you!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    My love my love MY LOVE. I could not agree with you more. Also? I’m really fucking tired, too. Tired of the rat race and the circle jerk and the lack of community and just, well, blogging in general.

    I admire the hell out of you – always have, but even more so now. BIG LOVE to you, lady. Biggest fuckin’ love. <3

  • Reply
    January 12, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    HI Emma. Even before I became a mum myself I wondered how you found the time to share some many wonderful recipes while parenting and running a household and all. Esp as you have such special recipes a lot of work goes into creating them. Then there’s the amazing photos and your writing and editing it all together. I’ve always been a fan but also probably felt like you and other ‘women who have it all’ bloggers are just a different breed to ‘struggle to do normal stuff even without kids’ people like me. So probably me and those like me see ‘your kind’ as some superwoman without limits to their super powers! Esp once you published books and became an ‘author’, it’s almost like we expect you have a publicity team taking care of all the social media side.
    To be honest, I don’t know how people keep up blogs in this social media age with expectations to continually update blog, post on Facebook, Twitter, instagram and all that. My blog is still just for me and anyone who stumbles upon it looking for specific recipes I suppose. It’s my onlinexpensive recipe scrapbook that I ambitiously called Once Daily With Food but since having kids has been lucky to be a few times a year that I add to it! So I have tremendous admiration for what you do!
    Glad that you’re getting paid work which takes priority, as well as your family of course!
    You can see by my long comment why I keep from commenting too often – take too long to say anything! Wishing you an un-beholden, balanced and nurtured 2017.
    P.S. Amazing how almost all the comments here are from other women. Glad to see women supporting each other. Happy 2017 all you lovely women too!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2017 at 2:27 am

    My husband and I own a small business and we have been experiencing the same kind of demanding/whiny/ungrateful customers. I have always made it a point to go above and beyond, but some people seem to see that as a minimum requirement now. I have also decided to take a step back (because I am TIRED and my family comes first) so I can really relate to this. I am hoping this is just an awkward phase in our collective growth as humans and we all start figuring out how to treat each other better.

    Thank you for all of your hard work.

  • Reply
    James Powell
    January 13, 2017 at 3:37 am

    I love your posts. Please don’t stop writing. Challenges really come to test you and make you a stronger person.

  • Reply
    June Mason
    January 13, 2017 at 4:34 am

    I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you for this really delicious recipe. I am always looking for something new to make for my friend who is GF with very limited baking skills. I have made quite a few of your recipes and have never been disappointed with the results. Thank you again for all of the time and effort you put into your Blog. I look forward to more new things to try in this year.

    Cheers June

  • Reply
    January 13, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Hi Emma, I’ve been a huge fan of yours for years now. I have introduced you and your books to family and friends who equally admire and adore the recipes you create.
    Thanks for being my online and cook book go-to person!
    I’m never one to comment on any online forum but I’m really appreciative of your offerings and happy to let you know!
    Cheers and all the best for 2017

  • Reply
    Lisa Passmore
    January 13, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Hi Emma,
    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and 2 lovely cook books. We really love your work!
    Hoping 2017 is a better year and sending you and your family much love ,light and healing.
    Warmest regards, Lisa P (Perth, WA)

  • Reply
    January 13, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Raw post that hit my soul. Thank you for posting your truth and I love your beautiful posts and photos. I really love the story behind the recipes too. I honour your books as my most beautiful recipe books. Thank you.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2017 at 5:31 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! And for your beautiful cook books of which I use most over all books in my evergrowing collection.
    I hope you got some much needed rest over the holiday period.
    I am very grateful for the recipes you share and you have certainly inspired me in my own wholefood baking and experiments with different flours etc. I’m sure my young family would thank you also ๐Ÿ˜Š
    I hope this year is a g I at one for you!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2017 at 6:29 am

    I can see the overwhelming response already to your post, but need to add mine. As a mother of 4 children 5 and under, one with multiple food intolerances, I absolutely rely on your recipes! I know I can safely come here and find something my daughter can eat and actually enjoy!!! So from the bottom of my heart thank you. Sarah.

  • Reply
    January 14, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Follow your heart, my dear! Do what you love best and don’t let people determine what you do/should be doing. You’re behind the wheel. If people can’t understand, they should look within. You shouldn’t doubt yourself because society is changing. Stay true to yourself!

  • Reply
    January 15, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Hey there,
    I am so sorry to read about how upset you understandably are. You obviously have a sensible mum and a sensible brain yourself to keep you on the right path but for what it’s worth, I have loved your blog so much since I came across it a few years back. Your cooking is lovely and delicious and all things good but what marks it as distinct from others is it is heartfelt cooking…Hard to describe when recipes lack this element; they can be good, have nice ingredients and logical assembly and processes, but when the food is loved and the photos and stories shared about it’s creation and/or usage paint a picture of food bringing people together and marking times of happiness with your loved ones, that makes a completely different type of recipe. That’s why I love them. Also though…delicious.

    I have sent recipes to my sisters and brother many times and when we get together in Ireland (from our homes in the UK, USA, Africa and Europe), we celebrate with food (possibly too much!) and your recipes feature regularly. The Swedish tosca cake is an especial favourite.

    So I am sorry for silence and not sharing this with you before but trust me, we think of you and the things we think are entirely good things. Keep rocking, keep cooking and know you are cherished by people miles away across the planet. Especially when (agreed, sadly) this world seems like it is going horribly. As us irish believe, it is *always* time for tea, and tea and cake beats just tea, and possibly solves manys a glum heart.

    A wonderful quote from Muriel Barbary’s incredible book ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’: โ€œThe tea ritual: such a precise repetition of the same gestures and the same tastes; accession to simple, authentic and refined sensations, a license given to all, at little cost, to become aristocrats of taste, because tea is the beverage of the wealthy and of the poor; the tea ritual, therefore, has the extraordinary virtue of introducing into the absurdity of our lives an aperture of serene harmony. Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea.โ€

    Hugs x

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    January 15, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Hello, I am new here and I hope we won’t remain strangers. I am so sorry to hear that 2016 was a “bummer” for you. I do hope that this coming year proves to be happier, more relaxing, and peaceful for you and your family. I’m looking forward to getting to know you and your recipes. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  • Reply
    January 15, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Emma you never stop amazing me. I remember stumbling across your blog many years ago, and immediately feeling connected to you and your work. I admire you for still being here, for continuing to post recipes and thoughtful, honest words. Your writing always hits home with me, and this time it is no different. I can see the amount of responses you’ve had here and I guess it just goes to show that you are not alone. You had the courage to say what so many of us were already feeling, so thank you. Your concerns have always been my fear in blogging, which is why I have always held back from doing it more full on . The competition, the frustration, the rat race that is all too easy to get caught up in. I guess it could leave me thinking – whats the point? But the point is this, it’s you, it’s the hearts you’ve hit with this post. It’s meaningful and with purpose. Post as much or as little as you like, I will always be grateful for your time and knowledge in the kitchen. xx

  • Reply
    January 16, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    I absolutely love the honestly you’ve laid out in this post. Social media focuses so much on the negative and people don’t realize it’s not always rays of sunshine – recipes fail (even when you’ve made them a million times before), posts get postponed, the lighting isn’t always right and the internet isn’t foolproof even though it’s 2017. What I’m trying to say is thank you. Your honesty is lovely and welcomed – much like your blogging.

  • Reply
    Agness of Run Agness Run
    January 16, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Quite encouraging recipe! Thanks a bunch for sharing!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Thank you for being real and for articulating being tired – most of us are but won’t admit it – and for olive oil cakes!

  • Reply
    Your Partner in Passion Kait
    January 17, 2017 at 3:36 am

    A fairly new reader and first time commenter. All I have to say is A-FUCKING-MEN.

    Also this: “2016 was the year that shook me to my core. At times it took every ounce of my inner strength to keep it together. Iโ€™m ever so hopeful this year will bring much more lightness, happiness and fun. And more cake. Please.” SO much this.


  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder
    January 17, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I so appreciate you honesty here, Emma. I can align with you on so much of this, and am also learning a great deal from you with each post I read. Thank you for taking the time to inspire and create – and then share with us here, I am so grateful! I hope this year is more restful and brings you more joy with the work you do and your sweet family you care for. Adore everything you do, and totally support your stance on this all here ^^. xoxo

  • Reply
    January 17, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    I absolutely love your recipes, before I was gluten free I loved them, and now I have a baby who reacts to wheat I love them even more. Thanks so much, and sorry I’ve never commented even though I’ve been using your recipes for years and years… love the cookbooks too by the way!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2017 at 2:33 am

    I made these today and they were so yummy I ate 3 (actually my 4yo ate most of my first one). I wonder how you managed to get yours flat on top? Mine were quite muffin shaped, so they didn’t sit flat when inverted. Perhaps I need just need to Level them off before I pop them in the oven. No matter, they were delicious … Thank you and I hope 2017 Brings you more joy and peace!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Emma, I loved this post – it’s always wonderful to read something that’s genuine and written from the heart. This is one of my favourite food blogs…it has an abundance of good writing, creative recipes and lovely photos. The cake above is so pretty. As a long time vegetarian who hopes to finally become vegan this year, I must ask how I might veganize this? I too had a difficult 2016 and am hopeful of better things this year.
    Warm wishes to you and your family for a peaceful and joyful 2017.

  • Reply
    January 19, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Love you and love your work! However always do what’s right for you and your famil and know that this will always change and be in flux as both you and your family change. You’ve created all of this from an idea, gave it passion and brought it to life. Imagine what you could do for your next adventure!! Thank you from all of us and this community that you’ve inspired will follow and support you through anything and I look forward to seeing where your passion leads you next. P.S. 2016 was an absolute fucker but already can feel the good flowing from this year.

  • Reply
    January 20, 2017 at 8:45 am

    I have your first book and use it often all my family have a copy and a few friends I’ve given as gifts I don’t often come to your site but did today and think your post was sad and beautifully honest good on you for saying it! I myself have slowed my internet consumption as I get sick of seeing the negative instead of the positive and have found I barely even watch the news these days opting for ABC kids to run in the mornings ๐Ÿ˜€
    Thank you for your efforts and storytelling with each recipe or ingredient
    May 2017 be wonderful and you feel recharged and appreciated by your followers

  • Reply
    margare hartley
    January 20, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Your blog connects me to the many years I lived in NZ raising my little ones who are all grown up now. I really appreciate your beautiful photos, gluten free recipes and a chance to glimpse life on the other side of the world again. Thanks for sharing and hope you continue to blog when you can in 2017.

  • Reply
    Carlos At Spoonabilities
    January 21, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    I hear you too. I’m pretty new trying to make the difference, but it’s tough. I love to read a post like yours full of honesty. You have an excellent way to communicate and touch others. Thank you for sharing.
    Also, I love the combination of plum and olive oil. Plus, is dairy and gluten free. When the plum season come again, I will make it.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2017 at 4:06 am

    Hi Emma, i am a long time follower too and have loved your recipes. I can fully understand your frustration and the demands of people today. I have a few voluntary roles now that i am a full time mum and my God the expectations of people within that! LOVE your honesty and you. Pleased that you are pulling back from this and pushing back at these people who expect everything and give nothing – there seems to be so many entitled people! And I, too, hope 2017 is better for you. It was a shitter for me too. ๐Ÿ™

  • Reply
    January 22, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Hey Emma,
    Thanks for the honest words and reality check for all. I, like many other commenters above, love your blog but have never commented. I suppose this results in the unfortunate outcome that you see more negative than positive commenters- ‘no news is good news’ as it were. Thanks for always posting inspiring and honest posts and recipes, and for letting us all into your life. I appreciate all that you do and love your blog even though I never comment to say as such. Keep it up and keep it real!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 12:13 am

    Hi Emma, great post. I just wanted to say I made your tomato + eggplant curry with chili + lime last night as I have done many times before, and I hope you know just how amazing it is! It is one of my favourite curries to make, and is always received with huge appreciation. I am so impressed by the combination of flavours, every time I make it. You are a truly original recipe-creator, and I like so many others genuinely appreciate what you generously offer to us readers of your blog and books. I have never commented before, for the same reasons others have mentioned above but I will now comment because I want you to know how much your writing is appreciated.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Hi Emma,
    Just wanted you to know I love your site and have enjoyed making a lot of your recipes over the years, particularly the savoury ones. And when you put out your first cookbook, well, I had to have that…. and then the 2nd one too. No matter how often you post I will always look forward to what you have to share. Thanks for sharing your culinary expertise and I hope 2017 is a great year for you and your family.

  • Reply
    Bindia | Indisk Takeaway
    January 23, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    I love it when people gather and shared their ideas. Feeling good after visiting your post, I just loved it so much. Keep posting.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Hi Emma,

    Thank you for the honest post and for the gorgeous recipe. I made these cakes tonight and adapted your recipe to make them vegan (using 3 flax ‘eggs’ plus a half a cup of water). They turned out perfect!

    I wish you all the best for 2017 and thanks again for sharing your amazing recipes!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Hi Emma,

    I have just read your post an thank you for having the bravery to say what many of us are to scared to say. For me 2016 was not the greatest, but then neither where 2015 or 14. I just got tired of it all, being to many things to to many people. In the world gone mad life is really hard. But onwards and upwards for 2017, it can only get better. I found your book, then blog by accident and find it so inspiring and genuine. I have made plenty of your recipes and continue to do so on a regular basis. As I live in Victoria, Australia the connection with you and your food gives me a little bit of kiwi!

    Take care and honestly, keep up the great work..

  • Reply
    January 27, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Emma, I have both your books and they are my ‘go to’ recipes for ease and reliability for everyday life. Your recipes taste the best.and are not fussy. They far surpass all other books inn the healthy range. I am very grateful to you. Jeanette

  • Reply
    Jamie E Little
    February 2, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Dear Emma,
    Thank you for your words and for all the delicious food you inspire us to make. May this year bring joy to you and yours. With love,

  • Reply
    February 3, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Hi Emma,
    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a hard time with blog followers, I just can’t understand how people have gotten to this point! I have never posted a comment before but wanted to take the time to express my gratitude for your delicious sounding recipes and the time taken to put yourself out there. I define appreciate! And even more than that, I hear you and hold space. Thank you for sharing your talents with the world. Take care!!!

  • Reply
    Gustavo Woltmann
    February 5, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I love everything you create.

    – Gustavo Woltmann

  • Reply
    February 5, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Emma, I am so sorry 2016 was so difficult–I truly hope 2017! Is a better one for all of us and the world… That remains to be seen….
    I am another of your silent admirers –I love your recipes and your posts– the photos are beautiful and give me a sense of what I am aiming for. So thank you, thank you for all that you do. Your site is truly am oasis especially during these very uncertain times. No need to reply ;-).

  • Reply
    February 13, 2017 at 12:14 am

    You are wonderful and such an inspiration Emma! This is my first time commenting but I’ve followed your blog for years now. I appreciated your post and it does seem like the internet has many more negative comments from people than positive. I think a reason some of us silent followers who don’t tend to comment (but LOVE everything you’re doing) is that we think you already have so many comments to answer or work to be done etc that it could seem a burden to read and feel obligated to answer. But thank you for this post, as it is a reminder that we all need to be sharing out positive thoughts and appreciation for one another. Much love with no expectations ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 3:31 am

    Emma, the food that you create is wonderful! Having had to change my diet, you website has come as such a relief and I just wanted to say thank you! Sorry to hear 2016 was rough, I hope it helps to know that I am baking away every week drawing on your recipes.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2017 at 4:38 am

    You help me cook with more love and joy; I am forever grateful xx

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