A quick change of palate

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 6.54.30 pmScreen Shot 2017-05-19 at 2.03.39 pmScreen Shot 2017-05-19 at 2.04.12 pmIt is the season of the sweetly sour feijoa, and until recently I’d not particularly enjoyed the taste. ¬†At all.

Wesley however has been enjoying the sweet and complex flavours for the past couple of weeks.  During this time many bits have been tossed onto the floor and I, being sort of lazy simply eat the little bits.

I’ve consumed enough now to know that I actually rather enjoy the taste.

The fruit hails from South America, and is found dropped from mature trees ripe and ready to eat. ¬†They sell for a heavy price at the grocery store – so it’s been a real treat having a tree at Mike’s mums for total gluttony.

The plate was a gift when we first moved in from Wesley’s great grandmother Izzy. ¬†I love it so much, I feel like it makes everything just a bit more fabulous in it’s golden rimmed form.

So this fruit, magically seduced me into enjoying it’s strange flavour.

Have you ever had a change of heart about a food you didn’t particularly like at first?

Everything else is fair game… apart from mushrooms, no matter how many I eat – my extreme dislike remains.

The first crop of onions.

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They grew in rather close quarters, and a tiny lesson has been learned.  We must plant them at a greater space to allow for bigger bulbs next year.

I’ve trimmed them and foolishly placed said onions onto the mantle in our kitchen. ¬†Now, I am airing out our whole home from the intense perfume of fresh onions.

Another novice mistake.

Now they sit on the porch airing out for a few days before I store them in the cupboard.

Do you have a recipe that features onions that you love? ¬†I’ll probably need to get through these red ones rather quick! ¬†

We’ve been misted today in a dainty almost microscopic rain. ¬†You know the kind that lightly falls on your face and skin, it feels refreshing? ¬†Eventually it saturates you to the core, and yet at the same time is lovely because it is warm. ¬†Summer rain, is so pleasant.

This constant rain has made New Zealand’s soil fertile and created an optimal growing season in many regions. ¬†Palmerston North has had one of the wettest summers on record. ¬†We can only help but flash back to our struggles in Eneabba trying to grow our food in the hot heat of summer. ¬†We watered it endlessly. ¬†Many of our plants died. ¬†Here, we hope for some more sunlight to help ripen our green tomatoes. Though, I’ve heard they are good fried green anyway!

Blueberry Picking in Ashurst

screen-shot-2017-01-16-at-2-00-42-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-16-at-1-59-54-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-16-at-2-00-17-pmscreen-shot-2017-01-16-at-2-00-30-pmWe’ve just finished a really great visit with our friends Ashley and Emma. ¬†They stayed with us for 5 nights and in that time we managed to cram in a tonne of activities. ¬†Ashley was a neighbour of ours when we lived in Eneabba. ¬†His farm was about 5 km from our home and we often spent time together. ¬†He and Emma were just beginning to date when we met, and now have become married and are on their honeymoon. ¬†Seeing them here in New Zealand feels quite surreal.

Some of the local activities we got into:

  • Glow worms in the Pohongina Ranges (my first time too – they were really beautiful).
  • Blueberry Picking in Ashurst
  • Mike and Ashley went for a wild boar hunt, and were successful – they also got a deer and were very stoked with the result. ¬†Those animals were brought back to our friends farm for processing.
  • Hanging out at the Esplanade in the city and along the river
  • The Fielding Market and Livestock sales
  • Mount Bruce – to see eels, kiwi, kaka and other beautiful native birds
  • A small cheese farm where we met a lady who won some impressive awards for her rare raw cheese (apparently a cheddar – but not called that because it’s not from the place called Cheddar). ¬†Who knew cheese was so exclusive!

We thoroughly enjoyed spending these past 6 days with our friends and wish them the best time during this next leg of their journey through New Zealand.

We were very sad to see them go this morning, but know soon enough we’ll be in each others company again.

Slow Cooked Vegetarian Chilli

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This slow cooked vegetarian chilli will put a little fire in your belly.  It was inspired by a food blogging friend Elaine who writes Foodbod.  She posts really creative vegetarian food often with middle eastern influence of fragrant spices and sauces.

Right, so yesterday I was inspired to make some slow cooked chilli.  This all went into a slow cooker and was left to simmer for basically the entire day.  I scavenged for it in the pantry but you could throw in whatever you wanted for your chilli too.

  • 1 white onion diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3x capsicum (red orange and yellow)
  • 2x Spring onions
  • 2 table spoons of paprika
  • 2 table spoons of chilli powder
  • However much salt you prefer
  • 5 large pieces of garlic crushed

This all simmered on low heat from 10am to about 4pm. ¬†Then in the last hour I added two heaping spoonfuls of cocoa powder, which took off the acidic edge and gave it a really dark rich look and taste. ¬†I’d never thrown in cocoa before, and saw that Elaine had done so… honestly am never not putting it in again! ¬†It was delicious.

The topping is a mixture of: Colby cheese, cilantro, parsley, raw red onion, lime zest and juice with avocado and finally a few green jalape√Īos. ¬†I also toasted a few pieces of tortillas in olive oil and butter for yummy dipping vessels.

For the 400 hours that this meal cooked, Wes and I ran amok. ¬†He and I headed to the Manawatu river for our daily walk. ¬†It’s about 6.5km – I puff away and eventually end up misty and sweaty and he sings like a wee little bird or passes out for the 1.25 hours it takes me to get the walk in.

He cut his first tooth yesterday, and I couldn’t help myself and have since been calling it a “Toof”. ¬†I’m sure my ridiculous vocabulary is going to mess him up some as he gets into school. ¬†I count before I pick him up “One, two, free” and can often hear Mike cutely doing the same.

Wes is such a beautiful, happy, content little boy. ¬†He gets the giggles when I change his outfits, because he has ticklish armpits and he laughs at me when he has done a little poop and it surprises me. ¬†He enjoys my interpretive dancing (the more awkward the more giggles I get) and sometimes talks himself to sleep. ¬†We’ve seen him grow and change each day, and I am smiling whilst writing this because he really brightens my day.

The red marks all over my neck and chest in the image above, are from his little fingernails which I promptly trimmed last night as he fell asleep.

In other non baby news…

My younger sister Andrea is marrying her soulmate Kris in Cuba this week, and the family are all in attendance to celebrate for a week of fun in the sun. ¬†We really wished we could have been there, and have been sending loads of love and support to them for their special day. ¬†They will definitely have some really cool new memories together to cherish. ¬†I know Wesley would have loved to watch everyone dancing…

Happy Healthy – Food & Fitness in Perth

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Yesterday I worked with new Perth business: Happy Healthy. Owner Jess is passionate about creating nutritious, organic food and helping inspire others through fitness.  She is kicking off the new year by following her dream full time, and will be providing fitness classes as well as expanding her already successful health snack business.

The location, energy and laughs were awesome, and really made capturing these moments very enjoyable.

After the shoot, Mike and I went to Fremantle, played some arcade games and feasted on some delicious Italian at the always popular Sandrino Cafe.  I had a spicy tomato, parmesan and garlic gnocchi and Mike enjoyed a fresh calamari salad with lemon and garlic aioli.

Tonight I’ll be headed out to the suburbs to get some snaps of a friends young son and daughter by the river.

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This is the only item we’ve bought for our little baby… ¬†

Early in the day we had our latest ultrasound. ¬†Where we learned the gender of our baby. ¬†What was kind of hilarious (and concerning!) – Mike didn’t make it through the whole scan. ¬†He was feeling very sick being in the hospital, and had to leave the room before he fainted. ¬†This isn’t the first time… and it’s made me wonder how he’s going to manage when we’re actually delivery the baby? ¬†It’s adorable, and concerning.

Do you squirm at hospitals or know someone whom also gets distressed like this?