Blackberry Pavlova

blackberry-pavlova

I spent about an hour this afternoon gardening. I’ve still got dirt underneath my fingernails, and smudged on the knees of my jeans. We don’t actually have a garden per se, it’s more of a terrace. But it’s big and sunny, and we’ve been slowly filling it with greenery. When we first moved in we inherited a few plants – rosemary and thyme, a small olive tree and a dry lavender bush, as well as loads of mint. We’ve since added flowers for the kids, a rose bush that S brought home this morning, a cumquat tree, tomato bushes, Vietnamese mint, parsley, coriander, lettuce leaves, a chilli plant, and a slender ghost gum. Everything is planted in a haphazard mix of terracotta pots and wooden planter boxes.

This detailed rundown of our garden, though, is actually a roundabout explanation for why this is my first post in some three months. Gah!

Continue reading Blackberry Pavlova

Heidi Swanson’s Vaghareli Makai + Makhaniya Lassi

near-far-closeup

In these days of food blogs and online savvy, I’m relatively picky when it comes to buying cookbooks. I have a few on the shelf that I refer to time and again and though I’m always flipping through the glossy pages of cookbooks at the book shop it’s only rarely that I’ll purchase a new one. However Heidi Swanson’s new book, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel, was a no-brainer.

You’re probably familiar with Heidi Swanson through her blog 101 Cookbooks. In fact, you’re probably already a fan. It’s hard not to be. Heidi’s signature style is unmissable. Her muted photography, easy storytelling, and wholesome recipes are among the gold standard of food blogging. And the same applies to her books. Near & Far is a work of art. It feels good in the hand; textured cover and thick matte paper. Part travel journal, the images weave a story from a door frame in Morocco to the streetscape of San Francisco, complimenting the recipes and the words and combining to create a strong sense of wanderlust. From India to Japan, Heidi evokes a strong sense of place, of looking from within rather than from without. Continue reading Heidi Swanson’s Vaghareli Makai + Makhaniya Lassi

Sprout Salad with Crème Fraîche Dressing

sprout-salad-closeup

I’ve been staying up later than usual these last few nights (which is still pretty early for most grown-ups). I’ve been eating dark chocolate and doing some creative writing. I am an incredibly undisciplined writer, but I’m determined to get at least one of my perpetually unfinished stories done.

Writing, for me at least, is equal parts pleasure and pain. It takes me forever to get into a groove and I perpetually edit-as-I-write, and am way too critical of my work. All of that said, when I do get into the groove and the words start to flow and my ideas take shape on the page, well, nothing feels quite like it. Continue reading Sprout Salad with Crème Fraîche Dressing