Baking, Chocolate, Dessert, Snacks, Treats

Snickers Slice and Photography … need I say more?

Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend some time with some very good and extremely talented friends of mine who also happen to be crazy good wedding photographers, check them out here: Tim Kelly Photography. Recently I purchased a new fancy-pants camera (a Canon 100D) partly because I like taking photos and wanted a decent camera, and partly so I could take some high quality food photos so not to blind you with shoddy images whilst you peruse my blog. The only flaw in my grand camera purchasing plan was that camera skills were extremely limited – thank god for auto mode. I LOVE my camera. It is relatively small and sleek, buuuuut unfortunately I wasn’t quite making the most of its whizz-bang functionalities.

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Snacks, Treats

Summer dreaming …

I find that people often fit into one of two categories – lovers of ice-cream, or not so much. I’m in the first category and am a huge fan. My fabulous flatmates are also on this wave length which makes it a danger zone but delightful at the same time, and we often have flat dates perched on the floor (why don’t we sit on the couches??) having natter sessions over ice cream. It is good. So good. Our other mutual flat love is of tea … and the heat pump … but I’ll save those stories for another day.

Recently Leonie (flatmate/flatwife/epic friend) and I have discovered the delights of the Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery – oooh yes, craft ice cream, say whaaaaaaat?! Move over craft beer (jokes … sort of). Amazing. The Wooden Spoon gang are based in Wellington and their ice creams are like the homemade kind. The ice creams aren’t clean eating as such but they don’t use pre-made mixes, stabilisers or preservatives so that’s something and is ok for a wee treat. And oh, SO yum. Check them out here: http://www.woodenspoonfreezery.com/ Continue reading “Summer dreaming …”

Baking, Snacks, Treats

Bliss Balls

I’m a snacker. It is fun and yum and also when I’m bored it seems like a good idea (probably isn’t). I wouldn’t go as far to say that I am a ‘grazer’, but professional snacker – count me in. There is however a good way forward in the snacking department – which I have not always utilised. A few years ago my snacks would be any of the following: packaged museli bars, crackers, sugar-free this and that, low fat this and that, fruit flavoured yoghurts, cheese (mmm cheeeeese. I haven’t given this up!), fruit and carrots (still regulars), scroggin, chips, the occasional biscuit, although thankfully these are not my fav etc … you get the general picture, and it has only been through the process of research, education, listening to my body, trying new things and understanding what all the crap is in the food I was eating, that I have in more recent years distanced myself from these things and have embraced the ‘real’ food option. Now I’m not saying you need to go all ninja-like and cull the above (and others) but if you want to eat less processed food then starting with almost anything packaged and giving it the flick is a good way to roll. Now there are some exceptions for example, raw nuts that come in a packet, full fat plain yoghurt, cheeses etc. Just check out the label and if there is a whole lot of stuff listed in the ingredients list that you can’t pronounce, then it probably isn’t a bad idea to steer clear of it. Or at least have a go anyway, slow and steady.

Anywho, this post is actually about Bliss Balls, which you have probably heard of and are an easy clean eating snack that I like to make and are deliiiish.  Continue reading “Bliss Balls”

Dinner, Lunch, Snacks

What the kale?!

In a conversation at work the other day I announced – as I do often regarding various things, that brazil nuts are one of my fav things, which then sparked a conversation where a couple of my colleagues, and good friends, told me that brazil nuts remind them of me, along with grapefruit, avocado, spinach and green things. YUSS. This thrills me no end as I really like green things – all green things – not just foodie green things but green jackets, other clothes, manchester, bags, tea towels, drink bottles, need I go on? In fact green is my all-time favourite colour, closely followed by red and then probably blue. My wardrobe was awfully awkward a couple of summers ago as for a while green dominated and red wasn’t far behind. Now I’m as festive as the next person, but there is a limit people, and I hit it.

Green to me is vibrant, energetic and wholesome; and although we can’t be all of those things, all of the time (ridiculous suggestion!) I do like what the element ‘green’ stands for. I’m not saying everyone agrees, yellow is also quite fabulous, but green, I love.

Kale. Kale is another thing I love. And is green.

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Ingredients, Kitchen this' and thats

Herm …. what is that even?

My journey towards clean eating has not been a sudden rampage, in fact over the past 3 years I have made slow and steady changes to decrease my consumption of processed, preservative and sugar filled foods, to those of the natural unrefined variety. It’s a bit of a daunting thought to suddenly opt for no sugar, no gluten, no dairy (I eat some dairy), no anything and so I ambled it out one step at a time. My pantry is now filled with ‘real food’ ingredients, rather than ‘ready to go’ food – which can be a disaster when I’m having a hangry moment and desperately require food as I routinely come home STARVING. My flat-wife, Leonie, is used to me falling in the door and requiring a teaspoon of honey or some berries to pep me up – not something to strive for folks. Note to self: be more organised.

‘Super foods’ as they are called can cost a small fortune, so if you’re keen to invest in a few I would aim to purchase one a week or so, you don’t need them all at once. Alternatively you actually don’t ‘need them’. Eating clean can be as simple as buying fresh fruit and veges – organic is ideal but these are pretty spendy and you have to start somewhere, so as long as you wash the produce well (use water and white vinegar, then rinse with fresh water), one step at a time is good. I buy organic where I can but I’m no millionaire and prefer to live within my means so realistically you can do your best, but you can’t always do it all. Baby steps. If you’re thinking about etching towards clean eating or to cut out a bit more sugar and a few preservatives, a good way to approach shopping is to focus on the outer isles of a supermarket and less on the inner isles. In general you’ll find your fruit and veges, meat, fish, full fat dairy, bulk bins of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and frozen items – veges, berries etc, in these isles of a supermarket. The middle isles are mostly filled with packaged food items – biscuits, chips, tinned stuff (which depending on what you are buying can be good!!), sweets, chocolate etc. Just after I launched this blog my Mum quizzed me on a couple of ingredients that I had used and it reminded me that I used to spend a lot of time googling ingredients in order to figure out what the heck they were, and where I could buy them without breaking my bank account. So I thought I’d ramble a wee bit about some ingredients that I find useful to have on hand …

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Kitchen this' and thats

She spent how much on a blender?!

Blenders – an essential kitchen appliance. But what would you say if I told you could have a machine that mills, grinds, steams, whips, mixes, chops, reverse chops!, beats, kneads, sautés AND is German made? I know, IN-credible. Actually over a year ago now my very good friend and fellow fit and healthy foodie, Vic, told me of such a machine (oh my!), and then told me the price and I’m pretty sure I laughed and wondered why the heck she had spent ‘so much on a blender’ (sorry Vic!). But then I went to visit her in Perth and within approximately 23 minutes of being in the vicinity of THE THERMOMIX I fell in love. For serious. I will be grateful to Vic forever for introducing us. It takes ‘she spent how much on a blender’ to a whole new level and will ruin all other kitchen appliances for you.

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Dinner, Soup

The wonderful world of winter

Loads of the time I find myself dreaming of the sunshine. Because who doesn’t? I was sitting on the bus going to work a couple of days ago, I had been to 6am bootcamp that morning already – I know, some would say MAD, I prefer to say awesome, or adventurous or that it is part of my social calendar (kind of is), but during one particular exercise involving us lying on the ground doing ab exercises, my lovely friend and most excellent workout partner commented that we could still see the stars. We were effectively working out in the middle of the night … well it felt like that at approximately 6:20am in the middle of winter and it was surprisingly refreshing. Then an hour later (impressed at my quick turn morning around? I am) I was on the bus to work and happened to look up from exploring other people’s fabulous lives through the eyes of instagram (I do love instagram) to see the most amazing yellow glow of the sun coming up over the city splashing across the early morning blue sky and it reminded me of how much I like cold, crisp mornings that involve jackets, gloves and beanies, and how I should look less at my phone and more at the world – mental note to self.

Anyway! Less ramble more foodie such things that winter encourages – Soup! Glorious soup!

Continue reading “The wonderful world of winter”