It’s hard to describe what this year has been to me. And as always, it’s difficult to believe that we are at that time already, when the clock ticks over from 2014 to 2015. For me, it’s been the year that, despite it’s potential to be one of the most difficult twelve months of my life, somehow through sheer stubbornness on my part, was one of the best. It was a year that showed me how wonderful the humans around me can be. How supportive, comforting and unquestionably on my side.
I have not only experienced incredible places and made some new friends who have truly enhanced my life, but I have understood the strength of my old friendships and family bonds. In short, through some painful experiences, I have understood just how much I have to be joyous and thankful for. So Thank You. For the part you have played in making this year a good one. For giving me a reason, besides my desire to tinker in the kitchen, with the camera and with words, to come to this beloved space of mine and share my thoughts.
As for New Years Eve, I think a drink is in order. So here are some images I did for Kinvarra Estate Winery in the island state of Tasmania, of their lovely, fruity Riesling. I hope you like them, and I hope that one day I can do for another what you all did for me.
A Tuscan holiday is just what I needed, and frankly I can’t think of a time when I wouldn’t welcome one. This holiday came with exceptional timing and I soaked in every minute. It was the perfect balance of touristy activity in Florence and immersion into a hobby I hold close to my heart, in the beautiful Val D’Orcia region. I realised I have so many photos from this trip that it makes best sense to share them in batches. These photos were taken during the first leg of my trip, a few days spent in Florence and surrounding areas.
I can’t wait to share more with you, particularly those from the Plated Stories workshop on food writing, styling and photography that I attended with 5 other fabulously inspiring women. The workshop was taught by Jamie Schler and Ilva Beretta of Plated Stories, both very patient and highly knowledgeable teachers, and I urge you to go over and read their post for their impressions of the lovely experience.
For now, I leave you with these images while I once again battle the beast that is jetlag.
How did we get to be a third of the way through the year? Who else feels like we celebrated New Years Eve like, yesterday?
It is indeed, the end of April and for us in the land of Oz, the onset of the cooler months. The blue skies still make an appearance but along with them there is a nip in the air. One that we never quite take seriously at the beginning of the season, until we notice ourselves reaching for a cardigan, then a coat on our way out. Or switching on the electric blanket. Or dragging the heater out from under the bed where it was happily snoozing through summer and spring.
These images were taken in March, during my India-UK adventure. But they were too pretty not to share, these snaps of the local market, and food being sold from roadside carts in Bangalore. So I hope that April has done you some good, friends. And we, wrapped in our blankets with our fluffy socks on, welcome in May.
It has been a colossal month over here at OSP headquarters. Last week, this wee blogski here had the good fortune of being Freshly_Pressed in WordPress’ daily showcase of posts. I will admit that both myself and the blog have been on a bit of a shameless high from this all week.
Being on vacation for the first half of March ensured that it got off to a good start. After eating, laughing and dancing at a dear cousin’s wedding, I visited my friends Subo and Chris in England. The pair have an eight month old daughter who is quite possibly the cutest thing north of the Equator. I spent a few days in the big smoke of London, to feed my nostalgia more than anything else. But mostly, we stuck to the countryside, going on road trips between quaint little towns and meandering walks in the lush, spring-kissed woods.
So today, on what is my precious friend Subo’s first Mothers Day, I shall leave you with some photos I took of her gorgeous family. I hope your March was fruitful, and I wish all the mums in Europe a Happy Mothers Day.
See ya’ll in April!
Look where we are!! If someone had told me this time last year that we would get to this time this year so soon, I’d think that someone was crazier than a box of monkeys. I can hardly wait to wave goodbye to 2013 and what sweeter ending is there than one with chocolate?
This month, I was invited to an unforgettable chocolate feast at Four Friends Coffee, Chocolate and Tea in Crows Nest, Sydney. There we were greeted by Katze, a warm an inspiring woman with an incredible story.
Four friends was born of Katze’s debilitating auto-immune disease, which sunk her into a despair that she eventually dug her way out of. With her smooth, decedent chocolate treats, fragrant teas and coffee, she set out to bring those around her small portions of happiness and a place to be revitalised.
We were presented with an almost too pretty to eat tasting plate and we chatted to Katze on the plush purple sofas as we made our way through macarons, handmade chocolaty creations and what was probably the best lava cake I have ever dived into.
The delicate teas we chose out of the forty flavours on offer balanced out the sweetness nicely.
Four friends is a little island of happiness to which I will be returning; perhaps with friends or even a good book. You can find them at 5/29 Holstermann St. Crows Nest (for heavens sake, do find them, you won’t regret it!) and reach them on 0415 068 881.
I wish you all a revitalising New Years Eve and a 2014 that makes 2013 look really, really lame. Thank you for all your support and encouragement during this, my first year of bloggery and I can’t wait to see you all on the other side!
Disclosure: I was a guest of Katze and the staff at Four Friends, but all the opinions expressed are my own.
So this Click the Month business was actually meant to posted at the end of the month. A sort of sum up of one or some of the highlights in the 30-odd days gone by.
But, well, despite my best intentions, sometimes life gets in the way. So it doesn’t happen or it pops up a little late. You know what? Anyone who knows me knows that ‘late’ is the norm for me, ‘on time’ is early in my world and ‘early’….actually early? Well, that’s what I’d call a dream.
This month I lunched at my friend Julia’s, where a bunch of us gorged on incredible food such as some succulent roast chicken, this salad and this cake.
I followed the dogs around, camera in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, and managed to get all three of them to sit still for a decent click or two.
This month I got my first taste of one of the many perks of being a food blogger. I attended a lovely, intimate afternoon tea hosted by the good people of ABC Books at the kitchen of the Williams Sonoma store in Bondi. The book in question was acclaimed food writer Valli Little’s Love to Cook (Harper Collins), the latest offering in the stunning ABC delicious series.
Let me start by gushing a little about this kitchen. That enormous, stylish, airy space was a dream come true and I half contemplated crawling into one of the pristine white cupboards and hiding out till everyone left so that I could, like maybe, live there. I had almost convinced myself that no-one would notice, when the vivacious Valli started speaking and demonstrating a couple of the dishes from the book. Realising that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the experience quite so well from inside a cupboard, I ditched my original idea and just soaked in the atmosphere.
And Valli Little? Warm, encouraging and approachable, much like her writing and her recipes. Her food is unpretentious and completely achievable for a home cook, while still being special enough to pamper your loved ones with like this dessert. Little makes it clear that there is no shame in using ingredients such as Nutella and condensed milk to put together a beautiful dish. She has a unique style and sense of fun to her writing; think ‘Green Goddess Dressing’ and ‘Laura Ashley Soup’.
Each of Little’s cookbooks is not only beautifully written, but enriched with stunning food photography which is the work of stylist David Morgan and photographer Jeremy Simons. This gorgeous new addition to the delicious series is one that would snuggle in nicely on the bookshelf of anyone who loves to cook.
I was a guest of Harper Collins & ABC Books at this event hosted at Williams Sonoma.
July has been all about clear blue skies and a sparkly sun while the chill remained in the Sydney air. We made sure to get out and about and soak in some Vitamin D, There has been a food truck epidemic in Sydney and we joined in, partaking in the offerings of the Masterchef food truck.
We made our way to the Aroma Coffee Festival in Sydney Harbour. There we lunched while perched on a retaining wall looking out over a view of the Opera House.
To make up for all the delicious fatty excess, I dabbled in kale by combining it with flaked coconut and a tahini based dressing, and toasting the whole thing in the oven. Topped with a poached egg it made a healthful lunch with a good hit of protein and fibre. There was this healthy beetroot rice and my Dad’s pav bhaji. I explored sweet low-fructose possibilities with these full-of-goodness bonbons and coconut cake bars. There are other fructose-free food projects in the works so watch this space.
How was your July? What were your memorable moments?
Sydney seems to have turned into a refrigerator of sorts this month. The cold seems to seep in right to the bones and the sun calls it a day by 5 pm. We have been lucky to dodge winter through most of April but it seems it’s time to embrace the fact that the chilly season is well and truly here. Gloriously sunny days make everything better though and we still have a good supply of those. And then there have been the mornings where we have woken up to an eerie fog that blankets the city, an almost solid mist that one has to squint to see through.
So I have for you some shots I took during our Mothers’ Day Picnic. Clear skies, a dog-friendly beach and a delicious homemade focaccia (my first attempt!) made the day complete.