Friday, February 26, 2016


This summer is long, hot and glorious - perfect beach weather. And so we had five days of camping on the Whangarei Heads. So many wonderful ocean swims - the best at Smugglers Bay and Matapouri. I came home feeling joyful.

+ Pataua South
+ Pataua North
+ Ocean Beach
+ Urquharts Bay

Listening: Divers by Joanna Newsom and Wakin on a pretty daze by Kurt Vile

Eating: Brussel sprouts - Although it's a bit sad that brussel sprouts are available in the shops already. Is summer finally coming to an end? But we're loving this Salad of potatoes and brussel sprouts from Grown and Gathered - with a few substitutions - basil pesto instead of sprout top pesto and rocket instead of wild sorrel. Totally delicious.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


For a few weeks now a couple of tui have been in the garden. I love tui and the weird noises they make. They had built a nest and, sadly, last week their two babies fell from it. The parent birds were frantic - swooping low over their chicks and making a huge racket. I got my bewildered cats inside and watched the birds for a while. The chicks were too young to fly and the parents too scared to feed them on the ground. So my neighbour and I gathered up the chicks and she took them to Bird Rescue where they'll be raised by hand until they're able to be released. The parents stayed in the garden for a few days afterwards - then disappeared. If only I could tell them that their babies will be ok...

Watching: People places things starring Jemaine Clement who makes no apology for his kiwi accent. Yeah!

Friday, February 5, 2016


Our passion fruit vine is doing really well this year and producing lots of fruit. It seems a shame to cook summer fruit because it's all so delicious fresh. However, passion fruit cupcakes are a simple treat and fun for children to (help) make and decorate. This recipe works every time.

Passion fruit cupcakes
75 g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1/4 cup passion fruit pulp (fresh or preserved)
1 cup plus 2 tbsp self-raising flour

Beat together butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in passion fruit, then fold in sifted flour.
Line cupcake pan with paper cases. Half fill cases with mixture and bake at 180ÂșC for 12-15 mins.

Ice and decorate however you want. Lemon or passion fruit icing is good.

Watching: Women he's undressed A documentary about the life of Australian costume designer and three time Oscar winner Orry Kelly.