Let’s Love Loud

Cheese testers galore in Geraldine. image-3
Isn’t my daddy hilarious? This one’s for you, Lifa!
Central otago peaches and cherries, banana, momma’s homemade muesli and unsweetened organic oat milk.
Guys, this is Queenstown in NZ and it is one of my absolute favourites. True, it’s super touristy today but it’s so so lovely always. Thank you Delaram and Andy for organising this trip. image-1
My 2017 resolution (gosh can’t even write “2017” without thinking “wtf”) is to read a book a week. Apparently that’s 52 books in total. Today i finished A Crack In Forever by Jeannie Brewer, a love story: honestly sad, truly sweet, overly sexy and incredibly hard to forget.image-5
What A Crack In Forever taught me during its last tear-gushing chapters is to seriously appreciate each and every moment for a loved one can be taken away at any moment.

An Inside Look At A Spanish Supermarket

So different to both Japan and New Zealand. When travelling, I love to visit the local supermarket. It always becomes a highlight because it’s always so interesting.
Two entire rows + four row fronts (each side) just for cheese! Oh my!
This is a monkey fish. You choose your fish and the ladies (or gentlemen) prepare them for you. Of course, preprepared fish is also available.
Jose doing his thang.
Apart from this brand (which is refrigerated) the remaining milk here look like cleaning products because of the way they’re stored and packaged.
Meat, meat and more meat.
Look at the top right yellow label. 339 Euro for one leg! Now that’s some special meat.
Jose says these pigs eat acorns so even though they’re fat, they’re good fat. “Like me,” I said (hehe).image2
All of the tomatoes an Italian chef could wish for (also on other side).
In Japan, carrots are heavily sprayed making them big and perfect. Then, they’re individually wrapped in excess plastic. This is how fruit and vegetables should be! Ugly but delicious. image
I love these peaches! 0.98 Euro for a KG! Good or good?!
All of the legumes! Plus, olives, anchovies, pates and dried nuts and fruit (not pictured).
Look Japanese friends! “Japanese” food!
Introducing Jose to almond milk and other trendy health foods (hehe).

All hail the baked BRIE

Ever since I can remember, I have loved throwing dinner parties. The act of cooking for and serving others fills me not only with too much good food (accidently eating everything and all) but also, joy –!

Tonight’s dinner was really special. First, Minako and I visited Gergely at his organic farm where we were generously gifted with carrots, radishes, parsley, lettuce, lemongrass, garlic, kale and edible flowers (all organic). Next, we took a hot bath (onsen) to wind down/make us hungry. Then, we got down to business.

Minako prepared the salad while I heated the purple sweet potato (SO purple!) and coconut soup I’d made earlier and assembled a cheese platter. The platter itself is pretty self-explanatory but the baked brie, the baked brie needs highlighting.

Baked brie, using store-bought pastry is so easy you can hardly call it a recipe. Hence why I used Huffington Post’s How to Make Baked Brie Without a Recipe, “recipe” for this baby. Huffing ton suggests you slice the brie horizntally and fill it with your choice of filling (jam, chutney etc) but as per my good friend Olivier the French baker’s instructions, I left mine as is. Instead, 20 minutes into baking, I topped it with honey, chopped walnuts and fresh thyme.

The result? OISHI!

For dessert, we had my sugar-free crumble with sugar-full ice-cream. Let’s call it balancing.

Onaka Ippai! (I’m full)
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an entire restaurant dedicated to ricotta cheese

Yes, such a haven really does exist. Today, my lovely colleague and I dined at Il Ricottaro, an adorable little restaurant nestled deep in the woods of Hiruzen (Japan’s Jersey capital) and it was everything I love and more: organic, seasonal, family-run, fitted with beautiful wooden furniture and a menu featuring TIRAMISU. God, I love Tiramisu. This one was made with a mixture of ricotta and mascarpone. Ricotta also featured in our starter, salad and main (pizza). And not just any old ricotta, a delicate mixture of cow and GOAT cheese ricotta: soft, hard, smoked, amazing, out-of-this-word etc etc Well, it’s Il Ricottaro after-all.

Hiruzen is full of neat spots but Il Ricottaro definitely stands out. I highly recommend you go! The only down-fall is that they don’t take reservations so do as we did and arrive at 11am (opening time) and reserve a spot for later on.


Go To Hell

Dear marketing genius behind Hell’s pizza: you’v stolen a pizza my heart.

Hell’s pizza has always been my favourite fast food option for two reasons. One: their menu allows you to create your own personalised pizza and two: they’re punny as hell (see what I did there?)! As of lately, I have another reason to love Hell. They’ve introduced dairy and soy free mozzarella! That’s right, you can now enjoy a completely plant-based pizza! Which basically means (and I am speaking from experience here) you can gorge on pizza and roughly receive the same amount of nutritional value and calories as you would from a salad (don’t quote me on this). But it won’t taste like salad it’ll taste like pizza (well, duh); a guilt-free salad pizza- okay, I think you get the picture.

I tried the Damned pizza minus the camembert on thin base: onions, mushrooms, fresh spinach, cashews, avocado, sundried tomatoes and jalapeños with dairy-free Mozzarella. Oh mama-mia it was mouthwateringly delicious. What’s peculiar is that we ordered two other regular pizzas with regular cheese and everyone in my family liked the dairy-free pizza the best! In fact, after taking her first bite mum made a loud “mmmmm” sound followed by: “you can taste how much healthier this one is” – don’t let that turn you off, believe it or not, healthy doesn’t always mean tasteless!

So, if you’re craving a pizza and let’s be honest who isn’t, go to Hell (makes me laugh every time) and order a dairy-free vegetarian pizza! The box cheekily suggests you “dispose of the evidence” but I don’t quite believe the same advice applies when a pizza is so damn nutritious (get it?)!