Remember the plums I foraged with my friends Willem and Unity? Well, the genius that is Mandy from @Utopia Ice turned them into a deliciously mouthwatering, finger licking, summer-perfect Plum & Earl Grey sorbet. Ohh yeah.
Merry Christmas y’all! You know, my family and I never used to celebrate Christmas (for various reasons like not being Christian and just never having done so whilst growing up in Iran) but ever since my sister married a ChristmasCelebratingKiwi, we have had a lot of fun with it – mostly as an opportunity to
eat get together.
Here are pictures from our flat dinner – so beautifully decorated by even more beautiful Ashleigh.
*Love heart eyes*
This is a $45 lamb from Pedro’s House of Lamb “perfect for two” (crazy right?) Actually it fed four, and we had leftovers! I totally recommend it especially for a lazy cooking day. Also, because it’s like no1 on TripAdvisor!
Next, the family lunch. Here is my contribution: a healthier ambrosia. It’s very easy, simply mix two pottles of organic yoghurt (one boysenberry, one plain), fresh berries (blueberry, strawberry, boysenberry), chopped pineapple, a cheeky handful of chopped marshmallows and broken dark chocolate, and 1 can of drained boysenberries in juice not syrup. That’s it! Refrigerate for an hour or three to serve cold.
Mama and papa to be!
My Christmas presents from the family: a grapefruit, a pug fridge magnet (I’d like to take this opportunity to say I loved pugs before everyone else did), and melon hand cream. I am blessed!
Do you know these suckers are $7.99 per kg here? Just ridiculous.
Here are my beautiful parents. My mama is actually wearing my dress – gifted by kind-hearted Mandy of Utopia Ice. Just so much love all around! All I am is a concoction of the love I receive!
We cooked turkey for the first time, it was dry. My sister made Persian salad Olivieh (far right). HERE is my healthier version – no offence sis.
Last but not least, some well deserved me time. Have you tried Dubba Dubba Moroccan cuisine? It’s right down the road from me (Bush Inn). This is their chicken salad. I was actually surprised by how good it was! Good being healthy, filling, and yum. Definitely returning.
And, the best part of Christmas. Receiving such love from my students. Anisa sensei is very happy today.
Except for the fact that my heart aches for this stupid smile everyday. Honestly, life is too short and too unpredictable to be separated from your lover. God please never again. 5 weeks left…
To feel multiple feelings at once
To change your mind
To say something without knowing for sure
If that’s what you think
To be full of contradictions
To take up space
To be heard
To have opinions
To be silly
To be serious
To ask for what you need
“I cry at random things, like a flower, or someone giving me a present, or my sister giving me a nice hug.” ~Naomi Harris (Foodies, this is Posh Porridge from the Riccarton Farmers’ Market.)
Leighs Construction Outdoor Cinema (click for deets).
Attended my Xmas work function in a (heavily reduced) local-brand Tuesdays dress.
Rapaki Track desu.
Let me tell you something, Iranians LOVE foraging, it’s in our blood!
Foraging (barefoot – Willem made sure I make note of that) in the Red Zone, only to be made into delicious plum sorbet by Utopia Ice!
Sam and George’s most beautifully simple yet elegant wedding at Trents Vineyard.
Guest appearance of Rudolph the green/white nosed reindeer when the red pom poms ran out when making Christmas cards for each one of our littlies.
Merry Christmas from the Teacher/Entrepreneur flat!
You are powerful beyond what you imagine. Just let your light glow.
Cheater cheater pumpkin eater!
Japan is that you?! (If you haven’t already, I totes recommend checking out newly opened Japan Mart at Riccarton Westfield.)
Self empowerment no53279 buying flowers (and cacti) for yourself.
Reason 437698 I LOVE my job: so many 5 year old birthdays!
Robot art by Jella, age 5.
So incredibly proud of Mandy and Sebastian for working crazy hard to make their dream a reality! Utopia Ice is officially opening shop in Sumner village next week!
Sorry for the radio silence my friends. I have been working on a children’s story! It is one from my childhood and named after my dear mother. I am in the process of having my manuscript assessed before sending it to a publisher so please please pray for me! Worst case scenario, I’ll publish it on my blog for y’all to read.
Much much much love,
Last night S and I dined at Francesca’s Italian Kitchen as per a good friend of ours’ recommendation. She said it was excellent so we had to try it for ourselves. And overall, it was pretty spectacular!
Several things stood out: the slow-cooked beef (housemade) gnocchi (probably best in town), the tolerable noise level (I am so used to dining at Italian restaurants where I can’t even hear myself), the artsy pasta guide on the inner bathroom doors (who doesn’t like a good read whilst on the toilet), and the physical location of the place (I love anything close to New Regent!).
And of course it wouldn’t be a review if I’m not a slight bitch about it so… We ordered polenta fries as a starter, they were forgotten, and brought to us midway through our mains (yeah, yeah, first world problems). Speaking of polenta fries, they were good but not as amazing as The Bicycle Thief’s. In my opinion, those are much better. As for the pappardelle ragu, I think Cafe Valentino does theirs better, and the pumpkin brûlée, well, it was pretty unique in flavour but also highly diabetic. In other words, too much sugar (you know, even for a brûlée).
Despite the grumble, I’d rate our experience an 8/10!
Spring means Subway picnic dinners.
Treated myself to some well-deserved me time the other week! And although lovely, I did feel bad about using so much water…Do you know if a bath uses more water than a shower? It must, mustn’t it? Alas, as a once-in-a-while treat, I did feel amazing, and I slept like a baby.
Petal carpet love!I moved out of my parents’ again! How do you like my new room? I used to be an avid Frankie Magazine reader. However, after the original creators left, I’ve become a dedicated fan of The Lunch Lady which ironically, is their (Frankie’s ex-creators’) new publication.
PMS is a bitch and so was I this day. I made S walk 40 min to the grocery store for a sweet craving (I wanted naturally dried apricots) but when the supermarket didn’t have them (what supermarket doesn’t have apricots?!) I spent 15 indecisive minutes only to buy checkout chocolate. Oops! Sorry S!
And, one of my most memorable days yet…yes, that special! S surprised me at work with a picnic lunch of my favourites! Sushi, chocolate (the same one I had had that my moody night at the supermarket hehe), berry smoothie, and last but definitely not least, Dr. Feelgood frozen pops. This time we tried jelly-top Passionfruit and White Chocolate and I gotta say, it’s my favourite flavour yet!
Yeah baby! Find them at Fendalton New World in Christchurch and probably everywhere in Auckland. Thanks Dr. Feelgood, I adore you!
I love my boyfriend because he agrees to pancakes for dinner.
“Practice gratitude relentlessly. As you practice gratitude you will attract more thoughts and feelings of gratitude. In a shot time your entire being will be saturated with it, and you will experience a happiness that is beyond what you can imagine. This is what is ahead for you when you choose gratitude as your way of life. And if you can really live in this highest state of gratitude, you will never have to ask for anything. Everything you want will be given to you before you even ask, because gratitude is the magnetic substance that opens every single door in the Universe.”
~From the Secret Scrolls by Rhonda Byrne
“Love, like everything else in life, should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, you don’t know you’re having one until you’re right in the middle of it.”
My picture perfect man <3
Fish’n’chips, Kiwi as!
Balancing out the grease and chocolate…
S gifted me this beautiful ring for my 25th birthday, it spells love in braille and was handmade in Ohara, the rural Japanese village I lived in for one and a half years *love heart eyes*My latest Spring project with my little munchkins. Are you blossoming?
who knows if the moon’s
a balloon, coming out of a keen city
in the sky—filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should
get into it, if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
we’d go up higher with all the pretty people
than houses and steeples and clouds:
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody’s ever visited, where
Spring) and everyone’s
in love and flowers pick themselves
Love is…cooking together. Love also is, I presume, Italian!
All above photography by my love, Soroosh.
Hi there my dear followers. How have you been? How are you Lavanya? Are you still in Brisbane? And you Jose and Bea? How are the kids?! Has their English improved significantly? And auntie Pouneh, how is the new fluffly member of your family?! Yuka, I still can’t believe you have a girl! And Lifa and Akiko, your family is my inspiration! Fukuda sensei, Ashida sensei, do you still visit my blog? Hiromi and Olivier, how I wish to return to your idyllic home! You too, and your hard-work and dedication, inspire me! And Blogger friends, Randy, John, Josh, Teck, how are you?! Is the world treating you kindly? I think of you all, I think of you all fondly…
A mouthwatering popsicle guaranteed to impress your nutritionist AND your snobby food critic mate. After seeing Dr. Feelgood’s Facebook post last week about their products now available at New World Fendalton, I forced S to drop everything and to ASAP take me there. I had fallen in love with Dr. Feelgood some three years ago in Auckland and had missed their presence in Christchurch ever since. Simply unable to wait, we sampled two of their new popsicle range in the supermarket parking lot right there and then (wink wink). And the verdict? Oh mama mia. They were delicious. As far as I know, there is nothing quite like Dr. Feelgood on the NZ food market. Yes, there’s nice-creams for better-for-you ice-cream alternatives but seriously, there’s only so much coconut a gal can take. I love Dr. Feelgoods new premium range because their creamy pops are made with renowned Lewis Rd pure organic milk and all of their pops are of completely natural ingredients. So if you’re looking for a guilt-free treat (like I am always) look no further! More info HERE.
Breakfast goals: freshly baked croissants and walnut sourdough from BELLBIRD Baked Goods. Disclaimer: although the watermelon was delicious, it was TEN bucks! Holy moly, eating food-bloggy ain’t pocket-friendly! Who else is counting down to Summer?
Godley Head desu.
We were freezing, our smiles are fake.
Last week I opened the pantry in the morning to grab muesli and happened to spot this cutie pootie thing! A boiled egg holder (yes, such a thing exists) that I spontaneously bought (precisely for it’s cutie pootie aspect) during my Japan days. Take.Me.Back.
Pimping out my work locker *love heart eyes*Vegan and gluten-free dessert from The Lotus Heart *more love heart eyes*
Hi dear dear friends from around the world, how are you all doing? I’m sorry I am no longer religiously blogging… Do you miss me? (hehe). I miss you, that’s for sure! Things have changed in my world. In short, I am now working as a full-time preschool teacher, soon to be starting my postgraduate diploma in Early Childhood Teaching. This means, I am busy busy (like the rest of you) working, and soon also studying (eek!). It is literally mind-blowing to look back and see how God has confirmed me in every step of my life leading to this very opportunity. I am so lucky. There is a Sufi poem which goes: ““God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now,” -this could not be more true for me (or you, for that matter). I have always adored spending time with young children, and if I may say so, I think they also like being around me. Sometimes I feel sad thinking that by going down this path I will be giving up on my writing but then I remind myself that everything in our universe is interconnected and that this too shall lead onto something. All in all, I am incredibly thankful. Of course, nervous – the job is definitely not easy, but grateful for the opportunity to grow both in my career and as a person. As for my love life (wink wink) things are going smoothly. You know, S is another reason why I’m not regularly blogging. I used to be this maniac (sometime I still am) who wanted to do absolutely everything and I had to keep reminding myself: Anisa, you can do anything but you can’t do everything! Being around S is changing me. He is an incredibly relaxed being. I’m not going to lie, at first this drove me a little crazy – I needed him/us/me to always be doing something! Overtime though, I have come to appreciate his way of doing things. Like my brother-in-law once said, true, life is short but life can be very long also. In other words, it’s okay to unwind once (or twice) awhile (yes, this means you too!) xx
This is funny. So, I always prefer homemade muesli (for every meal if I could actually). But here is S forcing some of his famous scrambled eggs on me. The picture above is last week and the picture below, from my time in Nashville 6 months ago.
Major touristing at Christchurch Museum.
After a warm coffee at Sign of The Kiwi Cafe, we are not cold, we swear!
Waiting for the food…
My number one supporters in every single decision I have ever made. You know what I think is good parenting? Trusting. Mum and dad, I love you both with my entire being.
An Indian friend of ours once said Corianders is the best Indian restaurant in Christchurch, and we agree!Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.
~Japanese Proverb (Sunrise at work)