Love, Like Everything Else In Life, Should Be A Discovery…

“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.”
~E.A. BucchianeriProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset
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My picture perfect man <3
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Fish’n’chips, Kiwi as!
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Balancing out the grease and chocolate…
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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*Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetMy latest Spring project with my little munchkins. Are you blossoming?

Takeda Castle Ruins

Here’s a 21st century thing to say: I met my friend Kate through Instagram. I’m not sure who started following who first but we began talking, found out we both live in Japan (though 4 hours apart) and have common interests such as healthy eating and literature. After chatting through the internet for some time, we finally met yesterday, halfway, at Asago’s famous Takeda Castle ruins. Below are the pictorials. The pic of our soba lunch is Kate’s, I actually took it without her permission because my photo  of our lunch really sucked. Hopefully she doesn’t mind. I’m sure she won’t, she’s the sweetest (as well as most beautiful). Check out her Instagram HERE if you like. Also, we packed a healthy picnic. I made my famous date balls.

In the evening, I went to a BBQ. I prepared a simple salad of garden lettuce topped with diced kiwi-fruit, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped dried apricots and pumpkin seeds. I finished it with a little olive oil, juice of half a lemon, sea salt and ground pepper. Whenever I go to a BBQ or the like, this is what I do. Not this specific salad, but I make something healthy to take because if there isn’t anything healthy on offer (which there normally isn’t) then I can always eat my own food hehe.

Click HERE for more info on Takeda and HERE for more info on the restaurant.

Day Nine, Our First Hanami!

Hanami literally means “flower viewing”, however, it commonly refers only to cherry blossom viewing. Cherry blossom viewing is easy: simply enjoy the intensity of the many blossoms by looking at a single tree or a group of trees and eat good food. I made Petite Kitchen’s gluten and refined-sugar free cheesecake topped with 100% cherry jam, My New Root’s Life-Changing Loaf, hummus, babaganoush/eggplant dip (recipe below) and a simple pasta salad with tuna, blue-cheese stuffed olives, red onion, parsley and cherry tomatoes. My beautiful friend Mina prepared a vegetable frittata, brown rice, carrot, mushroom and soybean onigiri (rice ball), rice-paper rolls, semi-dried bananas, a tomato salad and cut fruit. It was all so good. I am so happy. Happy one year Japanniversary to me! <3

PS: Just like that, sakura carpets, already!

1 large eggplant
2 tbsp tahini
juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves

Optional toppings: a handful of skinned then roasted pistachio nuts, some sesame seeds, and a small dollop of extra virgin olive oil.

You’re going to take me as a fool but I’m not kidding, honto (really in Japanese). Place the eggplant as is in a toaster oven or normal oven on high heat (mine goes up to 220) until burnt on the outside and squishy on the inside. Don’t fret the burnt skin, it’s what gives this dip its smoke.

When cooled, scoop out the insides and blitz alongside remaining ingredients (excluding toppings – well, duh) in a food processor or in batches, in a blender like moi. Das all. Top with toppings and enjoy with bread, cut veggies, grissini or what have you!

Review No9 Le Panier Boulangerie

Instagram is a b****. I don’t know about you but I’m sick of seeing pictures of fashion models holding nuttela crepes in front of the Eiffel tower (of course a male model in that position is a whole other story). For us somewhat secluded Kiwi’s, the city of lurve is not a mere plane ticket away (more like 5 – especially if you’re cheap/poor like me and end up purchasing a shit flight with a thousand stopovers). Consequently, sometimes a gal needs to get more creative in order to get her pastry fix. In Christchurch, Le Panier Boulangerie is the closest you’ll get to your much-needed Parisian get away.

As vital as eating healthy food is to your overall wellbeing, so is an occasional  treat (emphasis on occasional). With all those green smoothies and unpronounceable healthy-foods down our gobs, sometimes, believe it or not, were not “already sweet enough”.  I know of many people who love to indulge in a greasy cheeseburger or a creamy frosted donut for their “cheat meal”. However; I like my  “naughty” treats to be rich and decadent.  Call me pretentious but I like my treats high quality: fresh strawberries dipped in luxurious Swiss chocolate, ricotta and lemon tart, that sort of thing. So if that’s got your taste buds tingling, then I guarantee Le Panier is bound to have you salivating like theres no tomorrow!

Today I treated myself to an absolutely divine tart au chocolat. I adored it. I wanted to marry it. Seriously, I even shut my eyes and made those annoying mmmm noises throughout the entire indulging experience. Do you need anymore proof?!

I totes recommend you go! ASAP.