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…
So Ozzy turned four!!!! And the reason he has 5 candles is because Lifa reckons you’re supposed to put the age +1 for the next year ?? Crazy man. I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. So much so that I’m putting it on the blog!! Aha. I love you guys. Is it also OK if I say Aki is due soon?! Forgive me but I cannot wait to see my niece! Auntie Anisa is waiting. Are you going to name her Anisa? Oh man, you are, aren’t you? :P
Remember Yuko and her family? She’s the lovely Japanese lady who was constantly cooking for me. Well, in less than a week, she and her family will be visiting. Yes, all the way from JAPON! Can you believe it? I sure can’t! God, I love humanity. What a blessing. I hope we can be good hosts and show them everything. I’m also excited for YOU to enjoy along with me.
I watched Paterson the movie. And I watched it only because of its female lead: Golshifteh Farahani. You guessed it, she’s a Persian lady and one heck of an actress, I believe. Unfortunately, the movie was hella boring (to put politely). It did however, inspire me to restart writing poetry.
I was telling a friend about the age difference
Between me and my lover
Feeling insecure about
Basically being old
When I saw a young girl scurry past
She was one maybe two years old
And we were wearing the exact same jelly shoes
I had been asking my mother to accompany me to The Berry Shop for quite some time
When today of all the days she suggested it herself
It was cold and rainy and my outsides were freezing
But still we sat and ate ice-cream
and we talked
or rather she talked and I listened
and slowly slowly
my insides were warming.
Last but not least, my latest Savvy Tokyo piece on Japanese Christmas Cake HERE.
Christmas themed green smoothie bowls, home-made granola, quinoa loaf and fresh fruit, all because we ate too much ramen last night.
1 green kiwi-fruit
handful of fresh spinach
3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
The majority of day 4 was spent shopping. First at a variety of 100 yen stores, which are like the equivalent of 1-2 dollar shops but so much better. Like, I swear, you can find the same $50 teapot from Teasme (sorry teasme) for 100 yen or about $1 there. Next, home-centres, which, according to my woodworker friend Lifa, are a man’s heaven. This, I can now attest is a damn accurate statement as I have never seen Andy, my brother-in-law so excited. Next next, Marugame udon and after, a stay for the love-birds at Katsuragi ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn.
Matcha green tea soft-serve aka the shizz, Kinkaku-ji temple, tofu restaurant and Kiyomizu-dera.
I dedicate this re-post to my one and only sister, Delaram who has repeatedly shared, liked and commented on every single one of my blog-posts both online and in person. Deli, I appreciate every one of your efforts If I ever “make it” you’ll be the one person I won’t forget harharhar
Delaram loves carrot cake which is why I attempted these truffles in the first place and you know what else? She’s coming all the way to Japan to see me in THREE days. We have a FULL (and fun) schedule so watch this space!
The recipe for my “Mind-Blowing Carrot Cake Truffles” is my most viewed post yet: 24,907 and counting. I know, it isn’t that much compared to all the famous food bloggers out there but for me, it’s insane. Especially when the views come from St. Lucia, Zambia, Ecuador, Qatar, Morocco, Cameroon, Benin, Luxembourg and Poland! WOW.
Blogging, at least for me, takes a lot of perseverance and faith. It’s laborious putting your energy and time into something without knowing what, if any, results will come of your actions. I haven’t started making a living off of my blog/writing yet, but for now, I’m over-the-moon knowing you’re eating these instead of cake.
First off, I want to say that I’m in the wrong country for food art. Seriously guys, how can anything I make shine, when my neighbor, the supermom, is making Tottoros from seaweed and rice?!
Next, that for the first time in my 23 years of life, I am actually feeling the festive side of Christmas. No, I’m not the Grinch in disguise, I was just born in Iran. Growing up, I had learnt of Christianity during Baha’i Children’s Class but I’d never encountered the festive side of the Birth of Christ. That is, until we arrived in NZ and witnessed everyone becoming super excited over a day which we knew nothing about and I always always felt left out. It seemed to me that everyone was decorating trees, baking gingerbread houses and filling out Christmas cards and I was not. In fact, I think about 13 Christmases came and passed where my family simply treated the day as an inconvenient one where everything was shut.
Later, when I started dating a Kiwi and later again, when my sister became married to one, we experienced the festive side of Christmas through them and their families, for the very first time.
This year, not only am I going to have a white Christmas in JAPON but I’ll be spending it with my dear dear sister and brother-in-law who are coming to visit in exactly five days, FIVE! If there’s anything I’ve learnt from living this crazy difficult adventurous life in rural Japan, it’s that the most important thing in life is being with loved ones.
1/2 cup oats, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger powder, 1 tsp pure maple syrup. Stir on low until ready. To serve, top with fresh Christmas themed fruit and natural peanut butter.
Kinako (soybean powder) Cookies:
I used this (For Diets! Super Easy Kinako Cookies), cookie recipe and simply added raisins to one batch and sesame seeds to the other for variety.
Barley Chocolate Chip Cookies:
I used Erin’s cookie recipe and added macadamia nuts, too.
Firstly, can I get a woop woop on my alliteration? Secondly, let me tell you that this Christmas, you will not be mediocre. You will not be commonplace. You will not serve [insert generic supermarket name here] cake. No. This Christmas you will WOW the masses and wow them you will with the best fookin carrot cake your guests have never had. You may think me mad, perhaps melodramatic but I assure you I am not over-doing the figurative language. This is not a hyperbole, honest. Like all of my other creations, this cake is entirely made of natural ingredients. In addition, it is dairy, gluten and refined-sugar free. It is not vegan for I used organic free-range eggs. I think they are okay (no hate mail). It is hands down, the BEST cake I have ever made AND EATEN. Yes, it is that good and that is how much I believe in it/myself.
Please try it.
It’s life-changing. In fact, I believe it could break the internet.
2 medium sized carrots (grated)
2 organic free-range eggs
1/4 cup extra virgin organic olive oil
1 ripe banana
3/4 cup muscovado sugar
the creamy top of a coconut milk can (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal
1 1/2 cups of flour (I used wholemeal but you can use a GF alternative)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup raw walnut pieces
1 banana (horizontally cut)
juice of half a lemon
Preheat oven to 180C
Grease cake tin in little oil
Mix wet ingredients
Mix dry ingredients
Combine wet and dry together
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until the fork comes out clean – if cake top is browning too quickly, cover with foil and continue to bake.
*If using banana decor, arrange horizontally sliced banana atop cake then cover with lemon juice. This is to stop the bananas from going black and this is what I forgot to do. Hence the average pictures. But the taste is great!