foodie

Spoiler Alert: Love is worth everything, everything.

To help me cope with missing Soroosh, I started a NZ Bucket List for us to work through come June. Some of the options are luckily local and frequent. Like, the Saturday Farmers’ Market which I have always been in love with.
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Nothing but organic.
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My dad ordered something from the Bacon Brothers which came with a hug as well! LOL you should’ve seen his face! Such a character, this guy!
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Mmmm! Remember Mandy, my ice-cream queen? Well, her and her partner don’t just make ice-cream – they make heaven: gluten-free waffles with coconut whipped cream, strawberries, roasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate drizzle.
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You know you’re cheap/on-a-diet when you share one waffle between 3 hehe >.<
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Sunday morning Baha’i children’s classes.
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Today’s virtue was “justice”. Above, equality is demonstrated with a popcorn filled “scale”. And below, one “life-raft” for all. Image (6)
Last but not least, the rest of my brother-in-law’s grandmother’s Black Boy peaches stewed for alongside my ritual morning muesli.
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If You Take A Flower In Your Hand And Really Look At It, It’s Your World For A Moment

The night before I was to be leaving Soroosh in Nashville, he read me a children’s book to calm my nerves. You may know it, apparently it’s quite popular but at the time, I didn’t. The Kissing Hand as the title suggests is a kiss in a hand gently pressed on its recipient’s face.
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I recently received this kiss in the mail. Image-1 (4)
The first time I experienced origami (the art of paper folding) was in Japan where a coworker asked an entire class to make a paper crane, write their name on it and later stand and declare: “this crane was made by (insert name here)” as a way of introducing themselves. I remember silently panicking for the students who wouldn’t know how to do it. Turns out I had no idea. Every student made a crane. And they made them fast!
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You know how they say only in hindsight can you realise the true value of a moment? Well, I remember feeling extremely homesick and out of my comfort zone that very make-a-crane day. However, if it wasn’t for that unique experience, I wouldn’t have been able to pass on the art to my new students today.
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“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ~C.S. Lewis (Coffee. He means a cup of coffee!)
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You know round Saturn peaches? Well, turns out they have pretty inappropriate looking nectarine cousins and here’s one of them.
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More work antics….I love my job!
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Try & Try

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Life is so much more interesting with a library card.
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Love my weekends in Sumner. Forever grateful to Mandy for the dreamy job.image-1-1
Many thanks for the sweet bag Leyla-joon, I am using it everyday.image-12
Is it too late to say sorry? Accidently/accidentally tomato/tomato image-9image-8
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Beached as bro.
image-7Day two of the Bahai fast my eyes wanted to eat all of this (vegan black bean and quinoa burgers on gluten-free bread) but my stomach only allowed for half. Still, it was SO yum! Excuse me while I go ahead and marry myself.

The Best Ice-cream in Christchurch!

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Mandy’s baby: roasted plum (from their garden) and cinnamon oat crumble. image-1image-1
Belgium milk chocolate and marshmallow.
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Dark chocolate and sea-salt sorbet. Vegan and delishasssss!
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Coconut and black sesame seed. It’s vegan everybody! And my new favorite. Life is so sweet.
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I was so good you guys! Just look at these teeny tiny scoops. Plus, I think me eating the ice-cream is great advertisement, don’t you think? Here we have three vegan coconut-cream based ice-creams: coconut, blueberry and vanilla, coconut and dark chocolate, and coconut and black sesame seed. Send help!

New in CHCH: Prince of Persia

My dad is good at a lot of things but I’d say he’s most well-known for his kebab. He lives and breathes it. Seriously, the guy loves kebab so much, if he could, he’d marry it (sorry mom). For this reason, he knows all the “Persian” eateries in Christchurch like the back of his hands. I use quotation marks here because most of these restaurants are a fusion of Persian and Turkish. Newly opened Prince of Persia is actually authentically Persian. Their kebabs identical to the kebab restaurants of our motherland. Their tablecloths the same as the ones in our dining area. The food comparison by the way, comes from my mother, AKA the queen of complaints. This woman complains everywhere. Too salty, not hot enough, too little this, too much that. But at Prince of Persia she LOVES, and I mean licksherplate loves everything. So I highly recommend it. Persian food at its best.

As well as Persian-mom-approved food (try the ghormesabzi, it’s unreal!), Prince of Persia is affordable (starting from $13…), spacious and child-friendly. Visit their website HERE for more info.
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I Devour My Favorite Books

“Reading and eating are natural companions, and they’ve got a lot in common. Reading is consumption. Eating is consumption. Both are comforting, nourishing, restorative, relaxing, and mostly enjoyable. They can energize you or put you to sleep. Heavy books and heavy meals both require a period of intense digestion. Just as reading great novels can transport you to another time and place, meals — good and bad ones alike — can conjure scenes very far away from your kitchen table. Some of my favorite meals convey stories of origin and tradition; as a voracious reader, I devour my favorite books.” (Dina Fried, Food and Fiction)

The other day, as I scanned the library shelves for something new to read, I came across Heidi Julavits’ The Folded Clock which I judged entirely by the cover only and thus ended up issuing. Thankfully, the old adage proved utter bullcrap because this book, with its pretty blue patterned cover, is a, dare I say it, complete beauty! I love Heidi. I wish we could be friends. On second thought, her success would probably frighten me. This is because over the span of a couple pages,  I’ve become a huge fan of her writing. Why can’t I write like that? (I’m not fishing). Heidi’s prose is so human and so refreshing. You see, The Folded Clock is a diary which means we are given access to Heidi’s frank, funny, and surprisingly relatable musings. Her thoughts (often irrational) hit close to home for me. Unlike some authors I’ve read, Heidi isn’t pretending. She writes what her overworked mind (much like yours or mine) thinks.
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“I am a jack-of-all-trades. I edit and teach and at times desire to be a clothing designer or an artist (one who doesn’t draw or paint or sew) and I write everything but poetry and I am a mother and a social maniac and a misanthrope and a burgeoning self-help guru and a girl who wants to look pretty and a girl who wants to look sexy and a girl who wants to look girly and a woman in her middle forties who wishes not to look like anything at all, who wishes sometimes to vanish.” (Heidi Julavits, The Folded Clock: A Diary)
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The Importance of Food Presentation by me.
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I just wanted to say I liked The Berry Shop before it was this busy!
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Soroosh’s mom taught me this salad. I think it’s so tasty. Recently, I made it for my family and they also agreed.

1 pound boiled chicken, chopped small
3-4 large stalks of celery, chopped (leaves included)
1 cup red grapes, halved
½ cup roasted walnuts, chopped
handful of fresh mint, torn
2 gherkins, diced small
1 cup greek yoghurt
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix until just combined.
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My family’s favorite foodie place in all of NZ is ZAB Thai Food Takeaway (except for my dad since he can’t handle spicy food). Oh man, it’s so good. It’s so good that I considered not posting about it. You know, in case it gets super popular and it becomes not good anymore. #padthaigamestrong

Speaking of strong food games, HERE are 8 Japanese foodie Instagram’s y’all should follow!

Trust That All You Did Not Receive, All You Need Will Come To You In Time.

Dear readers, I apologise for my absence. I’ve been busy. Mostly catching up with old friends, helping out here and there and working on articles, job applications, short-stories and poetry! Gosh, I get myself so busy. And you? What’s new? Won’t you write to me? I’m getting sick of my own writing!
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Look who it is!!! Come to visit their one and only beautiful daughter (Anita not me hehe). image-1
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Mediterranean Food Company. If you haven’t been you’re missing out. The pizza is GOOD here and also the Mediterranean groceries! Including a large variety of sweets and gherkins from Turkey and of course, everything your stomach desires from Italy: fresh and dry pasta, olives, cheese, tomato sauces, and much more. image-3
Mmm salted chocolate and pistachio torte.
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Walking in Victoria Park with my bestie.image-4
Why she is my bestie.
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Taking photos of Christchurch’s new Adventure Parkimage-6
More to come once I sort my shizz.

Updates

Figuring out that being an adult and living the “adult life” isn’t easy. Or rather, when we reach a certain age, we tend to begin complicating things. Life is simple. Why do I allow myself to become so attached to society’s expectations of me? In the short space of a little over a month that I’ve returned, I’ve tried to do everything including: returning/creating a normal/non-traveller lifestyle, finding my dream job and planning for my future. Okay, so our visitors and our planned family-holiday in the mix were out of my say but everything else, I have personally cultivated. Don’t get me wrong, productivity is great but in the thick Persian accent of my mother, “mo-de-ration iz im-portant.” Life is percious and life is fleeting but like my brother-in-law once said, life is actually really long, too (if we’re lucky). Which means, I don’t have to find my dream job before a certain age. I don’t have to justify my life decisions. And making memories with my family and friends, looking after my well-being  and enjoying the day to day is what comes first. Currently trying to calm the frick down and do what makes my heart sing. Some of which include, baking delicious muffins, writing for Savvy Tokyo (new article HERE), and pursuing my “book a week” challenge.
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image-12 free range eggs
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp sugar-free Barker’s apricot jam
1 cup almond flour
1 cup self rising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened yoghurt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Handful of raw walnuts, chopped small
Some dark chocolate, chopped small
4-5 small apricots, chopped small

Mix everything together, pour slightly thick mixture into a greased muffin tray and bake at 160 degrees until fork comes out clean (about 25 min)image-1
Book two, week two!

Healthy Recipes And Precious Times Spent With My Momma

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Spent my day off hangin’ with my momma. I made her breakfast, took her grocery shopping, bought her cold-pressed juice and prepared her lunch. Can you tell how much I love her? I love my daddy too he’s just super annoying to hang out with that’s all (haha). By the way, he wanted me to mention him in my blog “tell them his name is Sirous,” he said. Crazy. Anyways, here are the recipes for you. I miss you all so much by the way! Auntie Pouneh, Laura, Randy, Jose and family, Hiromi and Olivier, Akiko and Lifa, Mr. and Mrs. MacLean, Dave and Maria etc. etc. all of ya!

Turmeric, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins (vegetarian, can be gf, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free):
2 free range eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
full 1/2 cup of grated carrots
full 1/2 cup of grated zucchini
1 cup almond flour
1/3 self-rising flour (use a GF alternative here to make muffins GF)
1/4 cup oat milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
handful of raisins
big pinch of salt, pepper, red chilli powder and turmeric (little more turmeric won’t hurt)
small bunch of torn italian parsley

Mix everything together, pour into a greased muffin tin, bake at 160 degrees for 20 or so minutes. Muffins ready when golden on top and fork comes out clean. Let cool before nomnom.
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Beetroot Energy Salad (raw, vegan, gf, hipster):
2 large beetroot, peeled and grated
handful of raw pumpkin seeds
handful of raw sunflower seeds
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper

Mix together and enjoy – das it!

Let’s Love Loud

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Cheese testers galore in Geraldine. image-3
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Isn’t my daddy hilarious? This one’s for you, Lifa!
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Central otago peaches and cherries, banana, momma’s homemade muesli and unsweetened organic oat milk.
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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.