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…
It has been 3 weeks since S has left to the States to witness his charming older brother marry an angel of a woman, and spend some much awaited time with his loving family. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy for me. But you know what? So far, it hasn’t been impossible either. I’ve kept busy (I’ll keep busy), and I’ve taken it one day at a time (I’ll take it one day at a time).
A month ago, daddy making a Kiwi speciality: whitebait fritters, for S.
Can anything beat breakfasting with your love?
Forced S to hike Rapaki with me. He said the view was almost worth the pain.
“You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizons. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.” ~Ethel Barrymore (Shoutout to the lovely lady customer who said she reads my blog!)
Great fun making my famous pikelets with my kiddies (1 cup plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 free-range egg, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup milk – mix until smooth then cook tablespoon-full amounts in a good quality non stick frying pan or with a little oil in a not so good quality one – about a minute each side)
The night of S’s bitter departure sweetened by dessert from The Villas.
Wearing my boyfriends sweater. (“I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.” ~Jonathan Safran Foer)
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,
O thou candle of the Love of God! I ask God to grant thee by His favor and grace that which is thy utmost desire; that the closed doors become opened, the uneven roads become even, thy face shine by the love of God, thy sight become brighter by witnessing the signs of God; that thou mayest attain spiritual joy, eternal happiness and heavenly life.
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)
As you may have heard, NZ received a lot of rain as of late. My prayers and sympathetic thoughts to those whose lives were greatly affected. Fortunately for us, our household just further glimmered. My parents and I spent even more time than usual together and I made “healthy” French toast for them. It’s actually very simple! For the three of us, I soaked 6 pieces of gluten free bread in a beaten mixture of 3 free-ranges, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and 1 tsp cinnamon, then fried them in a hot pan with a little coconut oil until nice and golden. Last, I topped them with fresh fruit, honey, and plain yoghurt (not pictured).
Never enough herbs in a Persian woman’s garden.
Can you see what I see? On the last day of term, we made an Easter egg hunt for the little munchkins.
And… one for the big munchkin who really shouldn’t be having one in the first place.
Another day, another green smoothie. These are also super easy to make. Simply blitz together in a high-powered blender: 2 frozen bananas (frozen bananas make your smoothies colder and creamier), 2 large handfuls of spinach (stalks and all), a big dollop of natural yoghurt, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Top with favourites.
I found out the hard way that jandals were not appropriate wear for yesterday’s Saturday Farmers’ Market. As I walked into a muddy puddle and splashed gunk all over myself, I overheard a father telling his little girl not to worry about getting dirty as she, in her pink gumboots, was appropriately dressed – I couldn’t help but take his comment as a personal dig to my existence.
Giant delicious organic apple from the organic apple people at the Saturday Farmers’ Market (sorry I don’t know your company name).
For as long as I have been coming to Sumner, I have been in mad-love with that itsy bitsy yellow house bursting with character. I sent this photo to Soroosh expressing this, and he replies: “I like the modern house next to it.” BLAH
Almost finished writing back to my Japanese students ^.^
Mojgan joon, I wish you were here to accompany me on my walking adventures. Alas, I think of you always – the coming Autumn leaves further remind me of my unforgettable time with your beautiful family in beautiful Nashville.
Last but not least, a picture sent to me by my dear mentor and friend. AKA Soroosh’s father. Guys, I am so impressed and inspired by him. Rick is a man of so many talents. But most of all, he is joyful, he is understanding, and he is compassionate. Also, big-ups for food-presentation and food-photography, and your recently written article HERE.
Flowers planted by my daddy.
Beautiful 7.15am sky on my way to work (PS I’m a sensei again except this time, to littlies)
A big box of organic backyard stone-fruit to be shared between mama, daddy, Deli, Andy, Ella, Lucky, and me.Mandy’s amazing creation: vegan coconut ice-cream with rosewater and raspberry.
World’s largest cucumber photographed by my momma #sizedoesmatter.
“You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known—and even that is an understatement.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald) Friends, I find nothing more romantic than these letters. I could easily quote these lovers for the remainder of this post but I’ll resist. A side note: often when I take such photos of my breakfast and things on this decaying picnic table in our backyard, my tootsies make an appearance forcing me to impatiently start over, this time standing in the most awkwardly unnatural position so as to hide them.
Speaking of F. Scott and Zelda, four months ago, I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Hotel Belle Rives where the couple stayed in the year 1925. Unable to speak French and unaware of Antibes’ transportation systems, I decided to walk there from my accommodation. An hour later, I arrived sweaty and in my gym gear. To my surprise, I was welcomed by the gentleman porter with such hospitality as if I were Zelda herself! This left me speechless. In a dream-like state, I walked around the bar, snapped a couple pictures and vowed to return again before my stay in Antibes was over.
Once back at my accommodation, I emailed the General Manager, expressing my gratitude to the incredibly hospitable porter. He, Lucas, replied by inviting me and a friend back for coffee, croissants and a private tour of the establishment. I don’t know if it was the ambience or what, but here Anita’s mom and I drank the best coffee we’ve ever drank ever.
The photo above and the photo below are of the views from the hotel’s best room (unbelievably dare in the summer). Lovely Lucas said I could honeymoon there on mate’s rates. I wonder if he’d also cover my plane ticket? (hehe).
Back to reality (below) which is pretty darn good with no room for complaints: I helped and will continue to help for the long weekend, my beautiful friend Mandy sell her handmade ice-cream and sorbets. It was a dream job and nothing less.
Some beetroot salad and avocado before eating sorry I mean selling ice-cream.
“All these soft, warm nights going to waste when I ought to be lying in your arms under the moon – the dearest arms in all the world – darling arms that I love so to feel around me – How much longer – before they’ll be there to stay? When I get home again, you’ll certainly have a most awful time ever moving me one inch from you -”
Sea salt caramel and popcorn, vanilla bean, blueberry, mint, Greek yoghurt and cherry compote, peach and lemon sorbet (vegan), rhubarb and strawberry sorbet (vegan), coconut keffir raspberry (vegan), coconut and dark chocolate (vegan).
See! We and Prince of Persia really DO share the same tablecloth! PS if there’s one advice I can give for making perfect pancakes, it is using a non-stick crepe maker. THIS one in specific. It has been and continues to be, my most prized possession – after the yellow rose Soroosh gave me on our first date.
My dear friend and follower, Randy yesterday commented to say she misses Akiko, Lifa and Ozzy. Well, lookie here! Look who is thinking of me! Thanks guys, my heart is bursting.
The Origin (95 Westminster Street) is a new entirely vegan CHCH eatery. And, it is hands-down, nothing short of amazing! The food and the coffee, oh my. You’ve been warned. I can’t wait to go again. In fact, I’m gonna go today.
Bet you’ve never taken a #muffinselfie. Or have you?
Oopsie. Must use bigger oven. Of course, my mother told me off for this. I did not try to argue that it was her who suggested and by suggested I mean forced me to use the toaster oven for my baking experiments in hope of using less electricity in the first place.
Combine the following in a large mixing bowl, 3 free-range eggs, 1/4 cup runny honey, 1/2 cup natural yoghurt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 ripe banana, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. Mix well, then gently sift in 1 cup buckwheat flour, 1 cup almond meal, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp baking soda, a large handful of chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, then mix thoroughly. Drop the mixture in to 12 greased muffin tins. Bake at 180 C for about 15 minutes or, until an inserted fork inserted comes out clean. Yummy yummy.
Follow your fear. Do the work. This is where you will find big magic. -Cheryl Strayed
Made breakfast for mom and I (daddy is still in bed from working late and always sacrificing for us). It’s simple, entirely plant-based and yum. Why don’t you try it as well? Simply blend: 1 banana, 1 small mango (pitted), 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, and a large handful of spinach leaves then top with fresh fruit and all-natural granola.
Vegan pasta made from authentic ingredients from the Mediterranean Food Company.
That night CHCH had the most incredible sunset!
Self love is teddy bear toast.
Mama’s delicious Persian food: a chicken dish and rice flipped from a rice cooker. Also, leftovers of my pasta. And, the torso of mom’s cooking’s no1 fan: my brother-in-law, Andy.
Bought myself a new top to interview in. I especially like the flower pattern.