travel

Old Ways Won’t Open New Doors

image
Tried this before? Coconut yoghurt with turmeric and mango. It has been surprisingly hot. I have been enjoying eating outside in the sun and in the space of a few days, I have gone from no job, well 1/2 job (freelancing for Savvy Tokyo) to 2 and 1/2 jobs. The first is to do with the education of 5-10 year olds. That’s pretty much all I can say without breaching privacy rules. And the second is serving delicious homemade organic gelato, vegan sorbets, and coconut ice-cream for the freakishly talented Utopia Ice. Hashtag life-as-a-wannabe-writer.
image-1
Plum and earl grey. Yes, earl grey! CHCH friends, you know where to get your ice-cream fix this ice-cream-weather long weekend ;)
image-1FINISHED. This one is my favourite (so far). I really related to Heidi. She, a real writer, me, a wannabe writer – let’s just say reading it, I had numerous: “for real? ME too!” moments.
image-2
Today my mom, my sister and I (dad, God bless him, was working as usual) had a Persian breakfast for lunch. Persians eat bread and feta cheese (here sprinkled with cumin powder) with vegetables like cucumber and tomato (the avocado is a personal addition) with herbs and nuts. And sometimes watermelon makes an appearance, too. Washed down with black cardamom tea. Until the age of seven, all I knew of breakfast was the Persian kind. When we arrived in NZ, I was introduced to cereal for the first time. Also sliced bread. We never had that in Iran. Our bread was huge and round and I had to line up for it with my mom. It would come out of a large round oven filled with little stones. Sometimes, if we were lucky (or so I thought back then) our bread would have one of these stones attached to it. This was my childhood. Walking down the street on my tippy toes, scanning the bread my mother held for lucky stones.

Let’s Love Loud

image-2
Cheese testers galore in Geraldine. image-3
image-1-2image
Isn’t my daddy hilarious? This one’s for you, Lifa!
image-7
image-1-1
image-6
Central otago peaches and cherries, banana, momma’s homemade muesli and unsweetened organic oat milk.
image-8
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.

Our Japanese Guests’ Day Three

Another classic NZ dish: the humble meat pie (which I wrote a 3000 word University essay on one day), Castle Hill (famous from Narnia) and last: a nostalgic New Year’s Eve countdown in Hagley Park featuring back-to-back country music which took me straight back to Nashville and to my sweetheart’s arms.
image-5
imageimage-2
image-1image-3image-4
image-8image-7
And you? How did you spend New Year’s Eve/Day?

Our Japanese Guests’ Day Two

On day two we went to Akaroa and it was such a nice day and such a fun time that it turned out to be our guests’t highlight. So far! As in, don’t go away yet, there’s much more to come.
Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
I’m so predictable. Kapiti black doris plum and creme fraiche is my faveeeee.
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Treated myself at the gift-store! Sooo cute, right?
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Ugly but delicious.Processed with VSCO with c3 presetGosh, I love NZ apricots! So did our guests. This is because apricots, alongside some other produce (such as good cheese, brown bread and beetroot) are hard to come by in Japan.
Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
This has got to be the funniest photo. Here’s Yuko and her husband awkwardly agreeing to a photo by my crazy dad as Juri takes yet another selfie!Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Beautiful Yuko.
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
The small houses in Akaroa are so adorable. Soroosh? Let’s go. Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Last but not least, a great Kiwi lunch: battered fish, squid rings, onion rings, L&P and Wattie’s tomato sauce.

Our Japanese Guests’ Day One

So Yuko and her family are here. Here in NZ for the very first time and I think they’re loving it. Here are day one’s pictures so you can also be with us: ella
First up, omiyage or in English, souvenirs. These are a HUGE part of Japanese culture. We all received gift(S). That’s right, not one but many presents (including my sister’s dogs, Lucky and Ella).
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
image-1-5
image-1
After resting, we took the family to Christchurch’s Botanical Gardens where they exhausted their cameras.
image-5Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
image-1-2Two beautiful roses.
image-1-4
image-4
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
image-2
juri-xmas-ball
image-1
Last remnants of Christmas…
c1-smile
Last but not least, our guests’ first meal in NZ: pneumatic curly fries and sliders at the world-renowned C1espresso. Come on, how cool is that?!c1-dad
And…someone else happened to like them too! #embarassing.

My Wish For You Is That You Continue

…continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. -Maya Angelou
image-1-png-4Real-life fruit ninja.
image-png-33
It’s getting hot in here!image-png-31
This is my gorgeous sis. She’s always “liking” and sharing my stuff (hint hint). image-png-30image-png-29
So what do y’all think of NZ, then?
image-png-28
image-png-32image-png-2image-1-png-3image-2-png-8
Back to my favorite ice-cream joint of all time (now serving various dairy-free options)! All hand-made and all with ample love. Now, I know this because I know the family behind the ice-cream. And believe me when I say they’re just as delicate and just as sweet.
image-png-34
There are so many new Christchurch cafes! I just can’t keep up but I am trying. This is Park Ranger on Riccarton road. When I drive past, it always seems busy. I wonder if it’s just a phase? Like as was Yoghurt Story? Anyways, mama and I truly did LOVE their coffee (and almond milk availability) but the biscotti..oh the biscotti it almost broke my teeth. Yeah, yeah, biscotti is always hard, you tell me. But this guys was extreme. image-1-png-5
Last but not least, vegan Thai green curry. Nothing like cooking for a loved one. Love you mommy xx

There Is No Beauty Without Some Strangeness.

image-png-40
My sister’s foxy dog – taken at Halswell Quarry Dog Park. image-png-37
The Persian Life chose me.image-png-38
Sugar-free banana, turmeric and blueberry muffins. No recipe because I’m boss like that.Though if you’re looking for a muffin recipe you could try THIS or THAT.image-2-png-22
Last of my Japanese sushi bandaids! image-2-png-19
G is for…Grapefruit. Had the opportunity of getting in on some behind-the-scenes action at C1 Espresso and proud to tell you that this shizz is hand-squeezed, people. Like, by actual human hands. No wonder it’s so delicious! I taste the LOVE, C1! I taste the love!image-1-png-19
Almond milk drinks with my no1 bishes. Actually with my sister and mom…image-png-39
Lovers in Paris. Or Riccarton Race course. Tomato, tomato, I say.image-png-41
My sexy bestie and our 17 year old dog! image-1-png-22
One of these is not like the other…#problemsolving101image-png-42
Chur NZ! Drinking Maori herbs!image-1-png-23Last but not least, made my sweet mama spicy spinach, mushroom and black bean enchiladas. Guacamole recipe HERE.

Best of Christchurch

I apologise for the lack of posts, friends! To be honest, with working full-time, I have’t even had time to Skype my boyfriend! I can’t believe how much CHCH has developed and I can’t wait to go to every new place on my to-go-to list! For now though, here’s a short list of what’s been thus far sampled by my palette:
image-2-png-19
Frozen yoghurt sundae with raspberry sauce, fresh berries and dark chocolate by Berry Culture.
image-1-png-19
A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and honey latte from the world’s best cafe (C1 Espresso). image-2-png-18
No doubt, the best pizza in CHCH from Cafe Valentino.
image-png-2
And last but not least, probably the best chai latte I’ve had here. This is because, unlike the usual sickly-sweet Starbucks variety which everyone sells, Supreme Supreme’s chai was spicaaaay! Now, I use the extra a’s because drinking it was like licking the grounds of a Middle Eastern spice market, but in a good way.

I Heart American Healthfood Stores

The other day, Soroosh asked me, of all the places we’ve been together, where would I like to go again before leaving nashville. So I screamed, WHOLEFOODS. Also, Trader Joe’s. American health/organic supermarkets are SO much better than any I’ve ever visited ever. From NZ to Australia to Japan to Europe, Merica is the best. The best. I want to live in their (the supermarkets’) shelves. Right next to the turmeric coconut water. Or the Nigerian cacao nibs.
image-2-png-13image-3-png-13
Wholefoods has this amazing buffet section where you can fill a plate or box with a HUGE assortment of hot and cold healthy, organic, vegetarian and vegan dishes. They also sell pre-made stuff like brown-rice sushi and quinoa rolls etc. It truly is heaven. If I needed a reason to live in America, this would be it. I could eat healthy and organic everyday and I could do it without a single effort.
image-png-22
Unlike Wholefoods, Trader Joe’s isn’t entirely organic but it’s still a really fun and upbeat healthfoods market. Gosh, sometimes (haha) I love Americans!
image-4-png-9image-png-20image-1-png-12image-png-21image-1-png-13image-5-png-7
All of the over-Instagrammed protein bars. Yep, all of em.
image-2-png-14Mmmm sunflower seed butter!

Love. What Is More Important?

Hi friends! I’m requesting prayers and positive energy for my family and friends back home (NZ) please. In saying that, I myself am not frightened of returning. Because tragedies can happen anywhere. If it’s not earthquakes, it’s storms, or fires or bombings or shootings. Life is to be lived not feared.
image-4-png-4image-7-png-3
A beautiful day at Radnor Lake.image-6-png-4image-5-png-3image-1-png-3
Beaver attacks! :O
image-png-4
image-1-png-2
image-3-png-6image-png-3
Vegetarian burger: quinoa and black bean pattie, lettuce, cheese, tomato, avocado and jalapeños from Burger Up.image-2-png-8How we do “His and Hers” (hehe) AKA meat vs veg.