So… I’m late in responding to some blog awards again. Probably because I eating sashimi. And hanging out at the beach with a bucket in some puffy blue underpants (red shovel in hand, of course. I like to dig).
Uh, no. As you’ve probably realised, that photograph was taken quite a few years a go at an unidentified pebbly beach in Britain. Before I developed both culinary and fashion sense (though I was rather colour coordinated – thanks mum). I thought I’d add it with some unrelated food photography (sushi, which I made for dinner a little while ago. I took photos for the hell of it) as… well, words just don’t cut it on a food blog.
Anyway, back to the task at hand. Huge apologies, both for the belated thanks and the underpants remarks. I do appreciate each and every nomination that’s been gifted to me by my blogging peers. Despite being in danger of repeating myself, I just want to reiterate that the beautiful people I’ve ‘met’ over the past twelve months (almost… my first post was published on May 21st, 2012) have been the most wonderful and unexpected blessing along the learning curve that is food writing, recipe development and photography.
I initially started this blog as a way to archive my evolving collection of unique recipes, experiments, photographs and successes to share with a small group of interested family and friends. However, along the way, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some of the most beautiful, generous, talented and creative people I’ve ever known (yep, that’s you!) and it’s been through regular blogger exchanges of humour, encouragement, cooking tips and constructive feedback that my passion for quality and growth have been maintained.
So, before I move on to the awards, I just want to say thanks to each and every one of you for taking the time out to share this journey with me. You’re wonderful, and I look forward to sharing many more recipes, stories, photographs and life events as time leads us on… past the one year mark, to many more.
1. The Kreativ Blogger Award
This award nomination came from the beautiful woman behind Live Blissful, an Australian blog that documents the somewhat challenging journey towards maintaining a healthy vegan lifestyle. It’s been such a pleasure reading the recipes, stories and challenges faced by this Brisbane-based blogger… particularly as her partner and now fiance, Marco (yaaay! Read about the engagement here) still maintains an omnivorous lifestyle (argh, bacon and cheese = temptation). Ms Blissful is also one of the most encouraging, generous and warm food bloggers you could ever meet. If you need to know information about specific food exchanges, vegan-friendly products or food establishments, I’m sure she’d love to help you out.
Rules for the Kreativ Blogger Award
- Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you
- Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back
- Share 7 (seven) random interesting things about yourself
- Nominate 7 (seven) Kreativ (CREATIVE. Argh, these weird spellings are one of my pet hates!) Bloggers for the award. Post a link to their blogs then notify them of their nomination
- Copy and paste the award somewhere on your blog
Okay, seven random facts about me:
- I have freckles. Mostly scattered over my nose, with a few on the rest of face and body. When I was a child, my mother informed me that I’d ‘grow out of them’ as my father had when he reached adulthood. Well… I waited. And scrubbed my face with various creams. But they’re still here. I’m trying to make myself love them.
- Having freckles can be an advantage when you accidentally get pen, cocoa or other dark-coloured products on your face. Everyone just assumes that you’ve somehow grown some new freckles.
- I love red wine. It’s one of my absolute favourite things. One of my favourites is 2% (shiraz with 2% tempranillo) from the First Drop winery in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. Closely followed by their glorious Fat of the Land and Sandalford Estate’s Prendiville Reserve Shiraz from Margaret River, Western Australia.
- Both Aaron and I love dogs, of all breeds, shapes and sizes. We pretty much swoon at every dog that we see walking down the street (whether we’re on-foot or in the car), much to the chagrin of our friends. We’d love to buy a boxer or French bulldog one day; we’ve been holding off due to the lack of space in our shoebox apartment.
- I dislike molluscs, whether they be cooked or raw, in sauce or without sauce, fresh-from-the-ocean or frozen. Particularly bivalves. Yes, you can talk to me about the wonder of oysters til you’re blue in the face but they still make me want to gag (in fact, I did gag whilst sampling a raw one at a specialty seafood shop… I felt sorry for the gentleman who had freshly shucked it for me. I wanted to vomit. I did vomit. Thankfully, once I’d already exited the shop)
- I used to hate all ‘slimy’ vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms. When I was tiny, my mother encouraged me to eat ‘just one spoonful’ whenever she cooked them… I gradually grew to love them, and now they’re pretty much my favourite vegetables of all time (alongside Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach and potatoes). So, if you were wondering, tough-but-kind parenting does work. Completely for the child’s benefit!
- I love buying grey clothing. In fact, when my husband and I got together, we both pretty much owned 70% grey clothes (the rest being blue jeans, black or white accessories). We’ve gradually been encouraging each other to include some colour variance in our wardrobes, and it’s working. But… we still end up dressing the same at times. Purely because of our similar tastes.
Nominees for the Kreativ Blogger Award:
- Johnny from Feed the Piglet: Johnny is awesome. He hails from ‘The Garden of England’ (also known as Kent) and produces endlessly creative recipes that really showcase earthy, organic produce cooked from scratch (my kind of cooking!). Take a look at his blog and meet both him and piglet (no, I’m not giving anything away. Read, people). His photography and food styling are pretty inspirational, too.
- Danny at Gotasté: I’ve been following Danny’s blog for a while now and he’s definitely one of the most encouraging bloggers I’ve had the privilege of meeting. He cooks a beautiful array of international dishes, all with his own signature flair. It’s actually amazing what he can produce whilst mourning the lack of homegrown produce in his home country of Singapore (makes me feel lucky to have such amazing access to farmer’s markets here in Australia). Definitely a worthy contender for a creative award!!
- Richard from REM Cooks: Yup, this blog is proof that lawyers can cook! And in the case of Richard, he cooks very well indeed. I’ve learned tons of things about traditional French cooking methods, sauces and other such things from this blog. I’d encourage you to take a look if you’re interested in the finer details of making desserts or savoury dishes with an impressive twist. Baby lady is pretty lucky. And so are we, as we get to share his creativity through the blogosphere!
- The lovely Katie from Katie at the Kitchen Door: Katie is gorgeous, inside and out. She’s a perfect example that I am entirely stupid in hating my own freckles, as for some reason I can see their absolute beauty on other people’s skin! Anyway, apart from freckles, Katie is a talented writer, baker and photographer. I love the refreshing honesty in her writing and the generosity in her comments. She also hails from Boston, which as we all know has been in the media for all of the wrong reasons recently. Luckily, she’s safe. And she’s publicised her hometown cause via this post.
- Lindsay from Fleur de Sel: Aah! Lindsay and Matt just got engaged! Sorry… I’m getting a little excited at the moment, when I’m supposed to be talking about reasons for nomination. Ahem. Lindsay is a beautiful San Franciscan woman who has an amazing eye for photography and food styling. She’s an inspiration for me, in terms of the freshness of her ingredients and the way she presents her creations. Definitely a worthy contender. And… argh! She’s engaged!
- Greg (aka Rufus) and Katherine from Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide: I love this blog. It’s my go-to site for savoury recipe inspiration, cocktails and infused spirits (the Praline Bourbon is to die for). This man works wonders with meat, as does…
- Conor from One Man’s Meat: Now, I’m a pretty recent follower of Conor’s blog, but his brilliant humour, intriguing posts and meat genius have impressed from the outset. If you want to know how to cook meat well, this is the place to visit (slight warning: there are some gross pictures on this site. Conor does not shy away from photographs of raw, slimy ingredients. Browse at your own peril).
2. Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award *is the logo for this award supposed to resemble The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants?
Anyway, ahem. This award nomination also came via my beautiful friend at Live Blissful. If you’d like to read more about her, take a look at her ‘About’ page or scroll back upwards. Thanks so much lovely, it means a lot.
Rules for the Sisterhood Award:
- Provide a link and thank the blogger who nominated you
- Nominate 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read
- Provide links to these nominated blogs and kindly let the recipients know that they have been nominated
- Include the award logo within your blog post for the award
Nominees for the Sisterhood Award:
- The gorgeous Bec from Daisy and the Fox: I love this Aussie blog. It’s a tumble of fresh recipes, fashion and beauty tips, stories and other things that will definitely inspire you. Bec is only 17 and she’s already full of talent in the kitchen… in terms of cooking, food styling and photography. Take a look and say hello – you’ll be glad you did!
- Hannah from Gypsy Roller’s Vegie Kitchen: You definitely need to take a look at the lovely Hannah’s patch of the internet! She writes from the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, and her recipes and stories are fresh and fantastic. Love it.
- The beautiful Annie from An Unrefined Vegan: This blog cuts quite deep, when you sit down and read it for a while. Annie documents the deeper issues of being vegan (whilst also providing gorgeous, fresh and inspiring recipes) whilst also delving into the complexities of having a family member with a terminal illness in her Terminal Illness Primer for Caregivers (borne out of her personal experience with her late brother, Charles). She’s beautiful inside and out. She’ll teach you something. Take time out to read.
- My dear friend Viveka from My Guilty Pleasures: Viveka blogs from her hometown of Landskrona, Sweden. She’s got a beautiful eye for photography and also gives us glimpses into her own life… the beauty, the challenges and all that’s in-between. I won’t write too much about Viveka’s content as she can say it much better than I ever could… but have a read. You’ll be glad you did.
- The lovely and talented Azita from Fig and Quince: She’s funny, she’s talented and arty (see some of her artwork here!) and she can cook up an incredible Persian storm! I’ve learned so much from the family musings, recipes and stories over at Azita’s blog. She uses many traditional ingredients and she’ll happily share her knowledge with you. I count her as a beautiful blogging friend.
- The gorgeous Suzanne from A Pug in the Kitchen: Haha. Check out the ‘About‘ page and meet Izzy and Nando, Suzanne’s gorgeous kitchen-hands (aka pugs). I love Suzanne’s recipes and stories, all written with homage to her Italian heritage and her hometown of Brooklyn, New York. She’s also a generous commenter and encourager in the blogosphere. Check her out!
- The inventive Christina from Small Kitchen Chronicles: Christina is beautiful. She’s got a kitchen that’s probably as small as mine, and she creates a whole myriad of amazingly delicious things on a regular basis! I love the honest way that she writes, the way that she draws inspiration from her Greek heritage, and the fact that she’s entirely unpretentious (despite obvious talent!)
- Andrea from Middle East Moments: It’s been a few months since I first discovered Andrea’s blog, and I’ve been continually inspired by her journey as an Australian woman who’s now living in the cultural whirlpool that is Jordan. Her stories are real, challenging, beautiful and honest. I’ve learned a lot about her personal strength, patience, her compassionate heart and her love of family (near and far). I’d definitely encourage you to take some time out and read her beautifully eloquent posts.
- Hayley from The Domestic Rebel: This girl is cool, colourful and creative. She specialises in sweet (and I say, sweet) indulgent treats, cupcakes and all things funfetti. She’s already got heaps of followers (and she’s probably already been over-awarded, sigh!) but there always has to be one rebel in the bunch! Plus, she deserves it!
- The gorgeous Sawsan at Chef in Disguise: Sawsan is another beautiful and talented Middle Eastern blogger who has posted an incredible array of resources on her blog. There’s everything from a cheese making guide to conversion tables and references on Middle Eastern spices. I love the generosity of heart that Sawsan displays in all of her comments and tips… she’s an inspiration.
- Carla from eat sweet.by Carla Sue: Now, this sisterhood wouldn’t be complete without the lovely Carla, from whom I’ve gained many sweet tips and slices of inspiration! She’s a fellow Antipodean (from Tassie! Which, of course, automatically makes her a genuine sister for the rest of us Aussie women) and she’s got a beautiful knack for baking and food photography. Say hello… she’s generous and warm, so I’m sure you’ll make a friend!
So that’s it, round two of blogging awards complete. Thanks again to all of you who inspire and share with me on a daily basis – the blogging network is a wonderful thing. Oh, and for those of you who are interested… I’m currently boiling oranges for a flourless orange cake with lavender and rose ryrup. They smell divine… next food post on the way!