You’ve just clicked into part two of my final ‘Awards and Acknowledgements’ post. As mentioned in the part one, I’ve made the difficult decision to cease ‘official acceptance’ of awards from hereon; primarily so that I can focus on producing more food-related posts and quality content for you to enjoy. I’ll still acknowledge any award that is forwarded to me with sincere thanks. However, after the conclusion of this post, I will no longer be completing acceptance posts, ‘acceptance criteria’ or forwarding nominations.
Thanks to each and every one of you who have seen fit to nominate me for various blogging awards. You’re wonderful people and I feel humbled to be recognized as part of the blogging family.
*for the bloggers nominated below, please don’t feel any pressure to respond, accept or fulfill stated nomination criteria unless you really want to. I’m paying it forward, for those who find this process valuable.
As far as I understand, this award was created by a Scottish blogger named Shaun as a way to thank those who had demonstrated support, love and encouragement throughout his journey with life-limiting chronic pain. I’m yet to become personally acquainted with Shaun, but his blog is refreshing, honest and inspiring. He explains the reasoning behind the award here.
I’ve been blessed enough to receive this award from two blogging friends:
Viveka at My Guilty Pleasures – a beautiful, inspiring blog full of poignant moments, music, recipes and stories. Viveka chronicles her life through her blog, and manages to bring a smile to our faces despite experiencing personal challenges of all kinds. Viveka is an inspiration to me and it’s been humbling to receive her kind words, love and hugs as I’ve worked to establish myself as a food blogger.
Rachel at Loving Homemade – Rachel’s blog makes me happy. It’s beautifully warm, comforting and homely in the best of ways. Rachel’s been a generous blogging friend to me in the months that I’ve known her. It’s a privilege to receive this generous award from her!
Nominees for the WordPress Family Award are:
- A Global Garnish – Jeannee is a food wonder. She’s incredibly talented as an international cook, photographer and writer. I feel inspired every time I take a look at her beautiful recipes and stories. Big plus, she’s incredibly encouraging, warm and lovely too! I count Jeannee as a foodie sister so it was easy for me to pass this nomination on to her. Thanks Jeannee!
- Fig and Quince – Azita has been one of my biggest sources of encouragement and inspiration since I joined WordPress. She’s an incredibly talented blogger, cook and writer in her own right, but she also supports other up-and-coming blogs no end! Thanks Azita, for all that you do. You’re amazing and I’m thankful to have ‘met’ you!
- Fleur de Sel – I had to mention Lindsay. This beautiful San Francisco girl is one of the most honest, genuinely inspiring and encouraging women I’ve ever ‘met’. She’s definitely a sister in the blogging world and I do hope that we meet one day! Make sure you visit her blog – her recipes and photographs are completely and utterly mouthwatering. A feast for the eyes and the senses.
- Small Kitchen Chronicles – What can I say about Christina? She is beautiful inside and out, generous with her words and affections, creative and inspiring! Her recipes are particularly tailored for what can be cooked in a ‘small kitchen’, so I’d encourage you to take a look if you’re in the same predicament. She’s such a gorgeous friend. I am blessed.
- La Petite Gourmand Anglaise – Fiona is an English girl who fell in love with a French boy. She consequently decided to learn the technicalities of traditional French cookery and it’s proven to be darn difficult! But yet, she’s triumphed with glorious eggy blog posts such as Tarte aux Framboises et Amandes (Raspberry and Almond Tart) and Orange Brioche Puddings (yes, she actually did impress the French boy’s parents). I’m so impressed with everything she does. She’s a gorgeous foodie sister whom I hope to meet one day.
5. The Liebster Award (x4)
Please see my previous Liebster Award acceptance post for some of the background on this particular award. Though I no longer fit acceptance criteria (in terms of followers and site traffic) I’m writing the full acceptance post(s) in honour and respect of those who have gifted this award to me. As mentioned above, I’ve received four nominations (that’s a lot of questions to answer). Ready? Go:
Nomination 1 was from the beautiful woman behind Married in Marrackville, whom I’ve already thanked for the Versatile Blogger Award (see previous post). Thanks again for your generous and kind thoughts, MIM! Here are her questions:
- Savory or sweet? Uh, that’s a very hard question. It depends upon which mood I’m in, but I’d say… sweet today. My weakness is Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, or… Green & Black‘s Maya Gold.
- Favourite travel destination? Definitely Europe. I love history, art, architecture… so it’s a bit of a travel Mecca for me.
- Most memorable dining experience? Eating a ‘mince pie’ in Nova Scotia, Canada, that turned out to be moose meat. Dry, chewy moose meat. I thought it was fruit mince (it was Christmas, after all!)
- If you could have one Chef to cook for you, who would it be? Perhaps Jamie Oliver? I think he’s amazingly philanthropic, talented and fun. But I’m also a huge fan of Heston Blumenthal, George Calombaris (from Australian Masterchef) and Luke Nguyen (from Red Lantern, Surrey Hills, Sydney), Maggie Beer (she’s not a chef but she’s amazing) and Bill Granger. I am a big fan of modern Australian food.
- Favourite post on your blog? Orange and Almond Cake with Lavender and Rose Syrup. Every recipe I create has a strong association with the event(s) surrounding it. This cake was created as a celebration of my mother’s life… specifically, her 60th birthday, but more generally, the fact that she’s survived breast cancer and she’s now back to full health.
- Your favourite cookbook is? I’d have to say Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver. It’s the only cook book that I’ve made anything from in the past, uh, ten years? I have quite a few cookbooks but I fail to use them. Dismally. I need to change that.
- Your dream job? I’d love to own and run a small bar or specialty cafe (with a gallery attached) somewhere in Perth.
- A garden salad or a greasy bacon sandwich? Both? I love vegetables and could easily devour a bowl of salad, but I’m also a huge bacon fan. I reckon that the two would balance each other out!
- Which blog do you follow religiously? I love so many of my fellow bloggers’ work, so it’s difficult to pick just one. I do read almost every post on Vintage Kitchen Notes. Paula (the woman behind the blog) is one of my blogging heroes. She’s beautiful, creative and generous… but above all, she lets her humanity shine through. I love that.
- What is the one thing you keep putting off? Answering this question.
- Favorite ingredient to cook with? Specifically, I’d have to say potatoes. I love eating them, cooking with them, seasoning them… they’re so versatile. Generically, I’d say ‘herbs and spices’ (including aromatics like garlic and ginger) as I do feel that they make every meal come alive. My herb garden and spice racks are overflowing at present… favourite spices/spice mixes include harissa, Ras el Hanout, Za’atar and Salish Alder smoked sea salt. I grow oregano, basil, coriander, rosemary, lemon thyme, old fashioned mint, sage and flat-leaf parsley.
Nomination 2 was from the sweet Miss Golly Gosh Girl. She’s a beautiful English girl who embarked upon a quest for a healthier lifestyle a few months ago. She’s been documenting her experience via her insightful, honest and inspiring blog, Golly Gosh Girl. There are even tips for natural skin and hair care that I’ve loved reading about! She’s set her nominees the following questions to answer:
- Why did you start blogging? I have a few reasons. Primarily, I was being asked for my ‘recipes’ by friends and family, and I… uh… didn’t have any. All of my methods, ingredients and quantities were in my head. I figured that this blog would serve as a place to store my recipes and stories, whilst making them accessible to all who wanted them. It’s been a valuable experience.
- Who is your hero (or heroine) and why? Can I have two? Firstly, my husband, Aaron. He inspires me to be a better version of myself. He’s loving, strong-but-gentle, funny, loyal and talented. I’m forever humbled that he chose to spend his life with me, and I’m grateful for every day we have together. Secondly, my mother. She’s strong, courageous, wise and selfless. She brought me up predominantly on her own after my parents divorced and my father moved back to England. She also suffered breast cancer, which led to surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy from 2010-2011. She’s come through, stronger than ever. I love her to bits and I’m grateful for each day I get to share with her.
- Best piece of advice you’ve been given? Worrying is pointless, as it doesn’t achieve anything.
- Favourite quote? From my husband’s friend, when I mentioned that cooking was my ‘creative outlet’: “…that’s good. Well, my mouth is happy to be a creative inlet”.
- One thing you’ve learnt this year? Drinking nice wine chews up a lot of your money.
- One goal for this year? Survive full-time work til Christmas
- When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up? An animator. Always an animator (from… uh, 6 – 16 years? Then ‘reality’ hit me. Sad day. I still regret being gutless)
- Favourite food? Too difficult to answer. But I love all vegetables, Indian food (mmm, garlic naan bread), all Middle Eastern and Moroccan food, pomegranates, sour cream, beetroot, quince paste and blue cheese. Oh, and Turkish bread and homemade hummus with harissa and lemon oil (ctually, I could just eat just that and be very happy).
- Where would your ideal holiday destination be? Germany. I’ve wanted to visit Berlin for years.
- If you could learn one new skill or take up one new hobby what would it be? Digital painting. I love painting on canvas, sketching and other traditional mediums of art, but I’ve recently discovered the capabilities of digital art and I’m fascinated.
- What do you see as your greatest success? Surviving my career as a Social Worker thus far (after a breakdown and commencing anti-depressant medication!). And managing to somehow be attractive enough for my husband to fall in love with me.
Nomination 3 came from the beautiful Fiona over at La Petite Gourmand Anglaise. Let me say, genuinely, that Fiona is one of the most awesome bloggers I know. She’s hilariously funny, warm, talented and encouraging. Her blog was created to launch a new assault on the powerhouse that is French cooking and she’s done an incredible job. Check out her recipes; in particular, her take on French classics such as Galette aux Pommes (hers has pears and Roquefort cheese, yum!). Now, eleven questions from Fiona:
- Explain your blog name. Take a look at my introduction, here.
- Why did you start your blog? I have a few reasons. Primarily, I was being asked for my ‘recipes’ by friends and family, and I… uh… didn’t have any. All of my methods, ingredients and quantities were in my head. I figured that this blog would serve as a place to store my recipes and stories, whilst making them accessible to all who wanted them. It’s been a valuable experience.
- Is there anything you would never eat? Uh… blowfish? Because I value my life. I also abhor foie gras for ethical reasons.
- What are you most frightened of? Losing a loved one. Particularly my husband or parents. It terrifies me.
- If you were given the chance to go for free, would you go into space? Nope. I like the earth. It has oxygen (and dogs).
- Cats or dogs? Dogs, definitely. I’d love a German Pointer, a French Bulldog or a gorgeous Boxer (they’re my favourite)
- If you could time travel to any point in history, where would you go? I’m fascinated by Medieval Europe (the ‘Middle Ages’, 5th-15th C). I took quite a few units of Medieval history at university just for the fun of it. I probably wouldn’t want to ‘visit’ though as it’s highly likely that I would have been killed by a barbarian!
- What trivial thing gets disproportionately on your nerves? When ‘s’ is substituted with ‘z’ (e.g. ‘beanz’). It causes me irrational annoyance. I also detest when people use sms-type slang in their everyday communications (e.g. U want 2 go 2 da beach grl?). It’s unnecessary decimation of the English language.
- Where’s your favourite place on Earth (whether it’s Florence or just your own bath)? Anywhere Aaron is.
- If you had 1 minute to live and 1 phone call you could make, who would you call? (Aargh! Fiona! Your questions are ridiculously hard!) Let’s say… I would call Aaron, speak for 20 seconds and tell him to get my mother to call me. Does that work?
- What’s your key to happiness? Good food, great wine (or beer or cider, I’m not fussy), people I love and a whole lot of humour. I love being silly. Stupid, even. It makes life a lot lighter.
Nomination 4 arrived from Margaret at Simple Food. She is a beautiful mother of three from Brisbane, Australia who works as a librarian by day and blogs about her gorgeous food adventures by night. One of my favourite posts from Margaret is her incredible baked eggplant with crunchy Parmesan crumbs. So delicious! Here are the questions from Margaret:
- The fruit you love the best? I love most fruit, though if pressed, I’d have to say that mango is my favourite (closely followed by peaches, cherries and raspberries).
- Music you like to listen to when you cook? This completely depends upon my mood. At present, my favourite bands include City and Colour, Jinja Safari, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Fleet Foxes, Little Dragon, Emma Louise, Radiohead, Neon Indian, Josh Pyke, Phoenix, Massive Attack… ah, the list is endless. I usually put iTunes on shuffle and see what I get.
- Your favourite cookbook? This was a question in list 1. Again, I’ll say Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver.
- Favourite kitchen gadget? I’m not one for modern gadgets, other than my recent blender purchase – the Ninja (thanks Whit and Sally for the recommendation!). Otherwise, I’d have to say my mortar and pestle, closely followed by my knife set from Mundial. Sharp knives make all the difference.
- Hero/heroine in the kitchen? I’d have to say Maggie Beer. She embodies everything beautiful, wholesome and honest about food. I love seeing her unpretentious style of cooking on Masterchef or other such programs. She’s a wonderful woman, and I love how she’s instilling a joy and excitement about food into our next generation. I’d love to visit her farm in the Barossa Valley, South Australia.
- Pineapple on pizza. Yes or no? I used to love it as a child (I guess most kids do) but it’s no longer a preferred pizza ingredient! I’d eat it if it was put in front of me, but I’d much prefer some beautiful thinly sliced pear, spicy chorizo, soft-curd goats cheese and rocket. Yum.
- Coffee or tea? Both. I drink at least one coffee per day (usually a mug of good, strong flat white with no sugar) but often drink tea at work (Earl Grey with a splash of milk). I’ve also recently discovered aniseed tea, which I’m loving.
- What’s great about where you live? My husband and I live in an apartment that’s within walking distance of a cafe and restaurant strip. It’s fantastic on a lazy Saturday morning… we can just tumble out of bed and head down for a beautiful coffee, followed by poached eggs and sourdough.
- Dream job? This question was also covered in nomination one, above. Definitely to follow my foodie dream of owning a small bar or cafe with a gallery attached.
- Your favourite post on your blog? Orange and Almond Cake with Lavender and Rose syrup.
- Roses or lillies? Definitely roses, for so many reasons. Their beautiful, delicately soft, fragrant blooms contrast sharply against their thorny branches. They come in so many different colours, fragrances and heights… with both tightly packed and wispy soft blooms. Lillies remind me of funerals (sorry to anyone who loves lillies. I do still think that they’re beautiful!).
Nominees for the Liebster Award include:
- Cured by Bacon – Nic Harmston is one cool, meat-lovin’ dude. His partner Katie is an incredible baker. Together they are a formidable, culinary force to be reckoned with! I love this blog. Nic is also doing a current series on sous vide that’s fascinating for the initiated and non-initiated alike. Definitely take a look at this blog. It’s meat and cake paradise.
- If Looks Could Kale – Anetta is a beautiful food blogger from Oregon, USA, who specialises in creating nourishing meals that can be enjoyed by the whole family. She’s unpretentious, creative and warm. I’m looking forward to seeing what she creates as the year continues (and… yay for great blog names!).
- Gather and Graze – this gorgeous blog is managed by Margot, an Australian woman who loves travel, food and family. She enjoys cooking food from scratch and her pastries make my mouth water… but it’s not all sweets. She has created a number of beautiful dishes on her blog site. Go and say hello! I know she’ll welcome you with Aussie warmth and charm!
- Fashion, Food and Flirts – Eveline is a fashionista with a love of food, photography and impeccable style. She writes recipes with a touch of class (and occasional sass!). I love her posts, her recipes and her insights. Check out this latest recipe for Portuguese custard tarts. Yum.
- Playing with Flour – this blog belongs to a beautiful medical intern named Lisa, who’s currently finding time management a bit of a struggle when it comes to baking and blogging (ah yeah, I guess saving lives is sort of important). Nevertheless, her blog is a gorgeous space with beautiful photography and wholesome recipes. Take a look!
This award (awards?) was given to me by the beautiful Whitney over at Indian Food Made Easy. She’s one of the most encouraging, hilarious and genuinely talented bloggers I know. I feel happy to have ‘met’ her in the blogosphere and I’d encourage you to peruse her amazing collection of recipes. Her photos are absolutely drool worthy, in particular her curries and Indian condiments. I’ve been staring at this recipe for Aloo Patta Gobhi (Potatoes and Cabbage) all afternoon and I can’t wait to run to the supermarket to buy cabbage.
Nominees for the Bouquet of Three award are:
- Edibles and Travels – Ally, the blogger behind Edibles and Travels, is a gorgeous, sweet and creative soul. She blogs about beautiful restaurants, cafes and places she’s visited in her hometown of Sydney, whilst also including some delicious recipes of her own. Ally is well and truly a worthy recipient of this trifecta!
- Gotastè – Danny is one cool, creative dude. He works in advertising and promotions but still finds time to cook up a storm on weekends. I love his creativity, his generous support of other blogs (including mine!) and his present bread series, in particular, his beautiful pumpkin bread. I’d definitely encourage you to brew a cup of tea and have a read through Danny’s posts. You’ll be glad you did.
- Cate’s Kitchen Adventures – this gorgeous blog belongs to a Sydney girl, Cate. Her site is full of beautiful stories, recipes and photographs… check out this mouth-watering post for ricotta hotcakes with baked honey nectarines and cinnamon sugar. Yum! I’ve been inspired by Cate many times over; mostly due to her complete honesty, beauty and warmth. It’s obvious in every post. She definitely deserves all three of these awards.
- Daisy and the Fox – Bec is a beautiful ray of sunshine. Every time I click onto her blog I know I’m going to feel warm, happy and positive about the world! If you’ve never visited Daisy and the Fox, I’d encourage you to. It’s a beautiful mingle of fashion tips, DIY, cafe adventures and recipes. Bec will make you feel absolutely, positively welcome!
Thank you so much for bearing with me; I do realise that these posts have an overwhelming amount of text (and personal information, argh) but I wanted to ‘finish well’, in respect of all the beautiful bloggers who have recognized, encouraged and supported me as a fledgling recipe writer, blogger and photographer. I value you all greatly and I look forward to our friendship continuing for years to come.
So, that’s it. The conclusion of my final awards post. As Vicky’s little boy would say, “Now I’m gonna go play!” (Laura’s interpretation: I need a glass of wine). Over and out, amigos.