about laura

mess [noun] from Old French, mes, meaning ‘a portion of food’:

1) an untidy or disordered condition; 2) a place where a group of people eat together

pot

Hi, friend.

Thanks for visiting. As the name suggests, this blog is a ‘food diary’ of sorts. It’s a collection of culinary narratives, scribbles and splashes, nutritional factoids and tons of healthy deliciousness. With a touch of rich sentimental prose (I’m 74% right brained, after all).

Some things for you to know:

me: I’m Laura, English by birth and Australian by residency. I live in a tiny shoebox apartment with my best friend (my husband Aaron), our dog Loki, several plastic dinosaurs, lots of pencils and a collection of glass Ball jars. I’m a Christ-follower. I have freckles, reddish-brown hair and chopstick arms. I like to exercise, in part so I can eat more fried potatoes and guacamole. I begrudgingly work full-time and squeeze in as much cooking as possible for pleasure, nourishment and relaxation.

baked2beginnings: According to my beautiful mum Kim, my first dish was a batch of ‘biscuits’ (the English kind; if you’re an American just think ‘cookies’) baked with supervision at the age of three. I was excitedly given free reign in the kitchen which, after an hour or so, led to a delicious concoction of baked flour and water. Me: “…they don’t taste very nice, do they?” Mum: “Well darling, biscuits usually need some butter and sugar”. Thankfully, I’ve improved since then (evidence here).

recipes: I’m not a lover of categorization, but if pressed I’d say that I’m a vegetable and wholefood enthusiast (I previously termed this ‘mostly plant based’ but this has been misinterpreted by those who haven’t read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food) who eats everything. I adore roasted vegetables, raw food, cultured butter, whole grains, tahini and bitter coffee. I’ll happily eat a slice of pizza or cake on Friday night. I’ve gone through phases since I started this blog, so you’ll see a happy tumble of everything in the archives (mostly my own recipes, however if I’ve been inspired by other sources I will credit accordingly). We now aim for about 80-85% plant based wholefoods in our household, free of refined sugar and trans fats in particular. Though I adore plant based milks, creamy avocado and cashew cheese, I wholeheartedly support the inclusion of goats cheese, butter, smoked bacon or a free range egg from a sustainable producer at times (Aaron votes for salmon and the occasional rare steak). Oh, and I like beer.

aerial

measurements: I’m a terribly negligent measurer. As you may have assumed, all documented measurements on this site are an attempt to refine my abstractions and ideas into a recipe format. You may need to make small adjustments to suit your taste buds and cooking equipment. All measurements are in metric, though I will try and include imperial conversions when I remember.

oven/stove top: I use a gas hob and an old gas oven with a rear vent and no light or fan. I usually have to extend the cooking time of all recipes by one-third, and increase oven temperatures by around 20 degrees C (36 degrees f). I’ve recently received a suggestion to buy an oven thermometer, but I haven’t progressed that far. As I assume that the majority of the population don’t have the same oven as me, all of the specified oven temperatures and cooking times have been adjusted on this site to suit a fan-forced electric oven. If you don’t have one, please adjust to suit your oven specifications.

photography: The majority (99%) of the photos that you’ll see here have been taken by me, most recently with a Canon EOS 70D (DSLR)/ 50mm lens. Aaron also took a few during the blog’s early days, however he’s now left me to my own devices.

the other half: My husband (Aaron) works in design, illustration and 3D animation. He has his own website, Amarok Digital, so click over to say hello. Some of his artwork is also available for sale here including quality art prints, iPhone/iPad covers, textiles, hoodies and t-shirts, pillows and bags. He builds walls and plays pc games in his spare time.

az

If you have any other queries, comments suggestions or criticisms, email me at laurasmessblog (at) gmail.com (sorry, written that way to avoid spambots!) or head over to my facebook page or Instagram. I’ll respond as soon as I can.

Thanks for devoting a few minutes to this work-in-progress. I do hope that you’ll find your visit worthwhile.

Laura x

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313 responses

    • I am so sorry for the lack of reply to this! It somehow slipped my attention. Thanks so much for the honour of the nomination! I don’t participate in these sorts of things any more but I am still very grateful for the peer support and intrablogger friendship! xx

    • Haha, very cool to have the same sorts of origins! My husband and I could potentially be heading to Canada in the next year or so for work purposes too. Beautiful country! Thanks so much for the kind words. Looking forward to being blogging friends! xx

  1. Very cool blog, Laura. So beautiful and mouth watering. It’s cool to meet someone who also works full time asa professional and still works toward her labor of love. Can’t wait to read more from you!

    • Hi Amanda, so sorry for the delayed reply to this… I have a brain like a sieve sometimes. Yeah, it’s difficult at times working full time whilst trying to maintain something I love like this blog. It leads to lots of sleep deprivation, but I enjoy it nonetheless! Thanks for connecting up. You have a brilliant blog also and it’s a privilege to meet likeminded foodies, albeit over the internet xxx

  2. love it. pretty sweet about page you got here, laura. i’ve checked out a few of your recipes as well, and i love your gungho diy style. why buy it if you can make it, right?

    i’m with you on measuring. what an unnessesary pain in the derriere.

    thanks for stopping by pmk and putting a few kind words in. it really means a lot to me. keep up the awesome work, and i’ll be sure to stop in from time to time to see what you (and your plastic dinosaurs) are up to.

    • Hey Misha! Sorry, it’s taken me a month to reply to this. A MONTH. That’s terrible (if you were offering me a limited-time offer for free steak knives or something it would’ve expired. Bad). Thanks for your kind words though, I appreciate people who understand my negligent measuring and DIY/adaptable recipes. I guess it’s the creative in me… a little unrestrained but I normally like the results! Love your blog too. Very cool to connect up with likeminded individuals via the internet! Oh, and the dinos migrated over the past few days… I think my husband had something to do with it. One has become the ‘robber’ in the game ‘Settlers of Catan’… if you play the game you’ll understand how much more fun it is when a t-rex sits on top of your glorious red number ‘8’ counter on a wood hex.

  3. Laura, I’m really excited that I discovered your blog! I love the name of your blog. I believe you must make a mess in the kitchen before you discover something great.

    I love your story of your beginnings in the kitchen. It made me laugh! I baked cookies with a 3 year old recently, and her favorite phrase was “I always.” Oh the creative spirit of a 3 year old!

    • Aw, thank you lovely! Yes, there’s definitely always mess in the kitchen but I love it (and I do clean it up myself afterwards, haha). Kids are definitely awesome. I wish I could harness the creativity and free-spirited nature that I had as a child. I wasn’t really afraid of anything :) I guess that’s the great thing about hanging out with kids. It makes us remember what it’s like to be young :) xx

    • Hahaa, she did say that you stopped by to say hello Sofia! It is kinda adorable. She’s full of wisdom, that woman, so it’s nice to see that she’s sharing it with the world :) xx

      • That is adorable. I keep on hinting to my mum and other wise women I know that they should have a blog. My mum lived in Andalucia (all over the other side of Spain), she reads my blog, so if she had one too, I could also keep up to date with her affairs and words of wisdom. Mind you, my blog isn’t a diary, there’s more to my life, lol, but she can keep up to date with some things.,.. like with what I’ve been eating :) xx

    • Hahaaa… yep, it cost a fat wad indeed. But I’m so much happier with the good-quality camera and lens, it makes taking great photos so much easier! Thanks for the note Russell, I hope to visit your part of the world one day!

    • Sorry for the tardy reply to this Phil, I really appreciate the note. I’m loving your creativity too… it’s always a pleasure connecting up with other foodies!

    • Aw thank you Jess! I no longer ‘officially’ accept awards but I definitely appreciate the thought. You have a lovely blog and congrats on being nominated yourself! x

    • Hey there Chantal. Thanks for visiting the Mess, it’s always wonderful to meet other passionate foodies/bloggers from around the world. I’d love you to try some of the recipes… do let me know what you think! I’m liking your blog too, I’ve just popped over to take a look now! x

  4. Hello Laura,
    I’m Abbie, author of the blog Needs Salt (http://www.everythingneedssalt.com), and I’m planning on doing a guestpost series for the month of May. I would absolutely love it if you would participate!
    I love your blog and I must say all your posts look absolutely delicious and amazing. It would be a total honor for me to feature you in a post on my blog! Please let me know if you’re interested in guestposting for me. You can reach me at yawningelephants@gmail.com. (The deadline for guestpost submission is going to be Wednesday, May 7th.) I hope you can participate!
    -Abbie @ everythingneedssalt.com

    • Hello there Abbie, I appreciate the thought but I’ll need a bit more info before deciding whether I can participate. The month of May is looking rather full at present and the 7th isn’t very far away! I’ll email you x

    • Hello there! Thanks so much for the kind words, it’s always wonderful to meet other friends in the blogosphere! Looking forward to sharing recipes and stories with you!

  5. Hi Laura, what a find! Thanks for coming to my blog, it is so wonderful to read yours. Your photos are amazing and I am looking forward to browsing through many more posts. Nicole xx

    • Haaha, thanks Evie! I think the best thing about cooking is being able to eat the deliciousness afterwards ;) That’s what drives me on the rare day when I can’t be bothered :) Thanks for the sweet comment. Love your blog too! xx

  6. Hello, Laura! We sound pretty similar (apart from the red hair and match-stick arms … don’t have those ;-) Love what I’ve seen of your blog so far and looking forward to ‘getting to know you’ a little here. Which part of Australia are you living in?

    • Hi there Helen! Haha… maybe be grateful that you don’t have the matchstick arms (my husband gets great delight over getting me to ‘flex my biceps’ which end up looking like little sticks with bumps on them). Thanks for the kind words. I’m in Western Australia. Kind of isolated but I love it :) How about you?

  7. Laura, I am living a slightly (very?) complicated life right now. I’ve been living in Athens Greece for many years but I’m originally from the UK. I got married to an Aussie a little over a year ago though so we have been going backwards and forwards between Greece, the UK and Perth for the last two years. We’ve just found out that we have to go back over to Perth for the next few months as well. I’ve just about got my head around it now and so looking forward to joining you over there in the southern hemisphere very soon!

    • I’m so sorry for missing your message Shini! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope that you’re enjoying the blogging process, I think it’s heaps of work but lots of fun :) I look forward to getting to know each other better in future! x

    • Aw thank Mila! Sorry for taking so long to reply to this, I haven’t been up to date with my blog at all recently. I’m happy that you found me too and I look forward to sharing recipes and stories together! xx

  8. Hi Laura-
    Are you interested in participating in a “writing process blog tour”? It’s loads of great bloggers answering these four questions-
    What are you working on?
    How does your work differ from others of its genre?
    Why do you write what you do?
    How does your writing process work?

    You can check out Nell’s post who asked me to participate-
    http://ineedafeed.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/writing-process-blog-tour/

    my email is wendyellen68@googlemail.com

    Thanks! wendy

    • Hey lovely Wendy! Thanks for the invitation, I’ve never heard of the writing process tour but it does sound like a worthy thing to be involved in. Very interesting to see other people’s responses! I’ll have a think about it xx

    • Oh you! I’ve just headed over to your blog to take a look at your post but THANKYOU so much for the kind words! I will definitely always be a supporter of your blogging journey, you’re doing an amazing job and I’m excited to see what happens as time passes. Unfortunately I stopped accepting blog awards some time ago but I do appreciate it hugely. Hugs xx

  9. Hi Laura, I’ve just randomly came across to your blog and I can not stop reading it :) I love your style and the contents of your site! Im looking forward to getting to know you better! :)

    • I’m sorry for taking so long to reply to this Yana, I’m still away overseas so my internet access has been very sporadic. It’s wonderful to meet you! I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed my blog so far and I definitely look forward to getting to know you too! Your blog looks wonderful so far… I look forward to reading more :) Hugs x

    • Thanks so much Caran! I apologise for taking so long to reply to this, being away from home hasn’t helped my blogging updates at all! It’s wonderful to meet you and I’m glad that you enjoy the blog. It’s a fun process for me, too :) Laura x

  10. Hi Laura,

    What a fantastic blog you have, truly inspiring dishes… So humble yet so deliciously delectable. I just spent the day trawling through your blog as well as Matts – I should have been working :)

    I am looking forward to going home to try out your recipes – especially the Pork Carnitas Tacos.

    xx

    • Thanks so much Amber, so great to meet you!!! Matt and I are great buddies so I am glad that you enjoyed reading both of our ramblings… we have similar cooking styles in many ways. Let me know if you try any of the recipes and whether anything needs work. I am always interested to see if things work in other people’s kitchens. Oh, and the tacos… YES! One of my faves! xx

    • Oh Divina, thanks so much for stopping back to say hello, it means a lot to me, too! Connecting with other people is one of my favourite things about blogging. I appreciate and value you heaps! My laptop is still broken so it is difficult for me to check back on your blog right now but I will as soon as I can. Hugs and thanks again! X

  11. Hi Laura, I have cooked you slow roasted lamb a number of times recently and it is delicious.

    Could you please post the recipes for the beetroot with the lemony dressing and the feta and tomato one too

    Much appreciated

    • Hi Anna, thanks for the lovely feedback! I will endeavour to post the sides for you – I can’t quite remember what you’re making reference to (I often just create little side dishes without a recipe, it’s a bad habit as I forget what I put in them!) but the beets in particular sound familiar. I’m setting aside some cooking time this coming Friday so I’ll see what I can do! Thanks again, so encouraging to know that people are enjoying my kind of food! xx

  12. Hi Laura, I have just stumbled on your blog and love it! I am an ‘ex-pat’ also and have had t adapt my cooking to life in France. You have some lovely unusual combinations here. I would like to follow, you can’t see how (not very technical) I also live in a shoebox and my kitchen is barely more than a cupboard. Lindy

    • Hi Lindy, so nice to hear from you! If you’re logged into your wordpress account there should be a black bar across the top of your browser with a ‘follow’ button. That way you will get my posts in your wordpress reader. Otherwise, just subscribe via email (click ‘follow blog via email’ in the sidebar menu on the right). We definitely sound like we have similar living environments, I hope that you’re loving France (I’ve only been to Paris, I would love to explore the countryside one day!) xx

  13. Hi Laura,

    Thanks so much for your awesome comments at my website recently. I’m glad you liked the Zucchini Pasta and Turmeric Chai! I’m loving your posts and photography, your styling is beautiful. I’ll be back to check it out in more detail but I just wanted to say great work and keep it up. Keep smiling :)

    • You’re lovely Shamira! I appreciate the kind words and it’s so good to be able to follow your food adventures too! Sending you hugs (late ones, I have no idea how I missed this – I’m sorry!) xx

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