A boy who yells

This little baby is becoming a boy. A boy who will not stay still. And likes to yell.

A cardboard gingerbread house

 I don't know who had more fun. Me making the play house or Max eating it.

A Sunday afternoon

Sitting at my desk on a Sunday afternoon I heard a familiar refrain. Looking out the window and who did I see? Mr Whippy of course.

Black sand

Fierce, dangerous and beautiful. 
West coast beaches intimidate and set you free. 

Another cake

Another cake post? What is this? A food blog?
Life at the moment is still about sorting boxes and finding our way around our new home. I guess I'm turning to baking and cooking as a creative outlet while I get my desk in order.
This cake is simple and delicious. It's very sweet and probably best warm as a pudding with cream. Although it worked pretty well for morning tea on a chilly day. The recipe comes from Nigel Slater, who I have a foodie crush on at the moment.

Honey pear cake

3 medium-sized pears

2 tbsp honey
40g butter

50g soft brown sugar

1 tbsp of 
vanilla extract
for the cake:
125g butter
125g raw sugar

2 eggs
1 tbsp of milk

125g flour

1 tsp baking powder

Peel, core and halve the pears, place them in a saucepan and add enough water to cover the fruit then cook at a simmer till softened, but still firm enough to hold their shape. Leave them in the syrup till you need them. ( If they are very ripe you can skip this stage.  I did.)

Cream the butter, soft brown sugar, honey and vanilla extract till light and fluffy. Spread over the base of non-stick 20cm round cake tin. (I used a slightly bigger ring tin.)

Drain the pears and place them on top of the honey cream. Make the cake mix, by creaming the butter and sugar till soft and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour if they start to curdle. Sieve the baking powder and flour and fold into the mixture. Smooth over the top of the pears (it won't look like enough, but it is). Bake for about 45 minutes at 160˚C/Gas 4 until golden. It will still be quite moist.

Leave to calm down for half an hour or so before turning out on to a plate. Serve warm, with cream.


Etchings into soft rock or old wood. There's something that speaks of angst and rebellion in them. These carvings at Point Chevalier beach reminded me of my own teenage years. I've just been going through (and throwing out) all my old CD's. Talk about teenage angst!

My favourite cake

Banana cake tastes better in NZ. I don't know why. But whenever I made it in Holland it was quite a heavy dense cake. And now it tastes the way I remember it- lighter and with a crisper chewier top.

I was so certain I have shared this recipe here but I can't find the post. So here it is again(?), just because it's my favourite. It's based on the classic Edmonds recipe.

Banana cake

125 g butter
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1 C mashed bananas
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp hot milk
2 C plain baking flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp of cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add mashed banana and mix thoroughly. Stir baking soda into hot milk and add to mixture. Sift in flour, baking powder and cinnamon.

Pour batter into a buttered ring cake tin. Bake at 180°C for about 35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. When cool, dust with icing sugar. I find this to be such a sweet cake, it doesn't really need icing.


Something I read the other day which just rang true:
"Much of our busy-ness comes from fear that we should be doing more, that we might be missing out, that we aren’t enough already. But we are enough, and we don’t need more, and we aren’t missing out. So we can let go of a lot of unnecessary activity, and just focus on doing what we love, and give ourselves the space to enjoy a contented life."

Leo Babauta

Stolen Flower #3

7 Surrey Crescent


I have few photos of Sarah looking this happy. It was so good to see her after nearly three years. Funny how old friends can either get better with age or simply fall away. After everything changes, its good to find something that hasn't.

A new neighbourhood friend

I went for a walk with Max in our new neighbourhood and we met this fine fellow.

I can't get over how tropical Auckland is. Palms and ferns and hibiscuses. Gardens left to run a bit riot. Humidity and rain and hot sun. It's wonderful.

Tones of home

I feel more at home now than I have in years.