Cookbook Classic – HOME by Unna Burch 

I have a confession to make.

I have a secret.

Well to be honest it’s not so secret!

I am a cookbook hoarder. If you have every watched Nigella Lawson you would have seen her cookbook library. It is probably the most epic thing I have ever seen in my life. A whole room dedicated to her love of cookbooks.

In all honesty I just love all books but cookbooks are for me next level. Flicking through the pages of a cookbook take you on a journey. Regardless if you ever actually cook from it.

The very talented Unna Burch from The Forest Cantina has recently self published her 2nd cookbook called Home and it really is like visiting her home.

Unna self published via Kickstarter. As a backer I was lucky enough to be part of her Auckland styling/photography workshop she did last year. Unna has an amazing presence about her. It’s really hard to describe how rad she is. But she is pretty dang amazing.  She take simple styling to the next level and watching her work was mindblowing. From the placement of a leaf or seed to added props and textures it really was like watching a master at work.

Bonnie Beattie art director and lifestyle photography for Home visually told the story an a way that captured a moment in time.

Home is a collection of recipes which Unna says is her home cooking. Not only is Home a cookbook it looks at lifestyle. From good food to growing your own produce, to raising chickens for the perfect coloured egg (check out The Forest Cantina on Instagram to see what I mean) and giving you an insight into urban bee-keeping. After reading it I was ready to buy hives, rent an allotment and buy some chooks. Then I realised I would be really shit at all of those things so i’ll just stick to the cooking!!

Stand out recipes from the book for us have been the Diner Style Pancakes – easy to make (as I could NEVER make the Edmonds cookbook ones).  Once you try these you will never lower yourself to buy those shaker pancakes again.

Meatloaf with a BBQ glaze is now a firm fixture on our dinner menu.  What I love most is the fact not only is it freaking delicious, it does us two dinners so it saves me time!! We have it with spuds and veggies on night one and the leftovers we have meatloaf burgers with wedges. It’s even good cold and Unna gives a great recipe for Meatloaf sammies.

We have also tried the super fast egg foo young. This is genius and perfect when you have those moments of “I can’t be bothered cooking” and it actually tastes better than takeaways!

I am slowly working my way through the book and I can’t wait to spend a weekend in the kitchen making Nana Kui’s beetroot chutney, jalapeno – cranberry jelly and giving Unna’s ramen bone broth a crack.

Home is definitely a book you will cook from as well as escape in the beautiful images that Unna and Bonnie have captured. If you want to be inspired to cook I say go with Home.

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DOT DASH + SABEN GIVEAWAY

I love Saben.

Silly as it may sound my Tilly has changed my life.

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Saben Tilly in Ink

What is even funnier, is that when I have been prattling on about how much I love her people have got one and found the same sort of life changing love.

My love grew when Camden came into my life.

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Now Tilly gets to rides shotgun in Camden for the big jobs like our latest trip to Melbourne.

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It is a win win situation.

Talking of winning ………

Saben have VERY kindly given me a Camden to giveaway to one lucky Dot Dash follower.

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All you need to do is click the link below and your in to WIN!

http://dgo.nz/bzZjsLuG4422

Don’t forget to tag your friends on our Facebook page so you can share the love!!

BIG, HUGE and McMASSIVE thank you to the Saben team for making this possible.

BLISS BALLS

I have an announcement.

I am no longer a maker of bliss ball virgin. My cherry has been popped.

Now I have eaten my fair share of them but to be honest I just couldn’t be bothered making them. I barely have time to pee in peace let alone get amongst a bliss ball recipe.

So I sucked it up got Mr almost 4 involved and it was actually surprisingly easy and he LOVED it!

When LUXE Fitness approached me to try their new protein powder I was a little dubious. I don’t do shakes and I definitely don’t do smoothies. Don’t get me wrong I like the idea but it’s a textural thing for me and I instantly feel like gagging …. moving on, even the thought is making me gag!

Instead of using it in a shake or smoothie I decided to check out their website of recipes and there in all it’s orby lucious goodness (channeling my inner Nigella here!) were the peanut protein balls.

In true me fashion I didn’t have half of the things in my cupboard so I took their recipe and threw my spin on it.

Crunchy Peanut Bliss Balls

1.5 cups oats
1 cup of pitted dates
1/2 cup LUXE protein powder
4 TBSP GO superfood Cacao powder
1/2 – 3/4 cup of crunchy peanut butter (we used Pic’s PB)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (we used Equagold vanilla paste)
water to bind

Method

It’s pretty darn simple. Chuck everything into your food processor. Blitz til everything in combined. Add water until it comes together.

Use a teaspoon and roll into balls. Dust with the Cacao powder and you are done.

Very Berry Bliss Balls

1.5 cups oats
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup LUXE protein powder
2 TBSP GO superfood Cacao powder
1 tsp GO superfood Camu Camu powder (if you don’t have this just add more raspberries)
1/2 – 3/4 cup FRESH AS freeze dried raspberries
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (we used Equagold vanilla paste)
water to bind
1/4 cup desiccated coconut (to rolls balls)

Method

It’s pretty darn simple. Chuck everything into your food processor. Blitz til everything in combined. Add water until it comes together.

Use a teaspoon and roll into balls. Crush the freeze dried raspberries into a powder and mix with the coconut. Roll the balls in the coconut and raspberry mix and your are done.

The only downside to this whole exercise is that I had to borrow my mother’s food processor because we don’t have one. Then I remembered why …….. they are a complete B***H to clean!

J x

SUMMER IS IN THE AIR

GUESS WHAT ?!?

Today is the first day of spring, which means summer is not that far away.

Here are a few of my favourite summer essentials.

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HATS:

Hats are my thing. There are two kinds of people in the world. People who can wear hats and people who can’t. Take my Grandfather for example, he was one of those individuals who could NOT wear a hat. Be it fedora, baker boy or cap it was just a big fat NO! Luckily I didn’t inherit that gene. Hat’s  for me add a little “something something” to an outfit and summer is the best time to play around with all manner of head wear (without fear of it blowing off).  Let’s also remember a good hat protects out faces from the old UV rays that can crisp up our skin. So hats are practical and stylish. It’s a win win.


BAGS:

If you have been following me on Instagram or Facebook you would have seen my Tilly from Saben EVERYWHERE! I love her. I eyed her up in-store and wanted to give her a home. She finally became part of our family on my birthday (thank you husband, all those hints worked!). Tilly will change your life. I actually mean it. As Shakespeare said “she may be little but she is fierce” Tilly is this. Little but will fit your WHOLE life in her pockets. As a mum of two little ones we still have to take our “baby bag” with us and to be honest I ain’t got time for a baby bag, big ass hand bag and the kitchen sink. Tilly fits inside our baby bag or whatever we have with us. Yes Tilly is an investment but it’s one I would make again as I think Tilly is getting lonely and needs a new friend.

Saben Tilly in Ink
Saben Tilly in Ink

SHOES:

I don’t know about you but in summer I tend to always live in my black haviana jandels. Comfortable but a little bit boring. Last year I found Lulu Avarcas on Instagram and instantly wanted them. Beautiful handcrafted leather sandals which are so bloody comfy you won’t want to take them off. The only problem I have with them is that there are so many colours to choose from and I want one in every colour! Even better they have just released a kids range. Matchy Matchy!

Lulu Avarcas in Gold
Lulu Avarcas in Gold

CLOTHES:

I am a comfort kinda gal. I love a good pair of denim shorts and a tee. Last year I lived in my Factorie rolled cuffed denim shorts – To be honest I am probably a bit old for this shop BUT I went for a bigger size so they were a bit longer so my kooch wasn’t hanging out!! My go to tees are a basic tee from Glassons or Gypsy Pirate who always do a great range of tees and singlets for summer.


SUN PROTECTION:

Living in New Zealand regardless of skin tone we MUST look after it in the summer months. I’m a burner, like crispy bacon burnt if I don’t wear sunscreen. Frankie Apothecary does an amazing all natural sunscreen and bug repellent. Great for me, great for the kids and I love the fact it doesn’t leave that horrid greasy feeling on your skin and it moisturises  it too. One less thing for me to do over summer!

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TANNING:

I am potentially the palest person you will ever meet. I don’t go brown, I don’t tan, I just go red, then white again. If I could change one thing about myself it wouldn’t be my boobs or my jiggly mummy tummy, it would be my ability to tan. I know this probably sounds bloody ridiculous but them pale person problems! I love a tan that is instant, I don’t have the time to wait around for a tan to develop because 90% of the time I choose an outfit then think “F**K! I need to tan my legs!” Eco Tan have just launched their new Cacao Firming Mousse, this bad boy takes an hour to develop a beautiful caramel colour and if your like me I leave it on overnight without washing it of you will be one bronzed babe.  In the next week or so I will post some before and after shots so you can see the results. Eco Tan is nasty stuff free, vegan friendly and cruelty free.

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These are my summer essentials. All I need to do now is work on my bikini body …..

yeah right !?!

Jess x

 

 

 

LOCAL IS THE NEW BLACK

It is very “on trend” to shop small and invest in the local businesses around you.   As a small business owner myself I love buying from fellow small business hustlers.  There is a great quote about shopping small and buying local.

When buying from a small business you are not helping a CEO buy their 3rd holiday home.  You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy to play his favourite sport, you are putting food on the table for a family and paying a mortgage.  Customers for small businesses are the shareholders and they are the ones who they strive to make happy.

This is 100% TRUE.

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The other side of the coin is the ethical reasoning behind the notion of shopping small.

Now don’t get me wrong, I shop at the big chain stores as much as the next person.  However I always think when I eye up that $4 tee or the $15 shorts, how can they be made so cheap and make a profit?

I am not writing this to embark on a ethical clothing debate or slack off large companies. My purpose is that of awareness.

The Baptists World Aid 2015 Fashion Report released data stating that only 5% of the 128 brand surveyed, paid their workers a living wage that met their BASIC needs.  The good news is that they did see a 90% improvement in brands making the conscious decision to be ethically responsible since the 2013 survey.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that we can always get something cheaper somewhere else but at what ethical cost?

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Food for thought, don’t you think?