read ’em and eat

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Read ’em

I love this poster. I really wish I had eaten more watermelon this summer. Something to work on for next year.

These little podcasts from Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love and a new book which I want to read) are interesting and inspiring. The latests one with Brene Brown (who is amazing) is a really great talk on creativity!

Why we shouldn’t feel embarrassed about bettering ourselves.

I love this advertising campaign from Kate Spade. Anna Kendrik is one of my favourites.


I made this vegan creamy red pepper pasta sauce with a few tweaks for dinner this week. I was too lazy to do anything besides throw the peppers and a whole garlic bulb in the oven. Once they were baked I threw the peppers in the blender with the garlic and some cashew nuts I had soaked for about 30 minutes. Added water, harissa spices (currently my favourite thing) and two table spoons of nutritional yeast (they really should have come up with a better name for that one).

It is a great Sunday evening dinner when you don’t feel like cooking. Roasting some vegetables and throwing in a blender is as easy as you can get for a cooked healthy meal.

My latest trick is to also roast a couple peppers at the beginning of the week for use in a variety of dishes during the week, an easy tomato soup, as a sandwich topping or addition to a veggie bowl.

read ’em and eat


I can’t believe it is nearly August! Even though we are still on ‘holiday’ we are back home and I am trying to get back into routines, starting to plan for the coming months, getting back to some semi-regular blogging and start preparing for the course I will be teaching next year (which involves amongst other things the book hiding under my kindle there).

So in honour of the getting back to blogging here is a ‘read ’em and eat’.

read ’em

Off the internet I have just finished reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. I had only read Murakami’s short stories After the Quake before and his writing and story telling is a bit different from what I usually read. This book is looonnnnggg (it took me two weeks to read including full days of reading sitting on the beach) but I did enjoy it in the end. It has a touch of the magical realism which I am a big fan of. The Guardian has an in-depth review if you want to find out more before committing to it.

On the internet:

I have been having gazpacho almost every day this week because there is no way I am cooking in the heat. If I can find some yellow tomatoes this version might start making rounds.

Honour your limits has me thinking.

On Instagram I just started following: the cutest bunny you will ever see and the dictionary of obscure sorrows which is words instead of pictures but beautifully written and although I am not one to lean towards sorrow it is necessary to appreciate joy.


After a month away from our blender I am loving having smoothies back. I am trying to up the veggie quotient in them and a smoothie we had in a town in Japan inspired me. Yellow peppers.

Ingredients: one cubes frozen spinach | one banana (frozen if you have) | one yellow pepper | one nectarine (or other stone fruit) | handful sunflower seeds | scoop hemp protein | water and ice

Blend and serves two generous portions.

Do you have any secret veggie suggestions?

read ’em and eat


Not a normal Monday post but I had issues connecting to wordpress on Sunday and then I was out for the night. So here you go a few read ’ems that have been hanging around for a while.

Read ’em

Loving this new blog find with a very powerful message Women Against Negative Talk. She has a way with words.

I am building up my summer reading list and these are looking good.

With our trip to Japan imminent this Japanese photographer is inspiring me. Their use of light and limited space is beautiful.

I am liking this idea of a power hour.

A reminder about this book that you should read (or at least watch the video links)


Due to my breakfasts becoming a bit more of the same but different fair with the smoothies, I thought I would open this up a bit. Still not really a recipe but more a suggestion.

I made a version of this sandwich for lunch a few weeks back and it is so good I have made it at least 6 times since. Here is my combo:

  • cannellini beans crushed with olive oil and salt (the lazy person’s hummus you could say).
  • provolone cheese (because we don’t get cheddar here)
  • rocket
  • gherkin
  • artichokes
  • pesto

It’s good. You should make it. I now think I might become a sandwich convert again. In fact this one might be next on my list to try.

read ’em and eat



Just a light list this week. I want to go our and play with the sun!

We are never ready. If only I knew what I wasn’t ready for …

I love these paintings found via The Jealous Curator. I think it must be because they are so photographic.

These cookies look delicious and no making required.

Wisdom from Instagram.


I made another winner of a smoothie this week. Actually two but I shared the other one (apples and hazelnut) on Instagram.

This one used just a few leaves of chard (it is chard right?) that I picked up because it had a pretty colour. I learnt a lesson last week that a smoothie can have too much green in it so I added just a wee bit to my smoothie. Light green is better than no green right?

Anyway the ingredients for 2 servings are:

  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 milled flaxseed
  • 2 frozen mango slices (I assume it is about 1/3 of a fresh mango)
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 blood orange
  • 3 or more leaves of chard
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (heaped)
  • 2 cups water

read ’em and eat

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I think Freya’s key to happiness is such a perfect insight.

Every few months I resolve to be better at staying in touch with my friends around the world. And mostly I fail but this is a beautiful idea to keep connected with your global community that I might steal.

Thanks to my friend Donald I discovered the five minute journal this week. You can buy the app, an actual journal or they share the whole journal (which has some research and explanations) as an Issuu so you can read it and then just go make your own journal with a notebook you have lying around. Admittedly I have just done the latter because I didn’t like the idea of doing it on my phone and I wanted to start straight away. It is definitely a really helpful tool in helping me to live my word for the year, Intentional. I have now done it for five days but have changed the ‘gratitude’ question slightly in line with advice from Marie Forleo about making gratitude more precise.

I made this beetroot soup the other day. I have to say I was a bit … scared … about what beetroot soup would taste like but it was really good. And it felt so healthy I was sure I lost weight just eating it! (Okay maybe not but it felt like I was getting all the good stuff). Plus with the little bit that was left-over I added it to an abundance bowl as a dressing. I love multitasking food.

I think I might take up Rosie’s call for learning/re-learning a skill. I have a few in mind, I just need to get some materials …


I haven’t had too many exciting breakfasts since my return to Italy. This morning I met a friend for coffee though and this is the standard Italian breakfast out. Un brioche con cioccolato e un capo in b, per favore. Seriously I don’t know how they stay so slim! I don’t often have this for breakfast. In fact this is probably the first time in about 4 months, but sometimes you wake up late on a Sunday and are eager to catch up with a friend. A ‘capo in b‘ is short speak for a cappuccino in bicchiere (a glass). The cappuccino’s in Trieste are much smaller in size than the rest of Italy. Just an espresso glass size. Which is plenty big enough for me. Also Trieste is the only place (as far as I know) where you ask for a coffee like that. Even an espresso is called a ‘nero’ (black).

There you go a little lesson on coffee in Trieste. This year I plan to share a little more about the city which I hope you will enjoy. At some point I will also pull out my actual camera to start taking pictures again!

our traditional christmas dessert


For at least the last five years (if not longer) my mother has been making a twist on bread and butter pudding for our Christmas dessert. As I won’t be with her this year I asked for the recipe so that I could make it in South Africa. I tried it out on the weekend to have with friends at a “friendly Christmas” (I think that is an appropriate name for a Christmas celebration with friends). I don’t have a recipe as such as my mom just makes it by magical mom skills but I thought I would share with you what we do.


  • a large panettone (I used a 750g one)
  • butter
  • apricot jam (although I am thinking fig jam or a cranberry jam would be pretty awesome too)
  • 1 pot double cream and  (you don’t actually get this in Italy so I used marscapone)
  • 1 pot single cream
  • milk as necessary (I used almond milk)
  • 4-5 eggs (depending on size, I used 5)
  • raisins (soaked in juice)
  • brown sugar


Slice the panettone and make sandwiches with the jam and butter. I cut from the bottom so I have rounds which I think quarter to make little triangles. Place them in a dish with the little triangles pointing up.

Separately combine the single cream, double cream, milk, eggs and a bit of sugar (I just sprinkled it in) and beat until combined. Making this marscapone it kind of separated strangely but cooked to look fine.

Sprinkle the raisins over the sandwich ‘spread’ and the slowly coat with the liquid. It should  come as high as possible in your dish (although not cover the top of the sandwich peaks). Leave to sit for a while if you can. Then pop the pudding into the oven for 45 minutes to an hour at 180 degrees. Keep an eye on it to make sure the peaks don’t burn.

Serve with custard or ice-cream. It makes about 8 portions and is great for breakfast the next day!

Also check out my guest post on Leanne’s blog about what Christmas is to me.