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    Archived pages: 560 . Archive date: 2014-10.

  • Title: treehousekitchen
    Descriptive info: .. treehousekitchen.. Skip to content.. Home.. About.. Elsewhere.. Header image archives.. In other people s words.. Roaming.. China.. Spain I.. Spain II.. Spain III.. Spain IV.. Morocco I.. Morocco II.. Portugal I.. Portugal II.. London and Paris.. Singapore.. Recipes.. Eating Out.. Progress.. Jabberwocky.. Links.. Older posts.. On dithering and moving.. Posted on.. February 1, 2013.. |.. Leave a comment.. I learn by going where I have to go.. ~ Theodore Roethke.. Another hot day in an atypical string of consecutively hot days.. Three of us sat like stuffed turkeys in the front of a large van, waiting to get out of the oven.. The streets held plenty to look at.. Cookie Monsters, aspiring Egyptians and Peacocks.. , just to name a few! We rumbled on and I waved back at a few tipsy Peacocks and eventually we arrived.. We fell out of the oven, sweating disgustingly.. My stuff made its way into my new abode on perspiring arms.. I moved flats.. And, as I have been so lucky to be able to keep saying I like my new flatmates, and they seem okay with me! For the first time since who-knows-when, I let myself put a few things on the wall.. That felt good.. Something else feels good, too: writing this post right now, even though I kind of don t want to, because I m ashamed / afraid / unwilling to tell you this:.. That somewhere between melting in the sun, the Cookie Monster sightings and putting things up on the wall, I addressed the Time Machine in my Head.. You ve got to stop, I said.. You see, the Time Machine in my Head keeps wanting me to live in the past or the future, ALL the time.. It wants me to be sensible, or be sad, or worry, or get trapped in indecision, or settle down, or move out, or just be a hundred people in a single day.. And so I go east, then west; pack up, then try to stay put; buy a week s worth of groceries before eating out three days out of five.. And so I.. murder blogs.. , then.. start them up again.. , then write, then try to quit writing.. And so I love this city, hate this city, and learn that home is lovely and imperfect and ever-changing and smile-inducing and confusing and ultimately a place which forces and welcomes you, always, to be.. And so I m finishing up on this blog, again.. Thank you for reading for commenting for journeying with me.. Blogging is so much more fun with you!.. P.. S.. Social media tool-wielding friends, please note I have changed my Twitter account name to.. @mwrites_.. and gotten rid of the Facebook page!.. Posted in.. All.. ,.. Tagged.. blog.. move.. new.. site.. Gluten and dairy-free for a week? Will try.. January 15, 2013.. 7 comments.. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.. ~ Thomas Edison.. It s interesting, what and how you eat, when necessity (e.. g.. travel, budget, health) dictates that you change something.. Years ago, I had abdominal pain and bloating that left me writhing on the ground or pushing my stomach against a pole in an attempt to soothe the pain.. A doctor thought I had.. IBS.. , but he wasn t sure.. The episodes ended after high school.. So who knows maybe it was just high school which can really be quite bad for health in itself ;-).. Then at university, changes in diet, weather, lifestyle, etc saw my weight hit an all-time high: something I disliked mildly but more or less ignored until one day I tried running across the road and experienced a sensation like that of my knees giving way.. That was a little unsettling.. Still, diets were not made for people like me force on me restrictions like that and I ll do double the damage.. After I graduated, 10kg of that excess weight evaporated.. Not sure how.. Maybe Wellington s wind blew it away.. Most of the time, with travel, moving country three times and discovering new and exciting foods, health tends to come last when good food is in front of me.. Luckily, I don t tend to like overly oily / processed / creamy things anyway, but I avoid them solely because I don t like their taste.. Anything else, if it s to my taste, I eat.. Even if I feel terrible afterwards.. I don t think I ve blogged much about this (if ever? Hmm) it s always just been so good to concentrate on the joy and beauty of cooking, food and all that.. As I am sure you know!.. So for a while now, I have been allowing many moments of eating anything I want and bearing any subsequent discomfort like a reluctant soldier.. I haven t experienced abdominal pain as severe since high school, anyway.. But over the last months, I ve noticed changes yet again in my body.. It hasn t been so well.. When I look into the mirror, nothing seems amiss.. But I guess I ve gotten used to just not feeling that great.. For much of it I attribute it to other things you know, change, work, sleep, etc (all of which certainly play a role) but lately I begin to wonder whether changing my diet significantly might make a difference.. Because when I list the symptoms puffy eyes, bloating, a terrible fatigue that strikes at random, headaches, etc I think, hmm, that s not so good.. Somehow I manage to carry on working and doing other things, rushing sometimes to make up for lost time spent lying down, but this last Sunday I fell in pain into a steaming bath for over an hour, and thought I should probably do something now.. One of my dear friends has recently had to make huge changes in her diet due to an autoimmune disease changes which I know other people have made for their own reasons too.. These are changes that I understand mostly and imagine must be difficult to implement.. In a world of fresh pastries, butter, milk-and-cookies and friends who tend to eat mostly anything, who would choose to be gluten and dairy-free? I have never seriously considered doing this, since I have not been diagnosed with anything that requires it.. Anyway.. When I received the news from my friend, I was very sympathetic.. It s a way of eating that is easy to mostly ignore until you are a dinner host with a gluten-free friend to cater for.. But what about.. being.. unable to take gluten and dairy (or any other things) without being ill? Having to learn a whole new way of relating to food and nourishing oneself? Having to cope with people thinking you are just being difficult or chasing after a health fad? Having to change the way you shop for groceries, spend more than you used to, stop eating at your favourite cafes and walk past bakeries without acting on your resentment?.. Frankly, I almost think I d rather keep on being sick.. But this week, I am going to try to stick to gluten and dairy-free eating in support of my friend, and so we can exchange notes too so far so good, though the banana and chocolate muffins I made last night are getting increasingly hard to ignore.. I ve eaten, so far, Ceres s brown rice cakes; gluten-free pasta spirals with zucchini, tomato, paprika, chilli and basil; coffee with almond milk and, the VERY BEST THING two fresh figs.. Oh my goodness! Figs send me into a state bordering on wild frenzy.. While I don t know if I want to totally change my diet right now, and actually I am a  ...   philippines.. A biscuit from long ago.. December 20, 2012.. 2 comments.. Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do.. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.. ~ F.. Scott Fitzgerald.. Mom fished these out of the pantry today, much to my amazement.. I don t think I ve seen or thought about this breed of biscuit in over a decade.. I still don t know what they are called, and in a sense, it doesn t matter.. I popped one into my mouth.. It made me want to reach out and stroke Time s cheek.. 2 Comments.. Caramelised onions, rapid ragù and a diary you should buy.. December 6, 2012.. 5 comments.. Don t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right.. Just dance.. ~ Anne Lamott.. Today has been one fantastic day.. For a while now, I have felt a soul and body sensation somewhat akin to constant choking.. There have been many moments where my mind kept saying dooooon t wooooorrryyy or sloooooow down! while my body and heart fluttered with anxiety and insomnia.. I really, really don t want to see another night-to-day transition happen outside the window while the rest of New Zealand (except fellow insomniacs or night-shift workers) get to play in Dreamland.. I guess the year s been a little crazy.. It s been unspeakably wonderful in a thousand different ways,.. and.. it s also driven me completely out of my comfort zone.. I ve been living out of a suitcase for seven months, and I ve been in 12 cities in three countries this year.. That s not much for people on an OE or for people who love ongoing plan-less spontaneity, but I m not either of those things.. Right, first world problems.. Got it.. They re still a little tough :-o.. (The First World Problem Lady Whines).. Recently, in the midst of a dark passage of stress and insomnia, I came to a very important realisation.. That now is the BEST time to learn contentment, resilience, calm and all those quality things.. Today, I woke up, peered into the mirror and said, I like your life.. I don t want ANY OTHER.. After I said it, I was surprised to realise that I really meant it.. I really wouldn t want to be anyone else.. I m really happy being me, with my personality, strengths, flaws, relationships, circumstances and all.. And then a few really, really good things happened.. I m still smiling as I type this.. One of those things is that I *finally* got my hands on a.. Kiwi Diary.. ! My friend Cathy told me about them a few years ago, and for some reason they stayed elusive until today! At.. Commonsense Organics.. they sat on the counter like they had been waiting for me all along (okay, slight exaggeration, but only a slight one)!.. It s every bit as beautiful, compact and spacious as I wanted my 2013 diary to be.. Don t you want one too?.. Another good thing that happened today was that I felt in the mood to Cook Properly.. Dinner was started and finished in an hour and turned out nicely, and my lovely flatmate Jono helped me to eat it AND booted me out of the kitchen afterwards to tackle the dishes :-).. Here s the approximate recipe, if you d like it.. As always, I recommend cooking by sight, smell, taste and instinct.. Pappardelle with rapid ragù and caramelised onions.. Ingredients:.. Caramelised onions:.. Olive oil.. 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced.. pinch of cinnamon.. 1 tbsp demerara sugar (or use normal).. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.. The rest of the dish:.. 225g dried pappardelle (packet said 2 servings).. 1 tbsp butter.. 3 cloves garlic.. 450g mince.. 1 sprig rosemary*.. 1 sprig thyme*.. 1 carrot, peeled and diced.. 1 zucchini, diced.. 400g canned diced tomatoes.. 3 tbsp tomato paste or passata.. 1/2 cup red wine.. Salt.. Black pepper.. 3/4 tbsp demerara sugar (or use normal).. Method:.. Over medium-high heat, glaze the bottom of a skillet with approximately 3 tbsp of olive oil.. Once it s warm, fling open the windows and throw in the onions.. Cook for 15-20 minutes, adjusting the heat as required and stirring occasionally to avoid it burning.. It should be smelling pretty great and turning slowly golden-brown.. Add in a pinch of cinnamon, breathe in deeply.. Stir well.. After 5 minutes, add in the sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes till it s all rich, brown and soft.. Pour them into a bowl.. Turn the heat up again.. Reusing the skillet, melt the butter, then add in the garlic and mince.. Stir well, and add in the herbs.. When the mince is partially cooked, add in the carrot and zucchini, and cook till the mince is just cooked.. Then pour in the wine, tomatoes and tomato paste, lower the heat and let it all simmer for around 20-30 minutes.. More time won t kill it just make sure it s simmering and not splattering.. At some point, stir in half of the caramelised onions (refrigerate the rest for another meal!), sugar and salt and pepper to taste.. 10 minutes before the sauce is due to be ready, bring water in a deep saucepan to a rolling boil.. Throw in some salt, then add in the pappardelle and cook according to packet instructions or till al dente.. Dish it up pappardelle on plate.. Ragù on top.. Serve immediately.. Yields 3 servings.. * I just used these because they were leftovers I had in the freezer feel free to substitute with fresh / dried herbs you have on hand.. 5 Comments.. Beef.. Pasta.. Recipes included.. caramelised onions.. cooking.. happy.. kiwi diary.. mince.. nz.. pappardelle.. ragù.. recipe.. sauce.. tomato.. Soft-boiled eggs.. December 5, 2012.. Maybe the problem with success is that we don’t take enough time to define it for ourselves.. ~ Eric Karjaluto, co-founder of smashLAB.. I find this terribly simple and profound: soft-boiled eggs cracked into a bowl, topped with a mini mountain of toast fragments and too much black pepper.. Sometimes I think I could eat this every day.. Eggs I love you!.. Breakfast.. eggs.. soft-boiled.. Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well.. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance.. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress.. ~ Charles Pierre Monselet, French journalist.. Subscribe in a reader.. Email me.. Search me.. Search for:.. Follow me on Twitter.. My Tweets.. Most read posts.. Ottolenghi s aubergine with buttermilk sauce and pomegranate.. A Spanish omelette, as inspired by Nigel Slater.. Talk back.. On dithering and moving | treehousekitchen.. on.. Hello, to say goodbye.. Mel on.. Bunny Eats Design.. Shirleen @ Sugar and Spice.. Bread.. Cakes Desserts.. Chicken.. Cookies.. Drinks.. Falling Cloudberries.. Fish Seafood.. Foodie Events.. Food sociology.. Giveaways.. Impromptu.. Jams, Dips Chutneys.. Lamb.. My Chef Friends.. Oops.. Products.. Soups.. Summer.. Sweet New Zealand.. Travelling.. Vegetables Salads.. Winter.. Breadcrumb Trails.. Select Month.. February 2013.. January 2013.. December 2012.. November 2012.. October 2012.. September 2012.. August 2012.. July 2012.. June 2012.. May 2012.. March 2012.. February 2012.. January 2012.. December 2011.. November 2011.. October 2011.. September 2011.. August 2011.. July 2011.. June 2011.. May 2011.. April 2011.. March 2011.. February 2011.. January 2011.. December 2010.. November 2010.. October 2010.. September 2010.. August 2010.. July 2010.. June 2010.. May 2010.. April 2010.. March 2010.. February 2010.. January 2010.. December 2009.. This work is licensed under a.. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.. 0 Unported License.. Banner by my talented friend Gudrun @.. Gudrun Barth Design.. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.. com.. The Coraline Theme.. treehousekitchen.. Add your thoughts here.. (optional).. Post to.. Cancel..

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  • Title: About | treehousekitchen
    Descriptive info: I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.. ~ George Washington.. Hello, my name is Mel.. When this blog was born.. , I was living in a flat in Wellington, New Zealand with three brilliant boys, in a place we affectionately nicknamed the Treehouse for the way we were surrounded by bush and trees.. Many very good and very bad things happened in that year.. I didn t write about most of it on this site, but suffice to say, I became well acquainted with my kitchen on many a sleepless night and crazy day!.. I spent over a year up in Auckland before embarking on a mini adventure overseas and am now back in the.. windy city.. , writing, working and enjoying my daily windswept, tousled look which comes together so effortlessly.. In many ways, it feels like I never left.. How Food caught me in a fishing net.. I was born and raised in Southeast Asia.. My childhood experience included wet markets, dumplings, snake soup, century egg congee, ducks tongues, travelling, and one short crazy ostrich ride (the last taking place on a trip to South Africa).. A few years ago, my family moved to one of the most beautiful countries in the world New Zealand.. I really only started cooking when I moved to a different city to pursue my degree.. We had cooking rosters in the various flats I lived in and as a result, hours of fun shopping on a budget, cooking together, eating some wonderful (and some less delightful) things.. Some of my best memories are of flat meals (by candlelight on occasion), baking with my neighbours and getting a duck-shaped birthday cake one year from my friend Tabitha.. One of my favourite things is can you tell? food.. What I love about food is that it is alive.. It connects us.. It is as vital as air.. It is an ever-present essential no matter where we are.. A colourful focus, a reason to gather, a starting point for new friendships, a must at every celebration, a relaxing ice breaker, and of course, a necessity for survival.. It s simple, complex, sensual.. I like food.. I really do.. I also like words.. Immensely.. This is where I document part of my journey with food, words, places, life and people.. I hope you enjoy your visit!.. Don t forget now.. Whether you are a first-time, closet or repeat visitor to my blog, I would LOVE to hear from you so please don t forget to leave me a comment before you go!.. You can also email me.. here.. (replace the [at] with @).. Like this:.. Like.. Loading.. 18 responses to.. Hellie.. |.. March 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm.. Reply.. Hallo :-).. Your website reminds me of  ...   think it s a great idea! Things have been super busy as of late but should calm down by next month, I think.. Feel free to email me and we can organise something, if you re still interested! :).. Beens.. July 3, 2010 at 1:53 am.. Hello!.. I m moving to NZ at the end of the month and have literally just started blogging about it! Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your blog, food is also a great love of mine (born in the UK to an Italian family).. Once I get settled I d love to talk food, life etc with like-minded people!.. In the meantime here is my brand-new baby blog:.. http://kiwimartini.. wordpress.. com/.. Sabrina x (aka Beens).. Shirleen.. April 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm.. Its very exciting to stumble onto a fellow Kiwi foodie blogger one who is ALSO south east asian.. :))) I see I just missed you, what with you moving up to Akl.. Good luck with the new job!.. Rufus' Food and Spirit Guide.. April 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm.. What a wonderful intro can t wait to read more.. Nessie.. August 5, 2011 at 5:40 pm.. Hiya Mel!.. Would love to pass on a Best Blog Award to ya!!.. http://bakingequalslove.. blogspot.. com/2011/08/best-blog-award-ta-muchly-bunny-eats.. html.. Ness xox.. August 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm.. Nessie thank you, you are so sweet! :-) I am honoured!.. annasalts.. August 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm.. I m absolutely with you on the duck tongues.. Delicious.. christinajane.. October 11, 2011 at 8:04 pm.. Hi Mel just saying hi , from another NZ food blogger :) I will keep my eye on your site.. Bless, Christina.. Sasa.. November 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm.. Are you coming to the conference ?.. Mama's Gotta Bake.. January 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm.. I share your viewpoint on food, that it connects us.. Your blog is lovely and so are your photos.. I will look forward to reading your other posts!.. January 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm.. Thanks Sheryl, I look forward to reading your posts too! :-).. Genevieve Atkinson.. March 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm.. Great Blog, I love the name and the graphic at the top.. Am a fellow Aucklander, hoping your enjoying your move so far.. Leave a Reply.. Cancel reply.. Enter your comment here.. Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:.. Email.. (required).. (Address never made public).. Name.. Website.. You are commenting using your WordPress.. com account.. (.. Log Out.. /.. Change.. ).. You are commenting using your Twitter account.. You are commenting using your Facebook account.. You are commenting using your Google+ account.. Connecting to %s.. Notify me of new comments via email.. Notify me of new posts via email.. Blog at WordPress.. %d.. bloggers like this:..

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  • Title: Elsewhere | treehousekitchen
    Descriptive info: You can find my writing elsewhere on the WWW, too:.. Menus.. co.. nz.. #1.. #2.. Grey Lynn Farmers Market with David Schofield Out Standing in their Fields..

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  • Title: Header image archives | treehousekitchen
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  • Title: In other people’s words | treehousekitchen
    Descriptive info: Thank you for featuring me!.. Thank you,.. Echoer.. !.. Tracey.. !.. treehousekitchen was included on.. Go Overseas.. Top Food Travel Blogs.. Thank you Nessie for these.. very.. sweet.. awards!.. Thank you very much,.. Genie.. Culinary Arts College Voracious Reading: 50 Amazing Food Travel Blogs, 16/9/10.. Perhaps  ...   Zealand attitude to hospitality and sharing food.. I submitted.. this entry.. for the.. Rick Stein Blogging Competition, notified of result 19/7/10.. Do have a snack before visiting because otherwise her photos will make you very hungry! treehousekitchen was featured on.. PocketCultures A New Zealand Kitchen, 25/3/10..

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  • Title: Roaming | treehousekitchen
    Descriptive info: 2012.. 2010/2011.. 2009..

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  • Title: China | treehousekitchen
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  • Title: Spain I | treehousekitchen
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  • Title: Spain II | treehousekitchen
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  • Title: Spain III | treehousekitchen
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  • Title: Spain IV | treehousekitchen
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    Archived pages: 560