Tag Archives: earthquake


I am sure I don’t need to elaborate on what is going on in Christchurch. Please let’s do all that we can to help.



    Sunday 27 February
    8am – 4pm
    Caffe L’affare, 27 College Street, Wellington
    All cafe proceeds will go towards the Red Cross Earthquake appeal fund.
    Monday 28 February (prep on Sunday!)
    7am – 9am
    The Great Sunday Bake Off
    Drop off your baking at Civic Square or outside Vodafone on Lambton Quay and a crew will drive it down to Christchurch (and film this, so you know where your baking goes).


    Tuesday 1 March
    Mecca (all branches), Auckland
    All proceeds this evening will go towards earthquake relief efforts.


Kia kaha, Christchurch…

While this week has been very grim for just about everyone in New Zealand (I won’t write more on this right now because my words feel very inadequate), I do want to share with you a recipe for some delightful lamingtons that we had at work today. My colleague Grace made them and very kindly shared the recipe with me!

    Dark chocolate lamingtons
    Recipe courtesy my lovely and very talented colleague Grace
    For the sponge:
    5 eggs
    1 cup cornflour
    1½ tsp baking powder
    3/4 cup white sugar
    a few drops of vanilla extract
    For the chocolate coating:
    ½ cup milk
    250g dark chocolate
    ½ cup icing sugar
    dessicated coconut
    Preheat oven to 180°C.
    Separate the eggs. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 5-6 minutes).
    Lower the mixer speed and add the cornflour and baking powder into the egg mix. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolk and beat until combined.
    Pour the batter into a non-stick 20cm square cooking pan, and bake it for 15 minutes, or until the top is light brown.
    Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool on a wire rack for 30-40 minutes. Once the cake is completely cool, cut off the crust and cut into 4-5 cm squares.
    Now prepare the chocolate coating. In a microwave-proof large bowl, break the chocolate into smaller pieces and add in the milk. Microwave the mixture on medium heat for 30 seconds. Stir the mixture, then put it back into the microwave for another 20–30 seconds before taking it out and giving it a good stir again. Be careful not to burn the chocolate! Stir until the mixture is smooth and not too runny. Add the icing sugar in to the chocolate mixture (adjust the amount of icing sugar according to your taste preferences). Note: I personally don’t like using the microwave and prefer the stove top method – but I am sure both will work equally well.
    Final steps! Place some dessicated coconut on a flat plate next to the chocolate mixture. Dip the sponge cake squares in the chocolate mixture and coat them well (best to do one square at a time). Use a knife or spatula to place the chocolate-coated cake square on the plate of coconut, and coat it on all sides. Put the chocolate and coconut-coated cake square on a clean wire rack, then repeat above steps until all the cake squares are coated in chocolate and coconut – and prepare to eat some very delicious lamingtons!

Dinner party @ Nish’s

I hesitated about writing this post, because not long after Nish and I held this dinner party in Christchurch, the earthquake happened. The morning I awoke to news of the quake striking the lovely city I’d been in only days before, was not a calm morning until I ascertained that just about everyone there was alive. Shaken, but alive.

It was very surreal viewing the photos, watching it flash on the news, reminding myself that this was happening in my country… in my previous line of work I dealt with disasters etc so much, that sometimes I thought I was becoming numb to all of this – and that my heart had turned to stone, because I no longer always reacted with emotion. Sometimes my mind willed it all to disappear, or to let it wash over.

Except, really, you can’t just push it away entirely.

You can’t pretend that people aren’t suffering, because they are, and you can’t pretend disasters aren’t striking – all over the world – more than you realise – because they are.

The only thing you have the freedom to determine is the way you live your life, and the way in which you respond to things beyond control, and the way in which you love, I guess – and I don’t mean in a cheesy way!

Which is where I am coming from as I write this post. Yes, the quake left devastating effects. But the night we had this dinner party, we were focused on feeding friends, eating together and enjoying life for what it was – and now, post-quake, there lies something undeniably horrible, without a doubt! – but a chance to build something better too, hereon.

Here’s one thing we can do… donate to Christchurch earthquake relief efforts here:

Nish and I had fun preparing all the food (well, I did anyway, since most of the work was done by Nish, hehe!) and we were waaaayyy exhausted by the end of the night… but it went well, and we had leftovers a’plenty to last us all of the next day!

Our menu in short:

    Garlic prawn & vegetable skewers
    Green salad with Thai dressing (not photographed)
    Portobello mushrooms with garlic & red wine vinegar
    Potatoes with creamed spinach
    Pumpkin with cinnamon and brown sugar (not photographed)
    Chocolate tart with gingersnap crust
    Sticky date pudding