maggi salad dressing

when we were kids, our family was often invited to our neighbours house for dinner. they were a grandparent-aged german couple who loved to fatten us up with delicious food. i have very distinct food memories linked to elvira and dieter warmbold.

one of my favourite dishes is a salad they made us, more specifically a salad dressing whose main ingredient is a seasoning called maggi. that is all i know about it. i guess maggi is actually a brand of seasonings but this particular seasoning came in liquid form and as far as i know it was called maggi and that is that. it is a dark liquid, very salty in a vegemite, umami sort of way. it also has a bit of acidity.

i found a bottle in a chinese grocery store a while back and re-discovered my love for this salad dressing.

the salad itself was just iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato and maybe a bit of onion. all ingredients were shredded using a mandolin.


to make the dressing, i took a clean jar and used vegetable oil (not olive as you don't want to mask the lovely maggi flavour!) white vinegar and maggi, 3 tablespoons of each. last i added a tad of worcestershire sauce and a tiny teaspoon of raw sugar.

i didn't mandolin my salad but just used whatever was on hand. what i love about this salad dressing is it is so different from other dressings. it isn't subtle. it makes your mouth kind of water, much like eating salt and vinegar chips.


very tasty! and with a hint of childhood nostalgia!


hetzel family

a couple of weeks ago i got to take some photos of a sweet trio of a family, sarndra, shane and little alex.

alex is such a sweet little one. he has amazingly wide eyes with gorgeous lashes and a very easy going nature. i am sure a lot of his temperament comes from having very loving and attentive parents. babies truly respond to having their needs met! it sounds simple but in reality it is so much harder than it looks. they made it look pretty easy though over at the hetzel's.

i arrived at their place mid morning on a sort of drizzly day. i was a bit nervous, as i usually am when i am going to take people's photos, also because it was my first time trying a really informal, unplanned style of capturing a family, inspired by the amazing tim coulson. his documentary style approach is the direction i'd like to head in, as that is how i like to photograph my own life and family. i think it is much more relaxing for all involved, much more real, and just plain beautiful to have a record of the everyday.

i ve had this sort of 'fake it 'til you make it' refrain running through my head as of late - i LOVE taking photos, but am a relative new-comer as far as things go. i honestly had only the foggiest idea of what an slr camera was a year ago. and i guess in the quest to be inspired into finding my own style i did a lot of photography blog reading and a lot of trolling online and it seemed as though the only way to make a living taking photos was to polish them. don't get me wrong, i still do love a polished photo - but if you know me, polished is not a word that describes me very well!

where am i going with this? ah. yes, i think i am much more of a fly by the seat of my pants type, rather than a chart the sun and tides and locations type. no pocketful of poses here. and i am relieved that i have come to this conclusion so that i know where to direct my effort in the future.

i loved having a peep into what sarndra and shane and alex get up to when his daddy has a sunday off from his chef-ing and were just banging around the house and neighbourhood. and i super enjoyed just taking photos and talking to these people who were really interesting to chat with rather than telling them where we were going to sit and trying to get them to act natural. goodness, it was so much easier capturing people acting natural when they were actually acting natural!

so, thank you to sarndra, shane and alex for letting me into your home 2 weeks ago to drink coffee and take pictures of your life. it truly was a pleasure.



lamingtons & white nectarines


holiday season and pre holiday season flew by in a lovely blur of birthday party-ing, panicked wedding quilt making (in a good way, i kind of like a time-crunch, photos to come one day), campervan-ing, wedding watching, sugar cookie baking, pumpkin pie making, eating, engagement cake baking, beaching, bonfire at farm-ing, more eating, and general family festivities. a VERY lovely few weeks i must say.

i couldn't resist a little blog post writing time tonight although after packing our townhouse for the past few days i should probably be still packing or sleeping or something remotely constructive towards the cause, but ah well i think a moment to document our last days here is a must instead.

yesterday i took the little people down to the waterfront for the last time! crazy. we have lived 400 meters or so from moreton bay for the past 3.5 years or so in a little townhouse that we've sort of scrounged into a home. it is too dark in here. the next place i live i will not be using iso 3200 indoors i'll tell you that much people (well, people who know what i'm talking about anyway)!

wynnum itself has definitely been lovely in its own way and it has been the perfect place to live with kids. that said, we have never felt very settled here in wynnum and whether it be moves to melbourne or canada, the discussion about where to leave to was ongoing. i just can't believe it took 3.5 years to come about.

we took a break from the house and the packing and bought some lamingtons and white nectarines down to the bay for morning tea. it was one of those hazy sunny days of a queensland summer. all sparkling water and hot sun. juicy fingers with sand stuck to them.

snail found

banned from snail farming

re-instated at snail farm















dinner was a strange but satisfying cupboard and fridge clean-out mish mash of barlotti beans (i always keep a pre-cooked bag of previously dried
beans in the freezer for handy use of dried beans), sauteed with a bit of jap pumpkin, cumin (my go-to spice) and onion. Then i boiled a bit of pasta and decided to make the pumpkin and bean mixture a bit more saucy by adding. . . coconut milk. Then it turned into something that would have been much better suited to eat with rice, but personally i quite enjoyed it with pasta.