2013

I certainly admire all the bloggers who have their 2012 roundups posted directly before the year ends, and then their resolutions, hopes or intentions for the new year on the first couple of days into it. But we all know I’ll never be one of them! Even if I were a prepared superblogger, with my big trip (which I’m still on btw, it’s fantastic) beginning at the end of November I didn’t really have much time to just sit and reflect until the last week or so.

2012 was pretty awesome. I completed couch-2-5k, something I never thought I’d be able to do, and I got to Europe, a goal which has been a very very long time coming. I went to beautiful weddings in Nelson and the Bay of Plenty, and helped photograph one of them. I travelled overseas with a friend, and on my own, both for the first time. I helped style a cookbook, went to a sleepover at the zoo, and had the best birthday party of my life. I decided I didn’t care whether I was too old or not, and dyed my hair pink. I danced often, and embarrassingly hard. I had a really great year. I feel very lucky and grateful for the good things and people I have in my life.

This year I want to work harder, make more, be proud of what I’m doing with my life, and I want a cat. *nods emphatically*

I had one of my first quiet New Years Eves. Jason and I were in Berlin and were informed repeatedly how crazy people go with fireworks and to stay off the streets at midnight. I’m scared of fireworks at the best of times and had a cold, so we stayed in, watched the Addams Family movie, drank champagne while firecrackers and skyrockets went off consistently from 4pm to about 4am. At midnight it peaked, and we watched from our balcony as Berlin lost it’s shit. It has to be seen (and heard) to be believed!

an Auckland jaunt

I’m recently back from a long weekend in Auckland, hanging with parents and friends, visiting grandparents, drunk skyping with my brother in Perth, shopping at Gorman, and eating a million treats. It was really, really lovely.

The weather was a charmer.

The very first thing I did was go to Little and Friday, where I LOST MY SHIT over how perfect and amazing every detail is.

I hung out with my Grandmas. Nana showed us her and my Grandad’s sixty-year-old engagement annoucement.

I drank wine and was merry with old friends.

After this, I required eggs and hollandaise to fix me.

The night before I left, I joined an enormous queue at Ollie’s for the first time in years. SO IMPORTANT. I caused a sensation in the line when I ordered the outrageous banana split.

As you can see, it’s as big as my (very large) face. Mum and I had about 1/5 of it each, it’s probably still in the freezer.

On my last day we popped back to Little and Friday to try their famous doughnuts. Yes.

And then I came home.

All pictures from my instagram, _pocketwitch.

Spring / Summer Goals

It is imperative that I fit all my Spring/Summer needs into the next six weeks, before I go traveling in the northern hempisphere for two months. I’ll be back for February, but though it’s the hottest month it just doesn’t have the cool summer vibez that January has, ya know?

TO DO

  1. Drink gin and tonics in the sunshine
  2. Eat all the asparagus
  3. Drink berry smoothies
  4. Go walking out at Makara
  5. See the seals at Red Rocks
  6. Barbeque, or picnic
  7. Run along the waterfront
  8. Head to Auckland to visit friends and family (and also Little and Friday)
  9. Have more people over for dinner
  10. Pat lots of cats

I’ve already had a good start on some of these. What’s on your list?

Pocket Witch

Hello, this is my new blog. I was a ‘lovelorn unicorn’ but hadn’t liked that name for some time. Hopefully now that I have a blog that feels a bit more me (still a silly name, but a smidge less twee) I’ll be posting a bit more often. Though I haven’t in such a long time that it all feels a bit AWKWARD.

In honour of the name of my new blog, these are my witchiest instagrams of late: cat nails, and wacky false eyelashes for a Rocky Horror party. If you care to follow me on there, I’m now _pocketwitch.

secrets and cake

Jason had a birthday, I made a surprise cake to bust out at a pot luck later in the week. It was a comedy of errors that mostly worked out in the end, thanks very much to help from my friends. Let’s just say I am not a natural baker, or a natural secret-keeper. No more baking or secrets for me, deal?

what I’ve been up to

Reading books
1Q84, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Claudine At School, Hunger Games (x 3), A Sense of an Ending, Bossypants, and now Bonjour Tristesse.

Planning and scheming
About Europe, and a few other exciting things that are a long way off.

Moving
Walking up small mountains (this trail leads up there), and also getting 3/4 of the way through couch to 5k (and I’m going to finish). I’m shocked and appalled to find myself actually enjoying it.

Drawing
I tried a 30 day drawing challenge on instagram and gave up after about a week, but have continued drawing bits and pieces. My friends and I had a couple ‘drawing clubs’ and they were basically heaven.

Zoo sleepover
I slept over at a zoo with about 27 other people. The sleep was horrible, but the early morning time we spent wandering before the zoo opened made it more than worth it. Above: important sleepover paraphernalia.

People (and pet) time
Easter days were gloriously spent with several groups of amazing gals (and a few lads) eating, drinking, dancing, playing games, decorating easter eggs and cookies, and toasting to Blumphrey. The first of those days was at my lovely friend Amie’s place and she just has the most amazing pets. So jealous.


Eating
Always eating.

 

Summerdaze

Hello strangers! Been a long time, shouldn’t've left you without a dope beat to step to. I’m so sorry I have been MIA, partly it’s because I’ve been thinking about starting a new blog, something that’s a bit more me now and little less twee. Don’t worry, I shan’t be forsaking all the twee, ya’ll know I still love kittens, I’m just not quite happy with the name of this one.

I have been having a marvelous summer, I’ve ticked off so many things on my Summer Goals list without even meaning to, only about five things left to go! I thought I’d start my return to blogging by sharing my summer instagrams with you.

Wellington: Eating, drinking, Christmas parties, and more recently, gigs. This weekend I went to Fleet Foxes and Beirut – too much fun.

Auckland: Awesome Christmas family time, shopping and strolling in Cornwall Park. All the food.

Raumati: Holidaying in a spacious bach with lots of good people. Rain, sunshine, barbeques, fancy NYE dinner complete with cat’s ears, fluffy neighbour kittens, and I Have Never in the best fort ever.

Nelson: The ferry, a bed and breakfast with a glorious garden full of tuis and friendly cats, beer tasting, magical treehouses. Not pictured: Emma’s amazing wedding! I was too busy helping Jason take the official photos to grab any snaps.

Sorry for such photo-heaviness, I only put up about half of what I wanted to! If you’d like to follow me on instagram, search for kate_mcleod.

Summer Goals

Props to my friend Willow for making me want to make my own Summer Goals.

Help cook Christmas dinner.
Picnic.
Read a billion books.
Eat fish and chips (sans fish) by the sea.
Take film photos.
Drink smoothies galore.
Find delightful dresses in small-town op shops.
Write in parks and cafes.
Discover new music.
Make tomato pie.
Wear flowers in my hair.
Have a fancy dinner on NYE.
Go to weddings in Nelson and Whakatane.
Drink at a winery.
Tell ghost stories or play truth or dare in a blanket fort.
Make new animal friends.
Cook halloumi, asparagus and portobello mushrooms on a barbeque.
Plan overseas adventures.
Share homemade brunch with friends.
Turn somersaults (FLIPS) in the ocean.
Eat blueberries on chocolate cereal.

 

Long Weekend Lunch

A long weekend lunch of caramelised garlic tart, pesto potato and green bean salad, ribboned asparagus salad, club sandwiches, and plum yoghurt cake for dessert.

Ottolenghi’s caramelised garlic tart, from Plenty. It’s a wee bit of work but very, very worth it. I subbed the hard goat’s cheese for some grated cheddar.

Ingredients

  • 13 oz/375g all-butter puff pastry
  • 3 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup/220ml water
  • ¾ tbsp fine/caster sugar
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme, plus a few whole sprigs to finish
  • 4 ¼ oz/120g soft, creamy goat’s cheese
  • 4 ¼ oz/120g hard, mature goat’s cheese
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • ½ cup/100ml heavy/double cream
  • ½ cup/100ml crème fraîche
  • salt and black pepper

Have ready a shallow, loose-bottomed, 28cm fluted tart tin. Roll out the puff pastry into a circle that will line the bottom and sides of the tin, plus a little extra. Line the tin with the pastry. Place a large circle of greaseproof paper on the bottom and fill up with baking beans. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4. Place the tart case in the oven and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, then bake for a further 5-10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Set aside. Leave the oven on.

While the tart case is baking, make the caramelized garlic. Put the cloves in a small saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a simmer and blanch for 3 minutes, then drain well.

Dry the saucepan, return the cloves to it and add the olive oil. Fry the garlic cloves on a high heat for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the sugar, rosemary, chopped thyme and ¼ teaspoon salt. Continue simmering on a medium flame for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are coated in a dark caramel syrup. Set aside.

To assemble the tart, break both types of goat’s cheese into pieces and scatter in the pastry case. Spoon the garlic cloves and syrup evenly over the cheese.

In a jug whisk together the eggs, creams, ½ teaspoon salt and some black pepper. Pour this custard over the tart filling to fill the gaps, making sure that you can still see the garlic and cheese over the surface.

Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and place the tart inside. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the tart filling has set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.

Then take out of tin, trim the pastry edge if needed, lay a few sprigs of thyme on top and serve warm (it reheats well!) with a crisp salad.