Saturday, November 19, 2011

Japanese dinner and what is blogging these days

Last Sunday we went for dinner to Kazuyo and Dan's place, Pine Valley B&B. Kazuyo is also a blogger and you can find more photos of the evening here. At Pine Valley they organize weddings, parties, cooking classes and special events, catered by chef Katsumi Ishibashi and his wife Eri (a pastry chef). This was an informal dinner for 10, based on fish and seafood, but they made a vegetarian option just for me, and also for my children (there were also 6 children, having their own private dinner party).

I had a vegan aspic for starter, and then vegetable tempura (Katsumi kindly fried the vegetables before putting the seafood into the oil) a fantastic homemade (by Eri) smoked tofu salad, and Japanese omelette. The others had several fish dishes. The only picture missing was Eri's strawberry dessert, because by then it was too dark for me to be able to take a decent picture with my iPhone.

Japanese Cuisine is my second favourite after Italian, and Eri and Katsumi are so talented! Thank you Kazuyo and Dan: it was such a great evening with good food, good company, and in a beautiful setting.

November is pushing on, we will leave for Italy soon and I am very busy. Tomorrow I will go with Arantxa to the Dorothy Butler Children Bookshop in Auckland for another sugar flowers' demo to promote Party Food for Girls if you are in Auckland please pop by because right now I am baking and decorating tons of cupcakes to give away: 1 Jervois Rd, Ponsonby, 10:30am to 12pm.

Then I will have 4 photo shoots in three weeks, for the total of 28 recipes (which I also have to develop and write), a couple of Slow Food events, a Xmas party and tomorrow night I am hosting a dinner for friends. It is also the end of my second year at Maori, with exams and all, and of course the kids have all their own activities, including extra rehearsals for Arantxa's ballet show. I still like to blog, and even if I am posting almost everyday, I am behind with posts just because the days are so full of things and recipes that I would like to share, but cannot find the space or time. Still, I am now officially addicted to blogging, maybe it is my 'relaxing' moment of the day, when I take a break from work, and housework,
and just download my photos and write up a commentary.

And what about you? What is blogging for you these days??

Photos  by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. Gee your life sure sounds busy at the moment!
    Your vegan Japanese dinner sounded lovely. I hear ya on having too many things to blog but not enough time to write it all up, but with Kye starting kindy and Ada starting pre-primary next year I will have a little more 'free' time on my hands :-)

  2. Well, some dishes were vegan, and some vegetarians, all good for me :-).
    Free time sounds good! I will in January too, or so I hope!

  3. WOW Pine Valley looks beautiful and not far from us on the North Shore - I didnt even know it existed! Jealous that you are off to Italy!
    A winter Christmas?

  4. Yep, white Xmas in the Dolomite mountains, and some skiing too! Can't wait, I will eat so much cheese!!!

  5. The dishes looks absolutely delicious - you are opening my eyes to the glorious range of vegetarian food.

    Blogging to me is a great respite from the work day. I do wish I could spend more time on it, and I would love to do more cooking during the day when there is all that natural light. And sometimes it's easy because of a great idea, or an inspiring phrase.

  6. splendido servizio di piatti e fotografia!!!

  7. What a gorgeous and delicious dinner!! Love the veggie aspic, looks so colourful!

  8. anche le mie preferenze vanno a cucina italiana ed a seguire giapponese, o magari a tratti anche a parti invertite....
    molto gentili preparare una cena veg apposta per te, una delicatezza che fa molto piacere.

    il blog per me è un momento di scambio e di relax, non sono così assidua come te, spesso preferisco leggere o disegnare, non ne sento dipendenza, preferisco girovagare tra i vostri blog quando ho un po' di tempo piuttosto che aggiornare il mio, infatti posto alla media di una volta la settimana.

    un abbraccio, sono nel periodo lettura/disegno e sto poco in rete :))

  9. In the 5+ years I've been blogging I've had my ups and downs with blogging. For a long time I blogged every day but then like you thing got very busy so I gave myself permission to blog less and enjoy it more. I am getting engrossed in food providence and the whole slow food movement which I'd love to set up a blog about but you now how time runs away with you!

    Looks like despite the busyness of life you love it all!

  10. Yep it is coming up to the busy season alright. Sometimes I worry I take too much on, but then I remember that when I am quiet, I am bored. Busy is good. I've only been blogging for a year so am still at the blog a day stage. It is really busy though so I look forward to when I find a newer addiction. Blogging is super addictive, but at least it is positive and creative. I feel like I have dicovered so much about my interests in this last year. It's like a journal of my discoveries.

  11. @ Bunny, I am with you in many ways, I guess it is the life of the free-lancer, you can't refuse jobs because there are moments when is quiet, and yes, blogging is addictive, but yes creative, and I like that :-)

  12. Hello Alessandra! Great photos and delicious looking dishes. Yes, I think life can be defined as a stream of steady business punctuated occasionally with blips of inactivity. Ahhh!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. la cucina italiana in assoluto è la mia preferita, quella giapponese confesso di non conoscerla affatto...Ho sempre amato condividere e il mio blog è nato per questo scopo; anche in questi giorni molto tristi per me mi rifugio lì e ne traggo conforto, un abbraccio forte e buona domenica....

  14. The photo's of the Japanese food looks divine! Yum! It seems that November is a hectic month for most - enjoy planning your well-earned December break

  15. I find it difficult to post once a week, never mind once a day so don't be too hard on yourself. Just to say, thank you, the book arrived yesterday and it is lovely - I always love to get books in the post! Grazie.

  16. Per Chiara, mi dispiace tanto per te e spero che blogging ti aiuti a superare questo periodo triste e difficile. Un abbraccio.

  17. Goodness you are so busy! And you still find time to prolifically post! I do it as a little relaxation, love the photography & want to improve it and I do like inspiring non cooks to give it all a go :)

  18. Actually, it now turns out that I have 4 photo shoots in 3 weeks, and I have to be in one, so not just the food, I have to polish myself... good excuse to go to the hairdresser! :-)


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