Blogging, Culinary Adventures
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Our Growing Edge First Edition! (Jan/Feb 2013)

It’s coming up to midnight, I’ve had an espresso and ironically, I’m writing this on an empty stomach. I think I would prefer Chinese water torture over missing dinner and then compiling a lengthy food filled post.

In the spirit of the Oscars this week, I would like to give a huge thanks to all the foodies who joined the very first edition of Our Growing Edge. This event would be nothing without your passion, skill, hard work and hungry bellies.

With 35 submissions to Our Growing Edge this month, there was plenty of variety in the new foodie experiences. This event showed a surprisingly well rounded cross section of what foodies are doing. Blogs from New Zealand, Australia, UK, USA and Canada were well represented. Blogs from Asia or with Asian culinary backgrounds also made an appearance. Success!

Before we move onto the highlights…

It would be wonderful to have Our Growing Edge hosted on different blogs all around the interwebs. To host a month, all you have to do is write a round up of the month on your blog at the very start of the following month. Include your own highlights from the month and some from the event. If you would like to host a month, please contact me.

Danielle from Keeping Up With The Holsbys is hosting Our Growing Edge March. Party at the Holsby’s house! Bring wine!

If you missed out or are looking for the next event, you can view or submit a link for the next Our Growing Edge challenge right over here. Yep. Time waits for no man, woman or kidlet.

Vegetables and healthy eating

Veggie and healthy eating posts dominated this month. I can’t say I’m surprised since healthy eating is a popular New Year’s resolution.

The bright green smoothie from Rhiannon at Riz Made This, looked like a vibrant life sustaining elixer and I love the idea of drinking one’s way to good health. Gretchy T embarked on a vegetarian week after getting a Vegucation, The Frenchy Cooks took a break from cooking by eating lots of fresh, healthy salads. Maddie from Food, Mostly embarked on a cleanse and her “last meal” was a delicious and unusual vegie burger. I can’t say that I have tried a black bean, walnut and mushroom burger. Fresh Veggies In The Dessert‘s Bahn Mi inspired lettuce wraps wrapped up two yummy dishes into one.

Vegan Caramel Popcorn | Angry Asian

Vegan Caramel Popcorn | Angry Asian Creation

A smattering of vegan recipes also came through including Lan from Angry Asian Creation‘s Caramel Popcorn made with organic coconut milk and Eli of Melody Fairitale‘s experience with Parmela vegan cheese was an eye opener. Charleston Foodie Bucket List shared an experience at a local organic vegetarian and vegan cafe. I’m very excited to have a blog with the words “Foodie Bucket List” in their blog title joining this event.

Claire’s blog The Gluten-free Notebooks is one big gluten-free food challenge and her recipe Gluten-free, egg-free and fat-free soft flour tortillas sounds like a crowd pleasing winner. The secret to her success is a little mashed potato. Steph from Word On The Wheat which is niche review blog focused on wheat-free treats gave hilarious but common sense “do nots” for surviving a chaotic foray with frozen yoghurt on a summer day.

The sweetest thing

Funnily enough, after vegetables and healthy eating, the second most popular category was sweets. So there was a nice balance of healthy eating and indulgence.

Home Made With Mess‘s Baileys Cupcakes sound sinfully good.

Alice over at Nom Nom Cat challenged herself with a souffle. I’m terrified of souffle but she did it real justice. Nom Nom Panda made egg rolls which aren’t the filled spring rolls that you may think they are, but a crispy, delicate Chinese treat. I ate many an egg roll as a child but haven’t seen them for years.

Danielle from Keeping Up With The Holsbys made a fantastic Rhubarb and Pear Yeast Cake from home grown rhubarb. I can’t imagine anything as satisfying as growing something in your garden, baking it into a cake and then ravaging it.


Scali Loaf | A Life Well Lived

Scali Loaf | A Life Well Lived

Bread making terrifies me and there were some bread related submissions this month including Rants, Raves, and Rations‘s “everything” bagels and Amanda over at A Life Well Lived made a beautifully plaited Scali Loaf from a gooey starter.

New experiences

Christine from Part Of My World sampled molecular cocktails inspired by “glass goblets, fairy floss, perfume bottles and bubble baths”. Way cool. Sandra or Fotog Foodie attended her first cooking class. After many summers of Borlotti bean troubles, Lucinda from Nourish Me shared her edible garden success story.

Neat Meat

Shao Mai | Gourmandistan

Shao Mai | Gourmandistan

Gourmandistan knocked up some home made shao mai. Shao mai are my absolute favourite dim sum and their morsels are adorbs.

Apple Pie Zucchini made extra crisp Chinese pork and Hayley from Condiments on a City Life succeeded in cooking and serving her first roast beef.

Lovely things

Thousand-Layer Cake | Eva @ Kitchen Inspirations

Thousand-Layer Cake | Eva @ Kitchen Inspirations

Eva at Kitchen Inspirations really challenged herself with the Indonesian Thousand-Layer Spice Cake. The thin layers are truly exquisite. She made 10 layers. Yes! 10!

I have a little bias towards Rabbit Can Cook‘s Valentines Day rabbit in love bento.

Recreating dishes once eaten

Foodies dining out are sometimes accused of thinking “I could make this at home”, or “Could I make this at home?”

Chandler, the genius behind The International Poor Chef School Project recreated the best fish she ever had, which she first sampled at Nobu Restaurant. Nobuyuki Matsuhisa is often credited for bringing Japanese cuisine to the Western world. That’s quite a master to take on! I love how she tried her Miso Butterfish recipe on four different local fish. Very thorough.

A home made Jamaican Chicken curry was the solution when the eatery around the corner from El Gringo Picante was closed. An inspiring lesson: If you can’t get what you want, do something about it.

My bucket list

I knocked off 8 out of 10 items on my bucket list this summer and two of these I shared with Our Growing Edge.

My second attempt at making mozzarella worked out quite well. From that batch of mozzarella, I made and tasted a caprese salad for the first time. I also made a cheesecake for the first time. I guess I was very cheese-centric.

Today is the last day of summer here in New Zealand and I’ve decided to have a perpetual bucket list from now instead of the quarterly lists I’ve had in the past. The challenge I set myself would have required me to do a foodie challenge almost weekly which was kind of just setting me up for failure. I know, I’m super hard on myself. So I’m going to chill out a little on that front.

I’m super excited that this project has been given legs and I’m sure I’ll still be pushing myself to complete at least one foodie challenge a month.


  1. What a lovely round up. I’ll take a look at all the entries over the weekend when I have more time. Thanks for your lovely words for my entry, I’m actually thinking about making the cake again, but with different flavours and a special surprise! Thanks for this great monthly post. I know I’ll have something for next month too!

  2. Great post, Genie! I have something lined up for March. Can it also be a Daring Kitchen challenge? The deadline for that is coming up at the same time!

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