roamingtaste.com » Where foreign and local combine

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Twenty sixteen has hit me over the head with two colds thus far, I know, barely the second week into February and I’m sneezing up a storm again through work. It is also hard to get out into the cold breeze and rain to train for a trip I really need to be fit for. Needless to say the best effort I can do is go up and down the stairs between coughing or go home and give in to my heavy eyelids before ten pm.

It’s International Pancake Day and let’s face it, if you haven’t had a reason to have pancakes for every meal before, this day sure gives you one. I’m planning on having pancakes for dinner, my mum’s ones because I can’t eat the entire stack in one sitting which means pancake day will live a little longer in my house. Pancake’s were a thing growing up and they are hands down my brother’s favorite recipe to request our mum to make.

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“Don’t let fear of what could happen let nothing happen.” – Someone somewhere

Fear is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. A new year is about making goals or reevaluating goals to achieve and usually when we remind ourselves or are working towards something we don’t feel completely assured in there is a fear involved in reaching that goal.

Fear can be a great limiter to achieving something, it can be the thing your mind focuses on instead of just achieving whatever that goal is. I found this last week when I was finally preparing the submission for my book for agents. It’s been a long road and on the last couple of edits I took my time knowing that the next step is terrifying. It is all about being open to rejection, yet what is the worst that can happen with a no?

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A new year means I want to get a little bit more personal on here, and I’d love to hear what you want to hear more of? What you want to see more of? It also means there will be more said in this forum which I would love to do more then monthly, but with a full time job, weekends of blogging to do before I set off on my travels in April for what I hope is four to five months (though that is finance led) and people I need to see before I leave London permanently, there is so much to do and so little time.

This month began on Irish shores and there was a brief forty eight hour visit to Malta. I packed a lot into this month between those travels and many many hours in the kitchen. There was Lumiere and a visit to an indoor market with friends, the first month of the year passed by quickly. How was your January?

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I watched Sleepless in Seattle last night and the funny thing is, this is a movie of my mother’s generation, so I grew up watching it with her. In fact, my mother and I spent the majority of my youth bonding over movies because we didn’t have a lot of money to do other things. Almost every time there is a film we’ve watched together (most of the time they are stupid romcoms that somehow mean something because they make us think of each other).

Nowadays, half our conversations involve stupid quotes from movies we have shared together, so there I was sitting in my room here in London and she was in New Zealand at work and we were texting quotes back and forth and I laughed every scene I thought she would enjoy. It’s funny the things that comfort even when they aren’t nearby, but I’m grateful for iMessage and the fact that we can chat about the silly things we have always bonded over.

It is unusual that I won’t have seen my mother for three years this coming April, and I’ve not seen my brother in over three years since last September. We are a family on different parts of the globe and though we barely see each other, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since we were last in each other’s presence.

Maybe it’s the almost daily text messages or the monthly FaceTime catch ups where we laugh like we’re around the corner from each other.  We aren’t a unique family in this modern world where so many people leave for whatever reason to live in another land and though it can be hard, in those small moments where we’re bonding over inside jokes or stupid movie quotes the world feels a lot smaller.

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This kid here is twenty nine today, no birthday wishes please, I hate that stuff. A new age is my time for reflection of what I’ve done or rather all the things I’ve not yet done and in the last year I came to the realization that this life, this messy, unsure, discombobulating and often crazy ride that is life, is never something any of us fully get a grasp of. Maybe that means I am a grown up or maybe that means I’m as good at pretending I know my stuff like all the other grown ups that have ever walked this earth.

Alli and I discussed this while on our weekend reunion trip last month. We talked about the fact she always thought her parents had it together and it wasn’t until recently that she had a frank conversation with her father asking him when she would finally ‘have it together?’ He responded that he wasn’t sure because he is still working on it himself. He admitted that he and her mother were faking it as best as they could as parents to her and her sibling.

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Before I get into today’s incredibly dessert-y post I must talk about David Bowie. Putting words into the stratosphere after something as shocking as a cosmonauts passing is not something easily done. David Bowie wasn’t just a man. He wasn’t just a rock star or fashion icon or actor. He was this figure so big that it felt like he would go on forever. I know, I’m saying things you’ve only likely heard dozens of times since you heard the news, but somehow that feeling was so collective among his fans that when it happened, when the news came through that he had passed there was shriek of confusion.

Not him. Not this figure so large. There are countless actors, singers, fashion icons, triple threats today that when I considered who of my generation would be mourned so fully, I couldn’t come up with a figure. Maybe FKA Twigs who is so unabashedly individual with such a unique voice that I can’t help but see her success rise. But that is a maybe, because really, who shakes the world today like he did? The roar of social media, TV shows, podcasts etc etc, is so large that its harder to stand out today. We are programmed to multi task and even then unable to pay full attention to everything we are doing.

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A week before turning twenty five I began this journey on this little blog. I often describe it as little or that Roamingtaste is such a small piece of the internet, but in the four years that this has been in my life it has been a constant and a rather large part of my life. From the shores of New Zealand to London, with America, Iceland and Amsterdam along the way, there have been my recipes and thoughts on how best to detail places that almost always feel too big to describe.

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Here we are again, the beginning of another January and everyone is walking around talking about New Years resolutions. Do you resolve things for your year? How do you stay motivated to reach them? What is the one thing you learned last year that you would like to share?

Personally, I don’t like resolutions. I just don’t like the entire point of having to start something because its a new date. And if there’s not enough motivation behind it (say if there was, tomorrow would be a good enough start) then those ‘resolutions’ soon becomes a feeling of failure that doesn’t usually spur one on to greater things. If you feel like you need a change do as Shia said “just do it”.

This is something I feel strongly enough that I intended to do a Tête-à-Tête on it, but the first Sunday was a bit hectic in my house, having only just gotten back from a trip to Ireland. A trip I definitely plan to share over the next week or so. On occasion, what they say is true and everything I’ve heard about Ireland was definitively proved true. It’s a great country and should be on anyone’s list that loves a little charm with their travels. Even in the pouring rain, Dublin felt charming. I’m not sure of many other places that do that.

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And with that the bell has rung, the fireworks exploded and the champagne emptied. Or in my case, the concert came to an end and the new friends made in person were added to Facebook. Yes, the last month of the year was full of doing things. Bruges in Belgium was visited twice with two people who had never been, somehow I’ve become this charming cities ambassador. Reunions made and then finally, a couple days in Belfast were spent before taking the bus to Dublin where I leave today.

How was your December? What did you get up to? And of course, I’d love to know where you were when the clock stuck twelve beckoning a new year?

Anyway, here is my month in photos.

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IMG_8689How was your year in the kitchen? Did you try something new that everyone else around you seems to have mastered? Maybe like me, you made your first roast chicken?

And thus we have come to the last post of the year and there were a total of seventy recipes shared on this little blog this year. It seems that number is slightly low for how much time I spent in the kitchen between juggling a life and a full time job.

This was a year of a few favorites to share here, though most recipes now feel like they are all new as this blog has been going for almost four years.

Personal Favorites
It is hard to whittle down those six favorites, but somehow these six are simple and full of natural flavors with a few twists on originals.

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They say we learn something new every day, they are usually tidbits of information that we will remember an hour after that pub quiz or when we stand there awkwardly trying to think of something to contribute when surrounded with a bunch of strangers.

Living life and sharing it is such a regularity of life in this day and age and Instagram is always in my top most visited apps to show what I’m doing, have done, am making/baking and/or eating. Along with this there a little lessons we can learn from those photos that say more then we could with words sometimes and here are a few lessons learned this year.

I would love to hear what lessons you learned this year in the comments below?

Dance like you have no cares

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It doesn’t feel like this year is done yet, not just because it actually isn’t, but also because the weather is still relatively warm and I feel like it all went so fast that surely we are owed maybe a few weeks in refunds of time for twenty fifteen.

Reflecting back, this year was very regular in the sense of how life has come to be in London. Contracting jobs came and went and sometimes my pennies had to be scrounged to make rent. Trips were planned and a weekend trip here and there made. Except for May, the month I spent traveling with my dad was mostly filled up seeing and doing things in each place we made our way to and it will likely be the best year of travel ever.

How was you year? What were the highs? Tell me as much as you would like to share and maybe the gifts I’ve been giving away on my Facebook page will be gifted to you.

Here is my twenty fifteen in photos and if you like some of these you can purchase a print here:

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This week has been a little while coming in regards to ending the year of reunions with my lovely friend Alli. I hadn’t seen Alli since probably March 2013 before departing New Zealand, but we have always had adventures together which means we were always bound to have another adventure together overseas. So tomorrow morning we will be embarking on a short trip to Bruges, likely enjoying waffles and wandering through it’s cobblestone streets.

Ultimately being reacquainted with her this week has been nothing short of charming. Alli sees the world with a positive lens and having deep conversations with her over brunch while taking her to a few little places around the city. Its nice to have a small piece of home in London for her first time in Europe and once again I’ve gotten to show people around this city that I’ve gotten to know so well in the two-and-a-half years I’ve lived here. So what are you doing this weekend? How is your time being spent this second weekend of December?

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Growing up with a German mother means she pronounces today’s dish nu-tella, unlike us English speaking folks who say nut-ella. I can’t get away from it, I say it too now, there are certain things that are inevitable when you have a parent who isn’t from the country you grew up in and their particular way of saying things with a certain uniqueness that other kids with plain old parents from your country or even region had.

With the world only becoming more mixed this is likely something many of you probably deal with. You probably also know that certain traditional foods kids around you grew up with wasn’t something your foreign parent knew existed and when the time came for them to make it when you put the pressure on in high school (not that I did this) there was a level of resentment for you shunning ‘their’ foods.

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