Black doris plum clafoutis & plum & apple crumble

Oh my God what an absolutely gorgeous (albeit bloody freezing) morning in Auckland. It is hard not to feel good on a day like today…but that may also have something to do with the fact that I’m still on a high after seeing Henry and Will in Melbourne last weekend. It was so fkng fantastic to see the guys after so long, to visit their new, beautiful apartment, and just hang out like family…no rushing around, just lying on the couch at the flat with the fire going, listening to music and chatting…magic.They also treated me to an incredibly delicious dinner at Tipo 00 on my last night, the food was bloody amazing and I would highly recommend the restaurant to anyone heading that way. It is such a huge deal to move country by yourself, to cope with changes in work, study and accomodation, I am so proud of Henry for making it through so many adjustments, and grateful too that he has the lovely Will by his side. Meanwhile darling Hoob is going gangbusters in Wellington, getting stuck into lectures and even finding time to visit a sick friend making them home-made conchiglione as a pick-me-up…go Rich, you kind-hearted man! So yes – feeling pretty bloody good right now.
To add to that, yesterday I did my first ever ‘bit’ for TV, filming with the gorgeous Stacey Morrison for Whanau Living. We cooked and chatted, and even laughed (despite my nerves) all with two camera people and a sound guy, lights and extras watching…and thanks to the kindness of the whole crew, it was not nearly as scary as I had anticipated. Anyhoo – it’s not airing until the beginning of next year, but I will let you know when it does!
And finally, bloody hell, I got a text at 10pm last night to say the first two copies of the completed cookbook are ON THEIR WAY for approval. Holy shit balls. So, prepare yourselves for some sneak peeks on the blog very soon!!!!! Right I’m off to hang out the washing and go for a walk, see you again soon 🙂

Plum & almond clafoutis

1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup flour
¼ cup ground almonds
¼ cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
200mls whole milk
100mls cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
850gram tin black doris plums, drained
vanilla bean ice cream or softly whipped cream to serve
Pre heat the oven to 180˚C and butter a 22cm round ovenproof dish with butter (a deep oven-proof frying pan can be used). Whisk the flour, almonds, sugar, eggs, yolk, milk, cream and vanilla until smooth. Break the plums in half wth your hands and gently remove the stones, then place them into into the prepared dish and pour over custard mix.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until just set in the middle. Remove from the oven, leave for 5-10 minutes to rest and set up, then dust with icing sugar and serve with vanilla bean ice cream. Serves 6
Plum & apple, almond crumble
3 granny smith apples
½  cup caster sugar
850gram tin black doris plums, drained
¾ cup plain flour
½ cup ground almonds
100 grams butter, chopped 
½ cup sliced almonds
vanilla bean ice cream or softly whipped cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Peel and halve the apples and chop into roughly 3cm pieces. Put ¼ cup sugar in a wide deep frying pan with 3 tablespoons of water. Heat over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and add the apples. Cook for 5 minutes until just soft and most of the water is gone. Put the apples into a 16cm x 22cm baking dish. Break the plums in half wth your hands and gently remove the stones, then dot them into into the dish with apples. Put the flour, ground almonds and butter into a food processor and whiz until forming clumps. Add half of the sliced almonds and pulse to combine. Crumble the mixture on top of the fruit, squishing into clumps with your fingers as you go. Sprinkle with the remaining sliced almonds and bake for 30 minutes until the crumble topping is golden. Rest for 5 minutes before serving with vanilla bean ice cream or softly whipped cream. Serves 6-8

from From The Kitchen


Eeeeeee, just had the best day cooking and shooting with Stacey Morrison for Whanau Living, for an episode which will be screening on TV One early next year…obviously that is miles away, but I’ll remind you closer to the time 🙂 Now it’s time to head off to Beatriz at Dinner as part of the NZ international film festival and enjoy a wee glass (or several) of red. Check back in tomorrow for two new recipes for the weekend!

from From The Kitchen

Successes and Challenges of Entrepreneurship with LOLA Feminine Care Brand

As an entrepreneur, you’re in for a lot learning by doing. Turning to other business owners and learning about their experiences, though, can help you on your own journey. In this final part of a 4-part series, Jordana Kier, one of the co-founders of LOLA, reflects on the challenges she and co-founder Alexandra Friedman encountered, mistakes they’ve made, and what’s in store for the future of their brand.

Read part 1, part 2, and part 3 of LOLA’s journey.

What was your biggest challenge in founding LOLA?

Jordana Kier: The biggest challenge to date has been encouraging women to think about their feminine care the same way they do with other health and wellness products. Historically, we think of tampons as transactional products that we need in order to move past our periods and get on with our day. But given that tampons, pads, and liners are such intimate products, we should be approaching our consumption of them with the same mindset as we do when we think about the food we eat, or the amount of exercise we get every week. Shifting the conversation around periods into this new direction requires new creative assets (i.e. brand videos), targeted messaging, and engaged conversations. We’re definitely seeing the lightbulbs go off when women make the connection between feminine care and wellness, but paradigm shifts take time!

If you could go back and do anything differently in this process, what would you want to change?

Jordana Kier: I’d have started this business earlier!



Did you make any big mistakes during the first few years you were in business? If yes, can you share one or two?

Jordana Kier: There’s not a big mistake that stands out, but like any startup, we’ve had our fair share of challenges. One of those challenges was learning to take things one day at a time and realizing that we can’t say yes to every opportunity or request that comes our way. We have this feeling of “let’s do it all!” but that’s just not the right or most effective way to evaluate decisions. Our aim is to remain focused on the best path for the company.

What is your main advice to other entrepreneurs who would like to start their own company? What about your best advice for others who want to start a business that is transparent about the what the products are made of?

Jordana Kier:

  1. Develop a network where you have mentors and people you can rely on for honest feedback and advice. We’ve been very lucky to have cultivated a network of people who are supportive, but who also provide tough love and aren’t just saying “great job” all the time. They’re giving us objective feedback, and that has been invaluable and made us better entrepreneurs.
  2. Great people attract other great people. Find smart, motivated, talented people to add to your team. They will be your strongest asset in acquiring more talent.  Our team is small but very special and hard-working. When people interview at LOLA, they leave wanting to be a part of it.
  3. Get comfortable with building the plane as you fly it. The learning curve stays steep, and you’re always building while operating. Proactively manage your time and energy to ensure you are able to multi-task, move quickly, and think strategically.



What do you think has contributed to the success of your business?

Jordana Kier: Launching LOLA and seeing customers embrace our brand and mission has been amazing. We now see women spending in line with their beliefs—recognizing that they deserve to know what was in their product—which was something they’d never had a chance to do in this category prior to LOLA. The fact that we were sitting on a couch a couple of years ago, just the two of us, shocked by the fact that we had never once thought about what was in our products, to now, having a team and large community of passionate women talking about feminine care and changing purchase behavior to support their beliefs, is one of the most exciting things we’ve ever experienced. The positive feedback and community support always keeps us going!

What challenges have you encountered specifically as entrepreneurs who are female? How have you overcome them?

Jordana Kier: We like to think we’ve had the same experience as our male entrepreneur counterparts. However, given we were pitching such a women-focused product—even though periods affect 50% of the population!—we did hear the word ‘no’ over and over again during our early fundraising efforts. The investor community is still majority male, so initially our biggest (and most crucial) challenge was educating investors about periods and our product. For most investors, we were introducing a topic that was really unsexy, so there was a lot of planning catered to what the ‘in’ could be to not only help men understand the market opportunity, but also get them truly excited about it.

We learned that having tampons on us and encouraging men to interact with them was extremely helpful (if not also hilarious!). Bringing tampons to lunch and dipping them in the water on the table to simulate what would happen to the product in a woman’s body was eye-opening. Most men had never thought about this category at all (some had no idea how periods worked), and couldn’t believe the lack of transparency and stale brands that dominated it. We learned to use this potential weakness (a lack of knowledge) as our opportunity, and learned a great lesson in how to cater our vision to and find common ground with different audiences.

Shot 2_IMG_0052_update.jpg


Menstruation is still a taboo topic. How do you hope LOLA can change that?

Jordana Kier: At LOLA, we want women to feel empowered to ask questions about their periods and informed enough to make educated decisions about their product choices. Since launching, we’ve been humbled and surprised by the overwhelming number of women willing to share their own personal stories (everyone has a period story!) and engage in a larger conversation about transparency in the industry.

With LOLA Gives Back, knowing we make a difference for underserved women every month with access to essential products such as tampons and pads has definitely had an impact – it has created a larger sense of purpose day-to-day. Our mission is now not only to transform women’s health and provide women all the products and content they need throughout their entire reproductive cycles, but to make a lasting difference for underserved women when it comes to menstrual equality.  We’re excited to see what happens next!

What’s in store for the future of LOLA?

Jordana Kier: Our focus since launch has been first and foremost on improving the feminine care experience but ultimately, our goal is for LOLA is to be a go-to brand that provides feminine health and hygiene products for women throughout their lives. Since launching with applicator tampons, we’ve expanded to pads and liners, non-applicator tampons, and our First Period Kit, providing smart content and products for girls to feel more prepared. We’re also thrilled to continue growing our LOLA Gives Back program! First launched last October, we’ve pledged to donate 400K products by the end of this year to women in need across the U.S.

We’re proud of what we’ve done in the nearly two years since the business launched. We recently rolled out in Equinox clubs nationwide and partnered with Theory on a limited-edition International Women’s Day kit, with proceeds going to nonprofit Girls Who Code! We’re thrilled to continue the momentum and conversation with new products, content, and partnerships.

from Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

This Deck of Cards Was Inspired By Porcelain

Game of cards anyone? Check out this beautifully illustrated deck of cards from Shann Larsson.

“This Blue & White Porcelain deck was designed and illustrated by Shann Larsson as part of a project between the SCAD Collaborative Learning Center and the Legends Playing Card Company. 

The ‘Blue & White Porcelain’ deck features hand painted and digitally refined illustrations that are inspired by traditional Chinese blue and white ceramics. To mimic this as closely as possible, the deck has been printed with Spot UV varnish over certain parts of each card back as well as the tuck box, giving the artwork a highlight and shine that enhances the colour and gives the cards that extra special, yet subtle, elegant touch.”

“Thematically, the design references the twelve animals of Chinese astrology. The zodiac animals of each face-card were individually hand painted in watercolour, with their edges digitally refined to create a clean, modern, yet subtly traditional work of art. Pattern like abstractions both construct the face-cards and serve as decorative embellishments to the tuck. The deck’s geometric and organic forms also draw inspiration from modern Scandinavian porcelain. 

The deck is a fusion of east and west, much like the city from which the deck was born – Hong Kong.”


Designed & Illustrated By: Shann Larsson 
Project collaboration: SCAD Collaborative Learning Center, Legends Playing Card Company 
Location: Hong Kong

from Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Eattitude Granola Comes With Cute Illustrations

Catarina Borges de Castro designed the endearing packaging for Eattitude Granola.

“The brand Eattitude is an attitude towards our food, our health and the sustainability of the world we live in. These granolas are organic, gluten and sugar free, hand made, 100% healthy and unbelievably delicious. The idea was to create an easy to use and reuse, honest and happy packaging. The illustrations are as insolit/unusual as the granola’s flavour and texture and coloured as our lifes can be.”











Designed By: Catarina Borges de Castro/ZUG
Location: Portugal

from Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

This Modern Wine was Inspired By a Mechanical Background

Check out the branding, packaging design, and wine marketing for Grape Garage 32a by Magnetic Stories – a design bureau based in Karlsruhe & Edesheim, Germany.

“In 1957, his grandfather was one of the first people to bottle wine in Schweigen in the Palatinate region. Just like his grandpa, Alexander Grimm is no cliché winemaker. He is self-taught and learns from his experiences. In addition, he is an industrial mechanic. He started in 2014 and is now producing his third vintage. You can look forward to the surprises to be found in his bottles.”

“Oliver Semik & Lutz Suendermann developed the brandname, branding and designed the lables for the five very impressive newcomer wines (from Riesling to Grauburgunder). The minimalist and stylish approach gives it a truly high-quality look that strongly resonates with modern wine drinkers.”






Agency: Magnetic Stories
Client/Brand: Grape Garage 32a
Winemaker: Alexander Grimm
Designer: Oliver Semik, Lutz Suendermann
Printer: Herzog Etiketten
Location: Germany

from Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News