Revealing our Dignity

Jessica Rey

Modesty is not trendy. Do a simple google search for modest  dress and you will overwhelmed by frumpy, dumpy and daggy items of women’s apparel. Think full length tents pulled in at all of the wrong places! So it is always refreshing to see a smart, savvy woman advocate modesty and fashion. Jessica Rey’s new line of swimwear is anti – bikini. But her swim line offers women a real alternative. And I find this refreshing.

Q Ideas presents this compelling talk by Jessica Rey about the history of the bikini, modesty and fashion. Did you know the original bikini was meant to fit through a wedding ring!? Jessica Rey argues that within the construct of modesty, there is a freedom—that modesty isn’t about covering up what’s bad, but about revealing dignity.

Pretty in Pink

 This week I made another great food discovery. The lovely David and Luise from Green Kitchen Stories. A beautiful website and blog with hundreds of truly amazing recipes and pictures of food that make you want to cook – healthy, clean, vegetarian food.  And just recently they have published a book, which will be on my Xmas wish list.

But let us not get distracted. Here is a dessert that is good for you, truly. And for some reason it has the wow factor. It must be because it is so pretty in pink.  

Frozen Pink Cheesecake
300 g (2 cups) almonds
10-12 fresh dates, pitted
2 tbsp coconut oil
a pinch of salt
2 cups fresh (or frozen) raspberries & strawberries
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup honey
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup 
quark or curd (you could probably also replace it with a fat Greek or Turkish yogurt)
1 cup fresh summer fruit and a couple of edible flowers
Grind almonds in a blender or a food processor for about a minute. Add dates, coconut oil and salt and run the processor until it all comes together. Flatten it out on the bottom of an 8-inch non-stick spring form. Store in the fridge while you make the filling.
Blend berries, lemon juice and honey. Stir together mascarpone, curd and the blended berries in a large bowl. Pour it on top of the crust in the spring pan and put it in the freezer for 1-2 hours (you can keep it in the freezer for days but then you have to let it soften a bit before you serve it) .
Top the cake with fresh fruit and a couple of flowers. Serve immediately.

Don’t Forget to Breathe…..

I wonder what stands out as you read this? Is there one message that sums up what you are feeling today? Or do you react to the overall mandate that you really need to look after yourself – yes, you. Yesterday I did a Pilates class for the first time in so, so long. Today I can feel muscles that I have not stretched for a long time. It hurts to move. But this too feels good. But the best thing about the class was that I had to focus on breathing, long deep breaths. Sometimes life is so busy that I forget to breathe……

Anna Maria Horner Crush

Anna Maria Horner
Have you noticed that ‘crushes’ seem to be the thing? Another way of saying I like you, respect you and am intrigued by you? I guess I have always been in awe of Anna Maria Hornera fabric designer whose work is full of colour and energy. Furthermore, she  manages to do life with a big family. I have written about her amazing story, keeping her first child and embracing the gift of life, when so many in her situation may have aborted. Her love of family has continued. I was happy to read that she has just had baby number 7, Mary Anna Louisa. Special. And whilst the tumultuous highs and lows of family unfold she manages to create and make and inspire here. 

Sweet and Bitter

Where are you flying today? It is well and truly winter here in the Southern Hemisphere. The days are getting shorter, the air cooler, the nights freezing. As my little one says,” Mummy I am making smoke with my mouth!” Well steam at least. In spite of the lovely markers of the changing seasons it is easy to feel blue and downcast. Heavy hearted that the weather has again transported you to the blues. Don’t fear blue bird. Allow yourself to fly……winter will soon become spring. A day will come when all pain and suffering and hardship and grief and tears will end. He holds the hope to a future of real joy!  

“Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven. Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories like Joseph and Job and Esther and Ruth is to help us feel in our bones (not just know in our heads) that God is for us in all these strange turns. God is not just showing up after the trouble and cleaning it up. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far-reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.” 

― John PiperA Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God

Gluten/Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Cake with Red Kidney Beans


I want to share with you a great new cake that was first made as cupcakes for afternoon tea, followed by a large dessert cake to feed guests. It is a dark chocolate cake that is gluten free, dairy free and uses honey instead of sugar. The secret ingredient is red kidney beans.

Lorna Jane Clarkson’s blog: Move Nourish Believe has a great recipe for this cake. She calls it Red Kidney Bean Cake, but I did not tell the kids or guests what was the main ingredient, so I just call it a Gluten Free Chocolate Cake. When I made the cupcakes I found that I had no red kidney beans and substituted cannellini beans. I think I got a lighter tastier cake. The dessert cake version called for a simple doubling of the ingredient and around 40 minutes in the oven. Cook until the cake stops wobbling in the centre. And I served it with Greek Yoghurt, perhaps a drizzle of honey and some fresh berries. The original recipe has you making a fondant icing using tofu…. not quite there yet. Enjoy!