About Me




"Real food for real people"


Hi and welcome to From the Kitchen - a New Zealand based food and recipe blog. Originally I was going to call my blog "Stuck In the Kitchen" as my initials are S.Tuck - but my boys convinced me that people might think I don't like being 'stuck in the kitchen' - when I absolutely love it! 

I have started this blog for several reasons, one I guess because I work(ed) in a foodie job where I do a lot of background work and prep, with limited opportunity to share my own ideas. (I left the a fore-mentioned job with Annabel Langbein at the end of June 2013 to start freelancing with recipe development, styling and photography - yippee!). Secondly, and much more importantly, I have always loved cooking. Growing up my lovely Mum hated everything about cooking (especially dinner parties), finding the whole thing stressful and unpleasant - and she still does. Conversely I have always felt relaxed in the kitchen - it calms me down - I have been known to bake 6 varieties of cakes in a day once during a very stressful week before moving to Sydney a few years ago. I am neither a baker nor a cook - I'm not fussy, I love it all! I'm slightly perfectionist (my friends are laughing at a wee bit of understatement) and it gives me enormous pleasure to cook for people.  

I hosted my first dinner party for about 12 guests when I was 16, and catered a wedding (solo except for wait staff i.e my sister and her husband, bewildered by their lunatic relative) on Boxing Day when I was about 22 years old. Somehow though I never thought of 'food' as a proper job and started my career in the sales side of magazine publishing, where I spent 8 years. Many, many years later I fell into a foodie job and here I am - loving every minute of it.

My 15 16 17  18 year-old calls it my mid-life crisis and my 17 18 19 20 year-old (yikes where does the time go???) tells me I'm addicted...sadly they may both be a little bit right. But it's OK, I continue because it's fun, and I fantasise that someone might actually cook some of my recipes and enjoy them, and that would make my day. I'm always up for a challenge, so if you have a particular recipe or food you'd like to try, leave a comment, and I'll practice 'til I get it right (the upside of being a perfectionist) then post it...bring it on!

I'd love to hear from you.

P.S. did I mention I love food?

The low-down...


- I live in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand, but head out to Waiheke Island (paradise) whenever possible. I have two fabulous, gorgeous grown-up-ish sons (one in Melbourne, and one in Wellington) and two mad terriers.


- I have no formal cooking training, but have been at home in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. I did an 18-month stint of recipe development (cooking, testing, developing, writing and styling) for NZ celebrity cook Annabel Langbein, leaving at the end of June 2013 to pursue a freelance career.

- All the recipes, styling and photography on the blog are mine, photos taken with my Nikon D600 D800, D810. I always hope to have the food as the hero of the shot, I love choosing props and setting a mood but if you don't want to dive in and eat what's in the photo, I'm not achieving my goal.


- I am a big fan of using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. Pretty much the only things I'll ever use from a can are chickpeas, tomatoes and sweetened condensed milk. That said, I don't believe in making life harder on yourself than necessary, and am all for food processors, blenders and the occasional use of the microwave.


- When I have talked about this blog with people who know more about these things than me, I have been advised to choose an angle. I should pick something like vegan or vegetarian, or healthy or family meals, or baking and desserts, or gluten-free or whole-foods or organic. But I can't. The thing is this is real food for real people who are multifaceted like me. Sometimes I crave a perfectly cooked piece of steak, other times all I want is loads of fresh, gorgeous vegetables or salads, occasionally a nice big piece of cake with a cup of tea or maybe a decadent dessert. I can't choose, all I can do is share with you the recipes I love and hope that you will love them too.


- My other career highlights include 8 years in sales management  in magazine publishing, 2 years as Sales Director Of Elizabeth Arden NZ before leaving to have the first of my two lovely boys, and 6 years as the owner operator and personal trainer of a fitness boot camp which I sold just before starting my work in the 'cooking' industry. Throughout all of my other careers however, food was central to my very existence! (obviously...!).


- a wee interview I did for Dish magazine
- a recent interview for Behind the Camera :)

54 comments :

  1. Maravilhosos!! Tks
    Angela FEola

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  2. I love your blog! Such gorgeous photography and recipes :)

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    1. Thanks so much Gabriella, I really appreciate getting feedback - yay! :)

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  3. Nice site! Found you through your comments on Food52.com.

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    1. Thanks so much Stefani - felt like a bit of a dork mentioning myself!!! :)

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  4. Your food blog is the most beautiful mouth watering that I have ever seen! It makes me want to dive in to some of the dishes and never emerge. The recipes are amazing and the photography incredible. Thank you for what you do :)

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    1. Holy Moly - thank you so much for your lovely message - you've made my day! :)

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  5. Just came across your blog via Pinterest. I manage Parnell Farmers' Market and we've just linked to your Beetroot Risotto recipe. LOVE all your recipes. We'll be sending lots of customers to your blog for more of your beautiful recipes. If you ever want to do a cooking demo with us, give us a shout! Just google Parnell Farmers' Market and you'll find our details. all the best Sarah Thorne, Market Manager

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    1. Hi Sarah - awesome, and thank you so much. I am flat out shooting recipes for Dish at the moment, and then for Simon Gault next week - but let's stay in touch, maybe after that! :)

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  6. Hi,
    Well done! Your blog is the best I have ever seen.
    Thank you for sharing amazing recipes.
    Linda costa

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    1. Wow Linda - thank you so much, I am so glad you like it! :)

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  7. I stumbled across your blog last week and was immediately drawn in by your stand out images! I have saved a number of your recipes to make when I get around to it and last night I made your poached fish in coconut milk for 5 people. It was the discussion point around the evening. I kept overhearing my partners mum commenting on how good it was. Reading through your blog it has inspired me to get myself back in the kitchen and experimenting again! Thank you for re-igniting that spark :)

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    1. Hi and thank you so much for your lovely comments - I am so glad you and your family enjoyed the fish - yay! Good luck and enjoy your cooking :)

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  8. Fantastic your blog, i love it. Greetins from Spain!
    Monie

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    1. Hi Monie, thanks so much for your message - and greetings back to you from New Zealand! :)

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  9. HI Sarah, Lovely to see you here doing so very well. Epic blog viewer numbers! Lots of the magazine gals I worked with back in the day are blooming in all sorts of ways. Go, you. :-)

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    1. Wow Lindsey, how lovely to hear from you - and thank you so much! I hope all is well with you :)

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  10. So glad I found your blog. It's truly gorgeous and I love your cooking and food philosophy. As a foodie professional myself, I totally recognize the importance of having an online outlet to publish exactly those things you love most. I will definitely follow you from now on!

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    1. Hi Denise - thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment - I really appreciate it! :)

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    2. Have just discovered your blog via Food 52. I love it. NZers seem to be doing amazing food things. Love your styling and food.

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    3. Hi Anne - thanks so much for your lovely feedback - it is true we New Zealanders really love our food! :)

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  11. i absolutely love your outlook on what you cook for the blog. i wish i could have put into words as well as you have when i started my baby blog in september. we just like to cook! and with real food! i think the angle thing works for some people but it seems you, me, and i know loads of other people just want to cook good food that people want to eat. this blog is a great example of why i started my own. and the pictures/styling are a treat to look at! thank you!

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    1. Yay - thank you so much for your lovely comments, and I look forward to checking out your blog! :)

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  12. Just found your blog and I'm so glad I did! Gorgeous photos and fabulous looking dishes.....I can't wait to cook some of your recipes in my kitchen. I've always loved to cook and recently started a business with a good friend, so I can have an excuse to spend even more time in the kitchen! I look forward to following your blog!

    Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa - thanks so much for your lovely message - and I do hope you enjoy cooking some of the recipes! :)

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  13. I have just spent a long time browsing your blog and calling it study! (Nutrition student here). I love your food philosophy and beautiful photos, and I can't wait to make some of your lovely recipes :)

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    1. Thanks so much Liz - very glad to be an educational aid(!) and best of luck with your nutrition study! Hope you enjoy the recipes :)

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  14. Just found your blog through facebook share from marie forleo. Love it! Will surely be trying out some of your recipes. But also have found it inspiring! Love the photography!

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    1. Thanks so much Sharon - I'm glad you found your way here! :)

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  15. Dear Sarah,
    You have such an amazing blog, congrats!! I recently featured one of your recipe (the lemon tart) in my blog (in spanish). I obviously made the link to your blog ;) I just hope you don't mind and here is the link so you can have a look: http://bubblesonmyplanet.blogspot.com.es/2015/03/my-kitchen-is-for-dancing-19.html

    If there any problem just let me know, ok? (You can use the contact form in the blog).
    Kind regards, Florence

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    1. Hi Florence - that is totally fine, and thanks for letting me know. I look forward to checking out your blog! :)

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  16. Hi Sarah! I just discovered your blog and I love everything about it! Many thanks and kudos for the beautiful photos, recipes and overall inspiration! (p.s. I can't believe you have two teenage sons! Good on you!)

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    1. Haha - thanks so much Amaryllis - and yep, they're 18 and 20 this year - arggh!!!

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  17. After a bit of a lull, I have just re-found my food-creation spark after remaking one of your beautiful recipes and spent all weekend recipe experimenting. The house has smelt amazing and everyone has commented. Thanks for re-igniting that spark with your passion :)

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    1. Hi - and oh my God, you are so welcome. Yay, I'm so glad you've been having fun :)

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  18. Hi Sarah! I completely know what you mean--shouldn't the unifying theme of seasonal, whole foods be enough?

    I'm currently planning a honeymoon to New Zealand in December. (Queenstown, Milford Trek, Queenstown, Wellington, Hawke's Bay, Aukland.) We seem to share a food philosophy, so I was wondering if you have any favorite shops/restaurants/markets around Auckland you might share? Thanks so much :)

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  19. Hi Cristina, congratulations your upcoming wedding, and I really hope you enjoy your trip to New Zealand. In Wellington there are loads of great restaurants and cafes like Floraditas and Loretta, Matterhorn, Maranui Surf Cafe and in Auckland I love Baduzzi, Woodpecker Hill, Orphan's Kitchen, Depot and for a bit of fun Coco's Cantina and out on Waiheke - Mudbrick and Casita Miro. In Auckland we always got to the French market La Cigale in Parnell on a Saturday or Sunday morning, and for shopping Ponsonby and Newmarket. Have fun!!!

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  20. Just found your wonderful blog after trawling through the net to try to find a good 'local' food blog. I follow a number of overseas blogs, and while they're wonderful, they often use ingredients I'm not familiar with or 'fresh' produce which is out of season here. So excited to find your blog, and I will be giving some of your recipes a go soon! I love that you share a bit of your personal life as well. All the best and thanks! Trudy :)

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  21. Thanks so much Trudy - I am thrilled that you found the blog, and I really hope you enjoy trying some of the recipes! :)

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  22. What a fabulous blog. Am in love with your photography and hungry for your food.. am going to share the link with everyone I know. Found your blog compliments of Bonds email where I saw an article on your pear and date Bundt cake... enough to get me following the link ... and here I've stayed for the past half hour. Thank you, Sarah! From Avril

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    1. Hi Avril - yay, thanks so much for your message, and I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog, and oh my God - yes please - feel free to share! :)

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  23. This is so great! I just stumbled upon your blog today after looking for good examples for starting my own, and the fact you're a New Zealander, AND go to Waiheke (where my family now reside) makes everything 10 times better! Keep up the amazing work <3 New idol I think!

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    1. Haha, thanks so much Meg, I'm so glad you like the blog - and that you found it! :)

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  24. Dear Sarah,
    I love your blog- CONGRATS!!!!
    I "came" here because I find your beautiful recipe with Lemon tart!!!
    This week-end- I will try ..to made for my family !!!
    Happy days & sweet moments from Bucharest !!!

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    1. Hi Sorina! Thank you so much for leaving a message, and I'm so glad you found the blog...happy cooking! :)

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  25. Hi from Australia, just wondering how to subscribe to your blog via email?
    Thanks!

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  26. Hi Anna! Did you try clicking on the Subscribe To: Posts at the bottom of the page? :)

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  28. Hi Sara,
    You've been on my mind since hearing about the devastating earthquakes and typhoons that struck New Zealand. Are you and your family OK?
    Jackie Berger
    Waukesha, Wisconsin

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    1. Hi Jackie - thank you so much for your kind message! yes we are all fine - luckily Rich flew back up from university in Wellington (near the epicentre) the day before the earthquake :) I really appreciate your kind thoughts.

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  29. thank you for your blog my name is pascal and chef at humming bird cafe in butte mt usa
    we do specialize in vegan and vegetarian food and did for the first time your coconut milk panacotta and it was a whaoo factor i can tell you
    every body loved it and specially i made mango curd with it so thanks thanks and merci your blog is awsome and a inspiration for ideas and new research
    pascal email barneville1944@mail.com

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    1. Hi Pascal, thanks so much for taking the time to send me a message, I really appreciate it - and I'm thrilled that you are using and enjoying the recipes! :)

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