About Me

I started writing this food blog in April 2007 because I love sharing recipes, I love writing, and I found such wonderful inspiration for cooking on the web. Back then my partner, E, and I were a carefree couple (or so it seems in retrospect) enjoying the cinema, galleries, museums and eating out. We had just moved into a new home in Melbourne, Australia. Since then life has changed considerably. Here is my family in order of arrival in our home:

Green Gourmet Giraffe (Johanna)
That’s me! I am not really gourmet but I do love cooking. I am neither tall nor slender as a giraffe (just in case I had misled you) but I do love to surround myself with giraffes and green things. I learnt to cook from family and friends and by trial and error. I became a vegetarian in 1991, so tofu seems more normal than chicken to me, though I had a meat and three veg childhood.

At university I studied history and literature, and on this blog I have been delighted to find it is fun to write about how these interests relate to food. In fact, I have found most things can have some relation to food – current affairs, my daily life, family history, music, television, popular culture, offbeat topics, rants, all find their way here. I love sampling new foods, revisiting old favourites, baking cakes, and trying quirky recipes.

My cookbooks no longer fit in my shelves and are taking over the house. Since I moved out of home I have been gathering bits and pieces for the kitchen and it is now full of clutter or treasures depending on how you look at it. I never had any interest in gardening before moving to this house but I now love our ever expanding assortment of pots of herbs and citrus trees in our wee garden. I also can’t resist a good list. Here is a list of my likes and dislikes (which, like all of my life, are subject to change – the dislikes may appear in recipes but rarely will feature):

Likes: chocolate, cheese, yoghurt, colourful food, cakes, nuts, stone fruit, berries, desiccated coconut, vegemite, soups, salads, pumpkin, bread, oats, nut roast, vegie sausages, vegan omelettes, dried apricots, broccoli, beetroot, condensed milk, pomegranate, garlic, asparagus, smoked paprika, mustard, kombucha

Dislikes: coffee, eggs, milk, cream, seitan, TVP and other faux meats, fresh coriander (cilantro), lemon desserts, rolling out pastry, deep frying, raw fennel, mango, melons, very spicy food, coconut oil

If you want to find out more about me, you just need to read my posts, especially those that I have linked to at the bottom of this page. 
You can find the links to all my posts organised in my recipe index and my reflections and reviews page(Photo of Green Gourmet Giraffe cake)

My ex-husband. We met in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he had lived all his life. I lived there for a few years before we came home to Melbourne where I was born and spent most of my adult life. He is a musician and taught me much about music and film. He is not a cook but shared the food I cooked, although his tastes are for plainer food than me, especially when it comes to baking. But he was willing to taste almost anything, helped me brainstorm for the blog, kept the music playing on the stereo, entertained Sylvia while I cook, and did the dishes after I have made a mess of the kitchen.  Separated since the end of 2019. We still share the occasional meal!  (Photo of Vampire cake)

Our cat. We were lucky to be given her by a friend who, sadly for her, couldn’t keep her. She has such a lovely character. Our friend found her in the lost cats home aged 2. They should have put her down but couldn’t bear to because she was so lovable. I am constantly grateful for that. She has been solace in difficult times and brought us great delight. I used to say I would never have a cat and now our home would not be complete without one.  Zinc died in August 2016.
  (Photo of Viking cat cake)

Alex and Ian
Our twin sons who were stillborn in 2007. I don’t write about them a lot but they are part of the blog just as they will always be part of my life. Always sadly missed.
(Photo of Twins first birthday cake)

Our daughter who was born in 2009. As a little girl, she was gorgeous, chatty and giggly but also particular about her food.  In 2011 she was diagnosed with a peanut allergy.  She loves baking with me though seems intent on eating the flour.  You will glimpse her - and her dolly - on the blog but she doesn't eat all that we do.  You can also see some of the craft we do together.  (Photo of pram cake)

Our cat who came to us from Ingrid's Haven in March 2017 aged 4.  We don't know much about where he had spent the first few years of his life.  He was very timid when we got him but is a very determined cat who can open doors and knock on the door.  He still isn't very vocal but loves to snuggle on on the end of the bed if he is not hiding under it.  (Photo of cat cupcake)

In addition to our little household, I grew up in a large family of three sisters and three brothers and our beloved dogs. You will encounter them at various times in the blog, both in recollections and in present gatherings. My mum makes a frequent appearance. She taught me to love food and cooking. I still love to discuss a recipe and ask advice from her. My dad loves to sample my baking, being an expert in this field (eating not baking the stuff). And I have a growing number of nieces and nephews who are harsh critics and willing helpers in the kitchen. I try out quite a bit of gluten free baking because my sister and niece are celiacs. (Photo of handbag cake)

Last but not least, I love sharing food – and sometime the cooking – with my friends either when eating out or in our homes. I have learnt a lot from friends about food and cooking, especially in shared households. More recently I have learnt so much about blogging and cooking from my blog friends that I wish I could invite you all over for a big blog dinner party. Given that this is not possible, I try to join in blog events where possible – our virtual dinner parties!

For more about me, these posts may be illuminating:
New Year recaps
To contact me:

You are welcome to contact me with questions or comments at gggiraffe07[AT]yahoo[DOT]com[DOT]au. I love hearing from readers but don't exchange links, advertise, accept freebies, review products, accept guest posts, do giveaways.  More information at my FAQs on contact and comments.

Find me elsewhere:

Page last updated January 2022