After a nomadic few years living in LA and traveling the world with her music manager husband and young daughter, Claire Snel recently moved home to Byron Bay. A visual artist, jeweller and writer, Claire also excels in the kitchen and recently started her blog Real Good Things by Claire Snel after friends demanded to know more about the baked creations she was posting online. It’s total food porn for health conscious foodies. Her insanely beautiful cakes, treats and snacks all taste as good as they look and are guilt free too as Claire steers well away from sugar and all the bad stuff. We were thrilled when Claire recently whipped up her Rainbow cake for Love Mae’s 9th birthday!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself in 25 words or less?Sure … Hmm, I’m a mum, wife, and maker of things, I’m messy (but trying hard not to be). I’m tactile - my hands are, strong indelicate and always busy. I collect things, especially second hand books – on many subjects (slightly compulsively), which I rarely find time to read (but I will one day!)… I appreciate mindfulness, family, and friendships. I admire people who don’t always take the path of least resistance when it comes to the things they believe in.
How did the idea for ‘Real Good Things’ originally come about?I guess it’s a new project that just evolved naturally… I’ve always created things so cooking and experimenting with cakes just happened. When my daughter was a toddler and we travelled a lot there wasn’t much time or space for creative pursuits so the kitchen just became my default outlet.. I call it my meditation! My husband encouraged me to start to share it recently – at first I was hesitant to food spam my friends but now I’ve realised they don’t mind the taste-testing perks. My husband and dad both have quite strict dietary requirements so it’s a fun challenge creating magic looking cakes without all the refined, fake stuff.
We are strong believers that food is nature’s medicine and love how you have created so many treats and snacks that are as beautiful as they are nutritious! What has been your favourite creation to date?Ooh That’s a tough one – Each time I make a cake that’s my fave – because it’s what I’m vibing on at the time! My daughter Sass has requested (actually dictated to the very detail) a Zombie Cake for her 5th birthday coming up and I think it’s going to be very cool when it’s done.
Having lived in many different parts of the world have you found that your habits and inspiration for what you cook has changed with the locations?!Definitely .. We lived in L.A for 3 and ½ years and travelled to many places over the world with our kiddo during that time. I’m definitely inspired by those different cuisines, street foods and produce. In the Netherlands I walked to the grocery store every day just to stare at the array of cheeses. I now appreciate pumpkin pie, bagels and there is a whole wide world of iced tea I previously never new existed, ha ha. Mostly though I’m inspired by the produce that’s local to the place at that time. It just makes so much sense to cook seasonally – shipping a pomegranate across the globe then buying it for an exorbitant price seems mad for so many reasons.
We feel so lucky that we got to enjoy the most ridiculously cool rainbow cake that was made by you for our 9th birthday! Can you share the recipe with us?My absolute pleasure! Of Course…. It’s easy to make – I promise!
You can download the Recipe here!
After lots of travelling you and your family have chosen to settle in the Byron Bay area with your family, what do you love most about the area?Gee .. what’s not to love ? We love the beaches, the normality of healthy living, the sense of community, and living close to nature - but not in an isolated way….. Being able to have your kids climb trees everyday and go bare-foot isn’t something I’ll ever take for granted again.
Have you ever struggled to get your little one Sass to eat healthy food?Ha ha- of course !
Like all parents some days it’s a dream and other times it feels like a battle of wills. I’ve always tried to consciously make new foods about discovery and adventure; leading by example.. but I think there are intrinsic taste preferences in us all. The thing she particularly avoids is avocado … Pretty much my favourite thing !?
What’s the best piece of parenting advice you have received?From my dad – “don’t sweat the small stuff – it’s all small stuff.” Pretty sure it’s from one of the many personal growth books he buys (compulsively) and doesn’t read …… Yes, it must be hereditary. And when I once asked my mum how long it took her to get her kids from sleeping in her bed she replied “ I’m not sure, but you don’t sleep in my bed now do you?” and I realised that it actually doesn’t matter and that one day I won’t even remember the tired days, just the happy morning cuddles.
Is there anything you have swore you would never do as a parent but have found yourself doing?Oh dear, umm so many things ! Like all parents – You hold fast to your core values but along the way you realise sometimes you just have let the peripheral things slide to survive the day, flight, night or hour – by whatever means necessary … Access to T.V and the looming reality of technology in our everyday lives is probably the most current hurdle.
What’s in store for you in the next few months?Ooh good question ? Hmmmm – more bakin’ makin’ and shakin I’m sure…. I’m right into making choccie truffles at the moment !
And lastly, what’s on top of your Love Mae wishlist?Ooh loving the new 4 plate packs in all pretty designs – the peacock and doe are too cute!… And my daughter loves her Australiana dinner set ! It’s actually the only thing she’s allowed me to serve her meal on since she got it – so happy it’s dish washer- proof. I think the alphabet prints are a wonderful educational aides that look cool too … I think that might be on the birthday list.
Claire shares her recipes and journey on her website: http://clairesnel.com/
You can also find her on:
Check out her Rainbow Sprinkles recipe online Sarah Wilson's 'I Quit Sugar' website here too!
We hope you love Claire just as much as we do!
Love... Mae xx