Avocado And Lime Ice Cream, Prop Problems And Feeling Lost

by | Nov 30, 2016 | 23 comments


Before I share my recipe for this gorgeous Avocado Ice Cream, let me tell you that a lot has happened since the last two times I did a little catch-up on the blog. Today, I thought I’ll fill you in on what has been happening in my kitchen and in my life.

Avocado And Lime Ice Cream - Cook Republic

Too many food photography props and how to curate them ..

Things have gotten out of hand. Props have gone wild. I repeat, Props have gone wild! That is my take from looking at pictures in those old catch up posts and walking around my home looking at stacks and stacks of props – in the kitchen, in the garage, in the study and heck even in my bedroom! Like Samuel L Jackson in movies, my props are literally everywhere. And the more I have, the less I feel I am able to achieve.

After having that epiphany a few weeks ago, I systematically started sorting through my prop shelves, drawers, cupboards and tables. I donated two big boxes of props on the first day. Then the really old ones and ones I had used in a lot of my old shoots got taken to the Second Hand Studio in Hornsby. After which began a very difficult journey of culling props that I still love dearly, that I still use in my shoots and thought I would never part with. But it was for the best.

So I started putting them up for sale on Instagram every Monday evening with the hope that they would find a new owner that would love them and give them a new lease of life in their photographs and on their shelves. It is going to be a long process because I still need to buy new props for new shoots and projects but I am realizing the importance of balancing the influx of new objects by culling the old. If someone would’ve told me a few years ago when I really started boosting my prop collection what a negative effect it would have on my time and life, I would’ve been more mindful of the whole process.

Avocado And Lime Ice Cream - Cook Republic Avocado And Lime Ice Cream - Cook Republic Avocado And Lime Ice Cream - Cook Republic

The life cycle of grief and joy …

An entire year has passed since I did my last food photography and styling workshop. Since then I have shot two cookbooks, an app and nearly 50 shoots for clients. I have tested and developed enough recipes to fill a book and nursed a massive work-related injury that sprained a rib and popped out two of my vertebrae out of alignment .. ouch! Which limited my movement and exercise which in turn limited my often wordy and long-winded posts, because I think of things to write when I walk or work out.

And just like that my older son is off to high school next year and my younger one is nearly as tall as me. Our bunnies died, two of our chickens died and the current lot bring me no joy with their bad feather-picking habits. And every day I wonder whether to just write here on the blog, read other blogs, work less, cook more, do more and be more or grab new opportunities, step out of my comfort zone, get out more, word harder and do new things.

You see, it isn’t as simple as that. It isn’t black or white. There are so many shades of grey and blue and green and yellow in there. But the internal dialogue is constant. The fear of life passing me by is there. The uncertainty of whether my work is good enough lurks. The anxiety that I am not doing enough for my family wrecks havoc. The horror of a Trump presidency looms. The pressure to be more is palpable. The struggle is real. And if you throw an illness in the mix, the entire structure collapses like a house of cards. I don’t understand how some people do it all. They seem to have endless bouts of energy and enthusiasm and time to do so many different things. I struggle at best on any given day, I honestly do. Maybe you relate with me?

Avocado And Lime Ice Cream - Cook Republic Avocado And Lime Ice Cream - Cook Republic

Feeling lost in a sea of beautiful things and moments …

I actually have no idea why I went off on a tangent when all I wanted to do was share a recipe for an Avocado ice cream but it sure felt good. Isn’t that what blogging is meant to do? Gosh, it feels so far removed from the usual recent recipe posts I do where I just talk about the recipe and nothing else, but it feels right.

And I need to talk more about me, my life, what affects me, what lifts me up and what brings me down. But you need time for that. The time that I do not have because I am working too much? or thinking too much? or spending it on moving and organizing an excessive amount of props? Whatever the reason, I feel like something needs to change and give. I need to subtract, subtract, subtract and then curb my desire to add, add, add. That doesn’t come naturally to me. I am an excessive person on all counts, living larger than life, hands in all pies.

But I feel lost. Lost in all the excessiveness. Lost without a clear demarcation of life, of work, of time and me. To feel less lost, I read and look at pictures and to motivate me and bring me calm – like Heidi Swanson’s fridge shelfies (if I can achieve that, I think I can achieve Nirvana!), like Deb Perlman’s minimal kitchen and everyday delicious food with no bells and whistles, like Clare’s just cook it-just grow it-just do it attitude, like Hayley’s everyday visual musings time and tide and everything in between and like this mood board of mine where I want to live every single day. But I still feel lost. I have figured that a prop detox or social media detox or anything along those lines is only temporary. It has to be bigger than that, a complete overhaul of everything. What do you do if you ever feel that way? Because I am lost!

I took the below pictures  a few minutes ago. While you decide whether to feel envious or sorry, I’ll share a recipe with you that recently brought me joy. I never thought I’d say this, but I made an ice cream with avocado and I liked it! I loved it even more because it is a lazy ice cream for a time-poor lazy person like me. Chuck in blender, whizz in blender, chuck in freezer, wait ….. for a long time, scoop and eat! I consulted my favourite Flavour Thesaurus and working on an indirect ingredient correlation theory in my own head, added a few simple ingredients that I thought would elevate the avocado to the skies. And it worked! But I did not indulge in an elaborate shoot, just the bare essential ice cream scoop on the tabletop and it still looked good enough to make me want to lick the table. It is something I have been incorporating in my own shoots (not client shoots) – minimalism. A silent protest against props. A Prop Detox. Keeping it really simple. With the focus on food.

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Despite everything, I do love my job .. all the recipes, all the mess, all the chaos and those darned overflowing props. Hopefully next time I play catch-up here on the blog, I would’ve conquered my hoarding tendencies and developed a cure for a life threatening disease while I am at it. Meanwhile, please do make this ice cream! It is sensational and don’t forget to share it, rate it, comment on it etc. It makes my day when you write, it feels like someone is listening (or reading!).


Avocado And Lime Ice Cream - Cook Republic


5 from 5 votes
Print Recipe Rate / Comment
Course // Dessert, Ice Cream
Cuisine // Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Servings: 6


  • 3 avocados, peeled and seed removed
  • 220 g condensed milk
  • 270 ml coconut milk
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  • Place all ingredients in the jug of a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour in a shallow metal tin (an aluminium loaf/cake tin works a treat). Cover with cling wrap and freeze in the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • Thaw for 5-10 minutes at room temperature before serving.
Did you make my recipe?I'd love to hear how you went! Tag me on Instagram @cookrepublic






I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Rosa

    Wow, that a load of props! Wish I had that many…

    This ice cream sounds amazing. Amazing flavours.



  2. Melanie Hall

    Oh Sneh, I totally understand where you’re coming from, although you’re much more able to express it clearly than I am! I have just had a birthday with a number that I still can’t believe, my mother is sliding away with dementia, I’m buried under a mountain of props, and I can’t even claim that my blog is successful or read by anyone other than a small group of loyal friends. And yet I continue to feel the pressure to achieve, succeed, feel satisfied, find contentment; perhaps at the bottom of all of this is a feeling of dissatisfaction with myself…
    And so, like you, I find myself in the kitchen because that love of cooking and creating never leaves me, no matter how bad the depression is on some days; I have a conviction that it will get me through anything and everything, and so far, I’ve been right.

    Here’s hoping that such honesty as you’ve displayed today will help to make all of us that little bit stronger; if it’s any comfort at all, you’ve really given me a gift tonight…thank you.

  3. Taste of France

    Lots of props indeed! Maybe not enough shelves? It’s fantastic that you have so much work. Somehow food photography sounds very zen.
    I keep seeing avocado used in recipes like brownies, but I can’t wrap my brain around it. Somehow lime and avocado sound more tenable and I will have to try this.

  4. Jo Anderson

    Oh Sneh what a delight it is to find even the masters still grapple with the “is my work good enough” inner chatter. I am and always will be in awe of your work and you’re one the ones I always wonder.. how do they do it all? Big love to you.

  5. Sophie

    Sneh, your blog, Instagram and classes (when I did one!) are so inspirational you could take some comfort at least that I have benefitted from all your work! One thing that’s been helping me as I also battle feeling lost is mindfulness. There are lots of apps out there to get you started and I can genuinely say it’s been making a big difference to the way I think about things – in ways I didn’t even realise initially! Thank you again for all your hard work!!

    Can’t wait to try the recipe – it looks amazing!

  6. Kerrie

    Hi Sneh, wow, so much pressure! I’m not a raving looney, but I wondered if you would like to give up the ‘striving’ and just ‘be’! As a Christian, I believe that Jesus has done all the work for us and he wants us to rest in his care. Maybe you could talk to someone at your local church. I know it’s what helps me.

  7. Ange Palermo

    Hear ya sister! I wish I had an easy answer for you (and me) but I don’t! When I see you next I’ll give you a big hug. And I will be happy to continue buying props off you! I’ll help you declutter!! Hehe! You’ve got to laugh because honestly, what ya do (as one of my friend always tells me)!

    Keep as present as you can. Drop those storylines – they don’t help! Breath. x

  8. Hetty McKinnon

    5 stars
    I can relate to your sentiments Sneh! Not with your prop situation but with feeling lost and wondering how to balance work life with family life. It’s my constant struggle. I want to do more all the time, the next step looms incessantly, but I chastise myself for not taking the leap because I don’t want to be ‘invisible’ mum. Anyway I took comfort in reading your words and wish we were closer together to hang out. Lots of love xxx

  9. Tori//Gringalicious.com

    Wow Sneh, I just wanted to say that I can completely relate to everything you said in this post. Even though it may be a whole different set of circumstances for me, I’m going through a similar season of just feeling lost in my life. Hang in there, Girl, and keep on going. Also, you should know how much of an inspiration your work is for me.

  10. Meg

    5 stars
    I get you sister. After starting a brand new career at 53 I am realizing that we are all at different places on our journey and comparing myself to others is unrealistic and discouraging. I say we embrace our talents along with our messiness, and remember that EVERYONE shares the same human condition, regardless of their pristine social media presence (thanks for sharing, and helping me remember I am not alone in this).

  11. Coco in the Kitchen

    Another gorgeous recipe! I can’t wait to taste this.

    Sneh, your photos are always so inviting. I wish I lived in Oz
    and could take one of your workshops!

  12. Georgina

    Thank you Sneh for sharing, your words were lovely and really resonated with me at the moment. I too feel overwhelmed and anxious, especially with all the Christmas deadlines looming. I always appreciate your posts. Also, I’m terribly envious of your prop collection but I agree your beautifully minimalist photos here show that the props are not always necessary when your food looks as delicious as this.

  13. Martyna

    Hi Sneh,

    Sending big hugs – sometimes we, the restless dreamers and creatives, end up doing so much we spread ourselves thin and unintentionally miss the important things. I am trying very hard to keep life in balance at the moment and I hope you will find yours in amidst all your beautiful passions and props too.


  14. Richa

    Big hug Sneh. I’m a two year old blogger and it already feels like there is always too much to do, and too little time. It’s heartening to know that someone like you also goes through that on some days because it just feels like I’m not the only one feeling overwhelmed. I love how honest you always are about these things, and it just encourages new bloggers like me so very much. While things are so tough on days that I wonder why I even started doing this in the first place, I love what I do, and I know you do too. It’s so obvious in your writing and pictures that you probably wouldn’t trade it for anything else, and that’s just amazing. I’m sorry if I’m rambling but this post really touched my heart because the last few days have been especially tough with multiple deadlines looming up. I just want to say – hang in there. You are the best!

  15. Nagi@RecipeTinEats

    5 stars
    Gosh Sneh, you aren’t alone, of course you aren’t alone! You are totally normal and I think having your blog as an outlet is healthy, I really do. Pause and take a big breath. Don’t feel the pressure to have to blog – I know client work is another matter – but try to take time out. I’ve been really lucky this past couple of months to have taken time out for myself. Work like a mad dog then escape for a few days to internet-free places 🙂 Re: prop overflow – ok, jealous / understand. Daunting! Your prop collection looks like my garage except it’s not filled with props 🙁 One suggestion is to have a prop garage sale at your place. I’d be there in a flash! N xx

  16. Ann Merry

    I was enjoying your blog and recipe posts…just ran across your blog when I saw a recipe link for the Market Veggie Strata. I like the idea of simple eating, and basically cooking “clean”. Then I saw your reference to “the horror of a Trump presidency looms”….OK, when politics becomes part of someone’s blog, I am “done”. Of course I understand that people have political views that differ from mine, but people are making statements as if they were gospel truth! What this president does or does not accomplish…remains to be seen. I was thinking you reside in Australia…I wouldn’t think of remarking on your government leaders….And I realize this is your blog, to say what you wish. But I am not sure why you want to alienate your readers, and those who might purchase your books, etc.

    • Sneh

      Ann, making a single statement in over 500 posts across a 11 year period that reflects one’s inner fear and trepidation doesn’t make the blog about “politics”. Yes, I live in Australia but the anxiety comes from the fact that we are all not secluded in our little nations, that the actions of one country affects many others. I have no interest in the politics of your country (I am assuming you are in US) but the fact is that in recent times the TPP was scrapped as a result of the politics in US and that affects Australia, as do many other little things from the price of the dollar to petrol to bank interest rates (mortgage repayments) and the economy at large. It is a snowball effect and it is my blog, I think I am justified in occasionally voicing what makes me anxious without preaching or being confrontational which is so not my style. Of course your opinions are your own and if you choose to not read the wonderful stories and recipes I share from my corner of the world 99.9% of the time, it is your loss :-).

      • Kiaina Phillipa

        5 stars
        Well said! I applaud your respectful and non wavering way of wording your response. I agree with you. Continue wowing us with your blog.
        -A continued reader

  17. Cristina walker

    I love your blog I love your recipies I love your honesty I love your food photography please continue to inspire continue to tell your stories

  18. Helen Tan

    5 stars
    I’ve just come across your blog and wanted to thank you for posting – your recipes are inspiring, and I love your tangential discussions. I feel overwhelmed by my own stuff, and your photos give me hope – if you can do away with your lovely props, I could surely let go of my (less lovely) stuff with less fuss. I recognise it wasn’t an easy thing for you to do so well done! I also tend to live life in excess which quickly turns into overwhelm when out of balance, like almost every other day… aaaagh. But such is life of a sensation seeking sensitive. I’m touched when I come across people sharing similar stories, so thank you very much for writing.

  19. Joy

    Hurray Sneh for your comment to Ann Merry from February 2017! I wonder what she now thinks after the confirmation vote from yesterday?! I came across your blog by accident and it was your comment originally that caught my eye in a good way! Love your site and will continue to follow…One’s loss is another’s gain! XO

  20. Deborah

    Hi Sneh,
    I love the sound of this ice cream, but was wondering if there’s a healthier substitute for the condensed milk, please?



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