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About Me

A busy Kiwi mum baking simple, tasty recipes

Hi, I’m Rachel. After 20+ years in the media (as a TV producer, journalist and news reporter) I started my One Handed Baker blog to share my love of baking. I never once imagined that the name ‘One Handed’ would become so true to life. In November 2020 I woke up from shoulder surgery to find that I’d lost the use of my right hand. Life has been turned upside down since. While always grateful that my situation wasn’t worse, the levels of pain have been (and still are) horrific. Months later (many specialists/MRIs/nerve conduction tests/neurologists etc*) and my journey is ongoing. I’m learning to live without the use of my dominant right hand, and have constant pain spasms and tremors. I can no longer tie shoe-laces, hold a pen, zest a lemon, drive or work… One thing that hasn’t changed though is my love for baking! 
 
The One Handed Baker story began back in 2017. I’ve always loved creating new recipes and playing with old favourites, and began filming them on my iPhone. At that time I wasn’t able to walk well (I used a walking stick and was no stranger to wheelchairs), couldn’t do my normal day job, and was about to have major spine surgery. I filmed a few recipes thinking that editing them would give me Rachel Hart, one handed baker, tv, food blogger, the cafesomething to do while recovering afterwards… (I actually spent an additional month in hospital post-surgery fighting a tissue and bone infection). But eventually I did edit the videos and was delighted when people started liking them and following my page!
 
Like so many people, I constantly juggled work, housework, playing with the kids, social life (huh?)… the ‘One Handed’ theme also refers to how we all multi-task in life. It actually came about after I pretty much baked a cake with one hand while helping with homework with the other! No tripods, no fancy equipment – no helpers… That’s why all my recipes are simple!
 
In April 2020, I joined The Café tv show (9am weekdays on Three) during NZ’s lockdown, baking recipes from my home kitchen. I was able
to film safely within my home bubble, thanks to my husband working as my cameraman, and our kids helping out too. Baking doesn’t need to be complicated, so often simple recipes are the tastiest.
 
Away from cooking, I have a lot of health issues. Like a LOT. I’ve had several major surgeries, broken countless bones, have a metal cage and screws in my spine, live with a serious bowel condition, and have a one-in-a-million rare incurable bone disease. And that’s just off the top of my head! Throughout 2019 and 2020 I wore a sling for many months, waiting for two surgeries on my shoulder and collar bone – so yes was one-handed for a while back then too! Baking has helped me through some Rachel Hart, one handed baker, tv, the cafe, kitchen, tv cook, tv presenter, nz dark times, keeps me calm and makes me happy. 
 
When I’m not baking I love to read, and am a huge movie lover. (In a previous life I was an entertainment reporter and did lots of cool stuff like interviewing Pierce Brosnan on the set of James Bond, and going to Britney Spears’ European tour wrap party in London!). I live in Auckland with my husband, two kids and three rescue animals.
 
Thanks so much for stopping by…  feel free to get in touch at hello@onehandedbaker.com or find me on Facebook or Instagram. (I’m thrilled to have 25,500+ followers on social media – thank you!)
 
   Rachel x

  • Brachial Neuritis, brachial plexus injury, Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), winged scapula – all terms I’d NEVER heard before November 2020!