On Wednesday, I turn thirty. Being a summer baby is wonderful in many ways, but with weddings and holidays it’s always been tricky to get everyone in one place at one time to celebrate. This year – the one so many of my friends have been hitting their third decade, deciding to get married or embarking on exciting adventures abroad – is no exception and my thirtieth celebrations seem to have extended to about six weeks worth of dinners, parties and weekends away. I’m definitely not complaining. Continue reading
This time one week from now I’ll be hundreds of miles from home, sitting by the side of the pool at my parents’ house in Italy. We haven’t left the country since our honeymoon in Bali last year and I’m itching to get out of London, away from my daily commute and into the holiday swing. This year we’re spending the week with both my parents and big brother as an Italian family warm up to my 30th birthday at the end of July. There will be barbecues and sunbathing, amazing food (made by both my Mum and restaurants like this) and plenty of wine enjoyed over meals where we wonder for the umpteenth time if we might prefer a permanent life in the Tuscan hills over London. Continue reading
. . . I’ve been working on the first round of edits for my book. Most of my spare baking time has been spent in front of the computer or scribbling myself notes and any time spent in the kitchen (beyond what we eat on a day to day basis) has mostly focused on re-testing any recipes then testing again. It might be a couple of weeks before I post anything new, so in the meantime here are some more iPhone snaps of what I’ve been working on.
There was also a nice little feature on the little loaf from Sorted Food last week. If you’re new to this space it offers a lovely little recap of my last few years blogging. Just don’t look too closely at those early posts please: they’re a little like a disastrous past haircut in terms of cringe factor.
If there’s a meat-eating man in your life, you’ll likely have heard of the Paleo diet. My carnivorous husband is a fitness fanatic, always looking for new ways to incorporate protein into every meal and the Paleo approach of eating enormous quantities of meat, eggs, nuts and seeds is endlessly appealing to his inner caveman.
In theory there are benefits to eating in this ancient, natural way. In practice, there’s so much I’d miss – pulses, whole grains and dairy, not to mention flour, chocolate and all sorts of sweet things which, while less immediately nourishing for your body, are one of the pleasures in life and, arguably, good for your soul. Continue reading
A little while back I mentioned our plans to buy a bigger flat which, unfortunately, have now fallen through. Rather than getting stuck on what just wasn’t meant to be, we’ve decided to stay where we are, do some renovations and make the place as perfect as possible for the next few years. With two comfortable bedrooms and a good sized garden you can guess what the the focus of our attentions is going to be: the kitchen. Continue reading
When I was little I loved helping my Mum out with drinks parties. It felt exciting and somehow glamorous to be staying up late, dressing up smart and pushing trays of canapés round a room of grown-ups, eavesdropping on their conversations and sipping soft drinks from my very own champagne glass. And then there was the food – making it in advance with my Mum, arranging salamis and cheese straws on plates or punching cocktail sticks into a melon (this was the ’80s, after all), offering plates of treats to guests and seeing the smiles on their faces with that very first bite. Continue reading
One of the strange things about writing a cookbook is wondering where my recipes will end up. I don’t necessarily mean the tables that they’ll grace or mouths that they’ll feed – although I’m completely fascinated by that too – but the way in which people will interpret what I’ve written, reinventing their very own versions of the flavours I eat and enjoy. Continue reading
With the sun shining and the second May Bank Holiday just around the corner, it’s time to bring out the cocktails. That, plus the fact that I handed in the first draft of my cookbook this morning – all 8 chapters, 100 recipes and 50,000 words (yep, I might have overshot the word limit a fraction but that’s what the editor’s for, right?) of it. Let’s celebrate. Continue reading
My first book deadline is just a couple of weeks away and my fridge and freezer are groaning with food, my recipes are out with an army of testers and I’m finalising the ingredients and anecdotes in every spare moment. For those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, here’s a sneak preview of some of what I’ve been working on. Continue reading
Life has been hectic lately, to say the least. Beyond the book – which is the best kind of busy – we’ve been up and down the M1 for family reasons and I’m afraid I don’t have a new recipe for you today. What I do have, however, is a selection of my favourite Easter recipes – just click on each picture to take you to the post. A hot cross bun isn’t just for Easter, so although I should probably have posted this a week ago, I hope you’ll try them out anyway.
The last couple of weeks have really hammered home to me the importance of family, and Easter feels as good a time to give that some recognition. Wherever you are, I hope your weekend is filled with friends and family, love and laughter. Plus an endless supply of speckled chocolate eggs, of course. Continue reading