I first tried one of Milli Taylor‘s brownies around this time last year. We’d been chatting online about various food-related things and realised that we live pretty close to one another. Milli had some goodies going spare from a catering job so promised to drop a few samples round the flat while we were out. Several bemused messages later, it dawned on us that she’d left them in the wrong street and I ended up having to tiptoe my way down a stranger’s garden path to retrieve the box from behind the bush by their front door. Not the easiest brownies to get hold of, but some of the best I’ve ever eaten, so when I received a copy of Milli’s debut cookbook, I knew this recipe was the one I’d have to make first. Continue reading
I always know autumn is on its way from the number of pumpkin recipes that start appearing in in my inbox. This year the reminder has been more necessary than most as you couldn’t tell the season from the weather we’ve been having. On Saturday night some friends and I ate after-dinner ice creams outside in the street as if it was summer and yesterday we went for a walk in short-sleeved tops and sunglasses. While I’m secretly hoping that this warmer weather will last a little longer, I’m also aware that colder climes around the corner are an inevitable part of living in England. And when that moment comes, there will be warming autumnal muffins.
Are you bored of these photoshoot updates yet? I couldn’t resist sneaking in a few final pictures from the week just gone. So that’s a wrap, the final Homemade Memories photograph has been taken, the last prop carefully washed up, crumbs cleared away and leftovers distributed to my nearest, dearest and hungriest. On Thursday I got the first round of printed pages to proof read and this weekend just gone – in between packing up our whole flat and moving in with my parents for renovation work to begin (phew!) – I set to work on marking up those final little amends.
After spending my first year of university in catered halls of residence, I lived in a house with seven of my very best friends for the remaining two. A single oven, fridge and hob between seven meant certain limitations on our culinary exploits and sharing took on a whole new meaning. I’ll never forget the exchange between one friend who discovered that the lasagne she’d lovingly made to share with her boyfriend had mouse-like nibbles taken out of it and the other who – more night owl than mouse – had drunkenly dug into it the night before and then promptly forgot. Continue reading
When I was fifteen I got my first mobile phone. Not your standard smart phone with fancy apps, a camera or even a colour screen; just a pink-cased Nokia brick which I used as a sort of portable telephone box to call my parents. Friends were contacted using our good old-fashioned landline and the internet (including the joy of MSN Messenger) accessed by via our clunky home PC. I didn’t spend much time online and any baking we did was inspired by my Mum’s extensive collection of recipe books, magazine cuttings and a little bit of imagination. Continue reading
We spent the last week under alternating blankets of sunshine and stars on an island that, in places, resembles the moon. Barren, sun-baked yet somehow incredibly beautiful – with views across the Aegean sea which make you feel like you’re standing at the edge of the world – Folegandros was exactly the antidote to everyday life we had both been craving.
Writing a cookbook while you have a full time job is a lot of hard work. Over the last month I’ve spent alternate weeks in the office and at the studio in Acton, with the weekends spent writing lists, shopping and prepping for the shoots whilst somehow also managing to squeeze in a trip to Yorkshire, a family wedding and our first year anniversary celebrations. You know what they say about giving a job to a busy person . . . Continue reading
One year ago yesterday, this happened. In front of 150 of our nearest and dearest, I promised my favourite person in the whole wide world that I’d love and be there for him forever. We kissed and ate and drank a lot, danced ourselves silly and ended the night running from the room through a tunnel of arms, the love of friends and family so tangible that I couldn’t help bursting into hot, happy tears in the taxi on the way to our hotel. The next day we jetted off to Bali and two weeks later we returned from one adventure to embark on this brand new one, as husband and wife.
While I don’t have a new recipe for you this week, what I do have is a little insight into what I’ve been up to during my absence from this space. Last week we spent four days shooting the first set of photographs for The Little Loaf: Homemade Memories (my first cookbook (!), coming out next year). With four photoshoot days down and six to go, I’m by no means any kind of expert, but am learning a lot, fast, so I thought it would be fun to share a few photos, insights, observations and general excitement about the whole process. Continue reading
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