Creamy Barley Breakfast Bowls with Hazelnuts & Figs

barley-breakfast-bowls_kate-doran-1

Despite a coupe of un-seasonally warm days, it’s starting to feel like autumn round here. My evening walk with Nino is bathed in hazy light, it’s dark by the time that supper swings round and those 6am wake up calls? Like the middle of the night. Comfort food feels like the order of the day and dark mornings call for warm breakfast bowls. Nino and I tend to share blueberry porridge made with flaked oats and quinoa, dolloped with thick greek yoghurt and a spoonful of nut butter, but this week I’ve branched out and made a batch of creamy barley to last us several days. Cooked until tender with homemade hazelnut milk and topped with honey roast figs, this nutty grain makes for a delightful porridge substitute and one I’ll be making time and again in the months to come. Continue reading

Coconut Pancakes with Pomegranate & Figs

Coconut Pancakes with Pomegranate & Figs
To my darling boy,

Today your Dad and I celebrate our eleven year anniversary. Not of getting married – we did that just over two years ago in Kew Gardens under blazing sunshine and surrounded by all of our favourite people in the world: I’ll show you the photos when you’re big enough to roll your eyes and be bored and embarrassed by them – but of meeting for the first time. We were twenty, at university, fresh faced and with no idea what would happen in one year – let alone eleven – except that we seemed to have fallen in love.

We talked about the future from fairly early on, not marriage and kids and mortgages in any sort of sensible grown up way, just a mutual understanding we needed to be together, and that everything would turn out all right if we had each other in our lives. When conversation did turn to children, we knew we wanted lots of you, couldn’t wait to see what would happen when our features and personalities combined (my eyesight, Luke’s ears please) and even had a favourite boy’s name long before you first appeared as a kidney bean-sized heartbeat on the ultrasound scan.  Continue reading

Fig & Almond Crumble Cake

Fig Crumble Cake

Despite being a classic dish from childhoods across generations and around the country, crumble isn’t something I’m tempted to make that often.

Growing up with an apple-farmer for a granny, crumble was (unsurprisingly) always made using fruit from her farm and there’s something about the texture of stewed apple that I’m just not that keen on. Whenever a crumble was served, I’d accept the portion offer, add extra ice cream then proceed to eat my way through the crunchy oat crust, leaving a lonely pile of fruit at the bottom of my bowl. Continue reading

Spiced Honey Roast Figs with Amaretti Mascarpone

Roasted Figs with Amaretti MascarponeAs a little girl, a white wedding isn’t something I thought about that much. Other than the few obligatory years of being anti-boys, I was pretty sure I wanted to get married – to have the happiness my parents had and create and brand new family of my own – but I hadn’t dreamed of the venue, the dress and every detail of the big day in the way so many small girls do.

I didn’t really dream about the man I’d marry either. Of course I hoped for someone good looking and funny, caring and all the attributes that almost everyone wants, but there wasn’t a specific agenda, criteria to meet or checklists made. I suppose I wanted to see what would happen, where life would take me and what the future might hold. Continue reading