Is it too early to be feeling festive? Because of complications with our little loaf-to-be (see this post) we’ve decided to stay close to our specialist hospital in London this Christmas, and will be celebrating in double family style (my husband’s and mine) for the second year running. Mentioning that we’ve voluntarily spent Christmas with both parents and in-laws together gets the odd raised eyebrow, but if it’s anything like last year, we’re going to have a ball. The three bird roast has been ordered, bedrooms allocated and my phone is full of tentative present ideas. This is a time of year to embrace family, and we’re so fortunate for what we have. Continue reading
Until pretty recently, I thought my marshmallow eating days were long gone.
As a child, I thought they were awesome. Soft on the outside with a sweet, slightly chewy middle, marshmallows came big or small, pink or white (purely aesthetic with no nod to flavour as far as I can recall). My friends and I would buy penny twists with our pocket money, melt larger ones down to make the gooiest rice krispie treats or thread them on sticks before scorching over an open fire. Continue reading
Being at University does odd things to your eating habits. Having always eaten dinner at about eight in the evening while I was at school, moving into catered halls with sittings at 5.30 and 6pm was almost as much of a shock as the nearly inedible food with which we were presented. Midnight pizza or chocolate cereal for supper became the norm, anything left in the communal fridges a free-for-all and pasta, pesto and peas a student staple based on the fact that it was quick, filling and green (so it must be stopping us from getting scurvy, right?).
When I received an ice cream maker for my birthday back in July, I was convinced I’d never buy ice cream from a shop again. I promised myself – and possibly all my readers in one of many excitable ice cream-related posts – that owning this machine would open a world of possibilities, of infinite exotic flavours, wonderful organic ingredients and not an E-number, stabilizer or acidity regulator in sight.
The majority of the time that promise holds true; we don’t eat a lot of frozen food so I hardly ever encounter those extravagant little £5 tubs that dominate that particular section of the supermarket. If I do spend money on eating ice cream out it’s usually in an amazing gelateria like Gelupo, or the mobile offerings of the incredible La Grotta Ices, but there is one shop-bought ice cream I’ve somehow retained an unaccountable weakness for; Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. Continue reading
Recipe titles are so important. To restaurateurs it’s a question of selling their dishes, to editors a means of making their books and magazines fly off the shelves, to bloggers it’s SEO; getting posts listed high in Google’s rankings and being able to reach new readers. Although it could be seen as a shameless exercise in sales and seduction, a recipe title also comes from the heart, and is often no greater than the sum of its parts. There’s something wonderfully alluring about a short, simple title that speaks a thousand words more than its lengthier counterpart.
Allow me to introduce the chocolate custard muffin. Sometimes you see a recipe and just know you have to make it. This is one such recipe. The word ‘chocolate’ caught my attention, before the comforting ‘custard’ enveloped me in a blanket of nostalgia. To me a chocolate custard muffin suggests warmth and sweetness, flavour without pretension, richness without intensity and a big fat hug in food form. I had to make them. Continue reading