A few weeks back our family shared a slice of the most magnificent mango cheesecake. Buttery biscuit base, the creamiest of cream cheese fillings and a juicy, generous portion of mango with pistachios, passion fruit and pomegranate seeds. Sharing puddings isn’t in my nature – my second ‘sweet stomach’ operates at generous capacity and I try not to share with my husband simply because he consumes at such breathtaking speed you have to speed eat the dish in question to be in with the chance of even a taste – but on this occasion a mouthful or two felt like it would fit the bill. A big mouthful for Daddy, a medium mouthful for Mummy and a teeny tiny mouthful for Nino, as our two year old still happily recounts, Goldilocks style. Continue reading
When Nino came out of hospital for the first time, we paid a lot of visits to the supermarket. During those early weeks, he wasn’t supposed to come into close contact with anyone other than immediate family due to the risk of infection before the big op, but walking outside or round the shops was allowed. I can remember spending a lot of time shopping for and preparing elaborate family meals with our baby boy in his sling, slumbering away or inquisitively watching my every move, still at that stage where he was far too small to grab at things or get in the way of my master chef-ly endeavours. Continue reading
Three years ago to this day, we walked out of our wedding ceremony to the cheers of the congregation, rings on our fingers, Nat King Cole’s L.O.V.E dancing in our ears and joy in our hearts. I married you because you make me a better, happier, more confident me, for your easy charm and endless capacity to love. I thought our wedding was the happiest day of my life until we found out that Nino was on the way, then came the day that he was born, then every single one since: that happiness dial keeps tipping as our family expands. Continue reading
Exactly one year ago to this day, I found out that I was pregnant with Nino. Of course we didn’t yet know exactly who that poppy seed-sized embryo inside me would turn out to be, but we were pretty sure he (yes he, somehow we knew from the start he’d be a boy) was going to change our lives. I still get goosebumps when I think about seeing those two blue lines for the very first time, Luke’s face when I crept back to the bedroom to tell him the news, his giant beam behind a pair of very bleary eyes . . . Continue reading
One night last week I rocked our baby boy to sleep singing ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ on an infinite loop, standing next to the tumble dryer because its continuous grumble was the only thing (besides my twinkly twinkles) that seemed to soothe his tired cries. We might have got Nino out of hospital, but that doesn’t mean we’re not now faced with all the usual problems that being the parent of a brand new baby brings. And as any tired parent knows, when you’re sleeping less and singing (bouncing, shhh-ing, swinging . . . you name it) more, an energy boosting breakfast you can quickly sling into a bowl one-handed becomes a very important thing. Continue reading
Christmas and New Year have been and gone, and while most people are moving out of the silly season of presents and parties, it feels like ours is about to begin all over again. This month it’s Luke’s birthday and our anniversary (of meeting, not marrying and yes, of course we still celebrate both), I finish work to go on maternity leave and a sweet friend only a few weeks less pregnant than me is throwing my baby shower. Cake and celebration are going to become the norm around here. Continue reading
I spent our first twenty four hours in St. Lucia tearing through Joanna Blythman’s Swallow This, interrupting an otherwise serene scene of beach basking holidaymakers with regular exclamations of ‘did you know this?’ and ‘can you believe that?’ The fact that I was reading a book about the horrors of food processing and production on a 100 acre ex sugar plantation, surrounded by coconuts, mangoes and bananas (whose skin serves as much better natural packaging than any plastic ever will) was not lost on me. 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
Today we’re talking breakfast (again). Breakfast and whole-grains to be more precise: the subject of a beautiful new book which hasn’t left my kitchen counter since it arrived last week.
Wholegrain Mornings is, at face value, a book of breakfast recipes from food blogger, Megan Gordon. But it’s also so much more than that. Like her blog, A Sweet Spoonful, the book is understated yet compelling, an honest insight into Megan’s life: from the way she thinks her way around a kitchen to running a granola business to a long-distance love story with a wonderfully romantic ending. Continue reading
If someone presented you with a ‘seriously nutty’ pistachio ice cream, what would you expect?
To me ‘seriously nutty’ suggests the presence – perhaps even an abundance – of nuts. And in the case of a pistachio ice cream, pistachio nuts. Call me an idealist, but if an ice cream is labelled as ‘nutty’, I’m expecting a whole load of the good stuff. Continue reading