I started this blog in a very different place. It was before I had a husband, babies, a book, multiple things competing for my attention let alone those competing for the attention of the people who read my posts. Instagram had only just been invented and the majority of my internet consumption was through the laptop on which I’m writing this rather than a mobile device. Eight years ago I read my favourite blogs religiously, and whether it’s increasing competition for my time and attention or simply me obediently following the market trend, I find myself scrolling those tiny tiles on Instagram instead, reading recipes posted in comments or stories and getting insights into my favourite foodies through fleeting images rather than words. It’s all about instant gratification and although the majority of Insta-recipes are unlikely to be carefully measured, triple tested, even spell-checked (a tedious pet peeve, but seriously, some big trusted names I’m looking at you) they are immediate and appealing and exactly what we – me included – all seem to want in 2019. Continue reading
Last night the clocks went back and many of you (most likely those with older or non existent children) may be basking in the hazy glow of a lazy extra hour in bed. Oh how fond yet distant a memory that seems. Now, as we ease into autumn proper with a nearly nine month old in our lives, an hour’s time difference means we may well be woken the wrong side of 6am for the next few days as Nino adjusts to his new routine. Continue reading
When I was little, I swore I wouldn’t be the kind of grown up who constantly remarked on how much a child had grown: it’s such a boring conversation opener. And yet here I am, parent to an almost five month old and constantly amazed by how he changes every day. The time since February feels both long and life-changing and simultaneously gone in an instant, those snuggly newborn days a thing of the past and this bright, beady, blue-eyed little boy now making himself and his personality known. Continue reading
I’m blaming the succession* of crumble recipes on this blog for the arrival of autumn and a strong urge to cosy up warm with comfort food. The dish itself does the job for a dinner party or even as a single serving. However, I’m powerless to resist topping a classic crumble with a scoop of ice cream, so in the interests of some semblance of health, I’ve been making these ‘breakfast’ style baked goods (and then eating them for dessert).
*Succession meaning two in as many weeks which, when you live with one other person, is a fair amount of crumbly goods to be getting through. Continue reading
I’m not much of a breakfast muffin person – it’s hard to sway me from my standard fare of toast with avocado or eggs, bircher muesli or, as the autumn draws in, a bowl of creamy porridge with yoghurt and fruit – but if you are, these muffins would be just perfect. I’ve been eating them at tea time or after dinner, the buttery crumble topping giving them just enough decadence to stand in for dessert. Essentially I’m saying this is an all day sort of a muffin, a necessary addition to your baking knowledge whatever the hour you decide to indulge. Continue reading
This year January has taken its cue from Christmas with gluttonous ease. Rather than observing an abstemious month of little or no alcohol, fewer desserts, low-fat-this and diet-that, we’ve eaten and drunk our way round London, Paris and Yorkshire. A birthday was celebrated several times over with rounds of cake and cocktails, an anniversary with an epic ice cream pie (more on that next week, just you wait) and Paris passed by in a blur of macarons, garlic butter and a Paris Brest the size of a tyre (albeit an elegant, pastry cream-filled one). Today we’re not going completely cold turkey, but these Apple, Maple & Walnut Cookies are at least a step in the right direction.
Towards the end of last week, autumn arrived in earnest. Until then, it felt a little like we were living on borrowed time: sunny days and warmth that extended into the evenings even after darkness had fallen (and did so increasingly earlier every day). In my inbox, however, autumn arrived about a month earlier: it’s easy to define the seasons by what fellow food bloggers are raving about and on arrival back from honeymoon my virtual world was a veritable celebration of all things pumpkin. Continue reading
Sparkling spiced apple juice topped with a snowflake biscuit
This Sunday, I reached saturation point.
It’s that time of year when, with the holidays just around the corner, everyone begins to let their hair down. Christmas parties take place, the champagne starts flowing and the number of chocolates in the office outnumbers employees by fifteen to one.
Last week’s festivities culminated in a weekend of celebrations: a friend over from Australia, another one heading off there (what is it with my friends and Oz?), Carnivorous Boyfriend’s DJ debut and a big birthday meal. Christmas treats were baked (more on that later this week), sleep was lost and alcohol consumed. By Sunday evening, a mocktail felt not just desirable, but really rather necessary. Continue reading
Flaky pastry, caramelized apple & crunchy nuts create the perfect contrast of textures
Remember the fairy tale of the princess and the pea? This story starts a little like that.
Since before I can remember (when I was just the littlest suggestion of a loaf inside my mother’s stomach, in fact) I’ve spent my summers at my parents’ house in Italy. High up in the mountains just before the border between Tuscany and Umbria, it’s one of the most beautiful, relaxing places I know. Due – in no small part – to the fact that it’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading
How do you like them apples? Sticky, soft & super sweet cake pops
‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ – Old English Proverb
From its grand entrance into records as the original forbidden fruit to the more pedestrian prescription as a daily dose of vitamins and minerals, the apple has held an important place in history. It’s the fabled fruit that fell in front of Newton, supposedly helping him to form his theory of gravity, the present that children traditionally take in for teachers and the iconic logo for a brand that irreversibly changed the course of technology. The apple of one’s eye is a most cherished possession and this simple fruit has been the subject of numerous phrases and sayings across the ages.