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Tag Archives: Recipe

Pavlova and Panzanella

Panzanella Paradise

Well the pavlova turned out awesomely though I do say so myself. It didn’t go chewy in the middle like my mum’s but was really light and marshmallowy so I’m half way there; I’ll ask for her tips on chewyness at my next attempt. I pimped some of the berries with edible silver spray too just for a bit of extra Jubilee bling and well, as you can see, the result was IMMENSE!

My first ever Pavlova, complete with silver raspberries!

Ruby’s patriotic triple-decker chocolate and raspberry cake

A Jubilee Porker! (and I’m not referring to myself on this occasion ok!)

Anyway it got polished off along with Ruby’s chocolate cake by the villagers once the pig roast had well and truly done itself justice. God, the crackling was outrageous – it just exploded into airy, crunchy, porky heaven in your mouth. Totally lush.

We were asked to take salads and in my parallel life I’m an Italian ‘mamma’, spending my days in my vegetable garden overgrowing with mediterranean plants, burnt and freckled shoulders Read the rest of this entry


Skye Gyngell. What a Woman.

Skye's 'Dorset crab, fennel and radicchio' at Petersham Nurseries

It is nothing more than poetic coincidence that today, the day I feel compelled to write this post, is International Women’s Day.

Yesterday I learned, with genuine dismay, that one of my favourite chefs, at one of my all time favourite restaurants, recently decided to leave her position as head chef at Petersham Nurseries Cafe and now, with a heavy heart, I know that those few fabulous times I spent there will never be repeated. It is the end of an era. A short, but exceedingly sweet era. Read the rest of this entry

Seedy Soda Bread

Seedy Soda Bread

I am still in love with bread and the making of it. Not sure if I’ll really ever get properly into cakes or pastry, too much of a savoury girl, but the baking of bread results in my favourite food. However you need time to do it, and although there’s nothing more satisfying than a morning spent kneading, fermenting, knocking back, shaping, proving and baking, it doesn’t happen that often! Read the rest of this entry

A Little Leftover Love

Toasted brioche, rare roast beef, horseradish creme fraiche & crispy little shallots

Well, when I say Leftover Love, what I mean is love for leftovers but the title seemed appropriate given that tomorrow is Valentines! Yesterday we bought a fantastic rib of beef from Eagles in Deddington, roasted it with potatoes that crisped up in the dripping and served it raspberry pink, with yorkies, gravy and purple sprouting broccoli onto which we had tipped the remains of a batch of Salmoriglio, that lovely lemony salsa made with oregano, anchovies and capers. Completely delicious. Read the rest of this entry

Squid Stew, and the art of eating alone.

Squid Stew, and the art of eating alone.

Rich, tender and sweeeeet! Basque Squid Stew

Some people never get to grips with eating alone in restaurants. Me, I’ve always been perfectly happy on my own; eating alone, drinking alone, you get the picture. When I was 18 I found myself living in Darwin not knowing a soul. I was staying in a youth hostel living off measly packets of dried noodles flavoured with MSG powder – the kind you just pour boiling water on and cost only 5 cents a bag. Pretty soon though I found myself a job as a waitress in The Atrium hotel and a week or so later it was pay-day. Instead of thinking of using that money for a rental deposit, a train ticket out of there, or some other such useful item, I went straight to a little bistro that I’d had my eye on – a small place with a cute, cosy raised area and tables covered in crisp white linen – and bought myself lunch. Lunch for 1. Read the rest of this entry

Nendaz New Year

View of the Alpine sunset from Nendaz

Even on a great day I’m not the best of skiers. I love it though, in spite of my limited abilities.

A lot of my wobbles are down to fitness – there’s really only so much I can ask of these legs after all I’ve put them through. I also struggle with the preparation. Just getting out of bed is hard enough; the knee creaking kicks in during the few short steps to the loo and as for lowering myself on to the toilet, some days my thighs give up their battle against gravity half way through the descent and I end up crashing onto the seat and having to lever myself back up by hanging onto the loo roll holder and the window sill. By the time I’ve cleared up breakfast, washed and trussed myself up like the michelin man Read the rest of this entry

Sunset Piccalilli

Sunset Piccalilli

Right then all you piccalilli lovers, my first venture into the world of pickles has been met with rapturous applause! To be honest, while I was making it I felt pretty dubious. The cooking time seemed far too long for crunchy vegetables, and the recipe called for 4 oz of flour which looked like a mountain, but at the first sneaky try this weekend (officially still 2 weeks early) it was totally delicious, wonderfully crisp and tangy. Now I’m new to this; no big fan of mustard, nor a Branston girl, my only real vinegar fest is the occasional foray through a jar of pickled onions with a huge lump of cheddar, preferably Cornish cruncher. And the onions must be Garners, Read the rest of this entry