Friday 28 December 2012

"Bauble and squeak" after a very merry Christmas

So after all the anticipation and frantic preparations, Christmas Day is over already...why does it always fly by so quickly?!

I hope you had a wonderful day eating, drinking and being generally very merry with your loved ones. My best boys and I had a fun and relatively low-key time together at our little London flat cuddled up on the sofa scoffing lots of chocolates and watching all the seasonal TV specials.

Tuesday 25 December 2012

It's Christmas every day for #littlecat

It's Chriiiiiistmaaaaas!

I'm not sure if I'm excited about presents or nervous about cooking the big festive feast myself for the first time but I've woken up super-early this Christmas morning!

Yesterday my boyfriend and I surpassed all previous baking attempts by making this decadent Yule log, which we're looking forward to sampling large quantities of today! If anyone can think of a good use for the leftover chocolate ganache and amaretti cream let me know, or we'll be eating it straight from the bowl...perhaps it's time I made amaretto tiramisu again...?!

I was delighted to see on Twitter that a few people (including my own Dad!) were making my Coca Cola ham with sweet mustard glaze for their Christmas Day breakfast...I'd love to hear any feedback and hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Sunday 23 December 2012

#Project366 – week 51

If the Mayans’ predictions had been correct, then #Project366 would have stopped short just before noon on Day #356…and I wouldn’t have written this blogpost either, as the world would have ended! Thankfully this wasn’t the case and we can all look forward to Christmas now, though judging by these photos my festive gluttony has already begun…

#351 - roast chicken with lemon and sage

Day #351 – Stuffing a corn-fed chicken with lemon and fresh sage for a classic Sunday roast for two, with enough leftovers to last all week

Saturday 22 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas!

Everyone I've seen this week has asked me the same question "Are you ready for Christmas yet?"

The truthful answer is that today is the first day that I've felt anything close to being prepared for the onslaught of gift-giving and gluttony that is imminently approaching. It's just as well that I've finally bought a few presents and received our mega grocery order, given that we now know that the Mayans' predictions were wrong and the world hasn't ended after all...!

Sunday 16 December 2012

#Project366 – Week 50

Every day this week I’ve expected to find a bright white landscape greeting me when I leave the house for my early morning gym sessions, but sadly we’ve yet to see a snowflake fall in London this winter. There has been some serious frost and face-aching cold winds lately though, so it can’t be long before my fantasy of a lazy “snow day” is fulfilled! Judging by these photos from the last week on #Project366, it’s certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

#344 - Sipsmith sloe gin from Taste of Christmas

Day #344 – I drink alcohol very infrequently these days, but I decided there was no better way to get into the “Taste of Christmas” spirit than by treating myself to a bottle of this rich and fruity Sipsmith sloe gin

Thursday 13 December 2012

#LickaBrick - Ben Spalding dinner at John Salt

There are some dishes that are so infamous they become practically legendary. Tom Kerridge's duck fat chips at the Hand and Flowers in Marlowe is one example that I have been lucky enough to experience, and Heston Blumenthal's egg and bacon icecream at The Fat Duck in Bray is another that is still on my bucket list.

Ben Spalding's chicken on a brick at John Salt in Islington is rapidly approaching that category. It seems like lately everyone I follow on Twitter has been gushing about the incredible sensory tour they had willingly subjected their tastebuds to at the skilled hands of the former Roganic head chef. Despite the ever-growing montage of caramel coated stone blocks on my Instagram feed, I felt this intriguing dish had to be seen right up close to be believed.

Monday 10 December 2012

#Project366 – week 49

Are you all set for Christmas yet? I confess that I am completely unprepared so far – no tree bought or decorated, no cards written and no presents wrapped! I’m starting to get into the festive spirit after pulling my first cracker over some brussels sprouts on Friday (see Day #342 below) but don’t think I’ll truly feel like the “holidays are coming” until I finish work at the end of this week…

#337 - Wahaca's spicy tomato soup

Day #337 – Another week, another Wahaca trip (see other examples of their fantastic street food on Day #328 and Day #295)! Some extra warmth was needed to combat a freezing night so I opted for a bowl of spicy tomato soup topped with feta, avocado and tortilla chips

Sunday 9 December 2012

Serving up “a Liberal Helping” of recipes inside Ad Lib magazine

#333 - Coca Cola ham in Ad Lib Magazine

As with most (if not all) food bloggers, my dream has always been to see one of my articles published in classic hard copy. To be able to hold the text in my hands and run my fingers across the page, instead of simply staring at a computer screen and hitting the scroll button. To be able to observe my photographs catching the eye in glossy print, instead of merely being one shot on an everlasting luminous instagram feed. To be able to file the recipe alongside my favourite cookbooks on the shelf for future use, instead of just saving the dish’s corresponding image to a Pinterest board to be forgotten immediately.

So I’m delighted to announce that this long-held fantasy has finally become a reality! This weekend sees the launch of Ad Lib, a new monthly magazine for Liberal Democrat members and supporters, and the first edition features my version of Nigella Lawson’s Coca Cola braised ham, with an additional sweet mustard glaze in its regular cooking slot “A Liberal Helping”.

Sunday 2 December 2012

#Project366 – week 48

December has arrived, which means the countdown has begun…no, not for Christmas, but for the end of #Project366! It’s been a long 11 months so far in my challenge to capture a food-related photograph every day for a year, so you can expect plenty of festive cheer as I focus my attention on the finish line. Here’s one last look at the end of November’s edible delights…

#330 - Thanksgiving cranberry fizz

Day #330 – A belated Thanksgiving feast with American friends being kick-started with a fizzy cranberry and champagne cocktail. Check out the inspired use of seasonal vegetables for stylish table decorations and an excellent recreation of Shutterbean’s roasted rosemary almonds