I'd had the tab for a mini baked doughnut pan on Amazon open on my laptop since the doughnut episode of Great British Bake Off, but honestly I've been after one for over a year; I just kept on forgetting to buy one. They're not really a thing here in the UK, you can't just walk into most bake shops and find one. I think my influence comes from the disturbing number of American baking blogs I consume on a daily basis.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Monday, 20 October 2014
I felt that the afternoon a group of us spent wandering the streets of San Sebastián, arguably the foodie capital of the La Rioja region, enjoying the architecture, the beach and yet more of the local tapas, before we headed back to the hotel to change before driving up into the hills for dinner at Michelin Starred Rekondo deserved its own post. If there was one place I visited in the weekend I spent in Spain last month that I'm desperate to go back to, it is San Sebastián. There was so much I did not get the chance to eat and drink.
Friday, 17 October 2014
I've had a lot of discussions about cookbooks, the processes behind making them, and why people buy them recently, so I thought today that I'd share with you some of the cookbooks on my current wish list (it is of the Amazon variety, guilty as charged), as well as the reasons why I choose to buy the books that I covet. I've already got hundreds of cookbooks; it has got to be something special to make me want even more!
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
The most popular recipe of all time on my blog, and the recipe I get sent the most photos of are my Super Simple 3-Step Chocolate Brownies. I've gathered that they're appeared at several Macmillan coffee mornings this year! What you probably don't know is that since the original, I've been trying to improve on the recipe. One of my earliest trials was trying to pack fresh raspberries into them, which was a gooey (and not in a good way) failure. I did not forget the dream flavour pairing however, which sparked something in my brain when a big box of their new ganache chocolate bars landed on my doorstep from the guys at Lindt.
Monday, 13 October 2014
I think I was just about the only food writer in England who did not own a copy of the Honey & Co. cookbook until their wonderful publishers, Salt Yard Book Co. sent me a copy to review. I knew all about it though; I'd read all the press coverage of their publishing story, and marvelled at the massive advance they managed to get on it over dinner and drinks with my literary agent friends. But honestly, I did not think owning a copy would bring me anything new to my collection; I've got a much loved copy of Claudia Roden's The Book Of Jewish Food and all the Ottolenghi books up until Plenty More came out (I'll probably get my hands on it in my Christmas haul), for starters. I've got a lot of options to turn to when it comes to Middle Eastern food.
Friday, 10 October 2014
I've spent the last week at the French house really unplugging from it all. The weather switched from Summer to Autumn, so I got to enjoy all of the things that make the season so lovely in rural Brittany, including long walks in the forest to gather chestnuts, and collecting up the walnuts from beneath the tree in front of our house. I also spent the week shovelling sand and mixing cement! It was a lot of hard work, but we were laying the patio (a mixture of slate and the local stone that was taken out of our massive walls to make more windows in our stone barn) in front of the house, and it is so satisfying to know I was a part of creating it.
1. Greeting the locals in Brittany. | 2. The other weekend I headed to Trafalgar Square with my friend Natasha and her photographer/ boyfriend Callum for a Malaysian cooking class with Norman Musa ahead of Malaysia night. We cooked up a storm of delicious food, and it was such a great entry to Malaysian food for me; look out for a Quick Malaysian Salmon Curry I have planned for one of my columns soon! For more photos, head over to Natasha's post. | 3. Traditional Breton savoury Galette made with buckwheat flour stuffed with creamy leeks and scallops at my favourite local in Combourg. | 4. A divine Laksa Natasha ordered for me at Malaysia Night. | 5. Gathering chestnuts in the forest. No idea what I'm going to make with them though, recipes and suggestions would be greatly appreciated; I have 2 kilos! | 6. Picking up prawns at the French fish counter. Just look at the size of those whoppers!
- How to support the bloggers you love. (via Amy, who is a blogger I love!)
- Autumn bakers outside of the USA? This is how you make your own Pumpkin Spice.
- Sydney? Sophie has found you the perfect place to grab a takeaway pizza. Also, as I'm too far away can you please go have a Japanese hot dog for me at Chanoma Cafe.
- The TIG has posted a brilliant looking insiders guide to Washington D.C. They've also put one together (that also looks fabulous) for Chicago.
- Witness the building of the most epic crostini station you've ever seen.
- Brandy Melville's low key, social media heavy marketing strategy is genius.
- The Kitchn has put together a brilliant and handy guide to pretty much every spice or herb you'll find in your kitchen cupboard. I'm not even joking, all of them!
- Refinery 29 has put together a guide to L.A.'s best cheap eats. I can 100% endorse 800 Degrees pizza. I used to live a block away from their Westwood branch and it was a regular favourite!
- Tess has written about Ristorante L’Arco Dei Cappuccini in Sicily, such stunning seafood.
- An interview with the new editor at NYLON, the magazine of my teens on its changing brand.
- I love why this San Francisco restaurant wants to be the worst rated on Yelp in the bay.
- I'm not usually one to look through other peoples wedding photos online (unless they're shot by my super talented West Coast BFF Nikki), but Sophie's wedding looks so beautiful.
- Do fashion bloggers make more money than fashion editors?
- If you live in, or you're visiting Paris, this is where you need to go for Dim Sum.
- This tip on how to make your mussels plumper before cooking is genius.
A few more of my recipes from around the web, I just wanted to draw your attention to my new column I'm writing for the new education, student and graduate site WOZEDU. While I will still be posting the odd student recipe over here, it is the new home of my 'Student Suppers' column where, weekly, I'll be posting quick, cheap and easy student recipes. Be sure to head over there now for my Warm Honey-Mustard Chicken Pasta Salad and 'The Only Curry Recipe You'll Ever Need'. I can't wait to share the other recipes planned!
7. We seem to have done very well growing pumpkins this year! The one in the back on the left, is big enough to fit a small child inside! | 8. The simply delicious breakfast Roti Canai and Chicken Curry we made at the Malaysian cooking class. | 9. Curling up on a rainy day in France with a cup of berry tea, my favourite French food magazine, and Hotel Chocolat's new #supermilk chocolate. It is their new bar which has less sugar than dark chocolate and with a splash of milk, that makes it something in between. You only need a little to satisfy chocolate cravings, and it is unlike any chocolate I'd had before. | 10. Picking out treats at the patisserie. | 11. Prawns in Orange, Tomato and Cardamom from the Honey & Co. cookbook. Full recipe and book review to follow on Monday! | 12. Roasted duck legs with rosemary roast potatoes from Claudia Roden's Food Of Italy for Sunday roast.
- Leeds? Amy has put together a food map of all her favourite local eateries.
- A restaurant that sells exclusively tinned fish is not as crazy as it seems.
- A Beautiful Mess schools us in how to make an awesome distressed wood backdrop for food photography. I feel this is a project I need to do soon, because I still don't have enough!
- 10 Words To Know When Buying White Wine.
- Los Angeles? It looks like you need to go and try the ice cream at Salt & Straw.
- New Orleans? My girl Joy The Baker has you sorted with a bakery guide of the city.
- Flavour First sits down with one of my favourite (and one of the first I ever read) restaurant bloggers Zeren Wilson from Bitten & Written.
- Into The Gloss' introduction the the Chinese Pharmacy is fascinating.
- The Roaming Kitchen has put together a fantastic Maine food and travel guide.
- How Shonda Rhimes is taking over Prime-Time TV.
- How to scale and gut a fish (it is not as hard as it sounds!)
- Beijos Events planned the perfect day out in Newport Beach for The Glitter Guide.
- 10 spiced used in Indian cooking you probably have not heard of (I've used 3)
- A beginners guide to shopping sample sales.
- So, you want to be a Fashion PR?
What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm going to catch up with everything that I did not do when I had my week off, as I have a busy week ahead of travel, meetings and London adventures!