Friday, 24 January 2014

Weekly Love: Week 121

Let's talk about cookbooks. I was excited by the news that my favourite GBBO contestant from last year Ruby Tandoh has her first book called Crumb coming out in September. I've tried a few bakes from her blog and they were delicious. This reminded me that you've all been asking what books I got for Christmas that you can expect to hear about this year, so I thought I'd leave you with a little list: John Whaite Bakes (I was not a massive fan on the show, but when I met him in September I decided to go look up some of his recipes, which made me want his book), The Kitchen Diaries (volumes 1 & 2, please don't judge that I have not read them yet!), Melt (the ice cream from Ginger's Comfort Emporium was one of the best things I ate last year), Tiny Food Party (Spoon Fork Bacon is one of my favourite food blogs, books from blogs are usually my favourites), How To Eat by Nigella Lawson (because I feel I ought to read the book that made Nigella Nigella) and Rick Stein's India (because I've really got into Indian cooking, and his recipes usually are flawless).
1. That epic cookbook collection. The only ones I've made it through so far are Tiny Food Party which I plan to share with you soon, and The Kitchen Diaries Volume 1 which is already changing the way I instinctively cook. | 2. The flowers outside Liberty's on Tuesday were pretty, pink and made me excited for Spring. | 3. Wandering around my home city of Canterbury last Sunday putting the finishing touches to a travel guide for an American website that should be live soon, I'll be sure to share it with you. This is the upper facade of The Beaney museum and library on the High Street. One mistake people make when visiting Canterbury is they don't look up enough and miss things like this! | 4. Making sweet pastry from John Whaite Bakes. I'm usually terrible at pastry and intimidated by it, so because these came out so well, kudos to the brilliant recipe! | 5. It is so much easier to eat a healthy weekend breakfast at my desk when Blood Oranges are in season. | 6. An interesting, yet delicious fusion of French and Italian in the form of a tomato, mozzarella and pesto quiche from No Name Shop French deli in Sandwich.

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As you have probably noticed if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I spend an awful lot of time at Borough Market. Yes I have been writing my 'Borough Market Challenge' column, but I have also been working on a little something for the Borough Market website which has turned out to be my favourite freelance project to date. Check out the Borough Market blog today to read about about why I love shopping at the market, about some of my favourite recent discoveries there, and for the above recipe for a Kale, Blood Orange and Mozzarella Salad I made for the market. I've been pretty obsessed with these stunning jewel like fruits since they came into season, and the mozzarella from Neal's Yard Dairy has become another recent obsession; it is some of the creamiest and sharpest I have ever tasted.  

What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? Weather and Overground closures allowing (or control rooms being filled with concrete, so glad I was not planning on taking the Victoria Line last night!) I'm looking forward to trying out one of the brunch places I've had my eye on in Hoxton, before hitting up Columbia Road Flower Market for the first time; because of the two above reasons (the closures and the weather, not blunders caused by civil engineers!) I still have not made it over! 


  1. All those lovely cook books! And lovely food and fresh ingredients to boot! I love Nigel Slater's recipes, he's great.

    That quiche is making my mouth water...

    Caroline x

  2. Lovely links as always! :) I've had that Melt book on my Amazon wishlist for forever - might have to just take the plunge and buy it ready for the summer! I want to expand my repertoire this year - I've got plans to start baking bread more often, make pasta from scratch and ice cream would also be a good challenge!

  3. I'll be sure to let you know what I think of it when I finally get a chance to take a look. Bread wise, if you want to bake bread more I can't recommend James Morton's Brilliant Bread enough.

  4. I got Brilliant Bread for Christmas - just waiting for a free weekend to get properly stuck in! :)

  5. Hello Rachel,

    So, as well as all the pins...I'm picking up reading tips aplenty from you. Thanks! Have bookmarked several blogs to have a longer/proper look at from this post.

    This weekend I am:
    Going on a walk to discover London's hidden alleyways - there are lots of walks but this is the one I'm going for -
    Taking my mum to the matinée performance of Fortune's Fool at The Old Vic then hopefully going for tea and cake and then, going to a Burns Supper/party. Phew.

    And on Sunday..I plan to try one of the fruit syrups, I imagine that they're done in a similar way to your lavender infusion. I think I'm going to start with a variation of this recipe first though because I think it looks amazing -
    I want to try a chataigne syrup too but the one I have in my mind is less syrup and more like a thick juice, (so good with champagne etc) I've only ever had it in France. I think that won't be a project for Sunday though. Hoping to start making a skirt AND I've to finish off my tax return.

    Something tells me that not all of this will get done.

    Oh, and of course now I want to go to Columbia Road, I haven't been in an age. But you can't do everything.

    Have a lovely weekend.
    Sorry this is a long old response.

  6. Oh, the concrete-filled control glad I cycle to uni. I am pumped for Game of Thrones season four -- just finished reading all the books (well, the five that have been written) after getting hooked by the first three seasons of the series. Congratulations on the Borough Market Blog piece!

  7. I just honestly could not believe that. I read the news on Twitter standing waiting for someone outside Goodge Street, and I honestly did not believe it at first!

    And ahh, I can't wait for Season 4 too! Winter has been coming for quite a while, do you think it is actually going to arrive this season?! I want to read the books, but he does write them rather slowly and he is rather old; what if he dies before he can finish the whole lot? At least with the TV show the writers can make up an ending for all the characters!!

    And thank you!

  8. I do recommend the books. They're not particularly "literary," but they are good fun if you're in for an action-packed fantasy read with many unexpected twists. I read that George R.R. Martin told HBO all the main plot twists / what should happen to the characters, in case he doesn't live to write the last two least he's prepared?!

  9. How to Eat is as wonderful for the writing as it is for the food-it's the perfect tome to curl up with on a rainy afternoon! x

  10. I can't wait to get into it. I've actually curled up on a cold afternoon with Feast before, and as I'd never really read any of her books at that point I was pleasantly surprised by what a brilliant read it was. I think we all forget that Nigella was originally a very successful journalist before she became the domestic goddess!