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.
- Foodie has rounded up Los Angeles' best burgers.
- Joy The Baker Podcast fans: Joy lets Tracey organise her home. I love this video.
- Why California's new regulation effectively banning chefs and bartenders from touching food with their bare hands is absolutely bonkers. I've discussed this with a couple of bartenders serving me cocktails in London recently, and none of them can see how it could be practical.
- Anthony Bourdain is planning something for New York which is basically Street Feast, but to much bigger, so much better, and totally international.
- Last Saturday morning over breakfast I watched Bri Emery (of Design Love Fest)'s Creative Mornings talk. It was fascinating to hear how she came to grow her blog and business, and it is one of the most inspiring things I've seen in ages. A must watch for any creatives who, like me are finishing up at university or are and graduates in a job they don't feel challenged or inspired in and are wondering what they can possibly do next.
- This Twitter conversation between a customer and the Sainsbury's customer service department made my day. All supermarkets should offer customer service like this.
- 10 words in the food industry that have now lost all meaning.
- There is a Game Of Thrones Season 4 trailer. That is all.
- Sophie takes us on a road trip across Canada.
- This DIY Camera Strap needs to happen at some stage.
- How To Stock A Bar Cart.
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.
- 7 Common Myths About Cooking Pasta.
- Ed Smith, who writes one of my favourite food blogs Rocket & Squash has teamed up with The Platter to put together a round up of all the best recipes from every weekend paper each week.
- Los Angeles? There is a chic new pastry shop on Melrose you need to visit.
- Harriet has put together a brilliant round up of 10 free or very cheap things to do in London.
- The reality behind being a travel writer.
- Yara went to Los Angeles for a week in the sun, and she's made me miss my second city.
- While I am usually big on everything being homemade, I do think this loaded soup idea, to jazz up a store bought soup is a brilliant idea if you are tired or rushed for time.
- Sophie's photos make me miss living somewhere with clear blue sea and sandy beaches.
- Laetitia goes behind the scenes at The Dorchester with Smythson.
- The very real and unexpected costs of Fashion Blogging.
- Kristabel got some fantastic photos at the Japanese cookery class we both attended in December.
- Liz has taken some absolutely stunning photos of Hearst Castle.
- How to choose and store olive oil.
- Flavour First sits down with Tom Kerridge.
- How to perfectly peel a hard boiled egg.
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!