Category: Food

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Rainbow Birthday Cake

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My 4 year old birthday girl briefed me on the cake she wanted. It should be a rainbow, with a ladybug flying over it, and lots of chocolate. She drew me a sketch.

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Fortunately the mountains and trees were in the sketch for decorative purposes only, I didn’t have to make them.

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Duck Liver Pâté Recipe | Epicurious.com

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We cooked a chinese style duck this weekend, and I wasn’t too sure what to do with the giblets. I was going to through them out then at the last minute I decided to try something I’d wanted to try for a long time, to make my own påté.

Turns out it’s ridiculously easy. I followed this recipe and it turned out beautifully. 

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Martha Stewart

By coincidence, I am currently reading Martha Stewart’s Entertaining, her first ever publication and also the Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster. (Well, actually I only got a third of the way through this. She’s definitely no Martha.)

I really do respect Martha Stewart. I remembering reading an article (Wish I could remember where! Maybe it was in Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg which by the way, I loved.) contrasting Martha and Oprah as America’s dominant females, and how they relate to their audience. To paraphrase badly, Oprah behaves as the listening, supportive best friend, whereas Martha acts as the perfect, know-it-all older sister. I love that Martha issues directives, telling you exactly how you should do something, without any embarrassment or worry that you might not like her. Which is no small thing for a female.

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I love Martha’s absolute confidence that there are many people out there who might need to cook a Summer Omelette Brunch Outdoors for 60.  Or that absolutely everyone knows what Roquefort grapes are. (Don’t you know?!) 

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Zucchini Soup with Grana Padano and Thyme

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This is my all time favourite soup. It is creamy and decadent even if you don’t add cream, and the subtle underpinnings of thyme are unexpected and delicious.

I love cooking but I find it impossible to follow a recipe. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t do it. Either I cut corners with measuring, or misread a crucial section, or most often, substitute other ingredients. I read a lot of recipe books, bookmark the ones I want to try, then once I’ve got the general gist of what’s involved I’ll start cooking. No more reading, thank you. It makes my cooking very erratic, but I just can’t change the way I am.

So here’s a recipe for you, executed my way. I hope you can follow it!

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Grown up Popcorn

At the risk of having every single post about food, this is a good one.
Kid friendly activity + snack + a treat for mummy = everyone happy.

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We made popcorn over the stove and the kids were amazed by the popping sounds and absolutely loved it when the lid started to lift off the pot. They enjoyed eating their healthy snack, whilst I added some truffle salt to my share. Such an easy way to dress up an old favourite!

September Tomatoes

We have had a plethora of tomatoes this year, I have been forcing bags of them on my neighbours. I would have loved to bottle my own tomato sauce but time was running out, next year I’d love to host a full Italian-style canning party, wouldn’t that be fun?

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But for now I am making as many tomato based meals as possible. As I also have some lemons, a simple pasta sauce from tomatoes, lemons, wine, garlic… yum yum yum. So easy and tastes like eating sunshine.

Sunlight

There’s nothing lovelier than sitting outside as the sun is setting after a delicious meal. In this case, Caprese salad with fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden, and Villa Manadori Balsamic Vinegar, the most amazing balsamic ever. Really.

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The light coming through this tree is so warm and fuzzy. The only issue with it being so nice, is that I have another glass of wine as an excuse to keep sitting there. To paraphrase Milli Vanilli, Blame it on the Sunset, yeh, yeh.

Tea Party Sandwiches

Honestly, I am not a fan of going overboard for kids food. I prefer the whole ‘take it or leave it’ approach. Although I say that with only the experience of feeding my own kids so I know that hardly counts, different things work for different people.

But every now and again I love to give them a treat, and because I do it rarely, they really enjoy it when I surprise them with fun sandwiches.

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We had a lovely tea party in the backyard with these. So fun. And because I hate seeing the waste I ate all the crusts…not the most gourmet experience but that’s what mum’s do!

Sweet Deliciousness

Hello! Welcome to my first ever post, so I’ll keep  it short.
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It’s quite bizarre to buy imported Australian oranges when you live in California, but my goodness they are a sweet delicious treat. Simple, refreshing and so lovely. As with most fruit, the bad ones can put you off for a while, but when you get a good one, you suddenly understand why Eve ate that apple.