At the chiropractor’s office yesterday, I flicked through a copy of Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows in search of an idea for dinner that night. I can’t remember the last time I looked at a cookbook, let alone bought one, but this is one I’d love to own. We eat well, but it’s the same meals that we sit down to week after week; baked salmon with roasted yams and broccoli, penne with zucchini, garlic and pecorino, stir fries, risottos and roast chicken with sage potatoes and green beans. Everything is doused in olive oil, and salt and pepper is as imaginative as it gets. Liddon’s book is stacked full of healthy, delicious looking ideas. To start with, I’m adding these roasted chickpeas to the mix every time I roast a potato or a floret of broccoli. And doesn’t this butternut/sweet potato/lentil stew look comforting?
These are the days for hiding under a blanket with a good mini-series and a vat of homemade leftover Turkey soup. Make sure to choose a blanket that compliments your complexion. You never know who may pop in for a bowl of soup.
We all know I’m not much of a baker, but I do like the rustic charm of this Christmas pavlova with sugared cranberries and orange and citron slices. It’s too laborious for me to make, but I could certainly improvise. My Mum often has meringue on hand during the holidays –– a mound of snow on which to sprinkle berries, nuts, flakes of chocolate and specks of golf leaf. It’s an easy peasy pudding option that takes minutes to throw together. And who doesn’t like meringue?
Olive oil and chocolate sound like a peculiar pairing, but they actually go together quite nicely. I learned this lesson one Wintery weekend in Minden. But I digress. This lovely looking cake seems like something that even I could bake. I think my family would keel over if everyone came home to the smell of fresh-out-of-the-oven cake. They’d gobble it up in one sitting.
There haven’t been many carrots or green beans consumed this week, so when Iole asked for pancakes for dinner, I initially scoffed at the idea. But breakfast for dinner is one of the greatest delights. And that’s just what they’ll have. (And I’ll try not to get pissed off when the batter hits the walls.)
We went apple picking on the weekend. Picture the five us running wild through an orchard of Galas, Russets and Ginger Golds. And then don’t. Tantrums, hoards of people and squashed, rotten apples aside, it really was a nice way to spend a morning. And we came away with enough apples to warrant putting a pinny on. I’m going to make a crumble, because that’s easy and messy. And if I can find custard, I’ll pour that on, for a quintessentially English tea.
Last year, on Luma’s first birthday we were in London and my Mum ordered a very grand Victoria Sponge Cake with four tiers and heaps of fancy berries on top. It was delicious. Next week, for her second birthday my plan is to make one! We’ll stack up as many sponge cakes as possible, and slather layers of whipped cream and chunks of strawberries in between. I’m sure it would be tastier with mascarpone cream, but I can’t get too fussy. I may decide to add layers of jam, but I certainly won’t be making that from scratch. Ours will probably end up as an Eton Mess cake, but as long as there is cake, cream, berries and sugar, who cares?
I’m not a massive fan of fruit –– and I’m definitely not a fan of fruit in salads. Kiwi with my frisee? Non, merci. But I do like the look of this salad here. And this one is pretty, too. Just don’t expect me to eat them.
I’m a sloppy baker, and my cakes taste crap. But, they sure do look pretty. If I could bypass the baking and focus my energy on frosting, fondant, flowers and dragée, I’d be very pleased. Here’s my idea of a beautiful cake, and here too, and here and here and here. I don’t care how they taste, they look divine!
We’ve been eating a lot of popcorn lately. The inside of our sofa tells me so. I came across these recipes for popcorn which I’ll likely never try. But you might. My neighbours were raving about nutritional yeast and aleppo pepper yesterday, while I was like, “what’s that?” I’ll let them make it. And hope we’re invited over for movie night.