Food

Scone, baby

January 9, 2018

Is there really a lovelier mid-afternoon snack than a warm scone smothered in salty butter or clotted cream and Bonne Maman apricot jam? Of course, cheese and a cracker or a tangerine would do, but why not make tea time an event? With a cup of Earl Grey and a 20-minute podcastNow is it scone or scone? Well, that depends where you’re from.

guess who’s coming to dinner

January 3, 2018

I hear that staying in is the new going out, and with temperatures as frío as ours, I have no problem with that. But I do love to be around people. It’s one of the reasons that I am challenged by winter ––  opportunities to connect with people, even curbside, are often crushed by cold. Enter the dinner party. We rarely host, and nor do our friends. But I think it’s high time we brought back the dinner party. We need not serve soufflés or beef wellingtons. Dinner can be a bowl of pasta or a curried soup, just something warm and cozy that’s easy to make. It’s such a luxury, for me anyway, to be cooked for, and to break bread with friends in the their own homes. Likewise, I love to entertain, and although I’m not a super cook, I can rustle up a decent risotto. Besides, as a smart New York Times writer once said, “to me it has always been clear that a dinner party is about what is said, not what is eaten.” When in doubt, serve cheese, and lots of it.

 

Olive

January 2, 2018

In this house, we eat everything with a glug of good olive oil on it. I’m not a baker, but if I were one, olive oil would no doubt make its way into our cakes. This one here looks heavenly, and just the sort of cake I’d love to serve with Moroccan mint tea on chilly afternoons.

panettone

December 28, 2017

I remember eating panettone for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the days between Christmas and New Year. These days, I don’t eat it at all, which is a bore, but I do love the smell of fresh panettone in our kitchen. We’ve gone through two this week alone. For those of you daring enough to make your own, here’s a great recipe from top pastry chef, Matt Tinder. Buon apetito.

 

cucina direct

December 16, 2017

If there’s a kitchen I’d like to whip up a penne all’arrabbiata in, it would be this one. In fact, I’d cook anything in this kitchen. With it’s mismatched tiles, marble counters and Cycladic blue cupboards, it’s kind of my perfect kitchen. I need a big glass of wine, white apron and an Hermes head scarf and I’m ready to cook.

snowfall

December 12, 2017

I realized this morning, as we woke up to a city covered in meringue, that Luma, age three, was seeing snow for the first time. At least that’s how it would have felt for her. I’d say the first big snowfall feels wonderous and amazing regardless of ones age. Even though you know it’s coming, it always catches you by surprise. Indeed, the first snowfall is an exquisite reminder of the majesty of winter. Never does Toronto look so beautiful as when covered in nature’s finest desert.

 

Food style

December 5, 2017

I love to read stories about friends who’ve come together to create a business that reflects their friendship and shared talents. Berlin natives, Laura Muthesius & Nora Eisermann have so much talent between them, and their blog, Our Food Stories is a delight to scroll through. Laura has a fashion background and Nora is a photographer, and together they now whip up imaginative gluten free meals artfully photographed among the plum trees. It’s all very beautiful, and mouthwatering. Cake in the vineyards looks like a bit of a dream, actually. Friends noshing on a pear pumpkin cake in the fields of a charming chateau close to Bordeaux –– sign me up.

donut

November 28, 2017

I’m a lousy baker, but I do love the look of these crispy cinnamon sugar biscuits. With a pre-made dough, I think even I could pull them off. They’re a lovely sweet to have handy at this time of year. Presented in a vintage tin, they make a super hostess gift, too. Cinnamon makes everything taste delicious. And tell me, who can resist a bite sized donut?

tea ceremony

October 10, 2017

Afternoon tea is such a delight. In fact, tea at any time of day is lovely. My grandparents had one of those Teasmade gadgets that made them freshly brewed tea at 7.30 a.m. every morning. My grandfather added at least three cubes of sugar to his cup. It was so sweet and delicious. His was the first tea I tried. My Dad’s mum was a big tea drinker, too. She took hers in the afternoon with a pack of Karelia lights. When we were children, afternoon tea was a whole other meal at my Dad’s house. There were egg sandwiches with shortbread and coconut squares. Even in height-of-summer Greece we’d stop for afternoon tea, only afternoon was more like 6.30 p.m. There we’d have our tea with homemade sponge cake and Papadopoulou Supermarket’s finest packed biscuits. These days, a cup of tea is usually on the run. It’s rarely in fancy porcelain, and there are never petit fours. It’s s a shame, for many reasons, not least because my cupboards are crammed with beautiful cups. At my wedding shower, a splendid afternoon tea hosted by my mother-in-law at the King Eddie, every person invited brought me a teacup. So, there’s no excuse, really. It’s high time I brought back afternoon tea!

Creme de la cakes

September 28, 2017

When I think of a Baked Alaska, I picture it travelling on a polished brass dessert trolley through the heavily gilded halls of a fancy two-hundred-year-old American hotel. It was Charles Ranhofer, chef at the famous Delmonico’s restaurant in New York, who created the cake to celebrate the United States purchase of Alaska from the Russians in 1867. Well, this decadent pud is making a comeback, and while it’s not my top choice of cakes, she sure is pretty to look at.

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