Food

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.

On board

August 22, 2017

Summer nights call for colourful suppers. If you can’t be fussed with the barbecue, a cutting board of delights is a lovely way to entertain. Pile on as many bright berries, figs, soft cheeses and charcuterie meats that will fit, and serve with heaps of bread and flutes full of Prosecco.  Now, that’s dinner made easy.

pasta primavera

July 8, 2017

I can’t imagine a more delicious meal right now than heaps of summer vegetables piled high on a nest of fettucine and doused in olive oil, fresh mint, lemon zest and pecorino cheese. This recipe adds a generous chunk of goat’s cheese, but anything soft and creamy will do. I like the idea of yellow courgettes, fresh green peas, carrots, red peppers and asparagus, but pick the vegetables (and colour varieties) you love most. Bon Appetit!

Black is the new black

June 22, 2017

I love colour, all colours, but even I’m intrigued by black ice cream in a black cone. The queue outside Ihalo Krunch on Queen Street is epic with people flocking in to sample charcoal infused soft serve. At home, you can try black sesame infused ice cream, for a similarly dramatic colour. Goth ice cream, I like it. But for summertime, I’d sooner see sorbet colours in honey-hued cones waltzing through Trinny Bells.

glow

January 24, 2017

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?

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slothing

December 29, 2016

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.

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Let’s meringue

December 8, 2016

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?

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Cocoa and Olives

November 22, 2016

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.

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Pancake Day

October 28, 2016

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.)

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