I’m a Finalist!

Well, knock me down with a cheese string, I made it to the final 8 in the Tasty! category of the Britmums blogging awards (#bibs)!

How the hell did that happen?

As you can imagine I am chuffed to bits and have been tweeting my delight and then…..wait for it….I GOT A DIRECT MESSAGE FROM NIGELLA LAWSON CONGRATULATING ME!! (sorry for the cyber-shouting, but how exciting is that??!!)  Look…

One word speaks volumes..

Now, to celebrate I might just have to fire up the kitchenaid and get baking!  I am sure my son would appreciate a ‘didn’t Mummy do well chocolate cake’ and I did buy myself a new cake plate and server last week.  I know…but I needed them!  I was slightly irked it was a Kirstie Allsopp cake-server, but hey – it’s candy striped and pretty! Whatever I cook, it’s got to be Nigella and I’m going to blog about it!

M&S, if you’re interested….

*allows self one last burst of self-adulation* YAHOO!

It’s been a cookin’ Easter!

Well, Easter is just about over and I have not stopped cooking!  In a good way, but non-stop!
Good Friday was with the MiL so I escaped having to do anything very much.  But on Easter Saturday I made fresh tagliatelle, Easter cupcakes, blueberry tart and porcini sauce.  All the aforementioned have been cited on my blog before so I won’t bore you with the details, but it was all go in the kitchen!
On Easter Sunday we said Hallelujah!  To Ms Lisa Faulkner.  I made her roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary, her mint sauce, her Nanna’s nut roast and her creme brulee.  All were mighty fine and scoffed with much enthusiasm, although the mint sauce wasn’t very minty…more of a hollandaise, so next time I shall step up the mint!

It never gets as much ‘press’ as Christmas but actually, on the cooking front, it is almost as busy really!  A big fat roast, guests to entertain and feed plus egg hunts to organise.

I also broke my Lentian fast of ‘no wine in the week’ with the most gorgeous bottle of white burgundy.  Heaven…

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend; shame about the weather!

Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. And start all over again….

Housework is the bane of my life.  My husband and I have more arguments about the state of the house than anything else.  He, I believe, would like to live in a show home.  I point out we have three kids and two dogs and with all the will in the world, show homes are bland, Stepfordesque ideals.
I am not a natural housewife.  I struggle.  I find better things to do.  My house is clean, it’s just a bit muddly.  Lived in.  Has personality.  

I should be:

  • clearing the washing basket daily
  • hoovering with aplomb
  • joyously flicking my micro fleece duster around the lounge
  • not nurturing sneaky cobwebs
  • replenishing the pot pourri at regular intervals
  • successful in my removal of weetabix from every kitchen surface
  • hoovering the light shades
  • wiping the skirting boards
I am not.
I am ignoring the best of it, dealing with the worst of it and all the time thinking….What would Nigella do?
Drink a large glass of wine and cook something delicious, I reckon.
I’ll do that then.  Much better option…..

My 5 Favourite Recipe Books

Joining in with Kate Takes 5 Listography I am sharing with you my current 5 favourite recipe books (in no particular order):

1.  Recipes from My Mother for My Daughter – Lisa Faulkner
A very recent publication and fast becoming a favourite of mine.  Scrummy, accessible recipes with the personal touch of the gorgeous Ms Faulkner.

2.  Home Cooking Made Easy – Lorraine Pascale
Just like her first book, all the recipes in here are delicious, and indeed, fairly easy.

3.  Hummingbird Bakery:  Cake Days
Yum.  Yum.  YUM.

4.  Feast – Nigella Lawson
I have all her books, this was my first and remains my favourite.

5.  At Elizabeth David’s Table
I don’t cook a lot from it, but love reading it and soaking up everything about this amazing woman.

All Hail Nigella!

It is with much giggling I must tell you about the Power of Nigella!

Last week, circa Shrove Tuesday, I replied to a Nigella tweet, extolling the virtues of her pancakes.
Nigella retweeted this (gawd bless her).
My humble blog only averages about 20 hits a day.  After that retweet, in 24 hours, I had 953 blog hits!
This has kept me smiling all week.
I am, naturally, back to normal now.  And this blog is, as I state to your right, just a little outlet for me and my questionable cooking.
So sincere thanks to my loyal followers and hello to the near thousand of you that checked in and promptly checked out again!  And, of course, thank you to the lady herself ;)

Packed Lunches

What is it about packed lunches that make me want to shut my head in the fridge?  At school they were a treat saved for school trips.  The trepidation I felt as I peeked inside my tuppaware box to see what my mother had rustled up, was second to none.  It was never anything to write home about, but to me it was wonderful and integral to the thrill of the the trip (only floored by the visit to the gift shop).


Today, packed lunches are the norm.  And I now have to make them for my 2 year old to take into nursery.  This is the same 2 year old that only eats weetabix.  She spent the last 5 months at nursery having their cooked lunches and never ate a thing.  I am sure they blame me for poor dietary habits, but the other two children were the same at that age, except with shreddies.  The health visitor assured me it was fine.  I was not so sure…

Anyway, undeterred I saw a book entitled ‘Healthy Lunchboxes for Kids’ which I guiltily bought in order to revolutionise my lunchbox packing skills.  Shouldn’t have bothered.  I am a mother of three and I defy anyone to get their kids to eat 3 bean soup or pepper stuffed wraps for lunch, let alone have the time and equipment to prepare and store it all.  The only redeeming feature was that they used the same Cath Kidston tins that I have and they looked better than I thought.  I need a book entitled ‘Packed lunches for kids who refuse to eat anything but wholegrain cereal’.  Now, that would be a useful addition to my heaving recipe bookshelves.  I’m afraid the other one is destined for next week’s NCT sale….

If you have any normal suggestions to help me out please let me know!