The 12 best dishes of 2015…

Hello darling readers and welcome to the last post of 2015, a year that has been immense for so many different reasons. I really want to apologise for being very MIA over the last few weeks…between searching for and then moving into a new home, being out of the country, changing jobs and getting ready for Christmas, my free time has been scarce to say the least; not an excuse I promise, rather a small explanation of what has kept me from you lovely people – I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and readership and here’s hoping 2016 is a touch calmer!

I always find the start of a new year is accompanied with a multitude of feelings, not the least of which is awe that another 12 months has skipped by in the apparent blink of an eye! There are always things to celebrate in the form of accomplishments made & steps taken, however there can sometimes be a tinge of regret or wistfulness if the journeys begun haven’t walked quite the path expected. Be it good or bad, I hope each and every one of you can commend yourselves on surviving the year, whatever it brought for you and however you feel as you bid it farewell.

As we look back on all that we have done and seen and of course eaten in 2015, I wanted to pick out 12 of my own favourite dishes. Some I have enjoyed in London, some I have loved further afield and a few, I’ve been proud to make in my own kitchen with the help of J of course, the man who is the (freshly baked sourdough) bread to my (salted of course) butter. I hope some of them inspire you to get cooking in the new year and to get out and explore your own neighbourhoods…I would love to know what dishes rocked your world this year!

Tomato salad with pomegranate molasses from ‘Persiana’

Persiana

Sabrina Ghayour’s seminal cookbook has had pride of place on my shelves since it came out in 2014; I have loved many recipes from it including the lamb & sour cherry meatballs which are so perfect for a dinner party as they can be made the night before and the chicken bastillas which manage to be both light & filling, sweet & savoury, delicious & err, even more delicious at the same time!

This simple and elegant tomato salad drizzled with pomegranate molasses and speckled with crescent moons of pepper & red onion as well as earthy chunks of walnuts is about as perfect a side dish as you could wish for. Visually it’s a glorious Technicolor feast and each mouthful is refreshing & energetic; if you’re after an unassuming but show stopping platter to accompany a dark, rich & meaty main course, this is what you’ve been searching for. Read More

Midnight snacks with a little bald gold man…

Oscars 2014

Sometimes an awesome food experience doesn’t have to be a hugely decadent meal and it doesn’t have to involve trying out the latest fad in the latest hot spot. An awesome food experience is one that delivers an awesome food memory.

Watching the Oscars has always been a calendar event for me. I love the anticipation of counting down post-Christmas from the Globes, where everyone looks super fashion forward and slightly hammered, to the Baftas where the Brits roll in the aisles at the perfectly timed dry wit of Stephen Fry and the Yanks look bemused but clap and smile in all the right places because they’re just so damn polite to the mother of them all, the Academy Awards, always falling in the midnight hour and beyond of the last weekend in February. I completely adore the traditions of this day…taking a 7pm disco nap that then allows me to get up at 11pm to ooh and ah at the Red Carpet…snuggling down in sweats and a blanket on the sofa…and enjoying the company of my good friends Ben and Jerry.

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Wedded bliss down under…

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve had the complete privilege and absolute joy of being a part of my sister’s wedding in Sydney. Sunshine, thunderstorms, tears of joy, tears of stress, frocks and sweatpants, pizza and Michelin stars, hen parties and belated Christmas dinners…this time away has had it all and, astonishingly I know, there’s been a fair amount of food related bliss tumbled in with everything else…

From personally branded ostrich burgers on the bbq (possibly one of the greatest gifts someone can get her brother-in-law apparently) to cheese and wine in the glorious Hunter Valley, the culinary delights of this trip have run the gamut from messy and fun to fine dining with the best silverware and everything in between.

Two of the biggest events though from an eating point of view (which, let’s face it, is how most of my days are planned and carried out) were undoubtedly the hen party and the wedding dinner. One I can claim partial credit for creating. One I can claim partial credit for devouring.

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