Re-inventing the (pea)nut butter of your sticky fingered childhood with a sumptuous almond adaptation…

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I love to cook. When I’m tense or fretful, time spent in my tiny, cobalt-tiled kitchen soothes me and when I see something that instantly makes me want to run out & get the necessary ingredients, it excites me. Be it lazy weekend cookbook browsing or throwing together something in a post-work pan on a Monday evening, well, exhausted I may be when I begin but after 10 minutes of slicing or sauteing or swirling, I can feel my shoulders relax and the cares of the day slip away into the realm of un-importance.

One of the things I get the most pleasure from is finding a recipe that instantly piques my interest so to do just that and then to combine it with writing? Well, that’s altogether splendid.

Food 52 is a website and online community that I would move into tomorrow if I could. Yup. I’d pack my little virtual suitcase with aprons and wooden spoons, my pasta maker, my champagne saucers and an avocado or two because, well just because.

Their belief that ‘how you eat is how you live’ translates into everything they publish, illustrate and talk about and I absolutely adore it. They make food and the exploration of it seem accessible and relate-able, lovely to look at and luscious to taste, so when they were recently on the lookout for testers for new recipes with coconut, I absolutely leapt at the chance and, not having attempted it before, the opportunity to try making my own nut butter – almond with toasted coconut to be specific – was an absolute winner.

A warning about the outcome of this recipe from Emily of www.nourishing-matters.com – it’s a seriously grown up take on the peanut butter you think you know. Velvety, decadent & luxurious, it tastes like it should be the result of hours spent toiling in the kitchen a la Betty Draper but in reality, you’ll need nothing more than the ability to hit ‘go’ on your food processor, leaving plenty of time to daydream about an elegant plate of creamy, nourishing, butter slathered toast or a bowlful of hot milky porridge, the butter spooned on top. Read More

Sampling a summer of flavour one diced, shredded or sliced grill dish at a time…

Percy Pigs.

Melt-in-the-middle chocolate puddings.

Handcooked crisps.

Fish and chip pies.

Everyone has a favourite food from M&S. You might not love their clothes, you might not like their ranges, you might never have set foot into the general shopping areas but I’d be amazed if you couldn’t find anything in the Foodhall that made your eyes widen and your tummy rumble.

Earlier this year, M&S introduced its new Summer of Flavour range to their devoted customer base, to the demanding foodies both on and offline and to the general public across the streets of the UK. Taking inspiration for this collection from food markets, bars, stalls and restaurants across the globe, it promised to bring inventive, creative, fabulous flavours to life on your plate, your BBQ or even, as we are British, your grill.

So how was it? Does it live up to that? Could you choose any of the range, throw it on the grill and impress both yourself and your friends?

Grab your napkins and let’s find out… Read More

A small but perfectly formed way to start the day at Caravan, Exmouth Market…

When an out-of-towner comes to stay, you want to take them somewhere nice.

When that out-of-towner is one of your best friends, you want to take them somewhere really nice.

It’s always a gamble going someplace new especially if you’re the one saying ‘oh yeah, it’ll be great!’ but the good news is that on this occasion, Caravan more than delivered the goods. Phew.

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