Posts in Food
Food rituals: Hurray It's Thursday #OreoCookieQuest Cake

It’s now been six months since I introduced a new food ritual to our household.  Thursdays are now well and truly about Hurray It’s Thursday Cake.  The kids even get slightly cross if there isn’t cake on their return from school (as there wasn’t last Thursday).  I have created a monster.  

Clearly, this family tradition is well and truly here to stay, and this week became even more exciting as I combined cake with biscuits as part of The Great Oreo Cookie Quest.  

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WIP Cocktail Club: a Winter Negroni perfect for Valentine's Day
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I want to stay in
And drink negronis with you.
 

To be fair, this cocktail is equally good on any other day, but it's a great one for Valentine's evening - or a night with friends instead.  It takes moments to make, and is gloriously warming and, undeniably, strong.  Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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Christmas Food Rituals and the Ambassador's Rocky Road

Christmas for me, is all about the food.

Yes it’s about the real meaning of Christmas (whatever that might be to you), it’s about the magic of it all for children, it's celebrating and laughing with family, and the John Lewis advert, but it’s also, very much so, about food.

Here are some of my favourite Christmas food rituals, and a very special new recipe for rocky road that could be served at even an ambassador's party...

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WIP Cocktail Club: Salted Caramel Espresso Martini

In my former life, I was a bit of a salted caramel expert, and whilst making A LOT of them over the last couple of years has dimmed my love of the chewy kind, I still seek it out in most other incarnations (the exception being crisps).  At this time of year (and most others too), an espresso martini is always a winner, and this recipe makes it all the more seasonally special with the addition of, the admittedly ubiquitous, salted caramel.  

My first homemade espresso martini used the recipe from Nigella’s Christmas cookbook, and this version is a complete homage to that - tweaked to capture Salted Caramel in all its glory.

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Food rituals: a Halloween tea party

I’m not really sure I’m supposed to love Halloween as much as I do.  It, or rather the over-the-top celebrating-of-it that I love so much, is ‘a bit American’ as my Mum would put it.  But I don’t see that as a bad thing.  The nights are drawing in, which in itself can be a little depressing.  It’s getting colder and I never look as good in a polo neck as I think I should.  But Halloween appears at the end of October and it’s a riot of fun, garishness, slight tackiness and faux-gore hilarity.  Can’t go wrong really.  We're having a tea party after school this year, and I get to indulge my love of this tacky holiday in full.

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WIP Cocktail Club: a spooky spritzer for Halloween

I love Halloween.  It's something about the kitsch, fake spookiness and the excuse for a party.  And this cocktail, a violet white wine spritzer, is the perfect adult accompaniment to Halloween goings-on.  The good thing about this cocktail is not only is it delicious, but it's also absolutely not restricted to Halloween.  In fact I've had this at my friend Zoe's house in summer and winter and enjoyed it every time, I'm just annoyed with myself for only now requesting the recipe!

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A love of food rituals and creating a new one

There are many reasons I love cooking. 

I love eating, first and foremost.   I’d rather invest time in cooking something tasty than eat something indifferent.  I also get a huge amount out of the process of cooking itself: a sense of detachment.  My mind can wander as I just focus on the process - it’s meditative almost (that sounds wanky written down).  But it’s also, massively, about the rituals food creates.  The moments and memories that food can conjure.  Eating and laughing together is one of the most joyful of family activities.  And if you cook and eat similar things at similar events, those times, for me, seem to become even more precious.  To separate the food from the occasion becomes impossible.  

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WIP Cocktail Club: #5 Sloshed Puppie aka Strawberry Frosé Blitz

I like to think of this as a 'Congratulations, you've made it to the end of the school holidays' type of cocktail.  The end is in sight and, miss them as you will, you definitely deserve a drink.  Perhaps it's spending too much time recently in soft play and cinemas which means I'm inspired, yet again, by the idea of a grown-up Slush Puppie.  I've been wanting to try frosé (frozen rosé) for some time now, and finally got organised enough to make it happen.  

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Teaching my kids to cook

We’re a couple of weeks into the summer holidays now.  There are 5 weeks to go.  JOY.  Amongst playdates, attempts to do reading, sweeping up glitter and Forth Bridge-like tidying up ), I’ve also started to teach my two boys to cook.  Our focus this week was noodles.

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WIP Cocktail Club #4: Sgrop-WIPino

This month's Cocktail Club is my version of a Sgroppino.  The Sgroppino is traditionally an Italian kind-of boozy Slush Puppie, a combination of lemon sorbet, vodka, and prosecco - often used as a pre-dessert but also as a pre-dinner cocktail. Did I mention it’s like a boozy Slush Puppie?

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9 Summer dinner party recipes to rely on

These are my favourite summer dinner party recipes, three starters, main courses and desserts to help you throw the perfect summer's evening - without too much stress.  All can be prepared in advance, and all adapted to serve a small gathering or a large crowd.  

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WIP Cocktail Club #1: Mother's-Already-Ruined Punch

The first of our monthly cocktail club posts is an ode to this fabulous gin cocktail with blood oranges and elderflower

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