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My philosophy

This blog is dedicated to my love of eating, cooking, writing and reading about food. In it you'll find recipes, book reviews, restaurant reviews and various other food related bits and pieces.

Friday, 29 January 2010


Well well well, it seems January is nearly over and after a bleak month of snow and ice, I thought I'd try something new to brighten up your day (drum roll, please).... goremet!

Before anyone asks, no, I haven't gone mad, or indeed, forgotten how to spell gourmet, I simply wanted to pay homage to one of my all-time favourite blogs, Cake Wrecks, and explore the world of gross food (but on a wider scope).

Cake Wrecks takes the seemingly appetising and throws an incompetent 'professional' into the mix with disastrous consequences, I want to look at a broader range of cuisine, from 70's throw-back, meat-wrapped phallic fruits:

To the eyebrow-raising offerings from the 'Queen of Cuisine' Fanny Cradock (pictured below)

So dust off your Trex cookbooks and any other garishly illustrated titles and simply email me the pictures (and I will add witty, observational comments!) Here's a little something to get the ball rolling:

All I can think of when I look at this oozing monstrosity is Miss Havisham and the wedding feast that nobody would ever consume (or would want to!) Maybe this is in the Weight Watchers recipe collection for a reason- to put you off food all together?

And what are those flowers all about? Ever heard of the phrase
'You can't polish a turd'?

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Thirsty work!

Last night I attended the first session in an eight week Wine tasting course at Vinea, located at the Albert Docks.
I was joined by a number of colleagues from Delifonseca, as well as people from various local establishments, business owners and novices alike.

To start off with I felt a little intimidated, like I was back in school again. But seemingly, even though I was in a room full of adults, when a question was asked, there was silence. Answers seemed a little hard to come by, maybe people were nervous, a bit like me? Perhaps not...

After the first hour passed, my habits from school came back to me... I bridged the gaps of silence, and answered many questions right, and many questions wrong, but the point is, I learnt from my mistakes.

Why is it so painful for people to get an answer wrong? Do they think that we'll judge them harshly and label them a plebian or something? This course is all about learning, and if people aren't willing to dip their toes in the water, then they're simply learning how to pass a test.

I can say with some confidence, that I think this is a great investment in my future, another skill to add to my expanding repertoire! Maybe I could be the next Jilly Goolden...

Saturday, 23 January 2010

My appetite for knowledge is growing...

As the new year kicked in, I was feeling slightly disheartened.

In the two years that have passed since I graduated from my MA, it seems I'm in pretty much the same position as I was then (minus the stress of a twenty thousand word dissertation looming over me!)

I kept waiting for opportunity to come knocking at my door, but I'm just getting to grips with realising, this isn't going to happen.

The reality is, I need to focus in on what I want to do with my career, and with my writing. My instincts are telling me to stick with what I'm doing, but to focus in my culinary skills to a certain area.

Monday sees the start of a new chapter for me, I've been enrolled on a Wine tasting course, which I'm very much looking forward to.

Perhaps this could open up yet another door into the world of food and drink for me? It'll certainly give me the authority to match food and wine for my future articles (rather than stick to wines from the Rioja region!)

That's by the by, I'm thinking of lots more tasty recipes and tantalising treats to impart, and I've also been promised a food related piece for next months issue of Liverpool Lifestyle Magazine- here's hoping!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Delia Through the Decades- BBC1

BBC iPlayer is a wonderful, wonderful thing! Especially when conventional television is a bit of a trek to the other room, and you've just made yourself comfortable with a cup of peppermint tea... Tonight, my bedroom was my living room, and as the wind howled outside, I nestled under the covers to catch up on some cooking!

Often regarded as THE voice of authority when it comes to boiling an egg, or indeed, how to cook, the hardened Norwich FC fan and queen of cuisine, Delia Smith has returned to our screens. This time, rather than telling us how to bake a potato, or how to cheat, it seems Delia's turned the clock back.

As a twenty-four year old aspiring food writer, this program has acted almost as a spring-board for my seemingly unreachable goals, making them seem more real. Like me, Delia was unsure of what she wanted to do for a long time, but there was always this resounding love of food which simply wouldn't leave...

Always in a kitchen, asking questions, whether serving food, prepping vegetables, or doing the washing-up afterwards, it seems we all have humble beginnings. Delia tried her hand at many career choices before falling in with the right crowd at The Singing Chef.

I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of this show, gone are the images of Delia as a prim 60-something housewife, I'm seeing a new side to Delia, young and vibrant, not afraid to make mother angry, and I like it! She was rebellious, inquisitive and confident, and this show certainly gains favour for me as Stephen Fry voices her story and recounts her ballsy attitude to life.

A prime example of this is reflected en route to an interview with the editor of The Daily Mirror. Reality, it seems kicked in, just for a moment, and it dawned on her that she had no O-Levels, couldn't spell and couldn't type...

This is where her true genius shines though... they saw the raw talent and went with it. The next thing she knew she was baking a cake for a Rolling Stones album cover!

I only wish I had her conviction, I do have a similar gusto for all things gourmet. And like Delia, I'm focusing in on the history of cuisine, reading books about royalty, pre-historic cooking techniques and articles about fig-related bicycle tours around America- it's a good job I find this stuff fascinating!

Next week we see the move from 1960's cuisine to the 1970's, so expect pineapple and cheese on sticks and tin foil hedgehogs aplenty!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Winter Warmer- Chickpea and Spinach Curry

After spending the day in the snow, sliding on ice, and being chilled to the bone, I thought it appropriate to concoct something in my kitchen to warm my partner and I up a bit.

And what's more warming than a good old curry?

Taking the recipe from a collection my mother imparted to me before I left for University, I have made this dish countless times, and thus it has evolved. So I give you my 2010 vers
ion of a much loved meal, ready in about half and hour- great when you want something tasty and nutritious in a hurry!

Chickpea and Spinach Curry
1x Onion (chopped)
Sunflower Oil

3x Cloves Garlic (crushed)
1x Tin Chickpeas

2x Tablespoons Madras Curry Paste (curry powder will do as well)
A good squeeze of Tomato Puree

2x Large Tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 Bag Fresh Spinach Leaves (or 4-5 frozen spinach balls)

1. Start by frying the onion gently in the oil
2. Add the garlic and continue to cook until golden
3. Stir through the curry paste and tomato paste
4. Next add the Chickpeas (along with the juice) and bring to the boil
5. Finally add the chopped tomatoes and spinach. Allow this to wilt. Stir until combined.
6. Lower the heat and allow sauce to reduce. Season to taste.

Serves 2 quite generously, but don't forget your rice and naan bread!