Thursday, 29 December 2011

Presents and pecan pie

I thought I would share some of the thoughtful gifts I got this Christmas. Because let's face it, that's pretty much what everyone is doing, just playing with their presents. I finally got myself a copy of 'Luella's guide to English Style' which has been imperative to my fashion forecasting work I just handed in.

Finally got my hand on some Cath Kidston mixing bowls which all slot nicely together like russian dolls.
An Estee Lauder red lipstick to replace the lost lipstick of a few months back! I don't think I go a day without wearing some sort of lipstick. Unless it's a really bad day.

Quite hilariously too I got given this American cooking book - which actually has some fab recipes, (once you get used to the measurements being in 'cups', and everything drowning in butter). Once such example was 'Imperial Inkeepers Pecan Pie'. I can't help but pronounce it like 'pee-kaan'.

It tastes amazing and it's now my new favourite thing to make. Even made the pastry from scratch. Impressive stuff I know!

Now to ponder the thought of starting a diet in January...


Monday, 19 December 2011

Sticky toffee pudding

Yesterday I had possibly the best sticky toffee pudding ever. Hell, even the best pudding. It was the most warming, gooeist, yummiest dishlicious pud I've had in a long time.

And it was made by none other that my own Mother! She nabbed the recipe from Delia's cookery book from the 80s or 90s (not positive which one) but there is no way any other sticky toffee pudding could beat this recipe.

By chance though, after settling down and watching 'The Roasts of Christmas Past', I noticed the very same recipe bubbling in the oven in true 90s fashion. Sweet.

I should of really taken a photo to complete the transition and show you just how GOOD it was, but these 'vintage' ones will have to do.

The documentary however is a good comical look at the past 60 years of the 'TV cooking' phenomenon. From the pioneering Marguerite Patten's make do and mend recipes, Fanny Cradock's glamourous and questionable delights to Delia herself on the simple how-to's, its a clever indication of the relationship between Britain's two favourite things - food and television.

Finally, back to 2011 now - I recently involved myself in a live webchat with Nigella Lawson with Stylist magazine and she luckily answered my question about student cooking. I asked what was the cheapest meal, she replied:

'Hi Harriet, when I was a student, I was the Queen of Onion Soup. I bought a huge sack of onions from the market and endlessly feeding huge crowds of people without spending much money...'

I believe I can say we are now officially best friends...


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Singing Christmas tree

Literally no other way to make you feel more festive than taking a trip to Longleat Safari Park. The beautiful grounds are decorated with England's first singing Christmas tree, surrounded by gift stalls and the usual array of over-excited children.

Needless to say we stood around like them, often joining in for a little jig and giggle as the tree sung, quite literally the best selection of Christmas tunes. Nothing sounds better sung from a tree than the Home Alone theme. Fact. Don't believe me? Watch it here.

Having a cup of hot chocolate in the Orangey was also a real treat. Warming you up after spending so much time outside with all the animals. Managing to fit it all in one day was quite a skill looking back.

Now to continue the countdown towards Christmas. I've been hand-making/decorating a lot of presents this year. I'll be sure to show you how you can make your gift have a more personal touch to it.


Monday, 5 December 2011

Loosing my mind in third year

Sometimes I like to decorate the eggs in the fridge for no reason at all...