Friday, 29 November 2013

Summer Cake

It was a Saturday afternoon. We were all kind of bored, sitting in front of the TV watching River Cottage Everyday when Hugh walks into a pub, dessert in hand, and enters it into the establishment's pudding competition. The fluffy-haired program host was just telling of how all the regulars to the bar had formed a pudding club, which took the form of this such competition, when my sister piped up,"We should have pudding club!". The three of us - my sister, C; Helen, our nanny at the time; and I - looked around at each other for a hopeful hint of shared enthusiasm, eyes wide at all the possibilities. 

It was a spur of the moment thing. Cookbooks were flipped open, recipes googled, and by dusk  each of us had found a dessert to make, and had all agreed that, with Mum and Dad out for the night - we would have our puddings for dinner. And so the Pudding Club was born.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Flavor of the Month: November

How lovely it is to be back blogging, after (nearly) having finished all my exams - just one to go! I can't wait to get stuck into a summer full of baking, cooking, sunbathing and travel! There's a lot to look forward to.
While I wasn't studying this past month, I was daydreaming about these things:


My rhubarb plant is overflowing, and in desperate need of a harvest. So I've done what any dedicated rhubarb lover would do: I researched. And what amazing inspiration I found! I'm thinking, as a change from the citrus combination that characterizes the winter months, berries are the way to go. With all the complementary red and purple colors, it's almost as if they're made for each other, right?

Rhubarb and Vanilla Cheesecake with Strawberry Jelly


source below
I came across this wonderful blog post from La Tartine Gormande the other day, and it makes me want to travel to europe now more than ever. I can't get over the bright contrasts in color, the sunshine, the blissful atmosphere coming through in her photos… not to mention the glorious food that comes out of the country, and the ancient traditions that accompany them.


Also in need of a harvest, before it goes to flower, are our artichoke plants. Dad planted these years ago, but they have never been harvested. Apart from him, the rest of us weren't that interested anyway, and Dad for some reason just never got round to harvesting and cooking them either. Year after year, they would flower, seed and grow a little bigger, but this year I'm determined not to let them go to waste. Does anyone have great artichoke recipes that they care to share?

The Kimono

I recently discovered internet shopping. Those of you who are converted are probably wondering why I didn't start sooner. And you who aren't in on the whole idea might be wondering what all the fuss is about (like I was). But now I get it. You can find exactly what your looking for in hours, not days, the range of clothes out there is so vast, and the best bargains are just a click away, if you know where to look. The most recent trend I've noticed - and bought in to? The kimono. Instead of the flowy, laid back style, I went for this structured 'boxy' kimono style top to wear with a pastel blue skirt while out on the town this summer.

Boho kimono; Original source unknown

DIY Advent Calendar

It's that time of year again! This time last year I was shipping off my version of this advent calendar to a friend as a christmas present. I painted some paper in water colors, cut them out, made them into little envelopes and filled them with treats. Every day my friend found in a little pouch a note counting another way she is awesome (up to 24 - one for everyday), and maybe a recipe she liked of mine, or a chocolate bar, or little gift. I threaded them on to string - they looked like bunting with all the colorful patterns on them - and delivered them just in time. She loved it!
This year, with my exams finishing so late, I may not have quite enough time to make another, but that doesn't mean I still can't dream… or even plan for next year! I was thinking it also might make a great gift for someone's birthday if they were born at the end of the month, or to celebrate another special day… new years? anniversary? end of exams? Meanwhile, here are a few ideas that have got me inspired:

DIY Advent in a Jar

Christmas Street

Hanging Tree Activity Calendar
A Colorful Advent

Toilet-Paper Roll Advent House