Festive Greetings...

I hope you all are having a wonderful time, dipping in and out of food delirium with your most elasticated trousers on. Is there any better time of the year, where the word excess does not have any place? I think not! Enjoy!  


Second stop was Antigua, where food is full of plantain and surf n turf spiced stew pots and the colours were so vivid it was like watching the Wizard of Oz (tropical version) for the first time! We stayed at the very colonial feeling Carlisle Bay, white washed shuttered rooms and afternoon tea at the beach...


Carlisle Bay beach
Daily choice of eggs, florentine today
Conch and shrimp fritters
Afternoon tea on the beach
Aromatic goat curry with roti and peppery mango chutney
Local lizard on our balcony
Dries sunnies - spiced veg stew
Caribbean rum punch and freshly grated nutmeg - 85% rum 15% juice!
banana palm fan - tricolour fruit kebab
coi karp and topped scones
turquoise swimming pool ripples


Hello from St. Lucia!

I have fled the country, opting out of pre Christmas madness and reliving summer in the Caribbean. First stop is St. Lucia, where my mum and I are staying at Jade Mountain, which is architecturally like the Barbican, futuristic yet organic with a myriad of suspended walkways, draped flora and waterfall pools filled with koi carp.The only downfall is that the need of being bikini ready did not fall at a worser time (damn you multiple mince pies and hearty pub lunches,) so when faced with my all inclusive 3 meals a day I am trying to swap a plate of scrambled eggs piled with honeyed bacon, forrest mushrooms and callalou with exotic fruit. But alas, I fail at the approach of elevenses and succumb to some deep fried seafood! Drinkswise I am sipping on a local fave Cocoa Tea, like a mild velvety hot chocolate uplifted with festive spices. For ease I am favouring my woven leather pumps, vintage high waisted Levi shorts, a battered striped linen shirt and Topshops finest burnt orange bikini and playing it safe in the sun with factor 30! More food and holiday outfits to follow, but back to catching up on Fire & Knives!


Andrew the Butcher

I often cite my boyfriend, Andrew in my posts. He loves food maybe even more so than me, so much so that he is training to be a meat expert slash butcher. Learning the trade at Brooks of Kensal Rise, which after only a year is considered a true local treasure for it's honest approach to supplying quality meat.

Brooks regular Sue Foll's portrait of the friendly butcher

Some meaty treats...Bone in Fore Rib
Pork (butt, neck and shoulder) Terrine
Lamb Shanks


Banana Bread

I am not terribly fond of bananas but always have some present in my fruit bowl. More often than not they become speckled and too sweet to eat as they are, but perfect for mashing into banana bread, which I am very partial to! My fail safe recipe is from a little book called Homemade Cakes by Phillippa Vanstone:
Heat oven to 180˚C and grease up a loaf tin.
 Mash 2 bananas with 2 tbsp honey.
In a seperate bowl sift 200g self raising flour, half tsp baking powder and 1 tsp nutmeg. Mix.
In a large bowl cream 150g butter and 175g sugar. Adding 2 eggs gradually.
To the mix fold in the bananas and then the flour mixture.
Finally add 50g crushed pecans.
Tip into tin and bake for 50 minutes.

Try and be patient and let it cool thoroughly so you can slice it without fear of it crumbling.

Such a simple way of using up bananas which also opens up to many more possibilities: enjoy straight away with a cup of tea, toasted and spread with nutella, dipped in eggs for French toast  or even turned into a revamped version of bread and butter pudding.


Je suis désolée...

I am primarily blaming the lack of internet in my new East London home for being a rubbish blogger. There is much to catch up on, downsizing of wardrobe space has called for cleverer outfit arrangements but more kitchen space has meant more home bakes and generally an increased amount of kitchen activity! Then there has been catching up with friends and many an occasion to celebrate in the form of a thoroughly Scottish McGowan wedding and a wet and wild birthday jaunt to The Scales Plantation up in the Lake District...

Top - Bottom:
aye aye kilts ahoy!
courgette birthday cake with pistachio brittle made by Tom and Katie Bakey
rainbow at the Lakes - my stab at Swedish Cinnamon Buns
Cabin heaven in the forest - note for future: wellies and Barbours, not bikers and converse 

More to come soon!