Brussels sprouts or chocolate truffles?
Which of the above best represents this time of year for you?
Whether you’re a sprout fanatic or already opening your second box of chocolates (and not yet out of your PJs)*, I hope you have an absolutely amazing Christmas.
I’m taking a short break from the blog for the rest of this week, but will be back in early January with a delicious new dose of all things flour, butter and sugar.
*Personally I’ll be enjoying both: I find it hard to resist a good truffle but then they’re not something you can fry with bacon and chestnuts…
The view from our bedroom window in Tuscany
If you saw my previous post, you’ll know I’m off to Italy this week. First stop, the seaside in Le Marche, then up to the Tuscan hills where, when I wake each morning, I’ll be confronted with this view.
I can’t take credit for the photo above – my Dad took it early one morning last year, mist still drifting through mountains bathed in a hazy, lazy light – but I hope to capture many more, (alongside a ton of food photos), to share with you when I’m back. Continue reading
Lolita Taperia: One of my favourite tapas bars in Barcelona
Barcelona, 9.30pm. The sun just set, abandoning its heat to the baked metal and stone which make up the city; the breeze gentle, welcome as it wraps itself around limbs kissed from a day spent in the sun; the light soft and slowly fading, inviting diners to head inside for food and drinks, to browse menus and discuss their days.
Garlic bread, ready to assemble
As the Christmas festivities draw to an end, the last of the crackers have been pulled, the turkey pie polished off and the bottom of the bowl of Quality Streets begins to appear, food may be the last thing anyone wants to think about. Unless, of course, they are a food blogger.
The internet is currently alight with annual reviews and round ups, top ten recipes, restaurants and trends, and predictions for foodie fads in 2012 and beyond. Rather than eschewing eating in response to the season of overindulgence, bloggers everywhere are wallowing in the delights of what has been, what they are enjoying now and what is yet to come. Continue reading
There are few things more delicious than the smell of freshly baked bread
‘Hold the bread close to your nose and breathe in deeply. What can you smell?’
My mum and I are standing amidst an assortment of aspiring bakers in the cosy kitchens of Richard Bertinet’s eponymous cookery school in Bath. Any grumbles about leaving London at crack of dawn have long been suppressed by rounds of toasted Bertinet bread and butter on arrival, and we’re bright- eyed and ready to learn. Having undergone a set of AA-style round-the-room introductions – ‘my name’s Kate and I’m a baking addict . . .’ – we’re now ready to address the task at hand. Bread.
We all clutch a piece close to our noses and breathe in. There’s a slightly sweet smell, the unmistakeable tang of vinegar, and vague undertones of…
‘Armpit. Your bread smells like a sweaty armpit’. Continue reading
Three little loaves - freshly baked bread was an inspiration for this blog
I love the way that landing on someone’s food blog can transport you to a completely different world. Whether it’s the quality of writing, a stunning set of photos, an unusual recipe or a single thought, each blog has its own unique identity, providing you with a fascinating insight – however small – into the author’s life.
Some people plaster personality over their posts in spades, while others prefer to retreat behind their recipes or camera lens, but there’s no getting away from the fascination we have for blogs and their authors. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading posts for Food Bloggers Unplugged, an initiative intended to help us discover a bit more about the people behind the blogs we know and love. And more recently I’ve been nominated by three fellow food bloggers (Laura of How to Cook Good Food, Shu Han of MummyICanCook and Janice from Farmers Girl) to join in the fun.
So here are my answers, a bit of fun in the run up to Christmas. Continue reading
Seared pigeon breast, parmesan polenta, wild mushrooms & chard (and yes, I snapped before pouring on the sauce, oops!)
Contrary to what my most recent set of posts might lead you to believe, I don’t subsist entirely on a diet of bread, cake and pastry. I’ll admit to having a sweeter tooth than most, and finding few meals complete without some kind of sweet treat, but that’s not to say there isn’t a place for all things savoury in my heart. Having tempted you with treacle tart and toffee cake, macarons, profiteroles and numerous types of ice cream in recent weeks, it felt about time to test the water with a slightly less sugar laden recipe. Continue reading
Cefalu bathed in Sicilian sunshine
Italy holds a special place in my heart. I’ve been visiting my parents house in Tuscany every summer since before I can remember, and have grown up loving the rich, rustic flavours of the region; hearty ribollita, simple sauces over thick, hand-rolled pici, earthy cavolo nero, beautiful Chianina beef and the ubiquitous cannellini bean (the Tuscans are sometimes referred to by other Italians as mangiafagoili, or ‘bean eaters’). However, while the Tuscan mountains are a place I’ll return to time and again, I also love the seaside, and this summer I was excited to visit Sicily with a group of girlfriends for the very first time. Continue reading
Seven pieces of gooey millionaire's shortbread...one for every link
Just over six months ago, on 27th February, I penned my very first post as thelittleloaf. Since then I’ve had a wonderful time in and out of the kitchen, baking, bread-making, testing different recipes and trying new restaurants. I’ve also discovered some fantastic food blogs which I return to time and again; for their exciting recipes, for their satisfying stories, or to simply gaze at their stunning photos.
One such site is the beautiful With Milk and Flour, so when fellow blogger Mandy invited me to take part in Tripbase.com’s ‘My Seven Links’ initiative, it felt like a fun and fitting way to take stock of what’s happened over the past few months. The premise is simple; pick seven previous posts which fall within seven pre-assigned categories. Link to these posts, then nominate five other bloggers to do the same. These are my picks: Continue reading
Barcelona's beautiful Boqueria market
Weekend baking holds a particular place in my heart. While cooking is always a pleasure, and I enjoy rustling up mid-week meals for family and friends, there’s something extra special about having a slightly longer stretch of time in the kitchen. This is baking as therapy; a time to relax and unwind, as much about the process as the end result. I could quite happily spend a whole morning pottering round my kitchen, thumbing through recipe books, experimenting with flavours, massaging dough and mixing ingredients.