Category Archives: Loafing around

My Seven Links

caramel_shortbread

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

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Music to bake by . . .

barcelona_boqueria

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.

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Crema catalana, turrón and a recipe for blondies

blondie_recipe_spanish

Blondies with turron

Spain isn’t a country renowned for its desserts. On a recent trip to Barcelona, the majority of our sweet consumption was split between flaky treats from the local pastelerías at breakfast time and a requisite daily ice cream; justified as compulsory thermostat control on the sweltering beach or busy streets. Maybe the rest of the food and drink on offer is just too good; after wedges of tortilla, melting plates of jamón, rich, creamy croquetas and raisin scented sherry, dessert might well be the last thing on your mind.

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Small adventures in cooking with James Ramsden

james_ramsden_eggs_benedict

Homemade eggs benedict

James Ramsden is a high achiever. Trained at Ballymaloe cookery school in Ireland, he started blogging back in 2008 and has since carved himself a career as a respected food writer for The Guardian, The Times, Sainsbury’s magazine and more. Not content with writing for broadsheets, magazines and maintaining a successful blog, he also runs a popular supper club from his home in North London and has just published his first book.  All at the tender age of 24. That’s two years younger than me. By rights I should be green with envy.

Hot toasted muffins with salty butter

But I’m not. There’s something extremely likeable about James and his attitude to food. He wants cooking to be simple and he wants it to be enjoyable. He appreciates the fact that, for most people, eating isn’t necessarily an endless succession of dinner-party-standard meals – that in any given week we’ll fluctuate between feeding large groups of friends and throwing together a solitary supper. His attitude reminds me of a cross between a younger Jamie Oliver (minus the cheeky chappy vocab) and my own boyfriend (like James, Carniverous Boyfriend is a Yorkshire boy). Maybe it’s an age thing. Maybe it’s a boy thing. But I definitely feel like there’s a lot I can learn from his enthusiastic, experimental, laid-back approach to cooking. Food should be fun.

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Filed under Loafing around, Recipes