FROM humble beginnings, boulangere potatoes is a traditional French accompaniment to roast meat and works great as a side dish when feeding a crowd.
According to my lovely French friend, Helene, the correct term is ‘pommes de terre à la boulangère’ which translates to ‘baker’s potatoes’. The story originates in rural France where villagers would assemble this dish at home and use the heat from the baker’s oven to cook their potatoes at the end of the day. Traditionally, they would roast lamb on a rack above the potatoes so that the juices would drip down into the dish.
Last weekend, my inlaws came over for dinner and I planned to do a leg of lamb for the four of us. Boulangere potatoes are a nice alternative to the English roast spud and look slightly fancier, perfect for a dinner party! Not least because you can assemble this dish in advance, bung it in an oven and forget about it until it’s time to serve.
ROME, the eternal city. World renowned for its historical sites, The Vatican and much like the rest of Italy, its food. We were lucky enough to visit back in July and it’s safe to say we had an amazing time and returned home with happy hearts and full stomachs.
The best Italian food relies on the high quality of its ingredients; the freshness and simplicity of a dish are the markers of good Italian food. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular across the globe – you’re never more than 100 metres away from pizza, FACT. Slight exaggeration, granted.
The food in Rome is no exception to this and we made it our mission to eat as much good food as possible. We tried some of Rome’s classic dishes and we don’t regret a single bite! I’ve listed some of our favourites down below and hope you get to try them on your next visit to Rome!
WOOD fires, cold crisp air and the crunch of auburn leaves, autumn is in full swing and what better way to embrace the pagan tradition of Hallows Eve than with a hearty bowl of pumpkin soup.
No stranger on the shelf, pumpkins, squash and all kinds of gourds are widely available in British supermarkets this time of year and, of course, your local green grocers. I bought a selection of colourful gourds from Lidl and couldn’t wait to turn them into this delicious soup!
SIMPLE and delicate, these cute little French pastries are the perfect accompaniment to a sparkly festive drink.
You can make them big or small, serve as canapes with champagne or as an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee. Whichever way you choose, palmiers are really easy to make and look really impressive for minimal effort.
I’ve used black olive tepanade for this batch but you can shake up the flavours and make them salty or sweet. Experiment with different fillings, why not try nutella, wild garlic pesto, anchovy, fig preserve and goats cheese, apricot jam, sundried tomato, honey and walnut, harissa and feta cheese or a simple cinnamon sugar?
At Christmas, you could stuff them with mincemeat for an alternative mince pie! Other festive fillings could be creme de marrons and chocolate, brie and cranberry or redcurrent and stilton… The list goes on!
OCTOBER is my favourite month not only because it is my birthday but autumn is undoubtedly the best time of year. Particularly the run up to Christmas (yes, I’ve already dropped the C-bomb) and I know it’s a favourite for many others too.
A time for cold crisp weather, pumpkin spice (I’m one of those, sorry not sorry), dark nights drawing in, knitwear, bonfires, Hallowe’en, beautiful golden leaves, woolly hats, big scarves and plenty of cups of tea. What’s not to love!?
This indulgent bread and butter pudding, made with brioche, is the perfect autumnal recipe for those cosy nights in with scented candles and lots comfort food.
SHAKSHOUKA is fast becoming one of those trendy breakfast dishes joining the ranks of the infamous avocado toast and smoothie bowls. This lightly spiced and beautifully rich stew makes the perfect weekend breakfast or even midweek supper.
Originating from North Africa, shakshouka is one of those recipes made up of a collection of simple ingredients, simmered slowly to perfection – tomatoes, olive oil, cumin, garlic and eggs, lightly poached in the sumptuous, tomatoey sauce.
I have added a few extras into mine, including peppers and courgette but you can either leave this out or add more veggies such as aubergine and spinach to make it more of a meal. Serve with flat breads or garlic toasts.
THIS recipe is so simple, it’s barely even a recipe! However I really wanted to share it with you as it is a great way to enjoy the flavour of wild garlic throughout the year, particularly as the season is so short.
I made a big batch, thoroughly wrapped it up in cling film and stuck it in the freezer. This way I can slice a bit off as and when I need it and the rest will keep for future use. There are endless uses for wild garlic butter – you could melt it over a juicy lamb cutlet, grilled mushrooms, steak, asparagus, pan fried fish, rub some on a chicken before roasting or spread it over a ciabatta and pop it in the oven to make a nice garlic bread.
A TWIST on the classic green pesto, this is another simple yet effective recipe for wild garlic. I have added spinach to my recipe for two reasons. Firstly, to make sure that the garlic flavour is not too overpowering and secondly to bulk the pesto out a little bit. Plus, who can argue with the extra health benefits of spinach?!
You can use this in the same way as a traditional pesto. I have tried lathering some on top of cod loin before baking in the oven with chorizo and veggies. Another time, I stuffed some inside a chicken breast with goats cheese and sundried tomatoes before oven-roasting. I was really pleased with the outcome and plan to publish these recipes at some point in the coming weeks! Enjoy!
WHILST walking along the river in Richmond, we happened upon masses and masses of wild garlic, A leafy green herb with the unmistakable scent of garlic, it grows in large sprays along the River Swale and many other woodland locations around the UK.
We picked a load and carted it off home to experiment. I came up with three recipes which I will share with you over the next couple of weeks but, unsurprisingly, wild garlic grows in the… Well, in the wild. So I thought it would be a good idea to put together a short guide to picking your own as the season is fairly short and it’s not something you can generally buy from the shops – it would be a shame for you to miss out!
THE Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery is tucked away in Laverstoke, a tiny village in rural Hampshire in the UK, just north of Winchester between Basingstoke and Andover.
We have wanted to go since it opened its doors to the public in 2014. We lived in Southampton for five years but moved back up north a couple of years ago because of our jobs. It’s something we never really got round to but we were presented with the perfect opportunity to finally visit, and we are glad that we did!
We were down in Hampshire for a wedding on the first May bank holiday weekend and had planned to stay with my aunty and uncle who live about 40 minutes from Laverstoke. As it is such a long way from home I thought that we could make it a bit of a weekend away and do some exploring – the distillery was the first thing that popped into my head.