Mustard Fruit

What are they?! I was given a pretty jar of mustard fruits this week and, though they looked super beautiful and sophisticated in my shelves, I must confess that I have nil idea of how (or why) to munch them! 

So I've done what all good researchers do and googled the problem. People you will be pleased to know that I have an answer. 

Here we have an Italian delicacy made from by preserving fruit in a wonderfully mustardy syrup. The result is something quite sweet and a little savoury that sits neatly alongside a hunk of ham or a triangle of cheese.

The little things are really lovely and definitely perk up a cheese course. Consider them recommended.    


How to set up a pop up restaurant?

I'm often asked how to set up a pop up. 

I am certainly no expert but here are a few pointers that might help you if you are preparing to pop up. 
  • Space. Think outside of the box - studios, shops, theatres, restaurants that you could take over. Anywhere with running water and electricity.  Although even they are not a total necessity. 
  • PR. Create a website. Now days everybody wants to look at a website by way of assurance and I would say, the more information, the better. The nearest station, the cost, what the menu will be!
  • Bookings. It costs some money to take advance payment but is well worth it. If this isn't an option, over book each sitting by 10%. We have only ever had two tables of four or more that haven't turned up. 
  • Menu. settle on food that makes you happy and that you feel comfortable with. Spend time sourcing beautiful ingredients and give yourself enough hours to prepare. This is your reputation at stake! 
  • Get prepared for exhaustion! A pop up is all encompassing so be prepared to be on your knees by the end. 


Flat Planet

Love this place! Think more lunch, less dinner although gorgeous waiters will take the order from your table. 

Here appears to be a cafe with conscience; the spelt flat breads are made daily and topped with quirky, wholesome ingredients; rose harrisa, Parmesan crumbs, garlic yoghurt, labneh... Slightly clumsy to eat (although that could just be me) but will perfectly fill a dainty lunch rumble. 

The man that runs this also is behind Leon which makes me think there might be quite a few appearing. Some people are too clever, it's not fair. 



Birthday cake

I've spent the weekend at home to celebrate my ma's birthday. Time seems to slow down a little in Norfolk; we drink tea, sit by the fire and play boogle! 

My sister and I did manage to ice a cake. A bit garish but looked fun, all complete with bright pink geraniums. 


Pearled Spelt Risotto

PEARLED SPELT RISOTTO with watercress & lemon

There is a certain thrill to discovering fresh watercress swimming in docile English rivers, gesturing the beginning of spring. It is so green, peppery and robust that it can stand out by itself. Here, we have a simple spelt risotto in which the watercress is the star of the show. I’d eat it with a chunky wedge of garlic bread.

prep time 10 minutes cook time 30 minutes

serves 4

25g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
200g pearled spelt (alternatively, use risotto rice)
125ml dry white wine
1 litre hot vegetable stock
75g bunch of watercress, washed and roughly chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
50g Parmesan, grated
A few rounds of goat’s cheese, to serve
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Heat half of the butter and all the oil in a large pan. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the pearled spelt (or risotto rice) and stir for 1 minute until the grains are coated in the buttery oil.

2 Pour in the wine and simmer over a high heat until nearly all has evaporated. A word of warning: there are times for drinking alcohol, but not within a risotto – take the time to allow the alcohol to evaporate.

3 Reduce the heat to gentle and begin to add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, letting each ladleful be absorbed before adding the next. Keep adding the stock and stirring constantly until all of the liquid has been absorbed. This will take 18–20 minutes.

4 Remove the risotto from the heat and add the remaining butter, the chopped watercress, lemon zest and juice and the Parmesan. Stir until the watercress has just wilted, check for seasoning, and then serve with a round or two of goat’s cheese resting on top.



This is hilarious - Designer Jon Chonko scans sandwiches on a flatbed scanner for education (and smiles). 

Who would have thought a pannini could be art? It's always the simple ideas... 

Have a look at his site for a HUGE selection of sarnies - http://scanwiches.com/


Eggs for tea?

Most evenings I receive a weary phone call to say that the Dr is off duty and he is en route home. ETA is followed by 'what can I eat?'. I can't normally get away with an omlette, he says he 'needs something with a little more body', I say 'they are delicious'. 

Don't forget about eggs. An onion, chilli, garlic and courgette was all that was required boost the ultimate frugal supper. And it make him happy. (I think). 


French Apple Tarts

I found these beautiful little tart tins on a market stall a few months ago and they have sat silently in my cupboard since. 

Tomorrow I am cooking for the hen of one of my best friends. Soon to be Mrs French, the whole day is to be French themed and so I saw an opportunity to use my tins. 

Tiny tarte normande would be perfect for pudding. One third of a trio of desserts. Served a little bit warm with a dollop of creme fraiche.  

Now onto limon baby meringues and pots au chocolat... I'll let you know what the finished dishes look like!