Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Spices Online

Just a quick post to big up this great website for 'The Spice Shop'
If like me you live in a small and not very cosmopolitan city this is fantastic! Also much cheaper and better than supermarkets. Only problem is I always buy tons of weird and interesting things and then don't use them. But then I also shy away from weird and interesting recipes cos I don't have the stuff. Note to self: plan more...

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Make-up phobic

A brave first for me today. Ready for the wedding attendance on Sat I went to the Clinique counter in Boots and got advice on foundation. I usually go goth pale due to a fear of David Dickinson style orange but the girl helped me get something more natural. And apparently you use a brush not a sponge to put it on with now? I feel about 100. Speaking of as you hit your 30s normal skin becomes blotchy, creasy, hangover shadowy skin all the time. But as I don't always want to look like I've been on an all-nighter action had to be taken.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Party Food

OK, so I was going to keep my dinner party menu a surprise but Someone blabbed. Cooking for friends can be tricky as there are so many likes/dislikes. First up is cocktails with homemade cheese straws (puff pastry, spread with parmesan and other things such as chilli/mustard/anchovy paste etc.) This is a Victorian recipe and they loved strong flavours and little savouries. Then chicken tagine with apricots and couscous. An easy, as I am out all day and better half will have to make it (no offense). The a Paris-style finale from Nigella Domestic Goddess, choc meringue with choc custard layers. Very excited about this having just licked out the custard pan. I bought a girly cakestand to put it on this morning.
Top tips for dinners: avoid weird foods (and fish, shellfish, rare meat). Have lots of drink in. Nibbles buy you time. Cook as much as possible in advance.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Pineapple and Renaissance

Firstly, I'd like to big up the Landmark Trust who rent out as holiday homes the most amazingly fab historic buildings in random rural locations. The Pineapple in Dunmore is a pineapple shaped pavilion flanked by 2 gardeners cottages. There's an open fire and view of the Ochil hills and there aint a phone, TV or computer so you can relax from the information overload.
The holiday also turned out to be a bit of a renaissance fest as we went to Falkland Palace, Stirling Castle and Linlithgow Palace, all favoured haunts of James IV-VI. The tapestry weavers at Stirling were amazing, you can see them making a series of huge unicorn tapestries in a little workshop.