At My Table … well, Nigella’s Table

OK, so the new Nigella is in hand and I have been perusing it – haven’t had time to cook or bake from it yet but that will come soon. I’m seeing a lot of warming, comforting things – and though she claims to not have a theme for each book, warming, home cooking IS rather a trait of hers. Nothing fancy or fussy here. Just as well since fancy and fussy are not my style.

I read cookbooks like other people read fiction, so I spend a lot of time (particularly on rainy days) thumbing through them and a well-written, well-produced book gets a lot return visits on days such as that in this household. Happily, this is one of those books.

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Nadiya’s British Food Adventure (review, ep 1)

Anyone who followed this blog during Nadiya’s GBBO season will know how delightful I found her.  Her face was expressive to an almost lunatic degree; her choice of bakes (methods, ingredients, etc) always pushed things a little further but (unlike some) not just for the sake of pushing – because she wanted to know how it would work, she wanted to try a new taste. Her passion and love of food and baking was infectious.

Nadiya during GBBO

So I was thrilled when she won that season and thrilled again when the BBC sent her off on the two part Chronicles of Nadiya so she could explore (and we could go with her) the recipes that laid the foundation for that passion and love of food. She always came off as very natural, if a bit nervous (and who could blame her) on GBBO and her shift from contestant to cookery presenter did nothing to dim that naturalness.

And so last night, Nadiya returned with her second show, Nadiya’s British Food Adventure and I am happy to report that she is still as natural as can be, the face still as expressive as ever and her enthusiasm for her topics on full show.

Nadiya on her new show, Nadiya’s British Food Adventure on BBC Two

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Armchair Travel for Foodies: A Bookshelf

I love to travel — well, not the airport part and increasingly not the airliner part. But the being there part. And I love to eat, learn about food, share what I’ve learned and then get up and do it all again the next day. These dual passions are very much at the heart of what I do. I write for both food and travel websites,  have a segment on the Jones on Food and Travel radio show, run the Fabulous Foodie blog as well as the Fabulous Foodie Facebook group and run a travel blog called Greater Gotham Going Global.

Sadly, like most people, I can’t always travel when I want (must try harder to win that lottery) and so I end up doing a lot of ‘armchair travel’ when not banking actual travel miles.

Luckily, there are a lot of other food and travel lovers with a passion and skill for writing who have shared their culinary wisdom. So there’s lots of material (travel guides, essays and memoirs, great cookbooks with a heavy helping of travel included, tv tie-ins, even inspirational fiction) to get us on our way – both in reality and virtually.

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Pickled And Baked

It’s not what you think.  I’m not wallowing in wine or whacked out on weed. (At least not right now.) I do, however, have homemade bread baking in the oven, and I’ve just put up a bunch of pickles. Again, it’s not what you may think.

I haven’t joined a commune in Vermont, delved too far into the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder, or taken up extreme right-wing ideologies and moved into a nuclear bunker in Tennessee. I’m just trying to stay hip. And for once, I’ve found I haven’t already aged out of the latest trends. Both baking and pickling are tres chic here in the UK. That runaway smash tv show The Great British Bakeoff has taken the nation by storm over the last few years.

mary-berry

Both baking and pickling are tres chic here in the UK. That runaway smash tv show The Great British Bakeoff has taken the nation by storm over the last few years. Continue reading “Pickled And Baked”

And the Winner Is … GBBO 2015

A slightly different format this week as it was THE BIG FINALE.

trio

But a quick note:  I would so watch “Baking with Nadyia & Tamal” – someone make this happen. What is the point in having friends “in the biz” if they can’t make my dream shows happen? Seriously, they are hilarious and adorable and I want them to go on baking adventures together – him wise-cracking and her pulling faces and the baking being glorious. OK, back to business. Continue reading “And the Winner Is … GBBO 2015”

GBBO 2015: Episode 9 (Chocolate)

At last, at last! I am back from my travels and back to recapping Bake Off – and just in time too as we have reached the semi-finals!And it’s CHOCOLATE WEEK! I love chocolate week, not just because I love chocolate but because it is such a wonky thing to work with – whether baking, saucing and building with it – and in this episode, the 4 remaining bakers are asked to all of these things.

group_of_hosts Continue reading “GBBO 2015: Episode 9 (Chocolate)”

Checking Out Chocolate Week

It’s semi-finals week on Bake Off – and in preparation for tomorrow’s episode, I’ve been perusing the chocolate-y challenges that the bakers will have before them. Oh and yes, I know I missed recapping Victorian and Patisserie week. I was traveling and ONLY caught up on them last night.

Signature challenge: a return to pastry but this time around it is chocolate pastry. And in case that wasn’t enough for the chocoholics in the room, said pastry is for a chocolate tart. Helllllllloooo, sailor!

chco_tart Continue reading “Checking Out Chocolate Week”