Tag Archives: cooking

Such A Domestic Diva!

For many years, I was pretty useless when it came to kitchen tasks. I was not entirely incapable, but I did lack self-belief and confidence in my abilities and potential.

It was not that I lacked enthusiasm. From an early age I really wanted to learn. I adored being with my Mumma and learning from her. However, that did not always translate into me independently navigating the kitchen with success and grace.

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How things have changed!!! I decided not to go shopping last night. I knew I had veggies in my fridge that needed using up. So instead, I came home from work last night and chop, chop, chopped – added garlic and herbs and spices and tomato puree and stock – and after an hour of slow cooking in the oven I ended up with a yummy casserole.

I know it might not sound like rocket science – but I love the confidence that I have somehow accumulated in recent years – I think even more so since I have been cooking for two so frequently. Nowadays, I don’t find it stressful cooking dinners for lots of guests. I have a repertoire, and I love knowledge, experience and technique. I understand timings and temperatures and textures. I don’t know how it happened – but I have become a domestic diva – one who knows how to deliver a delicious dish!!

Their Reputations ON THE LINE!

Right at the start of each episode of Masterchef: The Professionals, a man with a very sensuous voice says something like “twenty professional chefs are putting their reputation on the line.”

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I would be alright with that line if they all did well. The problem is, they don’t all do well. I love the show, because, well…pictures of lovely plates of food. But when it doesn’t work out…oh I do feel for them! Even more than the normal Masterchef or the Celebrity Masterchef. Can you imagine how it would effect them going back to a restaurant and everyone who watched the show thinking, “I don’t want to eat where he works!”

I don’t really know why they do it!


I spent the whole day cooking. Happy place! I was making soup and pie and freezing most of it. My kitchen is now effusing cooking smells – you know the aroma of sauteed leeks, and a herby tomato sauce bubbling away in the oven.

I was so engrossed with my cooking, I did not notice Jack had been trying to ring my phone (it was in the bedroom under the duvet, after I pressed snooze around eight times this morning before I dragged myself out of bed).

So I opened up my inbox after finishing all the washing up and Jack had sent a deluge of work that needs to be done before training sessions on Monday.

The bubble of cooking did not last long. Back to the grindstone!

Magnificent Masterchef

There’s not a lot that is worth watching on television….however, I do like Masterchef. There are three versions each year on the BBC, the normal Masterchef – which is always my favourite, the professionals Masterchef which I have started to enjoy almost as much as the original version, and the celebrity version, when around twenty “celebrities” (only five of which do I recognise) test my patience as find that the audience are actually watching because they are interested in cooking, not in celebrities.

But I have to say, I have really enjoyed the episodes of this year’s Celebrity Masterchef which ended last night with a fantastic final. Don’t worry I am not going to say who wins., I know there may be some still planning to catch up on it later.

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I just want to say…I really really was impressed by Penny Lancaster’s dishes. I watched her cooking and decided to myself that surely she has had chance to eaten some very fine food in her life.

Overall, there were two contestants that I could not get enough of and I rated as fabulous. One was to my surprise – Bez – he was just brilliant. I also loved watching Melanie Sykes, and probably her dishes are more my cup of tea than most in the competition. But perhaps picking two northerners out reveals some bias on my part.

I also have to mention Megan – one of the celebrities that I had ever seen before – in my opinion she was the most consistently good from the start. She impressed, and oh my, she made gluten free look sensational.

But the one contestant I have been bowled over by is Joe Swash – again did not have a clue who he was, but I did recognise the name of his fiance Stacy Solomon. Joe, Joe, Joe – what a mucky pup – but his progress was outstanding. He went from being the most irritating of all the contestants to being the one I wanted to watch. I actually felt excited for him – what is Joe going to do this week?

So…”celebrities”….bit of a nonsensical term in my opinion….but I love seeing a bunch of people, a few of whom I recognize, most of whom are complete strangers to me…falling in love with cooking. It’s a great show, and it is one of the few shows I actually think are worthy of my taking a little time out for.

Sleepy Caramel

Girl, Lady, Woman, Water, Watering Can

I’ll be helping the landlords with the garden tomorrow. I am sure I will be asked to water all the flower pots and boxes. I might have to mow the lawn. I am looking forward to it.

I think they want me to cook and freeze some meals for them as well. I am guessing that means going shopping for ingredients first.

I am laying awake in bed wishing I could sleep, but a headache is keeping me awake. It won’t go. I am tired. I will go and take some ibuprofen and hope that does the trick.

I just want to say, I know there are a lot of things that may be causing you worry. But the future for this earth and all its creatures will be better than you or I can dream. I know we have to pass through a troublesome time before then. But, there are happy times ahead.

I wish Jack was here. I miss him when he is not next to me. He whispers the loveliest of dreams to me sometimes. He has so many wonderful ideas about the future.

While You Are Cooking

sdfjjldsfJack and I have been busy in my little kitchen…and now that we have to wait for 90 minutes for the results (we are making an African dish that has to slow cook!) we are getting comfy on the sofa.

When Jack was flicking through the channels on my television I saw a movie I love…only as soon as I had told him, I realized it is a channel that does not work on my TV. Anyway…Jack has just re-tuned my channels and now the missing channel is back! Which means I can watch the movie.

I don’t know if he is going to regret this though. The movie in question is basically a musical version of Cinderella. It is called “The Slipper And The Rose” and stars Richard Chamberlain and Gemma Craven. It used to be on TV a lot when I was a child, and it is another musical I can sing the entire score of. Some of the songs give me the urge to stand up and either twirl around (like a princess) or do high-kicks.

It is almost three hours long! Jack is going to get so much more than he bargained for when he fixed my television!!


There we go…I found a trailer on YouTube to give you an idea of what Jack will be enduring enjoying with me:

It’s The 2020 MasterChef Final!

Platting, Fine Dining, Vegan I have just had a yummy bowl of soup. Inspired by my favourite show, I did something a bit weird to my soup. I added a dollop of peanut butter. I am glad to say it worked really well. It was a spicy soup. When I added the peanut butter it made it taste like satay sauce.

Now I am ready and waiting in anticipation for the grand finale of this year’s series of Masterchef. I have loved this series. For the first time, I have seen every single episode of the series. That’s what not going out does for you.

I have watched Masterchef for the past three years, but for the last couple of years, I missed a lot of the episodes because I was out and about. Before then I did not have a television for over ten years. My prior recollections of the show are from childhood. My mum used to watch Masterchef when it was presented by Lloyd Grossman, the memories of which make me cringe!

I love all three of this year’s finalists. I have loved watching them work. I liked their personalities. I am very excited about the final tonight. Who will win? Oh, it’s exciting!

I’m On My Way! (Well Nearly)

Four days down, and only one to go! Then I travel to mi familia! Happy happy days!

beebsTonight it is the last episode of Masterchef: The Professionals – FINALS WEEK!!! I have loved watching this series. I missed some of the earlier episodes, but I have caught all of FINALS WEEK. I just loved it!

I am not a great cook. But amazingly, some people actually pay me money to cook for them. So far, nobody has died because of my cooking, which I find encouraging. But the young chefs in this series are so impressive. It makes cooking seem very exciting. The last two days I did ten hour shifts. Tomorrow should be easier I think. Oh, I do hope so!

The day after tomorrow – I’M ON MY WAY! On my way to paradise – Snowdonia, here I come! Yay!!!!


Murder In The Kitchen

beetroot.jpgWhat have I been up to today?

Well…if you came round to where I was working today (and I had a lot of visitors today), you may have been puzzled. Has there been some kind of a massacre? you may have wondered. It’s alright, I have cleared up the mess, and hidden all of the evidence now. Hopefully, not even the latest forensic technology would be able to detect the havoc I wreaked earlier today.

today.pngI was making Beetroot Soup! Ay karumba!!! Red beetroot juice managed to splash everywhere – all over the counter tops, stove, tiles, cupboard doors, floor…sigh! It took me longer to clear up the kitchen than it did to make the soup!

However, it is one yummy recipe. It has carrots, celery, onion, garlic and apple in as well as a lot of beetroot. I need to get myself one of those whizzer thingies, because putting the veggies into the food processor is one very messy technique of blitzing the mixture.

robin and annie garden.jpgToday was an earning money day. I earnt my bread and butter by cooking and gardening. I love the gardening jobs I have. Although the rain has interfered with a lot of my work recently. It’s a very nice way to earn a living.

The day is not over yet. I have an ironing job to do. I squished all my work into one day so I could spend the last three days with Jack. It’s been a nice day. I listened to music the whole time I was cooking and while dishes were in the oven, I could read some posts from other bloggers. A very satisfying day indeed.

Ciao for now!

I Am Spending A Fortune On Feeding My Goldfinch

When I do my own food / grocery shopping, I usually go to the local Sainsburys supermarket.  For years I went to ASDA or Aldi, but there is no ASDA and no Aldi near here.  Nor is there a Lidl, an Iceland, or a Farmfoods.  When I first moved to London I lived a five minute walk from an enormous 24-hour Tesco Supermarket.  But there is no Tesco near here.  So instead I now shop for myself at Sainsburys.

The nearest supermarket to my little abode, at only two minutes walk away, is an organic supermarket named Bayley & Sage, but everything there costs a fortune…I went shopping there once, just after I moved here, and nearly started choking with the shock when the cashier told me the price of the small basket of items I had collected. So I don’t go there unless I want to buy a treat for Goldfinch or to buy sandfire (it’s the only shop near here where I can buy it).

When Goldfinch is coming I switch to shopping at Waitrose…because in my head, (if not reality) I think I will find better produce.  But it also costs more.  I just like to feel I am giving the best to Goldfinch.  One of the things I love about shopping at Waitrose is the chance to collect a free Waitrose magazine (along with my free coffee).

The Waitrose magazine has some fantastic recipes.  I have always been a big fan of supermarket magazine recipes.  I like them because they normally don’t have a ridiculous amount of ingredients and you don’t have to have been a contestant on Masterchef to be able to follow their recipes.

I like to bake…and I especially like to bake for Goldfinch. This weekend I made a traditional favourite savoury dish which I have made many times before.  But for pudding I thought I would turn my hand to trying a couple of recipes from last month’s Waitrose magazine.

ice cream.pngFirst of all I made the toffee-apple ice-cream…which involved making caramel – a messy job but somebody has to do it!  It has ripples of caramel soft golden apples, crumbly biscuit bites and creamy vanilla ice-cream…oooh la la!

upside down cakeThen I made the upside down. maple, walnut and apple cake, which was warm and ooooozing with caramel.

It is a pleasure cooking and baking for my Goldfinch.  But I spend twice as much money on my food shopping when I know he is coming to visit.  I am spending a fortune on feeding my gorgeous Goldfinch.  But I love it.  I love him you see.  I love any chance I have to give something to him that shows him how I feel and how happy he makes me.