Monthly Archives: January 2013

Right now


:: learning an awful lot about nutrition thanks to my latest Coursera course

:: tracking my food drink intake as part of the course – insightful!

:: excited to visit the UK next week and meet a sweet baby girl

:: wishing our boy wasn’t poorly and would have a nap today…

:: eating far less than this past weekend. Dear friends from London visited and we sure ate (and drank!) more than usual :)

:: crying whilst watching Parenthood. New to me, but I just can’t stop watching.

:: peeling hundreds of carrots, baby’s latest food obsession

:: staring at a rock that I thought was a toad. I need coffee.

Our everyday life: week 4

A very foggy walk


Teddy bear tea party (lasted about 10 seconds)


Making Ottolenghi’s slow cooked veal – delicious! 


Ice cream AND macarons on a lunch date out – just what I wanted. 


Baby’s first sugar…a  gift from his favourite waitress!


Playing tourist with our dear friends from the UK


Someone watching over the graveyard


Raining by the river, not quite the same as in the summer


House light at the end of the tunnel


Our view of the Pyrenees


Raclette night – far too much food (and wine!) consumed this weekend 


Our everyday life: week 3

Cat finding some peace on the changing mat. Hmm, hygienic!

Games with Shake’s parents


Shake’s parents took us out for treat to a local restaurant. Delicious duck!


Our boy enjoying some bread and a little bit of steak!


Meatloaves from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook (which I love!) – the sauce was especially great, like a fancy ketchup. 


Pretty pink clouds in the morning


We just had a little bit of snow, the day Shake’s parents left. 


Love the back cover of the Smitten Kitchen cookbook – many tempting recipes. 


Our teething monster is destroying his cot…


Tried to make the turkey & courgette burgers from Jerusalem, but no turkey mince to be found – went for veal instead. They were delicious, the yoghurt dressing was especially good. 


Mr Adorable tried to hide behind these curtains. Too cute!



Favourite posts this week

:: Salted caramel flapjacks and Vinegar cake recipes from The Guardian. I like the sound of a wine and date cake, having also seen a red wine fig cake this week. I shall let you know if/when I give it a go.

:: These cacao nib pancakes sound delicious, especially with coffee syrup. Hello Saturday morning treat :)

:: I hope in time I work out how I want to spend my days, post baby-raising. This post about being a “mompreneur” made me feel more positive!

:: A lesson in juicing. We try not to have too many kitchen gadgets, but maybe a juicer…?

:: Love the photos of this beautiful beetroot soup. I’m sure it tastes delicious too.

:: I’ve only made polenta once and I can’t say we were amazed by it. Joy’s recipe could change our opinion.

:: How to make chocolate bars. So simple, so pretty.

:: Less than a month until Valentine’s Day! Feeling crafty? These magnets are adorable, make them any time of year :)

:: Two lovely mom bloggers, one appropriate (to me) quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy. Just enjoy every moment and don’t compare it to what you expected or what it seems like others experiences are.” Ah, so true right now.

Check out the rest of the interview here.

:: Really enjoying this series on Parents Who Cook, especially when one of my favourite bloggers is featured. Some great advice in there.

:: An alternative to my lemon shortbread, how about something raw with Vanilla and Walnut?

:: Coconut hot chocolate? Perfect for these snowy days and nights.

:: So looking forward to our little guy being old enough to play games with. Shake and I play cards together a lot, but Soulemama has inspired me to look out for board games for my boys.

:: Yet another recipe that makes me want to make my own yoghurt! mustmustmust do it someday soon, especially given the amount our boy is eating these days :)

20 Ingredients

Lovely eggs

Inspired by Alicia Silverstone’s post (and in general, I mean Clueless is probably one of the best films ever made, right?) I decided to think about which 20 ingredients we couldn’t live without.

Having said that, of course we could live without them. Without becoming too serious for the time being, the list is really about what we wouldn’t want to live without.

So, in no particular order:

* garlic
* butter
* cacao powder
* cumin
* green tea
* honey
* olive oil
* balsamic vinegar
* eggs
* dates
* vanilla extract
* porridge oats
* milk
* coffee
* goats cheese
* cinnamon/4 spice
* brown sugar
* chickpeas
* lemons
* rice

Writing this list led Shake and I to consider our diet. We are basically vegetarians as we prefer to eat local, organic meat wherever possible but just can’t justify the cost at the moment.

Vegan? I’m not sure we could commit right now, we enjoy our dairy products far too much!

How about you? Which food items wouldn’t you want to live without?




Our Everyday Life: Week 2

I thought I would try something new for 2013, inspired by Shutterbean, to encourage me to record the little things that happen throughout our days.
Although I say this is “our” everyday life, really it’s mine ;) Perhaps Shake will contribute now and again…

Although I am the one with Persian roots (25% – from my mum), Shake makes better tahdig! See Louisa’s post here for a lovely summary of eating Persian food – makes me hungry!


Afternoon walk with baby and our best friend the Ergo. 




I spy some hunters…


Mosaics in the village


We live in the rocks – literally. 


Love the colour of this little door


Making some shortbread


Someone “helping” to unpack the shopping ;)


Hmm. Clothes better out (and on!) than in…


Shake’s parents are here for the week. Mummy Shake celebrated her birthday – I made a cake and we drank lots of bubbles (Limoux = local)


My childhood silver napkin ring. 


Made two types of scones this week – more on that next week, I hope. These were cheese and sweetcorn.


Here are the sweet ones – courtesy of Joy’s cookbook!



Favourite posts this week

:: First instalment in a series on how to save money on food – something I’m always trying to work on.

:: PBS story on Coursera (who I am studying with) which includes my course! We have been wondering how free online University courses will change education in the future…

:: Love hummus, it’s a frugal staple in this house, but not so sure I’d peel the chickpeas. I trust Deb, though. It must be a winner.

:: Often tempted to make my own pâté. It just sounds impressive, right? If I ever do, I’ll start with this recipe.

:: Crunchy roast potatoes – for Sunday lunch, please!

:: Hehe this guy always makes me laugh. Good point made though, not convinced chefs always want us to replicate their dishes.

:: Damien Lewis is a legend. (I miss Homeland).

Wishing you all a happy weekend



Lemon shortbread

We always have lemons around the house, I make tea with lemon juice, honey and ginger when I’m feeling run down, but this week I had a few squishy ones that needed using up some other way.

Shortbread was the first thing that came to mind, so here we go!

This is such a quick and simple recipe. If you aren’t a lemon fan you could use the juice and zest of an orange or a couple of limes, or simply add a teaspoon of ground ginger or cinnamon. Let me know if you try anything else!

Lemon shortbread
Makes 12-16 squares


Oil (I used olive, but you don’t want any flavour from it)
150g butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour
juice and zest of 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 180degC

Oil a baking tin of your choice (as you can see, mine was a little large…I wanted chunky shortbread biscuits) and set aside

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl for a few minutes, until soft

Add the juice and zest of the lemon and stir to combine

Sift the flour into the bowl and work together until a dough forms

Press the dough into your baking dish. Use a knife to create your shortbread shapes and a fork to make indentations as desired

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until edges start to brown

Remove from the oven and use the knife to create your shortbread shapes again

Leave to cool completely in the tin


I made a lemon glaze with the juice of another lemon and icing sugar. I didn’t measure the sugar, just kept adding until I liked the consistency. 

Optional, but Shake recommends :)



Our Everyday Life: Week 1

I thought I would try something new for 2013, inspired by Shutterbean, to encourage me to record the little things that happen throughout our days.
Although I say this is “our” everyday life, really it’s mine ;) Perhaps Shake will contribute now and again…

Our fridge after being so poorly with stomach virus – this was all we could manage to eat.

The final products, ready to be gifted!


Unsure what to do with our frugal Christmas decorations. At least they look pretty!


Smoked salmon scrambled eggs – using what was left from New Year’s Eve.


Lovely hand cream from lovely people, for my birthday. Smells delicious!


Now using a spoon! Not just to chew on!


Saturday afternoon walk. Breezy but beautiful weather. 


Catching up on my homework. Funny lecturer by the way :)


Starting to use some of our Iranian saffron. Vegetable tajine with Persian rice on Saturday night. 


Favourite posts this week

:: I still haven’t started my hoodie for Shake – it’s just too daunting! Maybe I’ll start with baby bakenshake first, this pattern is simply adorable.

:: Some of our favourite flavours in one (raw!) pie. Yummy.

:: Aaah, nourishing soup! Just what we need right now.

:: 12 rules to live by. These are a great starting point, I certainly wouldn’t live by all of these, but definitely food for thought.

:: 20 British people problems – made me laugh!

Oh dear…not much to share this week. Hopefully next week will be a little more interesting!