Archive | July, 2011

Being a wine snob

29 Jul

I’m not a wine snob. I’m a wannabe wine snob. My parents…they are wine snobs. And quite rightly so. They’re lucky enough to take an annual trip to the vineyards of France where they buy enough quality vino to get them through every weekend (and some weekdays) until the next trip over the channel. Some of the madames et monsieurs at the champagne houses know them by name. Their garage doesn’t house a car, it has wine in.

My mum is a headteacher at a primary school. This does not marry well with wine snobbery. As the end of term draws in, the kiddies (well, their mummies and daddies) start turning up to school with a cheeky bottle or two as a thank you pressie. Now obviously this is super kind and my mum is really grateful, but it’s about this same time of year that she comes round to see me, armed with some “presents”. So whilst she and my Pa go home to enjoy a lovely bottle of Grand Cru from Burgundy, I settle down in my flat with something slightly more….vinegary.

This does not help in my quest to become a wine snob.

But hey, it’s free wine and times are hard. And tonight, to celebrate my first week in a new job I thought I deserved a glass or two.

Let’s raise a toast to my rockin’ Friday night. WordPress and questionable wine.

My journey towards wine snobbery continues.

Bottoms up.

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Sainsbury’s waves goodbye to Jamie

18 Jul

The nation’s sweetheart? Cheryl Cole? Kate Middleton? My vote goes to Jamie Oliver. Already a fan of his cookbooks, TV shows and cheeky chappie personality, his latest work in America for me has sealed his position as a fantastic ambassador for food, healthy lifestyles and (without sounding too cheesy and weird) the country.

That’s why I found it strange that after 11 years, Sainsbury’s is swapping Oliver for the lesser known Lorraine Pascale, from the BBC series Baking Made Easy. She’s gorgeous, fabulous and fills my saturday mornings with delicious looking cakes that make me want to cancel my plans and spend the day in the kitchen, but I just don’t think she has Jamie’s clout. With all the work he’s done with kids and promoting healthy cooking from scratch he seems a better fit for the brand than someone who’s main area of expertise is cakes.

Jamie’s campaign with Sainsbury’s finishes at Christmas, so let’s see how the lovely Lorraine fills those cockney boots.

Lovely Lorraine is the Queen of Cakes

Baking with kids again

15 Jul

Baking with an enthusiatic little one is lots of fun and although my little monkey isn’t technically “mine”, I can’t resist buying little bits and pieces to get him even more excited about food. My plan is to help mould him into a little culinary genius so that in ten year’s time we have the luxury of a homemade meal on the table as soon as the boy and I step in from work. So far it seems to be working!

This little gift went down a treat. A cheeky purchase from one of my favourite websites, we’ve had loads of laughs cooking and decorating rocket ship biscuits whilst making a merry mess in our very small kitchen.

Our retro spaceman baking kit is out of this world!

When baking, I’m often reminded that his favourite appliance is the blender (or whizzer) so our recipes often need to be creatively adapted to involve blending! Last weekend we made a pretty delicious banana milkshake in the “whizzer” with fruit, milk, ice cream and cinnamon to inject a burst of energy before we got started on the rocket ship and star-shaped biscuits! Fab!