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Food Week II: Whole Larder Love

28 Jun

You probably all know by now that in less than a week I’m shipping out of The Big Smoke and heading back to rural Somerset to camp with my parents for a while and get the Decorator’s Notebook Shop off the ground. In the midst of packing up Le Flat I have started daydreaming about getting back to my countrygirl roots. I think all this has a good deal to do with why Whole Larder Love makes such a fitting end to Food Week.

Rohan Anderson Whole Larder Love

mushrooms cooking on open fire WLL

eggs whole larder love

Ever since I was tiny I’ve been interested in wild food. My Granny taught me too look for a dark red dot in the centre of lacey cow parsley flowers – the signal that a fragrant wild carrot could be found under the soil below. In autumn we’d pick miniscule bilberries and gobble them straight from the bush and in summer Dad would take Joe and I mackerel fishing off St David’s Head. I still think there’s no better breakfast than quiveringly fresh fish cooked under a gassy caravan grill. Growing up, I never thought anything of it. I thought this was how all children spent their weekends and holidays. But after seven years living in London I have an enormous appreciation of – and nostalgia for – those early culinary adventures.

crab apples whole larder love

whole larder love wild cookery

cooking pot whole larder love

Rohan Anderson’s Whole Larder Love blog is more about discovering, hunting and gathering ingredients than the recipes you can make with them. I adore the idea of being led by what you can find and coming up with something good to eat afterwards rather than starting with a cookbook. His photos are so perfect you can almost smell the damp earth and woodsmoke drifting up from your screen.

enamel mugs WLL

camp bed in cabin whole larder love

gathering walnuts whole larder love{all Rohan Anderson for Whole Larder Love}

If I lived just a little bit (!) nearer to Australia I’d sign up for one of Rohan’s foraging workshops in a heartbeat. Not for the squeemish, the dropdown booking form offers the choice of “I’d like to skin a rabbit” or “No thanks, I’ll just watch.” Love it.

As soon as I discovered Whole Larder Love it went straight on my Feedly and I’ll be putting the book on my Christmas list too. I hope you enjoy exploring this blog as much as I do.

Have a great weekend everyone x

Food Week II: Desserts for Breakfast

27 Jun

I was won over by Desserts for Breakfast by its name alone… and even better, the content totally lives up to the title. One warning though, those without a sweet tooth should look away now!

plumcake-dessers for breakfast blog

pink grapefruit and rosemary desserts for breakfast blog

grapefruitcake-desserts for breakfast blog

peach ice cream sandwiches desserts for breakfast blog

First of all, the light in Stephanie’s pictures is just beautiful and her flavour combinations are always right up my street. Lots of delicious fruits with a tempting twist of herbs or booze… Grapefruit, Rosemary and Olive Oil Cake; Honey-Meyer Lemon Pound Cake with Chamomile Glaze; Plum, Rosemary, and Brandy Cake… should I go on? I love her travel photography too.

outerlands-12

ice cream bar san francisco

shelves with cutlery and crockery

Sadly most of the amazing looking eateries Stephanie visits are in her native US, but if I ever make it to San Francisco I will make Desserts for Breakfast my constant companion when hunting places to eat.

lovecrumbs-edinburgh

lovecrumbs-edinburgh{all Stephanie Shih for Desserts for Breakfast}

She did visit Edinburgh recently though and I shall definitely pop along to Lovecrumbs next time I go. The interior looks so pretty with its jam jars and milk bottles.

So, if you’re looking for cakes and treats for breakfast or otherwise) you’ll be salivating over today’s Food Week pick… find Desserts for Breakfast here.

Food Week II: Local Milk

26 Jun

I discovered Local Milk through Pinterest where I follow photographer Beth Kirby religiously. She has wonderful taste… obviously a good thing for a food blogger!

table decorated with cacti local milk blog

cacti table centrepiece

Now it’s no secret round these parts that I love a styled table and one of the things I most like about Beth’s blog is that she not only shows delicious food, she shows lovely ideas for serving it too. I’d love to have a rummage through her props box!

cake decorated with flowers Local Milk blog

asparagus and poached egg local milk blog

There’s always something homely and poetic about Beth’s pictures and words, especially when she features recipes local to her native Tennessee, like this cornbread.  Every now again though she posts about her travels too. I can only dream of one day taking photos like these, from her recent visit to Dublin. Check out that light!

dublin library

spiral staircase dublin library

restaurant in dublin local milk blog{all Beth Kirby for Local Milk}

To lose a few hours to Beth’s beautiful blog, visit Local Milk. To lose the rest of the month, visit her inspirational Pinterest boards.

Food week II: Top With Cinnamon

25 Jun

A lot of food blogs take themselves pretty seriously, which is a bit strange when people who read and write them would probably say that cooking should be fun. That’s why I love Izy’s Top With Cinnamon so much. Not only does she have the beautiful photography a great food blog must, she makes me laugh too!

how-to-make-doughnuts-top with cinnamon

Oat-Lemon-Poppy-Seed-Layer-Cake- top with cinnamon

When I first came across Top With Cinnamon I found myself thinking how refreshing it was. For starters, there are the great little gifs and videos scattered through the recipes and the honest writing style. Izy addresses burning cookery conundrums like “Why did you not tell me it would start spitting molten-hot-sugar-goo at my face?” and even makes that oh-so-rare food blogger admission “I’m SO HUNGRYYY”. But before I tell you the most amazing thing about Izy, let me try and distract you with some scrumptious gif action…

sundaegif

anigifSo, the most amazing thing about Izy is that she’s only 17!!! And, she’s been writing Top With Cinnamon since she was 15! I swear, if it wasn’t for the chipped nail polish and the fact she uses ‘OMFG’ you’d never know ;-)

baked eggs

Beer-Breadsticks-recipe{all Izy Hossack for Top With Cinnamon}

The youth of today eh? Next time someone says they’re all slobbing about being NEETS I suggest you direct them here. And regardless, that you go now because this Food Week entry is an absolute treat, however old you are.

Food Week II: Manger

24 Jun

I really enjoyed dedicating a whole week of posts to my passion for food blogs last year so have decided to bring it back with my favourite five discoveries over the past 12 months. Welcome to Food Week II!

You know a food blogger is good when you don’t just want their cooking, you want their life! Mimi Thorisson moved to the stunning Médoc in France a year and a half ago and Manger is a mouthwatering journey through her family’s new adventure.

manger blog picking strawberries

madeleines manger blog

coffee and yogurt manger blogI love how lots of Mimi’s posts focus on growers and producers as well as recipes… it immediately makes me want to run away and sign up for a summer job as an asparagus picker!

white asparagus picking manger

recipe for garlic soup manger

acacia treeWhile Mimi’s prop styling and photography (by her husband) are undeniably beautiful, she doesn’t shy away from less photogenic subjects. Her bacon is fatty, her whelks are wriggly and her fish has heads on. In an age of cling-wrapped supermarket produce and schoolchildren who don’t know where eggs come from, I respect her a lot for that.

seabream recipe manger

whelks manger food blog

ingredients photography manger blog

That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of prettiness to be found… oh and there’s a good helping of gratuitous cute puppy pictures too, which obviously gets Manger an extra vote from me!

puppy and cake manger blog{all Oddur Thorisson for Manger}

So, if you love food, France, flowers (and puppies) head over to Manger and follow Mimi’s Médoc journey.

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for the next installment of Food Week…

Food Week: Cannelle et Vanille

29 Jun

Cannelle et Vanille is the food blog that introduced me to food blogs. I’ve been reading it for years, long before I started Decorator’s Notebook. However, I have to confess to hesitating before including it on the Food Week menu and I’m not really proud of the reason.

I was worried it would seem a bit obvious to include such a big, polished and successful blog in my list when what makes Decorator’s Notebook a bit different (I like to think) is the fact I try to hunt out things you hopefully haven’t seen a million other places before. I have to admit that I feel a bit skeptical when every ‘top 10′ of interiors blogs seems to include Decor8 and Design*Sponge. Both were instrumental in my desire to become a blogger in the first place and their success is awe inspiring, but their automatic inclusion makes me wonder whether the writer spent that long on their research.

Anyway, you’ll see that I got over my worries and have quite rightly dedicated the final installment to Cannelle et Vanille regardless. The reason being that when it comes to food blogging and photography, Aran Goyoaga ‘s blog is popular because everything she does is simply top class. Nobody brings out the natural beauty, freshness and colour of food quite like her.

What’s also remarkable is that while Cannelle etVanille is hugely popular it’s really a niche blog… Aran is gluten intolerant and so every recipe she shares is gluten free. I must confess that I assumed food with something ‘missing’ could never be quite as appetising, but looking through Aran’s photos makes me realise I must be wrong. Everything she makes looks utterly delicious, natural and healthy.

{all Aran Goyoaga / Cannelle et Vanille}

Another bonus is that Aran grew up in the beautiful Basque Country in Northern Spain (the region often features in her posts) so her recipes include metric quantities as well as American ones… so for those of us who don’t have a clue what a stick of butter looks like, we can still have a go at recreating her dishes!

So, what have you made of Food Week? Whether you’re into cooking or not, I hope you’ve enjoyed admiring the beautiful photography and discovered one or two blogs you might not have known before?

Have a lovely weekend and see you next week when the stage will be handed back to interiors and decorating once again. I’ve had a painter/decorator working at Le Flat all week so with luck I’ll have my own mini makeover to share with you. Watch this space…

Food Week: Fig & Fauna

28 Jun

A little-known fact for you…

My very first career ambition was to be a farmer’s wife.

My four year old self based this decision on one thing and one thing only: that this would give me the chance to hand-milk a cow. At 28, I’ve still never had the chance to milk a cow but I still quite fancy it, provided that marrying a farmer doesn’t have to be part of the package.

I suspect this slightly odd part of my history explains why I love Fig & Fauna so much.

In 2011 Megan and Michael Martin sold their home in the suburbs and bought a 3.5 acre smallholding in South Florida where they could pursue their dream of growing, cooking and selling natural produce. On new year’s day 2012 they started Fig & Fauna to record everyday life on the farm and share their favourite recipes.

The magic of Fig & Fauna is that it’s as much about the growing, harvesting and gathering of the ingredients as what’s done with them. We always had chickens, ducks and sometimes geese when I was growing up and I don’t think you ever get over the little flutter of excitement you get when opening the nesting boxes and finding a still warm egg inside.

As you’d expect, all of the recipes you’ll find here are seasonal, wholesome and sound absolutely delicious. I’d love to try this carrot marmalade and this strawberry and honey galette looks to die for. I’m also still stockpiling polenta recipes (I hosted a The Help themed book group recently and have lots leftover from baking cornbread muffins) so tomato and polenta pie could be on the cards too, although bought tomatoes are never a patch on homegrown.

{all Fig & Fauna / Rose Estelle Martin}

I strongly suggest you pull on your wellies, grab a basket and go and explore Fig & Fauna here… there are also some lovely photos Aran from Cannelle et Vanille took when she visited here!

Food Week: Simply Breakfast

27 Jun

So, breakfast.

The most important meal of the day or an unwelcome intrusion on your beauty sleep?

I have a mixed relationship with breakfast… during the week I’m the latter, at weekends the former. But whatever mood I’m in, I love an overhead photograph of it. Fortunate, considering that’s pretty much all you’ll find at Simply Breakfast.

Blogger Jennifer Causey is a professional lifestyle photographer, but shoots her morning meal each day for fun. Almost always overhead, always beautifully styled and always something 100% more exciting than my weekday Weetabix.

There’s something so pleasing to me about the concept of this blog and Jen’s beautifully understated photographs and minimal wordiness. You’ll find the odd recipe, snippet of insight and some really fascinating lists under the tabs at the top of the page (New York, gear, cookbooks…) but for the most part the pictures are left to speak quietly for themselves.

{all Jennifer Causey / Simply Breakfast}

One final thing… I often have trouble convincing others that crumble is the ultimate breakfast food so was delighted to find an ally in Jennifer. Trust me, dollop on Greek yogurt and try it. You’ll never look back.

Food Week: Sprinkle Bakes

26 Jun

I discovered Sprinkle Bakes via Tori of Wellies & Vogue. Or rather, her Mum who made this show-stopping jewel cake. Today’s food blog could hardly be more different from yesterday’s… while What Katie Ate is all about good, honest recipes photographed in a sophisticated way, at Sprinkle Bakes novelty, experimentation and food colouring is king.

I suspect that baker and blogger Heather Baird might’ve been told not to play with her food as a child and Sprinkle Bakes is a most glorious rebellion. Need a recipe for Flaming Baked Alaska? Peanut and Honey Pupcakes (cupcakes for puppies, obv)? Christmas Candy Coal? You’ve come to the right place!

Heather must spend hours preparing and decorating every single one of her recipes – the strap line to her cookbook is “dessert recipes to inspire your inner artist” and everything is created like a miniature masterpiece. If Willy Wonka was a baker rather than a chocolate maker, I think his factory would look a little something like this… a candy coloured world of pure imagination!

{all Heather Baird / Sprinkle Bakes}

Will I ever make any of these treats? I very much doubt it – I have neither the skill nor the patience – but I absolutely love browsing Sprinkle Bakes just to soak up all the dazzling ideas.

Food Week: What Katie Ate

25 Jun

If I’m ever lucky enough to visit Australia, What Katie Ate will be one of my first stops when compiling my ‘places to eat’ list. Originally from Dublin, food photographer and stylist Katie Quinn Davies is now based Down Under, where she has a string of impressive magazine credits and a forthcoming cookbook to her name. As well as a beautiful blog of course.

I don’t claim to be an expert on food photography, but there does seem to be a bit of a trend towards light, bright, candy-coloured images at the moment, so I like the contrast of Katie’s moody, atmospheric style. I love the relaxed styling and rustic propping too. Every picture makes we want to grab a spoon and beg to be allowed to jump in!

I think that anyone with a decent camera and good light could do a passable job of making puddings and desserts look appetising, but what makes Katie’s photography stand apart for me is the way she makes less dainty dishes look delicious too. Roasted meat, hearty pies, chunky casseroles… ‘man food’ if you will. Katie proves that tastiness doesn’t have to mean prettiness and I really admire that about her work.

Mouth watering yet? There’s sooo much more over at What Katie Ate – I’ll definitely be popping back to give her recent American special post some extra attention – the mix of food, lifestyle and travel photography is really striking.

{all Katie Quinn Davies / What Katie Ate}

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