Reviews, recipes, ramblings and other gourmet bites. A food blog of indulgence...

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas / Joyeux Noel

We hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas, with food, family, friends and cheese!

We've been a bit busy these last couple of months and have let the blog slip - Sorry about that!
We're hoping to get back on top of it with all of our news and adventures in the new year.

Matt's been working in a cheese shop in the run-up to Christmas and has been given a HUGE box of cheese as a present...

Friday, 28 October 2011

Chilli Jam

St Antonin is a smallish and rather picturesque town in the region. We dropped into the weekly market to see what the local producers had to offer. Amongst the large amount of excellent looking veg, cheese and charcuterie we spotted a stand of punnets of multicoloured chillis (picture below).
Without question, they demanded to be purchased and turned into some kind of rainbow chilli death jam.

The results were pleasing, although the end colour was a little more uniformly red than I had hoped for - guess we can't really call it rainbow death jam.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Matt and Jen are 3

Today we have been together for three years. What better way to celebrate than eggs royale on the balcony, overlooking the river in the gloriously warm French sun.

Best wishes all!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Amelie's Foie Gras

On Thursday we went to visit another local producer - Les Delices D'Amelie. This young couple have been making foie gras and other duck produce for 10 years.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when we pulled up outside Jean Luc and Amelie's little farm. Foie gras is one of those delicacies that insights a bit of an ethical furore. To be frank, I'm not certain what I think of it. From a purely gastronomic point of view, I find it very interesting (and delicious), but I am aware that the process by which it is made is not exactly pleasant for the birds. 

I don't want to put forward an argument for or against foie gras here, but I would like to share what we learned from our visit to the farm, as it helped us to make a more informed decision about what it was we were buying and eating. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Too many apples...

This is the first of what we hope will be a number of posts detailing interesting local producers that we have visited and meals that we've arrived at subsequently.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Bacon Ice Cream

What with all the comings and goings over the last month (see the last post), I completely failed to complete this post. Now things are a little calmer and we're settling down nicely in Gaillac, I thought that I would finish and publish the details perhaps one of my proudest culinary achievements to date...
Yes, this is bacon icecream, and yes, it honestly is nice!

Sunday, 11 September 2011


All my introductions recently seem to have started with an apology, and this one will be no different: I am sorry we have been silent (again) for such an age.

However, now we can share our reasons for it ...


Writing that as a fait accompli has just made me go all shivery. It's only just starting to sink in that we've left London behind us, and that we've got a whole new big, beautiful, bonkers country to make our home.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Summer Lovin'

In lieu of a recipe, here are just a few of my favourite things, this changeable July:

  • Bright, ruby red nail varnish.
  • Indoor summer picnics when the weather fails us. Sitting on a slightly bobbly rug with friends scooping baked camembert out of its own creamy skin with hunks of warm baguette.
  • Dancing round the kitchen listening to my ipod. Tunes on repeat currently are: Lissie with Cuckoo, Eric Hutchinson with Rock and Roll, Regina Spektor with The Calculation and my old favourite-for-all-seasons, the very wonderful Delays with Hooray and The Lost Estate. These in particular are sunshine in a jar. Put them on loud and blow raspberries at the summer rain. Not to lower the tone or take away from their stunning music, but those Delays boys are pretty easy on the eye too *just saying*.
  • The fact that British-grown tomatoes are now easily get-at-able. Proper tomatoey tomatoes that smell like vines and greenhouses and the promise of a great gazpacho.
  • Seeing pictures of various friends and acquaintances pop up on Facebook looking beautiful as wedding season begins, and the pretty invitations that have started to come through my letterbox. Bring on the Indian summer weekends and weddings. Can't wait!
  • Finally discovering the perfect ratio of sugar to fruit to liquid to make a lovely, sweet, thick crust for my fruit drizzle cakes. Plums done. Nectarines next. Recipe to come before the summer's out. Shout at me if I forget.
Tell me your favourite summer things, foodie or not. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens permissible, but discouraged!

Jen x

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Quickie Sticky Lemony Chicken(y)

And again, we must apologise for the lack of bloggage.

I hasten to add - for those of you who may be worried that we're wasting away - that we have not stopped cooking, or wanting to write about our foodie times. It's just that work and The Big And Exciting Project (which will be revealed and explained in more detail and with much squeaking in a future post) have kept us annoyingly busy.

This busyness has meant we've been honing our selection of quick and simple 'throw-it-in-a-pan-and-fling-it-down-your-throat' recipes, which frequently tend to be not very interesting. Every now and again though, we find one that surprises us.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Better (extraordinarily) late than never!


There is really no excuse for the enormous lapse between what I am about to write about happening, and my getting around to actually writing about it. I apologise profusely and shall try not to be quite so tardy in future!

Back in February (see....told you it was flipping ages ago), Matt and I visited a London foodie hotspot - or should that be coolspot? If you 're in the vicinity, I heartily recommend you go and pay these guys a visit, especially as the weather gets increasingly scorchio.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Tentation de Saint Félicien

Matt here,

People who have met me know that I like cheese, a lot. I talk about it near constantly and probably give the impression of being a terrible cheese snob (I am by the way).

Tentation de Saint Félician

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


I had long wondered how to make crumpets (particularly how to get those little holes in) so I was very happy a few months ago when I stumbled over this article from Hugh.

I'm going to be honest here, I copied the recipe to the letter and it worked brilliantly so I won't re-write it out in this post, but suggest instead that you follow his wise words. I have taken a few pictures of the process though, which will hopefully inspire some of you to try this for yourselves.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Sausage and mash with marsala gravy

Matt here,

This is a great weekday meal, it requires a bit of time - maybe an hour or so - but it's definitely worth the effort. Yep, I can say with some confidence that Jen would agree that it's worth the effort. I would caution though, that this is about as sweet as savoury food gets.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Of Mice And Moles

 I was very saddened this week to learn of the death of Brian Jacques. He was the author of some of my favourite books, growing up - The Redwall Series, which chronicled a community of animals in Mossflower Woods and all centred around the hub of Redwall Abbey, inhabited by a brotherhood of berobed mice.

They're lovely books, and if you've never come across them before I highly recommend you check them out. I first read them years ago (when I say them, I mean the first 8 books. Jacques was an incredibly prolific writer and I think there are now 21 of them. I have some catching up to do!)

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Raspberry pancakes

Last night Jen and I went out on a date - Dinner at a lovely little family owned french restaurant (Savoir faire) - highly recommended, have the punchy mussels in pernod and garlic butter followed by the melt in the mouth boeuf bourguignon, both served with a perfect french accent. We followed a great (and good value) meal with fancy cocktails at the lobby bar in One Aldwych. A rare treat.

It was a great night out and the perfect way to finish a stressful week.

Hungover photography, not the best I know...

Anyhoo, yesterday I woke up feeling a bit bleary and keen for some breakfast (in my defence, the raspberries in the cocktails were very alcoholic). Alas, no bread, quelle catastrophe! I wasn't in the mood for getting sufficiently dressed to brave the glacial morning on a shopping trip, nor was I capable of waiting three hours or so for home made. Fortunately we had sufficient ingredients for pancakes - pretty much just store cupboard stuff. The recipe is borrowed from Rachel, a fellow foodie of the highest calibre.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Blue Monday

Monday was not a good day. It was a stellar cocktail of pouring rain, less than waterproof shoes, missed driving tests, subsequent tears and rage at the instructor who overslept, tense meetings at work and a general feeling that both Christmas and Spring are about a million miles away.


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A Glass Of Something Smoky

My lovely aunt and uncle gave us the first series of MadMen for Christmas and we're now totally hooked. It's beautifully done - very witty and very sexy. It reminds me of a line in a song by croaky-voiced 60s chanteuse, Melanie, who my dad always loved and, as a kid, I always hated ... 'The Madison Avenue pink dream makers'... a brilliant line, and one that has been stuck in my head since we watched the first episode.

It also makes me want to take up smoking, using a spindly thin cigarette holder, and exhaling languidly with a pointedly raised eyebrow, and have a cut glass decanter filled with whisky sitting nonchalantly on the corner of my desk at work (and in fact on the corner of any table I happen to be passing by).

The smoking thing I shall quash. The whisky thing on the other hand ...

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year everyone! It's quite exciting to think that our blog now transcends two calendar years.

On the first day of a New Year, I find (as I suspect most people do) that thoughts turn towards hopes and aspirations for the year ahead. Here are a few of ours, if you'd like to share your own, it would be great to hear your food related ambitions!