Round 8, Don’t Be Late!


Who’d have thunk it: 8 rounds later and still standing. I’m keeping this one short and simple today because I’ve subjected you all far too much to my ramblings. Please vote for me, help me get through to round 9. When I started this I said, “I’m just as curious as you are to see how far this ride can go” – I’m still curious. Have I got what it takes to be a finalist? Let’s find out.

To vote: sign-up/sign in to Foodbuzz.com, click the link below, click the heart above my entry to vote for me. Simples.


And whilst we’re talking competitions, a small reminder: if you’re in the UK today is the last day to submit your entry for the Tesco Real Food Christmas Cupcake Decorating Competition! The two winners will get to spend an afternoon with a super secret celebrity chef at The Make Lounge, and ten runners up will each receive a Cupcake Decorating Kit from Tesco’s, which is pretty darn badass. So get submitting! I look forward to seeing your entries.

Until next time then, peace and love.

Jax x

Project Food Blog Entry 8: A Piece Of Cake – Bippity-Boppity-NOM


I’m back again for round 8 of Project Food Blog, hosted by Foodbuzz.com and I’m so grateful. Thank you all so much for your support and lovely comments. As the sole representative for the UK/Europe I must say that one is rather chuffed (Edit: Apparently although I’m alone in the UK I’m not alone in Europe! Hi Cristina!). This round we were asked to create a baked good including a seasonal ingredient: pumpkin.

Baking and I am not the best of friends. This is more due to my laziness than anything else – I enjoy it, but I’m always the one with the “rustic” biscuits, and it’s because I don’t like to weigh ingredients. Well, not this time. This time I decided I was going to get out the scales, be precise and measure everything, because that’s what baking’s all about: precision. Well, and a bit of magic. And that’s really where the idea for this came from – one of my favourite fairy tales: a pumpkin cake (with a twist), shaped like a pumpkin, and some little choux pastry mice. And what’s more magic than my very own fairy tale: The Tale of Feeder Lady & The Baking Banquet.


Have You Got What It Takes? Tesco Real Food Christmas Cupcake Competition


The other day I came home to find a big box waiting for me. There is literally nothing more exciting than coming home to a parcel, especially when you’ve been eagerly anticipating its contents for a few days/weeks/months, and the anticipation was killing me. I took my big box upstairs and tore it open, to find that inside was an equally large red box, tied with a big silver bow (squeee!), and a little card from the Tesco Real Food team.

You see, in the spirit of Christmas, Tesco decided to hold a nationwide cupcake decorating competition, the prize for which is two lucky winners getting to cook alongside a celebrity chef for an afternoon, and ten runners-up receiving a very special Tesco Cupcake Kit. Pretty good, right? So what’s my involvement in all of this? Well, Tesco asked me to be one of their ten London food bloggers to help judge this competition, create my own cupcake and attend the chef day along with the winners. Cupcakes? Christmas? Cooking with a professional chef in a professional kitchen?! How could I refuse?


How To Be A Great Girlfriend


I wasn’t going to post this recipe for a couple of days, but I just had to. You’ll soon see why. The other day whilst I was talking to David he told me that he had a recipe for me that I absolutely had to try out because it was just so incredibly phenomenal. He was just raving about it like crazy.

David’s best buddy is called Paolo, and he’s allergic to gluten. His girlfriend Robin, who is also David’s housemate, decided to find a gluten-free cake recipe to make just for him, because she is awesome like that. I should also note that I have never met Paolo or Robin, but heard so much about them (plus David’s other Canadian friends) that I almost feel like I have. Almost. Anyway, Robin found, with the help of her Momma, a gluten-free quinoa chocolate cake recipe, and, true to David’s word, it is awesome. Now is that a great girlfriend, or what?


Why I Am Not A Baker


So a few days ago I discovered a little deli next door to where I work. It’s pretty ridiculous that I’ve only just discovered it seeing as I used to live ten minutes away from there, walked up and down that road a million times, and have worked three or four doors up from it for just over a year now. But then I’m not the sharpest tool in the box, sometimes.

Whilst waiting for my ride I was wandering up and down the road, saw the deli and sauntered in for a gander. They had olives, a few cookies, some vegan delicacies, and a few random imported jars of interesting looking sauces. Then I saw a little jar of guava jam. I. Love. Guava. I deliberated for only a moment before deciding that I had to have it, despite the fact that I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I also had a quick chat with the owner, Antonio, who was absolutely lovely and thought it was hilarious that I studied one field, worked in another and was trying to move into another with no continuity between any of it. Thankfully, when I got home and was wondering what to do with my jam, a Twitter friend suggested that I make Guava Jam Linzer Cookies and so an idea was born. If only the idea had been better executed.


Let Them Eat Cake


I know, it’s almost unbelievable, an actual recipe from me?! Sorry it’s taken me such a long time, I’ve been super busy with recipe darevelopment of late, life and the mystery illness, and as a result haven’t been cooking much or taking any photos. Anyway, all of the food photos in this post were taken by the awesome David at a big dinner I cooked for him, but more on that later.

Baking is a very therapeutic thing, I find. I’ve probably said that before. Baking bread is the most therapeutic of all, getting to pound and knead your dough is a great energy release. But baking a cake is something that takes time, precision and thought. You have to concentrate on what you’re doing and give it your full attention, or what you end up with is a hot mess. This was exactly what I needed to do.

On Tuesday morning I took David to the airport to catch his flight out to Canada, pretty much permanently. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, let go of somebody I care about, but it’s the best thing for him and I am really happy for him, even if I am sad for myself. We actually didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time together in his last week, because I was working, he was working, and he had to pack up his gear and organise himself for the big depart, but we definitely had Monday evening together, and I decided that I was going to make him a special pre-birthday/leaving dinner.


Oh I’m A Terrible Tease, I Am


You see those beautiful little muffins right there? Take it in. Take it all in. Imagine those melting in your mouth (because melt they certainly do). Now hear this: I’m not giving you this recipe.

“WHAT?! HOW CAN YOU TEMPT US LIKE THIS, JACKIE?!” I hear you cry (…in my head I hear this. In reality you’re probably thinking, ‘meh. Big freakin’ deal’). Well that’s because I’m holding back on this gem for the cookbook.


Have I Got Muffins For You


As promised, blueberry cream cheese muffins! But wait, that’s not all, not one, not two, but THREE variations! HO-EM-GEEZ. Yeah, I’ve been baking like a mad woman today.

So my very lovely Food Blogger buddy Monet is the most fantastic baker. I wish I lived in her kitchen. Seriously, I could just live under the kitchen table and every so often a hand would come up out from under the table and she could pass me a freshly baked cookie, or muffin, or cupcake, or pie… mhm. I’m getting carried away now.

ANYWAY. The point is that Monet makes beautiful baked goods, and she uses blueberries in a lot of her cooking, which makes me sooo happy because I. Heart. Blueberries. And when I had an idea brewing to make some blueberry cream cheese muffins, I of course had to turn to Monet and her wonderful repertoire. So this post is dedicated to her.


Not-Quite-Ina But Still Darn Good


I warned you, you’re going to get a lot of Ina’s recipes now that I’ve got her book! I’ve been looking through it like a mad woman, trying to think what I wanted to make (as I write this I’m actually watching her on the Food Network at the same time – I know, I’m an Ina freak), and the only current issue is that some of it isn’t particularly summer-friendly. A little too hot for lobster chowder right now, but trust me, when it gets colder again I will be back in there, lobsters in hand – bow-chicka-wow-wow!

Anyway, this particular recipe was inspired by Ina but deviated a lot from her recipe, so I call it my “Not-Quite-Ina Garlic Bread”. I had some leftover sun-dried tomato bread that was going a little stale, so I drizzled it with a little olive oil to crisp it up, and then slathered it in the garlic-herby-butter. I also increased the garlic amounts a little but it was suuuuper strong (lucky we weren’t going out last night!…or talking to anyone for about eight hours…) so I’d recommend having a little less garlic. Anyway. It came out pretty, eh?

Get your garlic on. Perfect for those summer months… as long as you don’t mind having garlic breath for the whole day – maybe only eat around close-friends. Or people you really hate and never want to hear from again. Yeah, maybe that’s a better idea…


Mai Jauw Ish Schtuck


Thanks for all of the lovely comments over the past few days – sorry for the relative quiet from me, I’ve been super busy since I got results and haven’t had time to cook anything. Today, however, Jun has been over and we’ve made a few things from my new book Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: Back To Basics. I bought this book because I looove Ina Garten, whenever she’s on the food channels I watch her obsessively. I love everything she does, she’s pretty much my domestic goddess hero.

Anyway, this book is incredible. Everything in it looks so good, and because it’s Ina I trust her and the way she describes what she does. Funnily enough, I saw her making these amazing sticky buns on her show and then found the recipe in my book. I kinda had to make them.

They’re really simple and easy to make and they taste phenomenal. Seriously. I gave one to Momma Lee and she gobbled up another one immediately afterwards. I’ll be cooking a few things from Ina over the next few weeks so expect lots more from her! I love Ina. Seriously. The only downfall? My jaw got stuck together from the stickiness so I couldn’t eat any more! I may or may not have stashed a few away for later, though…


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