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Welcome to 2014: Strawberry Tuxedos


Jan
07

Life, recently, has been somewhat of a blur. My days consist of getting up early, commuting to work (a first for me!), spending all day in a kitchen, commuting back home and, mostly, passing out on the sofa before being nudged awake by TS and reluctantly trudging up to bed for a few hours until I have to do it all over again.

I don’t make it sound very exciting, do I? But it is, oh goodness, it is so great. I love the fact that I get to spend my days making food for others, that I learn something new every day, that I get to be creative and work with people I genuinely like – I just love every single moment. Possibly my enthusiasm for even the most mundane tasks will wane over time but I sincerely hope not because, honestly, I’m living the dream. Yes, it’s a fairly exhausting, muscle aching, finger slicing dream, but it’s my dream and that’s the important thing.

Take these strawberry chocolate tuxedos, for example – I learned to make these sometime in my second week at work and I instantly fell in love, despite the fact that most of the others who have to make them find them a chore. I even have a deal going with one of the guys in the kitchen that every time I make them for a guest I have to make him one extra – I know he’s just waiting to see my enthusiasm wear thin but I don’t think it ever will… I mean: it’s a strawberry. Wearing a tuxedo. Made of chocolate. A strawberry wearing a tuxedo! I don’t need to say much more. And it’s so easy because you don’t need to temper the chocolate – all you need is a microwave, some chocolate, some strawberries and parchment paper. That’s it. Easy or what?

So the next time you need a special little something to end your evening on, something just a little more fantastic than chocolate dipped strawberries, whip out the chocolate, get yourself some strawberries and suit ‘em up. You’re welcome.

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Dear Queenie: Happy Diamond Jubilee


Jun
06


Jubilee Coffee Cupcakes by Bruce.

My heritage and accent are a great source of puzzlement to everybody who meets me. Born in London but possessing a rather international family (both blood relations and friends whom I now consider family), ten to fifteen minutes of conversation pass before I’m inevitably asked, “where are you from?” or, the (strangely) rather more common, “are you Australian?” Let’s get this straight – I’m British, through and through. I’m not English, I’m not Aussie, I’m not Canadian or American: I am British.

My “British-ness” is something that has taken me a while to embrace – my family are Hong Kong Chinese, with a smidgen of Japanese and Russian blood, my parents both born in Hong Kong and possessing a tinge of an accent (my mother’s a natural slight American drawl, which is where I’ve picked up my own), so that aspect of who I am has always been celebrated and recognised, but this country in which I live has never felt quite where I belong, London too busy, too anonymous, too A-to-B for my liking. It wasn’t until I lived in America that I suddenly felt that this, my “British-ness”, made me stand out a little more, made me special, and at that point I fully started to appreciate the country I was born in, the little points of interest like our (relatively) fantastic public transport, our education system, history and culture, and our Royal family.

As many of you will know, this past weekend was set aside to rejoice everything Royal because we’ve been celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee – 60 years on the throne. I’m not one to go particularly nuts over the Royals (during the recent Royal Wedding I skipped the telly watching and flag waving and nipped off to the hairdresser’s to chop off my long locks for The Little Princess Trust) but I fully admit that I love good ol’ Lizzie – she’s a real gem and it will be a sad day indeed when she’s no longer Queen of England.

So whilst the country engaged in street parties left, right and centre and a good 1.2m people showed up in Central London to watch the Royal Parade on the Thames (and in the pouring rain, typical bloody England; Liz did not look particularly happy as she was rowed up the river), I headed over to my good friends Mowie & Bruce’s around the corner for a Right Royal (Indoor) Picnic. Raaaather.

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Dear Me: Happy Blog-O-Versary


May
20


Chocolate chip cookie recipe courtesy of Deb at Smitten Kitchen.

So I only went and did it again and totally forgot to celebrate my blog-o-versary (I should really put the date in my diary) and I Am A Feeder is now 2-years-old! It’s weird to think that I’ve been cultivating my little inch of the web for just over 2 years – when I started it I don’t think I ever expected to be doing the things that I’m doing in my life right now or, even, still blogging. So a huge thank you to all of my friends, family and readers who have stuck with me over these 2 years, for all of the lovely messages, comments and emails, and particularly to the new friends I’ve made all over the world. You guys were an unexpected bonus when all I wanted to do was write down my recipes and vent at the world (as I do so often) – am massively appreciative to all of you!

And I suppose a 2-year mark is the perfect time for me to make a couple of little announcements. Well. Maybe not so little. Remember how I talked about change in my last post? Well the first change is that the offer we made on our dream house was accepted and so I’ll be moving to a completely different part of London next month, but the biggest change of all is that this October I’m going to be starting culinary school.

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My Muffcakes Bring All The Boys To The Yard


Dec
27

Sometimes you are given a challenge so great, so wondrous, that you can do nothing but throw all caution to the wind, grasp it by its metaphorical horns, pull it close, look it in the eye and say, “you’re mine, beeatch”. If you’d like to smack it on the arse at this point as well you have every right to, because a challenge is a challenge, a chance to show the world who’s boss of this kitchen; and today, friends, today that boss is me and four other worthy competitors.

It’s the Muffcake Challenge.

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A Christmas Miracle + Double-Whammy Give-Away!


Dec
20

As I write this post I’m currently surrounded by lemons, honey, tissues, (prescription) drugs and both my left and right lungs; that’s right. I have caught the dreaded Christmas lurgy. But hey, that ain’t gonna stop me from getting into the Christmas spirit! In fact, I’m feeling SO generous that today I’m not only going to give you an awesome cookie recipe, I’m ALSO going to give you not one, but two give-aways! ‘Tis the season and all that jazz. SO. Prepare to have your minds blown and read on, friends, read on.

Every year Momma Lee comes home with an advent calendar which she presents to Brother and I with great pride. This year we each received a Cadbury’s advent calendar that featured a sleeping santa. She then informed us that it was either this one or the Transformers one she saw in Sainsbury’s, and when we said we would’ve preferred Transformers she called us both heathens and walked out of the room. Eh. Can’t win ‘em all. But see, here’s the problem: it’s not so much the fact that we’d rather have Megatron on our advent calendars, it’s that I don’t like chocolate, so there’s literally no incentive for me to open each calendar door. Instead it sits there, gathering dust, until I remember and pull out a deformed and (by now) white bit of crumbly chocolate that ends up in the bin (or in a tupperware box in the fridge, thanks Momma Lee). Until now, that is, because I had a total brainwave, the best way to use up unwanted chocolate and create some very festive little bites of nom: Advent Calendar Cookies.

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On The Gazillionth Day of Christmas . . .


Dec
12

Yes, that’s right, I’m doing more Christmas-themed posts. It’s two weeks away and if, like me, you haven’t done any Christmas shopping yet, then I’m giving you some ideas about awesome stuff you can make and give. Awesomely tasty stuff, that is. And this is a TWOFER. Win!

There was this one episode of The Simpsons that I have never been able to get out of my head. It was one where Bart really disappointed Marge, and she was so upset with him she wouldn’t put marshmallows into his hot chocolate. He did it himself, but the marshmallow absorbed all of the hot chocolate and became one giant marshmallow he had to eat it with a knife and fork.

I’m not sure why it stuck in my head, maybe because the idea of one giant marshmallow was totally delicious, or just that the thought of marshmallows was always better than the actual taste, maybe just even because it involved food and that’s always going to get my attention. Is it just me who finds store-bought marshmallows incredibly disappointing? They’re always so dry, I’ve never had that delicious fluffy sugary goodness that absorbed Bart’s hot chocolate when I’ve bought them. And the little ones? Don’t get me started on the little ones. They may as well just be sugar cubes.

So when I found a recipe to make my own marshmallows and, better still, it looked ridiculously easy, I jumped at the opportunity.

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Project Food Blog Entry #4: Picture Perfect – Doin’ The Truffle Shuffle


Oct
09

I’m in round 4 of Project Food Blog! I’m totally bowled over. Thank you all SO much for voting for me. Seriously. I am one happy girl. For this round we were told to create a photography step-by-step instructional tutorial.

When I was thinking about this particular post a little somebody insisted on helping me out with it – have you met my little friend down on the bottom left-hand side of my page? That’s Nom Man and he absolutely insisted on being part of this post. Who am I to deny a cute little guy like that? So together Nom Man and myself, Feeder Lady, decided to make some Chilli Chocolate and Matcha Chocolate Truffles. Basic recipe adapted from Delia Smith.

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How To Be A Great Girlfriend


Sep
09

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?

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Let Them Eat Cake


Aug
05

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.

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Oh I’m A Terrible Tease, I Am


Jul
19

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.

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