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Christmas in London: Harrods Gentleman’s Hamper


Dec
21

Christmas, for me, has always been a rather special time of year. No, not for any particular religious reasons or for the promise of presents (though the latter is a rather good excuse for, oh, I don’t know, maybe a new hand mixer? Especially considering how mine blew up in my hand the other day) but because of the food. An excuse to eat yourself silly and not be judged for it? Yes please.

So when I was offered a Harrods Gentleman’s hamper, one of the new food and wine hampers, to have a sneak preview of for Christmas of course I said yes. It may be called the Gentleman’s hamper but honestly, I’d be pretty happy to receive this one myself!

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A Snow Story


Dec
23

It never really felt like Christmas unless it snowed. “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” the radio crooned every December 1st without fail – the idea was so ingrained in the people’s heads that they were convinced Christmas wouldn’t arrive without it. Sure, it would turn to grit and slush a couple of days later, but for that first crisp, white morning, that first blanket of manna from heaven, only pure childish glee would surround the city.

Over the last couple of days of term school children would gaze out of the window at the grey skies, willing the temperature to drop, for the clouds to burst open and pelt airy flakes onto the eager earthlings below. Dreams of skis and sleds would slip and slide over the teacher’s maths lesson, colliding with the blackboard with a giggle and dissipating amongst the scrawled long division and multiplication. A collective sigh would echo around the room as the children turned back to their school books, scribbling half-heartedly, doodling a sprig of holly in the corner of the page.

Snowmen would pop up on street corners, merrily smoking cold pipes, frost bitten carrots stuck clumsily into their faces (and, often, lower bodies); once surly businessmen would slip and slide on their way to work, dodging snowballs thrown by giggling receptionists who hid behind snow peaked mounds on the common, chasing assistants with handfuls of the cold stuff to pack into clothing, all accompanied by shrieks of high pitched laughter. For those first couple of days happiness prevailed and all the troubles of the year were forgotten.

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An Early Christmas Treat: Let’s Make Christmas at Fortnum and Mason


Nov
21

The culture of the food blogger is an unusual one – most of the time we sit behind illuminated screens, tapping furiously at keys, we converse via. Twitter, email and blog comments, we claim that some of our “best friends” not only live in another part of the world but that we haven’t even met some of them in person, we hide behind camera lenses, snapping everything we possibly can, or shoot video segments in the most awkward places. By all intents and purposes, we should be strange antisocial creatures, unable to hold normal conversations, insular and shy. We should be very odd.

But we’re not. Well, some of us may be a little odd but – to take the words of Lady Gaga (oh dear) – baby, we were born this way.

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Woaaah, It’s Christmas


Dec
26

Hello all and a big ol’ happy Christmas to each and every one of you! Nom Man & I hope you’re all having a very lovely day, filled with plenty of fun, family, pressies & tasty, tasty nom. My gift to you is that my give-away, courtesy of Tortilla and myself is still running, and you have until midnight GMT (4pm PST) on the 31st December to get your entries in! The winner will be announced on New Year’s Day, to kick start 2011! Go, go, go!

It’s been a good year with plenty going down in the Feeder Lady household. I turned 23, a very nothing age, but eh, it’s another year in the life of Feeder Lady; graduated and am now a proud holder of a degree in American & English Studies from a top UK university; started this food blog back in April & not only increased my readership from me + Momma Lee, to me + Momma Lee + a lot of lovely people all over the world, but also made some wonderful like-minded friends; Nom Man came into creation (he’ll be back soon, promise!); I got to round 8/10 for Project Food Blog; I planned my foodie trip of a lifetime (leaving in two weeks!); and more recently, finished my job and am now officially a freelance food writer. I think that means it’s been one heck of a year. In the spirit of that, then, here is the rest of what didn’t make it onto the blog. All photos can be found in a larger format on my Flickr.

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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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I’ll Take My Christmas Pizza To Go – Fire & Stone, Spitalfields


Dec
18

Every so often in life two great pairings come along, ones that blow your mind and change the course of life as you know it. Romeo and Juliet. Fred and Ginger. Sonny and Cher. Cheech and Chong. Starsky and Hutch. Turner and Hooch. Christmas and pizza.

Wait, what? That’s right, Christmas and pizza. When I heard that Fire & Stone had a special Christmas pizza on offer that boasted a gravy base with turkey, roast potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and brie on it, I called up the Young & Poor team and demanded that we have our Christmas party there. Christmas pizza?! How could you not be intrigued.

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Glitter Absolves All Sins – Tesco Real Food Christmas Cupcake Decorating Competition Winners


Dec
16


One of the Judge’s finished cupcakes.

There are, largely, two branches of thought surrounding cupcakes. There is the ‘yay cupcakes! Tiny bites of yum!’ branch of thought and the ‘eh, I’m over it’ branch of thought. There’s even a food rumour going round that ‘pies will be the new cupcakes’, and if pies in a jar start popping up commercially then I may very well well jump on board the pie train (mhm, pie train…). However, until that time, I am rather firmly in the ‘yay cupcakes’ camp, and proud to be so.

When the Tesco Real Food team asked me to be one of their ten London bloggers to judge their nationwide cupcake decorating competition of course I said yes. Cupcakes were made and decorated, I judged with my judging eyes (oh little judging eyes, how thee judge so) and on Friday 10th December we Judges, along with the two winners of the competition, were invited to attend the Winners’ Day at The Make Lounge with professional cake decorating chef, Mich Turner of The Little Venice Cake Company to decorate cupcakes. Huzzah!

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Christmas Time, Mistletoe & Biscotti


Dec
14

Do you notice a recurring theme round these here parts of late? Don’t worry though, I haven’t sold out, I’m still the bitter mad soul you all know and love; I’ve just donned a bit of tinsel.

Biscotti, like panettone, are one of those things that would end up in our household around Christmas… then stay in our household for months and months, uneaten, slowly going green, growing legs and practically walking out the front door. Have I mentioned Momma Lee’s tendency to hoard food goods? Unspeakable stenches drift from the open fridge because of her obsession with keeping random leftovers that never get eaten. This may just be an Asian thing: one chicken wing in a tupperware box that sits there for months. Do you know what I’m talking about?

My food memories of such goods are not amazing. But then they were always store-bought, and I will always champion homebaked goods over store-bought. Maybe it was time to mix it up a little and see if I could conquer my biscotti fears with that holiday favourite: cranberries and pistachios.

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All I Want For Christmas Is . . .


Dec
08

…you? My two front teeth? No, MATERIAL GOODS. LOVELY, LOVELY MATERIAL GOODS.

I’m kidding. Sort of. Because in actual fact, the one thing I hate about Christmas is its material nature and the commercialism. I am a regular old Scrooge when it comes to “holiday cheer/spirit” (phrases I detest). Christmas is the season to buy loads of useless rubbish, apparently. I love the giving, but only if it’s useful. Last year I knitted all my presents.

So why a Christmas-themed post? Because I’ve stumbled upon one Christmas goodie you’ll definitely want to get your hands on: A PIE IN A JAR.

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


Nov
23


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?

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