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Working 9-5: Wild Rice Salad


Aug
01


Team Feeder!

Since graduating a month ago (!) I’ve not stopped. Moving from stage to trial to private job, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind and, though I’m exhausted, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m not the kind of person who can do nothing for long periods of time, instead choosing to fill my diary as full as I can, as many dinner dates, coffee dates, lunch dates, private jobs, stages as is physically possible. Of course the downside to this is that when I get sick I get really sick, a classic case of burning the candle at both ends, and recently this is exactly what’s happened to me.

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Summer Drinks: Harveys & Vanilla Speculoospasta Ice-Cream


Aug
29

So as we come to the end of summer I finally have a bit of time to sit down and write up everything I’ve had queued up. This summer’s been a funny one (and I’m still actually kind of hoping that it’s not done yet and September will see more sunshine and lazy days) but it’s been jam-packed full of amazing people, fun, travel, food and drink, a new house, new housemates and my loved one, then finished off (unfortunately) with a trip to A&E at the hospital this past week; regardless, it’s been fantastic. I’m only sorry that I’ve neglected my blog so much – I’ve been kind of busy trying to fit everything in before I start Leiths in October.

The kind folks at Focus PR sent me a bottle of Harveys Bristol Cream, the British sherry that’s been around forever but is enjoying a new run in the spotlight and marketed as a Summer drink. I would never think of sherry as something for the Summer, especially Harveys, it feels more like something you have by the fire in the dead of winter, but perhaps that’s exactly why it needs a new image. Besides, the Spanish have been drinking sherry for years and my fondest memories of it are in the height of summer with a big plate of tapas and jamon! So why not?

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Pie 101: Cherry Pie + Peach & Raspberry Pie


Aug
08

I’m pretty sure that I’ve discovered total baking zen lately: that glorious moment when you are completely and utterly in the zone, when everything comes together smoothly and calmly and, above all, you are at peace with the world. Yep, my baking happy place is pie. Fruit pie. Summer fruit pie. Cherry pie. Peach pie. Raspberry pie. Pie, pie, pie. My God, I love baking pies. If I had a pie shop I’d call it What Pies Ahead. Or maybe Pies From The Sky. Or Pie It Forward.

Something about making beautiful pate brisee (shortcrust pastry) from scratch, followed by blanching fruit, stoning fruit, sitting fruit in a mixture of sugar and cornflour is just total baking bliss for me. And then eating pie… y’know, as much as I love the eating of the pie, I think I like the making of the pie a little more. Which is both weird and good – weird because who doesn’t love eating pie?! Good because I need to stop eating pie. Stop Jackie. Stop it now.

But that’s okay because I’m going to pass my pie torch to you (tee-hee, pie torch) and you can make pie and then I can stop being so fat. Okay? Got it? Good.

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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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Fab Faces, Fun & Full of Advice: Food Blogger Connect ’11


Aug
16


Photo courtesy of Sarka from Cook Your Dream.

“Hi, I’m Jackie,” I told a table full of strangers. “I know, I follow you on Twitter – I really like your blog design,” one girl told me. Somebody else wanted to know how long I’d been blogging for, yet another recognised me from my photo. A tray of canapes went round and on cue the twenty or so women around me pulled out their cameras and started snapping – finally I wasn’t the only one.

The food blogger culture has been one I have thrown myself into wholeheartedly. What started as a whim, a way to pass the time, has become something I can – and have – spent hours on. I’ve connected with people all around the world, tried their recipes and found inspiration from them, spent countless late nights trawling through their food photos and salivating into my pillow; to be a food blogger does not define me but it does make me inordinately happy.

At the beginning of the year I travelled to a small portion of the world, meeting and staying with food bloggers I’d befriended over my six months of food blogging. Now, just over six months later, I got to meet a few more of them in my hometown at Food Blogger Connect ’11 and honestly? I had a blast.

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In Sickness & In Health


Aug
05

So I’m back! But I’ve got to deal with a little housekeeping before we get into the food, so please excuse me whilst I discuss something that is not at all food related and a little personal: this post has good news and bad news. The good news is that hey! I’m posting again! I know, that’s hard to believe in itself! The bad news is that I may disappear again because I am not a very well bunny & I’m going to be getting myself better & running back & forth between the doctor’s surgery, hospital & various events, so let me explain (there is food at the end of it, I promise!).

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Let’s All Chase Delicious


May
07

Did you know that I’m now a Contributor for Russell’s fantastic blog Chasing Delicious? You do now!

Want to know how to make the gorgeous arancini above? Or these parmesan & thyme savour shortbread & these pesto, sundried tomato & goat’s cheese palmiers?:

Head on over to Chasing Delicious to read my first contributor’s post! And hey, whilst you’re there, why not give the Chasing Delicious Facebook page a Like? G’wan. You know you want to.

Until next time, peace and love.

Jax x

The Queen of Simple


Aug
28

Pasta Is The Food of Champions, originally uploaded by jaxies.

It’s been an odd week. On Tuesday night I found myself rushing to A&E (that’s ER to you Amurikan folks) because the contact lens in my left eye had broken whilst I was removing my make-up for bed, and gotten stuck. Cue much panicking and being convinced that said remainder of contact lens was stuck at back of eye. Luckily the doctor down at the Great Western Eye Hospital sorted me out in five minutes (told me that lenses can’t slip round the back of the eye and I was being silly, dropped anaesthetic in eye, used what looked like a cotton bud to swab out the offending article, checked surface of eye for damage, gave me antibiotic drops) and we went home. The following day at work a very old, rather senile and incredibly deaf lady who’d been in two weeks previously came back in and proceeded to yell at me for forty-five minutes. Not because we’d done anything wrong, per se, but because she is old, senile and deaf, and had bought the wrong product, then was blaming us. The whole episode left me rather shook up (even though I managed to sort it out) and all I wanted to do afterwards was curl up in a ball and go to sleep.

So that’s been my week. A week not very conducive to cooking particularly elaborate meals, one more for simple. And besides, very often I like to throw meals together that require minimal effort. I very rarely blog these meals because they are so minimal effort that I just end up scoffing the whole lot down without photographing it, and without photography there may as well be no point to the recipe. At least not on a food blog where the main pleasure is gazing upon food porn, salivating and imagining eating it. Or something like that. But this one I just had to share.

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“What, Are You Chicken? CHEEP-CHEEP-CHEEP.”


Aug
22

I’ve actually managed to do quite a lot of cooking over the past few days, pretty good, right? So I’ve got quite the backlog of recipes and write-ups to get through, luuucky you!

This particular recipe is brought to you by Momma Lee. It’s a favourite recipe of hers which she adapted from a friend, and is super simple to put together, especially as she uses pre-cooked chicken legs. Very refreshing for the summer and keeps well in the fridge. Pretty sure we’ve been eating it quite a lot over the past few days…

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"What, Are You Chicken? CHEEP-CHEEP-CHEEP."


Aug
22

I’ve actually managed to do quite a lot of cooking over the past few days, pretty good, right? So I’ve got quite the backlog of recipes and write-ups to get through, luuucky you!

This particular recipe is brought to you by Momma Lee. It’s a favourite recipe of hers which she adapted from a friend, and is super simple to put together, especially as she uses pre-cooked chicken legs. Very refreshing for the summer and keeps well in the fridge. Pretty sure we’ve been eating it quite a lot over the past few days…

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