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New Year, New Food, Old Ideals: Be A Part of my Project & Help Me Review ‘The Great American Cookbook’


Jan
05


Aaaand we’re back in the room! Happy new year, all – 2012 has arrived with a bang and I’ve found myself thrown back into life with barely a moment to breathe since Christmas. From a fabulous New Year’s Eve spent with good friends eating at Otto Pizza, followed by fireworks on the Thames and dancing in the streets of London with the London Eye behind us, to making new friends and getting to meet fellow blogger and Twitter friend Dan of Dan’s Good Side in London (an evening of not-so-good eating was followed by an awesome night of dancing through the small hours of the morning in one of London’s premier gay clubs with Dan & friends – ironically I still managed to get hit on by the only straight man in the entire club), I’ve been a busy girl and it doesn’t seem to want to slow down.

Want to know what else has been going on? Read on and find out how you can be involved in my project and this cookbook review! (It’s a doozy, I promise…)

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Winter Food: Shabu Shabu


Dec
14


All photography in this post brought to you by my iPhone & Instagram!

The flavour hung thickly in the air, flickering across my tongue and creeping down my lungs tantalisingly. I swallowed hungrily, saliva collecting in my mouth again almost instantly. The lid of the red pot was lifted and with a heavy sigh more fragrant steam was released, condensing against the cold windows of the conservatory. I stood against the sliding glass door, watching carefully as plates piled high with meat and vegetables were shuffled; I wondered whether the condensation would taste like the air and watched a single drop make its jagged way down the blinds, dropping to the floor and shattering like a liquid crystal.

Time moved in slow motion as my stomach rumbled in anticipation of the great feast ahead of us – was it ready yet? Could we eat now? How about now? Patience was not a virtue I possessed but could you blame me? It was shabu shabu season.

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Dealing with Conflict: Kiwi Pavlova


Dec
05


Photo credit: David Mason.

We deal with conflict everywhere. Whether it’s at work, with our friends and family, or simply with a complete stranger, it just can’t be avoided, no matter how hard we try; stubbornness is a part of human nature.

I’m not a fan of conflict. I usually try to run away from it and am always the first to apologise in an argument, even if I’m not in the wrong, purely because I find the tension of disagreement deeply distressing. To be so anti-confrontational is not one of my best qualities and in these situations I usually find myself bottling everything up inside and then inexplicably bursting into tears of frustration and anger. This was my week.

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Oh Paula, You Crazy Beeatch: Savannah High Apple Pie


Nov
24

It started, as many good things do, with a Tweet.

“SERIOUSLY PAULA?! Are you kidding me?! http://bit.ly/QZY7N

Whilst recipe editing I had come across this gem, courtesy of Paula Deen: a monstrosity of a pie she was calling the Savannah High Apple Pie.

My first reaction was one of absolute disgust – a pie a foot high and looking like it could’ve been expelled from either end of your body?! No thanks. But then disgust gave way to fascination (as it’s so wont to do with me) and I knew that I simply had to make this beast. Throw in another Jackie, all the way in Seattle who, too, felt the urge to birth this creation and Thanksgiving Paula Deen style was on, because Paula? She’s one crazy beeatch.

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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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Autumnal Flavours: Pumpkin & Shrimp Bisque


Nov
08


Gizmo dares you to try this soup.

I’ve always preferred the word ‘autumn’ to ‘fall’. It’s such a beautifully romantic word and rolls off the tongue with a sense of majesty which, for me, is exactly what the changing season deserves. ‘Fall,’ whilst apt (what do the leaves do? Duh) is just a little too short-syllabled, a little too basic for my tastes. No matter what you want to call it, with summer long gone and the cold months setting in (especially in London which had an unseasonably late summer and has now snapped to frosty attention), this season calls for root vegetables, warmth and comfort. And so to the humble pumpkin and this soup – warmth, comfort and deliciousness, all in one bowl. Perfection.

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This Is Halloween


Oct
26


I’ve always been a bit of a devil.

When I was a child I loved to pretend. Maybe it was because of my overactive imagination or maybe it was because the thought of being somebody else was so much more appealing than the awkward (and yet precocious) child, teenager and adult I’d become. Dressing up was a game I forced everyone around me – even my older brother – to play and my dressing up box was filled with flouncy party dresses and ribbons, an old lace wedding dress my mother had given me (whom it belonged to I had no idea), and various toys and accessories, including a Chanel handbag which, had I kept it, would be worth a lot of money now, I’m sure.

Of course, dressing up wasn’t just for fun, it was also about competition: you had to be the best looking child with the best costume. The time of year that this was most obvious? Halloween of course.

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I Heart My Friends: Tartine Trifle by Rice & Wheat


Sep
02

We interrupt these somewhat regular posts of late to bring you a guest post all the way from San Francisco! Introducing the wonderful Angi from Rice & Wheat!

Angi & I first met through Project Food Blog last year but we really bonded over our infamous muffcakes, a bad word “created” on Twitter and made delicious by ourselves and three other blogger buddies.

When I was in San Francisco I had the immense pleasure of hanging out with Angi, her hubs Nathan and her kitty Toro and a kinder soul, whom I have bonded with instantly, I have never met; of course I asked her to do a guest for me. Not only did she agree wholeheartedly, she sent over this incredible looking trifle! So enough from me, let’s get to Angi and her trifle or, more specifically, her version of San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery’s trifle – yum. Thanks Angi!


When Jackie asked me to do a guest post here on I Am a Feeder, it didn’t take me long to decide to make a trifle because after all, doesn’t it just seemed appropriate to make my favorite British dessert for my favorite British blogger?? But hehe, I have to admit I also had an ulterior motive in mind. You see, I’ve had my eye on the trifle recipe from the Tartine cookbook for a while and well, just needed the perfect excuse to test it out. So… thank you Jackie! But hey, Jackie and I totally had lunch at Tartine when she came to visit San Francisco, so it’s totally 100% appropriate, don’t you think?

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One Year Later: Mason Matcha-Misu v.2.0


Aug
29


Photo credit: David Mason.

The end of last year was one of the worst times of my life. My then boyfriend David had moved to Canada and I was mourning not just the loss of a relationship but of a close friend; I had completed formal education and in one swift move had gone from being the girl with the five-year-plan to the one drifting from day-to-day, unsure as to what direction my life should take; I was working two jobs at once, one as a private caterer and the other in retail, and though I adored my boss and my retail “family”, I wasn’t doing what I wanted and it was making me miserable.

My personality is such that when one aspect of my life is in jeopardy the rest of it goes completely to pot – it’s terrible but I simply cannot function when something is out of whack. Food was my escape – it didn’t judge, it was there, comforting me and the sense of satisfaction when I created something beautiful was almost better than eating it.

For David’s birthday that year I created this dessert which I named the Mason Matcha-Misu; it was my present for him even though he couldn’t taste it as he was in Canada. Based on David’s family mocha tiramisu recipe, I made the Matcha-Misu with matcha green tea powder, white chocolate laced with pistachios and even more pistachios, chopped roughly. It was a good first effort but it wasn’t quite there yet and so I didn’t share the recipe.

Fast forward a year and I’ve found myself making a living (or trying to) with food and words. David has also returned to London for the time being but we exist together solely as very good friends, a decision that is perfect for the both of us – I get to keep my best friend, mentor and muse with none of the drama that comes with relationships. It’s a tough world but I’m doing well, not the least because of my diagnosis and subsequent medication that is totally re-aligning all of my chakras, or whatever you want to call it. Yes, I’m single, yes, I’m still fighting to make a name for myself, yes, I’m living in a country I’d rather not be in and sometimes I wring my hands with despair at my situation, but for now? This is where, who and what I am and I’ve found a contentment in that. In other words: I’m happy.

And as for this Matcha-Misu? This year I not only perfected it, David finally got to taste it and give it his seal of approval.

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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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