I am not the perfect cook (and am unlikely to be entered on MasterChef or the Great British Bake off anytime soon).
I do love to cook for family and friends.
I do like to have fun which I think cooking is meant to be all about – gathering the troops, kitchen music blaring, lots of chat and laughter – quality produce, great food.
I do have a passion to learn about:
- quality produce – ensuring I know what to look for when buying
- the source – to understand where it comes from and the animal welfare
- nose to tail – to learn about the different cuts of meat and how best use them
- how to develop my cooking skills to make fantastic meals.
If you’re keen to get ideas on:
- simple, tasty meals for your family
- cooking for a crowd (without breaking the bank or having a cardiac arrest from stress)
- tips and tricks that make life a bit easier
- How to cook with cheap cuts
- And a whole lot more…
…then stick around.
We can learn (and share) ideas and recipes for simple, delicious cooking, perfect for people who love to cook – without too much fuss – for family and friends.
Oh, and you’ll probably also get to know, Bella (that’s her below). A ginger staffie who seems to win the hearts of even the ‘non-believers’ + all my family, friends and neighbours.
WHO AM I ?
I am a Kiwi.
You know, the All Blacks; funny accent due to dropping a few vowels, misused or muddled up; Lord of the Rings; bungy jumping; sheep and so on… but not Australian – we’re very sensitive about that.
I am also (now officially & proudly) a British citizen.
Not through family though. I did my Life Test 10 years ago and passed! Lived in London for close to 20 years after I fell in love with its incredible diversity, unbelievable history while it boasts cutting edge architecture and design, culture, and continues to push the boundaries of food.
I am (now) split between London and South Devon.
Married to Tim and have two teenage step sons (Frankie and Toby) and of course, Bella. As I mentioned, this little ginger-nutter of a staffie will come into your lives because she wants to be in and around everything (aka FOMO)!
I am not a chef, a professional food writer or even a recipe developer.
My interest in food has come from growing up on a 40 acre farm where we raised sheep, chickens, grew crops, then ran a peaches and nectarines orchard. So as a child I was lucky enough to burn around on motorbikes and tractors.
But just because I grew up on a small farm does not mean we ate exciting, sumptuous, artisan (or even varying) meals – we certainly weren’t the kiwi version of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage, put it that way.
The truth is, Mum and Dad worked really hard so the last thing Mum wanted to do was slave in the kitchen after a long day of lambing. My father was a meat-and-three-veg kinda guy so any diversion from that was not really welcomed by Dad.
So that was our usual menu, along with some quick meals like ‘mince on toast’ (we’ll come to that in a later post), spaghetti a la grated cheddar and tomato sauce… you get the drift.
WHAT I’VE UNDERSTOOD FROM GROWING UP ON A SMALL FARM IN NZ TO LIVING IN A WORLD CLASS CITY.
No matter where you are, quality of the produce is key. And when we’re talking about meat then knowing where it is sourced from and understanding how the animals were cared for is paramount to being part of the food cycle.
That’s why I work alongside Freybors. They care about the things I care about and have a great knowledge on where their meat is sourced from and expertise on the various cuts of meat from nose to tail.
Everyone is worried about climate change and there is a trend towards veganism and vegetarianism because of this but meat brings us a lot of nutrients in a really efficient way which can’t be replaced with just one extra vegetable put on your plate.
As we all know, it’s about balance. We need to treat the planet better, our animals better and ourselves better.
We don’t need to eat meat every night, but we can become more knowledgeable about what we eat, where it comes from, all the cuts and how to use all of the animal and how to we store and prepare it all with some love and soul.
MY COOKING DEVELOPMENT
My first career was in hospitality so that sparked an interest in food, wine and restaurants. As the years went on and I travelled, I become more interested in food and my cooking slowing improved.
I lived with a group of amazing friends in London who could cook with spices and whip up an amazing Sunday lunch for us and friends down the road. It was always so much fun and inspired me to learn how to cook better.
Now, I enjoy cooking for family and friends.
But I like simple, uncomplicated food that has great flavours, enables me to be a part of the fun and ultimately makes people feel loved.
So, like I said earlier if you want to cook great food without all the fuss and clutter – 4 different types whizzes, an array of measuring spoons, gadgets that you’ve forgotten how to use – then I hope you’ll find some good ideas and recipes on my blog.
I hope you enjoy the recipes I’ve used myself, enjoy some of my successes (learn from my failures) and become part of my (our) journey to become a better cook for family and friends.
I’m always open to your comments, suggestions or even photos of something you’ve created for family and friends… so drop me a line.
STAY IN TOUCH
I’d love to hear any ideas, recommendations or just have a chat. You can email me direct using ‘Let’s Chat’ (RHS).