This Week's Favourite Instagram Shot.

Each week I'm going to upload my most popular instragram shot and tell you a little more about behind the scenes. 

This is Wilberforce, my ten month old baby, post celebrations. All the guests had left the party and there was just us, sweeping up cake crumbs, drinking cold Earl Grey and eating too many leftover olives. 

For us, as parents, it was important that he was Christened and became part of our church family. We carefully choose four incredible godparents that I hope will walk alongside him through life. In some way, it marked the beginning of his incredible voyage and the dawn of a new journey of faith. Whoop.  


Banana & Brown Sugar Tart Tatin

Never have I talked so much about ice cream in the last few years. Jasper, my three year old pretends the stair gate is his shop. He pretends the tiny drawers next to the cooker hold his chocolate sprinkles and even toothbrushes are loaded with the good stuff. It’s terrible parenting but ice cream is his currency. Good behavior = ice cream. Bad behavior and mummy blocks the freezer door with a chair, her bottom or by whatever means possible.

We buy stacks of the stuff but often geared up to toddler taste buds (think fizzy bits and swirls) so imagine my delight when I was sent a new variety, a new Haagen Dazs flavour solely for grown up’s. Coffee Ice Cream. Let me say that again, Coffee Ice Cream. In other words crack cocaine to a Christian mum. No three year olds are allowed to touch it, no, not even one little “lip”.

I thought the ice cream was seriously good (you've got to be impressed when the ingredients read cream, milk, sugar, egg and coffee) but it still needed a partner to become a fitting, suitable dessert. With friends coming for dinner, I developed this recipe to be eaten when all children were safely asleep.

The French have a knack of creating tarts that set the benchmark for puddings and the classic tart tatin is no exception. I’ve used bananas as I sensed, once soft and gooey, they sit seamlessly with coffee. The pastry is crisp on the base but fudgey where needed and an unnecessarily large pile of nuts provides, well, a toasted crunch.  

With six ingredients, this is an effortlessly dreamboat pudding but one that is certainly only for grown ups.

Banana & Brown Sugar Tart Tatin

Serves 6

PREP TIME – 25 minutes
COOK TIME – 30 minutes

500g Puff pastry
5 large banana’s, peeled and sliced in half
2 tbsp rum (optional)
50g unsalted butter
100g light brown soft sugar
50g macadamia nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/Gas 7.  Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out a 26cm circle. Place in the fridge and chill while you make the rest of the tart.
2. Melt the butter in a 24cm ovenproof frying pan, add the sugar and rum and melt over a medium/low heat. Shake the pan gently but do not stir and allow to bubble for a minute. Arrange the banana’s, cut side facing the bottom of the pan, on top of the caramel in a spiral pattern. Cover with the prepared pastry circle and tuck the edges inside the pan around the bananas.
3. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry golden brown and puffed up.
4. Meanwhile, heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat,
5. Remove the tatin from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before inverting a serving plate over the pan and flipping over as fast as your arms allow. Serve warm in slices with scoops of ice cream.

TIP – This is a great pudding if you wanted to do it in advance, make the whole lot – the caramel with bananas patiently sitting and the puff circle resting, tucked on top  - and leave aside. Just pop in the oven 40 minutes before you want to serve.


Little by Little Jewellery

I’m really happy to tell you about a venture of mine that has been two years in the making.

A friend and I lived together during those fledgling, post-university years when carefree graduates are desperately finding their feet in young careers.  My days were spent at cookery school, learning the history of French sauces and Annabel’s were devoted to studying gold, silver and precious stones. Many unsociable hours of work later and I reached the dizzy heights of food writing and Annabel became an esteemed jewellery designer.  

We remained friends but it wasn’t until a decade later stirred by coffee or wine, I can’t remember which, that we thought about working together.  We had seen too many homeless, hungry people that day and prompted by their plight we wanted to find a way of honouring and assisting them.

We decided that we would combine our love of food and jewellery, create a beautiful collection that could raise a little money and donate to charity. We would start small. We would move forward with trepidation, little by little. We had a plan.  

Every week for two years, come rain or train delays, we met at Gatwick airport, the obvious middle point between London & Brighton and sat on the departure lounge floor, stealing free wifi. We agreed that with every piece that was made, we would donate funding to pay for a day's supply of therapeutic food, given to help nurse an acutely malnourished child back to health.

We talked to our friends, we designed, re-designed and polished our stunning produce inspired collection, we collaborated with an incredible charity called Action Against Hunger. We laughed at the mistakes we made and celebrated the small wins and now, this week, we are launching our business; Little by Little.

If you have a moment explore our website:



Spinach, Lemon and Garlic Penne Rigate with Torn Burrata

The weather has turned and most of my morning was spent finding an umbrella that isn't broken. My mood changes with the weather and I have to choose to feel positive and happy, it's sometime easier to be blue. We spent the last few months trying to buy a house and the sale came crashing down this weekend. I'm sure it's' for the best', 'wasn't meant to be' and all that but for now, this particular situation is frustrating. 

I cooked this pasta for my boys to help keep the morale up. The best recipes seem to be those that have relatively few ingredients; simple dishes that ensure each element are seen and tasted. This is one of those dishes. The pasta is enriched with modest egg yolks, stirred into the pasta and cooked in residual heat before wilted spinach, hot toasted hazelnuts and creamy burrata are added. Enjoy.


Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cook Time – 14 minutes

Serves 2-3

2 tbsp olive oil
2 large egg yolks
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
75g young leaf spinach, large stalks removed and leaves roughly shredded
200g Penne Rigate
50g halzelnuts, roughly chopped
200g burrata, torn
Plenty of salt and black pepper

1.  In a small bowl lightly mix the olive oil, egg yolks, lemon zest and crushed garlic.
2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and drop the spinach in. Simmer for 1-2 minutes before removing from the pan with a large draining spoon or tongs. Squeeze out the excess water. Set the blanched spinach aside for a few minutes while you cook the pasta.
3. Make sure the water returns to a simmer before adding the penne to the pot and simmering for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Working quickly, drain and return to the pan with the wilted spinach. Pour in the olive oil and egg yolk sauce and stir to combine, allowing the egg yolks to cook in the residual heat.
4. Meanwhile heat a dry frying pan over a high heat. Add the whole hazelnuts and allow to toast for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and roughly chop.
5. Toss half the hazelnuts into the spinach pasta with half of the torn burrata. Season and stir to combine.
6. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining burrata and chopped hazelnuts.