Rosebush's Bushes


Terrace Gardening

 I am no plant expert. Growing up with green-fingered parents meant that gardening has always seemed simple, easy and embarrassing to fail at. Last year I worked out the hard way that it isn't so simple or easy and I definitely felt embarrassed failing at it. The last house had such little light that I didn't even manage to grow basil seedlings taller than my thumb. 

This year, with a lot more outside space and a few welcome tips, my terrace garden is FLOURISHING!

I have so far managed to grow tomato plants, sweet peas, sunflowers, coriander, parsley, basil and salad. It is SO exciting.

Easter Treats


Sausages, sea and sisters

Going home to the Isle of Wight is becoming more and more of a treat. The sunsets seem more beautiful and barbecued sausages more delicious. 

The perfect recipe for barbecued sausages:

You will need:
-a bucket

Easter Biscuits

Easter wouldn't be Easter if we didn't make biscuits. Over the years we have managed to get a great collection of biscuit cutters, buying one or two a year, and the excitement of making them still hasn't worn off.

My favourite biscuits to make are gingerbread, but they aren't as fitting at Easter as they are at Christmas. One of the best, simple biscuit recipes that I have used is the Hummingbird Sugar Cookie one. Their recipe calls for Cream of Tartar; I found a VERY old pot of it in the larder with a best before date from about 2002. I opted for a hefty tsp of baking powder instead. 

200g unsalted butter 
280g caster sugar 
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
400 g plain flour
a pinch of salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

- Preheat the oven to 170°C 
- Mix the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well.
- Add the flour, salt and cream of tartar and mix well, without overmixing. 
- Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Cut out shapes with your choice of biscuit cutters. 
- Arrange the biscuits on prepared baking trays and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. The biscuits should be very light golden on the outer edges and paler in the centre. 

Bigger and Better


Moving House

Last year was an extremely busy one. I graduated university, moved to Italy, changed city, got a job, moved in with the man and changed house. All in one year. Busy busy busy.

It was sad moving out of a house that holds such special memories from my Erasmus year in Ferrara and the start of living here this time around. We are, however, moving on to bigger and better things. 

The new house had to be gutted after many years of grubby students being grubby in it. Peeling back the sixties wallpaper, the painter unveiled newspapers dating back to that time, which were great fun to look at; with old-fashioned pictures and dodgy headlines.

The most exciting part about the new house is without a doubt the ample outside space; a kitchen balcony and terrace. 

My dream of growing my own herbs so that I can cook with them is now seeming likely...if I don't kill them all. Watch this space!