Great Intentions Volume I: Cook more…

IMG_6628I have a whole cupboard of beautiful cookbooks. It’s a dark and cavernous cupboard and they sit wedged against the Kitchenaid mixer, occasionally receiving a light shower of soy sauce or a sprinkle of Chinese five spice from the shelf above.  I often extract one to browse through with a glass of wine on the kitchen sofa, but all too rarely do I actually COOK anything.  I have no idea why this is, so one of my resolutions for 2018 was to work my way through some of them and bring a few of the delicious recipes into being (not quite as intensively as Julie and Julia, but you get the drift).


Nigella and Nigel, Katie and Keller, Delia and Julia Child; all are part of my self-improvement plan for 2018, starting with the basics and working my way up…

  My first creative project though was simply to find a way of putting the books on display, to remind me of my great intentions and also make them easier to flick through and annotate; welcome to my new kitchen gallery shelves!

IMG_7030I found these lovely oak picture ledge shelves online (but try etsy, Ikea and other home stores for lots of alternatives), and then we cut them to size to fit in an unused alcove between the kitchen units and the back door…

IMG_7018IMG_6994 (even Harry is inspired; he ate his cornflakes on the floor this morning whilst flicking through The Silver Spoon for Children (still in his beloved Christmas reindeer pjs).

And now the weekend is almost upon us and the food shopping done; no excuse not to start the actual cooking!


p.s. In my next life I will own a small bookshop dedicated entirely to cookery books.  It will be called Mis En Place and I will spend my days floating around the store, arranging books artfully and perusing new titles.  Armchairs will abound in nooks and crannies.

Have a lovely one, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

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Love Letters

Ransom Note Valentine's Card

Have you got your Valentine’s Day affairs in order?  To my beloved this year I am giving a tatty old John Grisham thriller, a supermarket newsletter and a page from the Guardian Review of Books.

Well, to be more precise, I am giving him a hand-crafted card declaring my love, snipped from the pages of the above book and periodicals, with carefully scissored …
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What are you reading at the moment?

What are you reading? KatesCreativeSpace

What are you reading at the moment?  As the month turns into February I am reluctantly emerging from a post-Christmas literary cocoon; having slipped each night into the world of one of the books I received (my Christmas list always includes ‘a book that you’ve read and loved this year’, and I’ve been introduced to  to some amazing new authors this …
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A quick dose of inspired creativity this morning – from my son’s class teacher.  Harry’s teacher is the stuff storybook heroines are made of; beautiful and perennially cheerful, brave enough to scoop up giant spiders from the classroom without a tremor; kind enough to dispatch them gently out onto the windowsill.  As ultimate proof of her greatness, I offer you the fact that she has …
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How to make a fortune in just five minutes.

DIY Fortune cookies

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In practice, the cookie itself was a little underwhelming, disintegrating into an explosion of crumbs when snapped and revealing a rather vague fortune about pleasant strangers. …
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On my birthday recently, my mother gave me a very large cardboard box.  I say she gave it to me; in fact she dragged it in through the front door with much huffing and puffing and muttered cussing, and left it in the hall whilst she lay down on the sofa to recover herself with a gin & tonic.

‘Is it a puppy?’ asked Harry hopefully.

‘Why no‘ she announced dramatically; ‘it is ….A BALL OF …
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DIY Cook’s Calendar

DIY Cook's Calendar 2018Here’s a project for anyone slow off the blocks in tackling 2018.  I know many people have their next-year calendar in place from August, or fully populated by November, but perhaps you’re one of those people who just hasn’t got a grip yet (me), or has maybe fallen out of love with the store-bought/gifted calendar you acquired and fancies something much cooler …
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Happy New Year!

Cape Town mapHappy New Year!

Did you have a lovely break?  We managed to completely switch off for a while, spending the Christmas period itself with a flurry of family and friends; playing games, eating too much, watching movies and generally just being rather than doing – it was so lovely.  And then – then! – we flew to South Africa for a magical few days of …
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Quiet beauty

Rather than decorating the house with a riotous explosion of seasonal colour this year I’ve opted for something more understated and calming. These Nordic-style baubles were a gorgeous local find, which I’ve strung with nylon thread and wooden beads to make ethereal, organic pendants.


The threading itself is a soothing pastime; a …
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