Saturday, 18 July 2009

The joys of summer no. 2: flowers

Who doesn't love flowers and seeing life in bloom over summer?

We have been spending time doing up the garden (more shots of that coming) in my family home, and Marc wanted to buy his parents a plant,  so off we went to my favourite garden centre. It's in a stunning London area called Little Venice (ever been there?) and it's like stepping into heaven. Just look at the pics and see. I was lucky to receive some gorgeous sunflowers and a stunning vase from Marc - love 'em. There's even a little cafe at this nursery, with homemade cakes and organic soups. 

I bought Lauren some lavender for her new home (Lauren used to live in the South of France, where lavender is abundant and smells beautiful) when she invited Kate and me for lunch, and I bought myself an interesting basil plant and  a mint plant. I can't emphasise enough how much I love mint. I love it in everything: in salads, smoothies, tea... the list goes on...

I dream one day of having a vegetable patch and a herb garden. The only problem? Love plants, hate gardening with a vengeance. Anyone got tips for me?

The joys of summer no. 1: food

Oh, the photos I want to share with you all from Florida! I can hardly wait. But first I want to post some of the food that keeps me so happy during the summer months. I love bbqs, guacamole, fresh salad, quiche: good simple food. Here are some of the things that have made it onto my table and that have made me smile.

Lots of salads! Don't you just love the crisp taste, not to mention the colours?
Summer just makes me want to be healthy, to eat well... let's just sat that that's a relative rarity!

I've been doing easy entertaining and have brought cake along to a number of bbqs. Sadly, the two cakes below, though somewhat pretty, were disappointing in taste. The lemon cake (with berries) I think is a good idea in theory but it didn't pan out for me. It uses shortening and, try though I might, and even if the recipe comes from the most stupendously scrumptious food blog ever, I hate the taste of shortening and it is never masked by the other flavours for me. I also like my lemon cake without rind... so no recipe here. The second recipe was a Betty Crocker - again, disappointing. I'm going back to the old greats for a while now I think.

This Sunday I am entertaining and hosting a Moroccan themed dinner! Stay around for some fragrant delicacies. A part of my heart (the foodie part) stayed in Marrakech!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tomato, mozzarella and basil with virgin olive oil and balsamic.

This is my foolproof, last-minute favourite lifesaver recipe. Couscous, peppers, tomatoes, sweetcorn, mint (oh, how I love mint!), salt, pepper and lots of lemon juice and virgin olive oil

Mt guacamole: avocado, chopped red onion, tomatoes, crushed garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.

And last but not least: Israeli salad. This delicious crispy salad makes its way into pretty much every family meal at my house. Easy, simple. Diced sweet cherry tomatoes and sweet cucumber, olive oil, lots of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Oh, and we dip toasted bread into the juice at the bottom. Mmmmmmmm!

Sunday, 5 July 2009


Wooohooo! Marc and I are finally on vacation in Florida! We are having a fabulous time and we were so pleased to spent the 4th in this country that we both love so much (though, being British, we got quite a bit of slack yesterday!). Our resort is great, but the area is, well, disappointing. We're in Clearwater, and let's just say it's not quite what we were expecting or are used to. But you know what? Neither of us cares, because we're having so much fun and are just enjoying being together. We're staying at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, which is fun, and on Tuesday we leave to Orlando, to visit Disney! 'Excited' is an understatement. At Disney we'll be staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge... can't wait!

Today I set out on my own, in search of a place that so many fellow bloggers have mentioned: Michaels. We don't have a rental car, so this involved two long bus rides, but I got there in the end and what can I say? I'm totally in love. I really didn't want to leave. If I had that in England I'd spend my whole paychyeck in there. I loved the Martha Stewart collection in particular. Oh, and that Wilton aisle! Heavenly.

Tomorrow we'll head to the acquarium I think... if any of you have tips for me please let me know!

Florida happiness to all xxxx